Friday, December 30, 2011

This Year Has Taught Me...

A lot.

With another year in the books, I look back at everything I learned in 2011. I can't say with much certainty whether it's been a good year or a bad year, but I'm still here and so are my loved ones. Well, most of them.

So while I ever-so daintily chug my bottle of champagne straight out of the bottle, read along with me at some of the things I learned, most of which, the extremely hard way.

This year has taught me that:

once again, Corporate America is not a fan of mine and vice versa.

online friendships and relationships should never replace the ones in real life.

my creativity is heightened when traveling. and watching or playing sports.

although Facebook is under the impression I have 1500+ friends, the reality is I only have a few. And I'm OK with that.

not having health insurance really puts extracurricular activities in perspective.

I'm too old to have friends with benefits.

college football is the key to most men's hearts. or maybe it's hockey?

grandpas don't live forever. even the most amazing ones.

although his paperwork may claim he's a teacup chihuahua, weighing in at an alarming 23lbs, Denali is no such thing.

I'd rather sit in a sport's bar wearing a baseball cap and flip flops than go clubbing in 4-inch heels.

your heart can be broken by someone you've never met.

dry shampoo can replace washing your hair, but not a shower.

some people are jealous of your life, but that doesn't mean they want in yours.

my skin has thickened by mass amounts simply because it's had to.

Pandora has no clue that Sting and Dave Matthews Band are not the same genre.

asking for forgiveness doesn't mean you'll get it.

knowing how to change a tire is not as overrated as I once thought.

tapping into savings to make your dreams come true isn't all that bad.

So with this post, I bid farewell to 2011. I don't know if I'll miss you or not, but I do know you were one hell of a year for me. A year I didn't know I was capable of having. Now on to the next -- 2012.

.jl.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I guess some things were meant to be...

Tonight, while minding my own business, I received a notification that I had a FB friend request from someone from a past life - college days to be exact. I accepted the request for two reasons - one, we had been so close at one point in our lives it just seemed rude not to and two, to be completely honest, curiosity got the best of me. About him and our "mutual acquaintances."

For anyone that knew me in college, I'm sorry. I'll start with that. My sincere apologies. I was a certified a$$hole. Had there been a salary cap on being the biggest a$$ in all of Northern Virginia, I'd probably have maxed out and still negotiated more on my contract. Aside from losing whatever meager softball career I had left, I dated a jerk. Oftentimes I think about why I'm still single at 29. I'm not saying it's a bad thing or my life is ruined because I'm single, but I think back to all the things that got me to where I am, relationship-wise. I think back to where my trust issues stem from and I'm taken back to the days where he was in my life.

For anyone I've ever dated, I'm sorry. Something else I need to get out of the way. I know I haven't been the easiest person to date. Somehow that's probably in the running for understatement of the year, but I'm sorry and congrats for making it out alive.

My relationship resume probably looks a little like this: I'm pretty sure I doubted every word out of your mouth, thought you were lying about everything under the sun including the color of the sky, thought you were cheating on me with your ex-girlfriend or that skank you met at the bar, didn't believe you when you said your pager ran out of batteries, and worse. There's a reason for that - the first guy I ever really loved (in an adult, I think I can marry you and probably wouldn't abort our baby if we were ever dumb enough to get to that point) did all of that to me. And more. Much more. So needless to say, I'm not so trusting with guys. And it's not just that - I tend to get fixated on an issue and have an impossible time moving past it, and it's definitely hindered more than a few relationships from getting to the next level.

Before you get all crazy on the comments here, I get it - everyone has baggage. Once you reach your late twenties/early thirties, baggage is a prevailing part of the relationshipquation. That's not to say your suitors will all have baby mamas or prenups in the works, but emotional baggage is just as damning, I can assure you.

So back to my distressed and sorrowful college days with this guy. I was a disaster. That was probably when I first developed insomnia. There would be nights he wouldn't come home (while I was asleep in his twin bed upstairs in his parent's house while his little brother slept on the floor beside me, as weird as that may be), there'd be nights he would pocket dial me and I could hear things in the background. There'd be days he'd disappear and no one knew where he was. Not his job, not his family, and certainly not me, "the love of his life". So I'd stay up all night checking my Nokia razor flip phone incessantly waiting for his call. More than a few times this call ended up coming from the police station. I made myself sick waiting up to make sure he was OK. To make sure he was still alive. That he still loved me. That he didn't F.U.C.K another chick. His ex-girlfriend to be exact.

Aside from his lies, his extreme binge drinking (even for a college kid), bouts with drugs, financial struggles, and other problems, there was another constant problem in our relationship - his highschool sweetheart. After a year into our relationship, he transferred to a community college outside Virginia Tech, so we were forced to do long distance. If only I had listened to every single adult that long distance while in college was dumber than marrying Kim Kardashian on E!, this may not be an issue. But I didn't listen. So re-cue all those same alcohol, drug and lying problems, but add into the mix that I was now 4.5 hours away from my unstable boyfriend and his highschool sweetheart was just a mere 15 minutes away at a neighboring college.

I remember skipping some of the biggest sorority parties to either drive up and visit him or sit and talk to him on the phone (or more like wait for sporadic voicemails from him during his fraternity parties where the phone would always cut off as soon as I heard a girl's voice). I remember crying my eyes out because he didn't call for 3 days. His AOL Instant Messenger would change from idle yet he wouldn't respond to my messages. For days. Upon days. I'd have no clue if he was dead or alive, with or without herpes.

And then the phone calls started coming and the dirty away messages (you remember away messages on AIM, right?). His ex and I were in full-on he's mine bitch mode. (Seriously, watch that video as a short interlude.)

Whether she'll admit it or not, I'm finally adult enough to admit we were terrible to each other. Full on stalker mode. She left messages for my friends, and me hers. It became almost obsessive to destroy her than it did to mend my fleeting relationship with this guy. After basically foregoing any enjoyment my last two years in college because I was so upset and consumed with this misery, one day it all became crystal clear. He was in fact cheating on me. He had in fact turned two girls that had never met into two of the biggest enemies on the planet. You thought Robin Ventura and Nolan Ryan had a blood bath? You hadn't seen anything. I moved out from his parent's house (because yes girls, you can get cheated on even if you live with him and his parents) and wrestled with how to move on (which is what led me to move to Miami on a whim, but that's a different story). I was heartbroken and had trusted this guy who swore over and over and over that he loved me and he would never cheat on me. And to find out that every single gut instinct I had wasn't just a nightmare, but reality?

Every once in a while, I still battle with the what if questions. What if I had dated someone who truly loved me unconditionally and respected me during those primitive years? What if the moment I didn't trust him, I left instead of sitting through the pain? What if I had just told his so-called sweetheart she could have him? What if I was a better girlfriend and he never would have thought to cheat on me? What if I didn't quit my sorority because I had a controlling boyfriend?

Anyways, if I have any reader's left after this lengthy onslaught, let me get back to my actual point... The friend request brought all these thoughts and memories back. And low and behold while all this is swirling around in my head, I notice a photo of HER in a wedding gown.

And guess who the groom was?

.jl.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

there's never a promise of a next date...

All dating analogies and horror stories aside, this is a rather serious post. Recently, I went on a few dates with this guy I had just met (two dates to be exact). I'm not sure if there was any potential for a love connection, but he was definitely a sweet guy that seemed to enjoy or at least put up with my snarky comments and he was fun to be around.

A few days ago he sent me a text asking for another date. I know - a text asking me on a date. But given my disdain for talking on the phone and our mutual hectic schedules, it was fine by me. I hadn't played my cards right in any of my last date-ships (because I certainly can't call them relationships as they ended just as quickly as they started), I thought I'd take a more casual approach and wait until the next day to respond. You know, give him a little time to wonder what I was up to and if I was interested. Except the next day was too late. Literally.

I responded to his text a mere 15.5 hours later (which in my world is forever) and was met with a phone call in return. I answered with a snide response something to the effect of how he must have missed my voice already but was caught off guard when I heard a woman's broken voice on the other end. She started by saying she was sorry to have called instead of text, but she wasn't sure how to tell me over text. We both quickly realized she wasn't sure how to tell me over the phone either. But she now had possession over her son's phone. He had died the night before in a car accident.

I was stunned. Partly because I didn't know the feelings inside my own heart and head, but also because I didn't know how to handle being on the phone with this loving and distraught mother. She sounded like she was still in shock and just wanted to know who I was and how we met. She wanted to know if he treated me like the gentleman he was raised to be. Every second of that seventeen minute conversation broke my heart and still replays in my head. His mother was desperately trying to hold onto some of the last moments of her late son's life.

Today is his funeral, which she kindly asked if I'd attend. I don't know what frightens me more - the fact I'll be surrounded by people that got to know him - something I will never have the chance of doing myself or just how close this hits home.

What if
this was my boyfriend, or my husband, or my bestfriend? What if I hadn't made time to return my mother's phone call or respond to my bestfriend's text message? What if the last chance I'd ever have to respond to someone was taken away in an instant and I never got the chance to say yes to a date or tell someone I loved them?

For the past few days my head has been inundated with these types of questions all starting the exact same way: what if?

I just pray that in his last moments, he left this earth a happy man. Knowing that his friends and family loved him and knowing there was a girl sitting on her couch next to her chihuahua ready to say yes. I pray that his friends and family find comfort and have no regrets. And most of all, I pray that each and every one of us remembers to tell our friends and family how much we love them on a daily basis, for you never know when it'll be the last chance you have to say anything.

.jl.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Merry Christmas. In October. With Love, Summer.

It should come as no surprise given how periodically random I am, that my friends are mostly of the same unpredictable and often hilarious variety.

After a long day of traveling, I finally curl up onto my couch to catch up on Most Eligible Dallas on my DVR when I get a completely random text from my good friend Summer.

Merry Christmas Boo was the message attached to a picture of a half lit Christmas tree which I didn't have the heart to tell her was hanging a little to the right.

My only response IN mid-October of course was, "um, huh?" to which she responded, "we also made a mantle" which was attached to a picture of a pretty awesome Halloween display across her cobweb infested mantle. The next text simply read "zoom in boo" to which I did - you can see for yourself to the left what she was referring to.

Yes, "old boyfriends" was labeled on a mason jar (we do live in Texas) with what I later found out had old cake-toppers trapped inside portraying every man who ever did her wrong. Yes, this is what my friends do mid-October on a random Tuesday night. Presumably after 90210 ends and while drinking a cheap bottle of Shiraz. Or perhaps two. Out of the box.

Based on the "old boyfriends" mantle motif, I shouldn't need to point out the obvious (but I will) that Summer (just like me) seems to be going through an ordeal of boy drama. It makes my heart all warm and fuzzy to get random hilarious texts like these from her, because she's the kind of gal that just rolls with the punches. I mean really, what other option do we have? Kudos to her for keeping her head up high. But I must admit I'm a little pissed she thought of something as random to decorate a Christmas tree at this time of year before me. I guess I'm not the only one running for a shot at the title for Queen of Random. That's OK, I can handle a little friendly competition.

So I wish you all a Merry Christmas [in Mid October] from Summer.

.jl.

Monday, August 29, 2011

You Had Me At Trailer Park Hotel.

It seemed like ages ago when I first learned of El Cosmico and sent emails upon emails bugging my friends about the trailer park hotel set-up. Maybe it's because I'm from Virginia, but there's something about hotel rooms being uniquely decorated double-wides that just turns me on so imagine how jazzed I was when someone contacted me about heading to Marfa for this amazing 4 day camping, music and baseball festival. (If you don't have an imagination, just take my word that I was beyond jazzed. Still am.)

Here's the lowdown on this event if you want to join me:
WHAT: 6TH ANNUAL TRANS-PECOS FESTIVAL OF MUSIC & LOVE

WHEN and WHERE: SEPTEMBER 22-25 MARFA, TEXAS

El Cosmico Family Band Starring Alejandro Escovedo, Erika Wennerstrom of the Heartless Bastards, Adam Bork, Amy Cook, Ben Kweller, Tiff Merritt to Perform
WHAT: 6th Annual Trans-Pecos Festival of Music and Love is a three day festival that celebrates music, art, community and camping under the stars at El Cosmico in Marfa, Texas.

LINE-UP:

Thursday, September 22: Tift Merritt, Patty Griffin with special guests, Barbara Lynn

Friday, September 23: El Cosmico Family Band with David Garza, Josh Block of White Denim, and Jesse Ebaugh of the Heartless Bastards, featuring performances by Adam Bork, Kat Edmonson, Tift Merritt, Amy Cook, Alejandro Escovedo, Erika Wennerstrom and Ben Kweller.

Saturday, September 24: Alejandro Escovedo, Black Angels.

Shop at the Trans-Pecos Festival vendor marketplace for art, clothing and other survival necessities from Nashville’s Imogene + Willie, Alabama Chanin, Squashblossom Vintage and many others. Enjoy land art installations by the UT School of Architecture and video projections by local and national artists. As always, the epic sandlot baseball rivalry continues on Saturday at 4 pm at Vizcaino Field as Austin's Texas Playboys take on Marfa's Los Yonke Gallos. The event will also include a Sunday charity breakfast benefiting KRTS, Marfa’s local radio station.

TICKETS:

Pre-event prices:
$30 per night for just music, no camping

$100 for two nights of music with camping

$125 for three nights of music with camping

To reserve your campsite and register for the Trans-Pecos Festival, please go to www.elcosmico.com. For RV inquiries, please email us at info@elcosmico.com about your machine and we will try to accommodate. Note: there is no RV hookup on site.

.jl.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Adventures Yet To Be Had.

If you follow any of my adventures (or more accurately my misadventures), you know I travel a lot. So much in fact, it’s probably more realistic to reclaim my hometown as “current airport, plane or hotel” rather than the current status of Houston.

Sitting on my flight from MKE back to IAH (I even speak in airport code which probably isn’t a good sign, but that's Milwaukee to Houston), I realized I don’t fly during the day very often. Mainly because I like to extend my trips on both sides as far as I can. I like to arrive at my destination first thing in the morning and drag out my final day as long as possible (unless I’m coming home from Vegas – that is always a mistake that I never seem to remember while booking my flights). This desire to extend my trips stems from my days back in corporate America when I was forced to take a vacation day I wanted to use it to the full advantage. Even though I’m pretty much on my own schedule now, that routine is kind of ingrained in me so most of my flights are still early morning (when it's still dark or I’m fast asleep on the freezing plane) or long after the sun as gone down. The shades are usually pulled tight because there’s not much to see out the window.

No matter how much I travel there are still a million places I want to go. Looking out my window, I notice all the land we’re quickly flying over. Though it’s the Midwest and not exactly the most glamorous region in all the world, it’s still beautiful land probably filled with hiking trails of every level, the Great lakes (including waterfalls, amazing photo-opps, chances to fish, ski and boat, and stories and memories destined to be had), ridiculously cute bed and breakfast joints I’d imagine going on with the man of my dreams (who is yet to be found, by the way), country dirt roads longing to be traveled on, and so much more.

I have no doubt there are highways for me to get lost on. Boutiques and antique shops with a pair of vintage cowboy boots waiting for me to stumble upon. Chefs waiting to whip up delicious French toast for me to douse syrup on. But this Continental jet is flying over it. Literally. All of it. At super fast speeds.

Too often I’m in a rush to get to my destination or return home to my 23lb teacup Chihuahua to cuddle on the couch and catch up on my DVR. But the stuff I pass over on the way to and fro could be the most exciting adventure yet to be had.

And blonde note – I suck at geography. I couldn’t even tell you where exactly this route is flying over, but I do know it’s probably fun waiting for one of my many misadventures.

.jl.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ironic and Bitchy. All in one phone call. (things that make my friends irate)

So a good friend of mine religiously reads my blog (yay!) and often gets a kick out of the rants I post. The other day she emailed me this situation she encountered and it was too good not to share...

Here is her email to me:

Have you ever dealt with anyone at Houston Woman Magazine? I called them to see if I could get a bid in to print their magazine. I'll run through the conversation:

Me: Hi I'm So and So with So and So Printing, I was just calling to see if you guys....

Lady: Whoa. Let me just stop you right there. We are NOT guys. We are women.

Me: Ummm ok? Well, being a woman myself, I was just using the term loosely in a general sense of the word.

Lady: Are you trying to sell something?

Me: Yes, I was just seeing if you guys do your own printing in-house for the magazine or if you outsource for printing services.

Lady: We are a PUBLISHING company, of course we dont do our own printing (....which that statement confused me). You CLEARLY did not do your homework. Do you even have your magazine in front of you? Have you ever even read our magazine? Do you even know what we're about? Do your homework next time before you start calling people.

Me: As a matter of fact I did look up what "Houston Woman Magazine" is about I have your web page pulled up as we are speaking.

Lady: Can you even accomodate our magazine? Do you have those capabilities?

Me: We have printed several magazines in the past, so I'm pretty positive (being facetious) we can accomodate your magazine.

Lady: You're PRETTY positive, or you're POSITIVE. Call me when you've done your homework and you're positive.

I'm not even sure what that means...Do your homework? I'm asking a simple question of "do you print the magazine yourself". That's not exactly something people put on their website.

After that converstaion I proceeded to look up their mission statement to which it said this:

Our Mission

Houston Woman Magazine is a bi-monthly publication serving the professional women of Houston. Since March 2004, the publication has dedicated its efforts to informing, inspiring and connecting successful women.

Houston Woman Magazine spotlights women making a difference in the Houston community and provides a vehicle for the exchange of ideas and opinions. It serves as a soapbox for the voices of those wishing to discuss the interesting and important issues of the day.

What poor representation of a magazine that prides themselves on strong women out doing good in the community. You would have been outraged....as I was. Anyways, just thought I'd share as I know this is the kind of thing you'd probably post on your blog :)

To my friend - thanks for sharing. You are right - this is ridiculous.

To my readers - if you're looking for a Houston-based printing company (to print your magazine or other needs), I know of a great one. Leave me a note and I'll send you the info :)

.jl.

Monday, July 18, 2011

my bikinis will accompany me to Maui now. no thanks to Continental.

Dear Continental (or United, or whatever we’re now supposed to call you),

I just wanted to thank you for trying to make ME do YOUR job this morning. While I understand you may not fully get the notion that being self-employed is not the same as unemployed, I do not appreciate you making me do your job. If I wanted to work for Continental (i.e. do the job your employees are paid to do), I would happily apply at continental.com.

Furthermore, when you charge a customer an outrageous rate of $1200 for a flight, you should be prepared to do the work. And great your customer with a smile. Those are the bare minimum expectations I have when flying. Along with arriving safely, of course.

Since you’ve started in this over-charging brigade for everything under the sun (not limited to checked bags), people have been carrying over-sized bags on-board requiring you to make incessant announcements pleading with customers to check their bags as the aircraft will more than likely run out of overhead space. I fell for said plea and thought I was doing your airline along with the other passengers a favor.

But here’s where you screwed up – in your haste to throw a baggage claim ticket onto my suitcase (chock full of bikinis and other vacation'esque paraphernalia mind you), you failed to ask WHERE MY FINAL DESTINATION WAS and haphazardly assumed it was Phoenix.

Lucky for you (and obviously more-so me), I glanced at the PHX final destination ticket you so frantically wrote on my bag and rectified the situation MYSELF. I am traveling with an iPhone, iPad, and iBook and am not wearing any form of underwear under this beach-ready sundress. Can you imagine had I arrived to Maui under such circumstances due to the lackadaisical actions of one of your employees?!

So here is my plea to you Continental/United/Whatever You Are: if you’re going to charge me astronomical prices for service, please provide this service. Please provide it in a friendly and safe manner and please at least pretend like you give a damn to have my belongings accompany me on vacation. Please do everything in your power not to screw up my vacation. Unless of course you want to refund my money and I will get behind your desk to check my own baggage for future flights? Is this a deal? K, thanks.

PS - if you're wondering why a busy gal such as myself has time to write blog posts of this nature, it may be because I have a 4 hour layover in Phoenix and you denied me getting on the next flight to Maui. Which is leaving AS WE SPEAK. So thanks.

Signed your One Pass Member 4EVA,

Jayme Lamm

Thursday, July 14, 2011

what you once wanted.

Yes, at one time, I wanted an effing Teddy Ruxpin. It should show you how much I wanted one and was in love with the poor specimen by the fact I had to Google how to spell it. And I was way off. But none the less, the story must go on, so continue reading. Please.

This week I am in Chesapeake, visiting friends and family. This is my hometown. It's where I grew up and where I will always call home. I was with a friend and her husband at Big Woody's. It's a bar, and pretty much the only place people go out in Chesapeake. I was drinking my nice cold Coors Light when I noticed a guy in the corner of my eye. He was pretty tired and haggard looking but I couldn't shake the feeling I knew this guy.

I won't name the guy (to save me from my own embarrassment, and on the off fact he is reading this and thinks I want him to contact me because that is so not the case), but he's a guy when I was in high school that I was totally enamored with. Of course he was a little bit older (i.e. probably 5 years) and way too bad boy for a Greenbrier Christian Academy high school junior like myself, but he had my attention. I wanted him. In a bad way.

Anyways, I was almost too embarrassed to admit to my friends that I thought the guy at the bar was this same guy. The one I used to sloppily make out with and secretly wish I could marry. Now if you had seen this guy (and I couldn't dare my little soul take a picture because that would be just plain rude), you'd understand the issue here. He was tired. And haggard. He was way bald. He was either missing a few teeth or had a gap the size of a World Cup soccer net. Either way it wasn't pretty. He wasn't pretty. I wondered if this could be the same guy that I wanted so badly to be with in high school.

Luckily, after a few beers I was able to coax a local police officer (off-duty of course) to casually and non-nonchalantly introduce himself to said guy and see if he was one in the same. After a few chugs of beer and some laughing, lo and behold, it was not the same guy.

Phew. Sigh. Of. Relief.

But that led me to this amazing discovery. What you once wanted - even the things (or boys) that you closed your eyes and prayed for - may not be the same things you want now. No way in HELL would I date this 20 year senior haggard chain-smoking look-a-like guy (again, the picture would explain and make me seem less vain and materialistic), but at the time, he was, at one time, the apple of my eye. The caramel coated apple of my eye. Kind of like when I wanted that stupid Teddy Ruxpin or MC Hammer pants. (I wanted MC Hammer pants so badly my mom signed me up for Kids-Can-Sew and I had to make my own cool-kids pants.) Or a Jordan Knight sleeping bag to take to my neighbor's slumber parties. Those things were to die for back then, but now? I had not a care in the world to have them.

Funny how things change, right? And at the same time I'm making this scary "please don't be him" epiphany, my friend (recently divorced and now happily remarried to someone else) asked the same thing about the guy she was once head over heels in love with. He too was like the Purple Ford Ranger with the "PRPLE HAZE" license plate I had begged for. Thank goodness my parents didn't give me everything I wanted.

.jl.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

#TravelNeeds Twitter Contest

#TravelNeeds PC Housing Travel Contest
HERE ARE THE RULES TO ENTER:
Tell us the one thing you can’t travel without, and be entered to win a FREE 3-night stay at The Signature at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, courtesy of PC Housing, a San Diego corporate housing company with short-term rentals available nationwide. ENTER NOW through Friday Aug 12th for your chance to win!
Tell us the one thing you can’t travel without, and be entered to win a FREE 3-night stay at The Signature at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, courtesy of PC Housing, a San Diego corporate housing company with short-term rentals available nationwide. ENTER NOW through Friday Aug 12th for your chance to win!

HERE IS MY ENTRY:
Since I've started doing a lot more travel writing here recently, a friend of mine emailed me this contest with @PCHousing - super easy to enter, but no flippin idea what my chances are at winning. You just have to answer a simple question below and tweet it, so here goes...

Q - what's the 1 item you just can't travel without?

A- there are quite a few actually. No matter if I travel for business or in the freeing months of winter, I always travel with running shoes and my bikini. Those are usually expensive items that I'm extremely particular about, so buying them while on vacation would be tough. I also can't travel without my allergy medicine (this year they have been killer), my iPhone (which I use as my camera and to tweet my whereabouts), and FSU spiral notebook. You never know where you feel moved or inspired to write, so rather than have a bunch of little post-it notes everywhere, all my potential writing material and notes are inside the Seminole notebook.

Here's to hoping I win 3 days/nights in Vegas - maybe I could turn it into another fun article/story. Cross your fingers please!

.jl.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Things That Make Me Irate - Episode 2

Admittedly, there is a load of crap that comes along with Facebook that truly irritates me, but it's simply the nature of the beast of this thing they call social media. But there is one thing that people do on FB that actually gets me hot and bothered and causes me to "get irate" as my friends call it.

You know those overzealous Facebook-liker's? The kind that like every single status possible.

My grandmother just died and I'm so sad. [You like this.]

I just found out my boyfriend was cheating on me and that bastard gave me herpes. [You like this.]

I just got laid off after 20 years of hardwork and I can't pay my bills or put food on the table for my six kids. [You like this.]

I mean are these brainiacs actually reading the posts or are they in an Olympic-style competition to see how many statuses they can infiltrate in one day?

I recently posted this sad (but true) status: No fireworks. In the sky or my love life.

It was a holiday weekend so I wanted to ward off anything that would potentially make me irate so I posted this caveat as part of the status: (and hey, overzealous FB "likers", this is one of those statuses it's inappropriate to "like". got it?)

But really Facebook friends, what is likable about "no fireworks in my love life" or the fact that someone just got herpes or they lost their grandmother (notably, not due to herpes)? I must know the answer to your rapid-fire liking of every damn status update. Anyone care to wager in on this?

.jl.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Things That Make Me Irate - Episode 1

Like most people, when it comes time for Lent, I wonder what I should give up. One year it was fast food, the next it was Chik-fil-a, another it was coke (as in the soda, not the drug).

My friend Sophie thought it would be funny (and do me some good) if I gave up all things that made me irate. Um, then I'd have nothing left. Because sometimes I get moody and sometimes people do dumb shit, and that just makes me irate.

At the end of the day I came up with this: I can't give up other people's stupidity for Lent...it's just not possible. I'm supposed to give something up. Your stupidity doesn't count as my giver-uper-item.

Now sure, maybe I take things a little too far from time to time (as almost every post here may indicate), but sometimes it's plain necessary. And of course, today, sure enough, while eating lunch with Sophie, I became irate once again. At my chicken salad sandwich. Yup. You read that right.

Here's my problem. When I order a sandwich (and am paying more than $10 for said sandwich at a restaurant with a waiter and linen napkins), I expect THEM to make my sandwich for ME. I didn't go through a buffet line and ask for chicken salad to be scooped onto my plate with an ice cream scooper. It's quite annoying to take a bite of your chicken salad sandwich and get nothing but toast. Maybe irate isn't the right word for this lunch time fiasco, but it bothered me. I shouldn't have to open my sandwich and spread the chicken salad out to make it even. If an ice cream scooper is the easiest way for you to dish out chicken salad onto my bread, take it one step further and FINISH MAKING MY SANDWICH. Seriously.

This post may or may not be the beginning of "things that make me irate."

.jl


Monday, June 6, 2011

Joel McHale - Meet Bentley

I've yet to determine if I watch reality tv (i.e The Bachelorette) to see what's on The Soup, or vice versa. Either way, it always proves entertaining.

If you've ever seen Joel McHale on The Soup, he's notorious for mocking ABC's loveless Bachelor/Bachelorette series. Before turning my DVR to tonight's episode, my Facebook feed was chockfull of nasty little bits about one of the bachelors "vying" for Ashley's affection - Bentley.

I couldn't wait to watch. The moment it came on, I couldn't help but notice Bentley stealing Joel McHale's job right from under him. Here was Bentley mocking Ashley. Here was Bentley mocking the show and all the clamoring love it tried so hard to stand for. Here was Bentley making fun of himself pretending to be in love with this dental student (read, not a dentist, rather a dental student - which ABC seems to think is not a big differentiator).

What kind of mockery will E! and McHale come up with now that Bentley has stolen their thunder? I'm waiting with baited breath for the next episode.

While everyone (cue my Facebook feed) is damning this guy Bentley to hell, here I am trying to high-five or chest-bump the bastard for being real. He might not have shown Ashley his true colors, but he showed America. This is the most realistic part of this reality series - newsfllllash Ashley and ABC - in real life, guys will play you. They will lie to you. Try to get in your pants. Try to sleep with you, make out with your neck all while breaking up. That is reality my friends. None of this riding elephants in Thailand or taking a girl to the same race track she was proposed to months before her fiance died a fiery death in a plane crash. That is the unreal stuff. Getting played by a guy - that's reality.

.jl.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

stupid people have it made

no seriously, hear me out. I had yet another "adventure" at the post office today. Combine that with the day I've had and I just couldn't resist - I had to call my mom and vent about all the ongoing drama in my life.

My mom has not always been good with words (luckily she gave me that amazing feature and left none for herself), but today, she surprised me.

"you're too logical for people sometimes."

In the past I've always heard it phrased as I expect too much out of people or maybe I'm too tough on people - all of which I've dismissed.

Of course I expect an apartment complex I pay $1500 a month for to not be infested with bugs. Of course I expect that the brand new SUV I just bought will not experience electrical problems and completely shut off while driving through a busy intersection. Of course I expect my "beach front hotel" in the Bahamas to actually be ON. THE. BEACH.

Sometimes my frustrations lie not in the fact that my hotel happens to be miles away from said beach but that the customer service agent can't understand why I'm upset. They can't understand why I should be upgraded or sent to the attention of the property manager.

There is something to be said for that popular saying, ignorance is bliss.

Take the woman at the post office today (not the one pictured above. disclaimer, I don't know the one above so she may or may not be stupid...). I asked for postcard stamps and she promptly proceeded to sell me $.28 postcard stamps, only pointing out after the transaction was complete and I was walking away that postage for postcards has gone up to $.29. Why on earth the post office still has the obsolete stamps short an entire penny is beyond me. And why on earth this woman sold me those WITHOUT SELLING ME $.01 stamps is beyond me. Beyond. Me.

I live such a busy life and am constantly go-go-go that this woman probably can't comprehend the frustration of having to go to another post office to purchase the penny stamps. And she sure as hell can't comprehend the massacre of emotions I would have felt receiving all those undeliverable postcards in one heaping pile. The time and drama it would have taken to resend those and everything that goes along with it would have sent me in a whirlwind of despair. But because I know it's common sense to sell someone the appropriate means or to guide them in the right direction, I often expect others to do the same. Wrong-o.

While I (and many of you) get so frustrated and want to strangle the necks of postal workers and apartment managers, it's because we know better. We were brought up with logic and savvy grooming skills to make educated decisions and elaborate deduction skills. Many of these people were not. Not even close.

So thanks to my mom I will try to remember the next time I get all insane crazy mad-enough to host my own Bravo reality series, it's because I'm too logical. Not because they are too stupid. But it is I that is too smart (after writing that I probably just jinxed myself to a minimum of 3 spelling errors).

And thanks to my mom, the constant debacle that is the post office, my apartment complex, a certified letter with an inaccurate cashier's check, and all of that logic up in my head, I'm going to have a glass of my favorite Prosecco. And a cupcake. And then the rest of the Prosecco. In that order. Because I'm full of logic and can't drink on an empty stomach.

.jl.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

when will she ever learn...nothing is ever off the record.

my mother. cute. funny. doesn't like bad words. I thought about writing a post about this conversation, but instead decided to treat you with the copy / paste version directly from our Facebook chat this afternoon:

ohhhh
that son of a _itch
you are such a freak

thank you<3

you won't like an article I just pitched. it has the word FUCK in it like 4 times. and I said piss (but I did mention you don't like that word, in the article)

why would you write something with the _uck word?

because it's part of the article
it's centered around the word, you can spell it out mother, you won't be shot to hell
You told them I didn't like the 'piss' word but didn't mention that I didn't like the _uck word? Great mom

you just need to embrace my foul mouth. life will be so much easier
you've never actually said you didn't like the word fuck. you ALWAYS comment when I say piss.
You need to clean that mouth out with DAWN soap.
I think the _uck should be implied
you are so weird.
how did you give birth to such a badass?
me? really?
I ask myself that alot
perhaps I really was switched at birth. like on a Lifetime movie.

well I wasn't put out, so I knew what you looked like...no such luck on your part

still could make for a good Lifetime movie. Tori Spelling could play me.
Who should play you?
Tori Spelling...from 90210?

yes, the one with the crazy spaced out fake boobs. she does a lot of Lifetime movies

Sophia Loren, but she's reall old now

so are you.
:)
I'm not eighty

really though, you are pretty old.

hardly

oh she's that old? well you have to pick someone realistic, duh.

if you keep sunning yourself, you'll look older than me very soon.
daddy doesn't know who would play me either
you just asked him?

someone with some spunk

how exactly did you ask that? I can't comprehend him understanding any portion of this conversation

yes, he walked in
he's going to the store now
what is this? a play by play of the life of a boring retired man?

well he did go bowling earlier he said. I've been home about thirty minutes.
one of the girls from work is leaving so I'm suppose to go to Abuelo's, but I really don;t feel like going.
need to check my work email...love you!
why not? go have a margarita!

Renae is offline.
.jl.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Harris County - a bigger thief than Winona Ryder

If you've ever bought a new car you know all the fees associated with it. If you've ever moved, you know all the addresses you have to update (magazine subscriptions, family members address books, utilities, bills, Post Office official change of address, health insurance, your work profile, and tons more). If you've ever been robbed, you know the drama and detail that goes into ensuring you've canceled your credit cards, changed the locks on your doors, contacted your bank, called the eye doctor for another prescription on contacts, called your insurance company and other things.

During the new car buying process, moving, and getting robbed who actually thinks about updating their EZ Tag?

Well you should, because I just dished out a $33 administrative fee and a $40 fine because this wasn't top of mind and Harris County wasn't responsible and proactive enough to contact me.

There is an automatic $33 admin fee when you get a new car OR a new license plate. I got a car 10 months ago and no one thought to tell me this. The entire time I drove through the tolls in MY NEW CAR WITH MY NEW LICENSE PLATE, Harris County had NO trouble pulling money out of my account. No problem whatsoever.

A few months later I was robbed (ironically enough in Harris County you bastards) and everything was stolen, including credit cards. Still, EZ Tag is no where on mind believe it or not...

Fast-forward to present tense: Yesterday I received a notice from Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP stating that I owed $78.50 to Harris County for my EZ Tag. First thing today I called assuming it was for tolls that my credit card didn't process because I had to cancel the card on file for automatic billing.

But this is what I found out when I called to pay: only $3.50 of that $78.50 was for tolls from 9/1/2010, 10/15/2010, and 1/20/2011. There was also a $33 administrative fee, and a $40 fine because I ignored the original invoice.

News FLASH Harris County and Linebarger and Co: if you actually sent an invoice, I would have paid. You claim to have sent ONE piece of paper ONE time, but yet you had my email, my phone number and the option to have people sign for mail - you chose none of those options.

But because I didn't get this one piece of paper you feel the need to fine me $40? You send one notice and immediately send it off to collections with a fee that is more than the actual invoice?

Oh, and not to mention, nowhere in that $78.50 does that pay for a new EZ Tag to be sent to me for my new car. That of course is an additional $15. Are you kidding me you crazy extortionists?

My favorite part of this experience and the 54 minute call to unsuccessfully get this resolved was from the Harris County Toll Road representative I spoke to:
Although we apply customer service principles to our calls, at the end of the day we don't need to. We apply county principles as that's what we are - a county agency.
So you admit to being an extortionist?

Just something else prompting a consideration to move out of Texas.

.jl.