Money Haikus

I get paid each month.
Where does all my money go?
Urban Outfitters.

Paying off my debts.
Do I owe you some money?
I’ll pay you back soon.

Dearest Sallie Mae,
I’d like to break up with you.
Sigh. Three more years. Sigh.

I was over-paid.
Indentured servitude sucks,
But now it’s finished.

Ten bucks in iTunes.
Any recommendations?
What should I buy? Hmmm…

I’m waiting, waiting,
Waiting, waiting, waiting, wait-
Ing for my paycheck.

The love of money
Is the root of all kinds of
Evil. Please beware.

License Plate Interpretation

I don’t remember how it started, but a while back, WhitneyJosh and I started texting each other whenever we saw interesting, weird, funny or puzzling vanity plates. It’s a fun game. And come to think of it, didn’t there use to be a game show where people deciphered license plate messages? I think there was. (Attention Research Team: Get on remembering what that show was.)

Anyhoe, I saw one today that said “GROSMART,” which I assume means “Grow Smart,” although I have no idea what that’s talking about. Do we mean “Get a good education throughout your youth and childhood” or “Be wise in your gardening techniques?”

Obviously, I prefer the third alternative – Gross Mart. I want to think that somewhere in Raleigh, there is a small, independent corner market that sells things like rotten garlic, fungus-y toenail clippings, and naked posters of Nick Nolte. And I want to believe that Gross Mart’s sole advertising campaign is this one, lone vanity plate.

And I want to go there whenever I find myself in need of a sweaty, overweight redneck in a ratty, old wife-beater singing “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” while rubbing his torso seductively. Oh wait. That’s what Plenty of Fish is for.

Don’t Be A D-Bag

Alright now, gentlemen, I don’t think any of you will take this personally as these men are CLEARLY insane, but just to be sure, I start out with this disclaimer: I am not blaming nut-jobs like these for my being single. I am blaming you for not asking me out. Haha, TOTALLY kidding. Kind of. I’m not going to comment much on these as it’s already been done a thousand times before. I just want to bring them into the spotlight, perhaps for the second or third time, for your entertainment.

Our first bachelor this evening is a Jew (you have no idea how happy it makes me to be able to blog that). This email, complete with audio files, worked the forwarding circuit a few years ago, but man oh man. It’s still hilarious. You will find yourself saying, “Do the right thing, Joanne” for DAYS. Poor Joanne.

Bachelor number two just came to me last night via LaurenJosh’s twitter. I don’t know where she found him (apart from a string of re-tweets), but if this is what perfect sanity looks like, y’all just better bust out the straight jacket for me now because I think I’d have better luck finding a dude in the cuckoo’s nest. Which is where I may very well find myself after two insanely chaotic and disorganized days AND nights of registration.

Ok, sigh. I’m going back to work now. Do leave your favorite parts from each set of voicemails in the comments section below. If nothing else, I’ll get to re-experience them at work as I approve your comments here and read them on facebook. Do the right thing, friends. You read the blog, and you listened to the voicemails, now you need to LEAVE. YOUR. COMMENTS. Do the right thing.

I’M NOT DEAD!!!

First of all, speaking of not being dead, today is the anniversary of my friend SkoHoe’s birth. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HOE!!! Ok, I think I’ve now wished her a happy birthday on gchat, facebook, blog and two twitter accounts. She’s covered.

Now, wha’ ha’ happened was that I was either completely busy or completely brain dead for several (very good) days. Honestly, I’m still recovering, but I didn’t want to neglect you fine folks any longer. I also wanted to share with you a tidbit of wisdom I’ve been picking up over the last couple of weeks. And this can be applied to anyone, even if it’s not writing that you love.

If you and I have ever had a conversation about what you do for a living and whether or not you really love it, you will be well aware that I encourage everyone to follow their dreams and passions, no matter how crazy they are or how seemingly impossible it would be to make a living out of them. I just truly believe that we are not meant to spend such huge chunks of our lives doing things that make us feel like cubicle zombies or pawns in some sick corporate game. And I’ll say this now for anyone who wants a kick in the pants: If your job makes you feel dead inside, please quit today.

You also may already know that there are two (lucrative) things I really love doing: teaching and writing. And bless my soul, I am lucky enough to get to do both. (I also love sleeping and chatting online, of course, but I hardly think those are worth pursuing as career paths.) I’m in the last few weeks of working for Wake Tech’s ESL department, though, before I run off to Italy to write for three months, and I’m in transition all around.

I’m not teaching any more (I’m just doing registration), but I’m writing a LOT. And I’m getting paid for it, which is great, but writing as a hobby and writing as a job are two very different things. I don’t love it any less now that I’m getting paid for it. It’s just that it’s not as leisurely.

When you do what you love as a hobby, you can do it whenever you feel like it and have the time. Sometimes you carve out time for it because you just love it so much that you don’t feel normal unless you’re doing it, and sometimes you feel very strongly that you must do it or you’ll explode. And it is for that reason that I always have a pen and paper with me.

But when you aren’t inspired, when you just have nothing to say, or when you’re busy and/or brain dead for four days, you don’t have to work on a hobby. Nobody really cares.

When someone’s paying you to write, though, you have to write. You have to write for hours and hours, and sometimes you have to just sit and stare at the blank screen, willing the words to type themselves because you have no idea what to say. You have to force yourself to do it just like you have to force yourself to get out of bed when the alarm goes off in the morning because it is your job. And as nice as hobbies are, they don’t make your loan payments for you.

Like I said, I don’t love it any less. I’m just working on building up the stamina it requires to write this much every day and the speed required to do the amount of work I have. And I’m getting there. I’m working on a bunch of articles for this website, and in the beginning, one article took me two or three days to do from start to finish. I can do one now in three to five hours, depending on the topic. I just have to get used to doing them every day.

So here’s my wisdom/advice: Keep following your dreams even if, when you catch up to them, they punch you in the neck and run off again. They’re just trying to toughen you up so you’ll be able to keep up as they get even bigger and better.

Jealousy Exchange

I’ve been to cookie exchanges, which are these marvelous events where you bake like three dozen cookies and take them to a party, and then you come home with three dozen different kinds of cookies. It’s delicious. And I’ve been to clothing swaps, which are equally marvelous events where you take all the clothes you don’t wear any more and dump them in somebody’s living room, and everybody else does the same thing, and then you dig through everybody else’s stuff, and you get to go home with “new” stuff. Bam. Free shopping.

But ever since…well, probably ever, but definitely since my friends started getting married and I moved to New York, I feel like I’ve been a part of a jealousy exchange, which has not been a marvelous event so far. It’s where I’m jealous of my friends being married, and they’re jealous of me being single and free to roam the earth (alone, like the Hulk). Or they’re jealous that I pretty much never work more than 27 hours a week, and I’m jealous that they get paid regularly and have vision insurance. Or they’re jealous that I have this awesome Fossil bag, and then they’re jealous that my mom bought it for me. Or I’m jealous because they get more visits to their blogs than I do. It never ends.

But what if instead of exchanging jealousies with each other, we all exchanged jealousy in general for something else–like support? A lot of times, that’s what happens, don’t get me wrong. But I feel like we could be more proactive about it. Like if I’m jealous that you are married, I could get rid of that and instead help you plan a surprise party for your husband. Or if you’re jealous that I’m all single and carefree, you could start looking for a single, carefree guy who’d be perfect for me. If I’m jealous that you have a full-time job, I could instead help you do things you don’t have time to do because you’re at work. And if you’re jealous that I only work part-time, you could collect money to help me get new glasses when I need them.

It’s sort of a radical idea, I know, but what do you think? Am I totally a socialist? Do you want in?

I have seen the future, and it’s delicious.

Friends, I have seen the future. They have it posted on a bulletin board at the IHOP on Capital Blvd. I mean, prepare yourselves because this kind of information should not be taken lightly. I don’t believe we are meant to know the future in such great detail. I think it changes the way we approach life and is just not natural. But I found this photo to be quite comforting. Just knowing that on February 1, 2035 OR January 2 if we’ve switched over to the way the rest of the world does it (which I guess would be called 2 January at that time), the IHOP dishwashers will still be at it, the uniforms will not have changed, and no one’s jobs will have been replaced by robots – well, that gives me a sense of great peace. Have a look for yourselves, and tell me how it makes you feel.

IHOP of the Future

Back to School Never Felt So Good

This is the kind of first week back to work I can handle, y’all, and I’ve only been off for a week, although it feels like a lot longer what with all the driving.

I’m sure my feelings stem largely from the fact that I know I’m on my way out. I don’t have to gear up for an entire semester; I’m just helping out for a few weeks. That mental preparation, or lack thereof, is what makes going back to work so hard. Not to mention getting together an entire forest’s worth of worksheets, hand-outs and song lyrics to send off to the copy shop. No, I’ll take this version of back-to-school any day. So far, my first day back has looked like this:

  • Wake up at 7:30 and take dog out (I’m dog-sitting, by the way, and living downtown for the week if anybody in the Bloodworth area wants to go for a walk or something.)
  • Go back to bed for two hours.
  • Wake up again and stare at the ceiling for several minutes.
  • Roll out of bed and move to couch.
  • Steal neighbor’s internet connection.
  • Chat with boss online.
  • Write an article and a half.
  • Shower.
  • Eat lunch with friends who also have bizarre work schedules.
  • Eat Rubix Cube birthday cake left over from Saturday’s ’80s party
  • Blog

“Where’s the back-to-school in that?” you may be asking. Well, this week, I’m only working nights, so I don’t have to be anywhere for a few more hours still, and even that is not going to be real work. It’s “Dinner With the Dean.” Now, as some of you know, the dean and the vice president of continuing education and I have had plenty of meetings in the past year or so for reasons we shan’t go into now. Suffice it to say that the dean and I go way back, and I’m going tonight for the free food and the $15 they’re going to pay me.

And maybe I’ll pop by Staples later and treat myself to some new pens!

RADurday Night!!!

You see? You see what happens when I don’t get my blogging done early? It doesn’t get done at all. I spend all day working on an article and chatting with various wonderful people and drinking tea and eating delicious, experimental, homemade, vegan food, and before you know it, it’s 2:00 in the morning, and at that point, friends, it’s no longer Friday. Friday is gone, and I haven’t blogged at all. Not that I had anything good to say, really. But I’ma say this now.

I am TOTALLY STOKED to be going to an ’80s party tonight!! Heck yeah, bring on the Brucci, baby!!! For those of you who’ve never been to an ’80s party with me, I found this amazingly hideous pink lipstick several years ago in a New York City Rite Aid, and I always use it when I want to get that bitchin’ 1986 vibe going. The color is called “pink ice,” and the brand is Brucci, so you know it put me out about 79 cents (plus tax). At some point, my friend HP and I just began referring to it as “the Brucci” (pronounced BREW-chee, of course, just like Gucci…just exactly like Gucci).

I’ll also be busting out the fabulously enormous tulle skirt my sister made for me for another ’80s party I attended around the same time I found the Brucci. And of course, my denim jacket. Now, where on earth did I put all my buttons??