Tuesday, July 30, 2013

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

Bust out the slow clap. Everyone is getting engaged.

This used to be much less of an eye roll life event, but Facebook ruined it for all the ex's of the world. 

Because in any other time and place, an ex wouldn't know about it unless they ran into him/her somewhere and saw a ring or something. 

But now all these unwanted engagement stories show up on Facebook newsfeeds even if you've de-friended and/or or "hidden" said person.

And because two mutual friends "like" it (traitors!!!!), it's now at the TOP of your page and you're forced to stare at the little ring icon and mutter, "Cool (life) story, Hansel."

Ugh.

I'd like to think that most engaged people would love to change this  to have FaceBlock actually exist (ha Arrested Development joke)  so that their BIG FAT news would never have to reach their ex's eyeballs. 

But most engaged people aren't like Connor. 

Connor, who dated my friend Amy for several months, went clear out of his way, for no other purpose than to gloat, to let her know he was engaged. 

I know, let's all say it together: Cool story, Hansel.

(Also: Gloating is only acceptable for my kickball team.)

Connor and Amy had known each other for years and suddenly decided they liked each other and went on a bunch of fancy dates. 

Amy did like him and envisioned him being her boyfriend, but he sort of played her and dumped her and then yelled at her about returning his waffle iron. (Cool story…)

Amy was actually sad and depressed when Connor broke up with her since it was unexpected and a tinge embarrassing, but he made it worse by harassing her about the stupid effing waffle iron and then after she gave it back, he started expressly ignoring her at weddings and other functions where they were both in the same room. 

Or sitting at the same table.

But that all changed dramatically when he got engaged exactly a YEAR later.

It was Mardi Gras and Amy was walking her bicycle through a crowded corner for a parade when she heard someone yell her name behind her. 

It was Connor, actually flagging her down. 

"Oh, hey," she said, confused since he had made it his mission to ignore her for quite some time now. 

This time, though, he actually crossed the street to talk to her.

"Having a good Mardi Gras?" he asked, like he cared. 

"Yea, it's fine," Amy said. 

"Yea, I'm having A GREAT TIME!" Connor said without being asked. 

"My brother is in town from Colorado and we're getting drunk!"

"Cool," Amy said.

"Yea, he's in town for my engagement party!" Connor said nonchalantly. Then he stared at her for a reaction.

Amy blinked. 

"ENGAGEMENT PARTY!" he repeated. 

Haha repeated. (He must be really happy about it.)

Hahahahahahahaha

Amy says: "I think this detail is important, he didn't say he was engaged, just mentioned someone was in town for his engagement party."

EYE ROLL

Uhhhhh file this under completely unnecessary information. 

Is there any good reason why she needed to know this? 

Has he been waiting to run into her just to pass along this happy news cool story?? 

EYE ROLL TWICE.

I guess they won't be needing a waffle iron as a wedding gift.

-Jenny

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

How is it possible to bust a complete stranger who just got your number??? 

without the use of Facebook???

Without knowing anything about them, no mutual friends, no background information, zilch????

Just work for a newspaper. 

We…know…everything….MUHAHAHAHAHA

Just kidding.
….OR AM I?

The truth was this bust was just a perfectly-timed coincidence, probably the work of this dude's KARMA ruining his game. 

Taylor met my friend Brenna at bar trivia. She was sitting nearby on another team, but Taylor kept getting her attention and smiling at her. 

Brenna, who was single at the time, was flattered, and Taylor wasn't hideous, so she smiled back. He introduced himself and told her she was the prettiest person in the bar (blush). 

The next week at trivia, Taylor and Brenna talked for a few minutes about what she did for a living. 

Brenna told him she was the graphic designer for a local newspaper and he seemed to think that was super cool (It is). He then made his move at the end of the game. 

The last trivia question asked players to decipher a whole bunch of Roman numerals into regular numbers, and Taylor used that opportunity to get her actual phone number. 

"Here," he said handing her a piece of paper. "Write down your number…not in Roman numerals." They both laughed. It was cute. She hoped he'd call that weekend. 

But he didn't. 

Brenna frowned when he didn't show up at trivia the next week. Was he injured? In jail?? 

A few days after his noticeable absence, Brenna was working double duty at the newspaper answering phones and taking down classified ads in the secretary's absence. 

"The XXXX Journal, this is Brenna," she said when the phone rang. 

"Brenna?" asked a male voice on the other end. "Brenna from bar trivia?"

She paused for a second - WHO IS THIS PERSON WHO KNOWS SHE PLAYS BAR TRIVIA ON FRIDAYS??? - when the voice said, "This is Taylor."

"Oh!" Brenna said, awkward. Then confused...she had given him her CELL phone number...right??

"Um, what's…up?" she asked.

"I was calling about putting a garage sale in the paper," he said. "I didn't know you answered the phones." 

(Translation: I didn't mean to call you personally, even though I now have TWO numbers to reach you)

"Oh, yea, well, I can still take down the information," Brenna said, trying to be professional. 

"It's a moving sale," Taylor said. "We're selling a living room set (ed note: who buys living room sets anymore??) and a lot of kitchen stuff and clothes."

"Clothes?" Brenna asked, the word "we" running through her head. "What kinds of clothes? Children's clothes? Men's clothes?"

"Mens…" he said.

…and women's." 

Brenna said there was a very obvious pause, which made it very obvious to her that she shouldn't expect a call for a date because he already HAD someone to go on a date with. 

Pause.

"Ok, got it, men's and women's clothes," Brenna said. "And a living room set."

"Yea," Taylor said trying to be chummy all of a sudden. "We're moving closer to downtown."

WE.
COOL.

Taylor of course didn't elaborate on the 'we' - "they're my mom's clothes!!! they're my EX-girlfriends clothes!" - because they were neither.

"Ok, well, I need your credit card now then," Brenna said curtly, not addressing the details of his garage sale. 

She cursed herself for telling her roommate the day before how excited she was that someone had gotten her number.

A quick Facebook check of his full name (thanks Mastercard!!!) showed that he was, in fact, with another girl.

UGH. 

Why go through all that flirting and chatting and using the cheesiest pickup line EVER to get someone's number if you're LIVING WITH A GIRL, SIGNING A NEW LEASE WITH A GIRL and WE, WE, WE-ING ALL OVER TOWN??

Does this constitute cheating?? 
Because that's grounds for being disqualified in bar trivia. 

Either way, he's in last place.

-Jenny

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Taco Spot

Reality TV is a weird thing because everyone is  really acting even though they tell you they're not acting.

I actually read in a magazine that there is –for serious- a reality television SCHOOL in New York where they teach you how to be a bitch, i.e. get ratings.

Of course, they say they teach you how to "bring out the most of your personality" but who are we kidding?

I've seen Flavor of Love. And Flavor of Love2.

Reality competition shows, however, are something I can get behind, since there's a goal other than getting a rose and/or getting proposed to on a beach. Where you’re judged on talent instead of looks and/or bitchiness.

For example: DESIGNERS, MAKE A PARTY DRESS OUT OF THIS PILE OF GARBAGE!!! or… COOK ONLY USING YOUR FOOT!!

How are they going to do it??? Will they have enough time?? I’m on the edge of my seat!!!!!

What’s even better, though, is watching a reality TV cooking show where you KNOW SOMEONE COMPETING.

Does that make ME famous too???

I had the distinct pleasure of watching my friend – chef and restaurant owner JV - compete on a reality cooking show called Food Court Wars on Sunday night, where he battles it out with another restaurant to win space and free rent at a food court.

Get it? Food court wars??

It’s strange to see someone you know on TV. A lot of  “Oh My God!” yelling when he was on the screen.

JV owns a taco restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina called The TacoSpot, and it’s the most delicious fish taco I’ve ever had. It’s so good I can’t eat any other fish tacos because they aren’t even half as good as his.

I’ve eaten his fish tacos for eight years, which is how long I’ve known JV, and to see them on the BOOB tube made me smile big. I wished I could reach in and grab one.

JV started his business when he and I were close, and it was called La Cocina and he sold T-shirts that said “neighborhood Taco dealer” and I still have mine, no you can not borrow it.

He slowly worked his way up from La Cocina the old-fashioned way. 

He worked incessantly, writing recipes on little pieces of paper in the middle of the night, served tacos at countless Farmer’s Markets and even had a food truck before getting a new name and new location. 

He worked long hours, seven days a week to feed the world the best fish tacos on the planet. 

Nothing came easy for him. 

(He doesn't have a piece of beach wood on the wall painted with the words “Struggling man” for nothing. Also: big Grateful Dead fan.)

It’s very much in my nature to get all in my head about everything, and when I saw JV on TV, I teared up.
(I imagine mothers of Flavor of Love girls also tear up, but for different reasons.)

It brought me back to when JV first opened La Cocina slinging tacos to hippies on the beach and now he’s a legit business owner with enough clout to be ON THE FOOD NETWORK and judged by chef Tyler Florence.

Do you remember Tyler Florence? He was the“chef” at Applebees in all the commercials. You know, the one responsible for your Bourbon Chicken. (He also blew UP. Probably from eating too much Applebee's.)

Anyway.

Everything about the one-hour show brought memories flooding back from eight years ago.

The lunch boxes he had to make in the first challenge, for example, reminded me of when he used to make ME lunch boxes to bring to work, and everyone was super jealous.

Even seeing Mikey, his partner on screen, made me tear up. I remember when Mikey, his now manager/cook was first hired at La Cocina to be a cook and JV picked him up and dropped him off everyday.

I suppose that would make this Mikey’s 8-year anniversary.

HI MIKEY!!!!

Even JV’s accent, which I always said would win him over in a Top Chef-type competition, brought me back to 2005. And I reminisced some more.

But maybe that’s just because I’ve been feeling homesick about South Carolina lately and its glorious (and free) beaches.

Maybe I’m just homesick for really good fish tacos.

I’m so good at this remember-ing game that I even KNEW JV was going to be in the weeds before they shoved it down viewers’ eyeballs.

While JV is the most pleasant and funny person I know, he’s bashful about dealing with customers. And I know why.

It’s because he gets awkward when dealing with the people eating his food, judging it.

It’s the same thing when I see someone in front of me reading the newspaper, reading an article I wrote. I hide.

My best friend Kristin was JV’s long-standing front-of-house person “order taker” at all the farmer’s markets and when he first opened Taco Spot. It was like a big family.

Which is what I thought about when he had to walk around the mall giving employees his lunch boxes.

And I could see JV’s face tense up when Tyler “Fatty” Florence (haha) critiqued his taco. I know that face. Now America knows that face.

Now, I don’t mean to make this all about me (uh, can’t help it) but I have never been prouder than when I saw JV on the screen.

No one deserves more recognition for how far they’ve come than him. And I’m glad I was at least a small part in helping him get to where he is today. I think I’m going to wear my neighborhood Taco dealer shirt to bed.  

I know three people who have been on reality TV shows, and I'm overly obnoxious about asking them behind the scenes stuff. 

Because there are a ton of behind the scenes stuff. And I'm…overly obnoxious. 

JV said it was pretty straightforward, although they cut out a part of him getting pissy with Tyler (dammit…that would have been good viewing!) and they staged a fight between him and his wife that never aired (not good viewing.)

But it was a fun show nonetheless – who cares about the other ladies selling empanadas on the show– and YOU BETTER BELIEVE I’M WATCHING IT AGAIN AT NINE O’CLOCK TONIGHT (10 p.m. eastern time).

If nothing else, to see the fish tacos again, hear the Southern drawl again (darlin’) and remember the days of my favorite lunch box.


-Jenny

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

They say don't judge a book by its cover, which I always thought was about not ruling out ugly things because they can be beautiful inside, like Pit Bulls. 
Ha.

Unfortunately, it goes the other way too. Don't judge a pretty book by its pretty outsides because it could have shitty contents...and an unsatisfying ending. (Hey-yooo!!!!)

Dating using this philosophy is tricky. 

The first scenario is a win-win - maybe you'll meet someone who may not appear in the next hot firefighters calendar, but they've got heart and soul and know exactly how to calm you down in a pinch. 
WIN!

But, since dating is shallow,  you end up checking out all the pretty books from the library and then realize after the first chapter that the book is a goddamn mess.

My friend Nikki learned this the hard way after she checked out Ray, the prettiest book in the whole store

They met dancing at a bar and locked eyes and kept running into each other at various restaurants and social circles. 

He was "super cute and successful," Nicki recalls. So she accepted a date.

Ray was a high-end real estate agent, lived a big flashy life, knew everyone in the city and ate a lot of sushi. He was perfect.

They dated for SEVERAL MONTHS when Nikki became bothered by the fact that he never invited her over to his place. 

She said he would either drop her off or, if he had too much to drink, he'd spend the night. 

Odd, Nikki thought. She was really looking forward to seeing what this high-flying real estate agent's living quarters were like. 

Why wouldn't he want her to see his house?!

But since you don't very well invite yourself over, she didn't saying anything. 

Ray and Nikki continued to go on dates, him telling her about his grand life as the king of (insert super nice development community here). 

But then he started to unravel.

Nikki said one night at dinner after several drinks he said, "Yea, I can't wait until I have my own car again!" 

"Wait, what do you mean?" Nikki asked. 

Ray had been driving and picking her up in a high-end Range Rover (PRETTY!!!) for a month now. 

Whose car was that?? 

Nicki said when she asked him again what that meant, Ray acted confused, "like he didn't say it." 

So Nikki pushed him more. 

A couple of nights later she insisted she drive so she could pick him up at his house for the first time (It does exist!), but alas, Ray was "insistent" that she not go inside. 

Right.

Nikki guessed that that he was married or had a girlfriend. 

So she stopped returning his calls and texts because he was, in her words, "weird and sneaky."

BUT HE WAS SO PRETTY!!!!!

Ray, devastated that she was ignoring him, showed up at Nikki's house a few days later and "poured his heart out." 

No, there was no girlfriend, but there were bigger issues. A cliffhanger. 

Despite his pretty life and beautiful facade, he had gotten caught up in a huge scam with the bank over real estate properties, "and was probably going to jail."

The IRS took his car and his houses, and he was staying with a friend. 

And he was so upset about the whole thing, he's been doing a lot of cocaine. Hahahaha 

(I didn't know this was a legal thriller!)

All of this was brand new information to Nikki. Theft, fraud and drugs?? 

That wasn't mentioned on the dust jacket!!! 
She was just looking for a (Danielle Steel) romance!!!  

Seriously, though, why would someone date another person for MONTHS without saying anything of this magnitude? 

She had become invested in him, spent countless hours "reading" him and enjoying him only to find out it all was just the biggest waste of time, ever. 

Hope there are some self-help books in jail. 

-Jenny

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Here. comes. the. rain. again…

So, I can pretty much scratch off "visit the Amazon" from my bucket list because I'M ALREADY LIVING IN A JUNGLE. Really. Look outside. 

New Orleans in the summer means it's pouring rain in the sunshine every day. Like clockwork.

Is it 4 o'clock? Yes. Everyone is already inside. 

Good for lush greenery and heightened mosquito production, bad for outdoor activities…and the devil's wife. 

Ha Southern joke. 

For those of you not living in a tropical location, let me paint a picture: this isn't a little afternoon shower, this is an afternoon SOAK, the hardest rain you've ever heard for 30 straight minutes, then it's gone. You never even had to take your sunglasses off.


business on the right party on the left

No one likes getting rained on, but I have a particular hatred for it. It's the only time in my life where I want to wear a baseball cap.


I have always hated the rain. I remember being five years old and hating it, and the no-nonsense babysitter telling me to get over it. 

"You're not sugar, you're not going to melt," she would say.

Of course I then considered this literally, my body being made of a big mound of sugar, disintegrating whenever the rain touched me. 

That made me hate it even more.

I still think about that to this day. Really. Being made of sugar and melting like the witch in the Wizard of OZ. I'm melting!!!!!!!

It doesn't help that I don't have an umbrella. 

I know, I know, how can someone who hates the rain as much as I do not have an umbrella?? 

Well, I'll tell you why. I had an umbrella. I had 20 of them, but they're all lost now. 

And I never kept them in the right place anyway. I'd keep one in my car, but then it would be useless when it would be raining on my way to my car. 

Or I'd keep one at work, and then it would rain on the drive to work.

It's very complicated. Rain is complicated.

Not everyone hates the rain though. 

The hippies dancing in the mud at music festivals certainly don't. (Maybe it's the drugs). 

Ducks don't mind either. 

My favorite story, though, is when my friend Meredith was in Central America, she said it began to torrentially pour down rain and as everyone took shelter under overhangs and patio umbrellas, they all saw this man riding his bike down the street, completely unfazed by the rain falling on his head. 

And they heard him singing. Singing! Singing in the rain! (Not melting)

His song was a good choice, too, one by Eurythmics: "Here comes the rain again…falling on my head like a memory."  

However, with his accent and pitch, it sounded more like a pause after every word "here. comes. the. rain. again. Fal. ling. on. my. head. like. a. memory."

hahahaha I like imagining that guy. Meredith does a great impression.

I never really thought about what those lyrics mean before, but in New Orleans, the rain could mean a memory of the exact same thing that happened yesterday and the day before that. 

Maybe it could mean a memory of all the events that have been RUINED by the rain. 

Or maybe it's a figurative set of lyrics, like rain falling on you in life. Imaginary rain.

Which would make me imaginary sugar.

I feel like a good response to my rain neurosis would be "um, you should get out more," But I CAN'T RIGHT NOW. 

It's 4 o'clock.


And I don't have an umbrella.

-Jenny

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

MONTHS ago, when I thought I could meet someone decent online (and by "decent" I mean someone with a job, a kind heart and a minimal criminal record…seriously…these are my new standards, thanks NOLA....) 

I put a disclaimer on my profile that said I "wasn't going to automatically sleep with you" if we meet in person. 

I HATED that I had to write that, but learned it the hard way, when a guy I met in person went in for a full-on makeout kiss the minute we met, before even saying hello. 

No seriously. 

"Hey are you Brian--WOAH WHAT THE EFF ARE YOU DOING????"

From then on, I decided that I obviously needed to be very clear that I didn't want to meet hornball freaks.

So I put up a disclaimer. Right up there at the top, too, with instructions: "so move on if that's all you're interested in…."

Immediately, I noticed I got considerably less messages than before I added the disclaimer, which I found part hilarious and part incredibly depressing.  

But then the messages starting trickling back into my inbox. 

I had hope! 

These must be the REALLY respectful guys!!!  

Right??
RIGHT???

No.

These are the guys who just can't read. 

Below is a list of the most hilariously, uh, off the mark messages I've received, all ridiculous and insulting in their own right, but even better since they were sent after I basically described myself as a being a prude.

1.) Kiss me

2.) Hey there, I'm lying in bed, relaxing…Tell me more about you - one random thing, one hot thing.

3.) We should definitely hook up. 
(Ed. note: Haha definitely)

4.) I'm feeling your profile and you are a very attractive woman who looks like she knows what she wants and could be fun to get sexy with. 

5.) After a rigorous review of your profile, i have already married and divorced you in my mind. Thanks for the wonderful imaginary memories.  
(uhhhhhhh)

6.) Wanna come over?

7.) I'm going to be in New Orleans this weekend I'm very successful would you like to be my personal tour guide ;) 

8.) I need to spoon bad
(hahahahaha)

And, I'm assuming this is sexual in nature but still…our winner… 

9.) I'm an orphan want to be my mommy? 

!!!!
HAHAHAHAHA

Heavens no, child. 

But I will help you learn how to read.

-Jenny
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