Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How sweet it isn't

I gave up alcohol for Lent. 

(I KNOW!! Alcohol AND Toolbag Tuesday!!! My life has no more meaning.)

I gave it up to lose weight before my first summer living back on the beach, but my plan is backfiring because now I’m craving nothing but sugar.

People told me that I’d crave sugar because alcohol has so much sugar and my body is dependent on it. (WHY ARE YOU CALLING ME AN ALCOHOLIC!?!!?!)

I didn’t believe them, of course, until day 14 when I started acting like the cockroach in the movie Men in Black who climbs out of the big hole and is like, “SUGAR.”




This was on display most prominently at a birthday party last weekend when I ate three entire cupcakes.

In a row.  
By myself.

Yes, while everyone else was getting drunk, I was lurking like the fat kid at the birthday cake table, shoveling cupcakes into my mouth.

The third cupcake I even cut in half to pretend I didn’t need to eat the whole thing, but because no one was looking anyway, I ate the other half less than two minutes later.

Okay, less than one minute later.

In my defense, there were a million cupcakes. I didn’t steal anyone else’s cupcake, OK?? (fat kid.)

And they were salted caramel cupcakes, which I have decided is my new favorite flavor of anything and everything.  

It's such an odd feeling  craving sweets  since I’m more of a salty dog person.

I hardly recognized myself when I actually bought Ben and Jerry's SALTED CARAMEL ice cream at the grocery store last week.

I never buy ice cream!  Never!

I’m surprised my credit card didn’t red flag the purchase.

"Hmmm, no…that’s doesn’t seem right. No wine? No Nacho Cheese Doritos? Ask her to verify her social security number!!”

Not drinking is exactly what you’d expect: Not as fun.

Maybe that’s because I’m still going out to bars and doing social things, drinking soda water with limes (“Can you put it in a glass that makes it LOOK alcoholic?”) 

And, if I’m desperate, a non-alcoholic beer, which at most bars is God-awful piss.

Sure, waking up the next morning NOT hungover is glorious, and so are my $3 bar tabs.

And it’s nice being able to drive home at the end of the night (I’m the D.D. for the next month) rather than having to pay for a cab.

But there comes a point around midnight where not being drunk is just…a bummer

Take last Saturday, when I thought this one guy was giving me EYES at a bar. Every time I walked by him, I saw him look at me, almost in a way that he was looking for me to recognize him.

So I gathered my best pickup line and approached him.

“Hey…do we know each other?” I asked.

OHshtuehrtyertsdf sdefhducolschoodfslftl togsethr,” he slurred.

“What?” I tried to make out the jibberish. “We…went to school together?”


“Ok,” I said. “Great.”

No, he was not making eyes at me. 
He was trying to focus on the wall.


Another bummer is telling people that I gave up alcohol for Lent, because they think I’m religious or something.


New Orleans is a big Catholic town, and giving up something for Lent is not a big deal.

In fact, it's a bigger deal if you DON'T give up something (pizza, mac n cheese, popcorn, etc.)

But that's not the case in South Carolina, with its influx of Presbyterians and Methodists.

“What are you, Catholic??” is always the first question I get after explaining why I'm going to make MINE a root beer.

“Well, I was raised Catholic…” I say. “But this is just a good time frame,” I say. “It’s an excuse to give up something for 40 days, you know?”

No, they don’t know.

“I just don’t understand why you have to give something up….for God,” one guy said.

“Jesus,” I corrected.

Once I’m done explaining to people that this is a practice of self-control and why not? I’ll save money! I’ll learn to enjoy life without beer goggles!...all I want is a shot of Fireball.

Or a glass of water with an exorbant amount of Crystal Light orange flavoring that I pretend is Tang, and scoop the residual sugar off the bottom of the glass with a spoon.




26 days to go…


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

No sleep till…

As a person who would love to be reincarnated as a cat just to be able to sleep all day, I've had a huge problem being rudely awoken for the past four years.

(No, I don’t have children.)

For a year, it was incessant pounding above my head, which turned out to be an upstairs neighbor who was really a Clydesdale horse wearing a human suit, which she failed to mention in her apartment application.

But there was also two-year-old child who lived next door – in a separate building altogether – who was visited by the devil every afternoon and night and responded with blood-curdling screams because his mom was pregnant and he couldn’t handle sharing his Thomas the Train set.

After that, it was the ongoing construction in my old neighborhood in Mid-City New Orleans, which IS the construction/home renovation capital of the world. 

(Its motto: We throw shit from the roof into metal dumpsters down below at 7 a.m.!!!)

When I moved back to South Carolina last December, back into my house in the suburbs, I thought I’d finally get some sleep past 7 a.m.

…on the weekends.

I imagined only being woken up by the smell of coffee and birds chirping.


No, of course we’ve had the fortunate luck of new next-door neighbors whose dog incessantly barks every single second it’s in the backyard.

Oh, and my bedroom window faces said backyard.

The dog doesn’t bark at anything in particular, just a constant (Stressed out? Bored? Asshole?) unnecessary bark ALL THE LIVE LONG DAY.

I laid in bed one morning – Saturday morning at 9 a.m. – and counted ON MY FINGERS exactly 100 barks in two minutes.



I’ve long given up on humanity caring about making so much noise that it wakes the neighbors. 

If they’re so loud that it bothers you, they’re already inconsiderate. So expecting them to suddenly BE considerate just because you ask them is fruitless.

And in this case, I was told that a previous tenant in our house had already spoken to the neighbors about the dog, but nothing has changed.

Even so, I paid them a duplicate visit:

“Hi, I’m having a HUGE problem with the fact that your dog won’t stop barking all the time.”

“Oh, we know. We’re looking into getting a trainer.”

(i.e. We KNOW our dog is annoying, but we don’t care and have no real plan for how to make this stop.)

“Ok, well, until then, could you not let him out before 10 a.m. on the weekends???”

 …And then of course they let him out at 9 a.m. on the weekends.

I was helpless and furious. 

Do I call animal control??? Tell PETA they were beating it and hope it's removed??? 

Stand outside with a bullhorn making 100 barking noises in two minutes facing THEIR bedroom window??

But then a lightbulb went off. A solution by which I could take matters into my own hands!

I never felt more empowered in my life.

I remembered an item for sale in SkyMall Magazine   a ultrasonic dog bark deterrent disguised as a bird house.

The way it works is that whenever a dog barks near it, the “birdhouse” emits a very high-pitched noise that only dogs can hear and they hate it.

Eventually, the dog will realize that the noise only comes on when it barks, so they’ll learn to effing COOL IT.

Essentially, a trainer.

It cost $50, with shipping.

“Won’t that…scramble the dog’s brain??” one of my more sensitive friends asked.

“Oh, I don’t care.”

I figured if the dog was negatively affected, I’d blame it on the owners. They literally left me with no other choice. 

"Looking into a trainer..." I have YET to see Cesar Milian over there.

The birdhouse arrived last week when I was out of town, and it sat in the corner of the kitchen forgotten until I was in bed watching TV at 11 p.m. Friday night.

I heard it bark.

And bark.
And bark.

I timed the dog barking for four minutes and 24 seconds. Straight. 


I immediately got out of bed, tore open the package and flipped through the instructions. 

I put in a battery and skipped the part about “starting at the lowest setting, and working your way up if the dog doesn’t respond.”

I turned it to 100 percent immediately and “tested” it.

“WOOF!” I said into the birdhouse and a red light came on and HOLY SH*T I  heard the high-pitched noise and recoiled.

Me! A human! With non-specialized hearing!!!

My eyes gleamed.

I crept outside into the backyard in the dark, looking for where to hang my new favorite toy.

I walked up to the fence line, hoping to find a branch that provided an unobstructed view of the neighbors' yard.

Yet, right when I was lurking around, the neighbors’ back door opened and the dog rushed out…WITH THE OWNER.

Of course. Because I always have the most perfect timing.

The dog saw me immediately, creeping at the fence line and BARKED. 

I was like a deer in headlights. The owner looked over.

“Oh…heeey,” I said, hiding the birdhouse behind me, trying to be casual.

“I’m…uh…looking for a ball our dog lost around here,” I said, kicking the nearby bush for effect.

“She’s, uh, really freaking out over it being missing.”


The owner said nothing and I ran back inside with the birdhouse.

#&^$@#(@%&^(#@%&)#!!!!! I screamed over the dog’s incessant barking outside.

I waited until after midnight to try again.

This time I brought my roommate Marie, and we took a flashlight (even more creepy) and we found a hook on the fence and angled the birdhouse so it faced the neighbor’s yard perfectly, at dog height.

(Then I may or may not have rubbed my fingertips together like an evil cartoon character).

The next day, Saturday morning, I was awoken by the dog barking.


Then silence.


The barking stopped.

I sat up in bed like it was God damn Christmas morning and stared at the window.




Wide-eyed, I rose out of bed and put my ear near the window just to be sure.



I woke Marie up to rejoice. 


It’s been three days now, and I have yet to wake up because of the dog barking.

Granted, the dog has now started barking on the OTHER side of the yard facing the OTHER neighbors’ house, but that’s not my problem, and it doesn’t disturb my cat-like slumber.



Thanks, Hammmmmmacher Schhhhhhhlemmer!!!!!!!

Now, if only they had these for 2-year-olds screaming next door.

Or Clydesdales…


Tuesday, March 4, 2014


“You don’t tell guys you date about your Toolbag Tuesday blog, do you? 
Because I can see how that would be a little intimidating.”

I was asked this question by a guy friend recently.

The answer is no, and I try really hard to keep it under wraps as long as possible.

For example, if I become friends on Facebook with a new guy, I will tirelessly hide each and every Tuesday post going back months and months. 

(If he wants to stalk me all the way back to last August, then he's asking for it.)

Of course, I tell the guys I like who matter about my blog...but only after enough time has gone by so they don’t think I’m just this man-hating A-hole.

Also, I write OTHER things on this blog, too, which leaves me wide open to scrutiny from guys who don’t know how really charming I am in real life. (ha)

I don't know, maybe some guys who read my blog might find it attractive that I can write full sentences and know the difference between "then" and "than."

But I was thinking about that initial question lately - Do you tell guys you date about your blog? And then I got to thinking about karma.

Especially because I’m single and will hopefully meet someone awesome soon. 

But will I meet anyone awesome if every week I write about hating on men? 

Is that negative energy surrounding me like a dude repellant???

I mean, two guys I’ve dated have actually said, “you’re not going to write about me in Toolbag Tuesday!”…so there’s that.

SO…after several minutes of deliberation, as a social experiment, I’m giving up Toolbag Tuesday for Lent.


Yes, Lent.

Silly Catholics.

But don't worry, reader from Australia who keeps Google searching “Toolbag Tuesday!!!!!!" 

It’s just for 40 days.

And I’ll still post things about life.  And Mardi Gras.

I’ll even try to post a new blog on Tuesdays.

My digital diary!!

But, since tomorrow starts Lent, I’ll leave you with a tiny little toolbag that’s relevant here today.

No proper boyfriend I’ve ever had has ever been interested in reading my blog. 

Any posts.

…Mainly because all I date are unsupportive A-holes.

I even set up my blog with one boyfriend so that anytime I posted any blog at all, it sent the post directly to his email address, body and everything.

Right there in the email! 

No clicking required!
One day I had to ASK him if he read it (because I posted a blog about HIM and Jazz Fest), to which he said no, he “didn’t have time," without realizing that he had sent me a dumb email forward earlier that day.


Here’s to no more Toolbags!!!! 

At least until Easter.

Stay tuned.


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