The Ignorance is Becoming Painful

This is my post from Thursday over at Lefty Pop.  I write there twice a week (Monday at 9 am & Thursday at 5 pm).  You should go visit and check out some of the other writes that form our funky group.  Good stuff.

 

It’s been a doozy folks. It seems like there is never a shortage of stupid in the world. This week I bring you three thoughts guaranteed to make your brain cells want to curl up and die. Sadly, you can’t make this shit up.  Get ready to facepalm your way through the sheer ignorance.

“So family government precedes civil government and you watch that as colonists came to America, they voted by families. And you have to remember back then, husband and wife, I mean the two were considered one. That is the biblical precept… That is a family, that is voting. And so the head of the family is traditionally considered to be the husband and even biblically still continues to be so.”

The owner of this little gem is none other than David Barton. Barton is the founder of Wallbuilders, an organization that seeks to destroy the separation of church of state. He’s also a self-professed “historian” and is besties with Glenn Beck. I know, shocker. Let me get my ass off of the web and back in the kitchen. I’m sure my man needs a sandwich. Facepalm.

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“I think it’s a good idea to designate the mammoth as the state fossil, I don’t have a problem with that. I just felt like it’d be a good thing to acknowledge the creator of the fossils.”

This intelligent dialogue belongs to Senator Kevin Bryant (R), SC. It’s a proposed change to two bills seeking to make the SC state fossil the Columbian Mammoth. Because clearly anything written into law must give a nod to creationism. Why is religion entering into the naming of a state fossil? Because Senator Mike Fair (R) blocked the bill. Fair is the guy who also blocked funding for a rape crisis center, thinks climate change is a ploy, and blocked evolution from the state science standards saying,

 “I don’t have a problem with teaching theories. I don’t think it should be taught as fact.”

Because science without Jesus is just….science. Sorry Olivia McConnel (the eight year-old girl who proposed the bill), no state fossil for you. Now, go play house and quit worrying your pretty little self with things like knowledge. Your husband will take care of all of that.  Facepalm.

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“Democrats bragging about the number of mandatory sign ups for Obamacare is like Germans bragging about the number of manditory sign ups for ‘train rides’ for Jews in the 40s.”

Yes, TN Senator Stacey Campfield (R) spelled the word mandatory incorrectly AND compared Obamacare to the Holocaust. Short of oh, I don’t know, another actual instance of genocide, Holocaust comparisons are off limits. Good thing this follow-up statement made things all better.

“I like ice cream, mom, apple pie and puppies. This message has been approved by my campaign staff.”

All better, carry on Holocaust survivors.  Nothing to see here. Facepalm.

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Five for Friday: Melissa’s List of Suck & Five for Friday Becomes a Blog Hop!

It’s Friday and you know what that means!  Whoop, whoop, the weekend….well that and a new Five for Friday post.  After much thought and the final ever posting on Trifecta (who closed their doors last week) as well as the announcement of Twisted Mixtape Tuesday closing their doors, I’ve decided to turn this into a blog hop.  Now,  at the onslaught, I’ve agreed to be patient with this “project”.  I know 100 bloggers will not link up day one and honestly, I’m not sure I want it to grow to those proportions!  But one thing I’ve learned over my nearly one year at this is that writing is a lot more fun in a community.  Much like life, almost everything is better with friends.  So read through my 5 and then create your own Five for Friday post and attach it using the linking tool at the bottom.  Let’s get to listing!

This week is all about shortcomings.  While I like to think (and sometimes pretend) that I’m perfect, I realize that’s very far from true.  We all have things at which we just never seem to excel.  Here are my 5.

Melissa’s List of Suck

5:  Skiing

So luckily I’m not a big fan of cold weather and therefore not naturally inclined to seek a ski resort out for a vacation, because man am I a shitty skier.  I went.  Once.  That was enough.  I’ve heard that my biggest mistake is that I let my cousin’s husband convince me that,  because I’m athletic, I didn’t “need an instruction session”.  And what he meant by that was that I didn’t need any instruction at all.  Yeah, it turned out not so true.  After approximately 10 minutes on the bunny slopes he took me to the next level up where this happened:

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So apparently you’re supposed to swish from side to side while skiing.  Flying straight down the hill is ill advised.

Oh well, who wants to spend a ton of money and forever getting suited up anyway?  Beach please.

4:  The purse of despair.

I’m a neat, organized person.  My house is clean.  My car is clean.  My office is an organizer’s dream.  Then there’s this:

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You may be thinking, “hey, not so bad”; well the picture does it little justice AND I just cleaned this purse out on Sunday.  Yep, random bills floating around, a pack of energy chews I’ve been carting around to months (just in case I want to eat them), papers…so many papers.  I’m not sure why my purse doubles as both a trashcan and piggy bank.  It only gets cleaned out when the coins have accumulated a weight of roughly 20 lbs. or I end up dumping out the contents in frustration because I can’t find something (like say, house keys).

3:  Talking on the phone.

Unless you’re my Mom (or on the rare occasion he answers the phone, my Dad), I probably don’t want to talk to you.  I really don’t even know why my iPhone needs a call function.  It should just have an app that says, CALL MOM.  The rest of the numbers can be pushed only to text functionality.

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2: Following through on hobbies.

Now, I’ve always been great at sticking to fitness (we won’t comment on nutrition here), so I’m not counting that as a hobby.  But let’s explore what happened with a few of the hobbies I tried to pick up:

Crochet:  Taught myself how to do this, completed 95% of an afghan, lost interest, afghan has been sitting in a basket unfinished for over 3 years.

Guitar:  Got a guitar, tried to follow along with some home instruction, got bored and frustrated, guitar has been sitting in its case untouched for over a year.  *I really want to learn guitar, but I’m going to have to have live instruction to make it happen.

Extreme couponing:  Learned the method to the madness, clipped a shit ton of coupons, saved a heap of money, got bored.  Ugh, too much work.  I’ll just pay more for stuff.

1:  Not sweating the small stuff.

Now, based on number two, you may be thinking I’m completely fine leaving things unfinished.  That’s so not true!  For some reason that ability to let go only applies to hobbies.  In my life and my job, I’m obsessive.  House cleaning is a prime example.  My house is generally pretty clean and when contrasted with the norm, it’s quite clean.  But I come from a long line of neat freaks and so it’s never good enough.  I’m sitting here right now mentally Swiffering my floor and worrying about the shine on my granite.  It’s ridiculous.

You don’t want to be around me prepping for a party at my place.  I worry.  About everything.

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What 5 things do you suck at?  Link your post here!

 

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Stay positive and love your life!

-Melissa

 

Today:

Listening to:

Five for Friday: Public Transportation Rules

Public transportation,  I’m a huge fan.  It saves time, money, and emissions.  In a city like Atlanta (too many people, serious urban sprawl, not enough roads, and an abysmal public transit system) when you have the opportunity to find a way out of fighting rush hour traffic daily, you take it.  I made the leap to becoming a bus rider several years ago.  And 90% of the time, I’m a happy camper.  I enjoy a nice, stress-free ride into and out of the city.  I catch up on my reading or my Facebook newsfeed.  I take power naps.  Or I stare aimlessly out the window.  Wonderful.

 

However, those other 10% days are an entirely different story.  And the problem?  People.  Rude, ignorant people.

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So since it’s Friday and my very favorite and most tragic bus story occurred this week, I give you 5 ways to not be a douche on the bus:

#5- Butt Out

As in your cigarette.  I know this might be breaking news, but cigarettes reek and when you smoke them, so do you.  So how about not smoking in line for boarding.  Is it really necessary to get that final fix so you don’t lose it over the next 45 minutes to an hour?  The vast majority of us on going to work and don’t want to walk in smelling like an ashtray.

If you must smoke, by all means, PLEASE make sure you sit right next to me so I can smell you the entire way to the city.  It’s not like I have a super human sense of smell or anything.

 

#4- Keep Your Eyes to Yourself.

I’m not asking that you look down and make no contact ever, but how about not staring a hole in my soul.  When I can feel your eyes on me, you’re staring.  And it’s really effin creepy.

If you must be a complete creeper, just make sure to sit by me every opportunity you possibly have.  Nothing says weirdo like doubling up when there are 20 single rows available.

*PS- Please think about switching laundry detergent/methods.  You smell like a mildewed wash cloth.

 

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Don’t make eye contact.  Don’t make eye contact.  Shit.

#3- Hold Out Till Dinner

You must truly be famished if you can’t hold out till you are able to breeze through the McDonald’s drive-thru for your nightly dose of transfat.  If those chips are going to save you from knocking on death’s door, by all means eat them if you must.

And please do feel free to chomp them down with a wide open mouth.  I so enjoy mouth noises.

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Too much?

 

#2-  What’s Mine is Mine; What’s Yours is Yours.

As in my seat.  Keep your thighs to yourself.

But if you must cascade over into my seat, please make sure that I cram myself completely against the window and yet still am unable to escape the heat that apparently radiates from your ham hock.

 

#1- Get Off the Phone!!!!

I have a real problem with folks who don’t know how to use their inside voice.  It seems when a phone is placed in the hands of one of these people they go from audible to hearing damage levels  in seconds.  I really, really, REALLY don’t care about you sister’s cousin’s deadbeat boyfriend.  I certainly don’t need to be exposed to your phone sexscapades.  Yes, that happened, two days ago.

Part 1:

1. I’m on Mr. Tortoise’s bus which means add an extra 15 minutes to me trip.
2. This kid behind me is having the most cheesy, I’m gonna vomit in my mouth convo with his girlfriend at the top of his lungs. Smoochy mouth noises and Harry Potter references included.
3. There are 20+ German exchange students screaming at each other across the aisles.
4. Kid behind me is bitching about how these people “not speaking English” are annoying.
5. His convo just got graphic.
6. I feel really bad for the dumb girl on the end of the phone.
7. God get me home and get a beer in my hand.

 

And then this:

Bus update:
For the first time in bus history I just “told” someone. After his convo got way more graphic than I wanted to hear, I turned around and said loudly enough for her to hear, “Dude, she does know that everyone on this bus can hear your conversation right?” Apparently he is now going “text her later”. I guess he thought I was German too? Either that or I’m now being referred to as the old, nosy bitch in his corresponding Facebook update.

If you must talk dirty on the phone, then make sure to lean up directly into the back of my seat and position the conversation up against my actual eardrums.   This way I don’t miss a single grimy detail.

Guys, I know this may all sound completely petty and nitpicky.  I totally get that I ride on a nice bus and it could be a lot worse.  I’ve ridden Marta, I know.  And were I ever to commute on a real system like the NYC subways, I’d long for the days when some pocked face college Freshman was clumsily seducing a chick in my ear.  Call me a dreamer, but I just keep holding out hope that people will develop some social/situational awareness.  Ah, who am I kidding!  I’ll just be happy about the 90% days when I enjoy the availability of mass transit!

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:
Eating:  Hummus wrap
Drinking:  Monster two of the day.  Caffeine you are my biggest weakness!
Random thought:  I truly do feel sorry for the girls of this generation.  It really seems like guys have lost a step or two in the “game” department.

 

 

Five for Friday: 5 Observations From My First Week Post Engagement

This past week has been a whirlwind of lessons.  You see, I’m really not “that girl”, you know the one who has her entire wedding planned out.  The one who has an entire scrapbook of fabrics and photos and ribbons that she’s been carrying around her entire life.  The one who I would probably have a very hard time being friends with (see here).  So this whole “what do I want in a wedding” thing has completely caught me offguard.  I have a feeling there are many, many lessons to be learned over the next several months, but here are 5 observations made in the last 5 days alone.

5:  I hate the word fiance’. 

Ugh, I just don’t like the sound of it.  I don’t like the way people say it.  I don’t like its similarity to the word finance.  Finance, as in what people do to pay for absurdly expensive weddings.  It just stinks of pretentiousness and I reserve my pretentiousness to music snobbery.

4:  Wedding cakes are hideous.

What the hell is up with all the ribbons and flowers exploding out everywhere?  Why are they massive?  I must have scrolled through at least 300 cakes on Pinterest and found three that I could potentially work with to craft a normal dessert item with which to celebrate my nuptials.  Speaking of Pinterest…..

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What in the name of all things holy is this?!

3:  Pinterest!

Oh Pinterst you may just be the greatest thing ever invented.  How do wedding planners still have jobs?

2:  People spend wayyyyyy too much on weddings.

Obviously this is just my opinion, so if blowing $25K+ for a few hours of fun is what floats your boat, more power to ya.  I just can’t fathom it.  $25K would pay for a lot of things.  Let’s see, off the top of my head:  my student loans, a new car, a nice chunk of my mortgage, a killer vacation or 12, a nice infusion into my retirement fund…..

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I can’t….

1:  I kinda am one of “those girls”.

Maybe it’s not on some insane bridezilla level, but I have to be honest, I’m loving everything about this!  I love picking colors and thinking about flowers.  I love imagining my friends and family gathered in celebration.  And more than anything, I love that I get to spend the rest of my life with my very best friend.  Let me stop typing before I completely girl out and start crying.  Someone pass me a tissue please.

Stay positive and love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  311 – Still Dreaming

Five for Friday: 5 Reasons Getting Older Sucks

Tomorrow is my birthday.  I descend another year deeper into my thirties.  I’m getting older and for the first time, I’m really starting to notice it.  Now, don’t get me wrong, as I’ve said before my thirties have the absolute BEST years of my life for a number of reasons.   I still get carded for booze 8 times out of 10.  I’m by no means ready to be wheeled into the retirement home, but I have to admit, there are some happenings of maturation that I’m just not cool with.  So shuffle up on your walkers and turn up your hearing aides, cause I’m about to break down:

5 Reasons Getting Older Sucks

Number 5- You can’t connect with the younger generation.

I’m now officially at the age where I really just don’t get what the hell “these kids” are thinking.  I thought I’d be much closer to 60 before I started ranting about how it was “back in my day”.  Oh, it’s already started.  From their choices in music (or what they’re passing off as music) to their incessant need to handle everything electronically, I’m out of the loop.  And trust me, I have no desire to be in that loop.  It looks terrifying in there.

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Number 4- Gray hair.

When you routinely get high-lights you somehow miss the moment when your dye job goes from a want to a need.  I was a little late on getting foiled recently and my roots sent me the ugly memo.  Psst, check out all this gray action we’re rocking all around your crown!  Tada!

There will be no picture of said roots. 

Number 3- The couch becomes a sleepy time cradle of naptitude. 

There must be something magical about my couch, because it enchants me into a deep sleep almost nightly.  During the week I’ve even been known to nod off around 8:30. Staying awake in certain situations has really become an intermittent issue for me over the last few years, one I’ve lamented before.

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Me 3 out of 5 weeknights.

Number 2-That whole slower metabolism thing is for real.

I remember smashing a value meal at 3:30 AM back in the day and hearing  my older friends bemoaning the fact that their metabolisms couldn’t handle that.  I really should have listened to them.  Much like a specter of Christmas future, they were filling me in on what was in store when I crossed that threshold into 30-something.  But you just don’t believe it till it actually hits you.  You can stay fit and trim, but your body is now your enemy and will try to sabotage you in every possible way.  For example….

Number 1- You get injuries that sound like they belong to an 80-year-old.

I got two cortisone shots in my hip on Wednesday to help put a full-court press on an injury that’s plagued me since last summer.  First, can we take a moment and acknowledge that the injury is in my hip.  Is there a more elderly place to suffer an injury!?  Secondly, I have Trochanteric Bursititis (and probably some other shit as well).  Bursititis.  Next to arthritis, nothing screams Mema quite so loudly.

When I’m trying to burn joggers with evil eye daggers out of jealousy as I drive by, I have fantasies about my 20s when my body cooperated no matter how badly I physically abused it.

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Damn joggers ruining my smoke break.

**Side note**  Google “old lady hip” and 75% of the pictures are Lady Gaga.

Feel free to send me all your gifts dear readers.  I accept beer, candles, and anything from Lululemon.  But I’ll settle for a gift certificate for a foil nd a year’s supply of anti-inflammatories.

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:Monsters Of Folk – Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.)

Eating:  Potato, quinoa, and spinach soup.

Random fact:  Despite my sleepy tendencies, I can still hang…or force myself to.  My bestie Brett was in town a few weeks ago and we stayed up to after 3 AM two days in a row!  I know, a monumentous achievement!  I only paid for it for 3-4 days afterward.

Check out my OpEd piece about the CVS Cigarette Sales Ban  today on Lefty Pop!  I had a bit more bitchiness and length in the original piece, but the edit still captures my overall point that this is a savvy business decision and not CVS taking care of us.

An Open Letter to Broccoli

Yo Broc-daddy,

You’re so chuck full of nutrients it’s scary.  I can steam you in a flash, add a little salt and pepper, and smile as I bite into your delicious crowns.  But seriously, what’s with the smell?  Are you and tuna fish in a battle royale to see who can leave a lingering funk outside the microwave longest?  Did you grow jealous of popcorn’s ability to consign my kitchen to smelling like feet for a solid day?  Cool, thought so.  I do have one small request however, would it be too much to ask if you could just keep your funk contained inside of the Tupperware I tote for lunch?  I’m not so okay with the entire bus thinking I smell like vagabond breath.

Now off I go to heat you up in the office microwave, bwahahahah,

Melissa

 

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Yes, I did just post an open letter to broccoli.  Sure did.

 

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

 

Today:

Listening to:  Them Crooked Vultures – No One Loves Me & Neither Do I

Eating:  Stinky-ass broccoli, carrots, and tofu scramble.

Random fact:  Tomorrow I will be making my debut on the pop culture & politics website, Leftypop.  You should all flock right over there, bookmark the page, stalk all of the other writers, and wait with bated breath for my article on the CVS cigarette sales cessation to post tomorrow at 9 am.  Go.  Now.

Confessions of a Childhood Home: Branford, FL

So it is time for me to say goodbye to Branford one more time.  Kinda.  You never really say a true goodbye to Branford if you’re from there.  It’s more of a “I’ll see ya after while” to which Branford replies, “y’all come back now, ya hear”.   You see, my parents are moving and while I’m super excited about having a lot more to do each time I visit (Gainesville has infinitely more options), I’m saddened to be bidding adieu to my childhood home. This new house will be great, but nothing can ever come close to replacing the house you grew up in. Man do I have some memories in that house!

It really makes you think that if that house were a living being, boy has it seen some shit.  Oh the stories it could share with it’s new owner!  Well they do say that confession is good for a house’s soul, so I thought we’d give 116 Hillcrest Circle some time in the confessional.

Forgive me father, it’s been quite a while since my last confession, you see, I’m a house.  With a new family coming in I thought it might be good to like, ya know, clean out my attic so to speak.  Yeah, so, how exactly do I do this?

Speak from your heart son.

Heart?  Hmmm, okay, I suppose that’s like a furnace. 

Sure, go ahead.

Well they moved in back in ’87 after watching me grow from blocks of wood and bricks.  They were obviously excited; you could tell from all of the yelling and running around.  That little blonde boy used to ride his bike up and down the big dirt mound out front that they brought in to level out my front yard.  I suppose I was a bit out of balance.  Anyway, the yelling never stopped. 

You mean to say that they fought a lot?  Were angry?

No, just loud.  Very loud!  Especially the girl.  She started talking the moment she walked in and didn’t stop till she left for college.  Apparently she has a lot to say and she likes to say it so everyone can hear. I think she got it from the man.  He was super loud too.   Hello, we can hear you!  Sorry, I got a little sidetracked.  So, yes, they were all quite loud.

Go on.

They boy and girl would wake up each morning when they didn’t have school and burst out of the house.  It was like they couldn’t wait to get out of me.  They’d play in the woods behind me for hours, making trails and forts.  Sometimes they’d climb trees so high that I’d get a bit nervous.  But what could I do?  At lunch they’d come in gobble up a peanut butter and banana sandwich and then they’d rush out again.  Ha ha ha…

What is it?

I was just thinking about this one time the boy didn’t want to eat his sandwich.  So the girl told him to throw it in the weeds.  He did.  Apparently she didn’t want her sandwich either, because the next thing I knew she was tossing out her sandwich as well.  Then you’ll never believe what happened.

What?

She went in and told on the boy for tossing his sandwich!  Can you believe it?  Of course he then ratted her out.  Awwww, but those two were quite the team.  They’d race biked around the neighborhood like maniacs.  Sometimes they’d come back with bloody knees and elbows.  But it didn’t seem to phase them.  I think they liked being dirty.  They sure took many a grubby shower in my bathroom.  Leaves, beggar weeds, thorns, and all manner of stuff would stick to them.  I always liked when it was hot, because then they’d play in the hose and sprinkler.  That always felt so good on my hot cement.  You know, brick isn’t exactly summer wear.  And they don’t call it the Sunshine State for nothing.

So I’ve heard.  So this little boy and girl were buddies huh?

Oh yes!  They got along very well….for the most part.

So sometimes they fought?

On occasion.  One time they put a hole in my hallway door.  Ouch!

How’d that happen?

Every Easter it never failed, they’d find their Easter baskets (the woman hid them in the house) and the girl would instantly start gobbling up all of her candy.  The boy would nibble a few odds and ends and then move on to playing with whatever toy came in his basket.  A few days later, the girl’s candy would be gone.  The boy would wrap his Easter bunny in Saran wrap and put it the fridge.  Each day or so, he’d come back in and nibble a little off the ears.  Well, this drove the girl crazy!  She decided to start taking secret nibbles of the bunny as well.  Oh, but her greed caught up with her!  The boy realized what was happening.  By goodness, the ears were just disappearing too quickly.  He confronted her with the chilled bunny!  Well she just stuck out her tongue and said, “I wanted some and mine was gone.”  So he chucked that ice-cold, ear-less rabbit right at her head!  She ducked and it ended up hitting me right in the hallway door.  It made a huge hole.  That kid had an arm!

I bet she didn’t sneak anymore of the bunny after that.

Nope, at least not that Easter.  Oh, I have another Easter story!

Great.  But why don’t we save that for next time.  I have quite the line forming out there.

Sure, I just have so much to tell;  26 years is quite a bit of life!  I’ll be back in.  So, what is my penance?

You’re a house,  so I’m not really sure what would work for you.  How about you look in the bathroom mirror and say three Hail Marys?

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So obviously I’ll be continuing my Branford house confessional in the coming weeks.  I plan to pull out the photo albums so I can give you guys a little visual with this too!  Until then, here’s a picture the house uncovered of the girl and some of her childhood buddies.  This one was from their trip to Grad Nite at Disney.  What a fashionable bunch!

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Want to know why I love Branford, FL so much?  Check out my post:  5 Reasons Branford was an Awesome Place to Grow Up

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  Pepper – Tradewinds

Random fact:  That banana and peanut butter story actually predates this house, but I couldn’t leave it out.

Want to live in this famous house?  It’s for sale!  Check it out:  Kick-ass Home

Trifextra: Not Again!

It’s now time for some Trifextra fun. Thirty years ago, Roald Dahl published the book Dirty Beasts, a collection of poems for children about weird and wonderful animals. The last poem, however, is called The Tummy Beast about a boy who thinks there’s someone living in his belly. Your Trifextra challenge is to write 33 words on a beast in an unusual place. No swamps or forests or caves, we really want you to take your beast out of its comfort zone.

Here are my 33 words for this week’s Trifextra prompt:

“Last I checked, more money was in my account; you’ve been at it again. Starbucks? Target? Lululemon? Seriously, how much must you spend?”

“Don’t question the wallet monster, woman! Oh look, a sale!”

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Source
I just bought a baby carriage and I don’t even have a baby.

My Super Hero Secret

The day has finally come when I feel compelled to reveal my true identity as a mutant.  I can hide in the shadows no longer and deny my true self.  I have a super power, the strength of which is so great that Professor Xavier himself attempted to recruit me for his academy many years ago.  Unfortunately, I passed as I was still anxiously awaiting my Hogwart’s letter.  It never came.  That means that I missed out on Cyclops for absolutely nothing.  So is life.

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What is this power you ask?  Powerful telepath?  Nope.  Shape shifter?  Hardly.  Phasing?  Not even close.  Constant reactive evolution?  I wish!   No, ladies and gentlemen, my super human strength is my sniffer.  Yep, this wee nose I possess is quite powerful indeed.  I rival the most prize winning blood hound.  And like most super powers, it’s both a blessing and a curse.

On the curse list:

  • Farts– If there is a crop-dusting incident happening in a 50-yard radius, I’m going to be a casualty.
  • Washing Machine Mishaps–  Oh, you didn’t wash your towels on hot?  Yeah, I can tell.  That fabric softener is no match for my snout.  I can decipher mildew in my sleep.  FYI, you should be washing your gym clothes in hot water too smelly gym guy.
  • Poor Hygiene– You forgot to put deodorant on today huh?  Actually, that’s not a question;  I was just letting you know.
  • Stinky Office Food-  Salmon for lunch again?  You’re the best!  Burnt popcorn?  Fantastic!  Bacon?  Just what I wanted to smell wafting into my office.  Nothing says we’re part of the fitness industry quite like bacon.
  • Dog Poop–  Jo takes a crap on the other side of the yard and I might as well be sniffing by her tail.  Don’t get me started on her horrible breath.
  • Any Smell That Has Been in My House, Ever-  I could work for some sort of smell CSI unit.  I can tell you that a cat once peed in this room, a year ago.  Yep, even after scrubbing and shampooing, it’s still there.  No one else can smell it.  Just me.  Aren’t I lucky?  We cooked dinner in a skillet two days ago and I’m still spraying Febreeze on everything:  the air, the furniture,….the dog.  My nose can detect smells most can’t even if their face is literally shoved in it.  It’s the equivalent of “out damn spot” only stinky.

But all of this misery is well worth the positive.  I love delightful smells and I smell them at such an acute level.  So while the coffee is pretty delightful for you, it’s freaking fantastic for me.  A wonderful perfume is like heaven.  A batch of cookies baking is ecstasy.  But the number one thing I love about smelling everything is that it has helped me recall so many memories I may have lost in the recesses of my mind should a smell have passed me by.

Pause for a quick smelling lesson

You see, the sense of smell is housed in the brain’s limbic system, an area of the brain closely associated with memory and feeling.  It’s actually even referred to as the “emotional brain”.  For this reason, a smell can trigger a nearly instant flash back.  The olfactory bulb has intimate access to the amygdala, which processes emotion, and the hippocampus, which is responsible for associative learning.  Because of all of this tight wiring and conditioned response, you associate a smell to a time, place, or person.  And the feelings associated with the memory flood right back.    The link is part of your brain’s mapping.

Now that I’m done playing Bill Nye Science Guy, let’s look at two recalls that have happened for me in the past week:

Do I smell mothballs?

Walking to the bus this morning I was hit in the face with a nice burst of mothball.  My first thought should have been, why the hell is someone loading their car with mothballs?  Seriously, what odor is so bad that mothballs is preferable?  Oh my god, what if they have a dead body in the trunk?

Ok, so maybe that shouldn’t have been my first thought….

Instead, the first thing that popped into my mind was my high school friend (who I haven’t talked to in 15 years) and her aunt.  Her aunt was legally blind and lived alone.  Her house was a mothball bomb.  You could smell it out in the yard.  When I asked Tara about it, she explained that her aunt was deathly afraid of spiders and since she couldn’t see them, her paranoia got the best of her.  The mothballs ensured that spiders (and basically most living things) wouldn’t dare come into her home.

Someone make me some buttermilk biscuits and give me a bucket of butter beans to shell.

On Saturday I was planting my fall/winter garden (better a bit late than never).  My peppers are still kicking ass, so the sweet smell of bell pepper was tickling my nose.  Then I caught a whiff of vidalia onion.  Finally, the trifecta happened;  the smell of freshly turned soil edged in.  Instantly I was a kid again at my Great Granny Marie’s house.  Her and my Grandaddy had a farm:  cows, chickens, tractors, the whole nine.  They always had a crop of something working and us grand kids were always picking, shelling, shucking, or hauling something.

As soon as my garden worked its memory magic on me,  I was instantly hugged with the warmest, happiest, most perfect memories of a childhood well spent and a wonderful matriarch.

I don’t have a picture of my Great Granny on my computer, but here is the next best thing.  Here is my Great Granny Kat.  She is Granny’s daughter and in my opinion, the most like her.  She is also a true matriarch in every sense of the word.  I’m sure Granny is smiling down on what a generous, awesome person she continues to be.

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At the end of the day, I couldn’t abandon this gift even if I tried, nor would I want to.  Yeah, I may have to suffer through a few more cases of halitosis exposure than most, but I also share in an abundance of olfactory inspired memories.

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One last nod to what could’ve been….

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  The Cure – Sleep When I’m Dead

Eating:  Pasta, again.

Drinking:  H20, as per usual.

Reading:  “Vampyres of Hollywood” by Adrienne Barbeau & Michael Scott

Five for Friday: 5 Reasons Why the Government Shut Down is Like a Bad Marriage

So here I go again, dipping ever so slightly into the political pool.  Don’t worry though, I’m gonna try to keep it light.  After all, if I stay completely serious in the brink of all of this absurdity, it’d either stay so angry I’d be intolerable or I’d just end up defeated in the fetal position.

Here’s my take on the entire government shutdown:   It’s completely bratty and immature.  On top of that, it’s embarrassing.  It’s enough to make you want to scream, “Get your shit together and move on!”   I really think I’ve found probably the best analogy to explain this whole ordeal:

5 Reasons Why the Government Shut Down is Like a Bad Marriage

For illustrative purposes, let’s assign the role of the democrat to the female and the role of the republican to the male…and GO!

Number 5- Lack of Respect in the Relationship

When one side constantly feels dismissed, rejected, or condescended to (and the other side doesn’t see it or refuses to talk through it) you’re in a bad place.  A healthy marriage has balance.  You are looking out for your own needs while making sure your partner has his needs met as well.  It’s a dance that requires constant communication.

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Number 4- Fighting Over Money

One of the main things couples fight over is money.  Who is making it?  Who is spending it? Is there enough?

Hint, hint, there’s never enough

Both sides think their spending is completely justified and reasonable.  Generally one side is spending with wild abandon and only later are the massive credit card debts considered fought over.

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Number 3- You Don’t Want the Same Things

A ship can’t make forward progress if both sides are moving in the opposite direction.  Sure you might come together to really “work” on it sometimes, but even then you can’t agree on who should read the map and who should drive.  Last time you let her drive, you end up in the ditch.  And he constantly gets lost because he refuses to read road signs or spot detours.  In the end, you’re just not a team.  A healthy partnership works together on everything from the mundane to the major.  Where you ever a team?  They say opposites attract, but I don’t think the saying continues with, and are perfect for long term, solid, successful relationships.

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“For God’s sake, how do you not know which direction is north?”

Number2- Neither Side Will Admit They’re Wrong

9 times out of 10, both sides are at fault.  But instead of acknowledging and correcting your screw-ups and shortcomings, you’d rather rally your troops behind you and be right!  You bitch to your friends about just how awful your partner is.  They respond with a reassuring:  “Seriously, he’s such a jerk.”  “Oh that’s just like a man.”  “You’re so right.”  You’re preaching to the choir, and guess what, so is he.  But I’ll let you in on a little secret…..

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Number 1-  Your Friends Are Sick of Hearing About It

Yeah, you’re our home girl and we’ve always had your back, but lately, you’ve gotten ridiculous and it’s pretty annoying.  Truth be told, we kinda see that maybe he’s a little right too.  Maybe you’re a bit too sensitive and naggy.  When we suggest this you just continue to lash out with insults and proof of his inadequacies.  Okay, we get it; you’ll never work it out.  Cool, well we’re just gonna have to go find some more level headed friends to support.  You’ve just seemed more and more unbalanced lately.

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“If she mentions him one more time…..”

Honorable Mentions-

Loyalty is Unclear:  You said you’d honor, love, and cherish, but once you moved in, you changed your story.  There’s something to be said about promises kept and living honorably.

Refusing to Try:  You’d rather just walk out the door anytime you don’t see eye-to-eye.  The silent treatment never works.

Here’s the thing, no one is really going to come out on top.  Unfortunately, at the end of the day,  the one way the government is not like a bad marriage is that we can’t just end it with a few tears, hurt feelings, and a quicky divorce. Nope we’re stuck in this living hell.  In this analogy I suppose we citizens are the children.  We rely on our parents (as screwed up as they may be) to keep us safe, sound, and secure.  Sure we might hear them bicker from time to time, but we know they really have only our best interest in mind.  Right?

Though the government may frustrate us, it’s necessary.  We need “parents” to provide structure and order.  It’s nice to think someone is looking out for us and can pick us up should we ever fall and get us back on our feet.  But they also need to be willing to push us out of the nest and let us learn to work and succeed on our own.    It’s not in our best interest to pick mom or dad.  We need both forces for this to work out for the best.  Mom is too giving and just wants everyone to be happy.  Dad is too harsh and thinks it’s every man for himself.  The truth is somewhere in the middle.

Unlike this analogy, we really aren’t the kids. We are a part of this screwed up relationship and we have a responsibility to help fix it.   Let your actions and support be dictated by such.  Vote: both literally and with your dollars and choices.

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Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to: Moon Taxi – Hideaway

Eating:  Some gross veggie little pie thing from Costco.  I bought a pack of 10 and they’re disgusting.  I’m down to one left.  I refuse to have wasted my money.

Drinking:  H2O

Random fact:  As you know, I love beer. So this aspect of the shut down may just hit home:

Shutdown closes tap on new beers

The prolonged closure of federal offices has given some people a reason to cry in the beer. An obscure arm of the Treasury Department has stopped approving new brews. All beers that get bottled or canned that are sold across state lines must get approval by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, better known as the TTB. The agency signs off on the label, as well as the recipe if it uses non-traditional ingredients. Brewery taxes, however, are being collected during the shutdown.