Gentle, My Ass

Given that my tag line on this site is “Shit That Irritates Me,” I figured I’d tell you about my recent experience taking a laxative for the first time. I will try to be as minimally TMI as possible, but, seriously folks, I’m talking about poop. Everyone poops. Everyone.

Anyway, thanks to what WebMD and I thought was a minor stomach bug, I was having difficulties leaving a worthwhile deposit in the little girls’ room. So much so, that I was in some serious pain: somewhere between childbirth and stepping on a Lego. In this case, what’s a girl to do? Go shopping, duh! Off to the drug store!

Since I have a rather sensitive tummy, I didn’t want any high-powered, industrial, Drano-esque assistance with my “issue.” A pink (of course) box caught my eye. Dulcolax Pink Laxative for Sensitive Stomachs that boasted “gentle overnight relief.” Perfect. What could go wrong?

Famous last words.

Needless to say, it did, in fact, work. But gentle? Not in a million years.

Within about 30 minutes it felt like my innards were desperately trying to escape the confines of my abdominal cavity as an inmate would escape a prison by using a rock hammer and plastic spork. The pain was pretty unbearable, almost to the point that I was praying over the porcelain altar for my horrible monthly menstrual cramps because they are far less painful despite my homicidal urges during that time.

Gentle, my ass. Literally.

Compounding the problem was the constant and loud inhuman groaning noises emanating from my poor belly which satiated my desire to watch a horror movie that evening.

And then there was the poop, if you could call it that. My end result (pun intended) consisted of volcanic magma of a disturbing color that burned to a crisp anything (and I do mean anything) in its destructive path.

I think I’ll just up my fiber intake from now on. Hello flax seed, broccoli, and black beans.

The end. Haha.

Defining “Essential”

Throughout this whole coronavirus mass hysteria isolation “thing,” I’ve been going a little stir crazy (okay, a lot crazy) sitting at home. So much so, in fact, that my mind starting wandering (never a good thing) toward tidbits I wouldn’t have ordinarily thought.

One of them is what, exactly, constitutes an essential and/or non-essential business.

Here are my thoughts.

First of all, my tanning salon is an essential business. I haven’t been this white since I lived in snow country. Not only does sporting a nice bronze tan make me feel (and, undoubtedly, look) healthier, but the blast of rays boosts my Vitamin D levels and reduces my depression. Despite living in Las Vegas, I don’t have the privacy to tan outdoors in the manner to which I am accustomed while in a private bed, not to mention it’s already getting ridiculously hot and I don’t want to spend hours in the sun when a quick 12-minute session is all I need. Yes, I know I know it’s bad for me, but done responsibly with appropriate pre- and post-tan skincare, the potential dangers are mitigated. I’ve been tanning for YEARS and don’t look like some wrinkled, middle-aged, leather sofa. So there.

Secondly, even though there are DIY hair coloring options, I can’t trim my own hair. I’ve tried in the past and ended up resembling my fourth-grade school photo with a choppy, uneven, mom-used-craft-scissors ‘do. So, while I am able to cover my graying roots and maintain my lovely brunette hue, I desperately need a trim. The same goes for my boyfriend whose head is getting puffy from all the hair he desperately needs cut but won’t let me near with scissors. Hey, I can trim other people’s hair, just not my own. Chicken.

Next, why in the hell are city, state, and national parks, beaches, and other outdoor public recreation venues closed? Amidst the ad nauseum spate of bullshit social distancing “guidelines,” nobody is going to catch the virus outside. It’s not floating around waiting to invade (which is why I laugh hysterically at those sheep who insist on wearing masks and gloves while outside.) Good grief, we all need some fresh air and sunshine. Oh, and human contact with non-relatives would be nice.

By the way, I expect the National Parks Service to extend my annual parks pass for which I paid a pretty penny for a few months to compensate my loss.

Finally, of course, gun stores are essential because Second Amendment. ‘Nuff said.

As for non-essential businesses? Governors’ offices and Congress.

Blood is Thicker than Gasoline

But gasoline can start a fire.

If there’s one thing that a staged mass crisis does is emphasize how much most of us can’t stand too much family time. Another is that it is so true that we can’t choose our relatives.

My family is ridiculously dysfunctional (like that old platitude: we put the FUN in dysfunctional.) This person doesn’t talk to that one. This one is mad at that one. Blah blah blah ad nauseum. Of course, I admit, there are some of my family members with whom I don’t speak largely because they are nosy, intrusive, judgmental, self-righteous assholes.

Friends are, indeed, one’s true family. I have friends I’ve known for decades with some going back to high school and even earlier. People who have been there for me (and vice versa) during difficult times who don’t judge but are there to listen and offer advice (when asked, of course, unlike family members who seem to always know what you should do and don’t hesitate to lecture every chance they get.)

But why is it that friends are oftentimes so much better (for want of a better word) than family? First of all, you can choose your friends, and if you don’t like them or you have a falling out then you can say your goodbyes and be on your way without the extra baggage of a massive guilt trip.

Family members, however, tend to take one another for granted. They are oftentimes rude, self-centered, discourteous, entitled, and have little loyalty to one another. ‘Tis sad.

Maybe you are one of the lucky ones with a very close family in which everyone gets along and there are never harsh words, undue criticism, abuse, tears, or alcoholism. If so, congratulations and best of luck with your fairy tale existence.

I’m willing to wager, however, that most of us have at least one or 12 toxic family members

A toxic person is a toxic person regardless of their ancestry, and simply because you share a bloodline does not necessarily mean that you need to let that poison invade your own bloodstream. Think of this toxicity as an allergen of sorts. Repeated exposure to an allergen oftentimes forces one’s immune system to react to this foreign body. Voila, an allergy is born. So, if you find yourself breaking out in hives every time your Uncle Felix comes near or when your Grandma Edna tells you that you’re too skinny or your hair is the wrong color or your clothes are not flattering or she doesn’t like your spouse or that you live in the wrong city or that you could get a better job or what-the-fuck-ever, then that person is toxic and you are likely allergic.

Unless you want to purchase stock in Benadryl, just stay away. Far, far away.

Paging Dr. Paranoid

I’m getting sick and tired of this COVID-19 “plandemic” and the utter naivete of the masses. If you want to succumb to the fear mongering regarding this virus and wear a mask and gloves and look like some wannabe surgeon, then go ahead. Just know that they really don’t do anything except make those of us with common sense and good hygiene who pay no heed to the lamestream media and its bullshit laugh.

Even better are those who wear their masks and gloves while driving alone in their vehicles because who knows what evil virus made its way into their car and is sitting there waiting to invade their uncovered nose and mouth (or burrow into their unprotected hands) and make them sick. Or how about those who wear them outside because we all know that the atmosphere is chock full of deadly viruses that live indefinitely and are floating around looking for healthy folks to infect.

Give me a break.

According to Popular Science, masks are not the panacea of protection against viruses since the major transmission route is hand-to-face. Touch your face after you touch something a sick person has touched creates a greater likelihood that you might get sick.

Ergo, hand-washing has, and always will be, the gold standard for preventing disease.

Further, the paper masks the majority of sheep are wearing are disposable. They should not be reused, nor should someone touch his/her mask while it is on his/her face because it defeats the whole purpose. Additionally, cloth masks (or other cloth face coverings like bandanas, scarves, socks, bras, pantyhose, hijabs, etc.) can actually harbor bacteria and viruses due to the moist, warm environment around your mouth.

Forbes echos the sentiment that masks are not necessary for those who don’t have the virus. In fact, they can actually increase your chance of getting sick, especially if you wear them incorrectly and keep touching them to adjust. Thus, the medical consensus is that you should only wear a mask out in public if you are sick yourself to protect others.

The same goes for latex gloves. Wearing gloves does nothing to protect you from getting sick. In fact, they, too, can increase your chance of catching something if you touch a surface and then touch your face (ooh de ja vu!) To make gloves even remotely worthwhile, you’d need to change or wash/disinfect them as frequently as you do your hands.

So what’s the point? I’ll tell you. Wash your hands and don’t touch your face. Simple.

Remorse My Ass

Perhaps the most overused three words in the English language is “I am sorry.” Of course, most people contract the subject and verb to “I’m sorry.” And those lazy folks will just say “Sorry.” I particularly hate just “Sorry” as it sounds so disingenuous.

I’m sure there are a few people who actually mean it when they say they are sorry for some stupid thing they did or if they hurt someone else. They feel remorse, make amends, and don’t do it again.

The problem lies in the fact that the majority of people will say “I’m sorry” and then continue the bad behavior that sparked the original apology. If you say, “I’m sorry” to someone for hurting them and then keep hurting them, every time you say that you’re sorry diminishes the meaning until the word dissolves into a hollow, worthless pile of nothing.

The apologizer oftentimes ends up getting angry at the apologizee for not believing that s/he is, in fact, sorry for what s/he did. I like to believe most people are simply clueless regarding this, but I do believe that there are some truly horrid folks out there who don’t care who they hurt and spout the word “sorry” ad nauseum with zero feeling.

Remember Aesop’s fable “The Boy Who Cried Wolf?” In it, the titular character kept crying “wolf” to combat his boredom, thus causing a stir in the village and angering the villagers each time. Eventually, there was a wolf, but the fact that the boy kept issuing what amounted to a false alarm rendered this cry for help useless as nobody believed him anymore. Aesop closes out the fable with “Nobody believes a liar…even when he is telling the truth!” Ain’t THAT the truth?!

The chronic overuse of the word “sorry” amounts to the same thing. If you say you’re sorry, be sorry and don’t do it again. Show remorse. Make amends. If you say “sorry” just to placate someone who you hurt, you don’t heal the damage, and if you repeatedly say “sorry” and continue the behavior, well, fuck you.

Don’t Be a Namby-Pamby

In case you hadn’t figured it out (or read my About page), I am female. If you haven’t read my About page, why the hell not? I’m interesting.

By the way, how great is the word “namby-pamby?”

Anyway, one of my biggest pet peeves is when I extend my hand to shake someone else’s hand, I get this lame and flimsy finger squeeze poor excuse for a handshake. While it really irritates me when a female does it, it’s even more irritating when a man does it.

Dammit, grasp my hand firmly and shake. I’m (generally) not going to bite, and you’re not going to break my hand unless you’re, like, the Incredible Hulk or some poorly programmed robot.

A firm handshake is a universal sign of confidence and strength and to demonstrate mutual respect. Thus, everyone should have one. Yes, even ladies. I have one.

However, this is no license for the handshaker to crush the life out of his/her handshakee’s hand.

On the other hand (pun intended), a weak handshake will definitely leave an impression and not in a good way. Oftentimes called a “dead fish” handshake, such a flimsy, feeble, and flaccid handshake is not the impression you want to make. Or receive from another.

I’m Pooped

Whilst reading my email in the bathroom, I had an Archimedes Eureka! moment that gave me the perfect idea for a blog. Interestingly, most of my blog ideas stem from some sort of bathroom activity.

Anyway, I was changing my toilet paper roll, and while smashing the roll into the holder and subsequently (and unsuccessfully) wresting some paper from the now oblong roll, I wondered how we, as society, evolved from normal rolls of toilet paper to rolls that resemble Big Wheel tires that oftentimes don’t even fit into standard sized roll holders.

Granted, original rolls are, indeed, too small. My boyfriend refers to them as “single use” rolls because he tends to spend a lot of time in the little boys’ room. But I digress.

Then we were introduced to double rolls. Okay, that makes sense especially for those who tend to use more than their fair share of the product (cough-boyfriend-cough.)

But, wait! The paper industry powers that be rolled out (pun intended) jumbo rolls. Again, these were good because we, er most of us, didn’t have to change them as frequently, and they still fit on the roll holder.

Then, lo and behold, what’s this I see? Mega rolls which are four baby rolls packed into one. However, given the nature of human beings to always want more and bigger and better, introducing (drum roll please) jumbo mega rolls. These are approximately the equivalent of, what, ten regular rolls? All I know is that they don’t fit on my roll holders, and I’m certainly not going to invest in a decorative freestanding toilet paper rack when I have perfectly good rollers attached to the side of my cabinets. Besides, I’m a klutz, and invariably, the holder and I will be involved in some sort of collision. Repeatedly.

In fact, the last time I went toilet paper shopping, I couldn’t even find anything smaller than jumbo mega rolls. I always look for the best bargain in a cost-per-roll calculation. Did I want the nine-pack that is equivalent to 84 regular rolls or the 32-pack that was the equivalent of 812 regular rolls. I didn’t feel like doing math, so I just got the Charmin with the green label that I particularly like. And it was on sale to boot.

What’s next Procter & Gamble, Georgia-Pacific, and Kimberly Clark? Gigarolls? One enormous roll packaged like those giant five-pound Hershey Kisses or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups? (I love Reese’s by the way.)

I can’t wait.

Bite Your Tongue

I hate being called “ma’am.” Yes, I know “hate” is a strong word and leaves a bad taste in some people’s mouths. So, I ask these folks, what would you prefer? Abhor? Detest? Loathe? Despise? Insert your preferred word, but I’m going to stick with “hate.” Because I do.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand that those who utter it (as well as “sir”) do so out of respect, and kudos to their parents for instilling within their children manners and respect because, Lord knows, there is a huge shortage of manners in today’s world (a topic best left for another rant.)

Anyway, back to “ma’am.”

What would I rather be called? Oh, how about ANYTHING else: “miss” or “mizz”, perhaps? “Madam”, maybe (even though I don’t own a brothel.) Even “sir”, “bro”, or “dude” is preferable to “ma’am”. As someone who is deep in the throes of a midlife crisis that has been ongoing for, oh, 13 years, anything that makes me uber cognizant of the fact that I am, despite my utter contempt for the word, middle-aged needn’t be said. Ever.

I’m doing a fantastic job of fighting this whole aging thing. Seriously, I am. Not only do I not look my age, I neither feel nor act it, thanks to a (mostly) healthy diet, regular exercise, no smoking, no drinking, no drugs, outstanding skin care, and good genes. I oftentimes pass for late 30’s-early 40’s, and this removes a bit of the sting from being called “ma’am” and my ever-increasing age.

Oh, by the way, I’m looking for a fake ID that makes me 34 again, so if anyone knows anyone in the “creative printing” business, please let me know.

Say What?

Most of us text. With the plethora of smart phones and quasi-affordable talk and text (and data) plans, really, the only people who don’t text are folks like my stepdad who still has a flip phone and long-time Sprint customers because Sprint could give a shit about long-time loyal customers.

Anyway, many of us voice text. I do it when I’m driving, I mean stopped at a red light, or when I’m writing or cleaning or otherwise using my hands. The problem with voice texting is that it doesn’t understand English. Seriously, some of the shit that my phone thinks it hears is ridiculous.

For example, I say, “Oh, the moon is pretty tonight.” But it comes out as, “Show the men’s pretty alright.” Huh?! Or how about the time I said, “I could stay up really late and then be in bed when you get home,” yet the message is bastardized into “I could stay up Billy Kate and then being dead when you get home.” A recent favorite of mine was, “I need to get both of my knees x-rayed” which became “I need to get both of my fees x-rated.” Good one, phone. Thanks.

Another issue with voice texting is that you have to be careful that there’s nobody else speaking that the phone may inadvertently pick up. A couple of months ago I was voice texting a supervisor at work while talking to my boyfriend and ended up ending my text with “I love you.” Of course, I was mortified and had to immediately follow that message up with one explaining that it wasn’t meant for him. Even worse, I was voice texting my boss and my phone picked up (from the television) “There’s no fucking way.” Good grief. That was another OMG I’m getting fired moment. Thankfully, my boss is a cool guy and chuckled at my panicked explanation. Needless to say, I don’t voice text anyone at work anymore.

I do realize that a lot of problems could be avoided if one proofreads the message before hitting send (and ensures that it’s going to the right person), but that just makes too much sense and is too difficult to do whilst driving, er, I mean stopped at a red light.

Do you have any embarrassing and egregious text mishaps? I’d love to read them.

Let Them Eat Meat

So, I used to be a vegetarian. I started just to see if I could, and I could, so yay me. However, I really missed fish and chicken wings, so now I am a pesca-fowl-atarian (no, it’s not a word, I just made it up. Work with me, people.)

Anyway, one thing I noticed (and how could I not) was that aside from fruits, vegetables, tofu, and beans, vegetarian food is ridiculously expensive. Granted, there are many Morningstar Farms and other brands of vegetarian “meat” products such as veggie burgers, bean burgers, couscous burgers, quinoa and brown rice burgers, chickenless chicken patties, meatless meatballs (wouldn’t that just be “balls”?), fishless fish sticks, and ground meat “crumbles” to name a few. It’s not bad, in fact, many of these products are quite good. The problem is the price.

Take, for example, ground beef. The really fatty 60%/40% artery-clogging shit that Walmart shoppers tend to purchase in 20-pound logs can be had for, oh, $0.99/pound. The leaner blends like 80%/20% or 90%/10% can go for as much as $2-$3/pound. Even ground turkey is only about $4/pound. Morningstar Farms “meat crumbles” are $5.99 for a 12-ounce bag. If you’re lucky, you might be able to find it for $5.79. Does this sound fair? No, of course not. Essentially, vegetarians/vegans are being punished for eating healthily.

In a similar vein, I am also lactose intolerant. So not only did I have to spend an exorbitant amount on meat substitutes, I also had (and continue to have) to spend a ridiculous amount of money on non-dairy dairy products.

Milk varietals aren’t too terribly expensive. With the numerous brands of almond, cashew, coconut, soy, oat, goat, and yak milk, one can usually get a decent price. So, whereas a gallon of regular milk is about $3, I can typically find my no-sugar-added vanilla almond milk for about $2.79 for a half gallon. Oat milk is more expensive, but it’s so good (provided you don’t mind drinking chunky gray “milk” or watching your Cheerios floating around in what resembles sewage.) You can even make your own oat milk if you so desire. But I digress.

Cheese and ice cream are where the pocketbook begins to hurt. Vegan cheese is easily 3-4 times the price of regular cheese. The same goes for vegetarian/vegan pizza. You can get 12 Tony’s 10-inch meat lovers supreme pizzas for $2 but one 9-inch Daiya vegan veggie pizza is $8.99. What the hell?!

And ice cream?! Decent non-dairy ice cream that doesn’t taste like the layer of irremovable ice in my freezer is about $6 per pint. PINT. “Normal” ice cream is, what, two gallons for $4 when they’re on sale. When my ice cream is on sale, I only have to pay $5 per pint. Yay me.

So how about it, manufacturers? How about making some of this stuff a bit more affordable? In my dreams, right?