So I’m trying to win a free vacation

beach

I’ve been trying to win a vacation online since January 2015.

Up until now, I’ve just gotten some promotional, newsletter-y emails at my win-a-vacation specific gmail account. They are normally from Sandals.com, the Travel Channel and wherever else I’ve signed up. Other than that, I’ve been virtually unbothered and totally out of luck.

Until today.

My phone rang with a number I didn’t recognize. Because I’m on the prowl for a new job, I thought the call was from a place I had recently interviewed and my heart jumped. Here it is! My new life!

“Congratulations!!!” said the person on the other end of the line.

I thought it was a weird way for a place to tell me I got the job, but it’s 2015 and everyone is losing their minds so fucking hard, so I shrugged it off. That’s so festive! And amazing for me! But sadly, no. It wasn’t them.

The phone call was actually an automated woman that went on to tell me free cruise tickets were waiting for me (!!!) and all I had to do was answer a few simple questions.

The questions went as follows:

“Do you have any pain in your joints or muscles? Press 2 for yes, 3 for no.” uhhhh sorta but I don’t want them to know that. I pressed 3.

“If I told you there were medical breakthroughs in non-habit forming, pain relieving topical creams, would you be interested? Press 2 for yes, 3 for no.” I pressed 3, but in hindsight I should have pressed 2.

Then they asked me if I had health insurance and something else I forgot.

I was hoping for more questions about topical creams and to hear about other sketchy medical breakthroughs that might change my life in the worst way possible if I ever used them. But this automated message had no time to fuck around.

“For two free tickets sending YOU and a guest on a cruise in the Bahamas, press 1 after this message, and a travel coordinator will call you in the next 24-48 hours. “ Wow, that was fast! I thought.  Bahamas here we come!! My boyfriend is gonna FLIP! 

However, seconds later my hopes to finally win a free vacation were dashed, just like that time in 2006 I realized “doing fashion in Spain” wasn’t a viable career.

The automated message HUNG. UP. before I had a chance to alert the eager travel coordinator that I wanted my two free tickets. How could this have happened to me? MEEE!!!!

I felt tricked. Foiled. Humiliated on my own couch! How dare they turn me into a focus group participant without delivering their reward!

10 minutes later, after I had consoled myself with a fresh bag of Pop Secret, I got a call from what my phone said was coming from a Hollywood, FL. (Is that not the saddest imagery EVER for a city? I need that t-shirt ASAP.)

I answered.

“Hello?” I said in my normal, casual tone of inquiry.

No answer. Maybe they didn’t hear me, I thought.

“Hello??” I said, this time louder and with a bit more gumption.

Still no answer. Am I being fooled here? AGAIN? On my own couch, for the second time in one day? How much more of this can I take?

I hung up the dead line and sighed heavily. I guess I’m not winning any vacation today. But on the bright side there’s always tomorrow. And every day after that until I win a goddamn free vacation on the internet or via phone scam. I’ll keep you posted.

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How to live fabulous when you’re broke

someday we'll be this fab.
she’s gasping at this amazing advice

Just because you’re poor doesn’t mean you can’t be fabulous. This is the shit I do to stay cool as hell without a ton of $$$$$$$$$.

20130708-kenosha-drive-ins-star-small-half
awww FUCK yeah
  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE going out to eat. But when you’re broke-ish, that can be hard to legitimize. Let me help you, baby. When you go out to dinner, eat half of what you order, and take the other half home for a second meal. This automatically cuts your money spent on meals and food out in half. Getting a $10 burger and fries? Hey, that’s like 5 bucks a meal from an actual restaurant! And waaaaay better than McDonalds. PLUS, if you only eat half of the normally wayyyyy big portions, it’s almost like a diet. A diet of half your hamburger and half your fries. I’ve actually been able to eat like 3-4 meals out of some Chinese takeout because they REALLY give you a lot of food. It’s so fucking beautiful. But nobody likes a cheap ass, so make sure you always tip your beautiful servers.
  2. Salad bars from grocery stores are another weakness. There’s so many vegetables, cool pastas and weird yummy shit that is too hard and expensive to make at home alone. But sometimes the salad bar can get expensive. If you ditch the salad dressing, I’ve found you can save like almost 2 bucks because that shit is heavy. Also try to avoid other weirdly heavy shit like cottage cheese.
  3. Find a friend who is the same size as you. Wardrobe=DOUBLED. But if they have bad style, don’t bother. Ain’t nobody got time fo dat shit.

    clarissa-explains-it-all-fashion
    girl lemme borrow that top
  4. Cancel your gym membership and do yoga videos online. I just canceled my LA Fitness membership that was $40 a month because I fucking hate them. There are plastic surgery videos on the TVs there, contests in the bathrooms to win lipo/botox, and they even sold pizza at the LA Fitness in Midway. The energy around that place is tainted and disgusting. These free podcasts from Yogamazing are awesome and perfect for bedroom yoga. If you have enough self control to actually do them.
  5. Get a couple of friends together and throw a dinner party at home. It is SO much fucking cheaper to feed 6 people at home than out at a restaurant. Plus you can buy some ritzy shit for the price of some not-so-ritzy shit at a restaurant. Just make sure you look up a good recipe or have a friend who actually likes to cook before you ruin the foie gras.

Birthday weeks are self indulgent and insane

your birthday week is insane

As we’ve gotten older, birthday celebrations have obviously changed from Mom packing classroom snacks to getting waaay too drunk with people you don’t hate. No longer do we gift cups of dirt to our classmates (extra gummy worms for your BFF and the boy who chased you at recess DUH). Instead, we go out to dinner, throw crazy house parties, or go bar hopping. (fuck party buses. gross.)

With the help of Facebook and its inherent self indulgent methods of updating your cousins, aunts, and old math class partners about your mixed feelings regarding the latest Toyota commercial, I have noticed a disturbing trend related to birthdays:

YOU GUYS IT’S MY BIRTHDAY WEEK!!!!

What. The. Fuck. NO.

I’ve even seen ” IT’S MY BIRTHDAY MONTH” posts. Not joking. So terrifying. Like sleepy children in nightgowns walking the streets from Hocus Pocus level of terrifying.

*Cue Twilight Zone music*

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY MONTH PRESENT TO ME”

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 1.55.39 PM

*SCREAMS*

Maybe it’s just a symptom of the new-ish social media age. By now in 2013, everyone is so used to incessantly updating their followers about their day-to-day lives that perhaps it’s par for the course to think everyone would ALSO enjoy spending an entire week celebrating their hideous glorious birth. But really, it’s just self indulgent as fuck and everybody knows it–except for the Birthday Unstable.

Here are some people who are annoyed about the emergence of the Birthday Week celebration:

“Oh my god, no one likes birthday weeks except for the birthday person. Personally, I find them extremely annoying. I wouldn’t even want to celebrate my own birthday for a solid week — WAY too self-indulgent. Makes me uncomfortable.” -Anonymous IRL friend

“You get one day.” -Both of my roommates

“I’d like to celebrate birthday hour, or birthday minute.” -My friend who fucking hates birthdays

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 1.53.31 PM

And here are some tweets from the type of people who support celebrating birthday weeks:

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 1.51.20 PM

Don’t get me wrong–it is absolutely wonderful to celebrate the birthdays of friends and family. These are the people who fill our lives with joy and love, who make us laugh when we’re depressed and who buy us candy bars on the fly just cuz. It’s a good thing to celebrate a birthday, because it gives us the opportunity to show our friends and fam just how meaningful and important they are in our lives. It’s one designated day of the year, that everyone gets equally and allows us all time to express a little “Hey, you rock so fucking hard. I love you. Please accept this baby kitty collage as a token of my love and appreciation.”

But that’s gotta be it, man. One day. A Birth Day. Not a week. Jesus doesn’t even get a week and he like, invented unicorns or something. And holy shit, absolutely NOT an entire birthday month. 

I’ve devised this helpful chart to guide us and the Birthday Unstable through the accepted durational options of celebrating a birthday:

NORMAL ZONE

Birthday Celebration = Happy Birthday Lovely Human Who Understands Time and Society, Who Respects Others

Birthday Weekend Celebrations = Happy Birthday Person Who Hopefully Only Expects Me To Attend One Event

BIRTHDAY UNSTABLE ZONE

Birthday Week Celebrations = Happy Birthday But This Is Not Cute At All, Not One Bit

Birthday Month Celebrations = Bitch R U INSANE

Birthday Year Celebrations = *guttural sounds due to crippling shock and a swallowed tongue from debilitating rage*

Thankfully, none of my close friends are socially diagnosed as Birthday Unstable. Maybe together, us sane human beings with a grasp on functioning society and who interact with those suffering from Unstable Birthday Syndrome, can band together and encourage just one special day of birth celebration–for everyone.

bff29048b93cea29fc2a2953dde0e393-e1376582267397

The real Minneapolis dating scene: Don’t talk to me unless I know you already

Downtown_Minneapolis_at_night

This New York Times article chronicling the dating habits of Minneapolis residents is missing a few key elements of our *wonderful* dating scene. Here are my thoughts on the article and what they left out:

  1. Minnesota nice? People are jerks here just like everywhere else – except when your car gets stuck in the snow. Then they come out of the woodwork like a beautiful termite infestation of goodwill and camaraderie.
  2. The Minneapolis dating scene consists of going out with your friends and not talking to anyone else except your group of friends. That’s seriously it. Maybe it’s because on some level we all know that everyone else will be just as shitty of a human being as our horrible friends, so why bother meeting anyone new? It’s either smart or incredibly lazy with a side of depressing as hell. But hey, that’s us!
  3. My boss once said something really great about Minnesotans and why our dating scene sucks: if you start talking to someone in an elevator, some light chat about the afternoon or the weather, they get so nervous that you’re gonna follow them to their car or ask for their personal home address that they become extremely paranoid and ruin the entire light-hearted experience all because they think you’re gonna murder them. I don’t know what it is or why it exists, but it is very real.
  4. It’s nearly impossible to have a nice conversation with another person in Minneapolis, possibly the entire state, without it being extremely awkward and feeling like a gigantic waste of time. There’s just something about the look in everyone’s eyes that screams “I don’t want to be talking to you. I have enough friends and I’m probably sleeping with one of them when I get black out drunk/horny/sad enough to make a move.”

So: who’s packin’ their bags for good ol’ MPLS?!

Certainly there are very different realities among the different types of people who reside in Minneapolis. Some may be more romantic; others even more bleak than the sad outline I provided above. bad-first-date

And maybe it’s just my age group. I represent the 20-something U of M grad who is still friends with mostly all her college friends, friends of those friends, and friends from work. If you’re not a constant, forced upon presence in somebody’s life here, there ain’t gonna be no out-of-the-blue phone calls happening to hang out or “get a juicy lucy.” (Which, ew.)

Winter also plays a huge part in our disjointed dating scene. For over 6 months of the year, you are confined to the walls of your home, the numbers in your telephone and your Facebook chat list. Making friends in the winter is nearly impossible. Why would you dig your car out of 2 feet of hardened snow to meet up with someone who you don’t even know if you’ll like? That’s why we tend to stick to our group of tried and true friends and don’t bother to branch out unless we absolutely have to. Because chances are, we’ve already got one of you in our circle of friends:

Gay and love dancing? I’ve got two of those already. Going through a never-ending existential crisis with a side of seasonal depression? Yup. See him once a week. In a band? SO AM I AND EVERYONE I KNOW. (Thingamabobs? I’ve got twenty!) And if you work at Target Corporate, you better keep movin’ pal cuz nobody wants that Stepford/hipster hybrid cramping their heroin chic apartment.

Furthermore, maybe our dating scene really isn’t any shittier than any other city in the US. In fact, I’d be even MORE skeptical if a city was REALLY good at dating. So what, does that mean you’re all a bunch of honestly nice people who like to go out and have fun with each other? Sickening.

These are the dates I went on this year:

Love.
Dating.
  • A shorter-than-me bartender who believed strongly in gender roles. I’m 5’7″ and he wouldn’t stop mentioning our height difference or being really intense about how a woman and a man should act in a relationship.
  • A fun guy I ran into randomly 3 times who I met downtown MPLS and a thrift store in St. Paul. He picked me up the night gay marriage was legalized in MN, we shared a PBR tallboy and celebrated at the Townhouse, and then drank beers on a bridge by the train tracks until it was time to go home. It was the most fun and exhilarating date I’ve had all year, but he was also living in his car at the time. I mean, I’m down for whatever, but it’s pretty hard to date someone who’s living in their car. In the words of Liz Lemon, that’s a dealbreaker, ladies.
  • A guy I met at work where I dj who wouldn’t stop bothering me until he finally broke me down and got my twitter handle, then my snapchat name, and then my number. We had a really awesome date and then he bailed on the second date citing “baseball” as the reason.
  • A brief snapchat romance with a guy I grew up with as a kid. Snapchats turned sexy, sexy turned into hour long phone convos, amazing phone convos turned into an invitation to his hometown for a 4th of July IRL hangout. Not surprisingly, Snapchat had not wielded a magical forum for love through timed photos, and we were set to self destruct from the beginning, just like the photos themselves.

You see, folks? Those weird romances could have happened to anyone in any city across the country, even the world. So maybe we should stop thinking that every time the NYT comes in to town to chronicle our weird dating scene that we’re special or especially fucked up when it comes to finding a mate. I mean, isn’t one of the most common human denominators the fact that dating sucks? Why else would Sex and the City be such a big hit, or How I Met Your Mother? The real truth is that dating sucks no matter where you live; we’re all just uniquely bad at it. WE ARE THE WORLD (of bad daters). Let it bring us together. Hallelujah.

____________________________________________________

F me on Facebook punkssss

Sex: What the fuck #1

Image via rounds.com
B Spears knows what I’m talkin about. Image via rounds.com

 

At the risk of sounding cliche/sexist/bored with my own sex life throughout this series, I’d like to offer these views on sexuality plaguing me and the 20-somethings in my life. Post #1.

American society and sexuality

How can a culture so fucking OBSESSED with sex be so bad at fucking? Of course it’s horrible of me to group every American (mostly the American straight dudes cuz those are the ones I’m doin’) into the category of being terrible in bed, because that obviously isn’t true. This is more for the dudes who have never heard of foreplay and how VITALLY IMPORTANT IT IS to have good sex with a woman, people who only get theirs and don’t share the O wealth, and those plagued with sex shame. Yikes!

Sex is everywhere. “Sex sells!” they say. So why is it that we are constantly surrounded by sexual images, sexual songs on the radio that sometimes play into rape culture, etc. but doing the actual deed gets people really stressed out, leading to bad bedroom experiences? I’ve got a few ideas.

Body image

Image via bodyandsoulactive.com
Every single day. Image via bodyandsoulactive.com

Everyone has insecurities. It’s practically unavoidable unless you’re some 50-year-old yogi who don’t give NO shits anymore. You’d think the fact that we all have insecurities about our bodies, our personalities and weird hair would cancel out in bed and we could all just have a good time. But no.

Is it that we’re all so self-centered? I know the times I’ve been deathly insecure in bed have been due to freaking out about something concerning my own naked body. Is he gonna think I’m disgusting for not shaving myself bald/I shouldn’t have eaten that burrito/If I have a double chin from this angle I’m going to kill myself are probably all things that used to run through my mind from the beginning of my sex life (18) to around 22.

What most people don’t realize until well into their sexual experimentation is that these insecurities read as crazy disinterest in your sexual partner. While you’re freaking out about how you look from a certain angle, they’re getting that you’re so uncomfortable, probably with them, that you can’t even enjoy or pay attention to the shared experience.

Tip: next time you’re in bed with someone, try to NOT think about yourself and your insecurites. Nobody is perfect. Celebrities crap/queef/feel unloved sometimes too, bro. I know it’s hard, but if you take baby steps to being secure with yourself, practicing self acceptance, trust and maybe having a bit of confidence, the sex will get SO SO SO much better.

Media

Image via frontpagemag.com
Faceless fucks. Image via frontpagemag.com

Ugh. THE MEDIA, DUN DUN DUN! What a crazy ecosystem of all the wrong ways to live. NO WONDER so many straight dudes think sex can start immediately without any foreplay for the lady parts. We need that shit. WE NEED IT. NEED. IT.

I guess for the sake of quick storytelling it makes sense (American Pie and their awful, horrible, no good sexualities come to mind), but in a culture where sex is a shameful act (damn you, Puritans!), it comes across sometimes as something to “get over with” as quickly as possible. Nu-uh. Cut it out right now.

Tip: Watch a bunch of artistic French or Latino films or something. Observe the sensuality. Have sex with a foreigner from a sensual land! Learn about sexuality in a different culture. It’s not like other cultures don’t have their own probs (yo misogyny, heavy gender stereotypes, bad outfits) but at least you can learn a bit about how other cultures express themselves sexually. It’s important to step outside of our own heads sometimes to get a different perspective. Also, just get sensual. Shame is lame!

Magazines

I would take sex advice from Khloe Kardashian over any Cosmo writer ANY DAY. Image via celebitchy.com
I would take sex advice from Khloe Kardashian over any Cosmo writer ANY DAY. Bonus: Shitty photoshop. These magazines are pure hell. Image via celebitchy.com

I remember when I used to buy and read magazines like Cosmopolitan. I was mostly a pre-teen to real teen during those years, because that shit is insufferable to read now. A friend in high school actually boycotted reading the mags after she read a tip similar to this: Keep your man satisfied in bed so he won’t leave you. SPIT TAKE! What the fuck. Seriously.

Here is a funny list of the worst Cosmo sex tips that’s pretty representative of the bullshit that gets printed in these sad mags. It’s seriously like none of these women have ever been in bed with a man and are taking descriptions straight from Harlequin romance novels and making them 10 times WORSE.

Tip: don’t take advice from magazines. They are the worst gender/sex/sexuality propaganda EVER. Go to a punk coffee shop, find a girl with a shaved head and ask her a bunch of questions about gender and sexuality. It will be the best conversation of your life. I promise. Or, you know, talk things out with your partner. Good communication is key to a great lay. HEY!

20-Something Dating: Understanding Carrie Bradshaw

She looks lost, yet hopeful. A true 20-something spirit! Image via mhbo.hbo.com

As a teen watching (and idolizing) them bitches from Sex and the City, I never really thought I’d go through similar dating mishaps. Watching the show, you’re either “That guy is a total DICK” or “Oh my god, I LOVE him” to any given dude the golden four ever picked up.

But now as we all are hanging on to our first full time jobs, apartments, friends and dating lives, things are starting to make a lot more sense from the world of one Ms. Carrie Bradshaw. For instance:

  • Names don’t matter.
  • Don’t ever try to date your good sex hook up.
  • Funky tasting spunk (I can’t believe there isn’t a meme for that. WTF internet!)
  • Worrying about never dating again in your current city pool of eligible mediocrity
  • Sometimes you’re just not that into people, and they just aren’t that into you.
  • Fuck rent.
  • Date richer so their town car can pick you up. Cuz scooters are cute for a minute and all, but fuck that.
  • Don’t date someone who makes you camp. You will break their heart.
  • Your soulmate might be bald. But the sex might be great. So don’t be a bitch.
  • Don’t move to Paris with an old Russian artist when your Mr. Big is right where you left him.

God, we are FUCKED. At least we have cooler than cool friends to brunch and bitch with about our dating warbles. Mimosas don’t pour themselves, and good stories don’t come from people who stay at home.

Dating: Names are OVER

“I’m going on a date with mullet spandex guy” Image via imposemagazine.com

All the single ladies, all the single fellas!

Most of my friends are single and on the prowl. As we blow the fuck through wander through the jungle of “do you think he has a nice dick?”, “does he have a job?” and my personal favorite “he better not have a fucking girlfriend”, we begin to accumulate massive amounts of people under our leopard print dating belts (that should be a thing). As we pile up the i-hope-he-never-calls and the if-he-doesn’t-call-i’m-never-dating-agains, we as daters and friends of those who are dating tend to lose track of names and adopt a more efficient strategy, you know, to speed up the conversation in our OH SO BUSY 20 SOMETHING LIVES. Allow me to demonstrate:

EX: 1 Conversations with names

S: I hope Adam calls. I wanna get laid.

K: Who the fuck is Adam, I hate him already, dump him.

EX: 2 Conversations with descriptive adjectives

S: I hope punk boy calls.

K: YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is amazing, fabulous and a great person.

See? It is wondrous for everyone involved to use an adjective to describe the person you’re trying to date/bone/marry/stalk. It allows our friends and us to keep track of who is who in our dating conversations, without the inefficient bullshit that are names. We ain’t got time for names, only love games baby. YA HEARD