Friday, February 27, 2009

How to Negotiate a Public Restroom

In my experience, public restrooms were not designed with a woman in mind. First of all, they are generally about as clean as the underside of a sweaty elephant who has been rolling around in the mud to stay cool. Secondly, and particularly in women’s bathrooms, the person who utilized the facility immediately before you has deposited at least one perfectly placed pubic hair and more than a few droplets of urine on the actual toilet seat. This has always baffled me. While I understand perhaps one might not want to place one’s own naked tush upon a piece of plastic that has recently enjoyed the company of someone else's naked tush, I don’t understand how marking one’s territory with the aforementioned pube/urine dribble is of any assistance to the prior user. I mean, really. This custom (along with other generic yuckiness) is exemplified in what I like to call "the worst of the worst": the grocery store bathroom. Grocery store restrooms are usually located through two heavy swinging doors positioned somewhere between the pork butts and chicken livers. Those not deterred by the facility’s location will undoubtedly find themselves navigating through a dimly lit storage room , trying to find the door marked with the figure of a woman. Having received directions imparted from a woman named “Sheila” at the customer service desk (through the double doors between the pork butts and chicken livers, take a right at the milk crates and it’s just past the body of Jimmy Hoffa…), one would think it would be easy to find. Usually one must also confirm said directions with the lone old man donning a hair net and rubber gloves and way too much acne for someone over the age of 50, who is staring at you with his wandering lazy eye . He will, however, be elated to show you directly to the restroom door, only to wait outside and breathe heavily until you come back out.

There are a few different approaches one can take one you are actually inside the restroom. If you are lucky, the “management” has provided you with a “sani-cover”, aka a thin piece of tissue paper cut in the shape of a toilet seat which you are supposed to place atop the toilet seat to protect your nether-regions from the plethora of diseases hiding in the bowl. Most of the time, however, if you notice a receptacle for these papers, it will be out of stock.

At this time, take a look around the facility. You may need to get creative. Also, feel free to giggle outright at the glaringly ironic sign on the door which states, “If this facility requires attention, please alert one of our associates immediately.” Once you have finished laughing hysterically, resume your search for some other item which will allow you to separate your precious organs from impending infection. If there is no blow torch with which you might purify the seat nor a giant bottle of industrial strength bleach or lye, you may have to resort to a method most of us women are still trying to perfect … the “squat ‘n’ pee”.

WARNING: Do not make your first attempt at this endeavor in a particularly icky restroom. The author of this posting and the administrators of this blog take no responsibility for the injuries one may sustain and/or the diseases one may contract based on the advice provided herein. The following method requires months, if not years, of practice before one might be considered ready to “rock n roll”. We suggest you begin in the woods behind your house. Also, when practicing, please note your legs should always be uphill and upwind from your “spout”.

A few quick items to remember:

1. Be prepared. Realize you may fail at your first few attempts. For this reason, always keep large amounts of instant hand sanitizer within arm's reach at all times.

2. Build up your muscles. This includes not only your leg muscles but also those muscles that control the process of urination. Fortunately when we are potty trained, we pick up the ability to decide when and where to “go”. The ability to stop and start on a whim, however, can be a little more complicated. Practice at home in front of a mirror. Make it a game. See how quickly you can stop the stream from the moment you let it out.

3. Have a “Plan B”. Such a plan might include a family size bottle of instant hand sanitizer (just because it is labeled “hand-sanitizer” does not necessarily mean it can ONLY be used on hands), a spare pair of underwear and shoes, and a bottle of perfume (the latter is more for distraction from the scent of urine that will be emanating from your corpus should you fall).

Once you have been practicing for at least three months, you may feel you are ready to go forth and try your skills in the field. But before you do, try to commit the following cautionary tale to memory:

There once was a girl from Nantucket
Who tried to 'go' in a bucket
Though try as she might
She lost in the fight,
Fell on her ass and said f*%k it.

Good luck, ladies.

How to Prepare for Childbirth ... an Epistolary Caveat

A dear friend of mine wrote this while in the midst of her OB rotation. Some of you may find it helpful in the future while others of you will feel slighted for not being privy to this information prior to your own experiences...

Hello Friends,

Although being a student for 2 1/2 weeks in OB rotation does not make me any sort of expert on the subject I have learned a lot about what I would like for my own childbirth experience, or more importantly what I would NOT like and I thought I would share...

Some tips:

1. Unless you want to welcome your new child into the world by pumping
him out into a pile of your own feces, as soon as you go into labor, stop eating. In fact, best not eat anything in the last week before you are due. If you haven't appropriately emptied your bowels when the time has come, a quick stop off at the local drug store on the way to the hospital will put a laxative in your hands and a smile on your baby's face.

2. Please take a shower before you go the hospital. When you are scrubbing your undercarriage remember that more people than you have ever wanted or imagined are going to get close and personal with your chach. Pretend that Brad or Angelina or both are going to give you oral pleasure when you get out. Use regular soap first, then shampoo. A good friend of mine once told me that he prefers a girl with a little pubic hair because it holds the scent of the shampoo... whatever works.

3. Shave. It makes the whole process a lot more aesthetically pleasing.

4. If you ever want your husband to have sex with you again, do not let him watch the baby come out of you. If you have a fruity, sensitive husband he might find the experience spiritual. But he will not find it sexy, especially if you neglect to do any of the above mentioned steps. Even if you think that you are never going to want to have sex again you are still going to want your husband to want to have sex with you.

5. When it really starts to hurt, which it will, don't kid yourself - don't say "Ow" . "Ow" is a word reserved for boo boos and owies. When someone gets hit by a car and is lying there bleeding, they don't say "ow". Ow is lame. And if you use it no one is going to believe it really hurts that badly. And if you can't properly communicate your level of discomfort to your husband he is going to think you are a wuss.

6. If your doctor tells you that you need an episiotomy, let him do it. Imagine the difference between cutting your hand with a knife and having your skin pried apart until it tears on its own. Besides, if the doctor gives you an episiotomy you can hate him and get a new doctor next time. If your child gives you an episiotomy you are going to want to punch him in the balls everytime you look at his obscenely massive head.

7. Don't think you are tough for not getting an epidural. You are stupid. Really very stupid.

8. Don't get pregnant when you are 15. Even if your boyfriend promises that he will love you forever. He will not love you when you are fat, which you will be when you are pregnant, even if it is the baby that is making you fat. Your boyfriend is 15 and most likely dopic and doesn't know the difference.

9. Don't get excited and think your baby is "easy
-going"/"special"/"quiet"/"sweet" when it sleeps all day and night at the hospital. That's what they do. Their tiny brains are exhausted from being squished through your pelvis. Their brains will reinflate and they will start crying just in time to make your life miserable with lots of crying when you get home. Good luck with that.

If you need a recommendation for good birth control, please call.



Things to do in an Elevator

Next time you step into an elevator, try something new...
  • Push every single button for every single floor.
  • When the elevator starts moving, wrap your arms around the waist of another passenger and say "Hold me. I'm scared."
  • Lie down. If the elevator is especially crowded, ask people to move. Then lie down.
  • Put your hands in someone else's pockets. Then say, "Oh, excuse me. I thought those were mine."
  • Eat Pop-Rocks.
  • Belch. Loudly. Observe.
  • Fart. Quietly. Observe.
  • Bark.
  • Face the inside of the elevator.
  • Ask the guy next you if "that rash ever cleared up?"
  • Start humming the tune to "Bonanza". Get progressively louder with each segment of the song.
  • Start a mosh pit.
  • Take off your shoes.
  • Bring a drink. Every time you take a sip, exclaim "Ahhhhhhh" and smack your lips.
  • Duck suddenly.
  • Breakdance.

How To Manipulate Time and Space

Actually, I'm still working on the "space" thing, but I think I've found the key to manipulating time (and it has nothing to do with such complicated technology as flux capacitors)...

Don't you just hate when a maniacal madman hides a ticking time-bomb in the basement of your office building (you know, the kind with the giant, red, blinking, digital numbers letting you know just how many seconds you have left until "boom"-doom)? Meanwhile, the sexy bomb-squad leader who resembles Brad Pitt/Val Kilmer/Ewan McGregor/young Robert Redford/[insert attractive-man-of-choice here] is stuck in traffic on the BQE/George Washington Bridge/GSP/NJ Turnpike/[insert well-known-traffic-heavy-route here]? A crowd has gathered 'round the explosives now ... your boss' forehead is glistening with beads of sweat ... a frightening silence spreads across the room ... tick-tick-tick (okay, so digital clocks don't "tick", but for the sake of suspense, bear with me)... five ... four ... Where is our hero? ... three ...
We're all gonna blow! ... two ... Suddenly you realize ... it's up to you to save the day ...

It's moment like these when the power to control time would come in especially handy. That's why I've decided to share my secret with the likes of you, dear readers. Just choose one of these simple methods and you'll be the one receiving accolades for your brilliant display of cunning wit and bravery under pressure...

1. Fall in love (or lust or just really-really like someone). Call your "obsession" when you KNOW s/he is unavailable. Leave a message. Now stare at your phone and "will" him/her to call you back. Under NO circumstances should you divert your attention away from your phone. DO NOT engage in any other activities that may distract you from your purpose (remember, you are trying to control time here -- it may take a little extra concentration than you are used to exerting and even something as mundane as trimming your toenails may interfere with the process). Repeat the following mantra and do not desist until either someone does call you back or the crisis is averted: Call me. Call me. Call me. Trust me, time will decelerate to a slow crawl...

2. Go to the DMV. I am convinced every single Department of Motor Vehicles office was built over some sort of strange time-bending magnetic field that causes not only those who are employed within the building to move inexplicably slowly (think: molasses on queludes), but also causes the second-hand of any analog clock to move 2 seconds backwards for every 1 second forward. This may also work in post offices. It's probably a government conspiracy employed to distract us from larger issues (such as global warming, war-spending, genocide in certain African countries, and what Taco Bell "meat" is really made of), but while we're allowing ourselves to have the wool pulled over our eyes, we might as well get something in return.

3. Get a job. I think we can all agree that the hours between 9am and 5pm (or whatever 8+ hours you put in before "Miller-Time") tend to spread themselves over about 14 hours on average. Seriously. If you don't believe me, do the math.

4. Build a time machine. (I'm not claiming that I know anything about how to go about doing this, but it just seemed like I should include it on this list.)

5. Visit some old people. The more old people you can fit into a room, the better. Ask them to tell you stories about their various gall bladder/hip-knee-shoulder replacement/artificial heart surgeries. This may seem like a waste of your precious time, but studies have shown that God actually slows time down while old people talk about disgusting medical procedures just so you can feel yourself aging while listening to them .

Any one or combination of the above mentioned methods should do the trick. And if you notice a blip in the time-space continuum sometime within the next few days, it's probably just me trying to save the world/waiting for my boyfriend to call/registering my car/sitting at my desk/and listening to Grandma Highway talk about her kidney stones.

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old

... or ditch the old ones. Really, there is something to be said for a little housecleaning every now and then...

With that in mind, what does it mean to be someone's friend? Why is it so difficult to maintain (not to mention make) friendships after the age of 25-ish? Are all people simply jerks in the end?

It seems as if the older we get, the more difficult it is to maintain friendships, especially with those we connected with long ago and now find that connection to be fraying. Let's face it -- things change. Perhaps in order to fully understand/accept this fact, it may be helpful to look at how we develop friendships throughout the years:

1. childhood friends. Many of these start very early. They usually involve a fight over a shovel in the sandbox or the need to have someone push you on the swingset. In reality it's often you, the kids, who bring your parents together and if the 'rents get along and start socializing, you will find yourself forced to spend time with this other child at picnics, birthday parties, vacations, etc. I call this a friendship of proximity (and perhaps to some extent this type of friendship transcends time -- which is to say not a specific friendship, but Friendship as a whole -- do we not simply affiliate and grow an affinity for those who we spend the majority of our time with and are not these relationships governed by accessibility?). Furthermore, as children, we certainly have no political views, for example, over which to conflict. When our worst problems are poopy pants and arguing over whose mommy packs the best lunch, we can get along with mostly anyone.

2. junior high school friendships. Ladies, let's be honest. Who really had a true friend in junior high? We were mostly too busy talking behind each other's backs, deciding who to align oneself with in the lunchroom and worrying about whether or not people knew when we had our periods to even bother ourselves with so-called "friends". The only criterion a girl had to meet to be your friend in junior high school was that she had to be willing to rush into the bathroom during a school dance to stand around and watch you cry over Johnny Heartbreaker, the boy you had a crush on who had been slow-dancing with that bitch Suzy McSluttypants all night.

3. high school friends. You have survived junior high school and now you have made your way into what you can only assume is the biggest part of the proverbial sea of life (of course you are categorically incorrect in this assumption, but what do you know about life when you are between the ages of 14 and 18 anyway?). You are out on your own, swimming with the sharks! As a little fish, your only option is to find some slightly bigger/stronger/prettier fish to swim around with. This is the key to making friends in high school. If you are lucky, you are cute enough that the cute girls let you hang around with them. If you are athletic (and good at your chosen sport) you can rest assured that your team will protect you. Even band geeks seem to form a united front. Just don't find yourself wading into those deep waters on your own. It's about survival, folks, and we all know what we call the little fishy playing in the water all alone: "lunch".

4. college friends. Once you have gotten over the shock of having left everything/everyone you know and (think you) love for the wild world of dorm/university life, you will probably come to a few startling revelations: a. You are a dork. Even if you thought you were cool in high school you really weren't. You were a dork and you are STILL a dork. b. There are people who come to this realization a little later in life (and still some that never do). These are dorks who don't know they are dorks. c. Booze is the great equalizer. It enables dorks and those who don't think they are dorks but are dorks to find a sense of comraderie. It also leads to making out, but that is an issue for another post. The problem arises when the booze wears off. At this point those who don't think they are dorks but actually are dorks may turn into any combination of the following: mean/ugly/flighty/catty/two-faced. They will probably exhibit behavior akin to that of those girls one used to hang out with in junior high school. I have yet to account for the reason behind this regression. The solution? Stay drunk at all times in college. You will be very, very popular. And you will probably make out with a lot of people. You slut.

5. post-collegiate friendships. Congratulations! You have finally graduated to the "real world", a world in which people can handle mature relationships and balance that with appropriate office etiquette, excellent driving skills, husbands, wives, children, vacations, grocery shopping, taxes, electric bills, the stock market, oil changes, alarm clocks, etc. Of course, the abovementioned "real world" only exists if you live in a 1950's sitcom. For most of us, that "real life" thing hits us with the grace of an elephant on roller skates. It's a rat race/neverending puzzle/shitstorm/pickyourmetaphor and hold on. And to muck it all up even more, those close friends you thought you had have all gotten married/had kids/joined a convent/moved to Canada. Maybe you have gotten married/had kids/joined a convent/moved to Canada. At any rate, it becomes harder and harder to maintain those friendships you swore you'd never give up on. It becomes easier and easier to stay in on Friday night with your honey instead of meeting up with the "crew"/"forget" to call someone back/watch an entire season of "Project Runway" in one sitting instead of inviting someone over for dinner. And let's not even get into those "friends" who suddenly decide they don't like the way you've started living your life and decide to TELL you how you should...

So, Rocket, you say, What's the solution? Well, kids, the trick is to find people who aren't jerks. Also, finding people who enjoy the same activities as you is also helpful. Actually, you don't even have to enjoy the same activities -- it's usually enough to just participate in similar activities. Also, booze never stops working. It's a fact. And finally, remember not to be a jerk yourself. If someone calls you, call them back, even if it's to say you're too busy to chat/hang. Be honest, but keep your opinions to yourself. Make time to connect. And start a blog. Follow these rules and you'll never fail. Just remember, your love will get you through. Witness:

rockethutchinsonhighway: i'm writing a piece for the blog on making/keeping friends. i hope you don't mind (I know you have been thinking about this).

Sara*: you bitch!

rockethutchinsonhighway: haha

Sara*: just kidding - obvi

rockethutchinsonhighway: our friendship is over , isn't it?

Sara*: go right ahead sister. you should add this to your post

rockethutchinsonhighway:i will

Sara*: ha

(Please note: Rocket Hutchinson Highway and Sara* are still BFF after the previous exchange. True friends? For sure.)

We'll Really Miss the Way You ...

In honor of the untimely death of ex-model/diet spokesperson/ is-she-drunk-or-really-like-that?/ media whore, Miss Anna Nicole Smith, I have created a template for you with which you can create your own eulogy for the Mistress of Trim-Spa. Just copy and paste into the comments section and fill in the blanks (remember mad-libs?) and try to avoid such inane generalizations like those of the eye-brow-challenged Nancy Grace who dropped such gems last night on CNN as "It's hard to fathom that this could happen to someone, frankly, so beautiful..." That what could happen? DIE? Beautiful people don't... die? ... er ... uh ... just try to stay classy, folks-- after all, we would like to protect this blog's reputation.

"What a ______ (adjective) day this is."
That's what Anna Nicole would say, no matter what the weather was or what situation she was facing. So even though we are _________ (participial adjective ending in -ed such as saddened, disheartened, etc.) by our loss, we can be comforted knowing Anna Nicole Smith is having a __________ (adjective) day in ________(place).
Today we celebrate her life and the impact she's had on all of us. And let us not forget the way she always handled herself with _______(noun) and ________ (noun) when times were less-than-perfect.
Anna Nicole could always sense when something wasn't quite right in your life.
Call it intuition or insight or perhaps just an abundance of ______ (noun) for her family and friends. It was easy to talk to her, share whatever your problem was, big or small, and she always had a ________ (noun) for you chock full of ________ (noun).
I'm going to miss that.
Most recently, Anna Nicole could frequently be found in _________ (place) working on her ________ (noun). It seemed the older she got the bigger her _________ (body part or internal organ) got. I'm convinced it was that abundance of _______ (noun) that kept the _________ (noun)____________ (verb ending in -ing) moreso than anyone else around.
Her spirit lives on in all of us. Her _________ (adjective) love of __________ (noun) will not be forgotten.

(Not) Workin' It

I'm usually not overly critical of the way people dress, but today I noticed a disturbing "fashion" (note: quotation marks indicating sardonic tone) trend that is causing -- no -- propelling me to feel I must take a stand. Ladies, I comment on this for purely altruistic (and probably aesthetic) reasons and in no way does the following statement reflect the way I feel about anyone personally, should you find yourself fitting into the category I am about to expound upon. That said ...

It is entirely inappropriate to wear a velour or brushed fleece sweatsuit to work. If you are unclear as to what exactly I mean, here's a picture:

And here's another one:

These "offenders" were taken directly from the QVC website. Clearly, however, someone on QVC "got wise" to the usage malapropos of their wares and included the following explanatory text in their description:

  • Step out in completely coordinated comfort and style. This three-piece set is a perfect fit for running errands, a casual day at home, or for a friend's laid-back fiesta.

Case in point: Work is neither "running errands", "a casual day at home", nor is it "a friend's laid-back fiesta". If you are still unclear as to whether you can wear such attire around the office, it's best that you avoid QVC altogether.

Also, please note that just because your butt says "juicy", that does not mean you are exempt from the commentary regarding the above mentioned articles of clothing. Furthermore, bedazzling your accouterments with holiday-color-specific rhinestones does not metamorphose your clothing into "business casual".

For any other questions or concerns, please post comments. I will return fire as I see fit.