New beginnings, new purpose

Ok, so it’s been, I don’t know, a year and a half since my last post. I’m sure you’ve all slept at night and managed without one… but I’m feeling a renewed sense of purpose… so I give to you the new (and slightly more focused)… SnarkSense!

Drum roll, please….

SnarkSense Gets Fit!!

Highly original, I know, with all the thousands of fitness and weight loss journey blogs out there. I’m leaving my old posts up because I can’t promise I won’t occasionally post a bit of randomness… but for now, the fit journey it is.

Let’s make something clear right now. I am not your standard fitness blogger. I am nowhere NEAR close to reaching anything close to my goal weight, and this is 100% a struggle for me. I am not having an easy go of it (though I have had easier times in the past). At my heaviest, back in high school, I weighed about 220 lbs., and at my lightest, I was about 148 lbs. (though I was pretty sick at the time, and it wasn’t cute.) Now… gulp… I weigh 193.8 lbs. as of my last weigh-in. I am dying a little inside that I just said that publicly where the both of you reading this can see it, but I suppose if I am going to do this to help keep myself accountable, I should probably be honest, right?

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me a few years ago, probably about 215 lbs. and me a few weeks ago at around 196 lbs.

I’ve gotten pretty serious about this whole endeavor. I’m on an 8 Week Transformation Challenge right now… with Fitness By Example. Mike, the trainer and owner… is FANTASTIC. I love him. I’m partaking in the challenge virtually because I no longer live close enough to go to boot camp there regularly… so I go to the Fit Body Boot Camp Orlando classes. I love them, too. I also go to the regular gym. Basically… it takes several teams of people to keep me on point. And the Internets. Which means you.

So basically, here’s where I stand on this journey:

-I have been fluctuating within the same 5 lbs. or so FOR MONTHS… which is beyond frustrating.

-I’m in Week 2 of the Challenge… I lost 2 lbs. the first week. While this is good, I can’t help being frustrated that the last time I did this challenge, I lost 10 lbs. the first week (and then stalled out for the 2 weeks after that. So maybe this time I am the tortoise? I WILL WIN!)

-I haven’t had any soda, diet or otherwise, in about 14 months… So I guess we can say, if nothing else, that’s the one healthier habit that has stuck.

-I struggle with being tired all of the time because of some sort of as-yet-diagnosed issue which is challenging, but so far, I manage to push through (some days are better than others) anyway

-My nutrition is the best it’s been in my life… but still, I have a ways to go

-I have a lot of muscle! You can’t see any of it because I have a nice, plush layer of fat hiding it all, but I swear, it’s there!!

So that’s where I’m at, you’re more or less updated. (Captivating, I know).

This brings me to the first thing about this journey I want to share with you.

Boot camp workouts are TOUGH. They may only be 30 minutes, but there’s basically no rest at all. This is good, because right about the time I want to burn the building down, it’s all over. I highly recommend them for people who have short attention spans.

But the point is, some women say “I don’t sweat, I sparkle.”

Let’s get one thing straight– there will be no sparkling. I sweat. And I don’t just sweat. I SWEAT.

Like, four minutes into a workout, I’m dripping off whatever makeup I’m wearing, and spraying sweat when I exhale. There is nothing cute about this. Then, I get home and my dogs think I’m a salt lick. (It’s not out of the ordinary to hear me yelling that ‘we don’t lick armpits in this house’ to the dogs.)

But man, afterwards, after my heart stops beating 165488765 times a minute and I’m certain I won’t die… it feels GOOD.

Because after all, sweat is just fat crying, right?

So thanks for reading… I promise it won’t be another year and a half until my next post… and we’ll see where this takes us!

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Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement…

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So that pretty much sums it up.

Marriage in 74 days.

This is written on our refrigerator white board, Hubby-to-Be started the countdown this past weekend (which I’m not going to lie, is one of the cutest things EVER. He came into the bedroom and demanded I look at the fridge and was so proud of himself.)

It has me in a minor panic.

When you get engaged a good two and a half years before you’re planning on actually tying the knot, it definitely seems like forever away from the day. And when you pick the venue and the flowers, DJ and photographer about two months after getting engaged, and more than a year and a half away from getting away, you feel like you have all this time.

And then it’s less than three months away and you realize it’s probably a good idea to pretend this is happening and get your shit together.

Luckily, although we are getting married in New York and are living in Florida, (and planning a wedding at home is just insane), we have a lot of great support at home and they are amazing.

But I’m still on the verge of a panic attack. (Well, not every day. But I can see to some extent why the Bridezilla nonsense happens).

It only occurred to me like three days ago I should probably figure out if the people I wanted to do my hair and makeup were available and willing. Luckily, they are. (Thank GOD!)

I still haven’t managed to figure out any of the music stuff. What do you play in the church? And sitting down and listing out all the stuff for the DJ… ugh, my blood pressure is rising just thinking about it. (This is coming from the bride that took three separate visits in order to register at Bed Bath & Beyond. The whole idea of asking for people to give you things was bizarre to me, even though it’s the norm. I was totally overwhelmed by the gadget wall and refused to do it until the last trip. I also didn’t want the consultants following me around because I felt pressured at first… like seriously? I clearly have issues. I did let them come, though, in the end they were helpful. Although I had to make a point of telling them to stop trying to get me to select bread makers and ice cream makers and the makers of all the random things I decided I would never make. They kept telling me I was the weirdest bride they’d ever worked with because usually they are more excited, and here I am, trying not to hyperventilate).

(hmmm, maybe I should have asked for the ice cream maker. I also never thought I’d be making jewelry and crafting, so who knows.)

And then the bridal store didn’t want to do Saturday fittings. Seriously? Tell me, are they under the impression the magical wedding fairy is paying for all this? Do they not realize people work? Also, I am 1200 miles away and we bought 13 dresses from you. Figure it out! You knew six months before my initial consultation I live out of state! (That advance notice was probably excessive. It’s the producer in me.)

And once I managed to get them to bring someone in for a Saturday fitting, now I worry that the dress won’t be altered appropriately. (I’m not tiny, but managed to shed a few pounds. Dress was originally sized for my bottom-heavy hips, and I’m smaller on top, and ugh.)

And everyone is always asking where our honeymoon is.

We don’t have one.

First, I’m taking off a week and a half just for the wedding because of the distance factor… so for a nice honeymoon, I’d be off for like 3 weeks… and let’s just say I like my job. (Although I must admit, they are really accommodating, that does seem a bit much. We’d rather spread our vacation out for a little reprieve later in the year).

And again… there’s no little honeymoon fairy. So we will just have something else to look forward to later in the year 🙂

I totally lost all momentum in this post. I forget where I was going here… SEE WHAT THIS DOES TO ME?!

I guess the key points are: Hubby-to-Be is being real cute about the wedding… Only 11.6 more pounds until my weight-loss goal (well… the attainable goal. What I originally wanted eventually became physically impossible without being sick)… planning an out-of-state wedding (not destination wedding, like full-blown Long Island-style deal)… and I clearly need to go to sleep.

Oh! That jewelry I mentioned? Like me on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/renengadejewelsshop

I like sparkly things and I put them together.

(Don’t judge, I just started.)

I JUST ALMOST WENT BRIDEZILLA ON MY LAPTOP, YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW! This entire pointless post was just nearly deleted and I can. not. deal.

Anyone know why my laptop randomly selects things and deletes them and skips around while I type? I am going CRAZY! (well, crazier).

UGH.

By the way… what movie is the title from? 🙂

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The American dream…

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Actually, that image is me apologizing to myself.

Despite working in television, I really do not watch that much of it– at all.

Except for HGTV.

I watch a RIDICULOUS and totally inordinate amount of time watching HGTV fantasizing about a house I don’t even own. (In fact, as Hubby-to-Be and I sat here this evening looking at listings for homes we have no hope to buy in anything that’s remotely considered the near future, I said more than once that I could assist with any renovations because “I watch HGTV.”)

(I don’t actually think that qualifies me to renovate much. I am not that much of a twat, I promise. However– I am not TOTALLY hopeless… I mean… I figured out how to make jewelry, right?!? I can probably paint a room or arrange tile in a pretty design, right? I mean, if Hubby-to-Be thinks he has solid experience as an electrician because he worked with one for three months, then clearly, not only are we READY to take on a fixer-upper, we can probably build a shelter equivalent to a child’s homemade blanket fort.)

(We GOT this.)

Anyway– I LOVE looking at houses, floor plans, renovation shows, the whole thing.

But the thing about HGTV I can neither understand, nor keep my blood from boiling over, (though clearly their tactics work because I continue to tune in regardless), is the unimaginative & annoying homeowners they cast. (Buffy…)

Okay, so yes, I get that it’s not true reality. I would wager about 90% of the time the Love It or List It people already know what they really want to do and are just looking for a discount renovation, and I’ve heard the House Hunters people are totally staged.

I also have worked in some manner of reality TV before and now work in news, and yes, I understand scripting, and editing and all that nonsense, but here’s the thing. Even if we WERE going to edit things together totally out of context (which on a serious note, I am totally against and is totally unethical, but that’s a serious journalistic rant for another time and place), you STILL HAVE TO SAY AND DO THE STUPID STUFF in order for us to string it together!

For example– Every SINGLE episode of Buying & Selling or Property Brothers I’ve ever seen where the couple/family insists on living in the home while it’s being renovated, they all spend approximately 85% of the time whining about how it’s such a pain to live in a home that’s in the middle of being renovated and less than 10% being grateful for what they’re getting, and whatever’s left is when they finally act like acceptable humans. I’m talking tears, confessional cameras with heavy, panicked breathing, anxiety over having to sit on the floor to eat, the whole nine. Um… okay, A. YOU CHOSE THIS. You SIGNED up. I’ve lived in a home that was being renovated before, too, and I am against washing dishes in the tub as much as the next person, but are you seriously that ungrateful you can’t see what you’re getting and there’s a means to the end? Really? I would LOVE for those adorable brothers to come hook up some dump of a house into the Taj Mahal for me, I don’t care how inconvenienced I am for a few weeks. (Apparently I have no B. here, but you get the point.)

Then, there’s the aforementioned Love It or List It. If you’re unfamiliar, the gist is, one person hates their house because they were stupid when they bought it and didn’t realize what a disaster it is, and other person is fully convinced that despite the fact that it’s an 800-square-foot shack, somehow when the magician designer is finished, they will be living in a 4-bedroom, 5-bath McMansion, on a $30,000 budget. Inevitably, both people once again come off like unimaginative spoiled brats. They’re stunned they can’t get a larger, fully renovated, stunning home in their same city neighborhood while only paying $25,000 more than their current home is worth. Who ARE these people? And if the producers script it, are we supposed to hate them? I don’t get it. And how do they manage to only find people with current homes that will have some sort of totally shocking, completely devastating and budget-eating must-fix-now-or-die issues? What do the producers put in these casting call requirements? I won’t even touch on how awful the hosts’ banter is.

And finally, House Hunters. These people are perhaps the most unrealistic of all. They never seem to understand why they aren’t getting a perfectly designed and decorated home with huge rooms, the exact paint colors they want, right on the beach, for their $175,000 budget (or insert whatever is a ridiculously low budget in your area here). What do you MEAN I can’t have a penthouse suite on Park Avenue for a song and $10K? Most of the time they pass up homes I would be THRILLED to own,  because there’s yellow paint in the living room, the carpet has a stain, or the driveway is on the left instead of the right. Do any of these people have any idea how that sounds? That’s not even talking about the guy who had to have all his sisters accompany him to check out townhouses whose chief complaint was whether his garage would be good enough for his “baby”, which was admittedly, a beautiful red sports car of some sort, that he spent FAR too much time petting in the episode. Or the guy who kept complaining living rooms weren’t big enough for his Sunday Football multi-TV setup… and when they cut to him at the end, he had a flatscreen TV wired to the wall, and then what looked like 2 different 13-inch woodgrain wrapped tube TVs from 1973 atop barrels. (Classy. I can see why you made your wife forego all the houses she liked for this). Or the lady that thought giving a home character meant painting the beautiful cherry cabinets varying, non-matching shades of green. The list goes on.

I get that the shows have to be entertaining, but it does make me mad that all my favorite designers only work in Canada and the people they choose to do cool stuff for on the shows are rude to them the whole time. (Well, most of them.)

So here I sit… typing this post, petting my dog, and planning my upcoming weekend of HGTV watching.

I have no life.

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Some assembly required

I have spent the last few days crafting.

I have spent far too many waking hours in a craft store.

This is because, under some likely misguided notion, I have decided to make several items for my wedding (which is in less than three months at this point, but we’ll not think about that right now, because I’m pretty sure I will have a heart attack if I think about all that’s left to do.)

GULP.

Anyway, no one tells you that once you get engaged (and are wanting on the funding aspect of things), you suddenly think you’re Martha Stewart, and rather than buy all of the wonderful things on Etsy that you’re obsessed with (and there are A LOT of them), you are clearly qualified to make them all yourself. And then, once you get around to it (no more than one year but pretty down to the wire) you spend an inordinate amount of both time and money scouring websites and stores to buy all your supplies.

Not only have I decided to wrangle peacock feathers into a sort of addition to my already-selected and beautiful flower centerpieces, but I also became obsessed with all the beautiful beads and things at Joann’s and Michael’s and- poof!- I am suddenly a jewelry designer.

Making your own jewelry is fun– but now my hands hurt, it costs more than you think it does, and now I have to sell it all in order to feel like it was worthwhile. (Luckily, I did make a few things with an actual purpose, so Hubby-to-Be hasn’t questioned it… yet.)

(Anyone need a beautiful beaded necklace? They’re actually quite good, email me at snarksense@gmail.com if you’re interested, as I’m writing this blog post instead of setting up an Etsy store of my own for people to then make things themselves based off of).

It’s also, as I’m sure you’re aware, New Year’s Eve. (For some of you, possibly Day at this point, but you know.)

This jewelry nonsense– and this blog– has me thinking about what’s to come in 2014.

After months of kicking around the idea, I finally started writing, so the both of you can enjoy my ramblings… (which I do appreciate, by the way.)

I randomly spent 4 days of my much-too-short holiday vacation making jewelry, which I actually enjoyed and quite possibly may try to continue to do, and maybe make a little side business out of it.

The possibilities are endless.

And that’s an encouraging thought. Hubby-to-Be and I haven’t had that great a year– I don’t mean as far as our relationship, but just as in things happening, or lack thereof. It seems 2013 hasn’t been the year a lot of my friends and family wanted it to be. Looking back, there were certainly things we could have done without (ahem… pretty much the entire month of September)… and we definitely miss being home in New York immensely, but also, some really great things happened.

New jobs, new friends, time with other members of our family, living together again, overcoming challenges, figuring some things out… and even though sometimes it seems like every step forward results in ten steps back, it’s about the journey. (At least, I keep telling myself that. Sometimes you just have to.)

A good friend of mine recently posted something that has given me a lot of thought. I am stalking his Facebook page now, but can’t find the exact post, so here’s the gist: We don’t really need a new year to make a resolution. Yeah, it gives it a mark and a starting point, but if you want to make a change, you don’t need to wait for the time when people just do it. Most people don’t even keep their resolutions (here’s looking at you, annoying gym people… I mean, can’t wait to battle you for a spot in Body Pump! -.- )

If there’s a change you want to make, stop making excuses and make it.

I know better than anyone that that’s a nice sentiment and all, that life’s actually much more difficult than that at times, and things don’t always work out the way you plan, but they aren’t GOING to work if you give yourself an out.

So I’m not going to make any resolutions this year.

Instead, I’m going to continue to work to get healthy and lose weight. I’m going to walk down the aisle in my dream white (well, ivory) dress in precisely 70 days, marry the man that fits with me better than I ever could have imagined, and we will start this new chapter and build our lives together. There are changes we need to make, things we need to learn, ways we need to grow, challenges we need to undertake… and we will figure out a way do it all. It may not be complete this year– but it will all happen at some point.

There is no such thing as can’t.

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Jingle all the way

Happy Holidays, Snarklets!

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas… I know here at the Snarkstead, it was eventful. We had a really nice day with family, though we really miss everyone at home and wish we could also celebrate with them.

I hosted my first Christmas dinner… and I didn’t make anyone sick and it was reasonably tasty! SUCCESS!

However… it may very well be my first and last roasted turkey. Seriously, there’s a reason it took me so many years to roast one (outside of the fact that we have so many amazing family members like my mom, who makes a great turkey and so why the hell should I mess with it?).

But no, the bigger issue is… why in the HELL do they leave all that mess inside the turkey? I don’t care what kind of “amazing” stuffing you make (I do NOT like stuffing… the consistency, ugh, everything, it makes me shudder, though I’m sure you personally make really tasty stuffing to those that do enjoy it), you do not need your turkey liver/heart to be in the damn bird. Can’t they do it so people buy it separately? You’re not even “supposed” to cook the stuffing inside the bird anymore, so why must that mess be in there?

Dear Butterball (& Publix and whomever else farms out these turkeys),

Please stop packaging your birds with the internal organs and gross necks inside. They. Are. Nasty. And, if you’re an inexperienced bird roaster (like me), and stupid enough to feel that you can defy the laws of physics and defrost the bird faster than all Googled sites recommend (like me), not only are they absolutely disgusting, they pose a much bigger problem. Frozen projectiles. You see, if the bird only appears to be defrosted because the breast meat is, but the inside of the bird is still frozen (like mine), and you decide it’s  a really good idea to run it under cool water (like me) and then CHIP AWAY AT THE ICE INSIDE (like me), the organs, and the unidentifiable liquid that’s not water, not exactly blood, and so it upsets me to try to even wonder what bodily fluid it could be, goes flying around the kitchen in ice form (You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!!). So as even the most casual of observers note, they actually pose a HUGE threat. They become a weapon, they spread salmonella unwittingly around the food prep area, and are just generally offensive. (Also, what do you do to the turkeys’ necks to make them so curved? Just a little to the left…  I’ve never seen a turkey’s neck look like that in the wild… actually… don’t answer that. I probably don’t want to know.) Then, I can’t actually touch them, because I’m gagging, so I not only have to use a paper towel to pick them up, but Hubby-to-Be is both annoyed and laughing hysterically because I’m wasting paper towels and so ridiculous he can’t even stand it (story of my life.)

So, please, stop. I was too young to get my grandmother’s recipes that would require such parts, and even if I hadn’t been, thinking about them is making my stomach hurt as it is. For those that do use those recipes, separate packaging would work well. They could still be a package deal, just that if you don’t want them, you don’t pick that package up. Work it out.

Sincerely,

A Decidedly Undomestic Future Wife

However, I made a FANTASTIC peppermint-chocolate cheesecake with chocolate ganache topping. That, plus the ridiculous amount of amazing cookies from my mother-in-law-to-be and the 75 chocolate truffles Renegade the dog “got me for Christmas” (yes, this is real and not an exaggeration) is the reason I nearly cried over my Weight Watchers weigh-in today. Only 12 weeks until White Dress Day and not only am I nowhere near my original weight loss goal, I am 14 lbs away from the one I set on a contingency basis when it became clear if I lost 35 lbs between now and then someone would likely hospitalize me (apparently several spin classes and a Pilates class thrown in for good measure doesn’t combat the 17 lbs of chocolate I ate this week. Who knew?!?)

By the way… the lyrics: “Oh, what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh”… what happened to the eight reindeer plus Rudolph?!?! Santa’s sleigh isn’t pulled by a HORSE!

Clearly, it’s time for bed.

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I volunteer as tribute

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A new “Worst Drivers” ranking came out a couple of weeks ago.

You can find it here: http://www.carinsurancecomparison.com/which-states-have-the-worst-drivers/

Well, it’s taken me this long to come to terms with it, because they claim the #1 worst drivers are apparently in Louisiana… Florida’s are the 6th worst.

Stop it.

I feel like this cannot at ALL be accurate. Have you people ever DRIVEN in Florida? Keep in mind that at some point, all the worst drivers from everywhere else come here to visit or live. (Thanks, Mickey.)

A good friend of mine recently wrote a really good post describing the different types of drivers: http://cynicalsassypants.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/road-warrior/

This is all pretty much accurate.

Because, you see, the title of this post is pretty much how I feel EVERY time I get into my car to get on the road, especially during rush hours and/or when required to drive on a highway. I feel like I am heading into a battle to the death.

Drivers here are INSANE. First, you’ve got that death-trap otherwise known as I-4. Then, no one has any idea what a blinker is, much less how it is to be used and what it indicates. Forget when any sort of weather or electronic device is involved. No one knows how to merge, how to park, how to do pretty much anything that one is generally required to know when driving.

I-4 is a highway that runs between Daytona and Tampa, roughly, for those who don’t know. Especially through the Orlando-area, it is bendy, and there are accidents constantly. One of the things that baffles me the most is that motorcycle riders aren’t required to wear helmets here, and most of them don’t. How in the HELL does this make sense to anyone? They don’t wear helmets, but they have jackets or bumper stickers that warn car drivers to “Look twice, save a life”, in regards to bikers, and they weave in and out of traffic, drive on lane lines, hang out in your blind spots, etc. Oh, okay, so if my vehicle is small enough to fit anywhere I think I can bring it, it’s totally acceptable to put it there. (That’s what she said.)

Hubby-to-Be wants a motorcycle. No. As it is, he thinks he’s damn Speed Racer and some sort of professional driver. “Don’t worry, I know exactly what I’m doing, I got this.” -.- Yeah, and you’ll also have my foot up your ass. Stop driving like a tool. (Love youuuu.)

Not that I’ve never used my cell phone while driving, but listen, if you look up and are approximately 234 car lengths behind the car in front of you, people are either honking, or swerving wildly to get out of the lane and pass you, you should probably put the phone down and pay attention to where you’re going.

This also applies to people who like to drive approximately 7 mph. If people are having the same reaction to your progress to the one I just described, either get moving, or if you don’t actually need to be anywhere, stay home, because I do and you’re bothering me. Please at least drive the speed limit.

Florida also has a law where if there’s vehicles stopped on the shoulder, you’re supposed to move over into the next lane to give them some breathing room. This is a great idea; even in New York, there has been cops killed or people trying to change a tire or whatever and killed because some idiot isn’t paying attention and clips them.

Except it doesn’t work if the buttheads that approach the vehicle first move over… and then drive about 13 mph so they can watch the person trying to change a tire and box you in so that you can’t move over. Seriously? What could POSSIBLY be so interesting about changing a tire? If you don’t know how to do it, while you’re in transit is certainly not the time to learn, so KEEP GOING.

Then there’s the blinker issue. I realize a blinker isn’t a demand for me to change lanes, or merge, or turn, etc… merely a request. But I see you as you try as hard as you can to pretend you don’t see it. You’re not fooling anyone. I want to punch you in the throat because you’re purposely not letting me in and I know it. So can you at least speed up and get out of the damn way so I can make it over? (By the way, you are SO right. You are so totally going to get to your destination SO much sooner because you didn’t let me in.)

And let’s talk about holiday shopping. This is where all people, native, transplant or tourist, seem to feel they can make up parking spaces wherever they wish, disregard ALL rules of the road, and dart across the road on one of the busiest streets in Central Florida all because they are going shopping. And no one does anything about stopping the madness. BOGGLES my mind.

I’m pretty sure I was almost shot in the face back on Black Friday over a parking space. This was after I stalked three men for about ten minutes through the parking lot until they remembered where they parked. I WORKED for that spot, dammit! (You’ve done it. You know how it is at the big mall wherever you are. Everyone else magically stumbles upon the person that just happens to be leaving next to you, but you have to hunt these people down.) THEN they try to pull in it from the opposite direction?! I do not think so. Luckily, they seemed to sense my level of rage at this point, so they backed up… but as I continued to yell from the safety of my car (windows up, I am not TRYING to get shot), they actually sat there in their car and watched me for awhile. So I waited until they left and took a zigzag route up the aisles until I got to the mall entrance. (I avoided this mall when I finished my shopping this past weekend.)

But that’s pretty much how it is here– how is a Long Island girl supposed to survive? I have to yell and scream at you as I drive. It’s in my blood. You can take the girl outta Long Island, but you can’t take the Long Island outta the girl. Maybe suck less at driving and then I won’t have to.

Oh– did you read the fine print on the ranking link?

Worst Ranking Factor: Careless Driving: 51st

(In case you’re wondering how they got 51 out of only 50 states, they’re counting Washington D.C. as one. It may or may not have taken me a good 5 minutes to figure this out.)

THE MOST CARELESS DRIVERS IN THE COUNTRY.

Ah. Yes. It all makes sense now.

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Dear parents of teenage girls…

Christmas shopping with just 4 days until the big day is always a hassle.

People are animals, they park in random places that are decidedly not parking spots, and you feel like you’re taking your life in your hands by being anywhere near a mall or shopping center.

This isn’t what bothered me today.

Before I go much farther, I will make this clear that this is going to be a rant of sorts. If you’re a parent, especially one of a teenage girl, stick around… if you’re not, but like a good rant, this is for you. If you’re none of the above… see you tomorrow 🙂

Still with me?

It was like 85 degrees in Central Florida. I still can’t get over it being that hot around Christmas, the New Yorker in me is having a tough time feeling festive.

I went to the mall to purchase the last few gift items… and as usual during this time of year, it was a complete zoo.

But the absolute worst thing was the amount of ass on full display.

I don’t mean one or two adults.

I mean dozens of teenage girls with their butt cheeks hanging so far out of their barely-there “denim shorts”, you were literally looking at cheeks when they were standing up STRAIGHT.

Now, I am not yet a parent. Hopefully soon, in the next year or so, if Hubby-to-Be and I can get ourselves together. So before anyone tells me I don’t know what it’s like to be a parent, I don’t know how hard it is, etc. etc., let me head you off and tell you– yeah, I know, I’m aware.

But this isn’t about attacking any one person’s parenting skills, it’s about a problem we seem to have in society as a whole.

Why are you letting your 11-17 year old girls out of the house wearing shorts so short, that if someone wanted to look hard enough, they could pretty much see all the goody parts? (To be clear– I didn’t have to look hard. Cheeks hanging out of shorts. Right there.)

Listen, I know what kind of a pain-in-the-ass a teen girl can be. I used to be one. I am not at all proud of half the stuff I did and said.

But right about now, I’m almost happy I grew up as a fat kid. My parents only had to worry about my boobs displaying too much cleavage, because after the age of 11 I was pretty much too embarrassed about what my legs/thighs looked like to bother trying to wear booty shorts ever, much less out of the house.

Here’s the thing, though. I know what it was like to want to get dressed up and go to the mall, just in case some really cute guy was there or something. (Not that they were ever interested in me, but it didn’t matter. It’s what girls do.)

I know what it’s like to want to wear whatever is “in style” and whatever all the “trendy” teen stores sell, what all the “cool” girls wear. And my parents knew how to tell me “no.”

But these days, what the teens are wearing frankly scares the hell out of me, and I’m only in my mid-20s. When your butt is hanging that far out of your shorts, before you even bend over, how is that okay?

Parents wonder why cyber-bullying happens, why other kids call their daughters sluts, I mean, are you kidding? Because it’s appropriate for a 14-year-old to wear shorts or a skirt like that, with her belly hanging out, see through, with a neon-colored push-up bra, creating cleavage that rivals a Playboy bunny’s? This is okay?

I am in NO way at all advocating cyber-bullying, calling girls names suggesting they are sexually promiscuous, nothing. I am not even suggesting these same nameless girls I saw are any of those things, either.

But the reality is, stereotypes exist for a reason, right or wrong. We all know they are wrong. But as humans, we cannot help ourselves. Whether we think we do or not, we judge. So why allow your child to perpetuate one?

I am scared to death to have a baby girl, because what will be “in style” when she’s 13 that I’m fighting to keep her out of? Will it make people think she looks like a slut, even if she isn’t? And just as scary, will I have a baby boy, who I will have to constantly fight to make sure he doesn’t see or refer to girls/women that way himself?

So here’s what you can do: don’t buy clothes like that. They make them because you buy them.

I also saw plenty of teenage girls at the mall looking “trendy” and “cool” in age-appropriate clothing. Buy that for your girls.

I can remember plenty of times I argued with my parents over what was okay to wear where. They always won. YOU should always win. Not the child. Stop being their friend and be a parent. If it’s cute, but isn’t appropriate, well, then, they’ll be 18 soon and/or out of the house soon enough, and hopefully you taught them well enough beforehand that they don’t think they need to be hanging out to be accepted or called beautiful.

Don’t you remember growing up and “hating” your parents because they didn’t get you when you were a teen? (I’ll say, I was lucky enough to have parents I never hated. Oh, sure, they pissed me off and vice versa, but they managed to find the right balance between friend and parent.)

But that’s the point! They aren’t supposed to like everything you do or say! You should get along and they should feel comfortable coming to you, but it should be clear– there is a line and you are the parent, disciplinarian, boss. They are not going to like it all the time.

This doesn’t mean you can’t listen to their arguments, value their opinions, but it does mean ultimately, you make the decision that’s in their best interest.

And yeah, you’ll make mistakes. We all do. But it will work out.

This goes for clothes, social media accounts, video games, parties, friends, driving, sex– anything teens want to do, but should be mature enough and educated enough to understand fully and just be able to handle.

I’m SO tired of covering stories where a teenager goes and does something awful, be it violence, cyber-bullying, commits suicide or anything else… and hearing soundbites from parents saying they didn’t want their teen to be mad at them, or even worse, just not being there at all.

Let them hear the word “no.” Let them learn about disappointment in a loving environment where the end result is a lesson, where at the end of the day you will still love them. Because when you turn them loose on the world… the world won’t do that for them.

It may not be easy. It’s gonna suck. But we can do better.

And as I write this all… I hope that in ten years, this still exists for me to look back on. Because I know that it won’t be easy. I know that babies don’t come out of the womb with a handbook that spells it out. I know that it will be difficult, stressful, and I may sometimes think it’s easier to just say “yes” than argue.

But I hope that at the end of the day… at the end of the teenage years… we’ve all made it through and my kids have self-respect. They can handle disappointment.

And they wear shorts that cover their asses.

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Clean ALL the things!

I read this awesome blog post yesterday:

http://brunchforeverymeal.com/2013/11/22/am-i-an-adult/

(No, I can’t figure out how to insert the link all pretty with the title).

And it got me wondering… am I an adult?

I have my doubts about this.

Let’s discuss.

Pro: I am getting married in 3 months and 3 days.

Con: Hubby-to-Be and I pretty much act like kindergartners to each other. (You know, like kicking the person we like… we haven’t even graduated to “Do you like me? Circle one: yes no maybe”).

For example: Me: Hi, Stinky Butt-Boy. What’s wrong? Him: Your face.

This is standard conversation here in the Snarkstead.

Pro: I actually had a conversation with my OB-GYN about what preparations need to be made in order to get pregnant in the relatively near future.

Con: I was semi-uncomfortable with the whole thing, couldn’t stop smiling like a moron and marveling at the idea that it’s actually “okay” to be having that conversation.

Pro: I think having a baby may soon be a good idea. (A WHOLE new list of topics to blog about, yes? I fantasize about being one of these hilarious mom bloggers… I would have to be hilarious for that, though).

Con: I then think, ‘Man, life would really change! I wouldn’t be able to go out and do stuff when I want to, and… Oh. I don’t do anything really now as it is. Carry on.’

Pro: I have a dog that we take care of properly and he’s amazing.

Con: We regularly have a conversation with him telling him it’s time he start pulling his weight and bringing money in. (He has 40 toys. I mean, seriously?!?)

Pro: I pay my own bills.

Con: Just barely.

Pro: Pretty much the most adult thing we have done was buy a washer and dryer.

Con: Another thing I couldn’t stop marveling at… and I only know how to use two functions. (Even Hubby-to-Be has scolded me because I only do two types of laundry… whites and everything else. I tell him he can sort if he’s so interested. I was proud of myself last week for remembering to clean the lint trap before it reached burn-the-house-down status).

Pro: I’ve taken to cooking real, actual (and pretty decent, if I do say so myself) meals a couple of times a week.

Con: The other days, I do things like yesterday, where I ate several cookies as dinner. And then only had like three bites of my actual dinner. On occasion, it’s whipped peanut butter mixed with fat-free Cool Whip. (Granted, these were some of my mother-in-law’s amazing Italian Christmas cookies… not just any cookie. Shh… don’t tell Hubby-to-Be. He’s only read one of these, anyway, so I’m probably safe, but it took him a whole 24 hours to notice the box in the fridge because a jug of juice was in front of it and he can only see things that are directly in front of him. He’s now accusing me of being selfish and hiding the cookies, so I can eat them all myself. The thought may or may not have occurred to me, but I have to weigh in on Saturday morning.)

Pro: I got awesome Christmas presents for our nieces and nephews this year.

Con: It took me like three hours to pick 5 toys out, because I was too busy comparing which ones I’d rather be playing with.

Pro: I have a sophisticated, adult-like sense of humor.

Con: No, I don’t. It consists largely of “That’s what she said” jokes. Actually, scratch that. I don’t think this is a con.

Pro: We’re having Christmas dinner at my house this year.

Con: I was just about devastated when my mother informed me there was no need to send my advent calendar home this year, that I had graduated from her needing to fill it up with goodies for me to open. (It’s one of those awesome wooden ones that you keep forever and has real little doors that you open and find fun little surprises inside… sigh. It will be missed. It doesn’t quite have the same magical effect when you fill the compartments up yourself.)

Pro: I actually become compelled on occasion to clean my house without someone having to come over. (Clean ALL the things!)

Con: I feel like I’m betraying my younger self when I do… my mom always said, “One day you’ll understand!” whenever I didn’t see the point in cleaning as a child/teen… I refuse to admit it! NEVER!

I’m running out of Pros here… I can think only of more Cons.

I’m going to choose to believe that leaves this experiment at a solid inconclusive.

Living in denial is an adult trait, right?

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Twitter me this

Twitter reportedly has a new feature they’re testing that I find creepy as hell.

It’s called ‘Nearby’… and instead of just the normal stream where you see all the tweets of people you follow, this stream would be all the tweets of the people nearby you (hence the thought-provoking name), whether you follow them OR NOT.

We’re talking locator points on a map, here, people.

So you would literally be able to see where I was as I was tweeting.

No, thank you.

I have several problems with this… despite the fact that I may or may not stalk people on Facebook, and may or may not in particular peruse baby bump photos (see previous post ‘Catch me if you can for explanation’) (and hint: I may)… Something about knowing exactly where I am at the exact moment I am being snarky about something around me is just weird.

Granted, I realize you have to turn this feature on using your smartphone’s location settings, and people already post status updates on Facebook (as well as all the other social media outlets I’m apparently getting too old to know they even exist), but here’s the thing about Twitter.

I like my @snarksense Twitter and blog here because they’re semi-anonymous… Sort of my like alter ego. Like I’m Clark Kent by day and Superman by night. (Except I don’t actually possess any amazing talents, I’m not epically strong and really, this is all pretty much in my head). Hence my avatar. (Also, I just have always wanted to wear a cape.)

I like to escape and comment on things, and frankly, so do the other 1357834657 bloggers out there.

For instance, how am I supposed to tweet about the stupid hat you’re wearing, or the idiotic touchdown dance you did in the middle of the bar or how the creepy guy at 7-Eleven just hit on me… if you might be on Twitter RIGHT THIS SECOND, look at nearby tweets, and SEE IT? (I haven’t actually tweeted any of these… yet.)

What if you look up and make eye contact? TERRIBLE.

(There’s probably a better life lesson in this than I’m choosing to see at the moment.)

Plus, let’s be honest, an overwhelming percentage of us (but, never me, obviously -,-) use our smartphones on the toilet. It’s like a scientific fact. Can you imagine logging in while you’re sitting on the toilet in a public restroom, just for it to tell you that all the other people sitting in the stalls next to you are tweeting right then? Awkward!!

Just because we all know it’s probably happening doesn’t mean I need confirmation that tweets are accompanying the sounds of your bodily functions from 3 feet away. I don’t want to look at your face, much less see what your Twitter handle is and know how to find you again. And I CERTAINLY don’t want you to know these things about me if the situation is reversed.

I am not even going to talk about how if someone were actually stalking you. It would be all over.

Although… I wonder if the New Zealand guy that tried to follow that poor girl around the world had this feature… if he would have been able to find her faster.

He could have wandered around Washington D.C. playing one giant game of ‘Hot and Cold.’

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My dog is judging me

Some of you that know me well are probably surprised it’s taken me until my fourth real post to even mention my dog.

To be honest, I’m a little surprised at me, too.

So for those that don’t know, I am kind of obsessed with my dog.

His name is Renegade (Go Noles!!) and he’s a Boxer mix that’s pretty glorious. He’s loving, snuggly, smart, mostly obedient…

And he’s beautiful.

LOOK AT THIS FACE.

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Well, okay, so this is the Reindeer version of him, but you get the idea. (And no, I did not pick this outfit out… Hubby-to-Be did. So what does that say about the both of us?)

Anyway, Renegade has a very special personality. We believe he was abused before we got him, for several reasons, which include scars on two of his paws, his uneasiness around new people/places, his tendency to bark at loud noises and other scary occurrences, which may or may not include anything at you all drop EVER, the doormat moving slightly out of place, a plastic bag floating to the ground, you get the idea. (Not the brightest crayon in the box, but the sweetest boy ever.)

Among the things he doesn’t like is the laminate flooring in our house. This is mostly because (or at least I’m pretty sure the reason is) he slides on it a little when he runs. It’s not glossy, so it’s not as bad as the one in our last house, which was. (And prompted such hilarity as him getting excited over something and trying to run and sliding into the back door instead).

For this reason, when it rolls around to his witching hour, which pretty much falls between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. on a nightly basis (although tonight he’s pushing it and is whining at me right now to play), he runs only on the area rug.

Mind you, this is not a tiny dog, but it IS a pretty small rug. It’s only like 5X7, and we have an ottoman which takes up some of that space… leaving him roughly 5X5 left to work with.

When witching hour rolls around, this is what we’re dealing with:

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You can see the slightly crazed look, enlarged pupils, in prime pouncing position. This is when you know it’s about to go down. (As I type, he’s now growling at a toy that he knocked off the carpet onto the laminate).

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When you see THIS face, shit just got real.

So what this nonsense generally results in, is Renegade very gingerly selecting a toy from his toy basket (This takes time, this dog has approximately 40 toys. No. That is not an exaggeration. I am pretty sure THAT is the reason we don’t have nice things.) I say he does it gingerly, because since he is not fond of the floor, and it is on the flooring, he stretches out all the way, reaching to the toy basket like if his back feet come off the carpet, he will be out-of-bounds or something. Then he proceeds to wildly flip the toy around, growling, pouncing, throwing it up in the air, barking at it, etc.

We are supposed to play along by occasionally pretending to take the toy away, and if we don’t, he gets louder and louder and flips the toy at us. Or he just barks at us until we cooperate.

But the other thing he does is butt-run wildly around the carpet. Remember when I said the usable area was about 5X5? Yeah. So he’s butt-running in that small space, which basically ends up looking like he’s turning around really fast and frantically. (And he does not put even a toenail off the carpet while he does this, because THE FLOOR IS LAVA).

This brings me to Friday night.

Best Man was in town and because I had to work, he and Hubby-to-Be decided to take a road trip to a nearby city and hit a casino. They left early in the day, and we all assumed they’d be home not long after I got home from work to hang out. I turned down some other plans, because I all, “Hey, I’m actually not going to be lame for once and have plans already!”

This did not happen.

Instead, my Friday night was reduced to a delightful chat with Maid of Honor (actually, this part was good), sitting in the middle of said carpet, rearranging the pictures in my frames. (Just wait, it gets even more lame).

It is while I’m doing this that I notice his butt-running is ruining my carpet.

His nails are pulling up the fibers (or threads? whatever you call them), so they look like when you have a pull in your sweater. It makes the carpet look all raggedy, and we just can’t have that.

So what do I do? What any normal person does. I grab a pair of scissors (why are they called pairs? It has the two parts, but if you took it apart and only had one, no one would ask you why you were only holding one scissor) and begin cutting out the pulled parts.

It’s Friday night, I’m in yoga pants, crawling around on my living room floor, cutting pieces out of my carpet, ass in the air.

That’s when I look up, Renegade perched on the couch, watching me, and he is JUDGING ME.

I wish I had taken a picture, because he was grilling me harder than a fat kid on the dessert line at the buffet.

Like, “Seriously, Mom? This is what you’re reduced to on a Friday night? You must be getting old.”

That’s just great. Judgment from a dog that finds a plastic bag floating in the wind to be a terroristic threat.

I just stared back (butt still in the air, scissors in hand, I’m sure this would have made quite the terrifying picture) but for once, really had nothing snarkastic to say, because, well, when you’re right, you’re right.

So I hoisted myself off the floor and took Renegade outside to finish the rest of his witching hour festivities, which conclude with a 5 minute non-stop run around our backyard.

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I love when he does this. All white and brown blur, panting, little feet pounding the ground, runs, runs, runs… until he stops and takes a dump. Every time, without fail.

Welcome to Friday night at the Snarkstead.

By the way, Snarklets, follow me on Twitter @snarksense!

If nothing else, I’m sure you’ll all be subjected to pictures of the dog, and perhaps I will delight you with the video his mindless rug butt-runs if I can get a good one.

And of course, all SnarkSense, all the time.

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