Friday, February 26, 2010

Wine Institute of Walgreens

I love me a good wine snob. I really do. There is a part of me that wishes I was one of them. Dashing from winery to winery with a navy blue sweater thrown around my shoulders while discussing my father's political campaign.

But, I come from a family of pizzeria owners. Instead of talking wine cellars, we talk deep fried foods. We keep our deli slicer as shiny as a new set of golf clubs and if we go out to eat where the foodies go, we always make sure they have an option of steak and french fries. And, because of this upbringing I know an average Joe when I see one.

While I lived in Chicago, I worked as a waitress like a good average Joe should. The restaurant I worked for wasn't a five star restaurant, nor was it a diner. It was right in the middle, like my family. It was the type of restaurant where people are referred to as "customers," not "clients." But, every now and then we would get a "customer" who thought they were at a place where they should be treated like a "client" and unfortunately I wasn't the waitress who would give that kind of service. By the end of my "career" waiting tables, I was one diet coke away from suicide.

This one Saturday evening, a man was sitting at a table in my section all alone, awaiting his date (so he said). He scanned the wine menu and ordered the cheapest glass of wine. But he didn't say it like he just ordered the cheapest glass of wine; he said it with the same arrogance a man ordering a $500 bottle of wine would be allowed. Personally, if I go with the cheapest glass of wine, I at least give the waiter a nod or a look of apology.  But I mean, good for him, he's confident. Or, so I thought.

A few minutes later, I came back with the glass of house red I could have gotten from Walgreens. He motioned for me to stay while he tested it. I restrained from rolling my eyes as he swirled and wafted and swirled some more, then dramatically dipped his nose as deep as it could go into the glass (again, he was waiting for his date) and then he
Finally, after what seemed like a hour, he shook his head with disgust and said "this is no good."

I couldn't believe it! Really? No good? Maybe it's no good because it was $4! Of course I couldn't say that so instead, I sucked it up, smiled and said without the least bit of sincerity, "Oh, no. Let me go back to the bar and open a fresh bottle for you." But, as I made my way to the bar, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to conduct a d-bag experiment.

When I got to the bar, I told the bartender I wanted to see if this guy really knows what he's talking about. Perhaps the wine was bad OR perhaps it was fine. We would soon find out.

I asked the bartender to transfer the same wine to a new glass. So, when I bring out the "new" wine to him, it would actually be the old wine he had already rejected. If he rejected it again, okay, he knows what he's talking about. But approve the "new" glass and BAM! Confetti goes, balloons release, buzzers scream and a giant sign drops from the ceiling that flashes "asshole, asshole, asshole." The whole restaurant starts pointing and laughing and I am the hero (but I'm still wearing an apron and my shirt is still smeared in barbeque sauce so I'm a humble hero).

So, I bring back the same wine, carefully set it on his table and apologize for the first glass. I tell him this glass is from a brand new bottle. And, once again he swirled and wafted and.. swirled some more then dipped his nose as deep as it could go into the glass (again, he was waiting for his date) and then he slowly
Finally, after what seemed like another hour, he shook his head up and down, smiled at me with his now purple teeth and said "Oh, yes. This is much better."

I got him! I caught him being a fake wine snob; an average Joe trying to be something he's not. I have never tasted such sweet revenge in my life.  Nothing in the world could make me feel the satisfaction I felt that night, not even a shiny deli slicer.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bad Hair Day.

Headline News (HLN) has some of the worst hair in news.

While they're delivering the news on the state of our economy, I'm not wondering how our economy got so bad. Instead, I find myself wondering how their hair got so bad. And, is there any stimulus package out there to make it grow?

I'm sure fixing these hairstyles would create thousands of jobs.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What to do when someone you love dies and leaves behind a bad Myspace page

Our twenties is not too young to start thinking about our last will and testament. Although we may not yet have acquired thousands of dollars worth of assets or families of our own, we do have some things that will need managing... like our Facebook, Twitter and Myspace accounts.

I, for example, have chosen to give the password to all of my social networking sites, including this blog to my boyfriend. If I happen to die unexpectedly, (get trampled in a Wal-Mart stampeed for example) I have given my boyfriend, by way of a post-it note, signed and dated, the orders to erase my precious Facebook, Myspace and Twitter accounts, immediately.

There is nothing creepier than wishing someone a happy birthday on their Myspace page after they're dead. "Happy Birthday Billy." Happy birthday Billy? Billy's dead. It's not happy birthday, it's Sad Birthday. Come on, sing along... "Sad Birthday to you, Sad birthday to you, Sad birthday to you. How old are you (if you were still alive) now? How old are you (if you were still alive) now?" (This sounds a lot less morbid if you sing it with a keyboard or in G on the guitar.)

I don't understand why someone would write on someone's Facebook or Myspace wall after they are gone? Do they think the afterlife is so unexciting that the spirits are checking their Myspace page to see who did and didn't wish them a Happy Birthday? Man, I hope not. Or, perhaps this is the modern day equivalent to bringing flowers to someone's grave site?

 I wonder if there is a sympathy flower app on Facebook so it can be like the real thing? If there isn't one already, I am patenting it.

A meaningless happy birthday wish isn't the only reason I want my social networking pages erased from history. I don't want to die with my last Facebook update about Jersey Shore floating there forever like a bad lower-back tattoo. And, the good thing about a lower back tattoo is that when you die it's gone but a bad Myspace profile is there forever.

I would at least want to go out with a genius yet hilarious update about something that means something to me, something deep and profound about the Buffalo Bills or Curb Your Enthusiasm.

All I know is that if I die, and I'm still on Facebook and Myspace, I'll know I'm officially in hell.

Monday, February 8, 2010

How to Raise a Child

I am not a parent. I can't even make it to a flight on time so parenthood is no where in the near future. But, I do know if you want to raise good kids there are four rules you must follow, otherwise you'll have an emo-wearing, no-good huffing, sexting-craised child.

Rule #1. Your child must watch Seinfeld from a very young age. He or she must understand the the very foundation of life before anything else.

Rule #2. Forget about Pokemon and Dora the Explorer. These cartoons are too hip. Every Saturday morning, you must only allow your developing child to watch the classics like Bugs Bunny, Tom and Jerry, Bullwinkle and Pink Panther. But, not the modern movie version of Pink Panther, that one was terrible.

Rule #3. If you have 3 different types of potato chips in the house, don't be that parent who only let them open one bag at a time. That rule is dumb and nonsensical.

Rule #4. Make your kids do their homework. But, only after they've watched at least one episode of Seinfeld.

Follow these guidelines and I promise you will have a well-adjusted, non-extremist and down-to-earth child who will grow up to do great things. Or, good things at least. I am completely serious.

He had overly strict parents who never let him drink soda. Thus, pink eye shadow.

We got to drink all the soda in the world. Thus, awesomeness.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Joe Donatelli Column and The Second Column Podcast

What do you get when you get two writers around bar food? Jalapeno Poppers and great conversation, that's what happens.

Meet Joe Donatelli. That is what I had the pleasure of doing the other day. He gave me lots of great advice for going forward with a writing career. Joe used to write a humor column for Scripps Howard News Service that appeared in newspapers across North America, including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Orange County Register and Chicago Sun-Times, lucky guy. Currently, he is an editor for and brings you tons of funny material in his podcast called Second Column Podcast.

I advise you to check him out. I also advise you to stay away from Jalapeno Poppers.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Receipts Getting Longer?

Has anyone else noticed that receipts are getting longer and longer? This is usually the length when you spend $200 on groceries. Embarrassingly, I didn't stock up on groceries, instead I bought a single fish taco and diet coke. And, this is how long the receipt is. It almost makes buying this for my lunch all the more embarrassing.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Feeling Ugly? Conjoin the club.

Some twins are identical, differentiated only by small details such as a freckle or a dimple. And sometimes, they’re fraternal, being told apart by the giant difference in their head size.

It is one thing to be a bad-looking individual; a singular person without a twin. It is another thing to have been hit with the ugly stick while your twin brother or sister was sprinkled with fairy dust. This person is with you from birth; standing right next to you in all of your family photos as a flashing neon sign saying, “Look at what you could have been if the Zygote chose differently.”

There are many things in life that aren’t fair: Why do men bald? Better yet, why do some women bald? Why are wives usually twice the size of their husbands? Why did the Buffalo Bills lose four Super Bowls? Why when I shave my legs does the hair grow back immediately? Why is Snooki famous and getting to travel the country doing appearances while I’m sitting here in my apartment all alone with a giant bouffant and nowhere to go?

There are no answers to nature’s cruelties, no justification for our lots in life. The bottom line is that sometimes Mother Nature can be a Biznatch. (I have some resentment toward her for the lazy eye and colossal gap between my front teeth – which have since been fixed if you’re wondering).

So, we’ve admitted that sometimes a twin wakes up on the wrong side of the fallopian tube. Now, I'll tell you that there is etiquette involved when it comes to dealing with the less attractive twin; etiquette that should be used from the time she is born.

I advise you to be sympathetic toward her, but do it subtly. She is going to have a tough road ahead. We need to strap love to her little webbed feet so she can walk the road of life with the confidence she deserves.

Etiquette Rule #1: Do not put your twins in equally cute clothing if they don’t have equally cute faces. It just gives the better-looking twin the opportunity to shine. If the twins are pale skinned females, I suggest dressing the ugly twin in colors that will flatter her skin tone such as dark blues and purples et cetera. The attractive twin should be put in colors that aren’t as flattering to her skin tone: yellows and oranges. *The key here is not to make the attractive twin look ugly; it’s to tone down her beauty so the contrast in looks become less obvious.

Etiquette Rule #2: A rose by any other name doesn’t smell as sweet. If the difference in looks is obvious from birth, give the less attractive twin the cooler name. Take me for example… My Mother admitted that she wanted to name me ‘Summer.’ And, when I was getting benched from the softball game with 5lb glasses drooped at the edge of my nose, ‘Summer’ would have given me that cool edge that I needed.

And finally…

Etiquette Rule #3: Santa should forget that Sarah likes pink but remember that Summer likes green. For example, if you are going to buy your twins iPods, the unattractive twin should receive the one with the hip, trendy color while the attractive twin still gets an iPod, it's the boring black one. (Listen, she’s lucky you’re not getting her a cassette player.)

*Any questions or suggestions on Twin etiquette can be sent to my much more attractive sister. She's works as my assistant in a broom closet opening all my fan mail.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

If You Don't Wash Your Hands You'll Contract Ridicule.

On a recent excursion to a public restroom (and I use the word "excursion" quite literally), I was disgusted to find a middle-aged, well dressed woman waltz right out of the freshly flushed bathroom stall and back into a restaurant with out washing her hands. I thought, wow, the nerve it takes to see a person standing right there and say to herself "You know what? I'm not going to wash my hands. This person can like it or lump it."

Maybe in a perfect world this woman didn't even use the toilet, maybe she just had to change her clothes or perhaps she just needed some privacy for a moment. But, even so, she has the social duty, relieved or not, to wash her hands. I understand if she was in the restroom alone without any witnesses and she just said "screw it, I better get back out there, my pasta is getting cold." But to be so brazen, so bold that she can just walk right past a person without feeling slightly obliged to wash is unnerving. If she's not washing in front of people, I can't imagine what she's doing in private.

Perhaps she was in a hurry and didn't have time to wash her hands. But nothing is so urgent that she can't just do me the favor of even fake washing her hands. Just to show me that she cares. The issue here isn't about germs. It's about appearances.

Let me clarify, this post is not about touching soap to hands. It's about fulfilling the unwritten (and sometimes written) social rule that we need to wash our hands after using a public restroom. She didn't even really need to wash her hands to make me happy. I would have been satisfied with a fake wash... just turning on the water and placing her hands near it. Just some effort to show me she respects social etiquette.

Of course we all should wash our hands after we use the restroom. Especially a public restroom. But, I will admit there are times when I just don't feel like washing my hands for a couple of reasons. 1. My sleeves are long and washing would result in wet discomfort. 2. I'm in a hurry to get back to the movie. 3. Having maneuvered my way around the bathroom with my elbows, washing my hands would almost be redundant.

But, as a respectable member of society I will ALWAYS, I mean ALWAYS wash my hands when someone else is present in the restroom, long sleeves or not. And, if there is a person in the stall, unable to see me while I'm at the sink, I will turn on the water just to ease their minds.

Catching Swine Flu, or T.B., or Lady Gaga isn't what motivates myself and other kindred spirits to wash our hands in a public restroom. What motivates us is social pressure. It's like recycling: You don't always do it because you want to. You do it because someone's looking.

The woman who just couldn't wait to get back to her pasta may have not contracted H1N1 but she has caught something far worse, flack from Kristen Carney.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm Makin' Some Cop--ies of an Email I Was Sent from the Radio Hosts Who Interviewed Rob Schnei--der.

FM Radio is bad no matter what time of day it is. Morning, noon, night... I don't want to hear the music that is played nor the hosts that play it (except for Adam Carolla of course, whose since gone to iTunes).

However, morning radio programming is particularly bad. Not just bad. It's cheesy; unfunny prank phone calls, arrogant deejays who wear seashell necklaces (even though I can't see them I just know they are wearing seashell necklaces), contests of who can drink the most water without peeing (which just killed a woman) and giveaways to the saddest person in a cubicle.

But, do you know what else is cheesy? Florida. Specifically West Palm Beach, Florida. And even MORE specifically, a radio station in West Palm Beach called WiLD (yes, it's a lowercase i) 95.5 FM. And if you can believe even more cheesy than that? West Palm Beach radio hosts Kevin, Virginia and Jason.

If you haven't heard or seen the misleading headline "Rob Schneider is a Jerk" referring to an interview he had with three of the most annoying, insecure morning radio hosts, it's time I fill you in. The predictable Kevin, Virginia and Jason interviewed Rob Schneider in what may be the worst interview of all time. These comedic geniuses just don't get it. They just don't get it. And if you are sitting there wondering what "it" is they don't get, that means you don't get it either so just stop reading now.

If you do, let's proceed but not before you watch the interview.

You'll notice that Rob Schneider several times says "Nah, forget about it. I'm just kidding around." But these dummy hosts become defensive. One of the radio hosts goes as far as to say "I'm so sick of this crap. Every time we have a comedian here you think you are bigger than life." Now, if I may, I want to interpret what this guy just said. He more or less said "I'm so sick of not being as funny as you. Every time we have a comedian here I realize what a bad sense of humor I have."

I rarely take action against injustice but this was an exception. This interview made me so mad. Madder than when people don't signal. Madder than someone cutting in line. Madder than when people talk at the movies. That said, I had to write an email to the radio hosts expressing my feelings. And, to my surprise I got a response. However, what didn't surprise me was the lack of thought that went into it.

I've copy and pasted it for your viewing pleasure...

My email read:

You wouldn't know funny if The Three Stooges were sitting next to you watching Marx Brothers videos while reading Jerry Seinfeld's book AND listening to George Carlin's audio book.

I thought this was quite witty and paid homage to our comedy heroes.

...And this is what I got back. A clear demonstration of why again, I don't listen to morning radio. Unoriginal, tacky, unfunny FM radio.

Your opinion matters so little to any of us! You are a douche, and you have no idea what you are talking about. You are emailing someone based on bad info... Go jump off a bridge, and hit a few metal pieces on the way down. Dumb ass!

You suck,


Funny Virginia. Because that's exactly what I wanted to do right after I listened to your radio show.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hello Dead Person. Nice to Meet You. My Name is Insincere.

There is a time and place for all types of behavior. Sincerity. Crying. Lying. Frustration. Even telling Knock Knock Jokes about a Mexican and a Jew. A wake or funeral, specifically is a time and place appropriate for all of the above just mentioned. There are a lot of reasons why this behavior would be appropriate in such a setting.

1. Sincerity; maybe for once you really actually liked this person.

2. Tears; you've come face to face with just how unflattering black is for your skin tone.

3. Lies; the dead guy used to talk incessantly at the movies so you couldn't stand him but you couldn't say that to the grieving widow, of course.

4. A knock knock joke about a Mexican and a Jew may be just what the group of police officers in mourning need.

5. Frustrations; someone just finished the rest of TownHouse brand half cracker/half pretzel hybrid you've been dying to try. Excuse me, meaning to try. 

Sound politically incorrect? Good. It should. Politically incorrect can fly at a funeral because we're human and death is scary, or at least it is for us Catholics. We've got to get through it some how. And, if telling off-color, insensitive jokes is what your little stone heart desires at a funeral, so be it.

But, there is one thing you should never ever do when it comes to death. And, that is go to a wake/funeral just because EVERYONE ELSE IS GOING.

Years back, when I was in high school a fellow student died a very tragic death. And I felt terrible. Genuinely terrible. But I didn't go to his calling hours because 1. His death turned into a popularity contest and popularity has never been my thing. 2. I am not a disingenuous person.

Deciding whether or not to attend a funeral service should be a much bigger decision than deciding to show up at the high school dance or a homecoming football game.

When this student's calling hours took place there was a line down the street for hours. This would have been nice if everyone was there to celebrate his life. However, most people were there to celebrate their own lives and how many more parties they were going to be invited to following the service.

The bottom line is if you're going to use someone's funeral to better your social situation, chances are you're not meant to be very popular in the first place. There are plenty of other things that can make you look cooler than attending a stranger's funeral.

Perhaps work on your personality?

Some people may argue they'll look like jerk if they don't go. I say you look like a jerk if you do go. If you didn't know the person don't go to the wake, don't send a card. And please oh, please don't post your condolences in a Facebook update.