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Jury Duty (hee hee I said duty…)

Jury Duty (hee hee I said duty…)

A month or so ago, I received in the mail. as I do almost every three years, a jury summons. In the past since I wasn’t working, I didn’t really mind serving my duty (yes, I giggled as I wrote duty…you know me by now, you know I have the sense of humor of a five year old boy.) Most of the time I have enjoyed jury duty (giggle) because it gets me out of the house and it’s like having a front row seat to “Matlock Live!” (but with less shoulder pads, hot dogs and white suits and noticeably missing are Andy Griffith’s weird little grunting sounds between his lines)

This time it’s different. This time has been less than pleasant.

My jury summons came with a few helpful hints: where to park, how long you might have to serve, what to bring as far as reading materials, etc. They failed to mention that their cable would be out and that they had free wifi. So yesterday I could have been writing, or updating my facebook status or searching for Lego building instructions to download….you know, Lego instructions for…my nephew…ok busted, the Lego stuff was for me. Yes they could have included that simple fact: Feel free to bring your laptop, we have free wifi.

They could have. They didn’t. So as I packed my trusty journey bag the night before I was to appear at the courthouse promptly at 8:00 am (DON’T BE LATE! WE EXPECT YOU THERE NO LATER THAN 8:00 AM!) I packed two books: one to read and one that would teach me to make beautiful origami, a notebook, a soda, snacks for lunch, tons of candy, of course, some origami paper.

As always I arrived early and headed to the jury assembly room. I like to sit in the front rows of these things because there will be less chance of me interacting with people. I got an end seat in the front row and immediately took over both armrests and sat less-than-ladylike to deter people from sitting beside me.

This didn’t work. A few minutes before eight, in walked a large hurricane of a woman who promptly plopped herself down right beside me, even though there were still a lot of other empty seats. She made that noise people make when they’ve been walking for hours and are exhausted. She seemed to physically expand as she settled in. She had three bags full of stuff, the contents of which I would learn later. She pulled out a spiral bound book and began to read and mouth-breathe. Great. I pretended to be asleep by closing my eyes but she caught me right when I opened them to see if it was working. I can’t remember exactly her first words but I will never forget the odor that was coupled with her speech. It was hot. It was foul and it was pointed my way. She kept talking to anyone who would listen about what we should expect (as if she was a professional juror) I can’t stand encounters with someone in these situations when they pretend to know everything there is about it and they treat you like you know nothing so they’re really helping you out. HATE IT. She also kept making a semi-joke about the jurors being “hostages.”

“Yeah, they probably called around nine hundred hostages for today. And if we’re not picked today we will have to come tomorrow.” (She glanced my way to see if I would laugh at her pathetic attempt to be funny. I did not.)

Then somehow she began to tell me about a trip she took to an 1800s replica village settlement in Indiana, where she learned how they baked bread and pies. She described the entire process. Apparently my face did not match with my feelings because I was trying to seem disinterested. She either didn’t notice or didn’t care because she kept talking, with her cabbage breath steaming my hair straight with every word. Finally I broke out my Beautiful Origami book and decided I’d make a paper menagerie. I thought maybe this might shut her up, seeing that I was busy….but it was not to be.

“I bought the grandkids an origami book and it came with this gorgeous paper! That’s a great idea for something to do while you’re a hostage.” (glance, pause for laughter. No laughter.) I kept folding. Must. Make. This. Owl.

Soon though, I earned a respite from her endless witless banter. She found another hostage to talk at. One who seemed to blossom in her cabbagey-laced attention. Peas in a pod.

They didn’t start assembling until about 9:30. They quickly assembled four juries, none of which I was picked for, and then I sat there, occasionally bombarded by Stankbreath until 11:30 when they released us for a two hour lunch. I have never, in my life, needed a two hour lunch, especially on a day when I just want to go home. So for two hours I wandered around downtown St. Louis.

When I re-entered the jury assembly room, I was pleasantly surprised. Stankbreath had fully expanded and was now using my former seat as a storage area for her crochet materials. Sweet! I was able to get another seat without that awkward glance you get when you move away from someone. I sat down two rows behind my original seat. I had my own little space until about ten minutes before everyone was expected back. Then a very tall bald man leapfrogged over my backpack (purposely put there to deter anyone from sitting beside me) He was a nervous man, the kind of person who apologizes for living, sometimes verbally and sometimes with their demeanor. With every minor move he made he shrunk more and more into himself. And he was not a small guy. He was actually so large (not fat, just a big guy) that he was crammed into the tiny seat.

He didn’t help his case any (pun intended, see? Because I’m serving jury duty? Duty? Ahhhh the immature mind) when he pulled out a very tiny Apple computer opened it up on his huge lap. He typed away for a while, throwing out a “oh yeah, uh huh, uh huh” every time the Chatty Kenny (I would have gone with Kathy here but it was a guy, more on him later) spoke to him. He alternated between his laptop, his Ipod and his Iphone. Definitely an Apple guy. Lemming. We spoke a few times and I found out what he did for a living (software engineer) and where he travelled for his job (Amsterdam but no trip to the van Gogh museum, who does that???) Then he put away his devices and closed his eyes.

And that’s really when he and I interacted the most. His head would fall forward and land on his chest. Then as it hit his chest, it would startle him awake and he’d open his eyes for a few minutes, only to have them close again. Each time he bobbled his head forward he would somehow manage to both lean forward and to his right…which is exactly where I was sitting. By the third or fourth bobble he was dangerously close to landing on me. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t panic a little bit.

I went into Emergency Planning Mode. If this guy fell on my shoulder, I would be fine. It would be a little awkward but I’m sure I could muster up some joke about not realizing we were that close, ending the line with a half-hearted chuckle. But if he kept going at his current pace and angle, the problem might be bigger. In theory, his entire upper torso could land on my lap, including his giant meaty head. That would require more than a joke…I had no answer. But luckily I didn’t need one because after two more hours of sitting there not being called, his humber was called and the seat beside me was vacated. Finally I would get the silence and solitude I had so craved all day. And it only took til 3:00 pm to get that reward.

Ahhhh to be so lucky. But it was not to be. Enter Chatty Kenny. Chatty Kenny was a really nice guy. But from the beginning, it was obvious that he needed someone to talk to. Within minutes of meeting him, I knew a lot about him. He was the supervisor in a factory that made all of the lawn rakes for Wal-Mart. He had declared bankruptcy recently, losing his pickup truck, which he declared was heartbreaking but worked out because he lived only a block and a half away. Oh, and he made $110 a day so being here he was losing a lot of money.

Chatty Kenny took me through the entire process of how to make a lawn rake, which I actually did find interesting, if I had had a moment of peace all day, which I did not. Around 3:30 they assembled two more juries. Neither of us was on either one so we were sent home with instructions to come back the next day.

And that’s where I am right now. I am sitting in the jury assembly room, with Chatty Kenny right beside me, who keeps glancing at my computer and when busted, stated guiltily “I’m not reading over your shoulder,” to which I, unfiltered, said “But you kind of are.”

Luckily he laughed. So here I sit, hoping to not be picked for a jury, hoping to be released at the end of the day, never to return again.

Until three years from now when I am forced, as a U.S. citizen, to go through this entire dreadful process again. They don’t call it jury DUTY for nothing….

duty…(giggle giggle, still funny.)

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2013 in Jenn's Adventures

 

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The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors

I have been visiting the country for nearly three years now and I can honestly say that today was just chock full of education. Most of which I did not want. But like that extreme close-up video they show you in fourth grade of a baby being born, I will never get some of these bits of knowledge to dislodge from my brain.
The day started off like every other day I spend in the country at Romy’s house, except that I woke up later than usual. It’s amazing how tiring nearly eight hours of non-stop Boom Blox playing is on an old lady like me. And towards the end of the night we weren’t even trying for points, we were just seeing how many different ways we could knock the animals over with a bowling ball.
There is an event out here called Truth and the Outdoors, which is a really cool event that is like a Christian hunting and fishing expo. We walked around for quite a while, visiting all the booths, eating samples of what I can only hope was beef and collecting as many free pens as possible before we came upon a soap maker’s booth. I am a sucker for good smelling stuff. So whenever there’s a booth like that I have to put my poor nostrils through the ringer, smelling every soap they make, some even twice. And conveniently this goat’s milk soap maker had at least one bar open of each scent marked “sniff me.”
Don’t mind if I do.

.
And I did.
There was peppermint, lilac, honeysuckle, leather, natural, eucalyptus and twig and berries.
Wait….what?
There, mixed in with all of the other soaps, was a basket full of twig and berries soap, complete with a “sniff me” sticker on it. I can’t say for sure whether the soap was twig and berry scented (hope so) or for twig and berries (hope not).
Either way I had no intention of sniffing.
Innocent word mix up, right? Perhaps. Or perhaps this part of the country is full of dirty birdies.
I had made plans to meet someone (that’s a whole other story) to sell something to a guy who found me on Craigslist so we left the expo for a few hours. As we were driving through some pretty landscapes, we passed a dog groomer’s on the main road. The name on the sign made me do a double take.
The business’ name?
Doggy Styles.
Yup. Because I’m going to drop my poor little innocent Yadi at a place called Doggy Styles. Is this like a Hustler club for dogs?
I don’t know and I will never find out.
And last and certainly not least, today I learned that country people have odd turn-ons. We stopped at a feed store/animal supply store (named Dickey Bub) to pick up hay….there’s a joke there that I won’t tell, but I digress. As we were walking through the store I happened to look up from my phone just in time to catch what looked like a country version of Victoria’s Secret.
Dickey Bub’s Secret?
They had a whole display of camouflage lingerie. There were underpants and bras, teddies and lacy thingamajigs – ALL CAMO!
That’s sexy? There’s some country hunter guy out there that wants his woman to blend in with the forest? That’s sexy?
I can’t even process what that means other than it seems like maybe hunters out here are turned on by…other hunters.
So I always get really excited and take note when I learn something new. Today I learned all sorts of new stuff. Stuff that I could have gone my whole life and not learned. Stuff that I will never need to know. Stuff that will not change my life in any way.
And that folks, is what education is all about.

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2013 in Jenn's Adventures, Random

 

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Do you work here?

Do you work here?

TNA

“Excuse me, miss, can you tell me what size these are?”  said the older gentleman in the thrift store.

I looked around, already well aware of who he was beckoning but wanting to believe something different.  Miss?  I hate being called “miss.”  It makes me feel like the person talking to me is being condescending. But because of my good mood, I allowed it.

I walked towards him, knowing what he thought but deciding to play along anyway, such was my happy mood.

I grabbed the shoe and looked at the tongue, trying to ignore how many different strains of cooties I was exposing myself to.

“Eight and a half,”  as I handed back the shoe and turned my attention towards the jackets, smiling the whole time.

This guy thinks I work here.  He’s not finished with me yet.

I wasn’t looking for a new jacket but I pretended to be enthralled with them, furrowing my brow and doing that scrunched up face thing we all do when we want someone to just leave us alone because they think we are really deep in thought.  Although, to be fair, I usually am in deep thought, thinking things like, “what’s that smell?” or “could I make mac and cheese with chocolate milk?”  The answer to this is yes, but it’s not edible.

“Miss, can you help me again? My eyes can’t see that tiny writing.”

You just don’t want to reach your hand in that icky cooty-filled shoe so you’re asking me under the guise of bad eyesight. Well played old man…well played.

 I gingerly pulled the tongue of the shoe upwards to get a look at it. I made sure to use both hands to perform this task because I knew if I didn’t he was going to let go of the shoe, leaving me to put my empty hand on the bottom of the shoe to hold it.  In these moments my mind focuses on where the shoes have been and how filthy they are.  There is a one hundred percent chance that they have walked on a gum-laden sidewalk, a pee-sodden public restroom and if the person was not attentive, they very well could have stepped in poop.

I will let this shoe fall on the floor before I put my hand underneath it to keep it from doing so.

 “Eleven. These are elevens.” I smiled and started walking away.  I lingered at the jackets a moment more just so it didn’t look like I was trying to escape.  I’m not entirely sure why I felt like it would be rude of me to walk away from a fellow shopper but I did.

I made my way to another aisle. No sooner had I walked seven feet towards my freedom, I heard him calling me again.

“Miss…”

Keep walking.  Ignore…..yes, you’re almost far enough away that he will-

 “Miss?”

You don’t have to turn around….you don’t have to turn around….you don’t have to–

I turned around and the same gentleman was just a few feet away from me, coming towards me, eager for my help, my knowledge, my expertise.

“Miss, do you have any more shoes in the back?”

Yes, which shoe do you want and I’ll go get it in your size. THIS IS NOT FOOT LOCKER. THEY DON’T STOCK EVERY SIZE OF EACH SHOE. THEY GET SHOES PEOPLE DON’T WEAR ANYMORE AND THEY PUT THEM IN THE STORE. THEY DON’T HAVE A BIG STOCK ROOM IN THE BACK.

 Finally, the charade was over.  It had to be.  No more bluffing.

“I don’t work here.”

“Oh, I look like a fool!”

“No you don’t, you’re fine.”  Yup. You look like a big fool.

 Freedom.  I could walk away with a clear conscience (Although again, I have no idea why I felt the need to go through any of this. I could have told him I didn’t work there the first time he asked me to touch the shoes.)

This is not the first time this has happened.  This is not even the second time this has happened.  I can’t even tell you HOW MANY times this has happened to me.  What is it about me that looks like I work in whatever store I happen to be shopping in? True, I used to work retail but I haven’t worked in sales for over eleven years.

Is it my self confidence as I stroll through a store looking like I know exactly where everything is?  Because I stick to the same stores most of the time so maybe that’s it.

Is it my general avoidance of every living creature that gets within a five foot radius of me?  Because most of the time I don’t make eye contact or smile at someone because of the exact situation that just occurred.  And to be honest, even when I did work retail, by the time I was at my breaking point, I had mastered the way to avoid most interactions.

Was I just the closest person to the customer needing help?  Was I just at the wrong place at the wrong time?

It’s hard to say why this keeps happening to me but it does.  And for some reason, every time it happens I’m still a little shocked.  I mean, obviously I am giving off some sort of “I’m here to help you” vibe to people who are shopping in the same stores that I am.

The last time it happened was when I went to Best Buy with my parents.  They were off looking at vacuum cleaners and I had already finished perusing CDs, DVDs, and WII games.  So as I was walking near the front of the store, an older gentleman (I just realized it’s usually an older gentleman) walked through the sliding doors and made a beeline straight for me.

I used to work at Best Buy. But not that Best Buy. And not for several years. And no, I was not wearing a blue shirt.

“Do you know where I could find a watch battery?”

Here we go again.

Luckily for this guy, again I was in a pretty good mood and bored.  I looked around for an employee.  Within my sight there were three “Blue Shirts” as we used to be called.  Each of them was with a customer and none of them looked like they would be finished any time soon.

It’s go time.  Do I ask a Blue Shirt to help him?  Do I tell him I don’t work here and walk away, leaving him standing there looking lost?  What do I do?

 “I don’t know but we’ll find out,” I said, looking around again to try to find an employee.

I walked around several areas of the store, half looking for watch batteries and half looking for a Blue Shirt to help him.  After several minutes, I realized neither was going to come to fruition so I interrupted the herd of employees that were selling ONE PHONE TO ONE PERSON. (Seriously, how many Blue Shirts does it take to sell a phone?  This sounds like a riddle, please feel free to comment with a witty answer)

“Excuse me, this guy is looking for watch batteries. Can you tell me where they are?”

This is your clue, Blue Shirts. Surely one of you can help this man.  I’M DOING YOUR JOB.

 One Blue Shirt looked up, semi-annoyed that I broke her concentration (because obviously you have to really focus to get the phone to start working; it all boils down to mind control.)

“They’re up by checkouts,” she said.  No sooner had the words left her mouth had she bowed her head back into the huddle to will the phone to activate.

Ok then…I’ll just do YOUR JOB.

 “Follow me,”  I said to the gentleman. And he did.  And we found the watch batteries. And he didn’t even say thank you.

You’re welcome…..jerk.

 Over the years I’ve been in similar situations.  Sometimes  I  help the person, sometimes I don’t.  And secretly sometimes, because of the cruelty I endured from customers over the years, I get great satisfaction in saying,

“I don’t work here,” and walking away.

And while I have yet to figure out why this happens to me so often, I have figured out a few things that make my shopping easier:

Never wear blue to Best Buy or Wal-Mart.

Never wear red to K-Mart.

Never wear stripes to Foot Locker.

Never wear a paper hat anywhere near the food court of the mall.

And never, EVER, wear any kind of khaki pants anywhere because it’s the go-to of every establishment.

POST SCRIPT:  After writing this blog, I was walking around the Goodwill By the Pound store (wrote a blog about it, you should check it out if you haven’t.) and a guy stopped me..

“Do you know what size this is?”  he asked me about the stained and soiled comforter he was pawing around on.

“Nope,” said I, breezing right past him without stopping to feel guilty.

I may just beat this trend yet…

 

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Realizations!

Realizations!

Happy New Year!

Now that I have that out of the way, let’s get down to business.  I’m going to make this short and to the point.  This is not a resolution, this is a realization.  I’ve decided to change things up a little with my blog.

First of all, I’m going to be more consistent.  I think I overshot on my goal for the blog.  I’d have to actually look back but I think that I started out writing every day, then a couple of times a week and then when something popped into my head.  I’m going to be more realistic with my goals this year.  My goal for the blog this year is to write twice a month.  This may seem to you that I’m being lazy but hear me out.  I don’t want to force myself into writing something just because I gave myself a deadline of having a “weekly” blog.  There are times when I could probably write three a day but then there are more times when I struggle to find one thing that I think is interesting enough to write about.  And now that my actual job is taking me away from my “real” life for two-week stints at a time, writing once a month allows me to mull things over, to steep if you will, on a few subjects and then pick the one that I think would be the best to write about. So, goal number one, CONSISTENCY.

Second, I feel like I am limited on what I can write about by putting pressure on myself to be funny.  Sometimes I’m not funny but I still have things that I think I need to say, whether you want to read them or not.  So I’m re-vamping my content.  Most of the time I find things very funny, even if they are at my expense but there are a lot of times over this last year that I’ve felt like I need to write and post but I held back because I didn’t want to make it seem like I was being a Debbie Downer.  Therefore, I am giving myself permission to just write my thoughts, whether they be funny or not. Goal number two: A MORE VARIED CONTENT.

And finally, and this really is more of a goal for the year than for the blog, By the end of 2013, I would like to have a book proposal ready to send out in order to try to actually make money with this writing thing.  I did not meet the goal I set for myself this last year because I had hoped to have a proposal ready to send out by last spring.  That, obviously, did not happen.  So third and final goal, TO HAVE A BOOK PROPOSAL READY TO SEND OUT.

If any of you have any topics you would like me to ponder and write about, or you want to know how I feel about a certain subject, please feel free to comment, or to go to my Facebook page (there’s a button on the right side, you should totally click it to ‘LIKE’ me and drop me a line and I’ll do what I can.  No promises though because if you ask me to write about things like the Kardashians, or Toddlers and Tiaras, you will be denied.  And frowned upon.  And made fun of.

That is all.

 

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I know, Right?

I know, Right?

There are few sayings I loathe more than “it is what it is.” When someone uses this lame line on me, I inwardly cringe. It’s people’s way of excusing their idiotic behavior.

“Hey, I drank the last Mountain Dew, that one you bought specifically to take to work.”

“YOU KNEW I WAS SAVING THAT FOR TOMORROW AND YOU DRANK IT????”

“It is what it is.”

What does that even mean? I’ll tell you what it means. It means that I had something that you wanted, and instead of showing self-restraint, you did what you wanted without regard for my feelings and then had the audacity to excuse your selfishness by uttering five stupid little words.

JERK.

(Please note that I don’t have a roommate so if the above conversation actually took place, my friends and family would probably be placing me in a group home where I would spend my days making knitted toaster cozies.)

There is one phrase that grates on me even more and that one is “I know, right?”

If you are above the age of nineteen and you use the phrase, “I know, right?” there is something terribly wrong with you. Let’s take a look at this saying by referring to my imaginary roommate, ok?

“I can’t believe that our electric bill was one hundred and seventy dollars this month!”

“I know, right?”

“Yeah….it is right…which is why I said it. Why are you asking me if what I just said was right? I said it as a statement, not a suggestion. What I said is a fact: our electric bill was one hundred and seventy dollars this month and I am shocked. This requires no agreement on your part. You do not need to add “right” to the end of your response. You’re making me want to make my statement again because you have now added a question at the end and I can’t leave a question unanswered.”

JERK.

(I have no idea why I made my imaginary roommate such a jerk. I mean, this is the one person’s behavior that I should have control over and yet I’m dealing with a moron.

Anyway that’s really all I had to vent about for now. If ever we run into each other on the street, please refrain from using these two statements. And if you can’t, then I guess it just is what it is.

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2012 in Random

 

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Art Indeed…

Recently, and perhaps it’s just me being a little slow on the uptake, I have noticed that my beloved city is overrun with sculptures both abstract and realistic or whatever other term you care to use to describe a giant pink suit made out of aluminum.

The pink suit aside, I have a special term I use. I call it Crap-That-My-City-Paid-Way-Too-Much-For.  Another term I apply to said sculptures is Crap-a-two-year-old-mentally-challenged-blind-monkey-could-make.

It’s big. It’s ugly and in St. Louis, it’s everywhere.

You can’t go downtown without running into some giant orange-red sculptures made out of what looks like leftover beams from a construction site.  The worst part about all of this “art” is that I am somehow supposed to believe that the artist had a true emotional connection to the “Piece” (I can call it a “piece” but please note that I didn’t say what kind of “Piece” it was)  And in turn, I am somehow supposed to have an emotional reaction to it.

And I guess I do.  It makes me feel like I am being hoodwinked into believing the descriptions of it.  For example, let’s say there are several of those orange-red beams that are piled one on top of the other, in sort of a teepee shape but not really.  The plaque at the base of the piece might read as follows:

“Love in Orange And Steel: 1999, artist Hans Smuggenhassel.  This piece, made of steel beams that the artist found amongst the rubble of the torn down bowling alley that he would frequent with his father, clearly shows the love that the artist never got from his father and also depicts the mental anguish suffered by the artist at the paws of his neighbor’s shih tzu. “

Or maybe there is a giant teapot made out of cement with embedded shards of pretty glass:

“A Kick to the Teabags: 2003, artist Hyllaree von Pootenbooger.  This teapot, made of cement and shards of broken glass and ceramics, was commissioned by the city of St. Louis in 2001.  The artist, who only has one arm and half of a leg, worked without help, for two years, up to twenty hours a day, to complete the work.  In order to bring a humanistic aspect to the piece, Hyllaree used her own urine to mix up the concrete.  The shards of glass and broken ceramics were from a period in her life when she experienced extreme depression and in fits of anger, broke her grandmother’s heirloom china.  While working on the teapot, Hyllaree suffered yet another loss when her husband of fourteen years decided that he was gay and left her for their local Teavana manager.”

Or maybe there is a pile of baseballs stacked neatly in a pyramid, with bits of broken acoustic guitars placed haphazardly all over the whole thing:

“Anger in G Minor, DON’T YOU DARE TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME!, 2011, Michael St. Hoogleheimer.  This piece was, according to the artist, “art therapy”  for him in 2009.  At the time, the artist was struggling to pay his bills, working concessions at Busch Stadium.  His wife was also working concessions at the ballpark when she happened to serve a bass player from a local band.  The two fell in love and she left Michael for the “wannabe rock star.”  This was too much for St. Hoogleheimer to take and he temporarily went insane, declaring he would make it as an artist to disprove her description of him as a “no-good, lazy beer jockey.”  Diligently, and sometimes violently, Michael began to come to the ballpark earlier than usual and would be in the bleachers for batting practice.  Over a period of two years, he was able to collect, through his own good catching skills and by knocking small chidren over should they get in his way, a massive amount of batting practice baseballs.  Then he purchased, at great personal expense, a high-end bass guitar, specifically to smash, representing the emotional pain the breakup had caused him.  Currently, the artist is suffering quietly in a mental institution where he firmly believes that he is Amelia Earhart.”

And people believe this crap!  So I have decided to start sculpting.  I’ve figured out the process:  First you find materials that will withstand time.  Then you close your eyes and throw it into a pile, or if you’re going for the more realistic approach, you take every day items and form them into some kind of shape.  After you feel like you’ve made something that someone could quite possibly be tricked into buying for hundreds of thousands of dollars, you make up a back story.  The more painful, the better.

I’ve already got my first sculpture planned out in my head.  It’s going to be the beer cans that the upstairs neighbors throw in my bushes every weekend.  I’m going to get a baby pool, fill it with dirt, plant some kind of bush in it and then throw the cans under it randomly.  Here is the plaque:

“Irritation Caused by Neighbors, 2012, artist Jenn Murphysnoggle (because every artist has an unusual name)  This sculpture, made of plastic, dirt, aluminum and bush, represents the irritation the artist endures every day by stepping out on her front porch and looking over into the bushes, where she sees the remnants of the party that went on the night before.  Finally, after many years of emotional and hygienically-barren anguish, Jenn finally lost it and had a complete and utter meltdown.  This sculpture was her first and last piece before she was hauled off to jail for the public disturbance she caused upon finding a dirty diaper on her front stoop on a warm July afternoon. Currently she is serving a six month term in the St. Louis City jail.”

So…who will start the bidding on this piece?  Do I hear fifty grand?

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2012 in Jenn's Adventures

 

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Aside
You want fries with that?

Kids today have it made.  Some of you probably think I’m talking about how no kid is ever considered a loser anymore.  Everyone gets a ribbon!  You didn’t place at all in the science fair with your “Which candy causes ants to swarm the most?”  That’s ok! You can tie your shoes!   You’re in high school and you can’t spell the word “ridiculous”?  (which you, still as a forty year old man spell “rediculous”  And you have the nerve to call me stupid? Really?)  That’s ok! You went number two all by yourself! (I cannot confirm nor deny whether or not the forty year old man accomplished this feat)  Not once did you hit the ball off of the tee?  That’s ok!  There’s no “I” in team!  (unless again, you’re that forty year old man that can’t spell then you may put an “I” in there: TeaIm?)

All of those things aside, I’m talking about the quality of today’s Happy Meal.  Please note that I use the term “quality” very loosely, as I’m sure that if we actually did science experiments on the chemically produced foods that make up a Happy Meal, we would find that there’s no quality there at all. On the plus side, you would probably get a blue ribbon at the fair, or at least an “I can clog my arteries!” ribbon.

When I was but a young girl, you had two choices for a Happy Meal:  hamburger or cheeseburger. It was only in my early teen years that the McNugget was introduced.  I fell in love with the McNugget.  If you have a McNugget addiction that you just can’t kick, read up on how and what they make the McNuggets out of and you may be able to quit cold turkey, which incidentally might be an ingredient in the CHICKEN McNuggets.  Also, I am seeing how many times I can write the word McNugget in one paragraph. It’s one of those words that looks all weird if you look at it long enough.

Along with my cheeseburger or hamburger, I could get a small portion of fries and either a small soda or a small orange drink.  Those were my options.

Seem like I’m forgetting the best part of the Happy Meal?  Because I’m not.  The real reason that kids always get Happy Meals is not for the food. It’s for the toy.  When I was a kid, these are the toys I remember getting:

A yellow dinosaur eraser, a green dinosaur eraser, a blue rhinoceros eraser.

Do you see a pattern here? Apparently kids from my generation made a lot of mistakes…in pencil.

This brings me to today’s Happy Meal and the spoiled kids who get them, probably as a treat for, not winning their pee wee soccer game, but for not having their finger shoved up their nose when the soccer ball hit them square in the face while they were mining their nostrils.  Today’s Happy Meals, first of all, are ginormous compared to what we got.  Today’s kids are feasting on what, in the early 1980’s would be considered an adult value meal.  And they have options!  They can get a hamburger, cheeseburger or chicken nuggets.

“But Jenn,” you say, ready to prematurely correct me, “those are the same options YOU had!”

To which I would say to you, “Pipe down and let me finish! Who’s writing this blog? Me or you?” And then I would return to my story, much as I am about to do.

Today’s kids have the same options we have PLUS they now get their sandwich or nuggets, fries, a drink (which now also includes the choice of a shot of regular or chocolate milk) AND apples.  Not apple dippers, mind you, which consisted of slices of apple and a container of dippable caramel but just apples.  A lot of people don’t know this but if you ask, they will give you some caramel.  This was the McDonald’s way of making their kids’ meals healthier.  And to counteract the health initiative they now offer kids the choice to “upsize” their meals, calling them “Mighty Meals.”  A good name for them, if by mighty you mean “The Obese Maker” meal….or the “Mighty good start on the path to Obesity” Meal.

And the toys they get now are no longer dinosaur erasers.  No, that’s not entertaining enough for today’s kids.  Today’s kids get toys that light up or make sounds or move or do their science projects for them so that they don’t end up getting the “I didn’t touch my junk in public” award.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about Happy Meals. I’m actually quite thrilled because I can get a full size meal for under four bucks plus a toy that I will be amused with for about ten seconds.  So yes, I am in my mid-thirties and I get Happy Meals. Not for the toy but because it’s like Goldilock’s chair, it’s just the right size.  I’m just saying that I don’t think today’s kids realize how good they have it. They get large portions of deep fried fat and sugar PLUS a pretty cool toy. No erasers to be found these days. The toys keep getting better and better.

And when McDonald’s teams up with Apple in some way and starts giving out McIPads, I will be the first in line.

You want fries with that?

 
 

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