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Best Valentine’s Day Gifts – Ever!

February 8, 2017
Best Valentine's Day Gifts - Ever!

If you’re looking for ideas for the best Valentine’s Day gifts – ever, then you’re in luck. I’ve been writing about Valentine’s Day gifts for as long as I’ve had a blog and I know all there is to successful gift giving for this blasted holiday. 

Click here to learn about the Top 5 Worst Valentine’s Day Presents? Or click here for past Best Valentine’s Day Presents.

And if you’re considering one of those 4 foot bears you need to read Size Matters But A Hunka Love Bear Will Not Get You Laid.

“But Jen, how can you know about something like Valentine’s Day when you’re not involved with anyone and you’ve been divorced twice? Clearly, romance is not your strong suit?”

And you would be right to ponder that conundrum. Except, because I have been in so many bad relationships, I know what not to do for Valentine’s Day. Trust me, you won’t go wrong if you use this handy Valentine’s Day gift buying guide.

Here’s the thing. Most people who actually care about the gifts are either young, madly in love, trying to find love or stay in love. For everyone else, the day is sort of a non holiday. It might be a reason to drink and eat chocolate, but that could just be a Tuesday for most people.

Chocolates and wine are always good gift ideas, you simply can’t go wrong with those – unless your significant other is a diabetic or recovering alcoholic, then probably not a good idea. 

A night out is also a safe bet, usually. I don’t know you partner so ask – some people hate crowds. As far as I am concerned, a night out at a decent restaurant is a wonderful gift because I don’t have to clean, cook or clean up after the meal. And by decent I mean anyplace that serves food. I’m not that picky. The bar has been lowered for decades.

Anyway, getting back to gifts. If you’re looking for something special but won’t break the bank, doesn’t force a commitment neither of you are prepared for and is something your Valentine might actually like — read on.

Best Valentine’s Day Gifts – Ever!

InstantPot

I know, I know, in the past I have scolded you for giving appliances. I still stand by that for the most part, but the InstantPot is different. Whoever you give this to – man, woman, and everyone in between – will love it. You cannot go wrong with an InstantPot. I prefer the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker because it makes yogurt, that’s just cool, but they have a less expensive model, the standard Instant Pot IP-LUX60 V3, and it’s awesome too. While you’re at it, get the Instant Pot Glass Lid you’ll be glad you did. 

InstantPot Cookbooks

Does your love already have an InstantPot? Probably, since everyone has been talking about them for the last couple of years. If that’s the case, you can always get them a couple InstantPot cookbooks. Here are some of my favorites:

The Instant Pot® Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook: Easy Recipes for Fast & Healthy Meals – This is pretty much the bible of InstantPot cookbooks. It’s a great place to start if you’re new to pressure cooking and it’s got some super easy and wonderfully tasty recipes in it. The French Onion Soup is to die for!

Paleo Cooking With Your Instant Pot: 80 Incredible Gluten- and Grain-Free Recipes Made Twice as Delicious in Half the Time – I just got this one the other day because I’m doing the paleo thing again. It’s got some great recipes that are surprisingly satisfying and really easy to throw together last minute. If you’re doing paleo you’ll want to try this one out. 

Instant Pot Ultimate CookBook – 2nd Edition: The Complete Pressure Cooker Guide – Delicious and Healthy Instant Pot Recipes

Great Food Fast (Best of the Best Presents) Bob Warden’s Ultimate Pressure Cooker Recipes

Other Practical Valentine’s Day Gift ideas

Car Safety Hammer, ARCHEER 6-In-1 Emergency Rescue Kit Car Safety Hammer Seatbelt Cutter Window Breaker Auto Rescue Disaster Escape Tool, Built In Flashlight, Whistle, Magnet&Alarm Lamp

Nothing says I love you like a car hammer/window breaker device. Seriously, this thing belongs in every first aid kit, or at least vehicle safety kit. It cuts the seatbelt, breaks the window and has a built in flashlight, magnet, alarm lamp and might even make coffee. 

How to Traumatize Your Children: 7 Proven Methods to Help You Screw Up Your Kids Deliberately and with Skill – Parents of the world rejoice! Knock Knock’s bestselling How to Traumatize Your Children has been revamped with all-new totally dysfunctional illustrations. This groundbreaking instructional volume teaches you how to give your children the lifelong gifts of mental and emotional damage. Whether you employ the same ruinous techniques your parents used or try out an entirely new approach, you are bound to succeed!

Of course you just can’t go wrong with the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition, probably even better than the InstantPot. 

Roses are always nice. This Red Rose of Passion Bouquet (One Dozen Long Stemmed) – With Vase is sure to please.

And you can’t go wrong with chocolate in a heart shaped by from Godiva Chocolatier

Blogging Dumb Shit I Do How Did We Survive? People politics Things that piss me off WTF?

What I Learned on My Facebook Vacation

February 2, 2017
What I Learned on My Facebook Vacation

Recently I took a little break from social media, and this is what I learned on my Facebook Vacation. I needed a break from social media, but mostly I needed to get off of Facebook. Facebook is where I do most of my socializing. 

Don’t judge, you probably do too, or maybe you’re fond of Pinterest, or you hang out with the folks on Instagram. Doesn’t matter, they’re all the same. None of us actually get out anymore. And that’s too bad because there’s a whole big world of people doing things and NOT arguing about politics or calling each other Nazis or Libtards.

What I Learned on My Facebook Vacation

In my week of self induced banning from Facebook I learned that people in the real world don’t commence a conversation with friends by demanding they unfriend each other because one of them may or may not approve of the other’s opinion – which is really just one of them trying to show all the other people in her timeline that she is bold, brash, right (though not “right” or “alt-right”) and mostly virtuous.

I learned that people can go out together and have fun. They can shop, walk, talk, share a meal, laugh, sing, dance and never, ever mention politics, or mock Steve Bannon’s or Kellyanne Conway’s looks.

We used to be a melting pot but now – thanks to identity politics – we’re black, white, hispanics, women, men, lesbians, gays, transgender, cis something or other, religious freaks, atheists, republicans, democrats (republicants, libtards, republikkkans, fascists, Nazis), white males, white women of privilege (which is apparently not only a joke, but also a huge redundancy). We are every group there is out there, we are different. OMG we are nothing but our differences. 

Except we’re not. We used to be Americans. Those who were immigrating here – they were known as people who wanted to become Americans. 

And in the real world, we’re just people trying to get through this crazy ass amusement park ride together. We’re human. We make mistakes, we dust ourselves off, get back up and try all over again. 

I love Facebook, I’ve met some great people there, but I prefer the real world — where we have to look each other in the eye while we discuss the issues of the day, where the nuances of conversations are not surrendered to emojis and 140 characters. Where we actually care about each other. 

And especially where we aren’t just trying to tear each other down so we can build ourselves up for the approval, or “likes”, from those who have more followers than us.

But mostly what I learned on my Facebook vacation is that we aren’t all assholes (in real life). Some of us, most of us, are actually decent people. Even the ones with whom we disagree (go fucking figure!). 

 

Blogging Dumb Shit I Do People politics WTF?

The Definitive Trump Gift Buying Guide

January 27, 2017
Definitive Trump Buying Guide

For the next four years we’ve got a Trump presidency. We can either embrace the humor of it, or cower in a corner pretending it didn’t really happen while we drown in vodka or whiskey. However you choose to manage the next four years, this is the definitive Trump Gift Buying Guide. Doesn’t matter if you love him or hate him, there’s something for everyone on this list. 

The Definitive Trump Gift Buying Guide 

1. Gerber Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit

This has everything you need to survive the apocalypse after he blows everything up. Kit includes which Gator Machete, Camp Axe II, Gator Machete Pro, Parang Machete, LMF II Infantry Fix Blade Knife, DMF Folding Tanto Blade Knife, Epic Drop Point Fixed Blade Knife, two machetes, one parang, and a hatchet all enclosed in a super durable canvas carrying case with reinforced stitching, the kit is compact and packable.

2. 10 in 1 Professional Survival Kit

Here’s another great kit to help you survive when civilization goes to shit. For those of you on the left survival is a new thing. If you can’t bring yourself to get a conceal carry permit, let alone a gun, this might be the place to start. 

3. Trump Toilet Paper

Trump Toilet Paper for sale

Of course if you’re out in the wilderness surviving, you’re going to need something to wipe your ass with. 

4. Trump Success Eau de Toilette Spray for Men, 3.4 Fluid Ounce

Ever wondered what success smells like? 

About the Product
  • This product is made of high quality material
  • It is recommended for romantic wear
  • This Product Is Manufactured In USA

Sounds like Trump wrote the ad copy for this. 

5. Fuck Trump Herb Grinder

Trump Herb Grinder

To get through the next four years, especially if the apocalypse doesn’t happen, you’ll need something to grind your herb, this one seems fitting.

6. The Trump Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Living Through What You Hoped Would Never Happen

The Trump Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Living Through What You Hoped Would Never Happen

Don’t despair. Don’t retreat. Fight back.

Before we can successfully engage, we need to be clear about the battles ahead. Stone outlines political and social concepts—including such issues as Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, the Environment, Obamacare, International relations, and LGBTQ Rights—providing a brief history of each, a refresher on Obama’s policies, and an analysis of what Trump’s administration might do. Stone then provides an invaluable guide for fighting back—referring to organizations, people, sites, and countless other resources that support positive and possible goals.

While marches and social media are important forms of protest, concrete actions achieve real change. Positive and reinforcing, The Trump Survival Guide presents the essential information we need to effectively make our voices heard and our power felt.

7. Dump-a-Trump Pen Holder

donald trump pen holder

For those of you who would prefer a less active role in the revolution, but still want to register your disgust – there is this lovely Donald Trump Pen Holder. 

8. A Child’s First Book of Trump

The Trump is a curious creature, very often spotted in the wild, but confounding to our youngest citizens. A business mogul, reality TV host, and now…political candidate? Kids (and let’s be honest many adults) might have difficulty discerning just what this thing that’s been dominating news coverage this election cycle is. Could he actually be real? Are those…words coming out of his mouth? Why are his hands so tiny? And perhaps most importantly, what on earth do you do when you encounter an American Trump?

With his signature wit and a classic picture book style, comedian Michael Ian Black introduces those unfamiliar with the Americus Trumpus to his distinguishing features and his mystifying campaign for world domination…sorry…President of the United States.

9. Donald Trump Life Size Cardboard Standup

Donald Trump cardboard cutout

Honestly, I can think of a million uses for a cardboard cutout of Donald Trump. This is from the description: Perfect For Children’s Birthday Parties, Special Events, School, Corporate Events, Awards Programs, Fairs, Festivals, Galas, Fundraisers And Green/Eco Events… Um, really?

10. Donald Trump Toilet Roll Talker

Trump talking toilet paper roll

FILL YOUR BATHROOM WITH DONALD TRUMP’S VOICE – Prank friends and family with this ingenious Donald Trump toilet paper roll holder that makes your regular toilet paper talk! Just insert it into any roll of toilet paper and PREPARE FOR SOME SERIOUS LAUGHS!

You cannot make this shit up. And it’s in his real voice! How’d they manage that? 

Bonus!!

11.Chia Donald Trump Freedom of Choice Pottery Planter

Donald Trump Chia Pet

It’s not real until they make a Chia Pet out of you. At least his hair looks better. 

Advice Blogging Dumb Shit I Do Events People politics Send Jen on a Vacation Things that piss me off WTF?

Taking a Social Media Break

January 23, 2017

I’m going to be taking a social media break. Mostly from Facebook since that is where I waste most of my time. I’m doing it for many reasons, the above mentioned wasting time is a big one, but I’m also doing it because it’s not fun anymore. Social media has turned into the Mean Girls table in 7th grade and I hated it then and hate it even more now.

Taking a Social Media Break

Twitter has always been a clusterfuck of negativity, and I am sure Instagram, and Pinterest are getting filled with just as many negative memes if not outright status updates. 

For the most part I have kept my sadness and anger under control when I peruse the status updates of friends and people who update publicly. I’m not a troll and it isn’t my job to educate anyone on the ways of persuasion. I’ve simply had enough.

Stop Being Such Douchebags to Each Other!

People are upset and I appreciate and respect that, but oh my god they are also so very rude, childish and just plain mean. 

This negativity, this aggressiveness, this unpleasantness has been going on for well over a year now, but since the election it’s gotten worse. Since the inauguration, it has gotten out of hand.

“I don’t care who started it!”

Yes, I know, I sound just like my father. 

I know there are important issues that need to be discussed. I get that people are scared and want to do whatever they can to change something… The thing is, I’m not listening anymore. And I’m really tolerant! 

This past weekend I saw women tearing at each other because the appropriate response was not given with regard to the women’s march this Saturday. According to many if you didn’t go you are considered a Trump supporter. That’s quite a leap. I had no idea my lack of desire to participate in an event would lump me in with the deplorables. 

Bittersweet

Social media, especially Facebook, is my socializing. As a single mom, I don’t get out much. Spending some time on Facebook and chatting with friends has always been a welcome way to start the day and wind it down. My time on Facebook was something I looked forward to. Now, it just makes me sad or angry, lately enraged.

And I love you people, but you are being really mean to each other right now and I’m scared. I’m afraid to leave a comment, to engage with other people, because I am afraid my inability to concisely sum up an issue with a pithy comment that is regarded by the majority as correct is lacking. That I can’t say what I want to say without pissing someone, everyone off. 

It Used to be Fun

Listen, I know that social media has never been a place to discuss issues in any sort of meaningful or deep way. Social media comments are like romance novels, you will get down and dirty by page six, or the 6th comment as the case may be. But sometimes, respectful discussions did take place.

These discussions may not have changed any minds, but when respectful they were at least enlightening. Now, it’s just a race to see who can work Hitler or the Nazis into the conversation first. No one actually expects discourse, they just want to get their clever comeback in and then wait for their tribe to hit the like button so everyone knows how influential they are.

And That Pisses Me Off

I’ve tried to reason with social media to no avail so for the time being I’m removing myself from the negativity. Unfortunately, I manage social media for many businesses so I still have to show up. However, I won’t be engaging for a while and as much as possible I will automate my presence there.

That said, I will still be hanging out at my blog and with all the free time I expect will be able to visit those blogs that are actually still blogging. I hope discussion about these interesting times can be had with less snark. If you see me on Facebook – I’m playing Candy Crush or updating a client’s status. I will automate the promotion of any posts here on Facebook and other social media. 

See, I’m explaining myself!! How stupid is that?

I’m sure I will not be gone for too long, probably until TWD returns and all has been righted in the world. I just need to get away from the negativity for a while. Life is simply too short for all of the mean girl bullshit. 

I love you all and I will miss you, but you piss me off too much to stick around right now so I’m disconnecting.

Dumb Shit I Do Events How Did We Survive? People politics Things that piss me off WTF?

It’s the End of the World as We Know It

January 18, 2017
it's the end of the world as we know it

If you’re like a good chunk of the US population, and probably a large percentage of the rest of the world, you probably think that come Friday, it’s the end of the world as we know it.

Or maybe it will be the end of the world? Who knows, maybe shortly after Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, he’ll make a grab for the football and set off the nukes. 

Unless you’re living under a rock you can’t help but notice that people are losing their shit about the inauguration. Joe Biden is worried about the fracture of the “liberal world order” due to Putin, Glen Beck has seen the light and is now holding hands with Samantha Bee, Marc Lamont Hill is saying some of the most foul things and still no one is really covering it – let alone outraged by it (so I guess in that regard nothing has changed), and some dude actually lit himself on fire in protest of Trump

What the ever loving f*ck?

And it’s only Wednesday. I would imagine things are just getting started with regard to crazy and overly dramatic.

I don’t know if it’s the end of the world as we know it. It probably is. I mean, isn’t it always? Something comes along and changes the trajectory of things – whatever they may be – and things change accordingly. The same could have been said if Hillary was the person being sworn in on Friday. Things would be different. Though, probably not as different as they are with Trump win. 

Of course, that’s also why he won. 

But what about the Russians?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, they hacked us, and we are rightly outraged and are doing everything possible to make sure it doesn’t happen again, but there has been no evidence that anything they did actually changed the outcome of the election. So…..

I’m sorry, I got distracted by the auto arguments.

People wanted change, that’s why Trump won the election. Now, it might not be the change you wanted, but that’s why we have elections. We don’t let just one person, or one group, choose who the next president will be. Sorry, Rosie, not even you get to choose for all of us

My Facebook feed is filled with people so anxious about the peaceful change of power that they literally have “taken to bed”. 

I would love to take to bed, but I have to work. I’m super thrilled however, that we live in such a wealthy nation that people have that option. I mean think about it… we have so much wealth in this nation that someone can “take to bed” for a day or more because they are simply upset about who won the presidency. They either don’t have any responsibility, or they are so well off that they have others to pick up the slack while they “take to bed”. 

What isn’t there to love about that? What a wonderful country we have that we have so much flexibility. Talk about first world problems.

Seriously, I am getting away from myself.

And I don’t even like Trump!

The thing is, I’ve seen this all before. That’s one of the great things about hitting the mid century mark, there’s not much you haven’t seen. I came of age during the Reagan years and I remember everyone freaking out that he was going to accidentally nuke Russia or some other unfortunate country. It didn’t happen then and it isn’t likely to now.

Will he make changes?

Yeah, duh. That’s why he’s getting sworn in and Hillary is not. I said that already, I guess.

He’s probably going to make a lot of changes, and all of them will be attributed to his sense of greed and desire for power, same goes for all the republicans. It’s going to be a long 4 years, possibly 8. 

To be continued….

People politics Sex Things that piss me off WTF?

On Trump and Golden Showers

January 11, 2017
On Trump and Golden Showers

Here are my thoughts on Trump and Golden Showers, but first I should mention I did not bother to read the Buzzfeed article, the dossier that was apparently handed over from John McCain to the FBI or maybe it was the CIA or possible the NSA, TSA, FCC, JCC or AARP, and I didn’t see any of the press conference Donald Trump gave today, either.

I have however, seen about eleventy billion Facebook posts about golden showers today. 

On Trump and Golden Showers

While I might lean to the right politically, I am pretty liberal when it comes to the stuff you do in the privacy of your own home, or hotel room as the case may be. Personally, I think golden showers are icky, but some people get into that stuff. It’s none of my business. Just like it’s none of my business if someone wants to put a cigar in someone’s vag, muff, honey pot, pussy, lady bits, cooch, twat, cooter, or whatever we’re calling it these days. 

Whatever Floats your Boat

I don’t care, I just really don’t want to hear about it. 

I don’t know who did what, who leaked it or if any of it is true. I do know that we’re all getting played.

Maybe it’s the Russians who are playing us? Or Putin, the media, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, any of the republican candidates from the primary, Obama, several former and current Miss Americas, Bill Cosby, Bernie Sanders, or possibly Joe Biden. 

Joe Biden Meme under where

We’re Being Played

I don’t know who it is playing us, but we’re all falling for it. We’re all acting like crazy people with absolutely nothing better to do than gossip, speculate and actually act as if we know know some kind of truth about all of this. 

We don’t. We don’t know the truth about any of this and yet many of us are acting like super sleuths trying to figure things out. 

If it hadn’t been for those crazy kids and their dog….

Chill Out

The thing is, when Buzzfeed and other reputable news sources (I’m not really including Buzzfeed in the reputable category, they’re more the clickbait category) post unsubstantiated, unverified, unproven, possibly false, possibly (even likely) faked, dossiers about someone we shouldn’t get our collective panties in a bunch about it.

We already thought he was the worst thing ever, why is this business about golden showers so newsworthy? Haven’t we had enough?

I’m not trying to make light of the Russian hacking, if that’s what this is about then we need to put a stop to it. Full Stop. Sanctions, whatever it takes to punish them. I’m all for that. 

This Seems to be Something Else

I don’t like Trump, I think he is vile, deplorable, vulgar and I would prefer he was not going to be president of the United States, but I don’t think a golden shower is going to get anyone impeached. And while it is true that douchebaggery is hard to cure, it’s not illegal.

Seriously, I’m not defending him. 

I just don’t want to hear about any of this anymore. Haven’t we got better things with which to get worked up?

I don’t know much about this, but I do know that someone is making money because of it.

And we’re buying.

*Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Advice Minnesota People Things that piss me off Winter

How to Drive in Snow

January 9, 2017
How to drive in snow

Now more than ever it’s important to learn how to drive in snow. This past weekend a good chunk of the nation received several inches, if not feet, of snow. In fact, 49 of 5o states have been affected by this massive storm. Not every state is covered in snow, but there are many places that don’t normally see snow who are now forced to navigate it. As a Minnesotan, and a blogger, I am happy to share with you my tips for how to drive in snow.

How to Drive in Snow

Go Slow – Whether it’s an inch or a foot of the white stuff it doesn’t matter – traffic is going to grind to a halt. You aren’t going to get there fast so embrace the snow and go slowly. Driving in snow isn’t that difficult, it’s the ice underneath it that makes it so challenging and dangerous. Take your time and give the car in front of you plenty of space. 

Stay Back – I’ll say it again, the ice under the snow is the issue. Give the car in front of you plenty of space. If they slam on the brakes and you’re riding their ass guess who’s going to be at fault? You are. You could also be dead or cause their death. Don’t risk it. Stay back and stay alive. Same goes for staying back behind snow plows. 

Brush off your Vehicle – This should go without saying, but people just don’t seem to get this. Don’t just brush off your windshield, brush off the roof of your vehicle as well. There’s nothing more terrifying than driving behind a car or SUV when all of the sudden a sheet of snow and ice flies off the roof of their car and lands on yours. Be courteous and brush off your whole vehicle.

Parking – Don’t block the sidewalk! This should be obvious, if you park in front of the sidewalk you force those who use the sidewalk to walk on the grass or the snow covered grass. My neighbor has lived in Minnesota her whole life and yet she always parks in front of my sidewalk. I don’t get it, but it’s one of those things that infuriates people so don’t do it. Park between the sidewalks that lead to the street. 

Emergency Kit – Be sure to keep a winter emergency kit in your vehicle. This should include a blanket, matches, flares, some extra clothing, hand warmers, granola bars, and a flashlight with fresh batteries. Make sure you have plenty of gas and windshield washer fluid. 

Pedestrians – If you’re walking in snowy conditions please don’t dash out into traffic to cross the street. Yes, this is a thing. In my area pedestrians like to prove that they have the right of way by running out into traffic causing drivers to slam on the brakes if they see them. Sadly, they don’t always see pedestrians soon enough and hit them. Even when they do see the pedestrians, it can be really difficult to stop due to ice and snow on the road – and the fact that most vehicles weigh a lot more than pedestrians. Yes, you have the right of way, but that doesn’t matter that much when you’re dead.

Blogging Events Minnesota Minnesota Nice People

Movies You’ll Want To See: 20th Century Women

January 4, 2017
Movies You'll Want To See: 20th Century Women

File this under Movies You’ll Want To See: 20th Century Women. As a Minnesota blogger and influencer (yeah, I cringed just a little when I typed that last word) I get advance screening tickets to some pretty great movies including Moana, that last Star Wars movie and now 20th Century Women.

I’ll be honest, I hadn’t heard of this movie before I got the invite and I was hesitant pass on the info because the title doesn’t really do much for me. It doesn’t give me enough info about the movie which makes me suspect it’s trying to hide something.

That’s silly on my part because it has Annette Bening in it. 20th Century Women also has Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Lucas Jade Zumann and Billy Crudup in it. Also, it takes place in 1979 which is when my story, Minnesota Nice, begins. 

As a single mom to a son, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to relate to this story. The few minutes I saw of the trailer made it clear this is one of those movies that gets under your skin and stays with you for a while. I’m looking forward to seeing it next week.

If you’re in the Twin Cities and would like to attend an advance screening of 20TH CENTURY WOMEN  starring Annette Benning, Greta Gerwig & Elle Fanning  on Thursday, January 12 at 7pm at Landmark Lagoon, then download a FREE pair of passes by clicking on the link below (while supplies last). Please be advised that this screening is overbooked to ensure a full house. Seating is first come, first served, so arrive early to guarantee a seat!

Link to download passes: http://www.gofobo.com/qbVrn81486

People Send Jen on a Vacation Things that piss me off WTF?

Douchebaggery is Hard to Cure

January 2, 2017
Douchebaggery is hard to cure

Hat tip to my friend Leigh for texting this reminder – douchebaggery is hard to cure – after a meeting with a douchebag. She asked me if I really expected things to turn out any differently than they did and then followed up with the aforementioned truism.

Douchebaggery is hard to cure, indeed

In fact, I have yet to meet a douchebag who has been cured. Mostly, I suspect, because douchebags don’t want to be cured. Douchebags don’t go home and start chatting with their friends to see if maybe they were wrong. They don’t ask their friends if they were out of line. They don’t bother with self reflection because everything is about them and therefore it must be right because that is what they feel. In fact, they are the only ones worthy of feelings. 

According to the Urban Dictionary a Douchebag a:

An individual who has an over-inflated sense of self worth, compounded by a low level of intellegence, behaving ridiculously in front of colleagues with no sense of how moronic he appears. 

or 

Though the common douchebag thinks he is accepted by the people around him, most of his peers dislike him. He has an inflated sense of self-worth, compounded by a lack of social grace and self-awareness. He behaves inappropriately in public, yet is completely ignorant to how pathetic he appears to others.

Apparently, I am a douchebag magnet. 

*sigh*

It’s only the second day of the new year and already I’m ready to give up because of this one 40 minute meeting. I’ll get over it, I always do. I’ll grin and bear it as we head back to court to try to resolve something that is unresolvable because douchebaggery is hard to cure. 

There are many lessons to be had, here. Unfortunately, cannot go back in time and fix this. I am proud to say that by isolating myself so well in the past several years I have managed to avoid hooking up with, becoming friends with or otherwise trusting another douchebag, but I’m still stuck with the ones I trusted before I learned this valuable lesson. 

Here’s the thing, douchebags do not wake up one morning as said douchebags. They are raised that way, from birth. The signs are there – big old red flags – but most of us ignore them because well, not being a douchebag it’s difficult to imagine anyone being such an asshole.

Blogging Books Dumb Shit I Do Events Food Kids Minnesota Minnesota Nice People Pets politics Recipes Reviews Things I Really Like Things that piss me off Writing

Redhead Ranting 2016 Roundup

December 31, 2016
Redhead Ranting 2016 Roundup

For your reading pleasure I’ve put together my sometimes annual Redhead Ranting 2016 Roundup. Every other media outlet does a roundup so I thought, what the heck, I’ll do one too!

I’m actually surprised I wrote enough this year for a roundup. In fact, I actually wrote and published 60 posts this year, which is my third time high since I started blogging in 2007. It’s twice as much as I wrote last year.

There were basically 4 categories this year, the election, my mother, recipes, and Prince, and an outlier about Dini the cat. It’s a long post, and most didn’t bother to read it, but it’s one that harkens back to my early days of blogging, when I just told a story and enjoyed the journey.

No One Ever Said There Would Be This Much Cat Vomit

Blog Posts about the Election

I really didn’t think he’d win, and I might watch too much Walking Dead.

How to Survive the Trumpacolypse

How to Prepare for the Post Election Apocalypse

OMG Stop Unfriending Each Other!

Blog Posts about my Relationship with My Mother

My relationship with my mother is difficult at best, but it isn’t unique. I also posted a story from my book, Minnesota Nice. 

Life Isn’t Fair

I Made my Mother Cry… Again

Do You Know your ACE Score?

Recipes

I cook a lot this year, mostly because I got an Instant Pot – the most awesome thing ever!

Shrimp Alfredo in 7 Minutes

Cheesy Smoked Sausage Hot Dish Instant Pot Recipe

Authentic Minnesota Tater Tot Hot Dish Recipe – Seriously, if you try a new dish in 2017, make it the MN Tater Tot Hotdish, you won’t be sorry. 

Best and Worst in Books and Movies and Blogs

I saw and reviewed several movies this year, they aren’t worth sharing here except for one exceptionally horrible movie I really hoped would be awesome. It wasn’t.

Independence Day Resurgence Review

Life Changing Books

Bloggers who Blog

Prince and Jacob

2016 was a year of loss, but these two are still difficult for me to reckon with. 

Summer in Minnesota 2016: We Lost Prince and Found Jacob

On the Passing of Prince, from a Minnesotan

Minnesota Nice People Things that piss me off WTF?

Life isn’t Fair

December 2, 2016
life isn't fair

My mother had been telling me that life isn’t fair since as far back as I could remember. She’d married a gay man and had a debilitating stroke before she reached the age of 30, so I figured she knew what she was talking about. It didn’t really hit home for me until I was in middle school.

The Back Story

When I was 10 or 11, I was on the University Club swimming team. Today the University Club is a private club for the well-to-do of St. Paul. 100 years ago it was a private club for the well-to-do, including F. Scott Fitzgerald who got his drink on there most days and nights. In the 70s it was still a private club and it was still a haven for the well-to-do of the town, but the swimming team was the worst in the league. The club was run down and not nearly as nice as some of the other clubs in the area.

I was not athletic by any stretch of the imagination. I was “chunky” as my brother liked to point out at every occasion. I played softball in the triangle park, and kick-the-can and ditch and all those other neighborhood games that kids play, but I wasn’t very good. I did not volunteer for the team. My parents signed me up for the team because it kept my brother and me somewhat occupied during the summer.

Growing up around 10k plus lakes I knew how to swim. I was a strong swimmer – I could, and still can, swim two lengths of the pool under water without taking a breath – but races aren’t swum underwater. The only practical use for that skill, that I have ever seen, was in the 1972 movie The Poseidon Adventure when Shelly Winters (someone who would also be labeled chunky) swam a great distance underwater to get the guide rope to the other side of the chasm. **** Spoiler – she died after succeeding****

I’m a Loser Baby

I was probably the worst swimmer on the team. I came in dead last every time I raced. I wasn’t proud of it, but I was accustomed to it. There were only two other girls in my age division. The other two were very fast swimmers, probably some of the best in the league. Betsy, not her real name, always came in first place. It wasn’t even a question, we all knew she would win.

The sky was blue, water was wet and Betsy always took first place.

Betsy was popular, attractive, graceful, confident, athletic and not the least bit chunky. Betsy was also kind of a bitch, to me at least. Although I was not allowed to use that word back then. She had a posse, I did not.

I was none of those things. I was someone who lost every race and who had come to terms with the word “chunky”, it was certainly better than the other nick name my brother called me – Post Toasties – said with such contempt it must be horrible though to this day I still have no idea why I was nicked named for a cereal. I was sure it was a way to call me fat without alerting my parents to such a thing, but I really don’t know.

Anything is Possible

Anyway, one summer afternoon we had a meet, I was called to take my place for the race and headed over to the edge of the pool, ready to accept defeat like always. My brother stopped me when I passed by him on the way to the end of the pool.

“You swim with your fingers wide apart. That’s why you’re so slow,” he said. “See how my fingers are pressed tightly together when I push the water away? When you keep your fingers closed it’s like having a paddle; you’ll swim faster.”

He pantomimed the stroke for me while emphasizing his closed fingers.

“Give it a try” he said encouragingly.

Talk about pressure. My brother was fast, he was clever, he was smart, he was a really good swimmer and I was sure he was embarrassed by having me as a sister, especially at the pool where we had to wear Speedos. I didn’t think this simple little tip was going to change anything, but I was thrilled he was actually trying to help me. I wasn’t too concerned about other people, but I really cared what he thought of me, I wanted him to be proud of me and so far that hadn’t happened. I was just the stupid little sister who tagged around getting in his way and making life difficult for him.

I got on my mark and when the whistle blew I dove in and kept my fingers togethers. I swam as hard as I could and went into my kick turn at the same time as everyone else. I pushed off the wall and just kept going.

I repeated this mantra to myself as I swam – Keep your fingers closed, keep your fingers closed, keep your fingers closed. 

Holy Shit!

I slapped the edge of the pool and to my surprise, and everyone else’s, I won.

I didn’t come in third place, I didn’t come in second. I came in first place. It was close, very close, but I actually beat three other swimmers. I actually beat Betsy.

I climbed out of the pool grasping my first place ribbon. I fondled that blue ribbon. It was the best think I had ever felt in my entire life. It was great. I was sure I was smiling that goofy smile that you couldn’t wipe off your face no matter how hard you tried. My brother even came up to me and congratulated me.

He didn’t say much, just a quick “good job” as he punched me on the shoulder.

Which was fine because I don’t think either of us thought I would actually win. I don’t think his goal in teaching me how to hold my hands was for me to win, it was just not to lose as badly as I usually did.

Life isn’t Fair

And then the click of the PA system sounded.

“Attention, please. The first-place winner of the girls’ 50-meter breaststroke is actually Betsy. Betsy took first place; Jenny took second place. Jenny would you please come to the judges’ table to exchange your ribbon? Thank you.”

I wasn’t even surprised.

Besty was at the judges’ table when I got there. She was making a big scene about how she always won and there was no way she could lose to someone like me. They must have called the race wrong because there is just no way she could possibly lose to fat girl who had lost every single race up until this point.

Obviously the judge agreed because he took my first place ribbon and gave it to Betsy. I stood there and waited for him to give me the second place ribbon — because let’s face it, there is no way someone like me could have possibly won against someone like her.

*This is an excerpt of my yet-to-be-published memoir, Minnesota Nice, if you liked this story please like my book on Facebook.