Thursday, October 28, 2010

Things I learned with Richard Simmons and the Purple Power Ranger.

A few weeks ago, I boldly committed to making a list of Life lessons every Monday. I then promptly erased this pledge from my memory and never did it again. I apologize if anyone has been lost without these words of wacky wisdom, but I hope that this new list is able to get your life back into order. I know that it isn't Monday but life lessons are always worth your time, despite the day of the week. Maybe once a month is more realistic anyways.

This is what I have learned in October:

  1. Although it is true that violence never really solves anything, If you ever encounter the man who invented automatic revolving doors, it is appropriate and encouraged to kick him in the shins.
  2. It is always good news to meet five new friends on a plane. It is typically bad news when these five new friends accidently get you drunk on said airplane of love.
  3. Every girl deserves a male friend who is willing to dress up like Richard Simmons for no reason other than for her amusement. She also deserves at least one chocolate chip cookie a day.
  4. College Admissions Counselors can not possibly be expected to keep a straight face when a student comes up to their table, higher than Steve Urkle's pants and says : "Yous got white girls at your school? Cause I hear doze white girls make GREAATTTTT sandwiches" ( I am secretly hoping that that kid comes to LC and rooms with the classy young gentleman who asked me last spring if the girls at LC were easy. Seems like a good match.)
  5. Enjoy every opportunity you have to sleep in a king sized bed. Sleep horizontally one night if you wish, just because you can. But be warned, when it is time to go back to your full sized bed of boredom and doom, it won't seem big enough and you will feel as though your creative sleeping visions are cramped.
  6. If when returning to your hotel room, you see that the cleaning staff is making your bed, check and make sure that they speak English before starting a full conversation. Also note that "Excuse me maim, I am sorry to bother you, I am in no rush, but do you know how much longer you will be in this room?" translates in Spanish as " Hand me ALLLL of your Shampoo NOW!!" I have a lot of baby shampoo bottles in my purse.
  7. Every once in a while, order your food in a British accent. Ask for the loo, just for good measure.
  8. If your drunk self ever thinks it's a good idea to pull pranks on your soberself, don't listen to her- she's drunk. Saturday night it may seem like a good idea to change all of the names in your phone, but come Sunday morning you will be very concerned about why you are receiving text messages from " Arvad the anteater" ," Purple power ranger" , and "god". Don't put yourself through the trouble of figuring out everyone's true identity, but I strongly encourage you to try this on a friend's phone.
  9. Someone needs to find a cure for writers' block.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tequila Fueled Fiction

This weekend I have learned two things about myself:
1. I am a ridiculous human being
2. There is a large possibility that I am a pathological liar

Before you judge and question why I would publicly admit such an unflattering flaw, please take note that I don’t lie about the things that “matter” and I that would never cheat on anything more important than monopoly. I generally consider myself to be a trustworthy person.

The trouble all began on Friday as I was waiting for my friend Molly to pick me up from the airport in NYC. It wasn’t terribly cold out, but there was a hasty wind. Although I have to admit that I mildly regretted not wearing a jacket that morning, I was at least wearing pants. Pants are always a good start in my book.

I was sitting on a bench, reading, and minding my own business when and older gentleman sat beside me.

“ Where is your jacket? You must be chilly, young lady.” The man judged.

Without even thinking about it, I instinctively answered

“ Oh I’m okay. I just flew in from Alaska”

If you held me at gunpoint, I couldn’t tell you why I said that. I have never even been to Alaska I wasn’t even trying to lie. I had no reason to. I could have just as easily replied with a polite “ yes, I am feeling quite chilled this afternoon” or I could have even explained that I grew up in northern Vermont . Instead though, this nonsense about Alaska just popped out of my mouth, like the gum that flew into my hair earlier this year. By the time I realized what I had said, I couldn’t come clean without making myself seem insane ( Which actually may be close to the truth). I just put my head back into my book and prayed to the Eskimo Gods that he would not ask any follow up questions.

Molly picked me up a few minutes later and I vowed to myself that I would save my fibs for times of crisis and emergency.

And then I had two margaritas.

As the tequila ran through my bloodstream, the lies ran out of my mouth. Except now they were significantly more extravagant and no longer shielded by a sober social sensor. Tequila always makes me more clever and awkward and it often inspires me to make up fun occupations and life experiences. My personal favorite was convincing a man in Vermont that I was a professional Polka instructor and offering him a free lesson in the middle of the bar. By the end of the night he had learned this fake polka dance so well that he was dancing solo and I was playing the air accordion next to him. Still makes me laugh.

I was in rare form in New York City. There are now people in Queens who were entertained by:

1. A recent graduate from the art program of University of Oklahoma- Now working as a tattoo artist in Manhattan.
2. A teacher for the blind in Wisconsin
3. A sales rep from Jersey. ( when asked what I sold, I froze and just said… “ um. Snakes.” And walked away)

This game kept me entertained all evening.

I could lie and tell you that my addiction to fibs is a recent development, but it would be exactly that. A lie. Although I cannot recall the first time I decided to dodge the truth, I do remember several fabrications I made up before the age of 10. Most of these lies were created solely for the purpose to get my little sister into trouble and to solidify my spot as the good daughter. I hardly think that those count as a lies, just good strong self-marketing.

As I grew older and Alicia grew smarter, I stopped trying to convince her that it was okay to stick her middle finger up at people of authority as long as she didn’t personally believe it was wrong. I stopped telling her that as a mature 4th grader, I was more than qualified to give her a haircut, and I moved on from conning her into writing the word “sex” in her diary and insisting that if she showed dad, he would be really proud of her 1st grade handwriting.

As I grew and matured, my lies and stories grew more extreme and elaborate. My senior year of college I started a rumor that our campus mascot statue of a fighting hornet was going to be removed because of some foreign exchange students from Lebanon were offended. I claimed that the hornet was sort of hate symbol in their country and that since LC is so great about respecting diversity and different cultures, they agreed to remove the statue until these make believe students graduated. Ultimately, the rumor got so big that our Dean of Students had to send out a campus wide email saying that it was false. I later admitted to making up the entire story at a talent competition later in the year and thanked the DOS for being such a good sport.

After reflecting on this topic, I think that the word “liar” may be a little harsh. I think that I am more of a storyteller. Libraries don’t have sections labeled “ Lies” and “ non-lies”. If I were to write these ridiculous stories, instead of speaking them to strangers; it would be labeled as fiction. Call me a drunken fiction teller.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Epic Tales of a Drooling Freakshow in Fluffy Pink Slippers

Approximately once a week, I convince myself that I am on candid camera. Some of the situations that I have found myself soaking in just seem too perfectly outrageous for them to happen in “ real life” and the only logical explanation I can formulate is that someone is secretly filming my life for a reality TVshow that is undoubtedly widely popular in Canada. I surely did not disappoint my Canadian fan base this weekend.

I flew out of Connecticut at 6am Friday morning and other than a small incident of being trapped with my luggage in the revolving door at the airport, everything was going fairly smoothly. That is, until my first layover in Pittsburgh.

When I awoke from my traditional airplane nap, my tongue had a dry leathery feel. I am not an expert in tongue saliva analysis but the way my dry tongue stuck to my lips lead me to believe that it had been dangling outside of my mouth for the last 2-60 minutes. The plane had just landed, so I checked my blouse for noticeable drool spots and collected my belongings from the overhead compartment.

As I was leaving the plane, the unthinkable happened. The man behind me stepped on the back of my sandal, and the strap that holds my foot in place snapped. I immediately found a seat at a nearby terminal and shuffled through my bag to see if I had anything that may save my shoe. I was hoping to open my purse and see a magical roll of duct tape that had materialized out of thin air, a Genie that would grant me 3 wishes, or at the very least, a stick of gum. No luck.
I decided that I was not going to let my bad luck ruin my spirits and instead take it as an opportunity to buy a new pair of shoes without the fear of buyer’s remorse taking over my conscience. The only problem was that I was of course still in the airport and my choices for shopping were limited.

I shuffled through the airport, failing with my attempt to walk normally with a broken shoe. I checked several stores hoping for a pair of loafer-like shoes and still holding out hope on finding a wish granting genie.

If I had found a Gene in the airport, I’m not sure exactly what I would have asked for. A pair of solid shoes, for sure since that was the only reason I was looking for said genie in the first place but I don’t know what I would use the other 2 wishes on. I think that I may ask for my household chores to take care of themselves and for my legs to always be smooth without my need to shave them. I also would consider wishing that endless amounts of chocolate chip cookies would fall from the sky- in which case I would also have to wish that I could eat endless amounts of said cookies without my waistline suffering the consequences.

Although genie hunting in the airport was not successful, I was able to find a solution to my shoe dilemma. I eventually found a store full of socks. If there was any hope of ending my awkward shuffle parade, I knew that it would be found in the Socks shop.

As I limped and wobbled my way into the store, and heaven’s lights shined down on me as I spotted a huge wall display of slippers. Naturally, I squealed with delight.

Now though, I had a whole new problem on my hands. They had black loafer slippers like I was originally hoping to find, but they looked so dull and boring next to the plethora of colorful slippers that filled the wall.

Although I have to admit that the decision was a difficult one, I ultimately decided that a pair of furry, pink/yellow/blue/green slippers best suited my needs.
I figured that this was the best choice because

a.) I generally like my airport slippers to make a statement. I would hate for anyone to see my new slippers and think to themselves that I have boring taste in bedroom footwear.
b.) Multicolored slippers would surely make for a more entertaining blog entry later.
c.) I would fulfill my childhood dream of becoming a Sesame Street puppet.

I proudly put my slippers on and pranced throughout the airport. I felt that I was experiencing everything for the very first time. The thin bottoms of the slippers allowed me to feel the different textures of the tiles and carpeting. I had made a few laps around the airport, before making the worst decision of my day.

As you know if you have read this blog from the beginning, I typically try to avoid the moving sidewalks at the airport. They rarely end well for me. With my new slippers however, I let my curiosity get the better of me and transformed into a sidewalk riding-daredevel. I decided that I could not leave the airport without experiencing the sensation of the escalator grids on my slippered feet. If you only take away one thing from this blog, please remember to never, under any circumstance, walk on the moving escalator with pink fluffy slippers.

As soon as I placed my full body weight onto the sidewalk, I knew that I had made a mistake. I could feel the grids pressing against my feet and instead of the massaging effect that I was hoping for, I thought that my feet were going to be sliced like slivers of cheese by the end of the trip. OUUUCH.

I had to get off the moving escalator as soon as possible and had to minimize the time each of my precious fluffy feet spent touching the moving grid of torture and hell. I ran to the end of the side walk , lifting my feet as high as I could with each step. I imagine it looked similar to burt or ernie walking on coals, or cutting through a field full of snakes. Naturally, by the end of my coal walk, I had formed an audience. I thought about taking a bow and wait for the round of applause, but opted to find my seat outside my terminal let my tongue hang out of my mouth and resume my traditional airport nap

Thursday, October 7, 2010

100 ways too piss off a polish girl

It is a rare occasion when I make an effort to piss off a complete stranger. As someone who typically tries to avoid confrontation like poison ivy and the plague, I often allow irritating situations to slide by without argument. Although I generally like my conversations with new friends to be free of conflict; I also generally dislike being bullied. When I feel intimidated, sometimes I can't help but get a little sassy.

Last Friday, I found my seat on the airplane to Lynchburg with no intensions of making me seatmate uncomfortable. When a middle aged man with more salt than pepper in his hair joined me and offered a warm “hello” , I was delighted to have a chatty friend. I had been out of town for 2 weeks and had experienced entirely too much “Erin alone time”. Finally, Someone over the age of 18 for me to talk to, I thought to myself.

Saltn’ Pepper was visiting his daughter and family in Virginia. He majored in Music in college and enjoys reading poetry. As soon as he told me that he was a minister at a church in Ohio, I knew that our conversation would inevitably turn awkward/blog worthy.

When I told Salt’n Pepper that I was originally from Vermont, a look of concern and worry tormented his face.

“That’s a pretty um…. Liberal state isn’t it?” He said as he put the arm rest down between us. It was as if he thought that my political views were contagious and that skinny arm rest was his only hope of making it off the plane without being infected.

At this point I was tempted to tell him about how excited I was that my brother and his boyfriend were finally getting married, but I thought better of it. He had not yet said anything rude to me and fabricating a brother and future brother-in-law was not necessary.

After a moment of silence, Saltn’ Pepper pulled out his wallet, and handed me a homemade business card.

“ Part of my job is to counsel people in need. You seem like a really nice young lady and if you ever feel that you need someone to talk to. Please know that you can always call me.” He said.

I thanked him for this kindness and placed the handcut piece of construction paper into my purse.

Nothing could have prepared me for what happened next.

“ Are you Dutch?” He asked me.

“mmm…no..” I was polite, but very confused.

“ I alway’s say.. If you aint Dutch.. you Aint much” He laughed, clearly pretty proud of his own joke.

I laughed too. There are few things that I enjoy more than rhyming.

He then told me that he had a bumper sticker with the phrase on it and proceeded to tell me about the other funny bumper stickers that he had seen. This was turning into a very nice conversation after all.

“ I’m just glad that I’m not Polish” he said. “ I wouldn’t be smart enough to but a bumper sticker on my car properly”

I stared at him for a moment in utter disbelief. I really wasn’t offended, but I was shocked that a minister would say something of that nature, especially to a perfect stranger. I come from a strong polish heritage and I was tempted to tell him so, but I decided that it wasn’t worth the battle.

As our flight continued, I was amazed by the number of polish jokes this man knew, and how he was clearly not shy to share them with anyone who would listen. I could tell that he was joking and if I had known him better ( or at all for that matter) I would have probably found it funny. I sometimes make fun if children with lisps, I really cant judge.

I decided that although I was not going to tell him that I was Polish that it was the perfect time to end the conversation and read my cosmo magazine. As I opened my $4.50 of trash, I was sure to place myself at an angle that would allow saltn’ pepper to read “100 ways to make him hot in bed” over my shoulder if he so desired. I have always been good at sharing.

This is where the story gets interesting.

As the plane was landing, Saltn’ Pepper made a few more jokes, all at the expense of my ancestors. He stood next to me as we were waiting for our bagged luggage and the polish jokes continued until my bags arrived. As I gathered my belongings, he extended his hand toward me .
“By the way, I’m Alan Smithe” He said forgetting that his business card had his name printed on it.

All of a sudden, a rush of courage and sass filled my mouth.

“ It was nice talking to you, Alan. I’m Erin Giebutowski” I said, borrowing my mother’s maiden name.

I smiled and watched the color drain out of Alan’s face. Without another word, I walked to my car.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Life Lesson Monday

I am a firm believer that there are lessons to be learned in almost every situation. My roommate, Kate, and I often review the weekend’s events in the form of life lessons and I think that through this blog I would also like to occasionally share these words of wisdom. I think that this should be a weekly event and since today happens to be a Monday, I shall declare every Monday as the day of life lessons.

Learn with me:

1. There is no such thing as a problem that can not be fixed with a glass or three of wine and a chocolate chip cookie.
2. Everything is more fun when I am surrounded by friends and family who not only refrain from judging my sometimes eccentric personality, but are able to celebrate my oddities.
3. Justin Timberlake has a bit of a stutter. He does not have the same effect on my fluttering heart that he did when I was 13 years old with a face of acne and a mouth of metal.
4. I have no business drinking caffeine. This is actually not a new lesson, but a lesson that I relearned this week. 1 cup of coffee= Erin bouncing up and down in the rental car.
5. If you take a tour of Mark Twain’s house at 3:30 on a Tuesday afternoon, you will be the only person there without a cane and AARP card.
6. One should never pass up the opportunity to touch a bald man’s head. It is simply incredible.

The giant and the frogs

This weekend I succeeded in my mission to touch a bald man’s head and make it look like an accident. I have decided to grant myself double points of awesomeness due solely to the fact that my bald prey was nearly 7 feet tall; naturally making it difficult for me to swipe his baldness without a running leap. I believe that the extreme levels of skill and determination that were needed for such a challenging task deserve recognition and I would be lying if I reported that I am anything less than brilliant.

Saturday evening started out like any other Saturday evening. I had been out of town for 2 weeks and after spending 14 days alone in hotel rooms, I was more than ready to misbehave in Lynchburg. My flock and I decided to swing by our favorite bar before spreading our wings and trying a new club downtown that is typically a waterhole for strange locals and serves as a great venue to catch up on some quality people watching. This particular club also often displays videos of mating frogs on the dance floor so it is difficult not to be entertained.

After a few hours of dancing and frog porn viewing, the flock collectively decided that it was time to migrate back to the nest for some sleep and a light snack. As I waited for the tender of the bar to retrieve me my bill, I caught a glimpse of a beautiful bald giant. If he had been of average height, I may have been able to simply gather my belongings and find my way to the exit. Unforunately, his extreme height acted as a magnet that attracted my recent obsession with touching hairless heads. I couldn’t help myself and before I knew it I was standing next to him and plotting my attack.

As I opened my mouth to initiate a conversation, the giant looks at me, smiles, and says “ I’m 6-11 and no.. I do not play basketball”. That was the moment that I fell in love. He was tall, bald, and apparently some sort of mind reader. Absolutely amazing.

Unfortunately, I fell out of love as quickly as I fell into it when he began to talk about his ex-wife and children. I must say that I was disappointed however by removing all romantic intensions from the situation, I was able to focus all of my energy towards my original quest to touch is bald head.

After what felt like hours of forced small talk, my brilliance leveled to the surface and I was ready to attack. I knew that the first order of business was to get the giant closer to my own height so I staged a graceless mishap and dropped my clutch at my feet. I quickly apologized for being so clumsy and pretended to be greatly concerned that my cloth bag had somehow damaged his feet with its great fall. I then acted as if I was making a valid effort to pick my bag up off the floor. After 2 fake attempts, I asked the giant if he would be willing to reach it for me, fabricating an excuse about my bad knees.

Was this a lie? Yes. Am I proud of it? Only a little. As the saying says though, desperate times call for desperate measures and I think that this situation definitely applies. Mr. Clean and his bald head had escaped my fingertips on the airplane and I couldn’t let this giant get away. I am no quitter.

As he so kindly bent down to hand me my bag, I made believe that my roommate, Ashley, had called my name behind us. I spun my body around with great dexterity and accidently graced my fingertips across his smooth and shiny head.

It was even greater than I had anticipated. Although I did not have the time allowance or confidence to get a good grip and make his skin wrinkle, the brief swipe was well worth the plotting and struggle.

Life. Is. Complete.

Friday, October 1, 2010

There is an outbreak of stupidity taking over the minds of high school students in southern New England. Although the conversations that I have had with these infected teenagers make be genuinely concerned for the future of our society, I can’t help but be entertained and I am thrilled that I have something to write about. I would like to take a moment to review a few precious conversations I have had in the last few weeks with the future leaders of our country. Follow-

Exhibit A:
Future Einstein : Let me guess. This school is in New York.
Me: Actually we are in central Virginia
Future Einstein: Whatever… I was pretty close.
I really wish I wasn’t obligated to turn her interest card in.

Exhibit B:
Me: We are a small liberal arts college in Virginia
Student ( who may or may not have been preggers): Virginia? Where is that?
Me( as I point to the map of the east coast on my travel board and concentrate on not rolling my eyes or busting into giggles): Well.. you can see here that VA is north of North Carolina and East of West Virginia
Ms. Preggers: Huh. Never heard of it.
Awesome. Not only has she never head of Virginia..but in 3-4 months she will be spreading her wisdom to an infant. Maybe dad is truly brilliant.. but Im not counting on that.

Exhibit C:
Extra large female student in an extra small tshirt: I don’t want to go to college. I’m just going to be a lawyer

Exhibit D:
I am not even going to take the time to write out the dialog for the 5 minutes I spent trying to explain to a boy that Lacrosse was not a major.