Category Archives: Not awesome

Why the 7-Eleven clerk thinks I’m a shoplifter

When I told Drew I was going out and asked him if he wanted anything, and he told me he just wanted a regular Snapple iced tea, I thought it would be easy. But Target didn’t sell Snapple iced tea – Target didn’t sell any single Snapples. They only had 8-packs of Kiwi-Strawberry and Cranberry-Raspberry.

After Target, I went to Dinosaurs to pick up sandwiches for dinner…but all they had in the way of beverages were Mexican Cokes and a fountain soda machine. B and I walked over to the little grocery store nearby, which did have diet Snapple iced tea, so I bought one, just in case, and also a Henry Weinhard root beer because it sounded good. I put these into the same bag with the sandwiches, and B and I headed back home.

I decided at the last minute to stop at the 7-Eleven to see if they had Snapple. They had one left, so I grabbed it from the case. But all I had was a card, no cash, and so to make it seem more worthwhile, I also got a small sugar-free green slurpee.

Inexplicably, there was a long line, and I stood there, balancing a heavy bag of Vietnamese sandwiches and 2 glass-bottled beverages in one hand, a Snapple and a slurpee in the other hand, with a 25-lb baby strapped to my chest. At one point, B got his hands on the straw in the slurpee and flipped green slush onto his face and down the front of my shirt.

Right after that, the guy in front of me left the counter, and as I stepped up to it, the spreading wet spot (from the cold, condensation-covered glass bottles) on the paper bag I was holding gave out, and the diet Snapple slipped out and hit the floor. Normally, I would have just stooped down and grabbed it, or maybe it would never have happened in the first place, but the baby strapped to me makes it hard to quickly squat down, and so I stood there for a minute.

I thought I was mildly exasperated, but the clerk may have read it as guilty.

“What was that?” she asked, as the girl behind me picked up the diet Snapple for me. I thanked her.

“And what’s all this?” the clerk asked, gesturing to the bag.

“That’s stuff I’ve bought elsewhere,” I said. She was already ringing up the diet Snapple. “Oh, that’s not from here…only these things–” (gesturing) “–are from here.”

She looked at me doubtfully. I offered her the receipt from the grocery store. She didn’t take it. I hightailed it out of there.

So maybe she doesn’t still think I’m a shoplifter. But, she didn’t offer me a bag (which would have been helpful, given that my bag clearly had a giant hole in it). So there may still be some hard feelings.

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Filed under "Other people", Humor, Memoir, Nonfiction, Not awesome

Do not pass Go

Last night, Travis, Haley, and Erin came over for dinner, and what inevitably turned into games. We played Pixar Monopoly because Drew loves Monopoly and no one ever wants to play.

I think Monopoly gets a bad rap – my initial impression of it is that the game goes on forever. (Other first impressions – Risk: people lie and get mad at each other. Clue: it’s way too easy for adults to play. Dominoes: despite playing this game all the time as a kid, I have no idea what the actual rules are.) I’ve played Monopoly with Drew one other time and he’s weirdly good at it.

pixar monopolyI tried to start strong, but I made an entire pass around the board without landing on any property to buy. On subsequent passes, I tried to collect property and save money. I got into a bidding war with Erin on Travis’ property, in the hopes that it might make her run out of money. There was a moment when Erin, Haley, and I formed an alliance to get each of us a monopoly, and I really thought that might be a turning point in the game.

But alas, I was the first one to run out of money and then property, while Drew just built traffic cones (houses) and Al’s Toy Barns (hotels) on everything ever. Erin was out next, then Travis folded, and then there were a couple more turns that were basically Haley handing over everything she owned to Drew. And, for the record, the game didn’t feel that long – when we checked the clock we were all surprised that it had lasted around 2 1/2 hours.

I guess I’m not surprised I was the first one out. I’ve never been that great at Monopoly. I keep thinking I should be better at it. I get the strategy. I just don’t execute it well. Or I don’t have good luck. But as I watched my money go – the 500s, the 100s, the 50s, the 20s – it just stung a little bit, you know? It’s just a game, except that in Real Life I also don’t own any property or have a ton of money. And just in like in the game, it’s difficult to tell where I went wrong.

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Filed under "Other people", Dollars, Drew, Friends, Games, Humor, Memoir, Not awesome

The 10 Worst Things About “The Office”

The Office used to be a really great show. Like, a really, really great show. We were late on the train, but we started watching it in the summer of 2009, which was overall a really good, happy, sunny time for us.

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I would say the first three seasons are really the best. At the end of Season 3, Jim and Pam got together, which was nice, but was also the beginning of the end. Seasons 4 and 5 were still okay. In Season 6, Jim and Pam had their first baby, and the show tried to replace the romantic tension of “Jim and Pam” with “Andy and Erin” (which failed).  They brought in a new company (Sabre) and a new recurring character, Jo (Kathy Bates) (who I normally love). Then Season 7 was the final Michael Scott (Steve Carell) season, and frankly I don’t remember much of it. In fact, I can’t tell you what happened in seasons 7 through 9, and I just finished watching the most recent episode 5 minutes ago.

Next week is the final episode of the final season, and it can’t come fast enough. Back in the early seasons, we couldn’t finish one episode without starting the next one. Now we spend the whole time half paying attention and occasionally snorting with exasperation.

So without further ado, here are the 10 worst things about The Office:

Oh, it probably goes without saying that if you are still catching up and you don’t want to read spoilers, you should probably stop now.

Okay, the 10 worst things about The Office:

1. They’ve tried so hard to force Pam and Jim drama.

We loved watching them flirt, watching the near-misses, and yearning for them to get together. Those moments were so touching. Once they got together, there were still some nice moments – the proposal, finding out she was pregnant, and the wedding, for example. But we’re missing the push-pull of two people who are so obviously meant to be together but can’t make it happen. None of the substitutes – Andy and Erin, Dwight and Angela – have lived up to that. Face it, Pam and Jim, you guys are a boring married couple who mostly gets along. Just enjoy it.

2. Which reminds me – what the heck is Jim’s Philadelphia job?

And you don’t have to hit me over the head anymore with the fact that Pam feels guilty for making him come back to Scranton, but that Jim just loves her so much, blah blah blah.

3. Blatant foreshadowing – quit acting like we haven’t seen all this “surprise” stuff projected for seasons.

Yes, Phillip is Dwight’s baby. Duh. Dwight and Angela are going to get back together for reals. Duh. Why have you taken so long getting to this point? This is what you’re going to use to fill up all these hour-long episodes?

4. Too many random, flat characters.

What is Nellie still doing there? Who are Pete and Clark? Why are they there? Are they just trying to replace the brilliance of BJ Novak, Mindy Kaling, Steve Carell, etc? It’s not working.

5. Here are some other character complaints: Kevin has turned into a ridiculous and unfunny parody of the actual character he used to be.

But remember when Kevin brought us this gem? He’s totally not like that anymore.


6. Also, they just never figured out Andy Bernard’s character.

I guess he was kind of funny at the Stamford branch, when he was calling Jim “Big Tuna” and singing “Lovefool” over and over again. But then he was dating Angela, and then he was the angry guy who punched a wall and had to go to anger management (aka go film The Hangover?), and then he came back and was the dorky guy who went to Cornell, sang in a capella groups, and was in a community theatre production of Sweeney Todd…and since becoming Regional Manager (a TERRIBLE decision) he’s just been given Michael Scott-esque storylines and dialogue. Oh, except for when he was gone for months on a random boating excursion (aka filming The Hangover 3?). Ugh, I like(d?) Ed Helms but I am so over Andy Bernard.

7. Introducing the film crew.

The first time Pam looked up and spoke to Brian (the boom mike guy) I had a moment of “Whoa, that’s kind of cool.” Then it turned into more fake Pam and Jim drama, and it just got to be too much. It just feels like a gimmick to draw out these plot lines to fill the rest of this finally-final, but it-just-never-ends, final season.

8. Making the documentary into a thing.

Also, all of this talk leading up to watching the documentary feels like filler. And in tonight’s episode, the whole office gang gathers round at Poor Richard’s to watch the documentary. But…how can it be airing if there’s still one more episode for us to watch? Also, all the talk about the film crew and the documentary has just meant that we’ve had a lot of clip show-esque moments. Lots of footage of the good old days for us to look back on and remember when we used to love this show and marathon it and rewatch the Christmas episodes. But it’s like rubbing our noses in it, to show us the moments we loved, when what we have now is so much LESS.

9. Dwight’s beet farm spinoff that almost happened.

Luckily it didn’t get greenlighted, but for a hot second we almost had a new NBC show called The Farm. It would have featured Dwight Schrute and his family running a bed and breakfast -slash- beet farm that they had inherited. One of the episodes of The Office season 9 was the pilot episode for The Farm. I get why NBC passed, and I support their decision.

10. I am going to be seriously bummed if Michael Scott comes back for the finale.

I think Steve Carell made the right choice in leaving when he did, and I think the series should have ended on that note. It’s limped along now for 2 more seasons, and I want to remember him on the show the way it was. I hope that Steve Carell holds to his decision to not come back for the finale. I like to think of Michael as moved on, married, and raising kids with Holly.

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Look, The Office: I will 100% still watch rerun episodes of you on TV. I will seek you out. I even still want to go back and watch your original, British version. But, like many things, you’ve just overstayed your welcome. (You took the Weeds path, rather than the 30 Rock path.) This is partly my fault for continuing to watch you, but we had some good times. I’ll be there watching next week, for the full hour and 15 minutes or whatever nonsense you’ve got up to, but then I’m going to gently but firmly change the channel, and that will be your signal that it’s time to go.

We’ll always have Diversity Day, and Booze Cruise, and Casino Night, and so many more.

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Filed under Endings, Fiction, Humor, Not awesome, TV

Wash & Fold

I’ve been threatening to take some laundry to the Wash & Fold down the street for months now.

If you’re unfamiliar, a Wash & Fold is the real meat of a laundromat – you drop off your laundry and then pick it up again several hours later, and it’s all clean and folded and bagged for you. Drew used to do it in New York all the time – I’m talking gigantic bags of laundry. I never did it, but I think I was a little more regular about just using the laundry room in our building.

We don’t have laundry facilities in this building, and we typically take our stuff to Drew’s parents’ house and do a bunch of wash there if we’re hanging out. But these days, with the additional loads of baby clothes/supplies, it just seems to be piling up. I’ve gotten into a habit of skimming off the top layers from my laundry basket, like the stuff I actually wear regularly, and just washing that. Which means that layers of forgotten clothing and towels accumulate on the bottom of the basket.

True-Life Example: Sometime around the end of February, we finally sucked it up and did all our laundry that was sitting around. At that point, I found, at the very bottom of everything, the pajamas I wore for Christmas morning pictures. Yikes.

So. Today I was getting things done and taking names, and one of the things I decided to get done was to take the tier-3 laundry that was still in my closet, and drop it at the Wash & Fold.

The drop-off went okay. She didn’t put my name on it or anything, but I assumed it’d be okay. And she wrote down my name (maybe?) and my phone number. She told me to come back “later this afternoon.” I was pretty jazzed thinking that by the end of the day, all my clothes would be clean and I would have spent my time on work and other chores.

I went back this evening to pick it up, and a different woman told me it was twenty bucks. Cue exclamation points in my head, but then I guess that’s 16 pounds, and I’m not great with guessing weight, so I guess it might weigh 16 pounds. I tried to hand her my card but she just looked at me and said, “It’s cash only. Didn’t she tell you that?” Ugh, no she did not, and now I have to drive all the way to the ATM to get money because I really need these jeans for tomorrow.

When I got back, I was a little grouchy, mostly because I sensed that my side trip to get cash was going to cost me the parking place right in front of our building. I walked inside and attempted to find the same woman. She wandered over to the counter and asked me where I went to get cash. I was like, Seriously? Just give me my clothes. Then she told me I could have just gone to the ATM at Winters, a bar a few blocks away. Now, I have a thing where I really want to use Bank of America ATMs, since that’s my bank and my card, and it’s not like I had to drive 10 miles to find one or anything.

So, I got my stuff and I got home and I had to get another, slightly farther away parking spot, but it’s still all okay.

But driving home it occurred to me: the Wash & Fold is not for me. And I should have known that. For two reasons:

1) I don’t like other people washing my clothes. Like, I generally avoid letting Drew do my laundry. I just don’t really like the idea of someone else touching my dirty clothes. And,
2) I kind of have a method of folding that I prefer. And it’s not like it’s great folding, or anything, but it fits with the way the rest of my stuff is folded, so I like it.

So goodbye, Wash & Fold. We probably won’t do business together anymore.

I was so proud of myself this morning. I guess pride do goeth before a fall.

16.5! I guess they weren't swindling me after all.

16.5! I guess they weren’t swindling me after all.

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Filed under "Other people", Fashion, Humor, Memoir, Not awesome

Isn’t it neat?

The other night the three of us were driving back from Lodi and listening to a CD I found in my CD case with no label, no name, and no track list. It could have been anything.

What it ended up being was a pretty good mix of the kind of classics that most people are sure to know: American Pie, Manic Monday, For the Longest Time, Fast Car, Tom’s Diner, etc. A pleasant surprise…a lot of those unlabeled CDs end up being much worse.

Then Part of Your World came on (yes, definitely the best mix ever) and I remembered, as I always do, a Disney trip with my family when I was in…late middle school? Early high school? I was in a big Little Mermaid phase, and I wanted to wait in line to take a picture with Ariel. (I’m already embarrassed about telling this story.)

I was in line, up next, and watching Ariel interact with the little girl ahead of me. She said, “Okay, now smile at the – what do you call it? – photographer!” and I thought that was so sweet. She was made of big arm gestures and smiles and hair flips.

When I got up there though, she was all business in a bad wig. She smiled for the picture but where was all the cutesy stuff? That’s okay, it would have been worse to be patronized. But the photo that came of it – awkward 13-ish-year-old me in a t-shirt and shorts and sandals with socks (oh man, I sat just now and debated including that, but you know, the truth will out) – is all the more embarrassing because of the big gap between the two of us.

Every so often, that photo resurfaces in my “stuff from the past,” and each time I debate throwing it out. Seriously, I don’t know if I need to say this again, but it is a really embarrassing picture. There is no possible reason I could ever want to show it to anyone, or look at it myself. But I just haven’t gotten around to getting rid of it. Maybe someone can tell me why.

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Filed under Being a girl, Family, Fashion, Humor, Memoir, Nonfiction, Not awesome

Lying at a wedding

We went to a wedding yesterday. At the reception – which was a full-on 9-course Chinese banquet, although I counted 11 courses before the cake – the girl next to me started making small talk. Her date (fiancee? husband? boyfriend?) was part of the band and so he was up and down through most of dinner, so somewhere between the shark fin soup and the abalone with mushrooms, she asked me what I do.

When I told her I work at a theatre company, she asked me which one, and it turned out she’s actually kind of into theatre. She’s actually been to see shows that we have put on, the most recent 3 years ago, but that’s still far better than most people I find myself making small talk with. I immediately upgraded my conversation from the standard “talking about my work with people who don’t care about theatre.”

“What have you seen around here that’s good?” she asked me, and I reached out for anything, anything we’ve seen lately.

But it appears I’m a theatre major failure, because it’s been months since I’ve seen anything. Well, I guess I’ve seen shows at my work. I resorted to fibbing and talking about shows at other companies, that I’m sure were very good, but they closed before I had a chance to see them.

Erin recently saw Chinglish at Berkeley Rep, and she raved about it, so I almost said that I’d seen that, but luckily something stopped me, because it turned out that my tablemate LOVES David Henry Hwang and saw Chinglish last week. Yeesh, that could have been messy.

After the reception I got to thinking: we should really see more Bay Area theatre. There is so much here. It’s just that a lot of it is so spread out and/or difficult to get to. And let’s face it. I’m into being at home and in pajamas by 8pm these days. I missed opening night of my own company’s current show, and haven’t actually managed to see it yet – and this is the last week of performances.

But I think I might see if I can get tickets to see Chinglish. I’ve heard such good things.

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Filed under Fiction, Friends, Memoir, Not awesome, Theatre, Work

You and I

I keep getting all worked up about this, and thinking furiously, I should use my blog to have my say! Then I let some time go by and I calm down and I end up not saying anything.

But this just needs to be said: My biggest grammar pet peeve (and in my top 3 total pet peeves) is when people incorrectly use “and I,” when “and me” is actually correct.

I just feel like I’ve been seeing it EVERYWHERE lately, and I don’t know why that is – but people are constantly doing it on TV and I don’t know how to reach all those people to correct them. Sarah and Vinnie (Alice 97.3’s morning radio show) do it sometimes and I have honestly thought about texting in and telling them they’re wrong. (I have NOT actually done that though.) (Yet.) I see it all over Facebook and oh. em. gee. (Although, I haven’t gone so far as to make my first ever comment to some high school acquaintance, “IT’S MCKAYLA AND ME.”) (Yet.)

I don’t know why, it just grates on my nerves, like no other grammar mistake.

In case you’re not sure what I’m talking about, here’s the breakdown: When you say, “Ramona invited the Countess and I over for brunch,” that’s wrong. You wouldn’t say “Ramona invited I over for brunch.” That’s all there is to it. Take the other person (or people) out of it, and then it’s easy to hear whether “I” or “me” is correct.

Probably you know what I’m talking about and just don’t stress about it. That’s fine. Everyone’s got their thing and this might just be my thing. I’m sure that I respect you as a person, and/or like you as a friend. But this societal increase in things like, “Mom sent a care package to Dan and I” makes me cringe, and maybe want to punch something…it depends on what kind of day I’m having. I’m just saying.

This has been a grammar PSA. Next week: The most irritating spelling error: why are people still doing this?? (Hint: It’s lose/loose.)

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Filed under "Other people", Memoir, Nonfiction, Not awesome, Self improvement