Fun Song: Fuck You

Very few people know what a big Motown fan I am. It is some of my favorite music ever, because it’s so easy to sing along to, with such catchy melodies, and it’s all positive and energetic, with some damn good lyrics. I’ve never sung karaoke (sadly), but if I did, it would probably be a Motown song. like this or maybe this. OR this. Or even this. Okay and this. I LOVE IT!!! I mean, without Motown, there would be no modern pop music really.

A (younger) friend of mine (he’s 23 today) said to me the other day, when discussing this topic, “What’s Motown? Never heard of it.” WHAT! Okay, this could be excused partially by the fact that he is not American and has only been in this country for the last 15 years or so. But still! I was like, “Oh, lord. I’m making you a CD. You can’t claim to love music and not know what Motown is.” He frequently introduces me to new pop music, so I am taking on the responsibility of educating him about old classics.

This new song, which samples the Four Tops song, “It’s Just the Same Old Song,” is pretty awesome, and I think unlike most remakes, it actually improves upon the original. Actually, my newest issue of Rolling Stone has an interview with Bruno Mars, who co-wrote this song, and he says it is entirely original. So, really? EVEN BETTER. Bringing the Motown flavor back!

I have loved Cee-Lo for a long time, since his Goodie Mob days. Love his voice, and totally love this new direction he is opening up for pop right now. We need more of this, I say. And actually, Gwyneth Paltrow didn’t do too bad of a job with this on Glee this week. I think she should appear more often. I enjoyed it. She’s not the greatest singer in the world, but I think her acting made up for that.

Fuck You
By Cee-Lo Green

I see you driving ’round town
With the girl I love, and I’m like, Fuck you!
Oo, oo, ooo
I guess the change in my pocket
Wasn’t enough
I’m like, Fuck you! And fuck her too!
I said, if i was richer, I’d still be with her
Ha, now ain’t that some shit? (Ain’t that some shit?)
And although there’s pain in my chest
I still wish you the best with a…
Fuck you!
Oo, oo, ooo

Yeah I’m sorry I can’t afford a Ferrari,
But that don’t mean I can’t get you there.
I guess he’s an xbox and I’m more an Atari,
But the way you play your game ain’t fair.

I pity the fool that falls in love with you
(oh shit she’s a gold digger)
Well
(just thought you should know nigga)
Ooooooh
I’ve got some news for you
Yeah go run and tell your little boyfriend

(chorus)

Now I know, that I had to borrow,
Beg and steal and lie and cheat.
Trying to keep ya, trying to please ya.
‘Cause being in love with yo ass ain’t cheap.

I pity the fool that falls in love with you
(oh shit she’s a gold digger)
Well
(just thought you should know nigga)
Ooooooh
I’ve got some news for you
I really hate yo ass right now
(chorus)

Now baby, baby, baby, why do you wanna wanna hurt me so bad?
(So bad, so bad, so bad)
I tried to tell my mamma but she told me
“This is one for your dad,”
(Your dad, your dad, your dad)
Uh! Whhhy? Uh! Whhhy? Uh!
Whhhy lady? Oh! I love you!
I still love you! Oooh!

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To the Hall of Justice, Batman!

A couple months ago, right before I got laid off, I got a ticket for rolling through a stop sign on my way to work because I was afraid I was going to be late (and had already been reprimanded for tardiness once). In a residential/office park area with no other cars on the street. I wish I could have said, “I just got laid off! I can’t afford this!” and squeezed out some tears, but at the time I didn’t know that was about to happen. Nor would I probably have thought to do it even if it had been the case. I’m like the only girl I know who has never cried her way out of a ticket. I am just not manipulative enough for it to even cross my mind as a possibility.

Well, once I was pulled over for speeding at like 2 am coming home from the club, RIGHT where the speed limit changed from 55 to 70, and I said I had just gotten off work and was exhausted and trying to get home. It was not a complete lie. I WAS exhausted and trying to get home. I just got off work like two hours earlier and THEN went out.

But the only time I ever actually got a speeding ticket (80 in a 55 on my way to my best friend’s wedding shower, which I was co-hosting), I had to go to “driving school” (a.k.a. class about driving laws) to keep my license. Which I did, and I’ve been a pretty responsible driver ever since. I mean, can you not look at my record and see that I have only one official infraction, and give me a freakin’ break on the rolling stop at 8 am? GAH. It’s not like I put anyone in danger. The kids in that neighborhood had already been picked up for school by the bus. LOL.

So the ticket had been languishing in my lonely, unused briefcase for months, and I remembered yesterday (luckily) that I either had to go to court or pay it by tomorrow. First of all, what’s the point of going to court for that? Not gonna lie, I rolled. Not like I can hire a lawyer to say I rolled to *almost* a complete stop and get it dismissed. Right? I actually have no idea. I just figured it would be easier to just pay the damn thing.

So I went downtown to the Courthouse this morning to do just that. Only it’s not called the Courthouse. It’s called the “Hall of Justice.” Like we are in freaking Gotham or some shit. I went into the lobby and put the contents of my pockets in the tray to go through the metal detector, which the security guard didn’t even look at, and slid through with her back to me while speaking Spanish to someone behind her. I walked towards the elevator hoping for a sign for the Clerk of Court’s office.

Oh, yay! The sign said “Clerk of Court, Room 217.” So I got on the elevator. The lady ahead of me asked me what floor, and I said, “Two, please.” She craned her neck around all slow and looked at me with her lips pursed, and said, “You ON two.” So the lobby, which is on the ground floor level, is actually also the second floor? O….kay.

“Do you know where the Clerk of Court’s office is?” I asked her. She pointed out into the lobby without another word, and the door closed. I walked in the direction she pointed and went into the first and only office-looking room marked “Records.” A lady at the desk asked to help me, and I held up my pink slip, saying, “Is this where I go to pay a ticket?”

“No, Clerk of Court is where you pay. Room 217. Down the hall.”

Okay. This can’t be that hard.

I went out again and headed down the hall. I passed a door that said, “Bookkeeping.” I figured it’s probably farther on down. Nope. Turned around and decided to go into “Bookkeeping” to ask again. Once inside, I saw a huge long line, and other people holding pink slips. This must be it!

The guy at the end of the line motions for me to pass him. How nice! Awesome, thanks! He proceeds to inch closer to me and I begin to wonder whether he is trying to determine my brand of perfume, see down my shirt,  pick my pocket, or grab my ass. There is a sign which reads “No cell phones — only in lobby.” Apparently this does not apply to the one lawyer in the room who proceeded to talk loudly on his cell the entire time.

At the window is a very large man with a tiny child in tow. He is having an animated conversation with the lady at the window. Apparently they are old friends. The tiny child runs towards me and hugs my legs, staring up at me with a tiny little cheesy grin. The large man at the window turns around and bellows, “AJ! Get off her!” AJ releases his grip and runs back to the window. Everyone in the line is now looking at me. I don’t know why children like me. I don’t even smile that much in public because I’m trying to do my “Don’t fuck with me” face.

Finally I get to the window and hand the lady my ticket. “I need to pay,” I said. At which point, she proceeds to crow out to the room, “YOU GOT TO GO TO COURT!” And thrusts it back at me.

Calmly, I spread it open before her and point to the box checked by the cop on the back, which plainly says I only have to go to court if I don’t want to plead guilty by paying. The paragraph begins, “You do not have to appear in District court…”

“CASH ONLY,” she barks. I am aware of this stipulation, as I also read that information on my ticket and am prepared with cash, which I already had in front of her on the counter. Got my change and ended up exiting with the dude who was creeping behind me in line.

Outside, he said, “Man, she a bitch, right?” I was like, “Yeah, whatever.” He walked with me for a minute chatting. He said he had been standing close to me to make sure no one fucked with me because I was the only white girl in the room. “I wasn’t trying to creep or nothing. You had a wad sticking out your back pocket. These crack heads don’t play.”

“Oh…thanks,” I said. “That’s really nice.” That’s when we parted ways, and my protector crossed the street to the pawn shop saying, “Gotta go get some of my shit back. You got a phone?”

I laughed. Gotta give him props for trying, I guess. LOL.

 

Fun Song: Carry Out

This is my newest ring tone. I just like it.

Carry Out
by Timbaland featuring Justin Timberlake

Baby, you’re looking fine
I have you open all night like an iHop
I take you home baby let you keep me company
You gimme some of you, I give you some of me

You look good, baby must taste heavenly
I’m pretty sure that you got your own recipe
So pick it up, pick it up, yeah I like you
I just can’t get enough I got to drive through

Cause it’s me, you, you, me, me, you all night
Have it your, way, foreplay
Before I feed your appetite

Let me get my ticket baby, let me get in line
I can tell the way you like it, baby, supersize
Hold on, you got yours, let me get mine
I ain’t leavin until they turn over the closed sign
Check it

Take my order cause your body like a
Carry out
Let me walk into your body until you hear me out
Turn me on, my baby don’t you
Cut me out
Turn me on, my baby don’t you
Cut me out
Take my order cause your body like a
Carry out
Let me walk into your body until it’s lights out
Turn me on, my baby don’t you
Cut me out
Turn me on, my baby don’t you
Cut me out

Number one, I take two number threes
That’s a whole lotta you and a side of me
Now is it full of myself to want you full of me
And if it’s room for dessert then I want a piece

Baby get my order right, no errors
Imma touch you in all the right areas
I can feed you, you can feed me
Girl deliver that to me, come see me

Cause it’s me, you, you, me, me, you all night
Have it your, way, foreplay
Before I feed your appetite

Do you like it well done, cause I do it well
Cause I’m well seasoned if you couldn’t tell
Now let me walk into your body until you hear me out
And turn me on, my baby, don’t you cut me out
Say

Chorus

Mastering the Art of the Surprise

Unlike a lot of people I know, I really love surprises. But I hardly ever get them. I’m usually too good at figuring stuff out ahead of time, and I think a lot of people don’t do surprises because they aren’t sure how you’ll feel about it. My mom, for example, hates surprises and will have a conniption over a surprise party thrown in her honor. Mainly because she wants her house to be perfect if anyone sets foot in it, and if she doesn’t have time to clean and  prepare, she feels terrible.

The best surprises are acts of kindness, I think. Gifts are okay, but it’s the little things with a lot of thought and heart behind them that make the biggest impact to me. An ex-boyfriend used to pick flowers for me randomly and surprise me with little vases of daffodils or poppies around the house. A former co-worker once left a check on my desk when I was having car troubles with “Random Act of Kindness” in the subject line. That was pretty amazing. Another former co-worker always saved me the magazines I liked from the lobby when changing out the issues. A former neighbor used to leave little bags of the extra basil from her garden on my front porch for me to make pesto. Things like that mean more to me than anything you could buy in a store.

This past weekend, my friend gave me the best surprise ever. He drove seven hours and showed up on my doorstep to spend 3 days with me, hanging out, taking care of me, being my partner in crime for vegging out and being lazy and relaxing, which was something I really needed after six weeks of unemployment and feeling run down because I have mono.

I admit, it was not a complete surprise. I had a tiny inkling because he’d asked me a couple questions last week about my plans for the weekend — questions meant to make sure I didn’t have plans and was going to be at home. He also straight up told me he had a surprise planned for me. My rich imagination immediately lept to the fantastic idea that he was planning a  visit. But my practical side dismissed it as improbable because it’s such a long drive, and his work schedule is so crazy, and things that awesome just don’t really happen to me.

On Friday I was having a great day of productive unemployment. I cleaned the whole house, did all the laundry, groomed Birdy, washed her bedding, took a long hot bath, lit all my candles, and settled in to watch a couple episodes of the new BBC Sherlock Holmes on PBS Masterpiece Mystery. I was feeling good about getting a lot done around the house and trying not to feel guilty about settling in to veg on TV.

TV almost always makes me feel guilty. I think it’s because in all the years when I chose not to have it, before you could watch everything online anyway, I read a lot and studied a lot and really came to realize how much time I had wasted over previous years watching TV when I could have been doing other things that were better for my brain and my intellect. But one thing I do like about being able to watch things now is that I feel a little better able to keep up with pop culture. Actually, my friend made the comment that socialization nowadays is mainly based on liking or disliking the same media content, and people don’t have “real” conversations too much anymore. That doesn’t stop me from trying to initiate them, though. But now I can kinda do both a little better, and I don’t seem like such an out of touch weirdo.

So while I was vegging out with Sherlock and Watson, snuggled under a blanket on the couch with Birdy keeping my feet warm, I kept getting text messages from my friend about how he was working on my surprise, and how I should check my email around 2 am to find out what it was. That information made me think I was completely off-base about a possible visit. He kept making me guess things, which of course were all wrong, because I was thinking in terms of information in an email. I kept nodding off, and he kept texting me, asking me if I was still awake, and telling me to stay up so I could check my email for the surprise.

At 2 am he texted me and said, “Okay, you can check your email now!” The email was a text from his phone that said, “Wait 4 it.” I texted him back, like, “What the hell?” I was slightly annoyed that I had been staying up and that was all I got. His next text said, “Look outside.”

I can’t see outside without going outside because of the type of glass in my front door, so I opened the door and stepped out onto my stoop just in time to see him pulling into my driveway! I said, “Oh my God, are you seriously here right now??” He said, “SURPRISE! I had a few days off, so I thought I’d come up here.”

In the back seat was Ellie, his baby. Ellie is a beautiful Australian shepherd-collie mix. She’s quite a bit bigger than Birdy, and most people think Birdy is pretty big. I met her last time I went down there to visit, and she loved me and snuggled with me pretty instantly.

Ellie and Birdy did not hit it off right away. It was very surprising, because Birdy is very submissive to other dogs, even on her own territory. She is the type of dog who just doesn’t like for there to be any problems. She’ll do anything to keep the peace. Her attitude is, “Oh, you like my bone? You can have it. Just don’t try to fight me for it.” “Oh, you want to check out my house? Sure, go ahead. You like my bed? Go ahead and lie on it. I have others. You want to eat some of my food? Okay, no problem, I will get more soon.”

 

Ellie went after Birdy a few times for getting too close to her food bowl, or even our plates of food, and she wasn’t very happy about my friend giving Birdy too much attention. She never tried to hurt Bird, but she nipped at her and barked at her, just warning her really. But Birdy is so sensitive to anything like that, she would barely come into the same room afterwards and spent a lot of time hanging out as far away as possible, in her crate and in the laundry room, where she never goes. My friend punished Ellie by making her lay down with her head on the floor until he gave the okay, which she was not happy about, but she did it. Again, like a little kid, she was missing having his direction and having the boundaries she was used to. I think it was a good thing that he brought her on a road trip with just him to get her used to that again.

After a breaking in period, they did a lot better. We left them out in the back yard together for long periods of time, and I think they bonded over tag-team barking at the neighbors. We made a point of making Ellie stay on her bed and then coaxing Birdy into the room to get on her bed, which was successful. Eventually they made friends, which was really great news. They have to obey the same process for going out — they have to sit before the door is opened, and then they have to wait for the safe word before they can actually go out the door after it has been opened. I think knowing the same commands and having to obey them together was helpful. I also gave them treats at the same time, and they both know they have to do a trick to get a treat, so that was reinforcement as well. By last night, Ellie was spooning with me in bed, and this morning, she was playfully encouraging Birdy to play with her in the house before they both went outside together to play for a while. A huge improvement over trying to attack her. Interestingly, Ellie did not attempt to attack me for getting too close to my friend like she did with Birdy, and when I commented on this fact, Nick said, “She does not fuck with humans. She’s not stupid.” Actually, she did growl at me a couple times in the beginning when I was allowing Birdy to be closer to us than her, but she responded well to my calm-assertive posture when I stood over her and backed her up. I’m telling you — Caesar Milan is a freaking genius. The shit works.

My friend and I are both big fans of “The Office,” and he had never seen “Parks and Recreation,” which is a show I love that is similar to “The Office” in its humor and they way it is produced. So I introduced him to that and we ended up vegging a lot and watching the entire first two seasons of it. I had actually only seen a few episodes of it, and now that I’ve seen them all, it’s like one of my new favorites. So many great characters and great acting. It’s about a small town in Indiana, and the staff of the Parks and Rec department of their local government. My favorite character is Ron Swanson, the director of the Parks Department. He is up there with Jack Donaghy on my list of TV show heroes.

Lately I’ve been on a Karate Kid kick, which happens every few years or so. I saw the first two in the theater as a kid, and they’ve just always stuck with me, even before they evolved into the cult classics they are now. My friend is also a huge Karate Kid fan and has been wanting to see the new version that just came out for a little while, so we rented that. Not surprisingly: VERY disappointing!

It was not all bad — Jaden Smith’s acting could have been slightly worse, and the tournament part at the end was pretty awesome. But I have to say I think the negatives outweighed the positives. First of all, it’s not a movie I feel should have been remade in the first place, because HOW THE HELL do you think you can improve upon one of the greatest movies of all time? It’s like remaking Schindler’s List. No. Just….no.

Instead of moving to California, they move to China. Instead of learning Karate, he learns Kung Fu. Instead of a Zen master like Mr. Miyagi, who has an inner strength and calm about him despite personal circumstances, Jackie Chan plays a sad and broken man who has a lot to learn himself, and who does end up improving his attitude, but only slightly. Instead of a gentlemanly, good, emotionally intelligent person like Daniel La Russo, Dre is a punk of a kid who can’t even show own his mother an ounce of respect. Instead of the characters being high school age, they’re like 12, which makes the whole inclusion of a romantic subplot really unbelievable, PARTICULARLY when the 12-year-old main character actually looks like he’s about five. I’d recommend watching the last half hour of the movie only. Everything leading up to the tournament is pointless and ridiculous. And extremely repetitive. They reiterate the fact that Dre can’t speak Chinese about a billion times. I was like, “We’ve established that! He’s a punk ass American kid! Move on!” Terrible writing.

I guess I’m just too biased to be open minded about it. I am a huge movie buff, and I have a short list of favorites, which The Karate Kid I and II are definitely on. There are some things that need to be left alone. Seriously. As a marketing person, I can understand the desire/need to market old favorites to a new audience, but in my opinion, that could have been done much more successfully than with this poor excuse for a movie. It was not even worth the dollar I gave Red Box to rent it.

Worst part of all? After the mean Chinese opponent screwed up his leg in the final round of the tournament, Jaden was obviously trying to remember which leg to limp on. AND! In the original, Daniel-san took his beatings from the mean kids with poise and determination, not to be defeated. Jaden was just a whiny little bitch who laid around crying. Ralph Macchio will not be topped. Part of the Karate Kid is about a boy becoming a man. That did not happen in this version. I saw a boy do something semi-cool and remain a boy. A boy with a trophy who maybe learned a little bit of a lesson. Not the emotional strength and wisdom that only Mr. Miyagi could impart.

Otherwise, it was the best long weekend ever. And meanwhile, thank God for unlimited cell phone minutes and unlimited texting.

Stress Management for the Unemployed

Being one of the millions of unemployed Americans really sucks. I have been trying to stay positive, even when I have to fend off negativity from other people about my own situation. Today for example, I applied for 27 jobs in 3 different states. And I have not lost hope yet, even though I’ve gotten exactly zero responses to all my applications. But apparently I am not dealing with it appropriately because I’m starting to have physical manifestations of my stress, even though I don’t really feel all that stressed most of the time. Some examples:

My hair is falling out. Like, more than usual. And I don’t think I am old enough to attribute it to aging.

I have no appetite, which is insanely weird for me. I can almost always eat, even if I can’t do anything else. But nothing is appetizing to me now. I’ve lost like ten pounds since I lost my job. This is a good thing, really. I should not be complaining, except for the fact that I enjoy eating, and now that pleasure is gone too.

I itch all over, and I’m breaking out with random itchy spots like bites but not.

My stomach hurts all the time.

I can’t sleep. Well, I can fall asleep with the help of Benadryl or alcohol, but I can’t stay asleep past 3 am. Usually, I wake up itching.

I’m having a really hard time regulating my body temperature. I can’t tell you the number of times a day I switch my thermostat from AC to Heat and back.

My immune system is staging a revolt, and my tonsils have been swollen for a month or more, and I am all sneezy. This could also be related to the fact that I live in a rental house that has mold issues. Sigh.

Even Birdy is having itch issues and is back on allergy medicine. Maybe she is having sympathy stress. Poor girl.

On a happier note, I figured out a way to make her react positively to my loud Auburn football game reactions instead of getting scared and hiding when I yell. I made her a game day shirt that she actually likes, to associate something positive with the event, and I tell her how beautiful she looks wearing it, and she gets all happy when I talk in that voice. And the accompanying treats help too. 🙂 She is the newest War Eagle!

Tasty Thursday: Stuffed Mushrooms

I don’t attend or host many events that require party food, but for some reason I make a lot of it for myself to eat. I make my own party, yo! LOL. This is a pretty tasty recipe that I modified from one I found in a magazine to suit my liking, so I am claiming it as my own invention. And look! I actually made a picture of THE ACTUAL dish! Pioneer Woman, I am not. I am the single, childless, broke version of her. So, actually not like her at all.

Stuffed Mushrooms, Megs Style

2 16 oz. pkgs of whole mushrooms (You can use portobello and be all fancy, but I kinda prefer the milder flavor of regular button mushrooms.)

8 oz. cream cheese

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar

1/4 cup crumbled feta

2 tbsp. bacon bits

1 quarter of a large onion, minced finely

1 tsp. garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

Soften the cream cheese in the microwave for a minute. Dump it with  everything else in a bowl (not the mushrooms) and beat together with a mixer.

Rinse the mushrooms to get the dirt off. Ina Garten says you shouldn’t rinse mushrooms, but just use a damp sponge to brush the dirt off. But that idea kinda grosses me out, and I seriously dislike unexpected grit in my teeth, so I wash mine. Pop out the stems and discard (or set aside to use in another recipe, like chicken and mushroom quesadillas, which is what I do). If the stem doesn’t pop out cleanly, use the tip of a case knife to carve out the rest.

Stuff each mushroom with about a teaspoon of filling. Put them in a baking pan. You can spray the pan to prevent sticking, but the mushrooms produce a lot of juice in the process of cooking, so it’s not really necessary.

Bake for 22 minutes at 375 degrees. Enjoy!

If you are not a big mushroom fan, this also makes a really tasty hot dip for toasted pita points or garlic crostini, or even just fancy crackers. Just put the filling in a baking dish instead of stuffing mushrooms with it, and bake as directed. You can even top with a bit of cheddar at the end and put it back in the oven for that to melt. Good served hot. Although I’ve also been known to eat it cold on various breads. Whatever. It’s cheese and bacon. It’s never bad.