Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I HAVE A DATE; AND MY DATE HAS A BEANIE - time to turn up the awkwardness

"You guys want to come with me on my date Friday night!?" I asked my roommates last night as I doused my egg roll in sweet & sour sauce.

They both chuckled.  Their chuckles quieted down after a few seconds once they realized I was being dead serious.

"No, Alexandra - you have to go by yourself," one of them said.

"Fine!  Can't blame a girl for asking.  Pass the soy sauce," I responded, exasperated.

is that an egg roll in your pocket
or are you just happy to see me?
I have a date.  These 4 words make me want to gouge my eyes out.  But as much as I loathe a staged one-on-one interaction with a perfect stranger over a candlelit dinner I realize that as a single woman it is important for me to go on them.   Especially given the fact that for whatever reason there has been a lull in my dating life for the past 8 months - no wait, for the past 29 years.  A lot of it boils down to pickiness.  I am picky.  Not picky in the sense that I prefer brunette guys to blonde ones but picky like -"I will run for the hills if a guy uses 'lol' in a text message"- kind of way.  As much as I want to fault a guy for having a poster of No Doubt on his wall in the background of one of his FB photos from 2005, it's time for me to let these kinds of things slide.  After all not everything can be a dealbreaker.

will this be me one day?  walking a turtle?
"Don't be an asshole," my mom scolded me on the phone the other day when I complained to her about a boy I'd met who had broken a deal. "Enough with the dealbreakers and chafes talk! We are all sick of it!"  I agree with her wholeheartedly.  However, in an era dominated by online social networking it's nearly impossible not to form pre<and often ill>conceived notions about a person given all their information at your disposal on the 'net.  But, as we all know, Facebook oftentimes paints an inaccurate picture of a person and thus shouldn't be the basis on which one forms his/her opinion.  It is beginning to occur to me, as I near the very end of my 20's that if I continue to judge guys based on their teeny tiny, insignificant quirks I will end up old and alone with several cats and maybe a turtle.  That scares the living shit out of me.  I don't know the first thing about how to care for a tortoise! What's more, who am I, the quirkiest of the Quirkersons, to dismiss someone based on a minuscule flaw?  So, I am ditching my Seinfeld-esque tendencies and opening myself up to different guys in spite of any idiosyncracies they may have.

In leiu of my newfound open-mindedness I decided to reevaluate my decision to decline a date couple months ago.  Reason for said declination?  He was wearing a beanie in one of his Facebook photos.  He is totally cute, successful, nice and we have mutual friends but I nixed the chance to hang out with him because of a fucking piece of knitted wool? After a nice long chat with a very levelheaded rational friend of mine yesterday, I was convinced to reopen the lines of communication with Beanie Boy.  After all, the beanie could have been knitted for him by his beloved dead grandmother or it could've been a chilly day when that particular photo was snapped and he may have needed to warm his dome. (dating setback #2: over analyzing).   Furthermore, plenty of hot celebs rock beanies...

um. how did you get in here, Rumer? 


accidental footsie
I reached out to Beanie Boy and asked him if he was still interested in having drinks and/or egg rolls.  And he was/is. Now that the date is set I find myself becoming more and more tense.  The level of awkwardness I contribute to a date is unparalleled (mayhaps that's why I've been on so few).  Simply the thought of a first date makes me feel like I'm on a really turbulent flight, sitting in seat 47D by the turquoise watered toilets.  In an effort to prepare myself for what will surely be a night characterized by superficial small talk, little to no eye contact, awkward silences and games of accidental footsie I have commissioned my friend Bart (who knows me pretty well) to help quell my dating anxieties in hopes of avoiding any blunders.  I sent him a series of questions regarding how to behave on my date.  However, our dear Bart is in NOLA and is thus moving with the speed of a Special Olympic hurdler so I was forced to ask one of my dear brothers to answer my questions instead.  This was his response (on gchat):

me: Did you get my e-mail?  Will you help me!?
charlie: I'm a grown ass man with a job so I can't turn this around in 24 hours.
me: What about in 48!?!? PLEASE - I will do something nice for you!
charlie: are you making any money from this blog?  Give me some.
me: oh jesus. fine. don't help.
charlie: have you monetized the site?
me: dude. I don't know how the f to do that.  can you help me or not? bc i need to find someone else if not - press time is tomorrow am. and my date is Friday!!!
charlie: no.
me: fine. F YOU!!!!

Ahhh... the joys of Sibling-dom.  It's times like these I wish I didn't run Toe Pick by myself.  Since I am in something of a pinch I will answer my own questions.  (just call me the schizoid.)

1.) Is it okay to text my date beforehand and ask him how tall he is so I can determine whether or not I should wear heels?  
Yes.  That is completely acceptable and encouraged.

2.) What are some conversation sharters to use when there are awkward silences during the date?
As per usual, I will pull out my handy dandy ASE (Awkward Silence Extinguishing) questions that always seem to help me out when the crickets start chirping: 
a. Where do toll booth workers park?
b. Do you have any pets?
c.Do you have a chin hair on your forehead?
d. Did you know babies are born without kneecaps?

3.) How do I handle the end of the date?  Do I shake his hand if he goes in for a smooch?
I always opt to dodge a kiss and give what I have dubbed a HWAK (Handshake With A Kick).  This entails starting off with a standard handshake, then discreetly rubbing the innermost part of the shakee's palm with your pointer finger.  Don't grimace - you know you've done it before. Here's a diaphragm of my HWAK:

4.) If the date turns out to be a bust how do I politely excuse myself from it?
I will make like Cher Horowitz (from Clueless for those of you who are missing a brain chip) and claim to be "surfing the crimson wave... and needing to haul ass to the Ladies."  Then I will exit through the backdoor (that's what he said?  FAIL.)

5.) Is it okay if I invite a a guy friend to crash the date?
Yes.  That is perfectly normal and acceptable.

As you all can see, I am perfectly screwed for this date.  If it turns out to be a complete disaster I am blaming Bart and my brother who had the opportunity to help a confused, impressionable girl out but didn't.  

Oh, and if any of you all are worried about my date reading this post, you needn't be.  Thanks to the souped up privacy settings on the Book of Face I have been able to block it from him.  Thanks so much, Zuckerberg!  You're the breast.

Phew - this one took me awhile.  Thanks for sticking with me.  Happy Hump Day!!!

xo, Nige

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Enchanting Evening at the Fox; Pucker up...or not

Hey.  Let's simplify this post.

What (Today's theme): Spontaneity/A Night at the Fox to see Counting Crows
When: Last night (as of press time)
Where: the Fox Theatre in Oakland 
Why: Because Toe Pick needs to be rejuvenated; I am getting bored of TPSF's usual rants about FuglyMuniShoes, chafes, dealbreakers, dating, murses, my Bachelor segment looming overhead that I keep promising to complete but don't (just call me the Girl who Cried Bachelor), my hard boiled egg getting carded at a bar, cleanses, my wretched cowlick, etc. etc. These topics are getting tired - which is precisely why I jumped at the chance to see my friend Adam preform at The Fox last night.  I needed to get out and do some fieldwork for TPSF to keep you <my beloved readers> from face planting onto your keyboards out of sheer boredom.  I also wanted to see Counting Crows preform as Adam has been such an avid supporter of my silly little blog and I wanted to show my support/gratitude in return.

Now that the background and logistics of this story have been established and since I am exhausted I will make this shart and sweet:

I don't drink coffee so I rely on my brilliant friends and their unparalleled senses of humor (and inappropriate one-liners) to wake me up in the morning.  I knew after having gotten home from the Fox late last night that I would be in dire need of some g-chat caffeine on this particular morning.  I also knew that given the context of my adventure in Oakland that there would be no shortage of said g-caffeine.  I signed onto gchatter fully expecting to be bombarded with questions about my trip to the Land of Oak: 'How was the concert?'... 'Did you figure out how to insert your Bart ticket into the ticket machine?'... 'Did they play 'Mr. Jones'?... 'Did you bring Mase with you?'... etc.  Turns out I don't give my friends enough credit.  These aforementioned (I love that word) questions are lame and boring.  My friends are not.

After I logged in I immediately felt like the duck from DuckHunt. Like a male midget at a urinal I was going to have to stay on my toes this morning and try and dodge the probing question everyone kept asking me (in some variation): Did you make out with Adam Duritz?  Before I answer this, I'd like to share with you some of these gchats <verbatim> in a new segment I like to call TPSF's Early AM Awk Gchat Banter Extravaganza 

<The following chats are a compilation of chats I received this morning that I've cut and pasted directly from my gmail account - the only thing I've changed are my friends names.  Each respective chat is from a different person.  Please also note the time stamps.  Oh and be sure to tip your waitress:>

CHAT # 1

8:57 AM Susan: how was the show?
  you make out with the lead singer?

CHAT # 2
9:21 AM 
Rhonda: how was it?!?!
  pics look like it was so fun!
  and not creepy at all
9:24 AM me: so fun!
9:25 AM Rhonda: goooooooood! i'm glad
9:26 AM did you makeout with him?

CHAT # 3
8:55 AM 
Fiona: did you go?
 me: yes
  it was fun!

8 minutes
9:40 AM Fiona: did you make out with him?
9:46 AM me: hahaha youre the 3rd person to ask me

CHAT # 4

9:55 AM 

Bertha: So...tell me ab last night!
  Pic of you and the lead pretty crazy!Did you make out with him!?
9:57 AM me: it was sooooooooo
  i am exhausted though

CHAT # 5
9:59 AM 
Yoko: hiii i saw your pics haha

12 minutes
10:12 AM me: pretty funny huh? You liked it 
10:15 AM Yoko: yeah i liked that shit
  how was it
 me: so fun!!!
 Yoko: did you kiss him

CHAT # 6
11:08 AM 
Amanda: hiiiihow was it?
  did u play just the tip?
  *tip of his dreadlock that isme: yikes 

CHAT # 7
11:10 AM      Mitch: why does the counting crows dude love you so much
11:11 AM i heard him on the radio the other day
  he's got some great tunes
11:14 AM Mitch: whats his deal
  do you hook with him

CHAT # 8
11:19 AM 
Sylvester: how was drubes??
  did you guys make out
11:12 AM me: omg! youre the SEVENTH person this am to ask me that
 Sylvester: inquiring minds want to know!
  saw you posted some pics

i am 5.

To answer the question - No, we did not make out.  But it was a truly great experience to see my friend in his element, preforming and belting out tunes in that spectacular voice at that cool venue. This is not to say that I didn't get any action ... I did almost make out with the escalator steps after nearly toppling over trying to run up the down escalator much like a 4 year old child would.

Tomorrow night I am going to see Goyte preform - which is funny because I only know one of their songs.  I guess that's not so much funny as it is toolish.

I am also thrilled because I have signed up to meet with a creative writing coach a couple times a month! I am hoping he will help me learn how to write in a simpler manner - ie. not be as wordy, scattered, etc. (this entry illustrates my issue perfectly.)

Cawl me.

xo, Nige

PS. Enjoy some visuals from my Night at the Fawx:


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wet Hot American Cleanse

Tonight I am feeling tired, moody, confused and spaced.

I'm in the midst of doing this cleanse which at first I found to be rejuvenating but now I just feel like I want to collapse into a buffet of egg rolls.  I realized what a toll it was taking when I began zigzagging down the sidewalk on my way home and accidentally dumped the contents of purse out only to nearly fall over as I bent over to pick everything up.  Needless to say, I bailed on meeting up with my next Bachelor tonight as I can barely think let alone talk and my intellect is that of a 4 year old. I know I write this every week - but I will complete this Bachelor segment by Wednesday.
a day's worth of grass juice, cashew milk and spicy lemon water.
tastes like chicken.

Even though I don't know my cowlick from my earlobe right now I still have enough strength to laugh at my beloved friend Jake Vale - He will make you choke on your shart Smart Water.  Do yourself a favor and watch these two clips twice - need sound obv.

clip 1. JV drives around a PetCo spouting out nonsense and confusing the shart out of random idiots. (I've shared this before - it's that good.)

clip 2.  JV drives around asking random people if they have seen themselves:

Aside from being out of it I am also excited because I booked my flight to Virginia to see my family and to attend my 10 year high school reunion (we will be staying in our old kennel dorm rooms!!)  I can't wait to see my family and friends - I am not sure if it's the cleanse or what but I am feeling especially  nostalgic for home.  I can't wait to see my extended family too:



BARKLEY (named after Sir Charles)

...and my lambified neices too!



Calowine and Peanut

can't wait to be under the enchanting Virginia sky
Before I bounce - I'd like to leave you with these gems.  Looking for a new hairstyle?  Try one of these on for size:


This post is scattered - so am I at the moment.   I'm off to dream of PF Changs... I can't wait to fall asleep to this awesome thunder and lightening hitting San Francisco right now! Love it.

Have an awkward weekend!

xo, Nige

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

ASK NIGE (OOPS I MADE IT WORSE.) featuring TPSF's first advice column

please take my advice: DON'T TAKE MY ADVICE.  wait, what? 

I know what you're thinking:  Where do I get off (that's what he said) giving people relationship advice? At least I am 99% positive this presumption is accurate. I'm not being self deprecating, I am simply stating a fact.  If you know me or have read Toe Pick you'll know that I am not good at analyzing the male species. I've had one relationship in my life which was long distance and lasted for all of 6 months - my hope is that my dating advice column with give my readers a clearer understanding of why this is so.  Oh, and I also want you to laugh. Hard.  My male counterpart Jon Wilcox (also one of my Bachelors: click here to be reminded of Wilcox's McNugget) will also be on hand to provide a male perspective for some of my upcoming advice seekers.  Allow me to properly introduce your advisors: 

DR. Jon Wilcox (the next Jeeves)
ASK WILCOX: and you'll surely be taken for a ride
ASK NIGE: Not only do I have a penchant for applying make-up on mannequins but I also give bad advice.  Call me.
I created a fictional predicament to shart off what is sure to be a HIGHlarious Toe Pick series. Send me some of your queries or else I will be forced to make some more up!  And I can't do everything around here.  Also, writing the below to myself is making me feel schizoid.

Dear Nige,
I think my boyfriend is cheating on me.  He's acting all shady and standoffish.  Also, I found a weave in his bed but he claimed it was part of his sweater that fell off.  Unless sweaters are made out of kinky Jheri Curls, he must be lying.  What do I do? Do I trust him?  Should I confront the sloot he’s bumping uglies with or just dump him and move on?

Your bf is cheating: you better beWEAVE it!
Found a Weave and Feel Deceived

Dear Found,
Love 'em and weave 'em! (sorry - bad joke, Found). First things first: Even if your boyf is telling the truth do you really want to date a dude who sports a hair woven sweater?  C'mon.  Secondly, it's time for you to do some detective work! So strap on - errr... put on your detective hat - Sherlock, and begin the invasive investigative process.  Wait until he is in the shower and go through his text messages. Then confront him when he gets out.  (Boyfriends love this - trust me, it doesn't bother them at all.) Next, take the weave and beat him with it.  Just kidding.  The last thing you want to do is stoop to his level.  It's important to be mature and think rationally in a time like this.  I say - put a healthy dose of Nair in his Pert Plus, then he'll be trying to use the weave as a wig.  After that - dump his ass. Then, proceed to scour his facebook friends and try and connect the dots.  The chick's name is most likely Tanya (a lot of Tanyas have weaves).  Once you find out who she is, FedEx the weave to her place of business (which is probably a brothel) and include a subtly threatening note explaining your discovery.  The guilt will eat away at her - and she'll be so scared you will show up at her brothel doorstep that she will freak, take a weave of absence and flee to Tel Aviv. (Tel A-Weave? Sorry, another bad joke.)

I wish you the best during this time of beweavement.  Take care, Found.

There you have it.  I would like to deal with real life scenarios though so please send me some questions/ ideas! ( toepicksf@gmail.com).  Happy Thursday punks!

Check ya laterrr!
xo, Nige

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Good evening.

I am meeting one of my bachelors in the flesh tomorrow to conduct a proper interview and snap some swoon worthy photogs for your viewing pleasure so get pumped. 

In the meantime, I would like to take a brief moment to introduce you to a new segment I call Toe Pick Chafes of the week.  First, I'll give you a background intro:

The logistics of my daily routine have become pretty monotonous and altogether mundane.  My daily grind consists of waking up, showering, blow drying my fro, slipping my Ellen Degeneres Talbots work pantsuit on, commuting to work, coming into work, greeting the security guy in the lobby of my office and commenting on the weather ("Good morning Eduardo – it sure is windy out there!"), making like Bob Wiley and baby stepping onto the elevator and pretending to be fascinated by the elevator buttons so as to avoid eye contact with the masses of suited investment bankers surrounding me, eating at the same sandwich joint each day, calling my mother at exactly 2 pm like clockwork to complain about pushing 30 and being single, leaving the office, smiling at Eduardo as I leave, hopping back on the bus, getting home, making dinner, watching Family Guy, working on Toe Pick and going to bed… only to wake up the next morning to do the exact same thing for the remainder of the work week. 
more awkwardness on an elevator

<can we let out a collective sigh?>

Have you seen American Beauty?  If not, you should.  Kevin Spacey’s remarkably fucked up character Lester does an excellent job of portraying a middle aged man suffering from a life that has become all too familiar - and in a word: boring.  He strives to liven it up in all the wrong ways, only to sink deeper into despair. 

We can all relate to Lester, in a way.  Most of us aren't as tragic as he is but I think it's safe to say many of us are on a quest to make life better, more fun, interesting, dynamic etc.  I'm simply trying to make my aforementioned weekly routine less tedious/repetitious and more entertaining.  In an effort to become less disenchanted by the uniformity of my weekday life, I have tried to be more positive and make some changes.  For the most part, these changes have led to (you guessed it) chafes. In a weird way I am thankful for said chafes. Obviously, they've inspired me to write this Toe Pick entry; so I've got that going for me... which is nice.  Here are some examples of ways I have tried to lively up my weekdays and how my efforts have resulted in chafes.



I bought a new pair of shoes to spruce up my drab black work pants. They are super cute but are so painful I may as well be wearing bees nests on my feet. Also, my pants shrunk in the wash so I walked around work the other day pretending as though clam diggers were "in" and that I wasn't channelling Steve Urkel.  Bright side: my highwaters made my cute new shoes more visible.

bees nests with high waters = double threat shoes

I ditched my usual diet cokes for water and now I down about 13 bottles of it a day. 

CHAFE: My bladder is working overtime. 
SILVER LINING: Just as I was cursing my newly adopted, aggressive consumption of H20 I spotted a gloriously vibrant and colorful Alhambra van adorned with sparkles and proclamations showcasing their resolve to support breast cancer.  I now want to really embrace water and drink even more of it. Glug, glug.
hi gorgeous

To try and rid myself of my daily Muni blues I've opted to try and find the positives of being packed amongst masses of people on a smelly bus that jerks me around like an old rag doll. I search far and wide to try and find celeb lookalikes as opposed to FuglyMuniShoe wearers on the Muni. Alas, I have only discovered another Muni chafe: people who sit so close to you that they are practically on your lap. I'm not Santa Clause - so please remove your left butt cheek from my seat. Thanks folks.
On your left: my leg being chafed by a super imposing businessman's leg.  Scoot over,  Mr. Suit. 
leg chafe # 2: move it or lose it lady.
leg chafe # 3: this was actually on a cross country flight a couple months back but it's more than relevant to this discussion.
Just when I thought I'd had it with unwanted muni thigh grazers, I spotted a gentleman at my bus stop who resembled the best comedian of all time: the late Mitch Hedberg. Seeing him made me look at the Muni in a different light.

hi Mitch Hedberg lookalike

I haven't altered my lunch routine too much - I still eat at my usual sandwich place but now i don't sit by myself...ish.  A pigeon has been joining me on most days for the past week or so.  I know this can be viewed as a chafe but it is also a blessing.  Here's why: I realize after my lunch date with Mr. Pidge that my life might not be super exciting but at least I am not a pigeon.  

my lunch companion
Now instead of calling my mom each day and complaining about boys I try and talk to her about current events/important things going on in the world.  For example, I call her up and instead of saying:
"Mom!  There are no guys in this city!"
I now say:
"Mom!  Jessica Simpson had her baby shower last weekend and she looked like a puffy whale with roid rage."

As you can see, I am a chafe to my mom.  

Perhaps the one aspect of myself I am most keen on improving is my writing.  I want big things to happen for Toe Pick.  I want a fountain of inspiring ideas and topics to flood my brain.  In an effort to make this happen, I've decided to get serious about changing my Toe Pick writing routine.  No more writing in my bed while I listen to Lisa Loeb on Pandora. No more writing while I watch Friends.  What I need is silence.  So I set up a desk in my kitchen and on it I put things that would inspire me:
  • Pictures of owls drawn by my nephews
  • My giant white haribo gummi bear given to me by an old friend
  • A burrito scented candle
  • My Toe Pick journal
  • An apple (like the kid from Dennis the Menace) and a giant glass of H2O.
Looks like a serene and ideal writing environment right?  Welp, sitting in solitude and quiet made me feel a bit like Paul Sheldon in Misery.  I had an eerie feeling that Annie Wilkes would emerge any minute with a hatchet and her pet pig.  SO, 30 minutes later I am back to watching old skewl Friends.  Baby Steps, I guess?

OK - I am out.  What are some things that chafe you?  I'd like to know.  E-mail me at toepicksf@gmail.com.

ALSO: Anyone (guys or girls) need relationship advice?  Pet advice? Life advice?  I would like to shart an advice column for Toe Pick and I realize I am a less than ideal candidate to give advice on these topics but that's why it will be funny as shit.  Send me a write up of your predicament and I will do my breast to help solve it.  (obv you will be anonymous.)

Have a sinful day.

xo, Nige