Thursday, July 30, 2015

How to Travel like a Boss this Summer

I'm likely going to end up taking the train flying to New England to see my friends and family for a week on Friday and I couldn't be more elated. Visions of terrifying turbulence clam chowder, random drunken makeouts beachcombers and glorious wasted hours spent lounging by the ocean with my oldest friends have been dancing through my head for the last six months all week.  I am psyched to escape the omnipresent San Francisco fog, my unfulfilling day job and the entire scope of my adult responsibilities.  My favorite part of going home is walking through the door and being attacked greeted by my welcoming committee that consists of my 2 beloved dogs, Flossie and Coco.  

Despite my obvious excitement, I will assert that I do not anticipate my journey to the east coast to be seamless given my past traveling blunders.  When I walk through an airport I feel as though my I am in the Truman Show - all of the chaos around me is actually a show everyone has a part in except for me:  husbands and wives decked out in tragic sweatsuits bickering as they struggle to maintain order amongst their screaming, disobedient kids running amok, old men and women being carted past me in America Airlines wheelchairs by a randomly appointed, short, disengaged Indian man, the pilots marching toward their respective gates gripping their brief cases much like armed soldiers heading into battle and lest we forget the camouflaged redneck couple doused in deer blood awaiting their flight to bum-fuck Alabama.  It's like they're all actors - their stage the airport.  

"You're much safer on an airplane than you are in a car," people have told me 546 times.  Some call my fear of flying irrational and become visibly bothered when I vent about it.  I hastily respond to their condescending assertions by saying something like "Oh - right, I'm the irrational one.  And a man-made metal tube flying 500 MPH 2000 feet in the sky is rational.  Right, tell me that part about Kenny G. again?"

I didn't used to be scared of flying - until about 5 years ago when I was flying to New Orleans and the plane dropped so fast and suddenly that every passenger gasped in horror - some even screamed.  I thought that was it for me, and I hadn't even had the chance to  sample one of those coveted 50 pound gummy bears they'd just come out with.  But that's neither here nor there.  In an effort to prepare myself for my upcoming cross-country flight, I've come up with some ways to quell the inevitable anxiety I'll be faced with.  I urge you to try these out too - I guarantee some of my tips will help make your travelling chafes less chafe-y.  Here goes:

1.  You'll likely take an uber to the airport because who the fuck takes cabs anymore and there's a 76% chance your driver will pelt you with small talk topics.  The last thing you'll want to do before embarking on 7 hours of travel is learn about your drivers' various side jobs, his needy grad-school girlfriend and anything else that requires you to feign interest.  Here's how to handle this: not so subtly imply that any topic he brings up makes you uncomfortable.  He wants to talk about the weather?  Simply say your abusive uncle was a meteorologist and quite frankly, you can't talk about the temperature outside for fear of conjuring up bad memories.  Done and done.

2.  Upon boarding the plane, poke your head in the cockpit and ask the pilot if he knew Amelia Earhart.  If so, make sure they didn't go to the same flight school.  

3.  You'll likely be sitting next to a passenger with rancid halitosis so be sure to come fully equipped with Listerine that you can force upon him or her against his or her will. 

4.  Flying Virgin and put off by their signature translucent purple mood lighting?  Simply imagine the plane is one large tanning bed and you're getting skin cancer with 231 other strangers.  This will help shift any fears you have centered around the possibility of perishing in a plane crash.  

making the poverty march to seat 37465 Z.

5.  If the flight attendant offers you peanuts, turn them down and say you're severely allergic to nuts as you fearfully eye the man's crotch sitting next to you and begin to tremble, itch your eyes and sneeze repeatedly. 

6.  Alternatively, if you do like peanuts, tell the flight attendant you would like some, but ask if you can get them to go.  

7. Offer to help the flight attendants hand out drinks in a concerted effort to get a refund on your overpriced ticket.  

it is in your breast interest to befriend the flight attendants.

8.  Use your reading material to gauge turbulence severity.  For example, if you get to a troubling article about Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner's break-up and the plane simultaneously hits turbulence, assume there is a direct correlation between the two and promptly stash your magazine in the seat pocket in front of you.

9. If you're like me, you'll be seated in row 657D right by the toilets.  Once the flight lands, it will likely take ample time for you to deboard given the number of people ahead of you fetching their bags and taking their sweet ass time.  Handle this by pouting, impatiently stomping your feet and complaining to the guy next to you.  You are important.  Your problems are unique.  People will listen. 



Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Toe Pick's Top 6 Ways to Cope with Rejection

Rejection is a part of life.  Everyone, except maybe Giselle, has experienced rejection at some point.  Whether it be getting fired from your day job on account of your  inability to recognize Costco as a bulk store and subsequently ordering an orchard of apples and 2356474 gallons of milk for the office, or experiencing unrequited love - rejection in any form sucks balls. It's hard to look inwardly and wonder what it is about yourself that for whatever reason, isn't to someone's liking.  Realizing that the only person whose opinion of you matters is your own is key and personally, grasping this concept is one of my ultimate goals in life.  Oprah said it best when she declared "I don't want anyone who doesn't want me."  With this sentiment in mind I've developed a list of some coping mechanisms you can use when it comes to dealing with rejection.   Here they are: 

1. Reinvent yourself.  Get a cool new haircut or a unique bikini wax (you know you've always wanted a lightning bolt etched onto your nethers.)  My point is, do something that makes you feel refreshed.

2.  Recognize all of your positive qualities.  Jot them down into list form so you can reaffirm your attributes any time you begin to feel unworthy.                          

3.  Realize that things could be worse.
At least you're not a pigeon or Walt Palmer, the most hated dickhead in America right now who probably suffers from a severe case of erectile dysfunction.  Also, you could have lice, but you probably don't so you've got that going for you... which is nice.

4. Try and become the breast version of yourself.
Join a gym! One time after I got fired from my job on account of my aforementioned Costco blunder, I decided to sign up for a membership at 24 Hour Fitness.  I distinctly remember braving a sea of exposed areolae in the ladies locker room and hopping in the shower only to be confronted by random curly black hairs scattered about.  The only time I want to see any kind of variation of a bush on the ground is when I'm walking home from work and crossing Bush and Franklin.  In addition to suspect hairs, the shower also boasted a 4-in-one shampoo, conditioner, face and body wash mixture that left my mane looking like one giant jheri curl.  But that's neither here nor there.  My point is, channel the pain you feel from being rejected into something constructive like bettering yourself in some way.

5.  Surround yourself with people/things who accept you and don't reject you.  I love my oversized gummi bear nightlight, my friends and my family. What else do I really need?


6. Focus on other things.  Keep yourself busy.  Watch the news/buy a newspaper.  Read up on the ol’ fiscal cliff or foreign policy or ObamaCare or whatever the fuck it is adults talk about at cocktail parties.  I like to write whenever life doesn't go as planned, hence this entire blog. 

Annnd, that's all I got.  Happy (dry) hump day, friends!


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Do Sweat the Small Stuff; And it's All Small Stuff

Hey y'all!  Hope everyone had a great 4th.  It's tough to be back in the office after a long weekend amiright?  That's why it's only appropriate for me to feature a list of my trending chafes.

The word chafe is a tremendous onomatopoeia and perfectly encapsulates an unpleasant experience or irritating person in a very succinct and effective manner. It’s also multifunctional and can be used as a noun or a verb.  I'm going to make like Urban Dictionary and provide some examples to illustrate the various uses of this truly stellar word.

PChafe (as used as a noun)
"Chaz Bono is such a chafe.  S/he always talks about his/her transgender surgery while we're eating sausages."
MChafe (as used as a verb)
"That Suzette's incessant gum smacking really chafes me.  Wish she would knock that shit off."
S.  Chafe (used in a way to convey overall irritation as it applies to a particular event.)
"They forgot to put avocado on my sandwich.  What a fucking chafe!"

Of course, there is the literal use of the word most commonly used by men to describe what happens to their nethers when their jock strap is too tight thus creating friction betwixt their legs:

"Ah fuck, Reginald.  My balls are so chafed after that game of pick-up badminton.  You think we can swing by 7-11 so I can snag up some Gold Bond?"

Let's get started: 
1. Insta-stop.  You stop it right now. 
Since I spend the majority of my life  some time on social media I find myself encountering chafes on a daily basis, especially on instagram.  (I am aware of the fact that me <of all people> griping about social media is about as absurd as Jerry Sandusky applying for a nannying position but read hear me out.)

Ahhh, instagram.  It's powers are limitless. With 8 taps of multiple filters just a tap of a filter one can transform a murky swamp in Louisiana into a supremely sparkling, glacial lake... or a dreary, polluted sky in Detroit into an otherworldly, fiercely menacing force overlooking a pristine city.  It can turn a mediocre sunset in Jersey into a fiery sky, illuminated by vibrant bursts of pink, yellow and orange.  It has the power to turn one's life into an apparent fairy tale devoid of struggle or sadness, complete with weekend jaunts to Martha's Vineyard characterized by rose and laughter amongst friends whose lives are just as idyllic.  It also has the power to make one come off as a royal douchebag.  Don't get me wrong, I love looking at people's insta pictures but there are instances when my irritability trumps my pleasurability (is that a word). 

When someone uses any of the following hashtags I always visualize the person saying it in the voice of Owen Wilson's character from Meet the Parents (think of the line when he's describing the alter: "Which isn't badconsidering I carved it all by hand from one piece of wood..."): #notabad #justanother #nottooshabby #idonthateit #thisdoesntsuck #toughdayattheoffice #howsyourmonday.  I'm not sure what you would call this kind of rhetoric but if I had to pose it as a recipe it would go a little something like this - a couple tablespoons of humblebrag mixed with a cup of condescension, a dash of obnoxiousness, and a sprinkle of ass hole to top it off.  I scoured instagram to find some some examps:  

                2.  Chafe inducing acronyms.

I'm going to start with the most obvious of the chafe-ronymsLOL and any member of the LOL family.  Their chief function is to denote hysterical, audible laughter.  They're even used when no one has said or written anything even remotely funny.  Ergo, they function as spacefillers as well. People pepper their text with so many LOLz that it looks like they gave birth to LOL-octuplets.  
     3. Muni Chafes 
I'm going to begin this diatribe by asserting that I quite like riding the bus in the morning. It gives me a chance to jam out to REO Speedwagon Pandora contemplate my day ahead.  Moreover, it affords me front row seats to some of the best people watching San Francisco has to offer.  

Also, there's an air of camaraderie amongst muni passengers that is oddly soothing.  Like that day my I put my foot up on the seat in front of me and the woman next to me quickly followed suit: 

That being said (err.. written) there are also chafes aplenty on MUNI. 

a. People who don't have any qualms with taking up 2 seats chafe me.  S'cuse me dear Sire, as much as I love sitting on a seat partially occupied by your left butt cheek, it'd be preferable if you could scootch it on over.

b. Eating on the bus.  Beginning my day by watching a gurl deepthroat a Popsicle resembling a red rocket is not ideal.  On the bright side, who needs Folgers when you've got this visual (below bottom left) to wake your ass up?
Also, I spotted a random piece of lettuce on my seat the other day.  Lettuce pick up the remnants of our lunch, shall we?  Actually, I live in San Francisco - this is most likely not lettuce ifyouknowwhatimean. 

            4. Slow walkers. 

Patience is a virtue.  I totally don't get that.  But people who don't seem to grasp the concept of lifting and setting down each foot in a reasonably brisk, fluid succession truly confound me.
There are also those who choose to come to an abrupt standstill in the middle of the sidewalk as if they think they're on one of those moving walkways at the airport. C'mon, guys - stop dawdling, I've got some Haribo gummi bears to buy at Walgreens. 

nothing to see here, people.  move along.

         5. A Relentless chair wheel

This happens to me about 6 times a day: my phone cord gets snagged up in my chair wheel and dislodging it from said wheel is harder than R. Kelly at a urinal.

        6.  Confusing streetlights 

Every time I see these conflicting signals I panic. Do I stay?  Do I go?  Do I high-five?  It's all so confusing.  

And, I'd like to conclude by giving a birthday shout-out to a non-chafe - my mother, whose wry sense of humor, confidence, beauty, tolerance (she reads Toe Pick if that gives you any indication of her tolerance) and kindness makes her my favorite person in the world. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! 

Have a chafe-free day my friends! 
xo, Nige