Friday, August 28, 2015

TPSF's Hot Toepicks of the Week!

Well, shit.  Summer is almost over and that makes me sadder than Bill Cosby having consensual sex.  I went back east for my parent's 50th anniversary last weekend.  After 8 hours total of sheer in-flight hell and a 4 hour layover in scenic Newark I knew I was finally home when my mother greeted me with a resounding, "Why are you orange, Alex-haaaan-dra!?"  And with that I made a mental note to discontinue my visits to Benefit for spray tans.  Sorry, Traci with an i - we had a good run. 

 It was the first time my immediate family had been together in years - no kids, no significant others (which really didn't pose a problem for me) - just the six of us.  It was the best weekend I've had in recent memory and I'll admit I had a reeeeal tough time coming back to San Francisco.  There's really nothing harder (except maybe Kanye West when he looks at a picture of Kanye West) than saying good-bye to my family and dogs.  I'll never not cry when I leave home.  

I snapped this as I was walking to my Uber en route back to reality 
But enough about me and my remarkable inability to keep my emotions in check like a grown-ass woman. This week I decided to feature a smorgasbord of random, mostly insignificant events that have occurred lately.  Here goes:

1. The SFPD actually did something productive   
There's a very nice homeless couple who've been posted up outside my office building for the last 3 months or so.  Nearly every morning as I charge down the street toward them I'm greeted with a hearty "Gooood morning penguin!" followed by a combination of loud cackles and smokers coughs.  I'm not sure why they call me Penguin but I assume it's because my hair is always wet, my run is more like a waddle and on most days I'm wearing a long black trench coat.  At first they made me feel uncomfortable, but then I grew to look forward to hearing their morning salutations and seeing their mangled smiles.  So you can imagine my disappointment this morning when I walked into work and noticed a police officer writing up a citation and telling them to scurry.  I wanted to stick up for them and tell the officer they were cool but realized it was breast I stay out of it.

sidenote: doesn't that guy look exactly like Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes? or is it just me?  Just me.  Okay.
2.  My palet is evolving  
I feel like a colossal traitor but I have to admit I've been dabbling in other Haribo products aside from my beloved Gold Bears.  Yesterday I tried Haribo Smurfs and I highly recommend you snag up a bag next time you brazenly venture to Walgreens to pick up cranberry juice for your UTI or whatever. They're tart, tangy, juicy and literally melt in your mouth.  Oh, and they're gluten-free so it's kind of like everyone wins. 

3. Work is becoming less boring   
I'm a recruiter so my job requires me to be a fake, pestering asshole source resumes every day.  Yesterday I came across a real gem, and I've already submitted this chick to like 3746 jobs because she seems unintentionally hilarious, and those are the best kinds of people.

4.  My sophisticated vocabulary has been affirmed by Autocorrect. 

5. A manual outlining how to not be annoying on Instagram has hit the stands 
I have to give a shout out to Hayley Bloomingdale (I just felt like I was on TRL typing that) - an all around cool girl and funny writer.  She wrote a piece on proper instagram etiquette and it's spot on.  Check it out!

OK - I had better get back to gchatting and facebooking work.  Have a good weekend, y'all! Get dim sum!


PS - HAPPPPY BIRTHDAY to my awesome, hilarious, kind brother - Charlie.  Love you!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

An Ode to my Parents

Di and Si getting their marriage license in Peru

I still have nightmares about my middle school buttcut principal, Mrs. Mutispaugh.  She bore an uncanny resemblance to the principal from Uncle Buck and she smelled funny too. To this day I am baffled as to why she felt compelled to work at a school with young, bright-eyed ungrateful little shits children.  She was as mean as a snake - literally, she hissed at kids when she'd pass them in the hallway.  Naturally I felt the need to express my disdain for her in a now infamous note I attempted to pass to my best friend Molly in Spanish class one day. In said note I referred to her as Mrs. Mucuspaugh and sketched a series of rather unflattering caricatures of her morphing into a venomous snake. 

"Que es eso, Alejandra?" Senora Nosy Masil asked as she stopped her cutting edge lecture on the Spanish translation of the word 'library'.  I tried to hide my culpable eyes behind my poorly cut, mangled bangs as I slouched down in my chair.
why god why

"Nothing, biblioteca, I-I-mean senorita,"  I stuttered as I attempted to slip the note into my hand-me-down Jansport nap sack.

"Give it to me," she commanded as she confiscated the note, surveyed it and scowled.

After class Senora Dickhead Masil promptly gave the intercepted note to Mrs. Mucuspaugh who flew into a rage, called me into her office and made me sit and watch as she called my mother.  I really wasn't scared though, because I knew my mom would think it was funny. And she did, because she's a fucking cool lady.  I was sentenced to 3 days of in-school suspension, and forced to sit in complete silence and stare at the wall in a small room off of Mucus's office.

I wasn't by any means a model child as the above paragraphs so indicate.  The likelihood of my parents donning one of those "My kid is an honor student" bumper stickers on their car was about as probable as Subway's Jared Fogle landing a nannying position.  I was always getting into some kind of trouble whether it be getting nabbed smoking behind the squash courts at boarding school or sneaking out of my room with my delinquent friends in the middle of the night to stroll over to barracks and flirt with VMI cadets (special thanks to my brother Charlie for ratting on me), or giving a cop the finger as my unsuspecting mom drove me to t-ball practice (said cop was not happy and ended up pulling us over).  But no matter how much I screwed up, my parents have always chosen to see the best in me (and my less favorable fellow angelic siblings), even when my teachers and other worms people didn't.

Back in the late 80's/early 90's my dad, a native Philadelphian, got me hooked on the 76'ers. He even took me to a few games. I subsequently developed a huge slight crush on Charles Barkley, and taped a gigantic poster of him to the ceiling above my bed.  Every night I fell asleep whilst gazing up at Sir Charles' big, sweaty body mid-air as he executed one of his signature slam dunks.  In addition to staying up on school nights watching the Sixers dominate, my dad and I also had an affinity for the movies Demolition Man and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Sometimes in the middle of family dinners we'll start quoting these aforementioned movies until everyone at the table tells us to STFU.

One time my dad drove me and my best friend cross country when we were 16.  We'd stop in random, one horse towns -  places called 'Tuba City' and 'Rectumville'. We'd stay in motels that looked like they belonged in the movie Tombstone.  He loves our country and wanted us to see it - and I don't mean places like Aspen or Jackson Hole but bumblefuck, western towns boasting populations of 27.  It was the best experience of my life.  
MB and I sneaking bud lights into our motel room in Tuba City, AZ 
my mother in '85 likely telling me to pull myself together 
I hold my mother in equally high regard.  People ask me sometimes what my mom thinks of Toe Pick. "Does she get mad when you write about her? What about all that profanity?  My mom would disown me," they'll say.  I can say with 100% certainty she never misses a post and is constantly encouraging me to get my shit together and pursue writing seriously.  Born and raised in South America, she has this innate confidence that I envy.   Every time I've cried to her about a guy, my job or the fact that I have no sense of direction she'll say "strap on some balls and pull yourself together!"  And she says it in a way that makes me want to blare "I will Survive" as I roam through the city streets like King Kong on crack. Her wry sense of humor is unparalleled as is her ability to connect with people.  One time she had my portrait done and I came out looking like an Avatar spawn.  Like I said - she's got a phenomenal sense of humor:

She's beautiful, fiery and stylish.  Every day I aspire to be more like my mother.

So, you get it - I love my parents a lot.  Their 50 year anniversary is tomorrow.  The story of how they met is pretty remarkable.  It all started when my dad swiped right...kidding. 

My dad proposed to my mom in Paris on their second date.  They tried to elope but my grandparents wouldn't have it so they quickly pulled off a wedding in my mother's native Peru.  Now, 50 years later - they are the embodiment of all that is important in life. Simple words can't express how much admiration I have for them as parents and more so as human beings.

Happy 50th, Mom and Dad.  

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Mmm, Faye...this is Delicious

One thing I'm good at is touching my tongue to my nose admitting my weaknesses. I'm self-deprecating almost to a fault, as evidenced by this entire blog.  When I first began writing Toe Pick about 4 years ago (holyfuckingshitballs) my initial idea was to make it all about San Francisco and it's attractions including restaurants, boutiques, sex shops as well as various activities happening in and around SF/Bay Area.  I realized pretty early on that writing about fashion and restaurants was not my will forte.  I like clothes, but I couldn't really give 2 fucks about what's trending and what's not, and my indelicate palate doesn't lend itself to effective food critiquing.  Basically, I am the antithesis of Pinterest.

I'll be the last first to admit I've got a quirky approach to food and eating.  There have been a number of times when my mother has chastised me for eating baby corn like Tom Hanks in Big or for putting soy sauce on my spaghetti.  And starting a food fight in my silent office tops my bucket list (it's right below making out with Anthony Keidis and swimming with sharks.)

I like to play with my food a lot too - one time I made my baked potato look like Joe Pesci. Oh and there was also that time I made emoticons out of my whippits whipped cream:

When I was at Ole Miss I'd drop $37 on egg rolls from the local Chevron on any given weekend. I know what you're thinking - Chevron, ew.  It's not as bad as it sounds, I swear. This particular Chevron is hailed as Oxford's number 1 post bar sanctuary - it's a place where drunken Ole Miss students can stumble in and gorge on massive quantities of delectable southern fried foods including their renowned Chicken on a Stick, egg rolls, pizza rolls and biscuits.  Chevron is synonymous with heaven to an over served, hungry Ole Miss student.  Many a time One time, I ventured to ask a Chevron employee for their coveted egg roll recipe and I'll never forget the way she looked at me - it was as if I'd asked her to cut off her rat tail. She wouldn't budge.  But I understood - most people from the deep south won't divulge their long beloved recipes.  I bet those egg rolls had been in her family since the Emancipation Proclamation was issued or whatever.

 I'll never forget the time when my roommates decided to rub my gluttony in my face by posting a Chevron receipt from a particularly rowdy Friday night onto our fridge - it was so long it nearly skimmed the floor.  Lemme tell you, it was quite humbling to wake up on my living room floor covered in sweet-n-sour sauce sticky and confused and head to the fridge to fetch some purple stuff Sunny D only to be confronted by a receipt documenting my torrid affair with 37 bucks worth of gas station egg rolls from the night before.  I've made everyone quite aware that I am unhealthily obsessed with egg rolls, so much so that some people suspect there is a Freudian explanation behind said obsession.  I also used to have my mom make me pate sandwiches back in elementary school, much to the disgust of my classmates who would taunt me every time I laid out my lunchbox contents onto the cafeteria table.

But I digress.  It wasn't until a couple weeks ago when I ventured into Sushiritto, a highly acclaimed lunch spot in downtown SF, that I realized I needed to pull my shit together and shell out some praise.  Sushiritto's concept itself is fucking genius - they make sushi rolls in burrito form (in case you're missing a brain chip).  I got the Geisha's Kiss with no cucumber and it was well worth the wait in line which was longer than Tommy Lee's dick.

Geisha's Kiss was the best thing I have put in my mouth #shesaid.  I'd describe this particular sushiritto as the older bastard cousin of the egg roll: both are wrapped in crunchy goodness and both contain savory surprises that will catch your taste buds off guard.  The Geisha's Kiss contains fresh tuna, avocado, lotus chips, some sauce I won't even deign to pronounce or spell, sesame seeds and a bunch of other random shit that bursts is your mouth - think Gushers on crack or your ex-boyfriend from Tinder nicknamed 5-second Steven and OH MY GOD I AM A PERVERT, WHY CAN'T I JUST STOP.    

I'm not getting paid to endorse Sushiritto either, lest you think this is some kind of sales pitch.  I'm just trying to spread the word because I want you to enjoy these mind-blowingly delicious culinary delights.  Pretty sure Sushiritto only exists in SF, so if you live elsewhere get your ass on a plane ASAP.  You can stay with me.  Just kidding, you can get a hotel room.

PS. If you don't get what movie the title of this post is referencing, we probably won't be close friends.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

So This is 32.

"Thank you, I-I-love, I like you guys," I said to my Pakastani driver and fellow Uber pool passenger named Ruth as I practically barrel rolled out of the car.  I'd grown surprisingly close to Paki and Ruth during our 37 minute journey from SFO to my apartment.  It may have been the residual effects of the valium I'd taken 8 hours prior or the fact that it was 4am and I'd just endured 6 hours of sheer in-flight hell on account of my severe Aviatophobia.  Or maybe it was because I'd divulged my innermost thoughts on life as they rolled their eyes and prayed for mercy listened intently.  I even forced asked Paki to blare November Rain on repeat, my favorite song.  I'm pretty sure I would've invited them up to my apartment for a night cap if Paki hadn't peeled out faster than a young, pre-op Bruce Jenner on crack.

I lugged my 768 lb suitcase up the 3 flights of stairs to my apartment, stopping 9 a couple times to contemplate simply leaving it on the street for a homeless person.  I was tired, I was dazed, I was missing the Pakastani Uber driver and Ruth my friends, family and dogs. 

Coming back from vacation spent with family and close friends is harder than Flava Flave at a casting call for California Raisins, amiright?  I learned a lot during my week-long trip at home.  The majority of friends I grew up with are pregnant, have babies and are married or engaged.  None of them made me feel inferior about the fact that I am, statistically speaking, wildly a little bit behind them in life and I actually had fun listening to them talk about anything from placentas to sippy cups to midwives (OH MY!). Also, not much compares to the feeling I get when my best friend's baby spits up on me smiles at me.  It's pretty fucking magical. 

Normally when I go home to Newport my friends and I go to Sky bar until closing time, then venture off to some late night where we frolic on the rocks by the ocean, drinking copious amounts of alcohol and playing Truth or Dare only to stumble home at 5am, bamboozled by an onslaught of unrelenting bird chirps.  This trip was very different and surprisingly, I didn't mind the slower pace.  It kiiiind of made me realize that it has been is about time for me to start acting my age.  Losing shoes at a party is funny when you're 22, but when you're 32, it's borderline absurd.  I'm realizing with each 2 day long hangover I endure that as cliche as it may sound, it is time for me to grow up, leave my shit job, find something I love to do, and actually do it because life is shorter than the ticket line at a Nickelback concert or your ex-boyfriend from Tinder's choad.

Even my parents encouraged me to make a list of my goals and my friend was more than happy to provide me with suggestions.

Now that I've really overshared gotten your attention  and given myself massive anxiety about said overshare let's get down to the actual point of this post: how to recommence your life at the office post-vacation.

1. Liven up your mood by pulling some light pranks on your unsuspecting coworker.
When I ambled into my office this morning and plopped down on my outdated swivel chair, I was confronted by a welcome note from my beloved coworker - who I'd say is the Dwight Schrute of the Office - I mean this in the breast way possible. 

You mess with the bull, you get the horns, Dwight:

2. Stay alert 
You'll likely still be in vacation mode the first day back in the office.  This mindset is not conducive to your productivity.  Luckily you've been inundated with mind-blowing e-mails that read "Following up," "Checking in," "Moving forward," "Touching base," or "FYI," in the subject line. Keep yourself occupied and engaged by perusing through these 26478124784 e-mails regarding riveting things like expense reports, conference calls or other things you couldn't give 2 fucks about from people who give you massive anxiety.  YAY! 

3. Dress up like a horny devil and graze everyone from the janitor to the HR lady with your red rocket.  
Neither of them have probably gotten this kind of attention in awhile and will be flattered which will make you feel good despite the fact that you're just back from vacay.  It's nice to give back to the community! 

4.  Make small talk with a twist
You'll probably have to make a lot of small talk with coworkers on your first day back, especially if you like to linger around the water cooler like me.  If Darryl from Accounting tries to ask you how the weather was on your vacation start talking, doze off, catch yourself, look at him confusedly and say "Where was I?  Who are you?"

5.  Make friends with things your desk. 
Right now I miss my friends more than Kato Kaelin misses free board and rent (thanks Savs).  It's tough being pulled away from the ones you love and hurled back into into sheer hell corporate life. Luckily, I am a resourceful person and can create some semblance of friends amongst my office supplies:

Like my bitchy, flat-faced stapler: 

Or this suspicious/creepy face made from staplers and a bent paperclip.

6. Do something you love for a living so you'll look forward to returning to it after vacation. 
As hard as it is for me to be back, I will say I felt a massive adrenalin rush this morning when I started typing this post. Even as I sit here, at my unfulfilling job, I am able to find contentment through my writing and I am very thankful for that.


PS. the profile of my Uber driver this morning bore an uncanny resemblance to Fred Durst. Respect.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

How to Lose a Guy on Tinder: East Coast Edition

I needed to go home.

I needed to escape gchatting 8 hours a day 5 days a week office life which has become drenched in monotony - which I understand is all part of being an adult human but sometimes routine can be super chafe inducing, amiright?

So when I flew in a complete panic to Rhode Island to see my wardens parents and all 5674 of my impregnated friends I was happy as a pig in shit elated.  I looked forward to drinking pink panthers with 6 straws just because I wanted an excuse to make a duck face could...

...receiving notes like this from my parents:
...and taking awk photos spending some much needed quality time with my best friend of 29 years who I never see... (i know you are all floored by my phone's impeccable resolution - jealousy is a disease, get well soon)

Another reason I was so pumped to go to New England was because I knew I'd be afforded the opportunity to mess with work with an entire different arena of Tinder users.  Let's face it, east coast guys differ from west coast guys on many different levels: accent, hair gel quantity and overall disposition.  It's been awhile since I featured tinder pranks on Toe Pick and it is my pleash-uhh to present to you my very first TOE PICK VS TINDER east coast edition.  I've also tacked on some never before seen older tinder pranks I've had sitting in my archives because it's fucking Tuesday and we need to smile.

1. the woman-child.
The Woman-Child is a girl who is extremely childish and irritating.  She's around 26 and collects things like rocks, bugs, twigs, and shells.  She is characterized by her excessive use of emoticons and acronyms.  She talks in a baby voice.  She is giddy, painfully annoying and hangs out with her parents a lot. 

2.  The Impressionistic Over-sharer 


This girl has sand in her underwear.  She just can't win.  We all have that friend who responds to a simple "How are you?" with "Well, I've got that Ovarian cyst and my rent check bounced this morning."  Deborah Downer is that girl.  Simply put: she was dealt a shitty hand and she has no problem venting to whoever will listen to her.  

oh, hey Trav!



4. The Guy who almost beat me at my own game..

5.  The Gurl who only Communicates via Taylor Swift lyrics

 6. The Girl who spits out complete and utter nonsense. 

Lest you think I haven't been punished for following through with these pranks, I will inform you that on my flight last night I sat next to a Del Griffith clone who drooled on my shoulder as I convulsed with every bout of turbulence we got hit with.  #karma

And that's all I have for you for now.  happy tuesday worms!
xo -