Friday, November 20, 2015

6 Things I'm Thankful For

I know for many people 2016 has not been the best year.  For me, it has been for lack of a better word, normal.  2013 was a horrific year for me, 2015 was a close second but 2016 has been boring fine.  No matter what year it is I make a conscious effort to watch Mallrats remember what it is that I'm thankful for.  This year I've compiled a list of 6 people/things that I give thanks for sometimes when I have nothing else to do on a daily basis:

I am thankful for:

1. ...my nieces.
I'm especially thankful for the the fact that they are finally old enough (8 and 11) to give me guy advice.  I know when Ellie (8) tells me to "just text him a picture of a rainbow, Auntie Owl!" that she knows what she's talking about and her informed advice will definitely get me closer to landing a boyfriend.  


2. ...the Internet, and my sister's inability to properly log out of her facebook account.
Without these 2 things I wouldn't be able to execute dozens of status update pranks.  Looking forward to seeing what I can pull off while I'm home next week, unbeknownst to my sweet, trusting sister. 


   
3. ...my family.  
I love being home with family and getting to spend quality time with them, despite the fact that 87% of the time we are all glued to our phones or iPads.  We're in the same room, in the presence of each other and that's what counts, right?


4. ...Being able to show my mom how much I appreciate her.
Whenever I am home for the holidays I strive to help my mom out in any way I can by offering a hand in the kitchen.  Normally she only lets me fill the water glasses on the dinner table, or chop something but sometimes she'll trust me to help with cooking.  Which she ends up regretting when she sees that I've made dicks out of the food or flung the creamed onions in my sister's hair.  (I call it Monica-fying someone)


5.... other people's political rants
I truly never thought I'd say this, but I actually enjoyed the onslaught of anti/pro Trump facebook posts this year.  Watching grown adults fight with each other like children arguing over who gets the last tootsie roll was wildly amusing.  It was like the Onion had taken over my newsfeed except it was ALL REAL.  Moreover, immersing myself in people's diatribes as I lay awake at night cold and alone helped me get my mind off the fact that every single one of my friends is engaged, married and/or with child and I can't even keep the ants on my ant farm alive.  HAHA, just kidding, that was a joke - I don't have friends.

6. ..Toe Pick.
Writing has become more important to me than drunk texting ex-boyfriends.  I'm thankful to have this outlet that lets me do me (uhhh..that sounded weird).  I'm also thankful to live in a country where we have freedom of speech.  AND IN CONCLUSION MAY I PLEASE REMIND YOU THAT IT DOES NOT SAY RSVP ON THE STATUE OF LIBERTY.  Alright, I'm off to watch Clueless.

Wishing absolutely everyone (especially those without family, those who feel lonely, unaccepted, sad or lost) a very Happy Thanksgiving.

We're all in this together.

Peace.

Nige








Sunday, November 15, 2015

It's Not About Your Shoe.


November 13, 2015

7am.
Noooo, it's already time to wake up?  
Why is my room so cold?  Does the heat in this apartment even work?  
I can't believe I kept waking up last night.  Now I'll definitely be tired all day.  Ugh.  
My roommate is hogging the shower, will she EVER get out?  
I for sure won't have time to stop at Starbucks to get a chocolate milk before work.  
But I want one!  
Shit.

8am.
Fuck.  Uber's surge is 1.8.  
Why is there ALWAYS a surge?  
Of course the driver is taking forever. 
I hope he doesn't try to make small talk.
I'm going to be late for work.
Ugh - work.  I hate it.

8:30am.
"Gooood morning!  How are you?"  
I can't listen to my coworker's response.
I don't really care.
I need to focus on checking my e-mail. 

10am.
This day is going by so slowly.  
I have a headache.  Why did I go out last night?  I hate being hungover at work.  
I'm tired.  
I feel out of it.  
Did I text him last night?  Ugh, I did.  Why? 
He's definitely not thinking about me, so why can't I stop thinking about him? 
STOP.  
Move on.
Focus on work... 
the work you hate.  

noon.
What do I want for lunch? 
I'm sick of everything around here.  
Maybe I'll just walk around downtown and try to find a new place.  
Yeah, I'll do that.

12:15pm.  
Why did that lady I just passed scowl at me?  What's her problem? 
I am going to scowl back.  
SHIT!  My shoe is stuck.  These are brand new shoes!  
OMG did my heel seriously just break off?  This has to be a joke. 
How am I going to fix this?  
How am I going to walk back to my office without looking like an idiot?  
Where do I get my shoe fixed?  
Is there a place around here?  
Can't believe this happened.  
I wonder if it is even fixable?

1pm.  
I am going to call my mom.  
I can tell her about my what happened with my shoe. 
Also I have to ask her to pick me up from the airport next week.  
Wait, I feel like every time I talk to her I want something. 
Maybe I shouldn't ask her about the airport thing.  
But I don't want to take the shuttle home.  I'll be so tired.

"Mom!  you will not believe what happened to me earlier, my heel got stuck in the sidewalk and snapped in half and I - "

"Have you seen the news, Alexandra?"

Oh.  

Terrorist attack on Paris. 
129 people dead.
Wow.  
Try not to choke on perspective.
Think about all they had.  
Do shoes come to your mind, Alexandra?  
No, they don't.

Some had wives, some had husbands...
Some had nieces, some had nephews...
Some had girlfriends, some had boyfriends...
Some had brothers, some had sisters...
Some had dogs, some had cats...
Some had children, some had grandchildren...

...all had hearts, all had souls. 

These things that incessantly consume my mind are just that; things. 
Things that can be easily fixed.  
Your room's cold?  Get an extra blanket.
It's just chocolate fucking milk.  Drink water.
Uber has surge pricing? Walk.
Hate your job?  Get a new one.  Travel.  
Don't like being hungover and making poor decisions?  Stop drinking so much.
He doesn't want you?  Find someone who does.
Worried about having a ride home from the airport?  You're lucky to have a family to spend Thanksgiving with. Hitchhike if you have to. 

Today, more than ever I'm reminded that life isn't all about these little things.

It's about having compassion.  
It's about being kind.
It's about love and not hate.
It's about talking to your uber driver; he is probably bored from driving around.
It's about asking someone how they are and actually listening to their response.
It's about smiling at that stranger you pass on the sidewalk who looks sad.
It's about calling your mother wanting nothing except to tell her "I love you."
It's about forgiveness.
It's about gratitude. 
It's about humanity.

It's not about...
your shoe.










Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Hello.

I have a tendency to overplay things.  I'll watch a movie over and over again until I have it memorized and I'll become so obsessed with a song that I'll listen to it on repeat until I lose friends.  (Whenever I'm in my friend's car on a road trip and she wants me to shut up she'll put on 1 of my 5 favorite songs.  We call said songs my "pacifiers.")  But enough about me and my remarkable inability to not be obsessive. 

I'll never forget when I first listened to Adele's new song, "Hello".  I knew right away it would become one of my most coveted pacifiers.  It was a grey San Francisco day; the seals were barking, the birds were chirping and somewhere in a BART station a homeless person was relieving himself.  I listened to this fucking song like 37 times that day.  I fell asleep to it, woke up to it, showered while it was playing and even changed my usual greeting of "hey!" to friends (on e-mail, text and in person) to a hollow, resounding, "hello."



The other day I grew tired of facebooking, gchatting and sober texting my exes working so hard that I came up with the idea to prank tinder using the lyrics to my new favorite song.  The results are mildly amusing astounding.  Have a look:



Hello, Daniel.  (btw, I totally messed up the lyrics at one point here.  Dratz!)

Hello, Mark.

Hello.  Ian.  

Hello from the outside, Nev. 
 And, that's all I got.  Happy hump day, pumpernickles!

xo,
Nige


Thursday, November 5, 2015

How to Avoid Becoming 'That Annoying Foodie Guy'




By Joel K.  

When it comes to blogging, I am a novice.  Sure, I’ve thought (and, subsequently, over-thought) about blogging for a while now, but I’ve never actually gotten around to doing it.  So when the world-famous “Nige” asked me to write a guest post on Toe Pick about food-blogging, I procrastinated for 3 months jumped at the opportunity. 

Here goes nothing…



My best friends call me The Big Kat and I am the founder of the “foodstagram” account @KatzGottaEat (or “KGE” for short).  For everyone reading this those of you who are unfamiliar with KGE, it is a San Francisco-based Instagram account focused on foods around the Bay Area (and beyond). I have no formal training in this realm, but I’ve always loved the culinary arts, I’ve always dreamed about being a food critic, and I started KGE as a “passion project” – at least that’s what I’ll tell The View one day if I ever make it big.  The truth is that I’ve watched far more episodes of Anthony Bourdain shows than I care to admit, and I needed an excuse to justify the amount of dollars I’ve spent and weight I’ve gained enjoying the insanely delicious restaurants of SF.

I’m still just an amateur food critic, but I’ve learned a few things about foodstgramming over the last 38+ weeks and I decided to write them down for your reading enjoyment.  So without further ado, I give you this:

The Art of Foodstagramming: An Incomplete Guide of Do’s & Don’ts

The Do’s

1)       Have Separate Instagram Accounts.  The first rule of successful foodstagramming is to create a new account.  Posting from your personal Instagram account is always bad idea.  I hate to break it to you, but nobody cares that you ate a kale salad for lunch today, or that you got almond milk after doing an inspiring SoulCycle class.  However, if you create an account that specifically focuses on food and people choose to follow it, then chances are they still won’t care will be interested in what you’re posting.

2)       Tag the Restaurant/Chef in Your Posts.  If you’re like me and you’re a terrible cook, then the majority of your posts will be food that you have purchased at a restaurant.  This is important for several reasons… First, it allows you to give credit where credit’s due and thank the restaurant/chef for your meal (it requires talent to make a meal, not to order it).  Second, it’s a great way to actually remember all of the places where you dine.  Finally, there’s a chance that you’ll actually interact with the restaurant/chef and it leads to free food the next time you dine at the restaurant – we all know that it’s really all about the free food at the end of the day.

3)       Mix It Up.  It is important to try new surroundings, use different angles, and occasionally add props.  No, I didn’t read that in the sex tips column from last month’s Cosmo I’m talking about the ways that you should photograph food.  Let’s face it: the food itself isn’t always that interesting.  As such, it is important to add variety to your posts and “spice” things up (pun intended, more of that to follow).



4)       Describe What You’re Working With.  You know why most people get annoyed with food posts?  Because they cannot actually taste the food you’re posting!  In order to get your followers interested in what you’re posting, you need to describe the dish (e.g., ingredients, preparation, cuisine style, etc.).  Otherwise, your followers simply will not care about your picture.

5)       Carve Out Your Own Niche.  As noted above, food itself can get pretty boring, so it’s important to add content to your posts that will keep your followers’ interest.  One of the best ways to make your posts more unique is to specialize in something – some foodstagrammers specialize in a particular type of food, others specialize in a particular region.  My specialty: puns.  Select examples of KGE’s puns include: “sausage puns are the wurst”, “I’m fishing for likes with this post”, and (for you R. Kelly fans out there) “it’s the remix to this chicken, hot’n fresh out the kitchen”.  You get the idea.



The Don’ts

1)       Over-Share / Over-Post.  I get it… you’re really proud of what you’re eating, and you want the whole world to see the food your plate!  But before you hit that “share” button on your iPhone, ask yourself: “Will others find this as interesting as I do?”  While I understand that “content is king” when it comes to Social Media, it’s really “good content” that is king… so let’s just hold-off on posting that homemade quinoa bowl you made or that half-eaten eggroll, and save it for your personal collection.  *Pro Tip: Avoid taking pictures of meals that are the same color, or brown sauces – they don’t look good.

2)       Post Motivational Quotes to Accompany the Food.  Foodstagramming is supposed to be an escape… it is not supposed to be a Tony Robbins seminar that you signed up for near the airport.  Please keep the motivational quotes about “healthiness”, “being bold” and “positive attitudes” to yourself… I’m trying to look at mouth-watering pictures of burritos here!



3)       Post Dishes with Clutter.  Have you ever seen a plate that looks “messy” in Bon Appétit magazine?  The answer is no. When taking food pics, make sure that your plates are clean & pristine – any imperfection will be noticeable, and your “likes” will suffer (need to get to 11!).  Remember, it’s best to take a picture at that start of the meal… not in the middle of it.

4)       Only Post Expensive Food.  We all have that friend.  You know, the one who is somehow always dining at Michelin-starred restaurants or is always posting bottle service pics from high-end clubs.  That friend is annoying.  Food is supposed to be democratic… and oftentimes the best foods aren’t fancy, they are simple and delicious (e.g., donuts, breakfast sandwiches, foods with carbs, etc.).  With foodstagramming, variety is key (see “Do” #3), and people care more about the food itself than the money you spent on it.



And last but not least

5)       Admit to Watching Guy Fieri.  I mean, seriously, that guy is the worst. And the internet is like, totally permanent, man.


Well, that’s all I’ve got for now.  I hope you enjoyed my first foray into food-blogging as much as I did (there are no guarantees of this occurring).  But, before I leave you, here’s a list of 5 SF restaurants that are awesome right now:

·         AL’s Place (Mission)
·         The Progress (Fillmore District)
·         Hogwash (Union Square)
·         Belga (Cow Hollow)
·         Señor Sisig Food Truck (FiDi/SoMa)

Yours truly,

The Big Kat

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

5 dynamite Ways to get your Ex Back

If you're a girl who has a pulse, hormones and access to any form of technology you've likely listened to the new Adele song like 86 times.  The other night I played it on repeat as I was sobbing in the corner of my room in the fetal position falling asleep and my goosebumps got so big that they actually made me realize just how little I know about goosebumps and what causes them (no, I wasn't stoned).  So, I took to Google, did some research and learned all about them.  Feel free to enlighten yourself as well by clicking here.  

Jesus, where was I?  Adele's new song is all about lost love and is thus relevant to this post. 

via
A dear friend who shall remain nameless recently called me seeking relationship advice. And, no, he wasn't fucking with me.  (I even waited for Ashton to show up.)

"Hey, I just called to see if I could get a girl's perspective on something."

My friend sounded pained...desperate even.  He and his girlfriend of 5 years had recently broken up and he wanted to get her back.

"Uhh... Uhm, you might be asking the wrong girl," I responded sheepishly.  "I'm not too good with this kind of thing.  But if you realllly want to know my take on it: Be indifferent.  Be a dick.  Be aloof.  Look hot.  Be social.  Be happy.  Don't respond to texts or calls right away if at all.  Make yourself scarce.  Move on. Uhhh yeah, that type of stuff always drives me my friends nuts."

As I spoke I realized I knew more on the subject then I thought.  I hung up and baked a toaster strudle, sifted through my split ends, scrolled through instagram for over an hour thought more about it.  Here's what I came up with:

We've all been there and we all know it to be true: break-ups blow harder than the Kardashians at the BET awards.  Someone who was once a big part of your life suddenly isn't and that's a real tough pill to swallow. Coping with the aftermath of a break-up is similar to dealing with a death, but maybe worse because the person is still alive and you're constantly exposed to their shenanigans via social media.  It's bad enough you're laid up on your tattered bean bag chair with hagan daaz practically hitting your system intravenously without having to see an instagram pic of your ex sporting JBF'd (urban dictionary it) hair whilst brunching with some mega-douche named Shane who she met on Tinder.

So if you're sick and tired of battling Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from drunk-hammer texting your ex, wallowing in self-pity, losing friends on account of your incessant blubbering, waking up in the fetal doused in brownie mix with dried snot on your forehead then listen up!  I've come up with a number of ways you can get your ex back like a fucking boss.

1. No contact for 1 month.

This is the breast advice I've gotten with regard to break-ups.  My condescending brother told me a few years ago to "do the opposite of whatever you, Alexandra, would normally do," if I wanted a second chance with my ex.  The majority of the time your instincts will fuck you if you listen to them and act on them.  So if on a Saturday night you find yourself cowering in the corner of your messy room, knee deep in vibrators, blasting Celine Dion's "All by Myself", sobbing uncontrollably into your unmanicured hands and contemplating a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge - call a friend.  Call your aunt Edna who could just as easily be your uncle on account of her suspiciously pronounced Adam's Apple.  Call anyone but whatever you do, don't contact fuckboy your ex.  March right on over to AT&T and block homeboy/girl's number if necessary.  1 of 2 good things will come from not contacting your ex: either you'll get over it or he/she will freak the fuck out and come running back.


uhhh, these may or may not have come from my Pandora account but that's neither here nor there.
Turn this shit off, bitchez. xo
2.  Be HAPPY.

If you're not happy, fake it 'til you make it.  You want your ex to see that you're doing juuussst fine without his credit card, big dick and forehead kisses or whatever.  The goal is to appear happier than a pig on Prozac writhing around in a massive pile of steaming shit.



3. Distract yourself.

Focus on something other than your ex.  This will help with tip #1.  I've always been curious about how snakes mate (I mean, they already are a penis basically - so how does it work?), where toll booth workers park and how OJ was found guilty in a Civil trial but innocent in criminal trial (I seriously don't get it.  Enlighten me, Bob Shapiro).  My point?  There's so much else in this world to think about aside from your Football/PornHub-obsessed ex, like following me on instagram and liking all my photos.


Hi, toll booth worker. Where did you park?  Seriously.  I wanna know. 
4. Be social...but take it easy on the booze.

Alcohol is a depressant.  Sure, it's fun to go out and get rowdy with your friends but if you find yourself waking up on the floor of an apartment belonging to some guy named Daryll with a hangover the size of Everest, maybe you oughta think about cutting back.  Also, you're more likely to send embarrassing sexts texts when you're under the influence of 3 bottles of Whispering Angel.  Believe me, I have been there a time or 46. 

5. Knock your ex off that pedestal.

You wouldn't be so desperate to get your ex back if you got it into your head that he/she is a mere mortal like everyone else on earth.  He/she sharts goes to the bathroom, cries, trips, feels insecure, worries sometimes and probably has had an in-grown pube or 5 in his day.  No one is fucking perfect.  Absolutely no one.  The sooner you realize your ex is your equal and not your superior the less likely you are to act like a Desperate Denise... and desperation is a stinky, stinky repellent.

Well, that's all I got.  I better get back to watching the third episode of Season 1 of  Rock of Love.

xo,
Nige

PS. If you didn't get a chance to read my Bold Italic article, check it out here, and to keep abreast of my future articles, please like their page here.  

PMS.  Sorry for the shameless self-promotion, it's tough acting as my own pube-licist.