Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Toe Pick's Year In Review

Well, it's that weird time in between Christmas and New Years where I don't know my ass from my elbow what day it is, what I'm doing with my life and the impending new year seems to be approaching faster than Mike Tyson running to a speech pathologist.  I've also had to work this week and in between bouts of kissing my boss's ass, facebooking, TMZ-ing, and I've been reminiscing about 2015 and thought I'd share with you some of this year's Toe Pick highlights (links included).  I wrote more in 2015 than I ever have which I attribute to massive boredom at work and a burning desire to clear my oftentimes cluttered mind. Let's get sharted shall we?

1.  I unsuccessfully tried to sell my bed on Craigs List...

2. While the majority of my friends were gallivanting around Aspen I spent last New Years Eve in the ER on account of some mutant form of swine flu and was forced to wear a urine colored mask...

3. I duped some unsuspecting Tinder bros with my Debbie Downer character...

4.  I came up with an (IMO) ingenious idea for us single ladies called Rent A Sunday Night Boyfriend and featured the Rent a Sunday Night Boyfriend kit which comes complete with all you need on a cold, lonely Sunday evening. 

5. I featured ways to totally BOMB a first date.  

6. I showcased all the ways Instagram can be deceiving:

7. I almost burned by office down and was reprimanded by a disgruntled firewoman.

8. I wrote an informative letter to my 16-year-old self and detailed the atrocities of overplucked eyebrows.

9. I explained why being single is actually the shit and included my walk-of-shame photo for your viewing pleasure. 

  10. I spoke out about my anxiety and got the nicest responses and realized I should've opened up about it years ago. 

11. I pulled some tinder pranks while I was home on the east coast and it was a refreshing change from my normal west coast victims. 

Annnd, I was just informed I get to leave work early so I better close up shop.  Many MANY many thanks to my readers who have supported Toe Pick over the last almost FIVE years.  You're the reason I keep on writing.

Happy New Year!   


Monday, December 14, 2015

15 Lessons I've Learned in 2015

heading into 2016 with my favorite bearz

2015 is swiftly coming to a close, and I can unhesitatingly say I've learned more about myself in these last 12 months than I ever have. Some things have been good, some have been downright shitty bad - but all have gotten me closer to freezing my eggs figuring out who I am, who I am not and what I need to work on. There were times I felt content with my life, and times I'd wake up in the morning and wonder if everything was going to be okay.  It has been a year of learning; I've been taught a lot of lessons.  I hope you can relate to some of them.

1. Partying during the week is soo two-thousand-and-you're-not-24-anymore.
Imbibing anything beyond 4 drinks on a weeknight ensures you'll drunk text your ex be hungover for the entirety of the following workday.  The only thing that could maaaybe be worse than being hungover and confined to your barren cubicle is being confined to your cubicle with Anne Hathaway sitting next to you. Know your age, know your limit and know that you don't want to end up like Tara Reid.

2. Alcohol causes a lot more problems than it solves.
This has been made abundantly clear to me in 2015.  Really, it has.

3.  The skunk look is never in.
Don't go back to Joseph Cozza Salon unless you'd like to look like a multi-colored varmint who shoots rancid smelling spunk from it's ass. Again.


4. With time comes clarity.
As I've gotten older, I realize I really need to freeze those eggs I mentioned earlier who my real friends are. They're the ones who know me and accept me regardless of my faults.  They forgive me for my mistakes and laugh at jokes I've likely already told 47 times.  They're the ones who know I'm perpetually thirsty and will crush their new bottle of cold water if given the chance but offer me a sip anyway.  They're the ones who will always help me up. They're the ones I know will be in my life until the end of time.

Trying to properly fit a comforter into a duvet cover is harder than Algebra 2 and will always warrant massive temper tantrums.  Fact.

6.  Don't judge.  Always be nice.
People aren't always who they appear to be.  That guy on the bus who almost knocked you over as he walked by and didn't say excuse me?  Don't tell him to fuck off in your head.  Maybe his dad is dying of cancer. Maybe he is in dire need of cranberry juice on account of his painful UTI.  Maybe Sharon, the head of HR at his office has been chafing him for not completing his 401K forms.  Who the fuck knows.  Human beings are complicated creatures with complicated lives.  It is so important to be nice, to be compassionate, to be human.

7. Playing Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas" year round is not only accepted, it's encouraged.

8. When you know, you know.
I hate mushrooms (the non-recreational kind) so would never choke a few down in the hopes that they'll end up growing on me (pun mildly intended).  The same goes for relationships.  If it isn't there, it isn't there.  And if you think it's there then the other person has to as well in order for it toe work because that's how a reciprocal, functioning relationship works Alexandra and JESUS FUCKING CHRIST how has it taken you this long to figure this out.

9. It's unladylike to use the Lord's name in vain.

10. Silence is a virtue.
It's better to just be quiet than to attempt to squash an awkward silence by saying something like, "How do snakes mate?  They already are kind of a penis, right?  How does that work.  You have any idea? No?  Huh."  Yeah, don't say that anymore.  It only makes things worse.

11. Writing is the most important thing I have in this life.
I can say, with 100% certainty that writing has allowed me to be the most authentic version of myself.  It has released me from the oftentimes isolating prisons of sadness, heartache and boredom. It's offered me companionship when I've felt lonely and kept me afloat amid the rough seas of self-doubt and debilitating regrets. When I write, all my anxiety dissipates and I can see and think more clearly than I ever imagined could.  I will never stop writing.  It's my best friend.

12. I've gotten way cornier in 2015.

13.  People are inherently good.
I had a minor panic attack on a flight a couple months ago on account of my severe aviatopobia.  People around me didn't know what to do, really.  Some stared at me like I was circus animal.  Some pretended I wasn't there.  Then out of the blue a nice lady on the plane a few rows ahead stood up, walked up to me and asked if she could sit next to me.  I said yes, and she took my hand in hers.  "Do you believe in God?"  she asked.  I told her I did, and she started to pray with me.  I immediately felt calmer knowing I had someone next to me, with me.  She did a lot more for me that day than quell my seemingly insurmountable fear of flying; she also kind of restored my faith in humanity.  So thanks, nice lady on the plane.

14. It is very difficult to not talk in a pitchy, highly irritating voice in the presence of a dog.

15.  Watching your closest friends have babies will make you feel more than you ever thought you could possibly feel and make you realize you really should freeze those eggs what is important in life.

Lastly, and most importantly, I realize as 2015 ends that everything is indeed...going to be okay.



Wednesday, December 9, 2015

This is What I Think

As many of you know, Scott Weiland died last week, likely from an overdose.  For those of you who don't know who he is (like my mom), he was the frontman for Stone Temple Pilots and several other bands. While I wasn't a huge fan of his, I liked his voice and heard he was a talented performer.  I also heard that through the years his career had been marred by his addiction, like so many other gifted artists.
Rest In Peace
 When he died, a light was shed on this (IMO) very real disease.  His ex-wife wrote a  touching article in Rolling Stone about the impact his addiction had on his children, further evidencing the strength this disease (some of you may believe that word should be in quotes) can have on a person unlucky enough to be tormented by it.  This unfortunate event has become a catalyst  for a discussion between those of us who believe addiction is a legitimate disease and those of us who think it is a bullshit excuse the weak give for not being able pull their shit together - as if it's as easy as 1-2-3.

I've read countless comments posed by these (dare I say) daft people seeking to undermine the effects of addiction on not just Weiland, but in general.  A lot of these people seek to dispel the notion of addiction, believing it is a moral issue caused by a lack of self control or intelligence. Oftentimes it's the people who haven't seen the effects of addiction firsthand either on themselves or on a loved one; (whether it be a family member or friend) who write it all off as a "choice."

My beliefs on this matter fall at the very other end of the spectrum.  Having seen friends and family members sink into pits of despair as a result of addiction, I know that it cannot be written off as a "choice."  No one "chooses" to wreck their lives, alienate/wreak havoc on loved ones, and essentially crumble all in the name of substance abuse. Scientific research can back this.  It has shown that addiction is a biological brain disease.  So, there you go.  It's an indisputable fact that addiction is simply something someone "has" like diabetes.  It doesn't discriminate.  The little girl who rides her tricycle every Saturday morning in your neighborhood could have the propensity to grow up and be an addict just as easily as the homeless kid in the Tenderloin marinating in his own urine could.

The other day I was walking to lunch with my friend and I made a comment about how sad Scott Weiland's death was.

"I don't think it's sad," she said.

"I really don't feel sorry for anyone who overdoses.  That's just selfish.  He was messed up anyway."

I looked away and bit my tongue, but could feel my heart start to race like it does when someone tells me pit-bulls are inherently bad dogs who can never be trusted (that's another post for another day).  I thought about diving into a discussion about how it wasn't his fault, it was his addiction that ultimately led to his demise.  I wanted to yell "IT IS SAD!!!  It's very, very sad!!"

Then I paused, took a breath and thought to myself:  she's one of the lucky ones.  Her life has never been impacted by addiction, and her naivety is to be envied.  I turned, faced her and looked her in the eyes intently.

"Where should we have lunch?"

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

When I think About You I Touch my Elf

Menopause Christmas is fast-approaching and more importantly so is my birthday.  I was born on December 23rd and delivered home on Christmas morning which might explain why I'm so Christ-like.  I was a definite accident, as evidenced by my parents' inability to properly plan for a non-Christmas-time birth.  But that's neither here nor there.

I've come up with a wish-list of things I want (both tangible and non) for Birthmas. Here goes:

1. Frozen eggs 
I'm not really a spring chicken anymore as evidenced by my inability to recover from hangovers in 24 hours and the 3 grey hairs I found last tuesday as I attempted to use my curling wand properly.  I feel like girls my age are like figurative (beautiful, amazing, glorious) gumball machines - popping out babies on the reg and while I do try and bask in their merriment I can't help but worry that as I get old AF, so are my eggs (EW).  So the the other day when my boss informed me that my insurance covers egg freezing, I promptly did my research and asked "where do I sign up?!"  Feeling really anxious about this overshare proud to announce that's what I'll be getting myself for Birthmas, if for nothing else than to alleviate the mounting anxiety I face as the clock goes tick tock.  Also, this is almost like giving a gift to the world as it will be ensuring that I will have the opportunity to reproduce and WHO DOESN'T WANT A BUNCH OF MINI-ME'S RUNNING RAMPANT!?  Don't answer that. 

2. An Egg Making Machine
I promise you this whole list won't involve some variation of eggs.  I recently discovered the hard boiled egg maker at our office and I'm transfixed by it.  Simply take an egg, prick it on the pricker provided by aforementioned machine, put it in the egg holder-socket-thing for eleventeen minutes and VOILA!  You've got an afternoon snack to get you through your work day AND OH MY FUCKING  AM I REALLY TALKING ABOUT A HARD-BOILED EGG MACHINE LIKE A REAL LIVE ADULT-HUMAN?  Whatever - it's a chicken's nightmare, but my favorite new discovery and an egg-cellent stocking stuffer and you see what I did there.

3. A trip to LA to see my Godson and bestie 
I'm beginning to realize that adult acne is a very real thing plane tickets to see friends and family are the most important investment one can make.  Who really gives a flying fuck about a nice pair of shoes or a designer coat when you could buy a ticket to see your #1s?  Last month I went to see my college pals and I'm heading to LA this weekend to see more of my people and I'm more excited than Pee Wee Herman in an adult movie theatre.

4. The ability to not flake
I'm a notorious flake and I'm realizing more and more how unattractive, rude and deplorable that is.  I work in a business where people are about as reliable as Wal-pons (Walgreen's brand tampons) and it's forcing me to understand how fucked it is to bail on a plan last minute or worse - to simply ghost.  I've always adhered to the whole "I don't have to do anything I don't want to do" adage and now I'm realizing that actually, "YES, you have to go buy tiddly winx and pantyhose with your dog walker because you fucking told her you would AND IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU".  

5. The ability to properly comprehend traffic signals.
I would like, for once, to be able to lead the pack of pedestrians across the street as opposed to sheepishly lurking behind them and monitoring their every move to see when I can walk AND SERIOUSLY WHAT THE FUCK DO THESE CONFLICTING SIGNALS MEAN!?   

6. A portable phone charger.
If my chord gets stuck in my chair wheel one more time...

Alright, that's all I got.  Have a great weekend!  Get dim sum!


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Welcome to the Real World

Easing back into reality after the holidays is harder than staying awake/alert around Bill Cosby.  I went home for a week and slept approximately 163547 hours, ate copious amounts of clam chowder, and spent lots of quality time with my cell phone family.  All in all I'd say I had a pretty eventful Thanksgiving break:

1. I proudly carried on the Bunting Family facebook holiday hack, much to the dismay of my trusting sister. 

Props to my brother Charlie, who also participated:

2.  I spent a lot of time with my nieces, who are finally old enough (7&10) to give me informed, sound life advice pertaining to things like relationships, finances, how to get over the fact that a guy I used to practically be in love with is now dating Jewel (I can't make this shit up) and the fact that my 2 best friends in the world are both giving birth this week and I can't even find a steady hook-up. TMI?  Sorry, it's Toe Pick. 

3.  My entire family and I really bonded over the break.  We always stayed connected (to our iPhones, iTouches, iPads, iDontThinkWeNoticedEachOtherAtAll) no matter what.

4.  I told my dad a really funny OJ Simpson joke.  This photo captures the aftermath:

I think that about covers my trip home. Hope everyone had a nice thanksgiving.

Lastly - I want to give a shout out (I just felt like Carson Daly on TRL writing that) to the very nice, anonymous Toe Pick fan who has been sending presents, cash and letters to my office.  Please reveal yourself, the suspense is killing me.  Also, thank you.  I haven't been this excited to go to work in like 4 years.

Happy Tuesday, friendos!