Memory Monday

Now that I’m planning on going back to school, I’ve been reminiscing a bit about my first round of college. Any story about my college experience would be incomplete without a mention of my ridiculous freshman roommate, Brittany. Here are a few of her funniest stories.

Brittany-

Frankly, my roommate freshman year was a hot mess. Her name was Brittany. Brittany loved make-up, hair dye, snapchat, and most of all: vodka. Brittany would go to Oshkosh (loving known by the locals as Sloshkosh) every weekend to party with the professionals. Every Friday morning Brittany would pack her make-up bag, a week’s worth of revealing clothes, and a bottle of vodka before hitting the road toward the party capital of Northeastern Wisconsin. Mind you, this bottle of vodka wasn’t to share. She would drink the entire thing by herself over the course of two nights. Not to mention the supplementally drinks provided by pre-gaming friends and friendly frat houses.

One of the most ridiculous things Brittany would do is follow groups of random people to try to catch the best party scene. She would separate from her friends, and roam Oshkosh for hours. Hop into any car promising free liquor and a good time. At the end of the night, when she was ready to go home, Brittany would call up her friends and say her favorite phrase, “Come find me.”

Any logical person would respond, “Okay. Where are you?”

Brittany would reply, “I don’t know. Come find me.”

“Do you have a house number? A street name? Anything?” her friends would entreat.

“No. And I don’t want to look stupid looking at the front of the house, and I don’t want to leave to check any street sign. Just party hop until you find me.”

Oh that Brittany. What a treasure.

Brittany was the type of girl to put on make up after sleeping through all of her class just so she could look pretty for her snapchat selfies.

Speaking of sleeping, this girl slept at least 18 hours a day. Seriously. No hyperbole. She had no shame about it either. I would come home from classes and want to do my homework, and she would throw a hissy fit at me for disturbing her by turning on my desk lamp. Because of this, I all but lived in the library my freshman year of college.

However, some days I just couldn’t be bothered to make the trek out to the library. Maybe it was too cold outside in the frozen tundra that is Green Bay, Wisconsin. Perhaps I didn’t want to deal with all of the stupid people, who right around finals time think that if they are physcally in the library, they will magically absorb the information in their textbook. (as it sits closed on the table in preference to a cellphone or a gossipy friend.) On these tragic days I would honest to god do my homework in the bathroom. No joke.

 

Moral of the story is, after an on-campus experience like that, no wonder online school appeals to me so much.

 

Photo Credit: My cross the hall neighbor Aaron Whyte.

Failure is Not an Option; I Already Bought a Sweatshirt.

So this week I decided to finally make my next HUGE step in my life. I have officially applied to graduate school. It was a nerve racking process what with the statement of purpose and letters of recommendation, but I did it. I am so unbearably nervous and excited to hear back from them. I’m already so committed to the idea of enrolling and graduating through this program, I honestly can’t even comprehend the thought that there is a possibility they could reject me.

I have researched dozens of online master’s of English programs at thing point. Arizona State University is perfect for me. Their online degree incorporates all of my loves in life: literature, writing, rhetoric, and linguistics. Courses are accelerated, so I can focus on one class at a time without losing precious time. Also, I can graduate in a year and a half with a total program cost of $17,000. (That’s incredible!) Not to mention the fact that ASU is an amazing school with a fantastic English department. ASU is highly recommended for its online graduate programs from both alumni and current students. The university itself is ranked number one in innovation. They beat out Harvard and Stanford for the title, which is just incredible. A little bit of innovation is exactly what my life needs right now. I am so unbelievably excited to begin this new chapter in my life. (Chapter. English major. Punny right?)

I can already see myself coming home from work on a cold winter’s day. Changing from my stuffy work clothes into a comfy ASU sweatshirt. Curling up with a blanket, a cup of tea, and my laptop to start chipping away at my coursework. It was such a gorgeous image that I couldn’t wait to make it reality.

I told myself I would wait until I was accepted to buy the sweatshirt that I was all too vidid in my daydreams, but a bored afternoon window shopping online and a glass of wine made that dream a reality a little sooner than expected.

Let’s hope and pray I get in, because that sweatshirt was waaaaay too expensive for it just to be an awkward reminder of the school that rejected me.

ps- Ain’t it just darling?

Day Drinking + Chores = A Dirty House

I had a friend in Green Bay named Kennedy. We didn’t hang out often, but she liked my taste in music, so she would sit at the bar in the Phoenix Club while I worked. She would listen to my epic playlist (appropriately titled “Flawless”) and we would chat about what most college age girls chat about: work, clothes, number and intensity of mental breakdowns for the week, and, of course, liquor.

Kennedy swore up and down that she could only clean her dorm when she was drunk. She claimed that cleaning is a lot more fun when you’re loopy. I was a bit skeptical, but honestly it made about as much sense as why going out drinking is way more fun than staying in and getting drunk or how cleaning is way more satisfying when your house is REALLY dirty.

I wanted to try out her theory when I was doing the move-out, deep clean on my Green Bay apartment, but alas, I had to drive to Madison afterwards and I didn’t want to risk being too drunk to drive, and having to sit in my empty apartment, waiting for my buzz to wear off.

However, I’ve always wanted to test out the theory. Could it possibly be true? I love drinking and I hate cleaning, so if this was, in fact, possible it would revolutionize my weekends. No more wasting time procrastinating my chores. I would even look forward to them if it meant getting tipsy in the afternoon and resulted in a painlessly clean apartment.

So, when Jake offered to make me a Shenron’s Wish, (pureed strawberries, orange zest, lemonade, and dragon berry rum) at first I resisted. I was only halfway through my chores, with the dreaded “bathroom” next on my list. I had a feeling that the second I sat down to enjoy a drink, I would not get up for the rest of the night.

But then, Kennedy’s words of wisdom rattled up from my memories. “Cleaning is soooo much more fun when you’re drunk! I can’t believe you’ve never tried it.”

With that thought I turned to Jake and said, “On second thought, I would love a Shenron’s wish, Jake”

Jake, thrilled to have an excuse to use his immersion blender, promptly produced two very strong drinks. After consuming our beverages, my lightweight fiance was down for the count. He was talking nonsense and chasing around the cat. I, however, have a bit of a higher tolerance for alcohol. I barely had a buzz going, and I knew that if I started cleaning then and there I would sober up halfway through and be miserable having to do chores instead of drinking more. So in order to avoid that future disappointment, did what any rational person would do; I drank more.

For weeks I had been telling Jake (and myself), that I was going to try my hand at making sangria. I love wine. I love fruit. What’s not to love? I blended up some more strawberries, poured some red wine, added some seltzer water, and voila! I had some concoction resembling sangria. Honestly, it tasted like sherbet.

Yet, even after watching me make it, Jake did not believe me when I told him it was sangria. Tipsy Jake could not believe that I had made sangria so quickly. Knowing that Jake is a logical man, I offered for him to try it himself. Jake refused on the grounds that any more alcohol in his system would make him entirely nonfunctional.

No arguments there.

Next, I began listing off my ingredients to prove to him that I had, in fact, made sangria. I concluded the list, and although Jake couldn’t prove me wrong, he obviously still wasn’t convinced. After saying the whole list aloud, it was me who realized I had made a mistake.

“I forgot the liquor!”

“Ha! I was right” said Jake face down on the rug playing fetch with the cat.

I quickly grabbed some dragon berry rum and splashed a shot(-ish) of liquor into my sangria.

Within fifteen minutes, Jake was entirely recovered and chopping vegetables for dinner, while I was dropping dishes in the sink, attempting to clean them.

Jake found my intoxicated ambition hilarious, and decided to egg on my drunken antics. Shortly after finding out that I was struggling with complex pronunciation, Jake asked me to finish the following Spongebob line that every 90’s baby knows by heart:

Jake: “Ravioli, Ravioli, give me the…”

Me: “Formulaoli!”

Jake: “….” *trying, unsuccessfully, to suppress laughter*

Me: “Shit! That’s not right is it? How do you say it?

Jake: “You tell me?”

Me: “Formuloli. Form… Form… Formu… Formyaloli. Shit! I can’t fucking say it.”

Eventually I just made Jake look it up on Youtube. Even with the aid of the video, I still couldn’t say it. Oh and… by the way… I didn’t even try to clean the bathroom. I guess my ratio of alcohol to motivation was a bit off.

I guess I’ll just need some further experimentation… You know, just to work out the kinks.   😉

Memory Monday

Here’s a story about my one and only “lesbian” college experience. I hope you find the story as tantalizing as the experience itself. *wink, wink*

(Except I can’t wink, so please imagine someone blinking at you forcefully. That would be a much more accurate description of what my “winks” look like.)

Kissing Kelly-

My job at the Phoenix Club saved me my first year of college. I am so thankful for my job there. I had most of the funniest moments of my college experience happen behind that bar counter. I met a lot of unique characters and made my strongest college friendships working under those violet lights. Sure, the entire place smelled of “morning man stank,” a majority of the surfaces were sticky, and every piece of furniture was in tatters, but that was my home. My coworkers were my Green Bay family. They took care of me, looked out for me, and annoyed the absolute crap out of me. As family does.

One of the most hilarious moments happened during my first week of training. Kelly and Ben were my trainers. However, there was hardly enough work in the club for one person, and there certainly wasn’t enough work for three. We ended up spend our entire shift laughing and messing with each other.

Ben kept doing this gag where he would melodramatically profess his love for Kelly. Then, he would step into to dip her back into a romantic-comedy-perfect kiss. Inevitably, Kelly would push Ben away before he even got close, and not so politely remind him that she wasn’t interested. I entertained for hours by their Tom-and-Jerry-esque cat and mouse chase. Ben would suggest a dinner to Red Lobster. Kelly would concede that she she enjoyed their cheddar biscuits. Then, Ben would  shout with utter delight, “Fantastic! It’s a date.”

Kelly would glare at him and sneer, “You wish.”

Of course, I chidded Ben about how it wasn’t that hard to ask out a girl, he just had to know how to treat her like a lady. (With a sideways look to Kelly as we both eagerly awaited whatever antic Ben would try next.) He replied by telling me it was harder than it looked. Undeterred, I bet Ben I could kiss Kelly before he could.

Ben dismissed me with a, “Yeah, yeah sure you will.”

Little did he know I had every intent to kiss Kelly before the end of that shift.

A couple hours later, after an abundace of jokes and date proposals, it was time for Kelly to go home. As was the routine, Ben asked Kelly for a hug, (and one finally opportunity to try for a kiss) before she left. Kelly obliged with a quick hug and a well-timed shove. Kelly and I burst into laughter and Ben faked a fat-lipped pout and traced a fake tear down his cheek.

I spread my arms open wide as an invitation for a goodbye hug too. As Kelly approached me, Ben went on about how he would get Kelly to say yes one of these days.

As soon as I had Kelly in my arms, I sniped a kiss on her cheek. Kelly, never expecting a thing, staggered back with a hand over her cheek as her brain attempted to register what had just happened.

Wide-eyed Kelly looked Ben straight in the eye and said, “That’s too bad. Erica beat you too it.” Kelly and Ben both doubled over with laughter, as attended to the giggle tears running down my face.

For the rest of my time at the Phoenix Club, I never let Ben live down the fact that I had beat him at his favorite game.

 

Quotable Quips

Here are some funny things I said to either Jake or the cat this week. Most of it is profane, some of it is inappropriate, and all of it is hilarious. Enjoy.

  • “Now see! That’s the blue sparkle shit!”
  • “It’s like a garbage condom.”
  • “Nipples- they’re not stair”
  • “You left the potato in here, goddamnit!”
  • “I wanna get another row and a chapter done before I get drunk.”
  • “I will wiggle my titties where I please!”
  • “Too bad! You tried to cuddle with my face, so now you get the floor, bitch.”
  •  “What is the fuck wrong with you?”
    • (No typo, that is exactly how that stumbled out of my mouth.)
  • “Lucky for you I’m a fast blinker, and was able to deflect the blow.”
  • “Butt mice!”
  • “Did you just jazz hand me?”

 

Feel free to guess the context for some of these quotes in the comments. Make up a funny scenario in which these wacky statements might actually make sense. Who knows, maybe you’ll guess right.

ps- Here’s a picture of Charlie. I figured he deserved the spot since his naughty antics inspired quite a few of these ridiculous remarks.

pps- Can you tell how much I adore alliteration?

The Treacherous World of Meal Prep

On a whim my fiance, Jake, decided to become a meal prepper. Inspired by posts on reddit, Jake bought an entire set of dishwasher-safe, microwavable, partitioned dishes. He researched the recommended portion sizes for grains, protein, and vegetables. Moreover, he has also done extensive research on the mistakes that many beginning preppers make. Some foods reheat better than others. Prepping staples include rice, beans, meat, and noodles, because all of these taste great even after they’re microwaved. Foolish preppers attempt absurd things like breakfast burritos. Everyone knows you can’t microwave eggs. That’s just yellow slime wrapped in a tortilla.

When I first heard about Jake’s plan to begin prepping, I was over the moon ecstatic. Finally I could have varied lunches that were filling and delicious. No more boring ham sandwich everyday for me! Also, I would never again have to choose between packing a lunch and being on time for work. If I’m running late for work, which I always am, I could pick up an already prepared meal as I’m sprinting out the door.

What I didn’t realize, however, is how involved Jake wanted me to be in the process.

Sure, fair’s fair. If you eat the food you should help in preparing it, but Jake and I have more of an “he cooks, I do the dishes” arrangement. This for good reason, because I am a TERRIBLE cook. Downright horrible. I have 0 food sense whatsoever. I can do the basics: boil water, chop vegetables, brown beef, but whenever in comes to combining these items into something edible, I struggle. There are nearly endless stories of my mishaps. Friends and family can tell you horror stories of the disgusting dishes I have forced upon them. The ghostly tales range from a soup that I made with a cup of dehydrated onion (instead of the cup of chopped onion the recipe called for), hash browns I tried to fry without any butter, and the chocolate that I started on fire in the microwave (and how I tried to pass it off in my cupcakes as s’mores flavored with tastable smokiness).

Point being: I don’t cook. I’m not good at it, and I don’t like doing it. Given this disinclination towards anything culinary, I was a bit leery as jake showed me the plethora of meal prep photos on reddit.

Here were thousands of photos of people across the world who make all their lunches for the week in advance. It turns out meal prepping isn’t just something you do, it’s more of a lifestyle. Each week meal preppers meticulously plan their meals, cook them to perfection, and enjoy them whenever the fuck it pleases them. These people’s leftovers look better than anything I could make the first time around!

Meal preppers have their shit together.

I’m proud of myself when I make myself anything other than ice cream for dinner.

Nonetheless, driven by the dream of a hot and tasty meal everyday for work, Jake and I dove in with our first true meal prep: pork tenderloin with brown rice and broccoli. Jake, of course, cooked the tenderloin to perfection. It was marvelous. Our sides were … in a word … disgusting.

I chose to cook the rice, because I thought it would be easy. Yet, somehow, I found a way to make it mushy, pasty, and sticky. The broccoli that Jake cooked in the oven was great fresh, but when microwaved turned into limp stalks and mushy tops. Overall, a meal that was less than satisfying.

Fret not though dear readers! We are not disheartened. Jake and I have already prepped some wraps to last us through the last half of the week. Fingers crossed these wraps turn out better than our first round of meal prep.

 

Memory Monday

Last week I shared a story capturing some of the wonderful features of Portage, Wisconsin. From their vacant houses, child mannequins, and local lunatics, what more could you ask for? Well I didn’t even get around to mentioning the prized gem of the city: its train station. Here’s a story about my first experience riding an Amtrak.

 

Christmas in Nowhere-

I was so psyched to take the train to visit my boyfriend’s parents in southern Illinois. The last thing I wanted to do is make that eleven hour drive ourselves. I would certainly trade that nightmare for a six hour train ride of alternating naps, snacking, and watching the snowy countryside blur past.

I have had experiences riding subways in New York and taking the high-speed TGV in France, but I had never taken a train stateside. I knew it wouldn’t be like the hustling bustling  train stations in Paris or Grand Central Station in New York, but Portage never ceases to amaze me in just how low the standards can go.

The Portage Amtrak Station, if it can even be called that, consists solely of an enclosed waiting room less than the size of a two car garage. There is no attendant. There are no bathrooms. There is nothing except for some claustrophobically close benches arranged in a square. This way you can stare down your fellow travelers as you suffocate on each other’s BO.

Jake and I saw the waiting accommodations a decided it might be best to wait in the car until we saw the train come in. With the passing of each cargo train, I became more and more impatient for the arrival of our passenger train. Hours passed as Jake and I continued our seemingly eternal watch for the mythical train that would whisk us away from our cramped, automotive prison.  We hadn’t even boarded the train yet, and we were already tired, cold, and hungry.  I had started eating my snacks after the train was two hours late, and finished all of them by hour four. I ran out of water when the train was six hours tardy, and by hour nine my bladder was about to explode. Given that there was no bathroom at the “station,” Jake and I were forced to drive to the nearest gas station to relieve ourselves.

This felt like the best decision of my life. One finally chance to utilize actual plumbing before being forced upon a vessel with bathrooms that more resemble a port-a-potty than an actual restroom, and an opportunity to restock on munchies before our long journey. Yes, this was a brilliant idea, or at least I thought so before we heard train whistles from the gas station parking lot.

Trust me, there is no greater terror in this world than the possibility of missing a train that you have waited ten hours for.

Jake and I scrambled back into my car, and drove as quickly as the slushy street would let us. As we pulled into the station parking lot, the train was already crawling away from the station. I leapt out of the still moving vehicle to chase down the train, while Jake parked the car and dragged our bags. I ran beside the train waving my arms wildly desperately trying to capture someone, anyone’s  attention. I had all, but given up when a crew member stuck his head out the door.

As he routinely surveyed the platform, he simultaneously announced into his walkie talkie, “ALL CLEAR!” He had hardly finished his declaration when his eyes spied me still running and weakly waving as I raced the train to the end of the platform. His eyes first squinted in agitation, but then softened into pity as he raised his walkie talkie again to say, “Strike that call, we have a couple of late ones.”

To my absolute amazement, the brakes on the train squealed it to a halt.

I caught up with the man and thank him profusely for stopping the train. “Okaaay..” He said skeptically, “then why don’t you get on the train?”

“Well my boyfriend is coming with our bags.”

With the mention of extra luggage it became undeniably apparent that the crew member regretted his decision to save me.

Not two minutes later Jake joined me with the luggage and we boarded the train. Much to the joy of the extremely pissed off passengers, the train resumed its Southward motion. However, one such passenger decided that she just couldn’t contain her rage that we had delayed this already extremely late train by just five more minutes. “Really? You showed up ten hours late for your train and still thought you could make it? You’re darn lucky. I would have left you two in the dust.”

All the seats on the train were full, except for those in the observation car. Jake and I snagged a bench seat in front of a huge window that flashed white and gray as the wintry wonderland whizzed by. Heads fell to shoulders as we attempted to rest after such a stressful ordeal. I thanked Jake for grabbing both our bags and joining us so speedily. I got an exhausted ummm…hmmmm in reply.

“But Jake?” I asked, “Did you remember to bring the gift for your parents?”

“Goddamnit.”

 

Photo Credit: Cheryl Labeots

 

 

Distress at DSW

I don’t know why I ever go shoe shopping. It never goes well. It’s always a painful process, and every single time I go through an identity crisis. Shoes are just such a powerful article of clothing. They can transform any outfit.

Despite my best efforts, no matter how many times I repeat the mantra of “I am just here to buy flats, I am just here to buy flats, I am just here to buy flats,” I always feel the gravitational pull of a pair of pumps. I tell myself there is no harm in just trying them on. Just for fun. There’s no way I would ever buy ANOTHER pair of heels.

No matter what, I will always underestimate the power of a pair of pretty heels. There’s just this indescribable feeling that happens when you slip on a pair of shoes that A: makes you taller, B: makes your legs look like they go on for miles, C: makes your ass look fantastic without doing a single lunge, D: makes your entire outfit look 1000X more put together. That is some Harry Potter grade magical shit right there.

For some reason, wearing heels always makes me want to spin. Maybe it’s the whole standing on tip-toes thing that makes me want to twirl like a fucking ballerina. Maybe the high-fashion of pumps makes me feel like I’m on a runway, and I need to do the dramatic turn at the end of the catwalk before strutting back from whence I came. Maybe it’s just an irrational side effect of whatever pixie dust it is that makes me feel so fabulous in heels. Regardless of the reason, whenever I go shoe shopping, without fail I end up sitting on the floor, frowning, surrounded by open shoe boxes and a very unhappy fiance, and yesterday was no different.

All I needed was a pair of black flats for my new office job, but, in case you didn’t already know, shopping for plain black flats is boring as hell. It’s like going out to a really nice steak house and just ordering a salad. Nobody wants to, but some people do, because they tell themselves they have to. Whether it’s a self-conscious person trying to make a good impression on a first date or someone who desperately wants to stick to their diet, they can’t help, but stare enviously at those around them that didn’t have to self-deprive as they did. So although Jake found the most interesting flats in the whole store, I was not satisfied. Scallop laser-cut. lace up, zipper back flats just weren’t enough to curb my shoe shopping appetite.

First, it was a pair of wingtip, block heel booties that I just had to try on. Then, a pair of burgundy pumps caught my eye. Finally, it was a pair of suede, crescent heeled, tie-at-the-ankle heels that did me in. I have DREAMED of owning a pair of heels that tied in a bow at my ankles. Nothing says class like tying a ribbon around your ankles. As if I needed more convincing, they were on sale for $12. I died inside. I all but literally died.

However, stories that begin at DSW never end without some conflict.

Inevitably that internal crisis kicked in. Suddenly I was torn. Should I buy these heels? No one else at the office wears heels. Would they judge me if I wore these to work? Would they dislike me for overdressing? Would they think I was trying to act “above” them? My boss doesn’t even wear heels to work! Will she feel threatened by my bold choice in footwear? Honestly, I don’t need another pair of beautiful shoes rotting in my closet, just because I never have an occasion to wear them. Jake and I only go out for a fancy date about three times a year: my birthday, his birthday, and our anniversary. Not that we can afford to go out anymore than that. Just earlier that day I had been calculating the costs of grad school, saving for a wedding, and still sustaining ourselves in the meantime, and on my current salary, things didn’t look too bright. Honestly, I shouldn’t even be buying these $12 shoes that I don’t really need. I came here for black flats, and I’m going to leave here with black flats. Nothing else.

I sat down to take off the drop-dead gorgeous pair of shoes I was wearing, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Even though those shoes didn’t fit into my current life working as a program assistant in a business casual office (emphasis on the casual), they still fit into how I want to look. Screw the other bitches at the office. I don’t care if my supervisor comes into work wearing light wash jeans and a t-shirt everyday. If I want to wear a pencil skirt, blazer, and heels to work, I will goddamnit! I live by the adage, “Don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want to have.” Based off of my current wardrobe, I guess I have quite a few glass ceilings to shatter…

Office 101

My first few days at my new job have been a crash course in administrative studies. I’ve had to learn new procedures for just about everything. Even the simplest tasks: checking emails, receiving mail, scanning documents, all have ridiculously tedious steps and checks. All this is to ensure that every snippet of information to cross the threshold into our office is processed, quality checked, digitized, and documented in at least three places. The monotony of this position cannot be over stated. For example, today I spent all morning shadowing the intake of  online, emailed, and faxed applications. All emailed and faxed applications must be printed for the sole purpose of being scanned into our digital database and then entered into our other database by hand. (Did I mention that there are two online databases?!?!?!!!) Do you know what’s even more boring than spending two hours saving PFDs, printing emails, and date stamping applications? Watching someone else saving PFDs, printing emails, and date stamping applications for two hours. My morning was basically an exercise in appearing totally engaged, when really I was relishing the refreshing micro naps of my each and every blink.

My afternoon consisted of non-stop, balls-to-the-wall data entry. Thrilling right? I must admit, I do kind of like the sense of primal conflict between human and huge stack of paperwork. Did I mention what exactly the morsels of information that bespeckle these applications are? What exactly are we printing, entering, and quality checking? Well I’m glad you asked! Some of it is just general information: customer name, address, telephone number and contractor name and address, but the rest is downright painful. A majority of the applications include such stimulating data, such as, utility account number, furnace model number, thermostat serial number, and AHRI number. Down right fascinating, right?

But, that’s just the easy stuff. How could I neglect to mention the allure of mail merges and qualifying applications? My mail merge training packet has over 200 steps. Not to mention that each step has several substeps and even a few subsubsteps.  I had the honor, no, no, the privledge of using seven different spreadsheets to print and send four letters. It took us three hours. Don’t worry, I won’t make you go back to reread that for correctness, I’ll just repeat it. Four hours to print and send four letters. It probably would have been faster to enter the information into the template by hand, however, efficiency does not seem to be the main goal of this establishment. Everything is done at least three times by four different people. We also spend a majority of our time waiting for computer programs to load. Currently this position is so mindnumbingly boring that I think I’m losing IQ points. I’ve been told by multiple co-workers that these menial office tasks are much more interesting once you are involved in the action first hand. Call me skeptical, but I doubt I’ll ever be delighted by the idea of checking a furnace model number to see if it complies with our efficiency standards.

Memory Monday

Since I quit canvassing this week, I thought now would be a wonderful time to look back on all the funny shit that happened to me when I was out there pounding the pavement. Funnily enough, most of these stories come from the day I canvassed in Portage, WI, not a stone’s throw from my hometown of Baraboo.

Canvassing Stories-

First things first: what the fuck is up with that photo? Well, boys, girls, and those who identify otherwise, that is what I saw standing in the picture window of a house in Portage. From the sidewalk it just looked like a little kid waving. When I first noticed it, I actually waved back, but, as I approached the house. I became all too aware that that wasn’t an over-eager child, but a child mannequin. As I stood at the front door, waiting for the occupants to answer the door, I was able to examine the atrocity further. Bewilderingly enough, this monstrosity is a little girl mannequin, wearing a sparkly gap t-shirt, and accessorized with a cub scout hat and bandana. I just have so many questions, I don’t know where to start.

  1. Why do you have a mannequin in your front window?
  2. Why do you have a mannequin at all?
  3. Why would you want a child mannequin if you are going to have any kind of mannequin at all? (The whole child thing is just super creepy.)
  4. Why is said child mannequin waving?
  5. Why in god’s name would you dress it up like a female boy scout?
  6. Why does the child mannequin look like it’s wearing prostitute-esque makeup?
  7. Do you realize that from the street people can’t tell that it’s a mannequin?

Strangely enough. This is not the most terrifying house on my turf in Portage. The most terrifying house had all doors and windows on the first floor boarded up, a very stern no trespassing sign, and three broken windows. Also, the siding was peeling off of one side of the house, and there was garbage anywhere. Needless to say, no amount of money was worth the risk of knocking on that door.

However, my favorite part about canvassing in Portage was talking to the local political crackpot. She was a conspiracy theorist from the stars. When she first answered the door, she told me she loved PBS growing up. She felt that their educational children’s programming was a valuable community resource, their news was unbiased, and their science shows were informative. I thought this was going to be the easiest contribution of my life. I was so psyched to find someone this stoked about the station.

Then, she told me, “That is, before PBS was taken over by Big Oil and the Clintons.”

Nevermind that contribution hopefulness. Now I’ll just be lucky if she just doesn’t chase me off her property with a shotgun.

She went on to tell me all about Big Oil brainwashing the children through their influence on PBS. She told me about Big Pharma, and how health insurance is a scam. She told me about the lack of regulation on industry and food service. She told me all about pollution, global warming, and melanoma. She told me all about how corrupt Hillary is, and how her campaign manager likes kiddy porn.

She went on and on for almost forty five minutes. I could have found an  excuse to leave, but honestly she was fascinating as hell. I couldn’t believe all of the insane stuff that just poured out of her mouth. It’s like she salivated political revolution. She never really took a breath the entire time she spoke. I get the feeling that she didn’t want to give me the opportunity to change the subject, or worse, leave. I don’t think she gets to talk to other people very often. Once she was all tuckered out, and had thoroughly convinced me that the Clinton Charity Foundation had misappropriated funds designated as a relief fund for the Haitians after the earthquake a couple years back, she thanked me for listening to her, reiterated that she would never give to PBS, and went back inside her little house to watch the news on YouTube.

The town of Portage never ceases to amaze with its countless treasures…