Wherein I discuss wedding dresses, bathroom etiquette and, obviously, sociopaths…

Let's do this. And guys, if you're gonna stick with me through this, and I really hope you will, please start hydrating. Maybe grab yourself some snacks. This is going to be lengthy.

Wedding Dresses

I worked a wedding expo recently for one of the vendors (Captur, which you should definitely check out because it's seriously cool and seriously important), and blah, blah, blah, weddings are expensive. I'm not here to throw shade at the people who want to throw a big party to celebrate themselves (and presumably and hopefully the partner they've selected to hang with for a portion of their existence). Treat yo'self, you guys! I mean, I'm going to do some questioning, because I'm just a giant asshole, but it's not about that. They should do their thing. I'm just pretty confused about the interest in laying down massive stacks to fund a dress that's worn for tiny amounts of clock. And, perhaps, I'm all kinds of the outlier. I took off my very inexpensive wedding dress, which I am reasonably certain cost me just a shade more than a formal dress I wore to events in my college days, and that baby is not in a place I could be forced to identify. I couldn't even hazard a guess. It could have headed off with the tux to travel the world after the wedding for all I know. Mazel tov, wedding dress. I hope you had fun or are still having fun, since I haven't seen you since I took you off, you very inexpensive piece of event-specific sartorial gear. So, you know, I'm a different breed of weird. Weird, but not their weird. Because that's my hypothesis. People willing to plunk down many thousands of bills for fabric to swath themselves in for a LIMITED TIME ONLY – this offer expires in 3, 2,  Y  M  C  A — [No, thankfully, that is NOT a flashback from my own wedding.] — anyway, I can't say I get it, and I'm calling them out. As weird. Perhaps I'm missing the obvious future opportunities to wear that dress? Like I told my bridesmaids? Who very politely controlled their eye rolls when I did so, I'd like to note. Even now, I'm so damn proud of those women because I picked some beastly dresses. Egads!

You know what? Let's move on, to…

Bathroom Etiquette

I've talked about this and related bathroom topics before. It's a concern of mine. Maybe of yours, too. I clearly have some issues, but, well, seriously, people. If you're not new, you know this. It's probably why you're here. Whew. Woman is fucking nuts. I'm so normal. Gonna grab a chilled beverage 'cause it's hot, yo and relax. Contemplate how lucky I am to just not be her. Uh, I digressed. So, bathrooms. I feel like those are special places. Private places. Places where you should really respect boundaries. Places where conversation should be kept to a bare minimum. Hee. Bare. Where phone calls should not be conducted. Where eyes maybe even shouldn't meet when faced with the audible and olfactory horror foisted upon us by some hapless occupant clearly struggling with a situation that perhaps resulted from a certain expired foodstuff… Look, I wasn't in the second stall of that hygienically-challenged restroom in NC that fateful day in early July, but my heart wept for that woman. And my eyes. And my nose. All were weeping. I saw her stagger out. I didn't give her my eyes. Out of courtesy. The battle that woman had waged in there demanded every ounce of my respect, and I was prepared to quickly fashion her some sort of trophy had she demanded I do so. Such was the epic nature of the assault I had unwillingly witnessed by ear and nose along with my fellow restroom denizens. But I silently wished evil upon whoever served her the offending item and wished fervently for her to experience nothing but peace and intestinal happiness for the rest of her vacation. Here's the thing. I'm barely able to cop to the fact that other things happen in there other than fixing a wardrobe malfunction or checking to make sure all the food is gone from my teeth. I'm waiting impatiently for science to catch up to me and my hope that I can erase the existence of poo from the human experience. Hey Science, I left you that voicemail (and email, and IM) a LONG time ago. What's taking you so long? I know you're working on a pill. I'm ready to pop that bad boy every morning, and add time back to my schedule. And I have to say, I'm not one of those people…you know the ones…so I'm not even adding all that much time back. I go into the restroom with an agenda. I know what items are on it. My entire goal is to get in and get out with time remaining on the clock. But you know those people. The "lollygaggers" of the shithouse scene. They really squeeze every last second out of their time in the loo. I don't get those people. I just feel like every second I spend in that cauldron of hygienic decay is time I could be spending outside of it.

Now I think you're warmed up. Let's talk about…


This one is a bit less comfortable. It shouldn't be, but I guess it could be. I mean, look, if you've seen me, I'm the least threatening woman on the planet. You would totally want me to babysit. [Ed. Note: Uh uh. Not after you read this section. No chance in hell. Because: toddlers.] But I won't. Unless it's one of your pets. One of your normal pets. Like cats or dogs. Don't ask me to babysit your pet unicorn. I'm going to know you're bullshitting me, and you have a straitjacket behind your back. Back off, hater. Anyway, as I was saying, I'm as non-threatening as people are formed at the factory. And though I'm nuts, I'm the sane kind of nuts. So, I was chatting with a friend who was talking about an upcoming trip to the beach. I mentioned that the beach he was going to is really crowded, particularly during the summer months. And we smoothly transitioned to shark attacks. I can't recall the entire thread now, but it made sense then, and I'm sure you can get there on your own. The gist of it was that the beach is overpopulated, and sharks exist. We decided that if you take a knife out with you into the water (his idea, not mine, but BRILL!!!) you can really make some inroads into the overpopulation problem. And then the conversation was a really nice back and forth. I mentioned that it would be good to target people who you know would be slower than you. Just a tiny little knick with the knife…

Hey, man, what's that odd murky cloud around you?

WTF? That's … is that blood? WAIT, IS THAT MY BLOOD, MAN??!?

The shark could go to work on that person, and you'd be safely on the beach before anything could happen to you, because you've got to clear that area fast so you don't get caught up in the take down. You know, the poor sucker is standing there in the water all "Wait, what's with all these fins???" And you're all "No worries, bro. Those babies right there are dolphins. Gotta run, though. Happy hour's in twenty." But my friend upped the ante with surgical precision. He said something about how you'd just start knifing annoying toddlers. Which is really genius, because, you're gonna identify the bratty ones only. The sweet little squatters are the ones you're scooping up and porting back to the safety of the beach. And here's where the sociopath piece comes in…

When you encounter a person who is delighted by a less sunny type of humor, and you're having a conversation similar to the one I've just given you a glimpse into, at what point do you ask yourself "Am I likely to awake to find this person kneeling above me with a very slim wire held in their hands ready to garrote me? Also, do they EVEN look conflicted about it???" I think it's probably wise to take internal pulse checks from time to time. Just ask yourself, "Does he/she seem to be making mental notes about what we're talking about? As if, maybe this could be a solid game plan for some sort of sinister Sunday at the beach?" [Ed. Note: No, I'm not worried about my friend. Seriously sick and delightful sense of humor? Absolutely. Sociopath? Nope. Definitely not.]

Um, should we segue to something else? Like this blimp?

Um…I’m still here. Welcome back to Exaggerated for Effect.

Holy hell!! I haven’t posted since December????? Is that even possible???!

The bad news? This post is brought to you by: Hey look, a shiny object! Expect sharp turns.

Look, there’s been a lot going on. Like a lot! I’d share, but yeah, I’m not going to share. Some of it is boring. Much of it is sooooooo emo. I can’t even begin to explain how emo. I should write some godawful poetry or music, or just emote the hell out of some karaoke. And some of it is just uncategorizable. Hey, red underline? Shut. It. I have no use for you. Where have you even been? Emo has been around since I was actually young. Emo isn’t new, and, you know, neither is The Queen is Dead. *sigh* Fuck, I’m old, and still an enormous fan. You coming close, Morrissey? I’d gamble and buy a ticket to a show I know you have no intention of appearing at, you adorable, complicated freak.

Moving on…

I dropped off one of my two familial comedy partners at sleep-away camp yesterday. [Ed. Note: My other familial comedy partner is my brother, Greg.] In doing so, I realized, yikes, I’m all alone in this house with two people who don’t get me. They are really great people. But they just are obnoxiously normal. Or hmmmm. Normal isn’t the appropriate word, right? That should make me feel very bad because it leaves me with the word abnormal to describe myself and my second human project. That’s not fair. What if she and I are normal and those two are the abbies? Yes, let’s go with that. So, as we drove her to Stinky Jesus Camp (more on that later*), she and I were doing our thing in the back of the car, and I realized the two in the front seats were curiously silent. You know why? Because we were so entertaining, and they were engrossed in what we were saying. I am certain it’s true. Shhhhh. Don’t try to dissuade me.

OK, it’s entirely possible that they were silent in front because JT was fulfilling more of his required 45 hours of behind-the-wheel as he “cruises” his way to his driver’s license. And let me tell you, I’m not real chill when it comes to this. Here’s the thing. I’m still not comfortable with 70% of the people who I share the road with. They are on the phone. They are consuming foodstuffs (including SOUP – no, I will NOT let that go!). They are really, really interested in what’s occurring inside their cars: bug entries, exits, antics, photo-taking; child emissions, discussions, altercations, photo-taking; business meetings, brainstormings; pet interactions, feedings, photo-taking; podcast listening, car concerts, selfie-taking and OH MY GOD THE PHONE CALLS!! Bluetooth, people! I know not every car supports this, but I’ve seen some models that do support bluetooth spirit by with their drivers holding their phones and looking at their phones while speaking. What even the hell is up with that insanity?? Your phone doesn’t need you to look at it in order to work, people! These people are so engaged in these phone calls and it’s taking all of their focus. And another thing. Please can someone explain to me why people are so unbelievably confused by the two left turn lanes??!?! During our JT training, we had some supreme JACKASS move from the left turning lane into the right left turning lane without having a fucking clue that she needed to turn in her driver’s license immediately and submit to a public shaming to be held at her inconvenience. I just don’t understand how some people get into their cars and appear to feel that driving is a thing that they can approach as a just-do-your-best-or-you-know-don’t type of endeavor. Nuh uh, fool. Follow the rules. Then you’ll be fine. There are two left turn lanes. You have selected one of them. Follow the lane you have selected throughout the entirety of the turn. If you do so? You will not cause the car in the other lane to BRAKE SUDDENLY TO AVOID COLLIDING WITH YOUR IGNORANT ASS!!!]

Anna’s and my conversation went in many directions. I still believe fervently that we need to host a podcast (genre to be determined since it doesn’t exist based on my research). We landed in a most interesting place. She maintains, and I think I agree, that people shouldn’t date so far outside of their age group. She was intensely skeeved out by some One Directions dude (HUH???? Not a reference I could hang with her on…) whose wife was 10 years older? younger? than he. We both think this can lead to problems regardless of the gender make-up of the couple because it’s important to have points of reference to talk about to strengthen the bond between the two partners. Then, she got weird and said she couldn’t see a relationship between people who were 4 years apart and I called her crazy and the conversation became standard for us. Meaning it became absurd.

Anna: I think 4 years is a little weird.

Me: I think you’re being ridiculous. I mean, sure, right now? Yes. You’re 12. That’s not going to work. In either direction. And 10 years? Oh HELL NO!

Anna: I know! I’d be dating a 22yo!!

Me: Or…consider this…a 2yo. BOOM! “Hey, baby, where’d you get that sweet t…..uh onesie? Is that the latest band? Or…um…no…it’s just a baby Rorschach test. Yeah, baby, that’s cool. That’s so on point. Let’s make a connection. I’d like to play with that new Wonder Woman toy with you. That oatmeal you’re currently being fed looks so deeeeelicious. Yummmmmmm. Oh no. What’s that I smell? Is it a present? In your diaper?”

Anna: Can I fix that for you? Also, those are some sweet kicks you’re sporting. Do they light up?

Me: That Pull-Up is really highlighting your six-pack.

We were smart enough to stop everything here. As far as you know. Yes, I understand. You’re maybe uneasy. Possibly even appalled if you’re considering that I’m not sharing the worst of that exchange (you’d be right). You should understand that my kid plays in the deep end when it comes to this and other humor of the darker variety, but she is your favorite future babysitter IRL. I promise.

*Stinky Jesus Camp=OK, OK. I know. You’re appalled. Again. But here’s the thing. Anna is away at a Methodist camp this week. Why have I applied the stinky adjective, you may wonder? Thanks for asking! That’s because she returned from this camp last year smelling ….. I don’t know how to explain it… Moldy? Mildewy? It was bizarre, and the smell was just rampant. And aggressive. I moped around the house for weeks after we retrieved her because it took so long to wash the smell out of her clothes.Yes, I have a sensitive nose. Shut up! I went to sleep-away camp and I never smelled like that.  Anyway, we dropped her off yesterday, and I kept thinking back to my own experiences at sleep-away camp and promised myself over and over that I would NOT stow away under her cot à la Lorelai [Ed. Note: Gilmore Girls]. I love sleep-away camp (even with a stink that assertive!), and I warned her that she might find me at the mess hall the next morning scarfing down breakfast with some of the other campers and regaling them with some exaggerated for effect tale. See what I did there? She tried hard not to roll her eyes at me (like you just did) because she knew that I’d see that as an issued challenge. #smartgirl

I love the December HSA Doctor Tour. I’m clearly lying.


I spent my December seeing as many people with advanced degrees in the medical field as possible. How about you? I think you’re lying. Shame on you.

I spent some quality time in the microwave/claustrophobic tube. This was to check the status of my REDACTED. People, send me your contact info and I’ll add you to my HIPAA forms. Until then, I’ve got to keep some mystery here. I seem to adhere to that same philosophy when it comes to my docs. Read on for more on that madness. *eyeroll* Why those poor advanced-degreed people allow me to continue to step foot in their offices is beyond me. But, as I was saying, I did some time in the MRI/torture device due to my “issues” because I’m flawed genetically. If you’ve ever been here, you know that. You’ve read my stuff. I’m all kinds of flawed. You shouldn’t be surprised that it’s flowing through my DNA like a MOFO.

But despite the fact that it might look like I’m going to tell you about all the doctors I’ve visited on my December (maybe November, too?) tour, I’m actually here to tell you (AGAIN!) about how pathologically pathetic I am when it comes to recounting my medical history to these doctors when all they’re trying to do is help me out with the care and feeding of my physical being and tell you that it’s all because of GENETICS!!

My mother is just as bad about the specifics of medical crap. Which means the fault lies entirely with her. Or my Nana. I adored my Nana. And I adore my mother. So, either way the shade I’m throwing here is causing a little heartburn. But hey, it’s not my fault. It’s theirs. And I can live with that heartburn. As I was sitting with my mother who was kind enough to be my +1 for the MRI procedure. As we waited (AND WAITED) for me to get in the microwave and toast myself to a nice degree of “Eh, this sandwich is edible enough, but I’d prefer it a little warmer,” the two of us giggled ourselves silly over our inability to give any doctor a non-fictional accounting of our medical history.

I told my mother that I usually start with a really good energy. I’m upbeat and positive that this time will be different. I’m caffeine-equipped so I know that I can give the physician the appropriate amount of detail. But then the doctor asks something like, “Have you ever had an operation?” I usually start thinking to myself: “Obviously! I have two kids. They were both C’s. Because the first one was bad. Really bad. He was just not progressing. And then it was an emergency C and the epidural didn’t work and the pain when they cut into m….uh, the doc is starING AT ME!!! YES! TWO!” And then the doubt sinks in as I realize that I’ve been under anesthesia so many times that I’ll almost certainly need to ask for some clarification as to what constitutes an operation. I think to myself, “I had a hair baby.” [Ed. Note: People, please, trust. Don’t ask. Google this shit if you must. Dermoid cyst. Ovary. You’re welcome. Wait. No. I’m sorry. That’s the appropriate response.] The point is that I just shouldn’t be consulted on my own health history. I understand. You’re asking yourself either: A. Who in the hell should be consulted if not YOU!?! or B. WHAT IN THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU THAT YOU CAN’T BE IN CHARGE OF YOUR OWN MEDICAL HISTORY?? To you I say, you’re entirely correct. But I’m a different breed of cat. My problem can be summarized in the definition of the word “history” because I feel that my medical history is best left in the past. YMMV.

The moral of the story (so to speak) is that my mother is built similarly and she’s been running around town giving false or incomplete data to her doctors just as I have. And not in a malicious way. In the “I’m trying to help you but I have nothing for you but a vague recollection of something that happened to either me or an acquaintance” way. I’m so entertained by the knowledge that she and I are going to the medical professionals around this town driving them completely mad with our particular brand of ineptitude. It’s pathetic, but if you look at it in the right way, it can be endearing. You might need a really special brand of lenses.


TP On, You Crazy Diamond.

Have you ever had the universe hand you a comedic situation so perfect that you doubt that it’s real? I had this happen to me when I left work today. I looked all around certain that I was the target of an elaborate and really well-executed set-up. See, I looked up to see a man in front of me with a trail of toilet paper hanging out of his pants. Shhhh. It’s not even time to start judging me yet. Shhh shhh shhh! OK. Let me paint the picture. He was in a hurry. I was in a hurry. I started to walk a little slower as I needed to concentrate on looking around for the cameras who were clearly awaiting my reaction because HELLO???? How do you manage to achieve this situation? I’m talking a full 7 (SEVEN!!) squares of TP hanging out of his pants. The breeze being generated from the flapping was making my curls sway 500 feet behind him. I have to think it had to alter his gait in some way. And hadn’t he taken notice of even one of the no doubt multiple smirks he’d surely been gifted with by that point? There wasn’t a bathroom anywhere near us. I kept the emergency vehicle distance between us for a reason I cannot begin to explain. Do your own computations. I wanted to take a picture. Come ON! You would have wanted to as well. I really, really did. And I fought mightily with the little devil sitting on my shoulder, but there was a woman right behind me working the mind jedi magic and boring into my head to scramble my grey matter so I wouldn’t take a picture. I DIDN’T! OK?! So stop. But I also didn’t let him know about the situation. Look, I don’t know. Maybe this was his way of absconding with some extra restroom supplies. An odd method, sure, and only good for one restroom break (JESUS, WHY AM I GOING THERE????!). Anyway, who am I to judge. I guess the bottom line (Yes, bottom. Deal with it.) is that I could have alerted him to the TP tail, but I opted out. The security guard opted differently. Which made me look quite a bit like a dick. Happy Thanksgiving, TP Dude!!

And Happy Thanksgiving to all of you people.

My brain appears to have a doppleganger. That is a scary sentence, you guys.

I believe this [Ed. Note: severely edited and condensed for your sanity] conversation will provide the required evidence to show that my brain has a twin. And that leads me to believe that there are other hosts out there walking around with a grey, squishy skull resident who behaves in the same way as mine and, apparently, Jon’s. Yikes. We are all clearly siblings separated at birth and ruled by our skull residents. Shhh, don’t let them hear us.

Greg, you should probably be weighing in on this one.


I need to capitalize on more of my ideas. I mean, I saw this this morning and was, like, SMH. Brilliant! http://goo.gl/sKOOHD


Jesus, man what the hell happened? Why weren’t you on that?

wait your talents should be going in the other direction — liquor prep

picture something similar yet it’s in the bar area

maybe with a dude attached




so he can be all “Yes, sir” and stuff


I’ll call it “It’s 5 o’clock, NOW”


See? So, let’s flesh this out.

It’s your clock again – you’ve designed that already




The one with the REDACTED Trademarked material

Now, you have Jeeves standing there all official. I’m not sure of his purpose. But I think he needs to be in the mix. Maybe he’s a robot

But he needs to be very subservient


Classic Jeeves would be great but no one is going to get a Wodehouse reference these days.


Hmmm – i’d agree – philistines


luddites as well


damn this is good stuff I’d like this to be my new job


Them: “What do you do for a living miss?”

You: “Ideas, lots of ideas. For instance, do you have a minibar at home?”

T: “Why, of course not. Why would I need a minibar at my abode?…Wait, that’s amazing!!”

Y: “See. That’s what I do. Bye.”


Yeah. It’s starting to look a little thin when it’s typed out like that.

This butt’s for you. Stand down, Social Services.

Anna and I really get into my stories. Well, in my head, she is really getting into them. She shows enthusiasm, but let’s face it. I’m her mother. She’s probably just indulging me. I do love receiving proper appreciation for my creative endeavors, and she knows it. So, she either adores my stories or is silently enduring them. Whatever. I’ve got an audience. I’ve decided to believe that she’s a rapt one.

If Anna and I were questioned about the appropriateness of my stories, I guess we’d both say they are a touch irregular. But then, Anna and I are, ourselves, a touch irregular, so I think it’s about right that one of my recent stories involved a restaurant featuring pickled human feet as its signature dish, and another centered around a group of bears struggling to reform their image after an unfortunate incident whereby one of their overly enthusiastic members gave a hug to a human, crushing every single bone in the poor fellow’s body. When the man sank to the ground in a boneless heap, the bear fell to the ground beside him in a torrent of tears, while the other members of the bear’s clan rolled their eyes and rushed to console their overly dramatic friend. Like I said, slightly irregular plots for stories, but they make sense in the end. Ish.

Should I get to my point? I should get to my point.

I believe strongly that there should be a relatable butt emoji. [Ed. Note: Shhhhhh, Kimoji people. Shhhhh. I said relatable, not ridiculous.] I believe in this so strongly that I decided I needed to incorporate them into a story for Anna. The story was about the Land of Emojis. This land includes all the emojis that have been “released” to us, but it also includes all of the cool emojis that we have imagined in our minds or seen on Google. Yeah, even those. Yikes. I didn’t include those in my story. You guys should really be ashamed of yourselves. But back to the butt emoji. In the Land of Emojis there are a ton of those guys. Some are wearing hats to identify them as members of various professions, etc. Some of them are wearing expressions to denote various feelings. I’m not suggesting we need all of these guys. I didn’t create them all. Don’t blame the messenger, you guys. But it is a little surprising one hasn’t been approved for use now based on their representation in the Land of Emojis. I, myself, could see many situations where you might want to insert one of the jaunty fellas. For example, if you want to tell someone you think they’re acting like an ass but you mean it in a friendly way? You need the relatable butt emoji, right? Or say, you’ve been acting like a complete freak of nature and you’d like to let someone know you’re aware that you’ve lost your goddamn mind. You send them, “Sorry I’m such a <ass emoji>.” Oh hmmmm. Wrong article, yes? You’d have to use, “Sorry I’m such an <ass emoji>.” There, that’s much better. No reason to make us all get twitchy because my article didn’t match the word version of the emoji. Oh hell. What if you use the word butt instead of ass, or what if your recipient is a butt person? Oh damn, that went entirely wrong. Phrasing, Stephanie. So, now it’s “Sorry I’m such a/an <butt/ass emoji>” Yep. This is pretty much what texting with me is like. And I’m a paratexter. Consult UD (although it’s not terribly popular as a term because none of my contacts has voted yet), and weep with gratitude if I don’t have the ability to text with you. You’re most definitely welcome.

WHOA. What happened there?

I’ve completely lost track of this blog post. And I feel like I should mention that as I was telling the story to Anna I got so into it that I kept imagining all of these butt emoji, and it was so entirely entertaining that the story was quite a disappointment. Considering the enormous potential of the material I had given myself to work with, the story was a real shit show. Yes. I went for the low-hanging fruit.