Archive | June, 2012

And Call Me Sugarpants

26 Jun

I hate to sound whiny. KIDDING! I love it. I do it so well that I hate to give it up. Seriously, here’s the thing. This is getting into like old-fashioned, self-serving, navel-contemplating blogging territory. Just so you know.

I make really bad graphics for this blog. Actually, the ones I made for my old blog were waaaay worse. I like to think of them as kitschy. The mascot for my old blog was a flatulent feline named either Gass Purr or Lucy Furr. Can’t remember what we went with. I am NOT a graphics person. Not an artist. But blogging is visual. How many times do you click on a link without a graphic? I’m guessing very few because you probably think it’s Russian spam. Graphics are important, and that’s why I spend a few minutes here and there making talking birds and gassy kittens and like such.

I started doing a feature here called Today’s Mood. It’s mainly for when I can’t or don’t want to write a full post, but have something to get off my chest. Usually the Mood posts are just graphics. I try to be good when collecting elements to use. People work hard to make Photoshop brushes, backgrounds, stock photos, and all manner of things. I can’t afford to buy a lot of images so I rely on the awesome people who let others use their work. Attribution is generally required, and I try to be good about making sure there’s a link to the elements I used. Hence, the Elements Page.  Sometimes the terms of use get confusing, so I honestly want someone to tell me if I’ve used an image I shouldn’t have or failed to give correct attribution. People who make free-use art are AMAZING. I once had a very kind photographer WRITE TO ME to thank me for using a stock image of hers. Those are the kind of people who give their hard work out. They’re people who have never met you, but take the time to contact you for using their work.  That’s what I love about all this internets web stuff.

Yeah, so this horse you rode in on thing. Wrote about it already, but then I got to Googling. Bad, bad, bad mistake.

If you need to catch up, read this. I made a graphic, people shared it, I got screwed. Fortunately, it’s not as bad as what’s happening to The Oatmeal. Not fortunate for him, obviously. And, just to digress a second. If you’re not reading The Oatmeal, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know. You probably also need more grain alcohol in your life. Anyway, his work was posted to another site without attribution. When Matt Inman (creator of The Oatmeal) gently pointed out to this particular website that he’d really like credit for his own work, dude turned around and sued him. And don’t confuse the pronouns here. The douche who posted Inman’s work without attribution sued Inman. Yeah. Kuh-ray-zee. I am not dependent on this blog for a living because I made very wise investments in a company that produces those totally worthless worth it lubricating strips on razors. I don’t like to brag about it, but I am so independently wealthy I have a butler whose only job is to open my bathroom door. Were I dependent on this blog for money, not only would I be screwed since I can’t imagine who would be crazy enough to advertise here (Sutter Home? Call me!), but I’ve had some graphics ripped off so no paysies there.

A graphic I made using some vintage clip art from Tack-O-Rama (stuff I actually BOUGHT, y’all) went viral. And no credit was given to me or the blog. I love that it’s getting shared. Love it. I would also love for people to read the blog. When the graphic gets shared without a link back to Yeah And Another Thing, people don’t come say hello and how else am I going to get any validation? HUH? Like the (closet) optimist  I am, I sent a few messages to a few websites saying, hey. Listen, y’all.  I’d love for you to keep the graphic up, but do you mind linking back to me? Then I looked on Pinterest and that was just depressing. It’s all up on there. Then I did an actual image search and had to take to my fainting couch.

I don’t want to come off like a bitch here. I would really love for people to share the graphic, but I’d really love that they do it in a way that credit is given. This is why I think my next stop is to delete my Pinterest account. Yeah, I’m getting militant.  I try to make sure the images on Pinterest actually link to something, but now I’m concerned they aren’t being linked to the correct something. I know several friends and readers have spoken up to say where the original image came from, and I really appreciate it. I have since gone back, visibly watermarked the image, and strengthened the digital mark, but it’s like closing the barn door after the elephant has smashed the grapes. Whatever. I didn’t grow up in the country. Metadata gets overwritten, some people are dillweeds, and stuff happens.

If you come across the graphic–and one website referred to it as a meme–and you are so inclined, make a polite little comment noting where the original image came from. I would appreciate it, and I hope I never have to return the favor. I would say I’ll never make a graphic again, but I’ll probably just never make one again that anyone is interested in.

Also, and this isn’t so much related, I’d like to be called Sugarpants now. Update your contacts and whatnot.

Air Conditioned Shoes

25 Jun

Have I mentioned I have to go to New Orleans this week? I do. I’m going with my in-laws ’cause I’m just that awesome. I grew up close enough to New Orleans to make a day trip of it, but I haven’t been down there in many, many years and I’m looking forward to seeing the city again. If you’ve been in a blind panic about why I haven’t been posting–and OF COURSE you have–it’s because I’ve been looking for shoes.

You might be a lady who likes to shop for shoes. Bless you. Not only do I hate shopping for shoes, I’m not particularly fond of wearing them either. I’ve mentioned that in an open letter to shoes I wrote last fall. A letter shoes did not, cowards that they are, acknowledge. I have flat kite-shaped feet disfigured from many years of working in retail hell. If you are having a particularly PMS-y day and have decided you are hideous, let me know and I’ll send you a picture of my feet. Wait, I’m not going to do that because they’ll just end up on some weird fetish website. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m stopping here because I’ve hit a slippery slope and it’s hard to navigate barefoot.

I told you a while ago I got these awesome walking shoes. Yes, they are awful, but really comfortable.  Thing is, I don’t so much wear shorts, but I often wear cropped pants as I believe you should only have to look at my pasty white legs on days it’s just too damn hot to care. Lace-up shoes with cropped pants just say I’VE GIVEN UP!  WHERE’S THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY? Much like my pasty white legs, now that I think about it. No, crops and shoes with which you must wear socks should only be worn if your elementary school is having a 50’s day. Or if you’re 80 or older. Because when I hit 80, you bet your sweet bippy I’ll wear whatever I damn well please. That, as it happens, will involve caftans and turbans AND I DARE YOU TO MOCK ME.

Shoe shopping was a three day event. I had to stop for restorative beer and ice cream several times. I finally ended up with a raging hangover and a pair of shoes so hideous that they are cool. That’s what the dude at the outdoors store told me, and I believe him because on his off days he climbs stuff. Climbing stuff is cool.  Upon discovering that the forecast for New Orleans is not just a tropical storm but also record heat, I’ve decided I do not give one fine rat’s ass what I look like. I’ll look like the poster child for the Ugly American Tourist if it’s comfortable. I just heard from a friend who is down there right now and she told me not to pack clothes. It’s just that hot. Another friend told me to take a spritz bottle of water, but I’m afraid it will boil in my purse. What I really want to do is lock myself in an air conditioned hotel room, drink white wine, and read. But that’s pretty much what I want to do all the time, so I don’t know that I can make a vacation of it. (I can make a vacation of it.)

I’m going to try to post at least some pictures while I’m gone, but I’m sure I’ll be quite busy being fabulous in my air conditioned shoes.

That Time George Takei Linked To My Picture

25 Jun

You know that feeling of cognitive dissonance? Your eyes and your brain are at war with each other. In my case, when that happens, the feeling is very similar to the one I get when I think I sent an email to the wrong person. I’ve had that feeling a couple of times in regards to the blog. Once was when I found out Jezebel linked to one of my pieces and I didn’t find out for about three months because I am the worst.

I had that same feeling today. I subscribe to George Takei’s feed on Facebook because he cracks me the hell up. So I see a picture I made posted to his Facebook page. I haven’t checked Pinterest yet, but the same stuff tends to get posted there as well. Uh, yeah. A picture I made for a Today’s Mood was posted by George Takei. (MR. SULU, PEOPLE!) Or really his Facebook Minions, I suppose. I’d like to have Facebook Minions. Hell, I’d settle for generic minions.

Anyway, at this point it’s been shared 3,978 15,092 times. Which is awesome. And I’d just like to put out there that it came from this blog. Because drinking as much as I have to in order to keep this puppy rolling is not easy, and I’d like a little credit. Also, I’d eventually like to monetize this bitch so I can hire a laundry minion. That doesn’t really have much to do with the issue at hand, I just wanted to get that out there. I get how the internetz work. You put it out there, it gets stolen.  I would like to start a movement so that everyone who reads this goes to his page and posts the link to my blog, but I am nothing if not apathetic.

Just remember, if you read this blog, you saw it here first.

Note: You can find the elements I use for graphics here. The clip art used here is from Tack-O-Rama.

Taking It To The People

10 Jun

Have I mentioned I hate summer? I mean recently. I believe you can find previous mentions here, here, and here. One of the many things I hate about summer is shorts. I know I do not have to wear them, but sometimes they are the only thing that will do. Since the three pairs I had were either falling off me, falling apart, had paint all over them, or a combination platter thereof, I made the ultimate sacrifice. I went OUT and bought some shorts.

Now. Shorts are funny things. Especially for someone whose legs look like giant stalks of white asparagus. Or like tree trunks with the bark ripped off. And because I am not a size 4, my choices are limited. I can wear what are actually pedal pushers or possibly clam-diggers. Because that’s such a flattering look on a girl. I can wear these canvas things with drawstring waists or a lovely seersucker madras plaid. A jaunty knee length denim number would be awesome if it were 1984 and someone else were dressing me because I’d taken leave of my senses. I did finally manage to find a pair of booty shorts. NOT a good look for most people, but I did happen to notice they had tabs and could be rolled down to cover my business. Sold.

These shorts have three buttons at the waist, then the waistband morphs into something I thought would be super comfortable. It’s an elastic band about the width of my thumb and covered in soft cotton knit. The legs say I’m a hottie, the waistband says I’ve given up. The thing is that the elastic is not tacked anywhere but to the front button placket.  So it squirms. It twists. Trying to get the waistband straightened out is like trying to get a cranky infant into one of those long onsie things with feet that have the snaps at the diaper so you have to put the damn thing over the baby’s head. And the baby has a stomach ache AND an ear ache and is all squirmy and sweaty and screaming. That’s what getting into these shorts is like.

Other than that, I love them.

Yesterday I tacked the elastic to the knit band in a couple of places, and that has helped. I don’t know about you, but I read user reviews before I buy something online. I’ve learned which ones to ignore (those with neither punctuation nor capitalization) and which ones to take to heart (those in which the reviewer has actually used the product are helpful). I sat down to compose a helpful review. Here it is:

Title: Designed by Satan

Review: I never believed in Satan until I wore these shorts, but that is clearly who designed them. Because the elastic is not attached to the knit waistband, you must spend five minutes (I timed it) working the kinks out of the elastic. Once you have done this, you must carefully arrange the shorts on the floor and stage a sneak attack to put them on. You must put them on gently lest they realize what’s happening and start twisting around and laughing manically.

In short, these shorts rebel like a 14 year old.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, I like the style. The length is short, and I do not use the tab function to roll them up because I don’t like to have to have a special hair removal session just to run out for milk. They aren’t actually pedal pushers which I did not want. And that’s why I’m keeping them. The size is true. The khaki color has a lot of red in it, fyi.  Tacking the elastic to the waist has helped, so if you have needle and thread you can enjoy poking them into submission.

I thought that was a helpful review. Target did not. It would not let me publish it. The unhelpful site would not actually say WHY, but I removed references to Satan, teenagers, and infants and it seemed to take. It is now titled “Waistband of Doom”. You can’t read it online because Target hasn’t published it. But as much as I love Target, the website sucks (insert joke about 1997 calling for its website) so I’m not terribly surprised or upset my honest and helpful review was not published. Target also did not respond to my tweet where I name-checked them, but to be fair, I once tried to compliment the management staff of a store and there was nowhere on the website to do so nor did they respond to that tweet.

Just know if you’re going to buy a pair of Pure Energy shorts with a knit band, you’re going to want to refill your Valium. But I found the fit to be true-to-size bordering on generous and I really like the polished cotton material.

Life Coaching for Family

8 Jun

Dear Standard Life Coach,

When my mother-in-law likes a piece of clothing or color I wear, she tells me it looks “well” on me. I don’t think this could be right. What do I do?

Signed,

Lovely in Puce.

Dear LiP,

Ah, yes. Standard Life Coach feels your pain. Being told that color looks well on you is a compliment to the color, not to your own cute self. And we’re not aware that a watermelon linen big shirt can get sick, so we’re not sure how it can ever be well. It can FIT well, yes. LOOK well? Nay.

We would say celebrate the fact your wannabe pretentious MIL compliments you at all! And, as always, resist the urge to thank her for the compliment since the sweater you’re wearing had a bit of a head cold last week.

Sincerely,

SLC

Dear Life Coach,

My sister gets royally pissed whenever she goes to a restaurant which does not have a dairy-free option for her daughter with a milk allergy, a gluten-free option for her son with a wheat allergy, or a nut-free environment for her youngest son who I don’t really think has a tree nut allergy, I think he’s just a brat.

I never want to dine with her in public because it’s such an ordeal. What can I do?

Signed,

Inedible  in Indianapolis

Dear IiI,

First, we know to what your pseudonym refers, but that does not make it any easier not to snicker at it.

Now, on to business. Yes, SLC shares your pain of trying to dine with someone with bad restaurant karma. SLC firmly believes restaurants are under no obligation to fulfill the wishes of those with strict dietary restrictions. We believe it is incumbent upon the person (or parent of the person) with dietary restrictions to do due diligence before dining out.

The bigger issue might be how not to be a royal pain in the ass. We believe if people such as your sister didn’t have allergies to bitch about, they’d just find something else. Our guess is she has never ordered off the menu and never said please-n-thank you, and so has therefore eaten a lot of spit and snot in her time. We are not sure how eating spit affects the cognitive process, but it can’t be good for a person.  We would not accept dining out invitations with her simply on the guilt-by-association principal–meaning you shouldn’t have to eat spit just because she’s high maintenance. Stop going out with her. Fake cramps or an impending library book due date if you must.

With Sympathy,

SLC

Dear Coach,

I found my husband and his best friend watching an episode of Weeknights With Giada with the sound turned down. Should I be concerned? Becasue I am. And also freaked out. 

Help,

Food Porn Interventionist

Dear FPI,

Only if they also had Barry White on the stereo. Boys can’t resist the shimmy. Chill out with some reeeCOTtah and keeAHNtay.

In Solidarity,

SLC

Boys Like Jerky: What I Wish Someone Had Told Me

4 Jun

There was another part to my piece last week about high school and whatnot, but I didn’t publish it yet because I figure if you’re reading this then you’re like me and have developed the attention span of a Peruvian fruit bat. Plus, I just wanted you to come back strictly for reasons of vanity. I don’t know why I’ve had teenagers on the brain other than I own one and it is exhausting. 

If there is one thing I could go back and tell my adolescent self, just one thing only, it would be that it was a really good thing your mom wouldn’t let you get that spiral perm. If I got to pass on just one other thing, it would be to say she was also right about suntan pantyhose. I guess the takeaway is that I should have given my mom a lot more credit than I did, but if I’d done that then, what would I have done in my 30s?

Teenage years exist only for socialization and learning to hold your liquor. Anyone who tells you otherwise peaked in high school and should be actively avoided at the office Christmas party. There is no permanent record. No one cares what grade you made in Algebra 3. A high SAT score is no more an indicator of a successful career in college and beyond than a well-functioning right blinker light is of overall engine health. You know what class was totally worth it? Driver’s Ed. The two-second rule of following is a lesson you will use forever. To this day the only thing I can tell you about an algorithm is Google, and I didn’t even learn that until I was an adult.

Yes, teenager, you think that just because you stayed at home on prom night watching John Hughes movies on the VCR and eating Doritos Cool Ranch that you will never be happy, successful, pretty, good in bed, funny, popular, have clear skin, and show that cute guy from geometry class how well you can do the Cabbage Patch; but as an adult you will find that when you ask people who went to prom how it was, they will all say that it sucked. If they do not, they are either lying or are of your grandparents’ generation when prom was a thing and not an excuse to dress like you’re in a gypsy wedding and throw up Boone’s Farm Strawberry in the parking lot of the Ramada. For the record, sometimes the special occasion to celebrate with a fine, lightly chilled bottle of Boone’s Farm is just that the 7-11 guy didn’t ask for ID. Celebrate the little things is what I’m telling you.

It is like a kick in the gut when I hear my friends’ teenage daughters obsess over their totally incorrect assumption that because they do not have steady boyfriends at 16, they are both boring and ugly. Girls, here’s the thing. Teenage boys are monsters. They’re not all rude or mean. I’m saying they are not human and they cannot help it. Why they ask your best friend out and not you is a mystery NO ONE can answer. I’m tempted to say boys go for low hanging fruit, but that’s not fair. Because you’re a sophomore in high school with a steady honey does not mean you’re willing to service the starting defensive line of the football team. It does mean there is something approachable about you that they didn’t see in, say, me until sometime in my mid- to late twenties when I turned into a honey badger and stopped giving a shit.

Here’s what I did instead of having a boyfriend. I got very involved in the drama department, I went to Youth Congress, I read a lot of Tama Janowitz, and my friends and I took horribly derivative and self-reverential black and white pictures of ourselves holding scarves and standing in cow pastures or in front of oil wells. I had time to do stuff. My husband tells this story of his high school girlfriend giving him the dreaded “let’s see other people” talk. There was a new guy at school and she was hoping for a date. My husband was scheduled to go on an annual hunting trip with his cousins. It was something he looked forward to every year. But, rather than go on the trip, have a great time, and not regret the weekend, he decided to stay home just on the off chance it didn’t pan out for his girlfriend and the new guy and she called to do something. So what do you think he did all weekend? If you guessed call the cutest girl in school and make out with her in the bed of a small Mazda pickup truck, you have obviously not been paying attention. He did not have a pleasant weekend. But it taught him a valuable lesson. If my husband had a motto other than “Always Have A Good Pocket Knife” or “Pie Is Good”, it would be “Doing Something Is ALWAYS Better Than Doing Nothing”. Also, on the hunting trip you can always eat jerky. And boys like jerky.

Would I rather have stared longingly at my boyfriend while he mowed the yard, did push ups, or watched Platoon over and over and over again? Yes. That is, at the time, exactly what I thought I wanted because that’s what I thought you did with a boyfriend. It seemed to be what my friends with boyfriends did. I am also told there is much sitting around watching boys play video games. But! I’d never have read Being and Nothingness in high school if I’d been half a couple, and in the long run, a clear grasp of existentialism has served me better than spending nights pretending I wasn’t going to let some meathead get his hand under my hilarious Psychotic State sweatshirt.

My point is that yes, you can sit around the house and obsess over how jiggly your thighs are and how no one will ever love you and you will die alone under a giant pile of Diet Coke cans and Allure magazines, or you can do something. And the thing about doing something is that you gain confidence. Which means you gain experience. Which means you might meet someone who also likes goofy golf or post-modern photo-realistic portrait painting. And that someone might actually be someone you want to spend time with. And that’s all that matters. The rest will sort itself out. Teenage Me didn’t believe that, and so I spent a lot of time mooning over functionally illiterate Rupert Everett look-alikes who got really pissy every time they were gently reminded there is no such word as irregardless.

Look, some flowers bloom later than others, some only open during the day, and some put out so much pollen you spend the season with a chapped red nose and eyes so puffy they look like they’re closed. Every flower is different. And if you think I mean “vagina” every time I write “flower”, we need to talk about growing up and calling body parts by their correct names.