Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Knox Fooling Anyone

Today's post is a chronicle of my thoughts while watching Netflix's Amanda Knox special. Twice.

Let me just start off by saying that when you Google search Amanda Knox her descriptor is American woman. Like how Ed Sheeran's is singer-songwriter and Beyonce's is goddess most divine. Amanda's claim to fame is being an American woman. So I sang along with The Guess Who while writing this post.

As every true crime addict slash magazine reader knows, Amanda Knox was considered guilty by the media for her lack of grief when her roommate Meredith Kercher was murdered in Italy. But is that fair? She was deemed a sociopath for her lack of emotions but she had only known the girl for a few weeks. I also have a hard time crying at the appropriate times. I might bawl for an hour when my favorite Project Runway contestant gets eliminated but will never cry during Marley & Me. Does that make me a monster? So for fairness's sake let's examine the other evidence.

Our story begins in Seattle. Amanda's hometown. Everyone in the Pacific Northwest is a psychopath, all that rain makes people do crazy things. Case closed. She says she had a happy life before Italy. Happy? In Seattle? I don't buy it. This girl is hiding something.

Amanda heads over to Italy to carbo-load for a year. She is staying in a "flat" (European word for house?) with British student Kercher and 2 Italian women. Seems like the Italians were never suspects. Smells like home Italian cooking, and I don't mean the Olive Garden.

Living my teenage dream, upon her arrival Amanda receives a stamp in her passport and an Italian boyfriend named after a ninja turtle. This Raffaele character...his accent is adorable. Listening to him reminded me that Italians like to add an h to the beginning of words that start with vowels. My game theory professor did the same thing. Amanda brags about how wonderful Raffaele is by mentioning that he wanted to get her a perfume...which is code for you stink. That ain't romance girl.

Without further ado, let's dive right into murder! The crime scene is explained and we hear from lead prosecutor Giuliano Mignini himself. While I love watching La Vita E Bella in the original Italian, the subtitles here are frustrating me because I can no longer play spider solitaire while I watch.

And we have another guest star. Nick Pisa, a British journalist who speculates on why locals were so willing to talk to him. "Wow I've got a big British journalist talking to me, I'm now a big star as well." This guy is really overestimating his importance. Self-proclaimed "big" British journalists fall somewhere below Miley Cyrus's siblings in American fame. I don't know...something about the conversion rate? Nick Pisa Crap talks about the power trip he got from covering this case. It becomes clear that Nick committed the murder to further his own career. Roughly 20 minutes into this documentary and I already know whodunnit.

Knox's alibi for the night of the murder is an evening in with her boyfriend. She says they watched the French film Amelie and the read German Harry Potter? Come o! No American is THAT multi-cultural. We barely understand the metric system that's just playing tug of war with a decimal. Now you're going to tell me that in addition to Italian and French, Knox has mastered German, a language so difficult that Mark Twain, one of the most brilliant American minds of all time, wrote an entire essay about it's complexity? I'm skeptical.

As Amanda recalls finding the crime scene, she claims that she didn't get creeped out by the blood in the bathroom and wasn't worried until she saw feces in the toilet which I think is totally valid. I cut myself shaving at least 9 times out of 10 because I refuse to put my book down to shave so blood in the bathroom could just mean that her roommate is as pathetic as I am. And just imagine coming home to find foreign feces in your toilet. I for one, would be terrified.

Side note - at this point I'm starting to doubt the subtitles. Either they're not telling us everything or it takes 5 Italian words to say 1 English word.

Now we search for a murder weapon. The investigators ask Amanda if any of the kitchen knives are missing. She's been there for less than a month. I've lived in my current apartment for over a year and I would have no idea if any of our knives were missing unless I pulled out 5 and they were labeled 1, 2, 3, 4, 6.

A few days after Meredith's body is discovered, Amanda and Raffaele are arrested. We hear a phone call between Amanda and an American friend who is probably the reason most people hate Americans. This girl is an idiot. She tells Amanda not to be scared but to remember she's 20 and with Raffaele, and that this is the best year of her life. I don't care if I'm with Jason Momoa AND Miles Teller, if I'm being accused of murder in a foreign country, this year sucks.

At this point Amanda's boyfriend Raffaele says he was home alone the night of the murder, changing his story and saying that Amanda wasn't with him. He claims Amanda pressured him to lie and be her alibi and he seems so naive and innocent but I think that's just the language barrier speaking (in broken English). This is just like Emerald City, I don't know who to trust.

The Netflix special shows the text message Amanda says she received from her boss the night of the murder, a text that relieved her from work duties for the evening. This message clearly says "ci vediamo" and as everyone who has seen The Lizzie McGuire Movie knows, that means we will see each other, exactly what Amanda said that the text read. Another international crime solved by Hilary Duff.

Welcome back Nick Pisa bragging about how famous he is thanks to this poor girl's murder. He says "I don't think I ever had so many front pages" so...yeah he definitely travels the world committing crimes to he can report on them and become a "big British journalist" which sounds like the plot of a movie I fell asleep during.

We finally find the murder weapon, a knife, in Raffaele's house. But again, no one suspects him which is a testimony to how sexist (and trusting of DNA evidence) people are. Amanda's DNA is on the knife handle while Meredith's DNA is on the blade. Highly suspicious. Knox admits she can't explain it but I can. Who among us hasn't used a knife to cut something and then licked the knife and put it back in the drawer? Just me? I'm so glad my roommates don't support my artistic endeavors by reading this blog. I'm saving water really, you should all be thanking me.

Enter some guy named Rudy Guede, a local thief, whose DNA was all over the apartment. And even though everyone still thinks Amanda is totally guilty, Rudy is convicted and is currently in jail for the murder. But the documentary isn't over yet because his story wasn't interesting enough. I get that this special is called Amanda Knox and not Rudy Guede for a reason but that fact that he is sentenced to 16 years and discussed here for less than 16 minutes makes him seem like a scapegoat.

We're back to "Foxy Knoxy" now as the media calls her. She's portrayed as the ultimate femme fatale even though she looks more Jessica Biel than Jessica Rabbit. During the trial it comes out that Amanda and Meredith were basically opposites...that makes for a cute sitcom not a homicide.

Amanda and Raffaele are both found guilty and sentenced to 26 years and 25 years respectively. Not sure why she gets an extra year but I'm not thrilled about it. Amanda and Raffaele break up after their whirlwind 5 day romance because apparently when you renege on being someone's alibi, they fall out of love with you.

Two years later Amanda is able to appeal the DNA evidence. A reporter comments on how she could use some makeup. She's been in jail for 2 years dude not an Aveda salon. During the appeal we learn that a vital piece of DNA evidence was found 46 days after the murder. And it only takes two Italian years of assumed guilt for everyone to realize that this is insane. And we haven't even gotten to the DNA contamination on the murder weapon yet.

Now we see a series of interviews with Americans commenting on the situation. Donald Trump tells everyone to boycott Italy. That's not even a joke he literally said that.

Finally Amanda and Raffaele are acquitted based on insufficient proof and Knox returns to Seattle and is more than welcomed by a horde of reporters.

Then...like 4 years later, Italy changes their mind and is just like hang on, can I change my answer? This is totally not fair in my (correct) opinion. After a new guilty verdict which is eventually reversed by the Italian version of the Supreme Court, Italy says they are acquitted because they didn’t commit the crimes. I find that hilarious because Law & Order will normally say something to the effect of “dismissed due to insufficient evidence" so it's pretty obnoxious of Italy to unilaterally proclaim their innocence. In any event, it is agreed that Italy should not be making any major decisions ever again.

Italians are pissed, like have some gelato guys.

Amanda goes back to Seattle and thanks her…fans?

Raffaele says he doesn’t know how to start over after 4 years in prison, 6 months in solitude. That’s horrific. I would give up after 6 minutes in solitary confinement. I need to live in a herd. Amanda also has a hard time adjusting. When she's in line at the grocery store people will talk to her about how they know her from the news which is a great way to get killed if you think she's the murderer. Morons.

The British journalist says we have to point a finger at the police and prosecution but of course the real murderer would say that. He explains that journalism leaves no time for double checking which is the exact opposite of what I was taught. In journalism school.

After an hour and a half I've decided that Nick Pisa is the real sociopath here. I have no idea who killed Meredith Kercher. And I am never going to maybe/maybe not commit a crime in Italy.

This case is now 3rd on my list of questions to ask God in Heaven right behind who killed JonBenet Ramsey and why do mini M&Ms taste so much better than regular M&Ms?

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

I'm Calling You Out Chef Boyardee

This is not meant to be a list of accusations or indictments of any kind. I'm not trying to ruin Chef Boyardee the way I destroyed Shari's Berries last year (she had it coming). Really, this is fan mail. I love Chef Boyardee products. Eat them almost every day for lunch, you can ask the co-workers who nod politely at my various stories about car trouble and parental neglect. So I figured that as a valued customer, the Chef himself might want to know what I'm thinking. Why spend thousands on test markets when the person who accounts for at least 3% of your market share will give you feedback for free? Some of you may say I expect too much of products that are all essentially "pasta in tomato and meat sauce" and cost less than a dollar.
You may say I'm a dreamer.
But I'm not the only one.


Spaghetti and Meatballs
Sometimes the meatballs look like they have moles on them. Other than that no complaints. Well done. I used to eat this with goldfish mixed in until I grew up and switched to Texas toast. If making sure that at least 85% of your meal is carbs is wrong, then I don't want to be right. Or live past 50.

Spaghetti and Meatballs (microwaveable cup) 
The texture of this is all wrong. Thin noodles. Soupy sauce. You had one job. Take the spaghetti and meatballs from the can. Place it in a microwavable cup. But you must have fiddled with the formula or something. So congratulations. You played yourself. And more importantly me because I keep buying these hoping they'll change. Ladies, you can't change a man, even a chef.

Lasagna
I don't eat the lasagna. Even I have standards. Lasagna should be served with a hearty layer of melted cheese on top and at least 3 pieces of garlic bread. Now if they come up with some canned garlic bread, I will sit in focus groups, take surveys and help troubleshoot that all day. But until then, stop serving canned lasagna. Have some decency.

Cheesy Burger Macaroni
How many foods can we fit into other foods? Also, is this the definition of American Exceptionalism? I think so! I've not tried this because I still have the tiniest bit of self-respect, but the moment that goes (sooner rather than later) I will report back on this flavor.

Pizza Maker
Again, I'm pretty content with this product. It's not as good as Missy's homemade pizza but it'll do. Although...if they wanted to make the pizza kit bigger...I wouldn't hate it. And there's always too much sauce. The sauce to dough ratio is way off, stop trying to sneak servings of vegetables onto my pizza! Call it marinara all you want, I see right through that.

Beefaroni
Sounds so wrong but tastes so right. And this actually tastes completely different from the spaghetti and ravioli even though the ingredients are all the same. You might not notice it but trust me, I have a very discerning palate. My youngest brother actually introduced me to beefaroni when he was in preschool if that tells you anything about my eating habits.

Chili Mac
There is no part of me that is willing to try this.  My discerning palate is also rather delicate. The description on this can literally reads "macaroni with beef in chili gravy." They lost me at "macaroni with beef" the rest of that sentence is just the chili gravy on top of the crap sandwich.

Chicken Ravioli
Now that's just sick. What will the sadists over at headquarters think of next? Honestly, who is buying this? You should be ashamed of yourselves. Unless you can't eat beef for religious reasons, that I totally respect but also, did you know, there is such a thing as cheese ravioli? Chicken ravioli is just wrong. And I'm a Southern Baptist, I know about chicken.

Mini Beef Ravioli & Meatballs
At least this is ravioli the way God intended it, but why the need for meatballs and beef in the ravioli? Doesn't that seem like overkill (of cows)?  You heard it here first. This alleged "Chef" Boyardee is trying to create a legion of child soldiers by amping up the protein. That's probably not true but being prepared for the worst-case scenario is never a bad idea.

Beef Ravioli
My favorite! I will burn my tongue on the ridiculous amount of sauce in here 9 days out of 10. But if you look at the picture below you will see that one time a shell snuck into my can of ravioli. Do I look like the type of person who eats shells? Don't answer that.


So Chef, if that is your real name, ball's in your court. Leave a comment with your contact information and we can discuss this over a few cans of beef ravioli. You bring the garlic bread.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Whaddaya Say $50K

Today's scheduled post, a stunning exposé of the Chef Boyardee corporation, has been sacked in favor of unapologetic shilling for the Carolina For the Kids Foundation, also known as Dance Marathon to has-beens like me. CFTK is trying to raise 50 THOUSAND DOLLARS today by 7 PM. So you can follow the links at the bottom to donate, or you can waste your money on these strange Amazon* finds. Choose wisely.

 

$5

Skull lip gloss ring
Grape flavor. These were all the rage when I was in elementary school. I had both pink and blue lip gloss rings. With sparkles. It's really a wonder that alone didn't secure my popularity.

30 stainless steel nose rings
I can almost guarantee your nostril jewelry needs do not exceed 5 nose rings. I don't care you who are. I'm looking at you, Lenny Kravitz.


1 adult Madagascar hissing cockroach
If your mom won't let you get a snake, this could be a great alternative. Or it could get you grounded for a month. Why risk it?

 

$10

Aerosol can coyote urine
Amazon would have you believe that you can use this scent to scare away unwanted animals. I'm pretty sure you could just use vinegar, or I don't know...loud noises? Bright lights? Literally anything other than the urine of a coyote?

Venus fly trap
Okay, admittedly this is pretty cool. If you abstain from purchasing this to make a donation, I will pull a Chrissy Teigen and send you a Venus fly trap.

Nicolas Cage pillowcase
Because who doesn't want to fall asleep gazing into the eyes of America's greatest national treasure? But this pillowcase will make getting out of bed in the mornings harder. I promise.

 

$15

Crazy cat lady action figure
Not sure what actions this lady is going to do. Open canned tuna? Knit? Die of cat scratch fever and be eaten alive by the animals who were formerly her only friends? A risky investment at best.

12 live hornworms
What are hornworms you ask? I have no idea but they certainly don't sound pleasant, do they? In any event, you probably don't need a dozen of them.

Canned unicorn meat
I'm pretty sure that eating this would be a sin tantamount to murder. And for me it would be cannibalism. Just say no to canned unicorn meat.

 

$20

Betty Crocker immersion blender 
Immersion blenders are cool, but how often do you really blend things? And why do you think you're too good for a regular blender? And how long will it take you to realize that hand blender and an immersion blender are the same thing? The clock starts now.

1 lb. replica of human body fat
If you've ever watched a daytime talk show, you've seen one of these bad boys enough to know that you don't need your own. If you're looking for motivation to lose weight just go bathing suit shopping, that always works for me.

Ham dogger
If you ever go extreme couponing and get a really good deal on hotdog buns, you can buy this machine that will convert your hamburger meat into a cylinder. Hailed as the kitchen tool you never knew you didn't need, the ham dogger combines ground beef with the subtle sophistication of eating a hotdog. 

 

$25

Marilyn Monroe dog costume
For the low, low price of $25, your canine companion will hate you forever. Trust me, I dyed my dog red, white and blue for the 4th of July one year. He still won't speak to me.

Electronic spin the bottle
My first question is why did this game survive the 80s? My second question is why does it need to be electronic?

1 Full body spandex suit
If you're not a Power Ranger or a cat burglar, you just don't need this. Would it be sweet? Yes. Is donating to CFTK just as sweet? No. It's actually much, much sweeter because look at this face.


$50 

Star Wars Furbacca 
This is the Furby version of Chewbacca. Chewy is great but if you lived through the 90s you know that Furbys are nothing short of satanic.

Squatty Potty 
A lot of science I don't care about went into making this product, the punchline is pyloric sphincter. 

5 rolls of glow in the dark toilet paper
Just...why? Who has this much time on their hands that they needed to invent glow in the dark toilet paper? There's a joke in there somewhere about poop on your hands, I haven't the time I'm working with a deadline here.

$75 

Wireless blood pressure monitor
If you go to my aunt's house you can take your blood pressure for free. DM me for her address slash to find out if I'm kidding about giving out the personal information of my family members.

5 lbs of dried pomegranate arils
Tempting, I know. If they were normal arils and not dried, I'd be right there with you. But you deserve juicy pomegranate arils. And these kids deserve our love and support.

Who Are You by The Who on vinyl
CSI is on Hulu. If you love this song that much, I've just provided you with a free alternative. You're welcome. Pay it forward.


$100

Mad Magazine from June 2015 signed by Weird Al
Not sure why this exists, I included it because unless you're Ted Mosby it shouldn't be tempting in the least. 

Opening bat coffin ring
Okay again, this would be sweet, but how often are you going to wear it? I know, every single day, me too. But we have to be strong.

The complete Golden Girls series on DVD
Totally rad. But if I can't have it, no one should. Send that cool hundy over to CFTK and next time there's a Golden Girls marathon on we can watch it together.


In conclusion, hopefully all of these items sound like things you can live without and you're realizing that money could be better spent if you donated it to the Carolina For The Kids Foundation and helped them raise $50K in one day! If I made these items sound so appealing that you just had to buy them and have no money left to donate, then I have really got to stop underestimating the power of my prose.


You can connect with CFTK on Facebook here, or learn more at the official website by clicking this link. To donate to the organization click here and to donate to my fundraising page to help me reach my goal of $300 for the kids, click here.

For the Kids-

Rachel




*Amazon would really LOVE for me to make sure my readers understand that I am in no way affiliated with them.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Plenty of Crap

This week's post is me debunking popular dating cliches. Think of it as LoveBusters. As someone who had to google what the term "relationship" meant, I can assure you there is no better place to get your dating advice.


"You'll find someone when you're not looking."
My Saturday nights are exclusively reserved for catching up on Grey's Anatomy and Little Women: Atlanta. I refuse to wear makeup unless there is a possibility I will be photographed. My idea of an outfit is finding pants and a shirt in roughly the same shade of black. So my question is...who's looking?

"Maybe your standards are just too high?"
What standards? I'm pretty sure I once went on a date with a homeless guy. (He walked me to an ATM.) My checklist for a potential date reads as follows: pulse and/or interest in ranking woodland creatures. I'm not picky. Honestly, I'm more selective with shoes than men and that is probably at least 75% of the problem.

"Opposites attract."
I think I'm pretty rad so I can't imagine being attracted to the opposite of myself. That would be a blonde, science-loving, shy guy who does understand how to work a television that has more than one remote control. Actually, I just described Matthew Gray Gubler. I stand corrected.

"It's better to have nothing than something you don't want."
The perplexing thing about this cliche is that it's my father's current favorite. As a man who has been reading my bank statements for almost as long as mail theft has been illegal, he's familiar with my shopping habits so he of all people should know that I have made my peace with having things I don't want.

"Guys are just intimidated by you."
I'm 23, have an impressive amount of debt, 2 liberal arts degrees and I still run and jump into bed after I turn the light off to escape monsters so yeah, I'm sure that's it. Well-meaning family members and painfully oblivious friends are often saying this about guys that go on to date prettier, skinnier and let's be real, nicer girls than me so what is it they find intimidating? My globe collection? My commitment to a high-carb, low-nutrient diet? My vast knowledge of JonBenet Ramsey conspiracy theories?

"You have to kiss a few frogs first."
How is this, what I sincerely hope is a metaphor, supposed to help? When I finally convince (trick) a guy into spending time with me, he's going to be a dud and I have to start the process of seeming likable all over again? No thank you.

"Timing is everything."
No wonder I can't find someone. I was raised by a man who has been at least an hour early for every sporting event he's ever attended. Apparently the reason I haven't met my soulmate yet is because our watches aren't synchronized.

"Trust your gut."
My gut told me that Brad and Jen would be together forever. My gut told me that Grease 2 would be just as good, if not better than the original. My gut told me that shaving off my widow's peak was a great idea. My gut told me that yogurt was a passable substitute for sour cream. Actually that was my mom but my gut trusted her. My gut is an idiot. Not to be trusted.

"If he doesn't love you at your worst, he doesn't deserve you at your best."
Disagree. Even I don't love me at my worst and friends, family and acquaintances will tell you I'm fairly self-absorbed. If you don't love me at my worst then you're probably an individual who has a healthy relationship with both others and reality, therefore, you're way out of my league.

"Love is blind."
First of all, this cliche confirms my growing suspicion that the problem is my personality. Second of all, love is not blind. That's why my friends describe me to cute guys as having an "okay personality" and a "confusing fluctuation between self-deprecation and self-obsession." They know that having uneven ears, hair that's at least 50% split ends and an untreated underbite ain't gonna cut it.

"Don't judge a book by it's cover."
Because that hottie throwing up gang signs in his Twitter profile pic is probably actually a paralegal. Yeah, kidding, this is crap. I've spent years curating the veneer that I know the public judges me by. Dedication to wearing the same 3 shirts every week. Eyebrow maintenance above all else. Dark hair. Darker heart. And I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Signs As

Today I am making sweeping generalizations about broad groups of people based on the very real science of astrology. Assume that a very complex algorithm went into all of these pairings. I can't explain my process because I'm an artist. Honestly, questioning me is just going to subtract from your own enjoyment.

One Tree Hill characters
Aries - Brooke Davis
Taurus - Keith Scott
Gemini - Mia Catalano
Cancer - Peyton Sawyer
Leo - Dan Scott
Virgo - Julian Baker
Libra - Clay Evans
Scorpio - Lucas Scott
Sagittarius - Karen Roe
Capricorn - Nathan Scott
Aquarius - Haley James Scott
Pisces - Quinn James

CFTK Committees
Aries - Morale
Taurus - Hospital & Family Relations/Campus Fundraising
Gemini - Donor & Alumni Relations
Cancer - Supply & Logistics
Leo - Entertainment
Virgo - Operations
Libra - Community Outreach
Scorpio - Publicity
Sagittarius - Sponsorship & Development
Capricorn - Fundraising Projects/Event Donations
Aquarius - Finance
Pisces - Technology

Animated Equines (and one reindeer)
Aries - Pegasus (Hercules)
Taurus - Bullseye (Toy Story)
Gemini - Phillipe (Beauty and the Beast)
Cancer - Donkey (Shrek)
Leo - Maximus (Tangled)
Virgo - Altivo (The Road to El Dorado)
Libra - Sven (Frozen)
Scorpio - Angus (Brave)
Sagittarius - Spirit (Spirit)
Capricorn - Marty (Madagascar)
Aquarius - Khan (Mulan)
Pisces - Samson (Sleeping Beauty)

Taylor Swift Songs
Aries - Hey Stephen
Taurus - Fifteen
Gemini - Enchanted
Cancer - Never Grow Up
Leo - Style
Virgo - Tell Me Why
Libra - Innocent
Scorpio - Blank Space
Sagittarius - Welcome to New York
Capricorn - Better Than Revenge
Aquarius - Sparks Fly
Pisces - The Best Day

Lipstick Shades
Aries - Red
Taurus - Rose
Gemini - Blue
Cancer - Mocha
Leo - Mauve
Virgo - Peach
Libra - Nude
Scorpio - Black
Sagittarius - Green
Capricorn - Berry
Aquarius - Orange-Red
Pisces - Light Pink

Harry Potter Characters
Aries - Sirius Black
Taurus - Albus Dumbledore
Gemini - Luna Lovegood 
Cancer - Rubeus Hagrid
Leo - Bellatrix Lestrange
Virgo - Narcissa Malfoy
Libra - Minerva McGonagall
Scorpio - Severus Snape
Sagittarius - Neville Longbottom
Capricorn -Dobby
Aquarius - Hermione Granger
Pisces - Ron Weasley

Friends Characters
This addition was inspired by my mother who just recently started watching Friends. I'm glad that she is finally catching up on pop culture from over a decade ago but it's so hard having someone in my life who has no idea how the series ends. Every time I'm at her house that's what she wants to watch and I can't help but quote every episode. She's always afraid I will divulge spoilers but is there no statute of limitations on spoiler protection? I mean this show hasn't aired since Bush was in office, let's be reasonable.
Aries - Joey Tribbiani
Taurus - Mike Hannigan
Gemini - Phoebe Buffay
Cancer - Janice Litman Goralnik
Leo - Rachel Green
Virgo - Mr. Heckles
Libra - Tag Jones
Scorpio - Monica Geller
Sagittarius - Richard Burke
Capricorn - Estelle Leonard
Aquarius - Ross Geller
Pisces - Chandler Bing

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Snowmageddon

Along with the rest of North Carolina I've been varying degrees of trapped in my apartment for the better part of 4 days because when it snows even a little bit at all North Carolina shuts down for at least 2-3 business days. It's one of  my favorite things about this state after Cookout and One Tree Hill. Were there any active volcanoes nearby, mistaken falling ash could probably close the state for at least a week.

Consider this week the unofficial guide to doing a snow day in NC the right way because when dealing with an impending blizzard, your top priority should be my opinions about North Carolina snow.

Groceries
Milk and bread, bread and milk. But why? What are you going to do with that milk if the power goes out? And also what are you going to do with that milk if the power doesn't go out? Is milk alone enough to sustain you for days? Plain milk makes me want to die. If the concept were "milk and cereal" or even "milk and oreos" then milk's addition to the must-have list would be justified. But milk and bread? What are you doing, making the world's most disappointing French toast? The most important things to consider when grocery shopping for snow are: possible power outage, protein and chocolate. That's why for this weekend's wintry weather I stocked up on Chex Mix, pizza, Butterfinger cups, Goldfish, animal crackers and Eggo waffles. Chocolate and empty carbohydrates, thus all the major food groups were covered.

Clothes
Every so often as I'm taking laps around the mall in search of dippin' dots locations that serve the banana split flavor and kiosks giving out free hair care samples, a particular piece of clothing will catch my eye. It's ankle or floor-length, quilted, plump with down feathers and usually a muted color like black, brown or army green. It's a winter coat. A coat that really could end at the waist. Sure, it's warm, but it's a kind of warm that is completely unnecessary south of the Mason-Dixon line. That type of winter outerwear is just not needed in North Carolina. Who is buying these coats? How much disposable income do you have that you feel the need to do a full Eskimo cosplay in the subtropics of the Tar Heel State? And another thing, if you're not north of the 49th parallel, you can probably survive without a fur-trimmed hood.

Driving
People love to make fun of southerners for not knowing how to drive in the snow which I think is ridiculous. First of all...why would we need to know how to drive in the snow? That opportunity only presents itself 2, maybe 3 times a year. Secondly...how could we get good at driving in the snow when it only snows twice a year? You only go to the dentist twice a year and are you really going to tell me you floss every day in preparation for those visits? It's not as if southerners make fun of the north for not knowing which NASCAR drivers to root for or never getting Rocky Mountain spotted fever or other things they have no control of thanks to geography.

Play
There is really only one thing worth doing in the snow and that is sledding. Making snow angels is just impractical. You're voluntarily laying in snow. You're getting all snowy and like Pringles, you're probably going to need more than one. So after multiple angels your back will be damp. You'll be cold and wet. Basically putting yourself on the waiting list for pneumonia. Snow ball fights? No thank you. Most of the time North Carolina snow is either 99% fluff that doesn't stick together or 99% ice that can cause internal bleeding if you've got good aim and a strong arm. And then there's snow cream. I just don't understand it. Snow cream is not good people. You know what's good? Snow. Icicles. This Sunday I ate icicles off of every car in the parking lot. Is that a little creepy? Yes. Did some people see me picking ice sticks off their Toyota Corollas? Probably. But it was fresh, delicious and fat free. Unlike a bowl of 3 parts vanilla extract 1 part snow. Also I just thought of another activity worth doing in the snow and that is pretending to be an ice skater or ice dancer training for the Winter Olympics.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Never Open the Door

Today's post is somewhat of an urban legend...the story of an unwitting individual who answers the door only to be murdered by their unexpected guest. It's a warning story we hear a lot, but does anyone actually know someone who was killed after simply answering the door? Like a real person, not a character in a horror movie or a friend of a friend or this alleged "Easter bunny" I keep hearing about.

While my threshold encounters haven't escalated to homicide so far, it's always in the back of my mind that something could happen. When it comes to staying up too late or eating fast food multiple times a day I think of myself as an independent adult but in terms of being home alone or outside after sunset, I'm just a little girl.

My first brush with danger at the door was when a pizza delivery guy was MUGGED on his route and didn't let that interfere with his dedication to providing customers like me with access to empty carbohydrates. I don't want to be insensitive to his situation, but truth be told the pizza was a little disheveled when it arrived.

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Considering the near catastrophe of that pizza delivery, it should come as no surprise to you that some time later, I made the exact same mistake.

Late one weeknight, and by late I mean around 7:40, there was a knock at my door. Being the cautious, independent woman and murderino that I am, I muted the television so it seemed like no one was home and peered carefully through the peephole to spy a young girl.

I felt like Beyonce would want me to help another woman, so I opened the door (like an idiot) and she asked to use the phone. Since home phones went out of style when I was in middle school, I handed her my iPhone and invited her inside as a respite from the brutal 50 degree North Carolina winter, wrongly assuming she would make a quick phone call and be on her way.

During the initial phone call, I distinctly heard her telling the recipient to call her back at that number. MY number. That and the fact that she carried a series of bags (both book and duffel) inside with her indicated that she was probably going to stay for all of Wheel of Fortune and possibly the beginning of The Big Bang Theory. So I did what any responsible, well-adjusted adult would have done when confronted with a stranger threatening to ruin her perfect Thursday night. I asked her if she wanted some SpaghettiOs.

Once my guest was settled on the couch with some SpaghettiOs and water, we discussed popular rappers and had a friendly disagreement over who Rihanna should end up with. Through our conversation I found out that she was 18, had a friend who was either nearby or in Baltimore and was a Meek Mill fan. As excited as I was to learn that this friend may have some Hairspray intel, my guest had never heard of Harvey Fierstein so I knew I had to let it go.

For 20 minutes or so of awkward silence, I ruminated on my situation. On the negative side, my guest might never leave. And there's always a slight chance of murder. But on the positive side, this blog post practically wrote itself. Just when I was starting to get excited about what might happen next and how this visitor could help me finally go viral, she left! She headed out in search of her friend and I suppose she either walked across the parking lot or to Maryland. I have no idea, but after 40 minutes of friendship bloomed from a single knock and a door that almost went unanswered, I wish her well.

Throughout this ordeal, I wasn't scared per se, just paranoid after a lifetime obsession with true crime and months of bingeing the podcast My Favorite Murder. I was torn. The realistic part of me said "girls gotta look out for each other" but the much larger, sensational part of me said "you don't know her life, she could have a gun in that backpack!" and the only thing that scares me more than guns is people dressed as rabbits. 

What it all came down to was one simple question. Would I rather be the type of person who didn't help someone in need, or go down as the moron who got murdered after inviting a stranger into her house?

I think you'll find I chose wisely.


*Names have not been changed because I didn't have time (or care enough) to Photoshop this.