Adventures in South Dakota

Monday, June 24, 2013

All weekends go by too quickly, and all Mondays generally suck. However, one could convincingly argue that weekends when your long distance boyfriend is in town fly by extra quickly and Mondays when you're traveling to Sioux Falls, South Dakota extra suck. And by "one" I mean "I."

So, at about 7:30pm today I found myself in the Courtyard Marriott of Sioux Falls, SD....which looks strikingly similar to the Courtyard Marriott in Peoria, IL. Fun fact: both are located in mall parking lots. Once checking into my hotel, I decided to get wild in South Dakota. Aka get a pedicure.

I usually don't get mani/pedis because I think they're a waste of time - but it turns out, when I'm in South Dakota, wasting time is exactly what I'm going for.

I wandered into the Sioux Falls mall and immediately saw the aptly named "Nails Time" storefront -- as if God himself was thinking of me when he laid out this generic middle-American suburban shopping center.

Thirty seconds into my Nails Time adventure, I remembered another reason I don't like getting my nails did on the reg -- all the workers are chatting it up in a foreign tongue and I have no idea what they're saying. Since I'm both self-absorbed and paranoid, I usually imagine they're discussing how ugly my feet are, which makes me want to drink acetone.

One time I was getting a pedi in Dayton with my also-tall twin sister, and the lady kept holding up her hand high in the air making the "tall" motion, if you will, while yipping away to her co-worker in an unidentified language. To which I responded "Yep, we're tall." They both seemed shocked! Um, hello. I am fluent in hand gestures. And notably not blind.

Back to Sioux Falls. I was happy to find that Nails Time had time for me. As I was sitting in the massaging chair, I came to the realization that not only was I the only customer in the nail salon under 50, but also the only one not getting something "Red, white, and for the 4th of July!"

This made me feel oddly mature. Not a sensation I'm accustomed to.

One special touch about Nails Time was that I was always seated near the entrance so I experienced the joy of listening to two different radios simultaneously. The mall hallway random-90's radio (think: Fergie and the Pussy Cat Dolls) combined with the Nails Time John Tesh radio show. (think: Elton John and "how you can control your road rage by thinking positively.")

So...when do they tour together, P-Diddy?
In addition to the double dose of glorious music and real-life advice ("remember, sometimes you forget to turn off your high beams too."), X-Men was playing on the TV, muted. So I kept trying to read the subtitles, listen to two songs at once, and understand Kevin's thick accent as he told me to "relax my hands" 30 times in a row. He apparently didn't notice how distracting the Fergie, Elton John, and Hugh Jackman combination was. 

Overall, a fairly successful SD night. I don't think I caught any diseases from the tools used at Nails Time (bonus!), and Kevin, my manicurist with disturbingly long fingernails, told me I have really nice nail beds. There's one for the resume!

I know what you're thinking "OMG Joyce why don't you post a filtered instagram pic of you're new mani and pedi!!" The answer is simple - I would rather bathe in a pool of rubbing alcohol and razor blades than post a picture of my feet on here. So I'm going to go with baby otters instead:

I want to propose this solution: any girl, in any state, when you're considering posting a pedicure picture to any form of social media, instead, post a baby otter picture.

Happy Monday, happier Tuesday, homies.

Hosting poorly-themed parties and near death experiences

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Last night I may or may not have had a "Red Wedding" themed party, and if you don't know what that means you need to either:

a. Start reading Game of Thrones
b. Start watching Game of Thrones
c. Stop reading my blog if you're annoyed about all the GoT references
d. Keep reading my blog in ignorance.

If I were you, I'd choose "d." because it requires no effort and doesn't deprive you from reading the second greatest writer ever published (The first being George R.R. Martin. If you don't know who that is, do option a.)

Also, I'm not published.


Moving on, in preparation for the party, I did what all good party hostesses do.

1. Cleaned (boring).
2. Bought drinks (boring).
3. Made Sangria (Kind of exciting because I realized I actually have no freaking idea how to slice apples. Reason #72 I feel bad for my future husband.)
4. Bought chips and salsa, sour gummy worms, starburst jelly beans, and gummy lifesavers.
5. Didn't think we had enough sour or gummy things, so I bought these Jolly Rancher two-somes sour gummy combo things. They're ok. Below par of sour gummy candies, but the par of sour gummy candies is every other food group's "way below par" so yeah.

The reason I said I may or may not have had a "Red Wedding" themed party is because four guests came dressed like lumberjacks due to one enthusiastic party attender who decided it should be lumberjack themed and emphasized this with three other people. Everyone else, including me, wore normal clothes.

But, I was telling everyone it was a "Red Wedding" theme because I never don't make a GoT reference when given the option. So I did draw up my House sigil and words. Here's the electronic form:

I can't draw trees or cupcakes, and I sure as hell don't own a functioning printer, so I ripped out a sheet of notebook paper and drew a dog made out of circles that my friend taught me to draw in 7th grade and I've been drawing ever since. Thanks, Alli!

Anywayyyyyy - as you do before any party, I was sitting alone on my couch wondering if anyone was going to show up and betting myself that I could, in fact, finish all the candy tonight single-handedly regardless of if any guests attend,when suddenly, I wasn't alone at all. Rather, I was staring death in the eye.

A f*cking centipede was on the wall above my TV.

Excuse my edited expletive, but am I allowed to start a campaign to make an animal extinct? Because I am guessing more people care about obliterating centipedes entirely from our planet than saving some obscure species of bird. Unless the obscure species of bird only eats centipedes.

Do you guys remember when I had a panic attack over the cricket in my hotel room? 

Well, it was a similar situation and I handled it with the same amount of calmness. Aka none. Tried to kill it with my flip flop, it fell but didn't get squished, I screamed, never found the body, and will never sleep again.

It was then, when I was recovering from my imminent fear and wondering if I could avoid my living room for the rest of my lease (aka through August of 2014) when I thought about it. I thought about canceling the party, booking the nearest hotel room, and sleeping far, far, away from that demonic insect.

But then I remembered my house words.

Never before had I related to Neddard Stark on such a personal level. (I notably have no bastard children.)

Now, when people started rolling in (the pro: people came! the con: less candy for me), some would venture occasionally to the balcony. This was problematic because when they opened the sliding glass door, hoards and hoards of insects flew in, attracted to my lamp. I'm talking probably hundreds over the course of the night.

It's like the centipede was foreshadowing terrible things to come.

Pointless little gnat things that chilled on the wall until I sprayed them all with hairspray or pounded them with my fist in rage. Some party, I know.

My fear of bugs has been getting worse with each year I get older. Which makes 0 sense. My plan is to have kids and teach them to kill bugs for me before I teach them the English language. (Husband could do this but he'll be too busy slicing apples.)

And also to never go camping. My family's version of camping is making s'mores in our portable fire pit in our driveway and then going back into the house after consuming between 3 and 8 s'mores each.

back up family words
Regardless, I will report that, despite the apparent spontaneous bug-theme, the party was successful, the candy is gone, the sangria was a hit, and I am looking to hire an exterminator or move. I'll keep ya posted!

Globe Trotting

Monday, June 10, 2013

Sorry for the unintentional blogging hiatus!

Since my last post, I've spent time in Chicago, Peoria, New York City, St. Louis, Houston, and Westeros.

So, as you could imagine, most of my time been consumed with fighting with airline agents, and distressing about the future prospects for the residents of the seven kingdoms. And people think the current American economy sucks. At least America's most prevalent landmark isn't "burned villages."

If you don't watch Game of Thrones, it better be because you're reading them as I currently am (almost done with Book 3). While typing this, another reading friend (who is slightly behind me in the book) just texted me woefully after reaching a traumatic scene, to which I maturely responded:

So yes, begin reading if you want to essentially torture yourself for thousands of pages and live in a sea of helpless despair. And totes text me about it!

Speaking of a sea of helpless despair, yesterday was my weekly dose of being mentally and physically abused by the commercial airlines.{More proof of airline torment here and here}

Took this terrible shot in the ridiculous cluster that was allegedly the boarding area in the Houston airport yesterday.
Or as I now like to call it,  "hell."

Yesterday's voyage marked my second trip in a month where I technically landed the day after I was originally supposed to get home. In yesterday's case, I landed at 12:10am. Earlier in May, I was supposed to get home at 9pm on Thursday, and didn't get back until 6:30PM on FRIDAY. And yes, driving from New York City to Madison, WI would have been a faster, cheaper, and an all around more enjoyable experience. 

Real conversation with Delta during that tumultuous journey:

Me: Hi, I just want to know if I can get Delta miles for my huge inconvenience.
Her: We don’t award miles until you reach your final destination.
Me: Well I’m not sure if that will ever happen.
Her: Oh, but what if you suffer more inconvenience? We can’t give you miles now in case you suffer more inconvenience.
Me: Well, my flight is already delayed today but at this point I consider flight delays as a part of your business model. So although I agree that more inconvenience is highly likely, I would like miles for my incremental inconvenience, why must I wait for my maximum accumulated inconvenience?
Her: Just call as soon as you land in Madison.
Me: That’s exactly how I want to spend my Friday night.

Obviously, I got 0 miles from her. :)

I am in the office this week (YAY) so hopefully I will have a little more time to catch up on blogging :) Happy June, you guys!