• Immediately after Vegas…I got Lost.

    14

    Since I know that most everyone has a love or hate relationship with Lost, I promise this won’t be a recap. But, as it lasted for four years (we started watching in season three, and so had to play catch up with seasons one and two), my relationship with Lost was one of the longest ones of my life. So I’m going to talk about it. GET OVER IT.

    Sunday night, @matrixmechanic and I went to watch the series finale of Lost. With about 800 people. Yeah, eight HUNDRED.

    Red Carpet Crash (who hosted the Oscar watching party I attended earlier this year with Natalie, Carissa, and Sketch) hosted the country’s largest Lost watching party at the Angelika Film Center in Dallas. The best part? I won reserved seats because I’m so special! I never win anything!

    Reserved seats, what?!

    Now, I know what you’re thinking. Four and a half hours of Lost in a theater with 798 strangers? And on the heels of Bloggers in Sin City, no less? Shine, what were you thinking?

    But much for the same reason that seeing movies at the movie theater is awesome (think Star Wars, the original trilogy, not that I was old enough), this was an incredible experience. When I laughed, so did the other 275 people in the theater (we had three theaters). When I cried, I could hear sniffles all around me (yes, I cried, and I’ll thank you to shut up about it). To sum up, I couldn’t think of a better way to watch the end of a show that I’d been watching for so long. Well, it would have been more awesome to fast-forward through the commercials.

    Top Five Things I Will Miss Most About LOST:

    1. Josh Holloway without a shirt. Times infinity. I wish he would come over and tell me dirty bedtime stories.
    2. Rushing home to find Lost recording on my DVR.
    3. Discussing the week’s episode with Joanna and @matrixmechanic
    4. Benjamin Linus. Well, Benjamin Linus pre-season four.
    5. Giving myself a headache trying to unravel all the mysteries.

    And now, the Top Five Things I Won’t Miss About LOST:

    1. People bitching, whining, and otherwise moaning about people talking about Lost. It was a good show, but no one is requiring you to watch. Shut the hell up. I have to listen to you talk about fucking Twilight all the time.
    2. Giving myself a headache trying to unravel all the mysteries.
    3. My Twitter feed filling up with a collection of people tweeting about Lost (which is annoying) and people tweeting about people tweeting about Lost. (Which is more annoying, because these are usually the same people who tweet about Gossip Girl and The Bachelor. Trust me, your tweets are no more interesting or informative.)
    4. The several hours I wasted each week reading random theories about what the fuck is happening on Lost.
    5. I can now watch OTHER THINGS ON TUESDAY NIGHTS. Like Glee. Is it any good this season? Was NPH as awesome as I wanted him to be? I’VE MISSED EVERYTHING!

    So there you have it, folks. The End.

  • What happens in Vegas…

    56

    Yeah, it pretty much stays there. Except herpes, I imagine.

    I managed to lose my voice about two days before I left for #BiSC, and it’s still not really back. This means I spent the majority of the trip answering the question, “Who are you, again?”

    “Shine.”

    “Jen? Shannon? Sharon? Chai? Susan?” (Imagine me repeating “shine” in between each of the guesses.)

    “S-H-I-N-E.”

    “Oooohhh, Shine. That’s a pretty name.”

    “Um, right. It’s not my name, but there are three other people here with my name, so…yeah, it’s my blog name.” (My mom doesn’t have nearly enough (read: none) hippie in her to have named me “Shine.”)

    Luckily, the smarty mcsmarty who is @stratejoy had the brilliant idea to write twitter handles on everyone’s forearm. Yes, I know this sounds ridiculous. But really. It HELPED. For a list of all the fabulous ladies and gentlemen (I’m using both those terms loosely), please click here.

    Of course, one of my favorite parts of the trip was getting to meet @lbluca77 and @rsub27 (Mr. Beautiful 2.0, now with more brown!). I’m going to go kidnap them both and move them to Texas. They’re going to be PISSED.

    Some ridiculousness, bullet-point style:

    • I forgot to pack my toothpaste and then only travel-size I could find on my way to the airport was this Arm & Hammer baking soda shiz. Basically, it looked like jizz and tasted like ass, so I spent most mornings talking about “jizzing my mouth.”
    • There was apparently a sex toy giveaway (sex toys provided by Toy with Me, go check out the site!), but I saw no evidence of sex toys or giveaways, despite having what I suspect was the most interactive costume for our Theme Party Pub Crawl (which was less of a crawl and more of a “stay at Planet Hollywood where they gave us free booze,” because hey, we ain’t stupid. (Thanks, Planet Hollywood, my vodka was delicious!)
    • I played ONE penny slot machine (with ONE dollar) and won (then lost, of course) $5.40. I don’t gamble, dudes. It’s not my style.
    • I am not now, nor will I ever be, in the “cool kids” group. I just don’t care enough about having my voice heard to try that hard (dear friends who are reading this, shutupkthx). Plus this weekend, I didn’t have a voice to be heard.
    • I think I’ve officially seen the whitest of all white dancing. Sorry, @nataliecottrell , you’ve been bumped by @livitluvit and @rusb27 . For serious.
    • For reasons I don’t care to explain, I was wearing two pairs of underwear on my flight home.
    • At some point, I turned into the Incredible (Shine)Hulk, and refused to say much more than “SHINE SMASH!” (I wasn’t drunk.) I’m making some giant orange fists to smash together, don’t worry.
    • Our hotel room was littered with French fries for most of the weekend.
    • You will be hard-pressed to get me to give enough of a shit to RUN up and down the Vegas strip in the middle of the afternoon to win any kind of scavenger hunt. Unless the prize is Jason Statham or something. Then you better get out of my way.
    • Three girls walking down the Vegas strip dressed as a school girl (from Gossip Girl), an ’80s aerobics instructor, and an autograph book (that was me, and by this point, people had signed all over my clothes) will attract a LOT of male attention. But no one will find the outfits bizarre.
    • Vegas is one of the least awesome places to be if you’ve just had to give your electric company the last pennies in your checking account.
    • @nicoleisbetter talks about 37 miles per minute. About her vagina. So you can all rest easy in the fact that what you see is what you get, when you read her blog. (If I’m to be perfectly honest, I was a little about meeting her, but she was really nice to me the whole weekend. Plus, it was pretty awesome of her to plan the whole thing.)
    • One of the washcloths in our room was used as an ice pack for more than one person. We had a rash of bloody head wounds and unfortunate curling iron burns in our hotel room.

    That’s really about all I can give you as a recap. I’m far too old for this shit.

  • Viva Las Vegas!

    13

    So as of tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be spending my weekend in sunny Las Vegas with about 37000 other bloggers for Nicole’s super awesome Bloggers in Sin City meet-up.

    I know. You’re jealous. And you should be.

    In case you didn’t already, you should go read my introduction. I even scared myself.

    So in honor of the “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” attitude I will be adopting immediately upon landing at the airport, I thought I would disclose some completely ridiculous shit I’ve done in the last couple of months. I’ve been hiding it from you.

    This one’s (partially) for you, @spicyem !

    Completely ridiculous shit #1:

    A couple of months ago, I was getting ready for work. Well, I mean, I get ready for work nearly everyday and I’m always late, so this was just an ordinary day. I was running late. I jumped out of bed and brushed my teeth. There was no time for showering, but I washed my face. Makeup? What’s that?

    Right.

    So I grabbed a T-shirt, pulled it on, and shoved my feet into some shoes. I was making pretty good time. About seven minutes between waking up and heading out the door.

    I got my purse and keys, locked the door, and started making my way toward the parking garage. When I got to the stairs, I noticed a strange feeling on my legs. Like a draft. I looked down to discover…

    I had forgotten to put on pants. Forgotten. To put on PANTS. And I was in the hallway. WITH NO PANTS.

    I squealed a little and ran back to my apartment. Somehow, there was no one in the hallway. I put on some pants and went to work. I can only imagine what might have happened if I had made it all the way TO work without pants.

    Completely ridiculous shit #2:

    A few days after the “no pants fiasco of 2010,” I had to pack for an out-of-town trip. I got home from work and stripped off my shirt and pants (look, when I walk in the door, it’s pants off dance off up in my apartment), with the intention of putting on my pajamas. As my clothes hit the floor, I realized that I really needed to do some laundry.

    Of course, being the responsible woman that I am, I immediately gathered up a load (ahem, which was strewn about my bedroom) and put it in the washing machine. So I wouldn’t forget and have to go out of town with no clean underwear.

    Then I realized that I really needed to get the dishwasher going before I left town. I can’t stand to come home to a sink of dishes. Still in my underwear and bra, I got to work in the kitchen. For once, I didn’t bother to put on an apron. This isn’t the first time that was a bad decision and it won’t be the last.

    While doing the dishes, I thought, “Oh crap. I need to get my trash together and put it outside.” We have valet trash at my apartment, and they pick up Sunday through Thursday. I knew if I didn’t get it the trash out RIGHT THEN that I would forget and come home after four days to a smelly apartment. And that dead hooker under the mattress is enough, right?

    Not really thinking, I got my trash together, put it in the appropriate trash can and opened the door to sit it outside. Now, I actually have to go all the way out the door to get it in the right place. And I’m currently wearing my skivvies. My door swings closed automatically, of course (don’t worry, it doesn’t lock).

    I stepped outside and immediately heard the voices of several men. I looked up to find five of them staring at me with my trashcan in my hands and nothing but my pretties to cover my lady parts.

    Me: “Uh, hey guys. How’s it goin’? I’m not really wearing any clothes, so…I’m going to go back inside now. Okaythanksbye.”

    I did manage to NOT whack my face into the door on the way in.

    So yeah, I’m pretty. In less than a week, I walked out of my apartment without all my clothes on TWICE.

    Completely ridiculous shit #3:

    Men? You may want to stop reading here. Seriously. I promise. This is about tampons.

    Somehow this week, I had completely forgotten that it was about that time. You know what I’m talking about, ladies. And it’s always nice to realize you’re bleeding AND realize that you’ve completely forgotten that it was about to happen (as though it hasn’t been happening for nearly 20 years now) (jesus on a poptart I’m old). But I wasn’t wearing white pants.

    Anyway, I was meeting April and Natalie for lunch yesterday, and it was only like day TWO of the wretched thing, so before I left, I went to the bathroom to…change things up? I know some of you men are still reading. I’m trying to make this a little easier on your delicate senses, but it’s not easy.

    Anyway, I tugged on the string and nothing happened. It didn’t budge. Mind you, I was wearing a tampon approximately the size of the Washington Monument, because, as I said, it was DAY TWO. Also known as, the worst day.

    I tugged again. Nothing.

    I’ll admit I could already tell this was a bad idea, but at this point I had no choice. I tugged harder. Pretty sure I gave myself a free and accidental pap smear, as I definitely lost some of my delicate lady parts on that tampon. Wonder if I can just send it to my GYN in lieu of an actual visit?

    At lunch, I managed to smear a giant blog of barbecue sauce on my boob. I didn’t notice. April didn’t notice. Natalie didn’t notice. But my boss did!

  • Electric Youth!

    29

    Okay, that was just my lame attempt to get Debbie Gibson lyrics in the title. I’ll work on it.

    Before I get down to business, click on over to Femme Writes to read my post about how your rapist likes skinny jeans. We need your comments!

    Also, the ladies over at Beauty and the Bitch crack my shit up on a regular basis. So I wanted to give them a shout out for their fabulous advice and their snarky attitude. Also, I’m pretty sure they’re the Borg, so you might get assimilated (ahem, geek out).

    Okay, on to the blog at hand.

    I had to go to the dentist yesterday. Always a good time. Because of my ridiculous cough, they had to give me some drugs to knock me out a little. I guess the dentist didn’t really feel all that great about me coughing in his face. Weird.

    Anyway, when I walked into my apartment, something seemed a little weird. It was eerily silent. As if my electricity was off. When I tried to turn on the kitchen light, it became clear that my electricity was indeed off.

    There was a storm coming, so I thought maybe the power was out in my building. It wasn’t.

    So then I thought, “Self? Could you have forgotten to pay your electric bill? Even though you set it up to automatically debit out of your account and you haven’t altered anything since LAST SUMMER?”

    I don’t receive paper bills from my electric company (savin’ the environment, yo), but I knew I hadn’t received any notices in the mail about my bill, because I would have noticed them. I hadn’t received any phone calls or messages about my electric bill either. (The only message that I haven’t listened to in my voicemail is the one from that dude who told me three hours later that he was married. Ugh.)

    This all seemed very strange to me, so I called the company.

    It seems, and hold on to your pants for this one, that I hadn’t paid my electric bill since LAST JULY. You know, TEN MONTHS AGO.

    According to them, I set up the automatic debit and everything was fine, but then they needed some updated information about my bank account or whatever. So they sent me a letter. Last July. ONE LETTER. LAST YEAR.

    Then yesterday, they turned off my power and I discovered that I owe them $900. Uh, NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS.

    The lady on the phone assured me that they could absolutely set me up with some sort of payment plan. But I would have to pay 75% of the balance to turn my power back on. Oh, and I have to pay that money within four business days to avoid a cancellation of service and a ding on my credit (which, frankly, can’t suffer any more).

    What. The. FUCK? You can set me up on a payment plan for the REMAINING $130? Don’t you think if I can come up with $770, I can probably come up with $130?!?

    So here I am, two days before leaving for Bloggers in Sin City (Hi, I’ll be the one with no money and the nasty cough that keeps everyone up all night), and I’m now completely broke and probably won’t recover for two months.

    I find it hard to believe that they left my power on for NINE MONTHS, without me paying a dime. And that they gave me absolutely no notice before turning it off. But what can I really do? I could fight them, but I do owe them the money. And I like having electricity. It’s about to be 90-something degrees here everyday. Not having air conditioning does NOT sound like a good time.

    FML

  • Through the Looking Glass

    12

    Yesterday, I attended a funeral. As some of you may know, Natalie’s mom passed away in the early hours of Mother’s Day morning. This may be overstepping my bounds a bit (even though it was announced in several public places), but I hope that Natalie will understand that my intentions are good.

    I haven’t been to many funerals in my life. I usually choose to avoid them. Not because they cause me to look at my own mortality, but because usually I would rather my memories of a loved one not be clouded by all the tears and sadness that are staples of a funeral.

    I had never met Natalie’s mom. I was there because Natalie is my friend and I love her dearly, and I wanted to be there for her. To show my support and to honor our friendship. I can’t even imagine what Natalie is feeling right now, but in my head it is akin to stepping into a alternate universe of some sort. Where everything you thought you knew and could count on for your whole life is suddenly different.

    As I sat in that room, full of people who had loved this woman I had never met, I was surprised at the strange feeling that spread over me.

    You see, I’m an atheist. So it’s not terribly surprising that my views on death are not really the norm. I believe that life should be celebrated and lived. I believe that death is an inevitable part of life, and as such, isn’t all that sad. I didn’t expect to feel much of anything, aside from compassion for my dear friend and her family.

    The pastor made time for people to tell a story or share their thoughts. One by one, people began to stand and share. There were tears and laughs and memories. I listened respectfully, knowing, of course that I didn’t have my own story to tell.

    But if I could have, this is what I would have shared:

    I never met Debbie Aldridge. She is a complete stranger to me. I’ve now heard stories and seen pictures and I feel honored that I was allowed to attend such a personal event.

    I may not know her, but I know this: What an amazing woman she must have been. Because she is the centerpiece of a loving, warm, funny, caring family. Because all of these people love her so much. Because it takes an amazing woman to raise a daughter like Natalie.

    And I am humbled. I am moved by all the love in this room. I love that this family is able to laugh through their tears and see that an end to suffering is a good thing, despite the fact that they will all miss this woman they so cherished.

    I truly wish that I had gotten the opportunity to spend time with Debbie Aldridge. She seems to have touched every person she met. But I am so lucky that, even if I didn’t get to meet Debbie, I get to have Natalie as a part of my life. I am so grateful for that.

    I sat silently. I only teared up once (damn you, April), but I didn’t cry. I almost felt that my tears would be cheap. Cheap because I didn’t know this woman. Cheap because I hadn’t lost anything. Selfish because I get to keep my friendship with Natalie, even though she has lost someone who was such a huge part of her life.

    Last night, when I finally got home and laid my head on my own pillow, my mind was whirling. I was exhausted and emotionally drained, but I couldn’t sleep.

    I’ve been wracking my brain for a couple of weeks now, trying to figure out what I could do to honor Natalie’s mother. To show Natalie that I love her and that I care about her. I thought about asking people to do something with me, but right now, that also feels cheap.

    What I’ve settled on is this:

    I will live my life with my arms wide open. I won’t be stingy with love. I will laugh. I will give back. I will try to touch the lives of the people I meet. I will dance. I will create memories. I will leave a lasting impression.

    And if something ever goes horribly wrong, and I end up with children, I will raise them to do the same.

    I will learn to cherish my own family and be a part of their lives (if I can). I will find my passion. I will remember that my best friends should be a reflection of me and who I am, and that they are family, too.

    So to any member of Debbie Aldridge’s family who may ever read this, just know that the woman you loved so much has touched my life, too. Thank you for sharing that with me.