Public Snooping... just don't do it

This is how snooping SHOULD be done.... and in that outfit, too. He might be less mad.

One of my new guilty pleasures has become Thursday morning's Wrong Number Flirting on a local radio station.  Basically it's the telephone and radio version of the "sexy decoy" on talk shows.  A female who suspects her man may be cheating calls in, tells her story, gives some background, and one of the radio hosts plays the role of "Slutty Chelsea" and calls dude up with a somewhat plausible story and tries to get dude to hook up with her and/or admit some other fact that his girlfriend/wife suspects he's hiding.  For example, last Thursday's guy was a math tutor and his girlfriend suspected that he was cheating with his female pupils, so Slutty Chelsea called pretending she needed "late night tutoring sessions."  Another week it was a baseball coach and Slutty Chelsea calling as a MILF in need of coaching for her son.  Or my favorite was the woman who suspected her fiance had been engaged before and her ring was a hand-me-down..... Slutty Chelsea called claiming to be a friend of the girlfriends, and not only did dude try and have a date with her (because he thought he remembered her) he also admitted to being engaged before and that they only reason his fiance got the second-hand ring is because they were both fat and that was the only place he could get a plus sized ring.......*ouch*. 

As entertained as I am while I drive Mini-Me to school each Thursday morning, I also delight in the loathing that I have for the women who call in to set their dudes up.  They're usually whiny, insecure, passive aggressive little nags who flip out when someone is prettier than them.  For many of them their only "evidence" that their man may be dipping out are the fact that he interacts with women and "acts weird".  I'm not much of a fan of snooping in the first place, but if you must do it, do it in private.  These women, however, choose to investigate with thousands of people in central region of the state listening in. And this is even worse than the talk shows, because at least the guy consents to going and sitting on Steve Wilko's stage, and if he doesn't have enough sense to know some bad shit is gonna come of it, that's on him. But to just blindside a dude and take your snooping to the public domain by tapping his phone conversation via a popular radio station......cuán patético. 

My favorite part, however, is to hear the guys' reactions.  Some of them are, in fact, low down dirty dogs who get busted, and it's funny to hear them fumble through an explanation.  But for the innocent guys, I like to hear them go OFF on their girlfriends.  Sometimes they try and make it seem like dude is an asshole for getting pissed, stressing that there's nothing to be upset about because he "passed" and isn't "in trouble", but I think they are perfectly justified in being pissed off to the highest level of pissivity.  Not only does he have to deal with an insecure, whiny chick who's probably already cracked all his passcodes and checks his pockets daily, he's now got to deal with the world knowing that his woman just tried to throw him under the bus on a crowded street.  She's taken what should be a private matter and made it very, very public, and didn't even have the she-balls to do it herself.  They act like they can't understand why he's so mad.  I'm a rather private person (despite what you read on here and Twitter), so I perfectly understand and sympathize...... in fact, I can often be seen driving in my car screaming at the radio "Yea, dumb ass, that's what you GET!"  I laughed allll the way to work one day over a woman who ruined her own engagement surprise.  Ha ha, bitch.  Ha.

Whether you're an advocate of snooping or not (I'm not), or believe it's justified when you find something incriminating (I don't), this is just entirely the wrong way of going about it.  Relationship problems should not be aired to the general public in graphic detail, whether that's on a talk show, radio show, blog or Twitter (and yes, I admit I've been guilty of such in the past, but I've checked myself).  You shouldn't need the mass media market to back you up.  I can't stand that show "The Marriage Ref" because I don't think you should leave it to Madonna and a live studio audience to work out your marital issues.  You should just grow a pair (ladies, too) and confront your mate one-on-one, not hide behind some show and let them do your dirty work that you're too much of a wuss to do yourself.  The very fact that there are thousands of people like me who eagerly listen and laugh at what otherwise should be a serious issue should deter, not encourage you.  These women have reduced themselves to cheap forms of frivolous entertainment and unwittingly dragged their dudes right in along with them.  So yes, they deserve to get thoroughly embarrassed and read the riot act in public, where they put themselves in the first place.

So handle your private business in private, loved ones. If you are so immature as to have to get a third-party to trick your mate into revealing information, maybe you need to rethink whether you're mature enough to handle a real relationship in the first place.

Everything Ain't for Everybody

"You know what they say..... everything ain't for everybody.... but I tried anyway......"

I have been a Blackberry user since 2007.  I remember when I first got my Blackberry Curve I got teased by one of my friends because he said my phone was so "corporate".  I couldn't get the iPhone I wanted (and the reason I switched carriers in the first place) because it wouldn't work with my firm's enterprise server, so I was stuck with a Blackberry or a Treo (been there, done that). At first I resented the little bastard..... I wasn't "corporate", dammit!! (even though I was working as an associate at the largest law firm in the city at the time)  I wanted a sexy phone, too!  But ultimately it became an issue of utility over form and I dealt with it.

Since my first Curve 8300, I've had a Curve 8350 (well, the guts of it anyway, after my friend spilled a pint of Blue Moon on my 8300 and another friend gave me his 8350 with a cracked case, so I got out my little screwdriver set and swapped out the body.... easy stuff), a Bold 9000 (which I LOVED), and now a Tour 9630.  I don't know if someone was smoking crack while the designed the Tour or whether I just have really, really bad luck with phones, but I am now on my 4th replacement Tour (so 5th phone total).  If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the same result, then apparently I am stark raving mad.  But this past weekend made one thing abundantly clear to me: I'm just a Crackberry fiend lover.

So, my 3rd replacement Tour, as all the others before it, started effing up.  Freezing up, screen delay when turned on, trackball lags, just acting a plumb donkey.  Sprint (bless their souls) is very good about replacing phones on warranty versus making you use your insurance, and their policy is that on your third replacement you get to switch to a different model. Unfortunately, the Tour is currently their best Blackberry, and the Tour 2 won't be out for months, so on my 3rd replacement I decided to forgo that option.  However, on this 4th time I was just fed up.  I lucked up and got Ben the Assistant Manager this go around and he offered to let me pick any phone I wanted. *cue hallelujah chorus*

Let me back up.  My beau prides himself on his ability to get things for free.  And one of the things he's been able to get has been not one, but TWO phone upgrades at no cost.  His latest and greatest triumph came in the form of the HTC Touch Pro 2, currently Sprint's most expensive smartphone with a retail price of about $600.  And it does everything.... walks your dog, tells you how great you look, signals alien space crafts, all the bells and whistles.  We would have races to see who could look up some random bit of information faster between his HTC and my Blackberry, and yes, he would usually win.  He would always mockingly (but jokingly) point out some cool feature that his phone could do that mine couldn't.  It was sleeker, sexier......and not corporate.

Back to Saturday and Ben the Assistant Manager.  So I wouldn't come off as trying to get over on anyone (which I wasn't) I feigned ignorance and acted like I was just *so* put out by the fact that they couldn't offer me another Blackberry and asked him what my options were, when in my mind I knew exactly which damn phone I wanted: that Touch Pro 2, so finally, FINALLY, I could shake my smartphone inferiority complex.  I pretended to browse down the row of display phones before finally saying to Ben the Assistant Manager, "Well I GUESS I'll try out that one."   And of course the first message I sent was to my beau with the "neener, neener, neener, lookie what I got!" text.  Victory in the form of a sexy phone was finally mine.

But then I got home.  Actually first I was trying to play with it in the car (kids, don't try this at home) and damn near wrecked a few times because I couldn't manage to work the touch screen right and the keyboard is so long it can't be used one handed.  Ok, I told myself, I just have to get used to it, set it up, customize it.  I started doing the set up and customizing my settings, and slowly began to realize that while it did all these great fancy things, it didn't do what I needed it to do.  No push (i.e. real time) e-mail, no custom notifications (I couldn't use my Perry the Platypus sound for texts (!!), or vary the vibration types), no Google Talk application, no Pandora app (?!!!?!!!), and no Twitter application that seamlessly integrated the camera and media on my phone.... really no Twitter app at all.  Navigating through the phone wasn't as easy as it was on my Blackberry, and admittedly when it comes to my phone usage I'm an OCD ADD user.  I need everything I need, right there, easily accessible, functional, and admittedly..... basic. 

Then there was the issue of it just being wrong.  The weight of it felt wrong, the keyboard slide out and two hand usage felt wrong, and it just looked wrong in my possession.  I'd glance over at it sitting on the table and think "That's not my phone, that's HIS phone."  I had already mentally associated it with my beau, and it was his identity, not mine.  It worked for him and the way he used his phone, which I now appreciate is very different from the ways in which I use mine.  I realized that while it is a great phone, it was no better than my mildly attractive "corporate" Blackberry.... just different.

So despite his insistence that I just had to get used to it, the next day I took it back and asked for another Tour, this time brand new out the box instead of another refurbished replacement.  I'm hoping that makes a difference because I have a feeling that the problems I was having were common to all these refurb Tours and I was simply getting someone else's recycled crap.  And if not, and it's truly a piece of crap, I'll just keep swapping it out until the Tour 2 gets released and get my hand on one of those.  I've just accepted that this is a small price to pay (or not pay, thanks to Sprint) for what I'm comfortable with and satisfies my needs.

Of course there's a bigger life lesson here, which was so aptly summarized by Jilly from Philly at the beginning of this post.  It doesn't matter how great someone else tells you that something is, or what you should want, or how great something works for them.  In the end it's about YOUR needs and the life choices you make to meet those needs.  Too many people go through life seeking what they should want-- in a career, a mate, a lifestyle--not what they actually want, only to be sorely disappointed when they wasted their time on someone else's ideal.  It's not that you were misled or that the other choice is inferior.... it may just wrong for you.

Where I Wanna Be.......?

"I would rather be able to appreciate things I can not have than to have things I am not able to appreciate."

When Donnell Jones' "Where I Wanna Be" first came out, I was really pissed.  I liked the song in the abstract, but the lyrics greatly upset me.  I was 21 years old, recently married to my one and only boyfriend, and had two kids ages 6 and 1.  I just thought Donnell was the biggest asshole in the world.  What the hell is this "finding where I wanna be" bullshit?? WTF do you mean that if you love someone you need to leave before you cheat on them?? I felt outraged on behalf of whatever woman was the inspiration for that song, and I'm sure I'm not the only high school sweetheart that felt a little..... threatened.

But then, like with so many other things, I grew up.  And hindsight is a mutha.

High school sweethearts are like puppies.... everyone ooohs and ahhhs and "that's so cute!" at them, but don't think about how they piss and shit all over your house and chew up all your furniture.  The idea of high school sweethearts is nice and all, but in reality you may not only be selling yourself short, but selling your relationship short.  Before you start mentally composing your "Nuhh-uhhh!!" comments telling me about how long you've been married to the captain of the football team for which you were a cheerleader, or how your grandparents got married at 12, just wait for my twisted logic and hear me out.

We often cannot appreciate what we have until we experience and appreciate what we don't have.  And this is where the utility of dating different people comes into play.  Every relationship-- even the crappy one with the psychotic stalker -- is instrumental in your growth as a person and as a potential companion.  You get to learn what you like AND what you don't like, what behaviors are normal and which are extraordinary, and the successful and unsuccessful ways of interacting and communicating.  The ability to compare and contrast is invaluable whether you realize it or not.  I realize it in hindsight because I was not able to compare and contrast, and neither was my ex-husband, because all we knew were each other.  He didn't know how tolerant I was, or how well I could cook, or how phenomenal good I was as a lover, because he had nothing to compare it to.  And I didn't know how I deserved to be treated by a man, because I had no way of comparing.  Our relationship existed in a vacuum, as do most high school sweetheart relationships. 

When I started seeing other people, it was like a whole new world opened up within myself.  You mean to tell me I'm NOT a crazy psycho girl that my ex always told me I was, but am really actually a pretty laid back chick?  So I really AM a fantastic oral advocate (he tried to tell me I wasn't) and can turn a man on at the drop of a hat (he tried to say.... well, never mind... he had some "issues")??  And yes, I can cook my ass off?  No, dudes aren't supposed to sit back and watch their woman fix shit around the house??  All of these things weren't revealed to me until after I had something to compare my first and only relationship with.  And yes, I'm sure there were some positive things about him that I didn't see til I started dating............. I just can't think of any right now.

There is also something to be said about the power of choice.  When you're dealing with toddlers, one technique parenting "experts" tell you to do is to give them the ability to choose between two options when in actuality they'd really rather do neither.  If Suzie doesn't want to put on her sweater, you make the situation a little more tolerable by giving her the choice between her red sweater or her purple sweater.  People, starting before they can even communicate, like to feel like they have control over their lives, and choice is one way of exercising that control.  Being able to choose Option A between A and B is a lot more satisfying than just only having Option A.  It's the psychological benefit of that choice, that control.

While human beings are just slightly more complicated than sweaters, the same concept applies.  I have a friend who is dating a woman he originally dated back in undergrad.  Since then he's been married, divorced, dated woman locally and across the country.  But he said that they now finally realized and accepted how good they were for each other.  Dating (and sometimes marrying) other people gives you an appreciation for what you have now. I'm not saying that before you settle down with the person you potentially want to spend the rest of your life with that you have to go out and play the field one last time to be extra sure. I'm saying that the experience of dating more than one person (not necessarily simultaneously) at some point in your life (hopefully before you meet your soul mate) helps you to be more comfortable with your ultimate choice because you have a better awareness of what your likes and dislikes are, as well as how your mate stacks up in the grand scheme of things.  And also just because you actually have a choice.

So back to Donnell.......I get it now.  Perhaps he went out and dated a few <s>psychotic</s> chicks and realized that his original lady really was the one for him (tho good luck getting her to come back.... that's a whole 'nother issue) or perhaps he realized she wasn't The One, thus saving them both from wasting a lot of time together (and making him, not Usher, the artist behind "Papers").  But at least now he KNOWS [insert GI Joe quote here].

*Also posted at Adventures in Divorce, 3/19/10

Say it with love, say it with meat

I'm all about fairness and equality (even if fairness and equality aren't always about me), so in that spirit I want to share a little info about the guys' response to Valentine's Day.... yes, I am talking about Steak and Blow Job Day (or SBJ Day for short).

SBJ Day is on March 14th and is considered to be the complementary holiday to Valentine's Day just for the guys.  It's your opportunity to really show your appreciation for your man that you should be showing all year long, but that doesn't stop V-Day from being celebrated.

SBJ Day is about exactly what it says..... no flowers, candy, gifts, cards, jewelry, stuffed animals.  Just a steak. And a blow job.  That's it.  You have to admire the simplicity of it really.  I guess you could fret over which cut of steak you'll buy, or just which Superhead inspired "technique" you will use, but honestly, I don't think he'll care, and it's just another unnecessary layer of complexity that we women tend to put on everything (yea, I said it). 

The origins of the holiday are somewhat ambiguous.  It was founded some time around 2002, probably as a joke, but not surprisingly it actually took hold.  Go survey 10 people in the grocery store, and I'm sure an overwhelming zero percent of them know about it.  But I know about it, dammit.  And now you do, too.
And because I'm such a proponent of fairness and an advocate of properly "showing appreciation", here are a few helpful ideas to make your SBJ Day experience a success: 

Steak Recipes-- Steak is a pretty basic food to cook, but can go horribly wrong if not done right.  Here are 3,008 recipes for beef steak to choose from, ranging from the basic to the complex.  Here is a guide to how to choose a good steak and a guide to choosing the best cut of steak for various recipes.  Or if your skills in the kitchen are lacking, you can always take him out for a steak though it is much harder for you to serve it to him naked. 

Alternatives for Non-Beef Eaters-- The name of the holiday just says "steak", but not what KIND of steak. If your man doesn't eat beef, here are some alternatives that are still with the spirit of the holiday:
  • Fish steaks -- Fish steaks are cut perpendicular to the backbone, as a opposed to fillets which are cut parallel to it. Salmon, swordfish, halibut, turbot, tuna, shark, sturgeon, and mahi mahi all make for good steaks.  Here are some fish steak recipes for your non-bovine eating man.
  • Vegetarian "steaks"-- Thanks to advances in food science (or magic), there are a wide assortment of vegetarian "meats" including the vegetarian steak. Or you can grill him up a portobello mushroom which is considered the "steak of the mushroom world". 
BJ Tips and Tricks -- Um, yea..... not gonna put myself out there and give away my personal secrets.  I will say though that the key to a good BJ is effort and enthusiasm and no teeth.  If you approach it like a chore, it will be received as a chore.  Ladies, it's not that bad, and if you are over the age of 23 still turning your nose up and saying "eww, I'd never"..... shame on you.  Grow up, put on your big girl panties and handle your business (before someone else does for you).  However, if your oral advocacy skills aren't quite up to par (or just need a refresher course), Sunny Crittenden's BJs 101 is a pretty good primer.

SBJ Day Cards-- not really necessary (since the name is not SBJC Day) but may be a nice touch, something to send to him early in the day in anticipation of what to come later (no pun intended, but feel free to use it).  Remember, the most important sexual organ is between the ears.  And the verses on the cards are actually kinda funny.

So there it is.  No sense in feigning ignorance now.... you know what you need to do.  So ladies, get your marinades and your lip gloss ready and show your man just how much you care.


She really wants to stab you in your ear.

I work a job. It is not a career.  I deal with 1) lawyers and 2) the general public, two groups who say and do the most asinine things.  Everyday I think I'm about to go crazy from the things I hear all day, every day, without fail, so much that I can pretty much anticipate what a person is going to say when they walk through the door, with about 70% accuracy. 

'Here are the top 5 (or so) things I'm sick of hearing in my office every single fucking day, and the response I REALLY want to give instead of smiling and nodding:

1) "Did you change the office around?"  You've been coming here for 30 years, you old coot... yes, obviously we changed things around a bit.  And it's been several months.  If you had some actual clients, maybe you'd have discovered this earlier instead of being one of the people that reminds me of a very obvious fact every single fucking day and forces me to respond "Yes, we remodeled the office back in October." 

1a) "Am I in the right place?  It looks different."  Again, muthafucker, you've been coming here for 30 years.  Things change.  Adapt. I would start saying no just to fuck with you, but I like my paltry pay check.

2) "Those are some pretty flowers!"  They're FAKE, you numb nutz.  Do you honestly think the government springs for fresh tulips-- purple ones no less-- just to decorate our shitty office?  For $5.99 at Wal-Mart, you can have your very own and stop reminding me how awful and garish the ones sitting in front of me actually are, even if your old ass it too blind to see the fraying edges, plastic seams, and the fact that the vase has absolutely no water.

3)  "I've been doing it this way for 30 years!"  Well, idiot, that just means you've been doing it WRONG for 30 years, and perhaps it's just the case that the government lucked up in this shitty economy and hired someone with the intellect and the balls to actually call you out on it.  It's my way or the highway right now, buddy.

3a) "Well my attorney told me to do it like this."  Your dumb ass attorney told you WRONG, and he, like you, is a moron.  I hope he's got his malpractice insurance up to date.  Attorneys are not gods.... just because they say it doesn't mean it is true.

4)  "This is the right form....I got from your website."  No, you didn't.  Please quit lying.  Or go back and check the URL of the website you did get it from, because it wasn't any of OUR sites that you got that form that is 3 years outdated.  But don't sit here and argue with me about the fact that you, your attorney, or your bank are too incompetent to get the right forms and make it seem like it's our fault for your shortcomings.

5) "I need to pay my taxes."  Stop.  Look down at the paper you are thrusting at me.  What room does it say to go to?  Now look at my door.  Is that number on my door?  No?  Then get the fuck out of my office and quit making me get up and down unnecessarily causing additional stress on my bad knee because your ass can't read.

As a bonus, I need for people to grab a dictionary and use a modicum of thought to understand the following concepts:

Decedent (is not a descent)
Transferee (that's you, idiot... yea, the one getting the money)
Deduction (makes your taxable amount smaller)
Exemption (the amount you get tax free before the state sticks it to you on the rest)
Cause number (is not the cause of death)
Date of death VALUE (is not the date of death)

You asshat......