Five Things-Seen Some Strange Shit Edition: 4/24/14

I have seen some strange shit during my time here on Earth. Yes, I’m well aware that others have seen/witnessed/experienced some either stranger shit too, but I’m not talking about them.

Now, when I was a teen, I did stupid shit too…cow tipping, stealing road signs, drinking bad beer and hanging out in Jack Conner’s basement whilst listening to “Dark Side of the Moon,” and sneaking into Chicago at the tender age of 14 to see the Clash when I was *really* at a sleep-over at a friend’s house. Ahem.

Some of our actions were dumb (many aren’t named here to protect the innocent/me), but we never did this crap.

Talk about some ill shit…

1) Could be time to ban Burt’s Bees.

Teens get new BUZZ from beeswax lip balm

(via WKRC/Gawker)

“WKRC in Cincinnati reports that kids like the tingling sensation they get from using beeswax lipbalm not as prescribed, because it enhances the experience of being drunk or high.

“It’s the peppermint oil that’s causing the burning sensation and I suppose some people think that is kind of funny,” Dr. Brett Cauthen of Oklahoma City’s Today Clinic speculated to WKRC. 

Beezin’ isn’t all burning sensations and giggles, though. Cauthen warns it could lead to inflammation in the eye, redness of the eye, or swelling.

But is this mildly irritating trend for real? The evidence to consider includes an Urban Dictionary entry posted in 2010 (tracing it back to Colby College), a 2013 music video by a New Jersey “comedian musician” who writes “parodies,” and a few YouTube videos of kids trying beezin’ for themselves.”

It’s probably a hoax, but let’s ban the shit out of Burt’s Bees anyway. Why? Just cuz.

2) I’ve semi-enjoyed illegal substances from time to time, and I’ve witnessed plenty of folks doing all sorts of illegal ill shit, but this..well..it takes the fucking cake.

 

Vermont library locking public restrooms because needles are clogging the drains

Burlington’s Fletcher Free Library has also had issues with other kinds of drug paraphernalia.
(via UPI)
(via UPI)

(via UPI)

A Vermont library is locking the doors on its public restrooms — and it’s not because people are bringing in books to read on the toilet.

Burlington’s Fletcher Free Library is putting its restrooms on lockdown after having problems with hypodermic needles and other drug paraphernalia clogging the drains.

Once locksmiths complete the transition, patrons will have to trade their library card or ID for a bathroom key.

“We’re hoping to have this done by the end of the week, as soon as the locksmith can do the work,” head librarian Rubi Simon told the Burlington Free Press.

Despite the nature of the items that have been causing the clogging, Simon said there was no evidence that drugs were being used in the bathrooms or anywhere else in the library.

“Fortunately, we caught it early enough so there was no damage to the bathrooms,” Simon said.

After reading about needles in drains, I prefer this scenario instead.

 

3) This dingus lost all credibility after claiming he’s a ‘sovereign citizen’ and ‘doesn’t recognize the U.S. government’ after he was pictured waving an American flag. Oh, then there’s the whole ‘I’m not paying grazing fees because fuck you.’
You, Cliven Bundy, are an idiot AND a criminal for not paying your grazing fees. The gov’t ain’t being ‘tyrannical,’ you are. He’s going after everyone now…calling those who live in subsidized housing ‘freeloaders’ even though he and his cattle have been doing it for years.

You’re not a patriot, Mr. Bundy. You’re an asshole.

At first, conservatives were actually siding with this guy. Conservatives who represent us. They agreed with him, until it their minions figured out that agreeing with a domestic terrorist might hurt their chances at snagging the White House in 2016.

“Here’s a comment from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has also been supportive of Bundy’s cause: “His remarks on race are offensive and I wholeheartedly disagree with him.”  (via WaPo)

Uh huh…riiiight, Mr. Paul. You know, if it walks like a duck ….

 

4) OWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

Mother gives birth to 14.5-pound baby at Massachusetts General Hospital

Carisa Ruscak was the biggest baby to be born at Massachusetts General Hospital in more than a decade.
I don’t know what else to say. 
5) Just because it’s gross, doesn’t mean it’s news. (via LA Times)

Ikea will soon serve vegetarian and chicken versions of its Swedish meatballs

Question: Do people actually go to IKEA for the food?? Really? Why? There are so many fine restaurants surrounding all IKEAs so why eat there? I’d like to hear from those who go to IKEA to eat. Please. I do wanna know, and I’ll try my hardest not to mock you.

 

 

A Somber Anniversary

This week marks a frustrating and sad anniversary for me: Two years ago–January 21, 2011–was my last day at my editing gig at a trade/B2B publication here in Chicago.

First, allow me to back it up a titch and regale you about how the fun began two weeks earlier.

I arrived at work on that crappy cold-as-fuck morning, had just enough time to put my stuff down on my desk, take off my coat, and say hello to my co-workers before the Editor-in-Chief asked me to take a walk with him. I found this a bit odd since he never paid me much attention, unless it was to gripe about something, or if he needed me to order some sort of pen.

So, when we rounded the corner that separated the newsroom from sales, and into a small conference room where the resident HR drone was waiting, my stomach flip-flopped. My mouth went dry and my chest felt like it was going to resemble Kane’s in “Alien”–but with my heart bursting out & smacking both the EIC and HR right in their mugs instead of a parasite that would eventually kill the entire fucking masthead. A wry smile crossed my lips for a brief second at that thought, but it quickly vanished when I heard the following:

“Um, yeah. Julia. We’re going to lay you off–it’s nothing personal of course–we’re just eliminating your position so we can add more to the sales team.”

What happened next few minutes was a blur. I do, however, remember giving the EIC a look that would kill a planet, tightening my jaw until it ached and feeling the tears starting to build up. Sadly, the death glare didn’t land because he wouldn’t look me in the face, but he did manage to set the land speed record for waddling out of the conference room so he could alert my colleagues of my fate.

You know, to save face and look like a fucking hero.

“Gosh, we really like Julia, but tight budgets are preventing us from keeping her on. So, I know she’s looking for work, so please help her out if you can.”

My immediate boss was absent that day so when she got my tearful phonecall an hour later, needless to say, she was furious. The next couple of weeks were a blur of phonecalls to friends slash possible employers, resume prep, buckets of tears, lashing out at everyone, allowing my shocked soon-to-be-former co-workers take me out for lunches and post-work drinks, and trying my damndest to not kick both the EIC and ME in the balls. It took alll of my god-given strength to NOT throw my ass in the shitastic Chicago River when I learned that an intern would be doing my job.

Not personal, eh? Go fuck yourself.

The last couple of years hurled all sorts of puke/jiz-filled crappy crap at me. I don’t know which moments were the most fucked-in-the-head: Was it the the snow storm that hit the area about a week after I was canned? Or was it the pubic-hair freezing cold that pounded Chicago in the ass afterwards? Or, was it going out to LA to look for work and have many jobs dangled in front of me only to have them taken away just as I was making arrangements to move my life west? Maybe it was three interviews I had with a certain Chicago media outlet that always hired someone too young and inexperienced over me, only to have that person leave a few months later because the work was “too hard.” This happened three times.

It coulda been the publisher in Florida who flat-out asked me my age during a phone interview, and when I gently reminded him that what he was asking me was, gosh, ILLEGAL, he proclaimed he didn’t care. I ended the interview soon after.

Perhaps it was the approximately 500 carefully crafted resumes with the appropriate key words and phrases I sent out that were probably mocked, laughed at and tossed in digital circular files–I have no idea which one of these events have helped push me down Crap Mountain the fastest, but I do know this much–

THE LAST TWO YEARS HAVE BEEN A MAJOR PIG FUCK.

Somedays, I can’t move. I don’t leave the apartment. I read my New York Times, the New Yorker, maybe watch my stories on the tee vee, watch porn on the computer–anything to distract me from the fact that I am a miserable failure. While I am well aware that there are many in my situation–and in worse situations–I can’t worry about them. Does that make me cold & heartless? Naah, it makes me realistic because I highly doubt they give a red rat’s ass about me.

Other days, I work on my book that no one will ever read, do Bikram yoga and consider cooking meth in my kitchen. I help other friends find work, read reports and a thesis or two for a pittance. I cheer when my friends find work, and am sad for them when they lose their jobs. My happiness for their successes is genuine, but so is my anger and resentment. It’s difficult to be around friends who are successful and have jobs, so I don’t go out much. Plus, this city is expensive.

I’m thankful for my health (knock on wood), and the facts that I’m well-educated, and don’t have a mortgage or kids to worry about. I don’t want to think about where I’d be if either of those were a factor.

I felt some cold-comfort upon learning that both the EIC and ME were canned under new management. Since it’s not my style to revel in someone else’s misfortunes, my happiness immediately turned to concern because they both have families and mortgages. But then again, they’ll probably find work before I do, so fuck ’em.

So, what am I to do? Keep getting out of bed every day. Keep on with the writing because my book is turning out to be a gem.

And most of all, not listen to those folks who tell me I can’t succeed. One of ‘those folks’ happens to be me, but that voice is getting fainter and fainter with each passing moment.

I think Madonna said it best below.

Lookie here

The McCrabass blog is a distraction for me–it’s fluff, it’s fun–aka it’s mental masturbation.

I consider my blogging as a sort of “Artist’s Way” minus the touchy-feely-I-was-once-married-to-Marty-Scorsese-but-he-dumped-me-so-now-I-write-how-to-books-for-wannabe-artists-aka-bored-housewives –but with box wine, chocolate and Bikram yoga. Oh and dark purple highlights and buttloads of salty language.

Simply put, I’m a writer who blogs for fun. I’m not into that brand-building bullshit. (Side note: what the fuck is branding anyway? Why are we supposed to brand ourselves to each other? What the fuck does it have to do with the price of eggs? It doesn’t help people get meaningful work, believeyoume. It’s basically a bullshit term made up by marketers. You’re only a brand if you’ve been heated up on the range where the deer and the antelope play, and used to tap some livestock ass.)

When I’m not thinking up and composing posts, I’m writing my book and looking for a gig. That type of writing is my true calling, along with journalism which I happen to do quite well when given the opportunity.

The following list is made up of folks who are great writers and use their blogs to display their dog-given talent. Some days they write more than on others by using words and images–or just words or just images–kinda like yours truly here. I’ve been reading these folks for a long time now and I suggest you check ’em out. They write to write, not for the nebulous glory of Internet awards but because they love writing. Oh, and they all have something to say which is the mostest important aspect.

I’m not going to write up brief descriptions of their work because you need to do your own heavy lifting. You won’t regret it either.

In no particular order, if you may …

Reinventing the Event Horizon

Squathole

Lame Adventures

The Learned Fan Girl

Marguerite Darlington

The Musings of a Storyteller

Lloydville

Jonathan Turley

Rufino Cabang

CREW

UnfetteredBS

Robert Loerzel

Adventures By Kim

Violet Blue (NSFW)

Love Letters Are Dying

Herlander-Walking

Learn ’em, know ’em, love ’em.

The agony of defeat

I can’t believe what a fuck-up I am.

It’s astounding. I’ve been spent the past few days going over and over in my head, racking my brain, searching my memory banks, peering into the deep, dark, disgusting depths of my soul to figure why I am such a colossal fuck-up. Who in one of my past lives did I piss off? Was I a Nazi guard at a deathcamp and now karma is kicking me in the ass? Did I abuse orphans in Calcutta back in the day? Did I kick puppies or something? Who did I pick on when I was a child that caused the universe to sit up, take notice, and make a point of making sure I don’t succeed in anything at any cost? Was someone recently a recipient of a dirty look that wasn’t a dirty look, but a witness to my face when I’m deep in thought? Who the hell knows.

Or am I a complete moron who happens to be a wonderful actress and has oh so many people fooled?

Somewhere in between lies the truth.

I’ve been in LA for a little over a month and it’s been a huge struggle, not a challenge, a struggle. I’ve had a few painful-as-hell job rejections and sent out tons of resumes for jobs that actually fit my skills set — more so than when I was in Chicago — but so far, nothing. There’s more opportunity out here for someone like me — this town seems to ‘get’ me. I’m more comfortable here, and can’t see myself living anywhere else. (well, maybe San Fran or NYC)

But, who the hell was I to think I could get a job out here? How delusional am I? Quite, obviously.

On the plus-side, I’ve met some great people who are fun, inspiring and NICE. That’s huge with me — NICE.

I’ve also “met” a lot of folks via email who don’t like to return emails. Or phone calls. Lordy, I hope they’re never out of work and in need of contacts because, well, we all know how karma works.

I’ve come to the conclusion, however, that I do everything wrong. EVERYTHING. When I try to make things better for me, I get slapped down in the most obscene manner. It’s astonishing to me. My friends and family who are experiencing huge successes, I curse them under my breath. “Die in a fire,” is what I hear the evil Julia saying more and more. Some folks I know aren’t any smarter than I am. The bad part is, the decent and kind Julia is taking her own sweet time at punishing the Evil One. It ain’t pretty, but it’s the truth.

So, what do I do about this? No clue. My psyche is spent. Worn out. Frayed. Beat. Fucked. I’m down to eating one meal a day because I don’t want to spend the money. I don’t answer phone calls anymore. Thank dog for voicemail.

I might as well take up running — maybe I’ll be as successful as Jim Fixx was.