The School of Life Isn’t Accredited – Learn Something

If there is a phrase that I hate more than the phrase “street smart” it’s “the school of life.”

A lot of people who never bothered with college use it to make themselves feel better for not going to college. Like “I didn’t need to go to college. I have life experiences.”

Yeah, you know who doesn’t agree with that? Capitalism.

degree

News flash, everyone has life experience. Everyone has attended the school of life. Hell, even people in comas are in the school of life. They’re like the equivalent of those kids who slept through class in high school but passed anyway.

And people who fall back on the school of life as their only education are yet another group of people who want credit for doing absolutely fucking nothing. It’s like when guys get pissed because girls don’t like them, even though they’re nice.

“Yeah, I’m an overweight dude with no job and questionable personal hygiene, but I’m nice! Why don’t supermodels like me?”

For the same reason no one wants to pay you $100,000 a year to stock shelves. You don’t get extra credit when you do the bare minimum. The fact that you don’t punch a girl in the face on the first date is not something to be proud of.

It’s expected behavior.

Same with the school of life. The only requirement to passing in the school of life is not dying. Well, hell, I’ve been doing that for 35 years now….and I also managed to get a college education from a real, accredited university. Imagine that.  I’m like a double major.

And don’t bother with messages about how Einstein was a high school dropout and Bill Gates flunked out of college. For every one Bill Gates, there’s about 10,000 janitors with GEDs. The exception proves the rule. Extraordinary people don’t go to college because they don’t need it. The fact is, many people tend to think they’re extraordinary when they’re utterly ordinary.

Here’s the test to tell if you’re extraordinary. It’s one question –

In your free time you…

  1. Watch TV, play video games and update your educational status to “School of Life” while expecting people to pat you on the back for doing everyday things like parenting, not breaking the law, and going to work.
  2. Spend time in the garage that you’ve converted into a small-scale nuclear reactor in order to continue studying the potential of cold fusion

Here’s a hint. Chances are if you’re the kind of person who answers “number 2”, you’re not on this page.

You don’t get credit for being alive, so no, the school of life is not a thing. If the fact that you haven’t died yet is your biggest accomplishment, you seriously need to reevaluate your life, rather than brag about that.

Not being dead isn’t an accomplishment. It’s a status update.

You want credit, get a real education. Do something with your life. But stop saying you graduated from the school of life. From personal experience, I’ve found the people who attend that university are only experts at failing.

How to Fix a Bike…From a Girl Who Knows Sh*t About Bikes

So recently, I decided to get my video game addicted son a bike. I had a deep-rooted fear of him spending his life sitting in front of a computer, typing away, his breath labored from the effort it took to just sit there, as he pounded beers and ignored his skin turning slightly green from a mixture of jaundice and lack of sunlight.

In short, I was afraid he was going to turn into me.

Now we Alrocs, we don’t do sports. We don’t do nature. We are an indoor, tech dependent bred.

No joke, my plan for zombie apocalypse? Suicide. I have no desire to live in a world with no air conditioning or microwavable burritos.   That, and a Kirk Cameron ‘pray away the gay’ camp are two perfect settings for my own individual hell.

So yeah, I decided to get Logan a bike, in the hopes that he might actually enjoy it. But as I lack a large SUV and any knowledge of bikes at all, I did what I always do. I ordered the bitch online with the intention of putting it together myself.

Surprisingly I can be pretty handy when it comes to tools. It comes with being a chick who hates leaving the house. Seriously, I get Christmas cards from my pizza boy. So I order everything online, some assembly required to avoid those outdoor trips. I figured that building a bike would be just as easy as many of the stationary things I’ve built in the past.

Turns out, shit gets a lot more complicated when you add wheels.

But I’m a determined chick with too much time on my hands, so I got it done. Now, let me share my knowledge with you.

Step # 1.

That owner’s manual, the one that’s filled with words that sound like you need an advanced degree in bike technology to understand (what the fuck is a valve stem neck shaft?)? Yeah, rip that bitch in half. Use one side as a coaster, and the other to roll yourself a nice fat joint*. You’re going to want to be high for this.

Step #2.

Chances are, the manual gave you a listing of tools you’ll need. That’s crap. You only need two tools.

Tool 1: Fingers

Tool 2: One of them metal L things that came included with the bedframe you ordered off Amazon six months ago.

Step #3.

Assemble everything in a way that looks bike like and start screwing. Ignore the ameneties.

Adjustable seat? Fuck that. Ten speeds? Completely unnecessary. When I was a kid, adjustable seat meant that your dad just wrapped the seat in extra duct tape, and bikes only had two speeds. Stop and go.

Step #4.

Cover bike in the tarp from your barbeque and let sit for three months.

Bike riding in a flat state is way harder than I remember bike riding being when I grew up in the white mountains of New Hampshire. Then again, I don’t think I ever pedaled in New Hampshire. I just went to the top of the hill and coasted.

As a result, the bike I assembled remains in pristine condition, after being ridden once and walked home. Which leads me to the final step in my guide to bike assembly.

Step #5.

Buy a bus pass.

 

 

 

*Please note you should not smoke the joint if the manual came from a foreign country, as lax regulation virtually guarantees that manual is made of equal parts asbestos and lead.

A few signs you’re not ready for a giant dog

The littleness of my dog makes me live in fear every time we go outside. I fear hawks mistaking her for a rabbit. I fear her getting her tiny dog legs stuck in a sewer grate. But most of all, I fear giant dogs thinking she’s a chew toy.

sophia

 

Now, I didn’t get a little dog because I have a preference for little dogs. I got a little dog because I don’t have the time, energy and resources to care for a big dog. As a responsible pet owner, I think the first step to that responsibility is recognizing your limitations when it comes to buying a pet.

And there are a fuckton of people out there who don’t take that first step.

So, in my ongoing crusade to help everyone do everything better all of the time, here are some signs that you can’t handle a big dog.

You live in a one bedroom apartment

If your dog takes up more than 25% of the square footage of your living space, you’ve gone too big. No joke people, that’s like putting a yacht into a swimming pool. Of course shit is going to get ripped up! The solution is not to compact his space even further by leaving him on your fucking porch all day while you’re at work. That’s just a dick move, not just to the dog, but to the neighbor next door who has to listen to him whimper all day.

I can’t handle that. I’m one of those assholes who cries at those Sarah McLachlan ASPCA commercials.

The dog outweighs you by 100 pounds or more

I have a rule that I never date or own anything capable of kicking my ass in a fight. That’s a good rule as it saves me from regularly getting my ass kicked.

What can I say? I’m very annoying.

This morning I saw a tiny Asian woman trying to walk something that looked like a hybrid between a sheepdog and a moose. Only it didn’t look like she was walking him. It looked like the dog was flying a kite shaped like a small Asian woman. This bitch was flapping in the breeze, clinging to the leash for dear life as her dog dragged her down the street, running faster than the top speed of your average Prius.

This is not a good way to show your pet who the alpha is.

You’ve never owned anything that actually requires training

If you’re upgrading from a turtle to a Leonberger, you’re doing it wrong.

Look, I’m going to openly admit that my little dog, she’s not trained. Sure, she’s housebroken, but she ignores anything I tell her to do, begs for food, watches me pee, and regularly tries to have sex with my pillow.

But that’s no big deal because she weighs 9 pounds. Even though plan A failed, and she’s completely untrainable, I still have a plan B.

Pick her up.

That’s it. All I have to do to get her to stop doing what she’s doing is pick her up. This strategy works whether she’s tossing licentious looks at my body pillow, all the way to if I think she’s about to bite someone.

You can’t do that with a big dog.

So when we’re at the dog park, and you, for some inexplicable reason, have decided to let your untrained 170 pound Siberian Fucking Moosehound run wild, all your assurances in the world that “he doesn’t always listen, but he’s friendly!” mean shit to me when he’s sizing up my Sophia like she’s a god damn chew toy.

In short, if your big dog does not immediately stop what it’s doing when you say the words ‘sit’ or ‘stay’ it is your responsibility to society to keep them away from other people (and adorable little dogs — especially mine) until they do.

Recognize the fact that there have been 325 dog related fatalities in the US in the last ten years, and 350,000 people visit emergency rooms for dog bites annually. My point is that the vast majority of those owners whose dog attacked someone probably thought their dog was friendly too.

But then it wasn’t.

If you must have a dog, but don’t have even a remote understanding of training, go small. You never hear of a five pound Yorkie ripping someone’s throat out.  Sure, they might eat their owner’s face after they’re already dead, but there’s a difference.

But if you don’t want to go little, and choose to have a large dog, or a vicious breed, you have a responsibility to society to ensure that dog is trained. That is all there is to it.

I guess my point to this whole post is dogs aren’t god damn impulse buys. They’re not a keychain you can pick up at the convenience store and then return when they don’t suit you. They’re a major adjustment and that adjustment goes up with every single pound the dog gains. So before you head on out and get a giant dog, consider your limitations. Because that kind of responsibility weighs on you.

Literally.

 

 

 

 

Explaining Libertarianism To People Who Think I’m An Anarchist

 

I’m not, by the way. An anarchist, that is. But I am a libertarian. That one usually gets me a few odd looks. People assume I’m some kind of conspiracy nut who claims the moon landing was faked and the government is watching my every move. They assume I’m in a militia, or inches away from joining one and that I don’t believe in paying taxes period.

libertarians

A lot of people believe I’m anti-American. Just an FYI, I spent four years as an enlisted soldier in the armed services…doing paperwork for people who can run much faster, and shoot far better than I.

Hey, I never claimed to be athletic.

Being a libertarian does not mean I’m anti-government. It does not mean that I’m anti-taxation or believe that my apartment should be declared a sovereign nation. It just means this.

I want the government to intrude into my life as little as possible.

I believe that a very small government should be in place to provide essential government services. I’ll happily hand over my tax money, provided it’s spent for a good reason, that reason being it benefits society as a whole and not just one person. Such services include public roadways, law enforcement and making sure my food contains less than 0.0001% random dead rat parts per million.  Were our government to just spend our tax money on these items, I believe that the people in these departments would have all the funding they need.

Here are the things I don’t believe in. Private corporate lobbyists, the electoral college, welfare, and private corporate welfare. I believe that you should be responsible for yourself. It’s a harsh stance, but a pure one. I don’t believe one individual should be held responsible for the health and well-being of another individual they didn’t give birth to. I don’t believe I should be forced to spend money to subsidize parties at political conventions. I don’t believe I should be required to pay for hair care services for the US senate or for Mrs. Obama’s image consultant.

In short, you want luxury, pay for it on your own dime.

That luxury includes having kids. Yes, I get that you’re working at the quick stop, have eight kids and can’t afford to put food on the table…but at no time at all did I sneak into your apartment with a turkey baster and artificially inseminate you. You made your life choices and you should be responsible for taking care of them. It is not ok to put your life choices on my shoulders.

Yeah, I got knocked up unexpectedly too, so I did the smart thing and went to college while working full time so I could do what I wanted with my life without having to answer to anyone.  That allowed me entrance into the middle class, where I’m able to support my family on my own, again, without answering to anyone. And no, I don’t believe a parade should be held for me. The pedestal the single mother is put on annoys me in the same way that I get irritated when the crowd cheers on Maury after a dude who just learned “he is the daddy” announces he’s going to take care of his kids.

Why the fuck does he get applause for that? It’s what you’re supposed to do.

857af9621a404a4953e7aa262f2f4fef0e7151d9b30b876afdc55fd4d4ea9fc8

The next thing I believe in is free market. I believe as long as the item cannot commit mass genocide with the pressing of a button, it should be available for sale with no government intervention. So do I believe you should be able to buy a nuclear warhead on eBay? No.

But I do believe you should be able to buy a kilo of coke and all the hookers you want to snort it off with minimal government intervention? You’re god damn right I do.

I know my belief in the free drug trade might sound extreme, but to that I say this. I really cannot comprehend the ridiculousness of a society where heroin is illegal, but several direct derivatives of heroin are available with a prescription. How does that happen?

Lobbyists. Turns out drugs are only bad when Pfizer doesn’t hold the patent.

As a libertarian, I believe in one thing. Personal responsibility. As long as I’m not hurting anyone, I should be able to do what I want. I take care of the kids I chose to have, and pay the taxes I need to pay to provide valuable services to society as a whole.

And Mitt Romney needs to go to Supercuts to get his hair did just like the rest of us.

Deus ex machina

This is a new phrase I learned as part of my Master’s program, so now I’m using it at every single opportunity like I’m an expert in it, despite the fact that until about a week ago, I didn’t even know it existed.

Yeah, I’m that kind of irritating know-it-all.

Anywho, it mainly means this;

an unexpected power or event saving a seemingly hopeless situation, especially as a contrived plot device in a play or novel

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I dig soap operas. Well, mainly I dig English soap operas and Mexican telenovelas.  And yes, a certain amount of deus ex machina is to be expected — but I don’t expect it when I’m dealing with a plotline that has been dragged out for months.

For example, the big reveal of the glove hand killer on Hollyoaks. For anyone who does watch the show SPOILER ALERT: it was recently revealed that Lindsey is the killer…and it made no fucking sense.

tumblr_nwkx94PIUJ1rkcttho1_500

If you don’t watch the show, let me give you an analogy of why this reveal was so unreasonable.

It would be like me turning this blog into a site filled with poetry about my love of both veganism and gun control laws for no reason at all. One day, you’d tune into Essa on Everything, with its current sex dungeon vibe, the next, you’d be on Essa Loves Everything and it would be filled with Vegan recipes and angst filled poetry about my dad.

For no reason at all, it would be like I don’t even like sex dungeons anymore!

Look, I get it when someone suddenly gets amnesia, or they even have an evil twin. But I hate it when I become invested in a plot, and am forced to be proven wrong because a writer felt like phoning it in that day.

Remember Dallas? Remember the entire 9th season? If you don’t, it went like this.

  1. Major character died
  2. Viewers wept
  3. The entire season focused on people recovering from the loss of said major character
  4. Secondary character wakes up and – it was all a fucking dream.

This was not a clever twist. It was not a preplanned plot idea. It was a way to cram a character back into a script to revive ratings.

People noticed.

Even before I knew what deus ex machina was, I noticed.  And if I, being of average intelligence noticed, that means everyone else noticed too. We notice lazy writing and it kind of pisses us off.

So I have a solution for deus ex machina that will work every single time. Whenever TV writers run out of ideas and have no way to tie up the plot, instead of forcing in a new character reveal or doing a 180 to someone’s personality, go all in on the deus ex machina.

Kill everyone off in an explosion and start over.

It would work like this

Everyone already knows who the serial killer is and you want to make the ending surprising anyway?

BOOM!

Completely run out of ideas for a show and you’re thinking about having a character jump a shark on a motorcycle?

BOOM!

You killed off a beloved character and now ratings are dropping?

BOOM!…and then start the show over in heaven.

Whatever you need to do, just stop making me invest my time in deus ex machina. If I wanted a shitty ending, I would have written it myself.

BOOM!

The Story of Columbus…From a Girl Who Knows Sh*t about History

So today is Columbus Day, in case you didn’t know. I say that with a sense of superiority, despite the fact that until I went to the store for beers, I didn’t know it was Columbus Day…or Monday.

Or October.

But anywho, I realized I don’t know much about Columbus, aside from “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…” No joke, that’s all I remember about Columbus.

I smoked a lot of weed in high school.

However, realizing that I was lacking in this education, I quickly searched the internet to learn as much about Columbus as I could. To save you all time, I’ve condensed what I know into the following easy to read synopsis.

Which is probably almost entirely wrong…but hey, at least it’s free.

Enjoy.

The Story of Columbus – From a Girl Who Knows Sh*t about History

Columbus was born in Genoa, which despite being the sixth-largest city in Italy, you probably haven’t heard of, because the Jersey Shore cast never visited it.

snooki italy

Lucky Genoa.

He always knew he wanted to be an explorer, because in Italy at the time, there were only two main jobs; Gondolier and President. No joke, in the 1400s, if you lived in Italy, you were either president, or you drove a boat. Those were your options. Don’t bother to look it up.

Columbus didn’t want to be a gondolier, because his family was too poor to afford the striped shirts, and he couldn’t sing. So he decided to be an explorer.

He went to the Queen of Spain for money, because at that time, everyone was looking for Asia…yeah, that’s right. Back then, they were incapable of finding the world’s largest continent. The Queen of Spain really wanted to get in on Asia, because that’s where the Silk Road was, and she heard the best weed came from there. Unfortunately, her computer didn’t have the RAM to support a Tor browser, so she decided to send Columbus in search of it.

She gave him three ships, The Nina, The Pinta, and the Taco Bell Cheesy Gordita. Columbus, on his fourth DWI by then, crashed one and really fucked up the other two. But luckily, they stumbled upon America, where they were greeted by the native people.

Due to the large population of doctors, dentists and technical support call center reps, Columbus immediately assumed he was in India, which is why he named the natives “Indians.”

During his travels, he also found the Indies and declared himself governor.  There, he treated the people so badly that word reached Spain. Upon his return, his atrocities were so offensive to parliament that he was tossed into jail and stripped of his title. After begging and pleading, the King finally let him out long enough to he could go back to America just long enough to give everyone Smallpox.

However, he didn’t get back in time to name the new land he’d discovered. By the time he’d gotten there, Cookie Lyon had already arrived, and decided to take what’s hers. She chose to name America after her son’s favorite fashion brand, American Eagle Outfitters.

get what's mine

Columbus, while disappointed, had to agree that Empire was the greatest new scripted series to hit television in a long time and forfeited the right to place his name on America. Later, he died of some kind of foot disease that I can’t be bothered to Google.

But he had a legacy. See, Cookie didn’t want to take responsibility for the discovery, saying “you ain’t putting all that shit on me,” so the white dudes in charge had to decide on someone who was responsible for discovering the new world.  Because his name was the most memorable, and least frighteningly ethic to white people, everyone in America decided to agree that Columbus discovered America.

And that’s why Christopher Columbus is important.

***

Ok, so it’s entirely possible that I mixed up a recent synopsis of Empire with what I know about Christopher Columbus, but we shouldn’t miss the important lesson from this story.

That lesson being that new episodes of Empire air on Wednesdays, 9/8 central. As for why it’s earlier in central time, I don’t have a good answer.  Maybe Columbus knows.

A Really Offensive Grammar Lesson

Something neat about the English language. Check out the below.

entire sentence spell wrong optical Illusion

Yes, it is true that human beings, being the adaptable creatures we are, can still decipher a message that is completely spelled wrong.

On the flip, we will also assume that anyone who sends us a message like that is drunk, stupid, having a stroke or all three. That’s just human nature.

I’m bringing this up because something happened in my hometown that has a lot of people up in arms this week. I’m not going to go into it because I don’t have an opinion either way. I mainly just lurked on Facebook, enjoying the drama like the cheap drama slut I am.

Well, mostly enjoying it. See, I consider myself a bit of an expert on internet arguing and there is one thing I’ve noticed about any person presenting an argument. It doesn’t matter how good their opinion is. If it’s riddled with incorrect word choices, spelling errors, caps lock and straw man logic, it immediately takes their opinion down thirty IQ points.

Now, if you’ve ever gotten a drunken message from me, you’ll probably notice I’m no stickler for spelling. Shit, some of the stuff I’ve written to you people is barely decipherable as the English language, but there is a difference between what I send privately and what I post in public.

I want people to at least respect my opinion, even if they don’t agree with it. The means not writing like an angry tween who never took Freshman English. So here are a few minor things that I think people should be aware of.

Your vs. You’re

The only time the sentence ‘Your an idiot” works if you remove the ‘an’ .

“Your idiot’, as in ‘your idiot brother,’ ‘your idiot dog,’ etc. Your indicates ownership. You’re is a contraction that means ‘you are” as in “you’re an idiot for using your wrong.” These two are not interchangeable.

On that note

There, Their, They’re

There has ‘here’ in it because it references a place, even if that place is a simple state of mind. As in, “there is no damn way people are going to listen to you if you write like a moron.” Their, meanwhile, is a possessive noun. “Their brain damage prevents them from forming coherent arguments”. Finally, they’re simply means “they are” The presence of an apostrophe indicates the omission of a letter, space or both. Same goes if it’s versus its.

CAPS LOCK

Look, in the past, people have said that the use of caps lock indicates shouting or if you have a very forceful opinion. I disagree. I think the use of caps lock means that you’re too fucking stupid to be able to reach your pinky slightly over to turn caps lock off.

Capitalization should not be your trump card in your argument. Your trump card should be using intelligent words. If you want to stress a particular word, italicize it, underline it, just do something that indicates you know how to work HTML like any person not working in a glove factory.

Just say no to text speak

Personally, I hate it. I’m not a texter, or a tweeter, because I am not concise…and I have giant clumsy sausage fingers. I think text speak is killing the English language, one awful acronym at a time. Does it really take so much time to write ‘you’ that you must use ‘u’ instead? Is your that much of a hardship that ur is your only refuge? Let me put it in text speak so all you text speakers can understand.

If ur space is nt limat8td FSR, and u still use txt speak, u look like an idiot. Jst m .02

Just saying, the extra .00005 seconds you spent spelling out the words could have saved me two minutes of Googling to figure out what the fuck you’re talking about. Text speak is the holocaust of human language, which leads me to my next topic.

Recognize when you’re using straw man logic…and then don’t

Straw man logic occurs any time you pull your opponents words completely out of context, and then argue with a point they didn’t make. For example;

“So you think that this guy should go to jail for shooting his dog? Then you must be picketing at abortion clinics every weekend, because murder is wrong, right?”

Or

“Any person who is ok with this guy shooting his dog; How would you feel if this was your dog….or your child?”

These are examples from both sides of this apparent hotbed issue in my hometown, just to prove I’m not biased against either group. Both appear to suck equally bad at the fine art of internet flame wars.

Straw man is nothing more than misdirection for idiots. While I usually dig misdirection, and would probably fuck David Blaine because of it, I do not like it in my arguments. Everyone recognizes straw man logic for what it is; a desperate attempt to compare a smaller issue to a bigger, inflammatory one when it just isn’t comparable. Straw man logic can and will undermine your entire argument…and ironically, makes me want to light you on fire.

Look people, arguing on the internet can be a lot of fun. There’s nothing like getting unfriended in bulk over an issue that you probably won’t give a shit about six months down the road. But if you’re going to argue, at least do it safely.

Practice safe grammar, or just go with abstinence.

grammar