Friday, October 13, 2017

13 Things You Should Probably Avoid on Friday The 13th Unless You're A Black Cat

For how much I look forward to Friday's, I was surprised to find out historically, Fridays are incredibly unlucky.  Fridays are frowned upon for numerous reasons such as it being Hangman's Day in medieval times, the day Jesus was crucified, and weddings were not allowed on Fridays.

There was no real evidence when the number 13 and Friday became linked, but we would probably be better off if no one ever put them together, yet here we are. I'm very familiar with stepping under a ladder and breaking mirror constitutes lousy luck but what about other everyday activities? Hate to break it to ya, but there is bad luck all around us.

1. Yawning

If you must yawn cover your mouth. In general, this is just practicing good manners, but some superstitions say if you do not go over your mouth this could lead to illness or demonic characteristics because the devil is watching for a chance to enter your soul. Leave nothing to chance today, friends.

2. Wake up on the wrong side of the bed

It's considered unlucky to get out of bed with your left leg, and it is doubly unfortunate if it is on the other side of the bed than the side you fell asleep on. Who knew you had to be so conscious while being unconscious? This does not sound like an excellent start to your Friday. To avoid bad luck, you're supposed to get out of the same side of the bed you got into. My problem is remembering which side I got into. Yikes.

3. Taking a group photo

According to some beliefs, if multiple people are photographed together it is believed that things will go wrong for the one in the middle. Perhaps you can coax your least favorite of the group to stand dead center.

4. Vending machines

Two people die from vending machines falling on them a year. The odds are not in your favor on Friday the 13th.

5. Driving

Yeah, I know. The epitome of our transportation existence is swirling with bad luck. Studies have shown that car accidents increase by 52% on unlucky days like such. Staying at home is recommended today... and always.

6. Getting the chills

It is believed that someone is walking or dancing over your grave when you get those tiny little goose bumps up your spine. Not dead? Maybe you're an older soul than you thought...

7. Walking alone in a dark alley

You really shouldn't do this on any day, but it is especially eerie on Friday the 13th, in October. There isn't a superstition attached to this I just highly encourage no one to walk in an alley, at dark, by themselves. You never know what could happen. You could cross a black cat's path, and then you just duped yourself, sucker.

8. Stepping on a crack

You'll break your Mama's back. You know the drill.

9. Having a dinner party with 13 participants

Aside from the biblical story of Jesus and the 12 disciples in which Judas betrayed Jesus and was (un)lucky number 13 to show up at The Last Supper. Also, there has been a rumor that if 13 people meet in a room, one of them will die within a year so if you have 13 attending you better tell one of them to keep on steppin'.

10. Boarding that boat

...if you're a female. Equality shmuality when it comes to this superstition. Ladies boarding a boat, especially on a Friday, are destined to bring watery doom to the ship.

11. Cutting your hair

Legend has it you're cutting "ties, " and someone in your family will die. I know, that is exceptionally morbid, but it is also wise to avoid this because walking out of the salon, on Friday the 13th with a new haircut is screaming lousy luck. Don't risk the locks hunny.

12. The 13th floor of a building

If you are unlucky enough to have a job on the 13th floor, call out of the office, and consider calling out of your job. If you're on the 14th floor and the building eliminated the number 13,  are you still on the 13th floor? Hmm...

13. Walking backwards

I'm all about retracing steps but walking backward will let the devil know where you are headed. Keep that on lockdown; he doesn't need to know your business.

Just when you think you're done, always, always, always remember lousy luck comes in threes.

If any of these unfortunate events happen to fall on you, you can always spin around seven times. Maybe your omens will go away but that viral video I just got of you will not.

Happy Haunting!

Monday, October 9, 2017

A Desert Rat's List Of Fall Favorites

In case you haven't heard about or seen on social media... IT'S FALL. 

Who's excited? 

Like any other basic b out there, Fall is my favorite season. The moment I start to smell pumpkin and apple cider scents throughout the mall my heart skips a beat. I may live in a desert, but there's something special about grabbing a blanket, some hot chocolate and gettin' cozy by the fire (or heater) to kick off the season.

Since I live in a desert though, my list of fall favorites slightly differs than the usual sweaters, coffee, pumpkin charade. Do not be fooled though, as those are all still included.

Trader Joes Pumpkin Tortilla Chips

I swear to you, these chips will change your season. Pumpkin spice and everything nice is, well, nice but these chips smell like nutmeg and taste like tortilla chips. I bought five bags in case this post went viral, and Trader Joe's runs out. Okay, that's a lie they're limited edition, and I want to make sure I have enough for the whole season. Pair these with a fun mango salsa for the ultimate pumpkin carving, soiree, nibbler dish. 

A Fall playlist 

Which I am currently, listening to while writing this. Nothing sets the mood more than my Autumn & Chill song frenzy. It is 45 songs long (and counting), so you won't have to worry about any awkward pauses between playlists. I've been vibin' a lot of John Mayer meets Drake, so the next song is not too predictable.

Sweet Home, Alabama

There is nothing prominently Fall like about this movie except for the fact it takes place in the Fall. It is a classic romantic comedy that will for sure put you in the mood for the upcoming season. Catch me curled up in my favorite sweater, on my Craigs listed couch, and a bowl of candy corn for half of the season.

Sockwell Socks

These socks will change your life. They're not fuzzy, they do not separate your toes or even call out to unicorns, BUT these socks do make your foot feel super secure. They cocoon my arch in a way no other sock has. They provide the thermal aspect but also breathability. Primarily, I can wear them with my boots but not worry about my feet getting too hot. It's 80 degrees people, remember? 

Baggy Sweaters

Told ya not to fool yourself. I'm currently living in this highly loose sweater because it offers a breeze on my belly when I walk, and it's apparently in style. It's October, so it is still like 80 degrees in the desert. But how am I supposed to take fall like pictures if I'm still rocking shorts and a tank top?

Autumn Chillers

Toasting the arrival of Fall with this yummy festive drink that does not require a coffee mug, because, well, it's still kind of warm outside. It is a mixture of orange juice, sparkling apple cider, ginger beer, ice, and cranberries. I promise you will feel warm on the inside. The full recipe is HERE.

Boots, specifically these boots

I bet you will never guess where I got these. Skechers. I swear by their boot selection. Skechers is entirely off the fashion grid providing a unique fall look. Anyways, why these boots? Well, they're not leather, so they do not get hot. They're versatile, so I can roll them up or down but most importantly, they have glitter in them. Nothing spices up pumpkin spice season like a few flakes of gold! 

Tanning Lotion

I have to face reality that what little of a summer glow I got over the past few months will not last naturally.

The Classics of Jane Austen

I read these every season. There is something so homely about reading a book you could essentially recite from memory. I have two versions of this book with the same four novels inside. Catch me on my porch with a beer and book. Cheers to you Ms. Austen.

An overwhelmingly big scarf

Because they just scream fall.

An overwhelmingly big scarf that also doubles as a blanket

Talk about universal uses.

My Moonroof

Considering I have never had my own moonroof until this year, it has only been fall for about a week, and this has made my fall favorites list indicates this has to be a fall essential. It is windows down driving weather friends! If your window isn't down while driving then WYD?

Denim Skirts and Turtlenecks

I picked up these gems from Forever 21 over the summer, and I can FINALLY wear them. I feel a little excessive wearing a turtleneck and jeans in Las Vegas but pairing my long sleeve with a skirt... I find a tad bit of justice in that.

Fall lipstick colors

They're fun,  festive and won't melt off your face in this weather. Scorage! I highly recommend NARS Charlotte and Kiko Milano's Metal 04 Copper (moment of silence for mine as I lost it at Oktoberfest) for all of your fall pumpkin patch outings. 

My favorite coffee mug

It's my favorite because it is exceptionally photogenic. I know how, bloggeresque of me. This coffee mug has never seen coffee. It only knows whiskey and some form of apple cider, hot chocolate, or Butter Beer mixture. Yes, this cup is RESERVED for Autumn.  

Candy corn

Candy corn is the epitome of Fall, and we all know it. DONT ARGUE WITH ME ON THIS. For just $2.49 at Target you can have my heart for Halloween. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Hometown Heartache: A Tragedy In My Own Backyard

Merely days ago the shooting with the highest death count in the United States occurred in my city. Never in my life did I expect this. I feel very fortunate to have not been in Las Vegas during the incident, but that doesn't mean there was not a dark cloud lingering over me.

It was midnight in Vegas, but midday in Germany and I was finding it so hard to distract myself from the heartache in my hometown. Being so far away and only having what I saw online to try to understand was incredibly frustrating. Seeing all of the different stories pop up, not knowing which was right and waiting hours between media briefs was exhausting. I received texts saying it was a good thing I wasn't home but that's the only place I wanted to be. All I wanted to do was hug my family and make sure all of my loved ones were accounted for. It felt wrong continuing on my life in Germany while those back home were facing such horrible circumstances. I wish I could have been there to help.

Flying in from international lines and seeing the city that never sleeps so quiet and still was extraordinarily sobering and made everything very real for me. Up until this point, I wasn't sure what to feel, but I get it now.

From a global perspective, Las Vegas should be extremely proud of their selflessness. Seeing the community, local and afar,  pull together was so humbling. Beyond the grief and despair, it is incredibly heartwarming to see photos of people lined up to donate blood, news articles of first responders going above and beyond to save lives and to see multiple people raising money to aid victims of the Las Vegas incident. Las Vegas is home, and this is my home.

There were 59 casualties, and over 500 injured and not one of them was someone I personally knew but Las Vegas is a small community, and we are all within one degree of knowing someone that was. We hear about these things quite often, but we don't realize how real they are until it happens in our own backyard.

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who is affected by this tragedy. I've seen some healing occurring while others are still worrying. I know this will be a process, but I hope those in need of some extra support understand we as a community are there for them. I have been continuously reminding myself that life goes on and we are #VegasStrong.

Home means Nevada. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

An Acclamation To The Student Who Out-Witted The Professor

If you are unfamiliar with the situation, you can read the whole article here, or you can read my blurb below.

Elijah Brown is an undergrad at Maryland’s Anne Arundel Community College taking an accounting class with Professor Red Beatty. As per usual classroom protocol, Mr. Beatty administered an accounting test and allowed for his students to bring in a 3x5 index card to use on the test. The kicker is he did not specify the size of the index card in a unit of measurement. Seeing the loophole in the situation, Elijah took that as an opportunity to bring in a 3ft by 5ft index card.

Let me just slow clap Elijah Bowen into this... *clap*... *clap*... *clap*...
One step for a student, one GIANT leap for undergrads.

I died when I heard about this. This is the kind of wit college students thrive off of. Not that we are always trying to "catch" the professor messing up, but it does leave a warm fuzzy feeling when you can out move the teacher who has a masters or 20+ years experience in the subject they're lecturing. 

Dedicated undergrads spend weeks preparing for tests, quizzes and research papers to get them ready for finals.  There is a lot of pressure placed on students to retain a lot of information in a short amount of time. Bless the professors that allow cheat cheats but BLESS YOU [Elijah Brown] for even cheating that system.

Students are constantly trying to figure out what it is the professor wants. They drop little hints here and there saying "This will be on the test," but most of the time the test hasn't even been conceived yet so how are teachers going to remember everything they say will be on the test WILL BE on the test? 

I am an advocate for doing the bare minimum but also doing a job well done. Bill Gates once said, "I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it." I think you should get in contact with Mr. Gates there Elijah and see if he has any projects lying around for ya.

I have to admit I am kind of jealous that I was not this dexterous while I was going through college. I kind of want to go back through all of my syllabi and catch some of my not-so-favorite professors in a slip-up. I won't, but I had to share the thought anyway. 

Although, I have to admit. Putting together such a massive cheat sheet, it makes sense Elijah hardly had to use it. Maybe this could be a new studying tool for the millennials. Professors, look to the wise. Give your students a 3ft by 5ft cheat sheet opportunity and they may just surprise you by filling it out causing them actually to study. 

In the end, I'm glad Professor Beatty still let Elijah use the large cheat sheet. He can't even be mad at Elijah for seeing through the lines on this one. Of course, Prof. Beatty won't be so naive next semester, so incoming accountants better stay on their toes.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Craigslist Fetish

Buckle up y’all, have I got a story for you.

Most people have tinder stories where dates have gone rogue. I, however, have craigslist stories where wanted ads lead me amiss.

Why every craigslist ad I answer has to be some circus act, I’m not sure.  It seems I’m the Junie B. Jones of the internet. Respond to the ad, STUFF GOES A-WIRE, write about it. Repeat.

It all started with the Free section. If you’ve never taken a gander down that black hole, I highly encourage it. One mans trash is another man's treasure. Usually, I would find scrap metal, rock, or an occasional palm tree. The idea is these people just want this stuff out of their life and for the price of gas and an awkward conversation it can be all yours. Well, after drinking one too many mimosas at the pool, I went back home to my empty, newly moved into apartment and started list looking. I came across this couch that looked to be in highly decent shape. The ad specifically said the couch is yours if you can get it. Could’ve been the mimosas talking but my friend and I were one determined pair to get me that couch. 

After my very well thought out “Hi, is the couch still available?” e-mail was sent I anxiously waited for a reply. And when I say anxiously wait I mean I turned on Sex in the City and took a nap. I woke up to a slew of emails which one indicated the couch was still available and I could come pick it up today. SCORE. 
Not quite.

I drive a Honda Civic and my friend drove a Volkswagen Jetta. Not exactly couch transporting cars. Defeat hit us HARD. We called friend after friend with a big enough vehicle to see if they were up for letting two entirely respectable, young adults, not experiencing a mini hangover from the sugary mimosas, drive their truck across town and back until we realized Nana had a Ford Escape. We were in business. 

A Ford Escape is no Escalade, but it is still a pretty sizable piece of machinery. After going back and forth about if the love seat would fit in the trunk space, we decided it's now or never and hit the highway. Literally, I tripped getting into the car. 

Forty-five minutes later we pull up to an apartment complex on the outskirts of Vegas, and that was when reality decided to slap us in the face. It's 9:00 pm on a Sunday night, two girls are going to some strange man's house they met via craigslist to get a couch while wearing flip-flops. Does any of that sound like a good idea? Do you think anyone ever tried to stop us? No... no one said a single damn thing about how this might not be a good idea. At this point, it is Do or DIE. We were doing, so we pulled up and summoned the mysterious internet man. 

Expecting an old-man-Jenkins look alike, we were pleasantly surprised when the gentleman was a fit older man that could have easily passed for an ex-biker squad, guitar playing dad. He seemed super excited to get his couch out of his garage, at least that is what we were telling ourselves. Surprise hit us hard when we saw how big of a love seat it was because no way was it going to fit in the back part of the car.

(We have not even gotten to the good part yet, so if you're still reading, just wait.)

WELL, not so old man Jenkins was extremely helpful. He began making all of these suggestions for us on how we could tie the couch to the roof, make two trips, or even call another friend. He was determined to make sure we took this couch. 

We started apologizing for how inconvenient we were being. We legitimately thought it would be a slip and slide into the vehicle and we would be on our way. Homeboy Jenkins was not stopping and calls his neighbor out. Now were mortified because this is becoming way bigger of a deal than necessary. I am still in no position to give up a free couch, but I felt so awful at how bothersome we were being. Jenkins (i hope you know that's what we're calling him from here on out) asks his neighbor for a rope. Yep, we are now tying this free couch from the free section on craigslist to the top of Nana's Ford Escape. 

Feeling useless in my flip flops, Jenkins and his neighbor strap this sucker down GOOD to the top of the car. We couldn't even believe how helpful these guys were and for nothing at all. I had no cash on me so I couldn't even pretend to give them some compensation. We thanked the gentlemen and scurried along in our family vacation style ride. I was so grateful for their help and expressed to my friend almost the whole time we were driving out of the complex how much I wanted to write them a thank you note once we got home.

It had been like 9 hours since we consumed anything besides alcohol at this point, so we were STARVING and ordered a pizza to eat on the way home.

(Yes, this is where it gets good)

We are about halfway home, no plates to eat our food, with barely any napkins, just greasy pizza and two friends driving down the freeway blasting Brittany spears when I get a text message. 

Yes from Jenkins himself.

Jenkins: Hi Jordan. Hope the drive is going well. I just wanted to let you know you and your friend have the most beautiful feet and I have a huge foot fetish. I'd love to massage and worship your toes and feet if that is something either of you two would be interested in, please let me know.

Why. WHY ME? 

I gotta hand it to him. I appreciate his forwardness but how does a girl reply to that? "TY but nahh. Thx for the couch."? You're hittin' me with a curve ball here Jenkins. I can't even write back because my hands are covered in pizza grease which he noticed because about 10 minutes later I got another message.
Plz, dont.

Jenkins: I take it neither of you are interested.

Not particularly. 

Me: Sorry we were driving. No, unfortunately not, thank you for the couch though. Have a great evening. 


Never heard from him again but I did gain a couch, a lesson on meeting strangers and they let me keep the rope.

I do think twice about the free section. I still peruse it just in case some gold pops up. I pick my battles wisely and weigh the pros and cons of what a particular item is worth to me.

Thank you, Jenkins for providing me the ultimate craigslist experience and sorry mom. 

So tell me... do you have any Craigslist circus acts you would like to put out there? I am all ears (technically eyes)...

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