Toilet Paper…The Shit Has Hit The Fan

Earlier in the week I went on a shopping trip.  It was glamorous, let me tell you.  Among the items on my list was toilet paper.  Everybody poops.  Anyway, as I wandered down that aisle I realized just how confusing toilet paper math has gotten.  It is out of freaking out of hand!

photo credit: The New York Times

It is a Mega Roll?  Well according to the packages 12 Mega Rolls is equal to 24 Big rolls.  But WTF is a Big Roll?  I found the Big Rolls, but then I decided I really only needed a Regular Roll.  I went looking for that and it seems everyone’s shit is out of control, because regular sized rolls don’t exist anymore.

Then I saw that another company offered a Jumbo roll that evidently equals twice the size of a Double Roll, which is just damn confusing.  The Double Roll is apparently twice the size of a Standard Roll, so we are definitely dealing with exponents here people.  Anyway, don’t even try to locate the Standard Roll because it seems to also no longer survive in the wilds of the toilet paper aisle.

Then the really funny math starts when you look at how they describe the types of paper.  Apparently a single square of Premium paper has the cleaning power of four squares from the Regular two ply brand.  This I find terrifying because I fear that means some idiot is trying to wipe his bum with only one square of paper, eww.

But wait there’s more.  The Ripples are fucking magical.  At least that is what it seems, as the packaging says Ripples beat out Quilted squares ten to one.  What ever the hell that means.  But don’t go over and reference the Quilted brand because it will tell you Quilted squares are better for your butt and also cure breast cancer…or they are donating to the research or something.  I don’t know, at this point I had begun to pace the aisle while frothing at the mouth like a rabid dog in captivity.

I would tell you about the Soft and Strong versus Ultra Soft debate, but I think that may induce me to seizure.  Honestly if you want more information, may I direct you to the Good Housekeeping Review and Testing site on the internets. Because apparently toilet paper is now so complex that the wise folks over at Good Housekeeping felt the need to analyze important factors such as absorbency, plumbing response, paper break down, and thickness of all the major brands in order to provide you, the consumer, with the definitive guide to the 20 best toilet papers.  Happy Reading.

This is freaking out of hand.  Somebody find me a Sears Catalogue.  I’m going to put it by the pot and kick it old school one page at a time.

Anxiously Lit

Yesterday I went on an annual pilgrimage to the liquor store.  My city is dry, because of prudes, so getting the sweet nectars of Dionysus requires a bit of driving.

I filled my cart with all the holiday classics, including liquor for my favorite kind of drinking, breakfast drinking.  There is nothing better than a hefty pour of Bailey’s in your Christmas coffee.  Thank you baby Jesus for allowing me to get buzzed at 8 am!

My cart was full of all sorts of goodies, as one of my favorite gifts to give is booze.  I find it makes people incredibly grateful.  Since I only liquor shop once a year my cart looked like an alcoholic’s cheat day just begging for a trip to the emergency room.


Pushing my cart up to the checkout is when I realized I still can’t look a cashier in the eye at a liquor store.  I am 35 years old and as soon as I start stacking bottles on the counter I feel guilty as shit.  For the love of god I don’t know why.  I never even drank underage and now that I am 14 years above age, I still can’t help but get all jittery and a severe case of diarrhea of the mouth.  What the hell is wrong with me.

I swear every bottle that checker scanned incited me to explain who it was for, how much they will drink in a day, and how I promise I will take their keys away if they get wasted.  Multiply that times the number of bottles I purchased yesterday, and you have the makings of a hell of an awkward one sided conversation.

As soon as I got to the parking lot I started making weird noises to shake the awkward off.  On lookers probably saw me and thought I had already been on the sauce… that or I had some sort of syndrome.  Maybe one day I will be able to shop for liquor like a normal human.


So retrospectively I should have take a photo for this post.  But honestly there was no god-damned way I was touching my phone.

Saturday I learned a few things about trash.  I learned the giant dumpster, which serves all the businesses in the strip mall I work at, apparently gets dumped out on Mondays.  This means late Saturday when I had a ton of trash from the bakery to take out there, I discovered the dumpster to be packed full and overflowing.  There was trash stacked up next to it and spewing from its top.  And the horror began.

You see, among the business in our strip of stores are a hair salon, sushi restaurant, and us…a bakery.  As I approached the bin my stomach plummeted to the ground when the festering smell of fish hit my nasal passages.  Flies swarmed with delight at he sushi restaurant’s leavings.  When I drew closer not only did the fishy smell intensify, but a massive unbagged pile of human hair came into view.  I was terrified at the thought of a large gust of wind for so many reasons.

Quickly I began to grab the bakery trash bags and fling them onto the pile.  Frosting is heavier than you can possible imagine, so this was no easy feat.  Bag after bag landed safely until the last one.  It was the heaviest, laden down with what felt like tons of discarded frosting.  As I launched it into the dumpster it landed on the human hair mound.  Frosting oozed onto the various shades of hair clippings, already pungent with the smell of decaying fish.

My lunch began to rumble in my stomach as I turned to race away from the stench.  So gross… so incredibly gross.  Still better than teaching though!

Am I A Millennial

I am having an identity crisis.  Yesterday I was listening to the radio and they were talking about the values of the Millennial generation.  It wasn’t pretty.  Poor Millennials have a really bad reputation.  Perhaps the reason for my sympathy is that I fear I may be one of them.

I did a little research and it seems I am in a lost generation.  I was born in 1980; the year of the Monkey.  At least the Chinese calendar has not forsaken us!  But I have always wondered if I am technically a Millennial.  Apparently so has the rest of the world.

The great and powerful Wikipedia indicated I might be Generation X, but it is not too sure.  It says Generation X ends somewhere between the late 1970’s to the early 1980’s.  Clear as mud.  It gets worse though.  When you look up Millennials specifically it says the generation begins with people born in the early 1980’s.  Thanks a lot collective knowledge of the inter-tubes.  You really helped me clear that up.  WTF!

Google wasn’t any better.  It threw charts at me illustrating that I am clearly the first year of the Millennial.  Then the next hit down say, nope I am absolutely not.  I am most definitely a Generation X-er.  For the love of god, where do I belong?  Am I a cool kid that questioned norms and the media or am I a self-absorbed, work ethic lacking Millennial.

Eventually a few more hits down Google did provide an article from The Atlantic which sort of helped to clarify the situation.  The article explains that generations are pretty much determined by the whims of the media and demographers.  Basically they arbitrarily create the generation groups to help explain a point.  Awesome.

If the media gets to choose my generation then it is only fair that I get a turn to do it myself as well.  I figure I will borrow a little from astrology and their whole rising sign idea.  Basically astrologers think your rising sign is the set of traits other people view in you before they get to know you better, then they see you for your real zodiac sign traits.  Therefore, I now pronounce my 1980 born self to be a Generation X-er with a rising Millennial-ness.  Works for me.


To pass the time on a long car drive Ryan and I were reminiscing about our childhood party experiences.  I was horrified to discover he never once got to play in a bounce house as a kid!  He has never known the joy of eating too much cake and ice cream only to run for the bounce house and swallow your verps (vomit+burps) as you bounced with delight.

Ryan’s never had the joy of tumbling out of the house when your mom came to pick you up and rummaging through 30 pairs of shoes, all around the same size, with every character from He-Man represented.  My poor husband was deprived.  At least I know what I am renting him for our wedding anniversary now.

After the shock from Ryan’s deprivation wore off I got to tell him about the greatest party of all time.  Full disclosure, I actually don’t remember the party all that well or even for whom it was given.  But is was amazing, I promise!  It was the party favors that made it the most spectacular party of all time.  TADPOLES!

Yup, at the end of the party we kiddos were led to a stagnant paddling pool, which had recently been visited by a promiscuous frog and was filled with tadpoles.  Then we were given our very own empty margarine containers and told we could scoop up as many tadpoles as we wanted to take home.  This was the greatest day of my young life!  I freaking loved animals, and I didn’t even care if they were slimy and aquatic.

Much to my mother’s dismay I ran my happy little ass out to the car toting a colony of new pets to raise.   As an adult I can only imagine how annoyed my mother was with that kid’s parents.  Who the hell gives away shitty pets as party favors?  But I could not have been happier.

My new little friends sloshed about on the ride home leaking earthy smelling water from the holes that had been generously punched in the top.  Once home my mom gave me a mason jar to pour my herd into so I could watch them grow.  I can’t really remember feeding them anything, but damned it they didn’t sprout legs and turn into little frogs anyway.

Once they were capable of jumping my mom cried uncle.  There was no way she was going to allow a bunch of baby frogs to hop around her kitchen.  One by one I released my little pets into the backyard.  It was magnificent.  I was so proud of my little froglings.

Ryan was appalled at the judgement of those parents.  But honestly, the guy lacks perspective on the joys of childhood, I mean he’s never even been in a bounce house for god’s sake!

The More You Know

I have learned an important life lesson.  Last night I waxed my eyebrows in preparation to attend a wedding tomorrow.  This basically means that it is a-ok in my everyday life to sport bushy caterpillar eyebrows in public, but it is not ok for people who only see me like twice a year to think that I live that way.  (Just call me captain logic.) The same is also true for hair dying and leg shaving.  Basically if it weren’t for events like weddings I would wander around the world covered in my own lady fur with a bad dye job.  Thank god for weddings!

Anyway, back to the eyebrows.  I decided it would be super smart of me to wax after my shower because the way I figured it all my pores would be open and the hairs would practically fall right thus lessening the pain of the whole process.

This is wrong.  Oh, so very wrong.

It turns out that when you wash your face in the shower you rinse away vital skin oils.  Oils that apparently keep the wax from ripping off all your delicate brow skin!!!  Yes, I waxed my eyebrows and now I have a red patch above each eye where a few (apparently very necessary) layers of skin have been ripped away.  It is like road rash on your eyes.  Not fun!

So now I get to arrive at the wedding with beautifully landscaped brows and giant angry red patches where it is pretty freaking obvious a bunch of hair must once have grown.  Nice.

I Sweat The Small Stuff

I wish I weren’t rattled by the small things.  Swear to god, you change one little thing in my world and I mentally flip into an inner panic reason cannot fight.

Recently I decided it would be a great idea to dog sit.  My husband has been wanting to get a dog, and I figured this would be a great way for us to have a trial run.  NEVER LET ME DO THIS AGAIN.

I spent the last five days in anxious turmoil.  Everything was wrong.  The house smelled different.  The dog wanted attention.  It made weird sounds.  Food and water were spilled.  I had to venture outside to let the dog pee.  My cats were upset.

Those are all really small things.  Rationally I knew that, but for the life of me I could not get the message to my head.  Instead my brain produced constant tides of anxiety rocking back and forth inside me.  My life went completely on hold while I simmered in an anxious sea. I was unable to concentrate on anything beyond the knot being thrown about by waves in my stomach.  Writing was on hold, dishes piles up, laundry went undone, books unread, it was awful.

Last night the dog went home.  Slowly the knot inside me is unravelling.  As I start to feel better I can’t help but feel life shouldn’t have to be so hard.  It seems like little things like a house smelling different shouldn’t throw me for such a giant loop.  Having water spilled in the kitchen shouldn’t cause me to crawl onto the couch and sit in the fetal position.

I know anxiety was just the card I was dealt, but sometimes I want to cry mulligan call for another shuffle.  But then again, if I didn’t have my anxiety I wouldn’t be me, and that makes me incredibly anxious too.  So I guess anxiety and I are just stuck together.

Hard Core Knitting

Hello, My Name is Kelly and I am a compulsive knitter.  Over the years knitting rescued me from anxiety and fear.  Those repetitive little stitches were always there for me.  I could escape to the pull of the yarn and smoothness of the needles and forget about everything but the sensation of knitting.

But there is a dark side to knitting.  Injuries happen.  Legit, knitting injuries can plague a knitter.

I frequently have to tape up my pointer and middle fingers when I am going on a knitting binge.  Otherwise you learn the hard way what it feels like to have skin rubbed raw by wool and wood.  It is not pleasant to suddenly discover you have knit so much your fingers are a swollen, red, raw mess.

Once I was going through a rough time at work.  So naturally I spent the next eight hours on Saturday in a marathon knitting session to help cope.  By the end I was feeling much better about work and ready for a rest.  Unfortunately Sunday I awoke unable to move my right hand without excruciating pain.  What had I done?  I tried to ignore it, but after a while I realized this was a pain that would not be ignored.

I found myself at the urgent care center answering a bunch of questions.  Had I fallen?  Had something hit my wrist?  Were there bruises?  Finally I had to own up to the activities of the previous day.  Perhaps my compulsive knitting session from the day before had something to do with my pain?  This was one of the hardest things a knitter can ever have to admit.  The doctor was all, “Duh, ya think?”

It turns out you can sprain your wrist quite badly from a marathon day of knitting.  The doctor cut me off from knitting for a month.  That lasted about a week.  By then I had figured out that you can still hold a knitting needle with a wrist brace on.  You can’t keep a good knitter down!

Then there was the incident in which I learned to never store my knitting bag by the foot of the couch.  I was taking, a little cat nap and had just woken.  While laying there my husband, Ryan, took my order for Chinese take out.  As I listened to him phone in the order I decided I should get up.  In the process of sitting up I threw my legs towards the ground where they found my knitting bag and the point of a knitting needle standing straight up in the bag.  That is when knitting gave me a major puncture wound.

I felt an incredible sensation, like lightening and shooting up through my foot.  I grabbed my leg at twisted it around to find a size seven double pointed knitting needle protruding from my foot.  I was impaled.  It is strange the logic that ensues as time slows down during these moments.  Panic washed over me.  I was completely speechless and my husband was so busy on the phone he hadn’t even noticed his wife was wearing a sharp object as footwear.

I remember staring at that long needle coming out of my foot and wondering how much blood would squirt out if I just yanked it out.  I figured I couldn’t seek medical care with a knitting needle flopping around from my foot, so I took a deep breath and tore the needle from my foot.  Sweet baby Jesus, relief!  Blood did not squirt across the room, but instead just sort of trickled out.  My voice had come back at this point as well and I hollered at Ryan to bring me paper towels.

This is when he noticed me sitting there with a bloody tipped needle in one hand and the other covering the ball of my foot.  I got to form an interesting explanation of how I had been skewered by a crafting tool.  He was not amused.  It took a great deal of pressure, but the bleeding stopped.  I managed miraculously to convince Ryan not to haul me to the emergency room with the promise that I would go to the doctor the next day.

After an x-ray and many strange looks as I tried to explain to the doctor that knitting can be a full contact sport too, I was given a clean bill of health.  It turns out they can’t do much to fix knitting related puncture wounds anyway, so I’m glad we saved ourselves the ER co-pay.  I did learn my lesson though and I relocated my knitting bag to a safer place by the coffee table, fool me once…

But this goofy little craft gives me enough pleasure to put up with an occasional visit to the emergency room.   Knitting helps me cope with life, and for that I am willing to risk a few injuries along the way.

We Can Explain, We Promise

Growing up we lived in a fairly large city.  It wasn’t large enough to have any public transport, so we drove everywhere.  Mom would take me on errands with her, which was never a very exciting activity for a kid.  But there was one trip to the grocery store that I loved.  And I will never forget it.

It was a fall evening and dusk had come over the parking lot early.  Mom and I and just finished checking out a massive pile of groceries at the local market.  It was the end of the day and we were both tired.  So when the bag boy offered to take the cart to the car for us Mom happily accepted.

Mom was making small talk with the bag toting teenager.  My mind was more focused on visions of devouring the Ding Dongs we had just purchased.  Quickly we found ourselves standing before the Ford Aerostar van.  Mom reached over to unlock the trunk and the big door slowly rose to reveal the contents of the trunk.

There lay two items: a pair of men’s pants splayed out with reckless abandon and a rather large shotgun.

All color drained from the bag boy’s face.  My mother began to sputter an explanation about dry cleaners and target shooting, but the bag boy wasn’t listening.  He was too busy shoving bag after bag wildly into the car.  I have never seen a teenager work so quickly.  It was an amazing sight.

In a blur he slammed down the trunk and uttered a feeble bye as he swung the cart around and jogged back towards the safety of the brightly lit store.

Once inside the car Mom started laughing that snorty kind of laugh she only made when something had really tickled her.  It was contagious and we both got a good laugh in before Mom looked over at me and said, “Well, guess that kid will have some stories to tell tonight.”

I am pretty sure we sacred the shit out of that kid, but boy was the laugh we got from it worth it.