Monday, April 20, 2015

8 Lessons I'd Like to Teach My Mother's Tiny, Ferocious Dog

Chyna, left, & Jed, right
My mom has two dogs, whom I lovingly(ish) refer to as the diva & the demon. Their real names, respectively, are Chyna & Jed, & yes, I'm fully aware of how terrible their names are, but they came with them, & my mom didn't feel like changing them, so Chyna & Jed it is.

Chyna, the tiny diva, is a chihuahua/miniature pinscher mix, & she is cute but not as fluffy as I like dogs to be. She has hella anxiety issues, which you would think would mean we'd be BFF, but really it just means that she is 100% obsessed with my mom & needs to be basically on top of her at all times, so she has no time for me unless my mom is not around.

Jed, the tiny demon, is a chihuahua/Pomeranian mix, we think, & he is basically the cutest dog I have ever seen in my whole life, & we are indeed BFFs. He sleeps in my bed at night & tries to lick my face when I'm not looking, & I love him, but he's also sort of an asshole. The first time I met Jed, he snarled at me & threatened to bite me & wouldn't come near me for almost a full week. Like so many tiny dogs, he thinks he is actually a lion.

I don't love taking the dogs on joint walks, so I've been walking them separately. Chyna is fine - lovely & meandering. Jed, on the other hand, is... well, a demon. Here are a few things I'd like to teach this dog, if he were at all teachable (which he is not):
  1. Just because that dog is barking over there does not mean you need to follow suit. It's 7am & the neighbor has a tiny jerk of a dog, too, but that doesn't mean you need to be a tiny jerk of a dog just because he is. Does it? I mean, why does it? You're a dog, not a lemming. So shut up.

  2. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to pee on everything. Look, it's a fence! Look, it's a fire hydrant! Look, it's a daffodil! Goddamnit, dude, keep moving. You are too small for a bladder so endless.

  3. You are never going to catch that bird. That bird is faster than you & it has wings, so just give it up already. You're never gonna get to taste a bird, little man.

  4. Or that squirrel. Can you climb trees? Balance on telephone wires? No? Then give up on squirrels, too.

  5. That cat does not give a shit about you. I'll concede that you could feasibly catch a cat someday, if that cat were stupid enough to wander into our fenced-in backyard while you're out on the prowl. But that cat is smarter than you, & that cat is never gonna cross the threshold, & so you're never gonna get to eat him, either.

  6. That biker will hit you. I can keep you out of the way of cars, but what do you think you're doing, zooming up to the curb to bark at an innocent bicyclist? That dude will smoosh you flat - & probably flip over his handlebars in the process. Are you trying to kill & get killed? Stay in the grass, man.

  7. Nobody is out to get you. Why are you barking at that kindly old woman who asked what breed you are? Why are you barking at that cute little kid who wanted to pet you? Why are you barking at the man smoking a cigarette on his front porch who waved at us? All of these people like you! Or at least they would, if you weren't being a tiny jerk.

  8. Everyone likes you better when you're nice. You are mightily adorable, but when you are rude to everyone, people start to hate you. Including me. Why not quit trying to play the hotshot loud-guy card & instead just start playing up your looks? They say you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, little dog - but now that I think about it, you'd probably just chase those flies while barking at top volume, anyway.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

My Quest to Have a Sense of Style Continues - With a Little Bit of Help


If you opened up my closet door, you would find A) a massive trophy from when my Odyssey of the Mind team came in first place circa 1994, & B) a lot of black clothing. Like... a lot of black clothing.

Last we discussed my sense of style, I told you that I aspire to dress like a crazy old lady before I am actually old (or crazy). I have since done my best to embrace that aspiration, cultivating a wardrobe that falls within my style guidelines. I've gotten rid of everything that doesn't suit me by donating it or selling it on Poshmark. I buy less far clothing impulsively than I used to. And I continue to invest in a ton of big, bold jewelry.

That's my jam, jewelry. Clothing-wise, I'm usually wearing something black or dark grey or, on a really wacky day, navy - topped with gold jewelry that, like, says something. I let my jewelry speak for me where my clothing doesn't, which is why my collection includes a gold-plated bird skull replica necklace, a gold-dipped arrowhead necklace, & a bracelet that reads "Bitch, don't kill my vibe."

Enter Rocksbox. You have have noticed that I almost never, ever pair up with brands on my blog because it's just not my, well, style. It usually feels very inauthentic. But when the Rocksbox folks reached out to ask me if I would be interested in a subscription with them in exchange for telling you how I feel about it, I jumped at the chance. Because if there's one thing that is authentic to my style, it's jewelry. (And black clothing, but that would make for a boring subscription box.)

For $19 a month, Rocksbox sends you an unlimited amount of jewelry to borrow, three pieces at a time. As soon as you return one box of jewelry, they'll send you another - as many as you can fit into a month. You can take a style survey & create a jewelry wishlist to be sure they're sending you pieces that suit your style, & if you decide you want to own any of the jewelry they send, you just keep it - simple as that - & they'll charge your account. They also provide you a $10 credit each month, which means you'll recoup half your subscription cost on anything you decide to buy.

Some of the pieces way out of my price range, like the gorgeous necklace up in the top photo. At $90, it was too expensive for me to own - so I wore it for a few days in a row, felt real fancy, then returned it. Others, like the Gorjana ring I'm wearing on the left, are less expensive; at $26, I'm gonna keep that one.

If you want to try out Rockbox, use code heyescapistxoxo for a free month. It's a no-strings-attached subscription, so you can cancel when it ends, if you want - but I, for one, have a feeling that when my free subscription is up, I'm gonna pay to continue it. Twenty bucks a month is a small price to pay for an ever-changing, never-ending jewelry box.

Disclaimer: I received a free three-month subscription to Rocksbox in exchange for my honest review. But I like it enough that I would be saying the same thing about it even if it weren't free.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Home Sweet Coffeeshops: On the Weird & Wonderful World of Becoming a Regular

In case you were wondering how long it takes to be considered a regular at your local coffeeshop, here's the answer: two weeks.

I've been going to a new Starbucks, for reasons some of you may have read about on Facebook & that others of you will never know about because I can't talk about it here. Suffice it to say that the Starbucks I'd started to call home - like, all day, every day - is now off-limits. Instead, I've taken up residence at a new location, one slightly further from my home but in an area of town that I like a little bit better (namely because it's next door to my favorite restaurant & now I eat there basically every day). It's rarely crowded, & I never have trouble finding a seat, & one of the baristas remembered my name the other day without asking me for it, which was a milestone in my relationship with this Starbucks.

The next milestone came just this afternoon, when one of the other baristas said to me,"So you pretty much live here now, huh?" I was equal parts embarrassed & proud - embarrassed because there's something lame about being such a regular, but proud because it also makes me feel more like a real person & less like every other faceless customer when the baristas start to recognize me. VIP treatment means they don't even spell your name wrong on your cup! Usually.

For awhile (two weeks, exactly), I was going into another cafe regularly, one that's locally owned & that I like a lot, save for the fact that they sometimes rent out their space & I end up getting the boot; this has happened frequently enough that I don't go there much anymore. When I was going every day, though, I worried that the baristas started to think I was big bitch because one day, when I got kicked out for a room reservation, I sort of blacked out & stormed up to the manager & demanded to know, "Can you start putting a sign up to let people know when this is going to happen? Because it makes me not want to come here anymore." After that, I was super nice to the people who worked there because I wanted them to know that that particular incident was a rage-induced fluke & that I am indeed a super-nice person (OK, that might be an exaggeration of my personality, but I'm pretty nice).

Anyway. I went into that joint on a weekend day, & one of the baristas, this pretty, friendly blonde girl, said to me, "Hey, you just started coming here during the week, right?" I was so weirdly excited to be, like, worth recognizing. She introduced herself & made me a special drink & then by some moderately creepy coincidence of the Internet, we ended up following one another on Instagram. But still, I don't go there much anymore because I'm embarrassed about the time I raged out about the room situation - & also because I'm still mad about the room situation itself.

My point is this: It takes two weeks for the baristas to start to remember you. If you're nice, they'll even tell you that they remember you, & they'll start remembering your name along with it. If you're really nice, they'll ask you on a date (inside joke, ha ha ha ughhh, don't ask), but remember: This is your office now. Keep it professional. You're just there to drink coffee & do your work & spend half your salary on lattes & croissants & cold-pressed green juice.You're a regular. Don't eff this up.

Friday, April 3, 2015

10 Things That Happened During My BFF's Wedding Weekend

One of my closest friends got married two weekends ago, & I had the honor/joy/expense (just kiddinggg) of being one of her bridesmaids. It was a really beautiful weekend, & some of my favorite people in the world were present for it, & it was a privilege to be a part of my friend's big day.
  1. There is nothing quite as daunting as working a full day while knowing that you have a seven-hour drive ahead of you, yet that's exactly how my pre-wedding Thursday went. After shlepping across the state of Pennsylvania, I stopped to pay my toll near Philadelphia... & learned that it was a whopping $35. I had exactly $31.50 on me, so I had to commit to an IOU & pay my extra $3.50 within 10 days or risk it going to collection "immediately."
  1. A friend & I adventured in Philly on Friday afternoon, braving serious snow on the first day of spring - & me with no winter coat. We got manicures & pedicures at a place that gave us free wine, & then we had lunch at the glory that is Reading Terminal Market, where I consumed a gourmet grilled cheese (with cranberries & brie!) in approximately seven seconds. Needless to say, I am kind of into the City of Brotherly Love.
  1. At the rehearsal dinner, I gave an impromptu wedding toast, & I neither cried nor vomited, which are my public speaking standards. People even laughed! When it was over, I got two high-fives & three compliments from strangers, so I think I'm gonna call that a win. I hope the bride & groom liked it as much as I did (which I hope is not an egotistical thing to say - I'm just kind of proud of myself because I am really not a public speaker).
  1. On the day of the wedding, having brought four dresses with me, I ultimately decided to wear the one the tailor botched because it matched the other bridesmaids' dresses better. (I first removed the tags from another, though, so I now own all four of them). Fortunately, I had borderline fasted for a couple days ahead of the event, so the dress I chose didn't look nearly as terrible as it could've.
  1. The bride, her family, the other bridesmaids, & I gathered in her hotel suite to have our hair & makeup professionally done, & I requested what I shall now refer to as my Standard Fancy Hair (see: the last time I got my hair done for a wedding). Then, we had the honor & the nerve-wracking responsibility of helping her get into her (gorgeous! button-laden!) gown so the big day could officially begin.
  1. When we headed to the venue, I was the bridesmaid who brought a Mary Poppins bag full of anything anyone could ever need - hairspray & bobby pins & safety pins & dry shampoo & deodorant & gum & snacks & a sewing kit... You name it, I probably had it. Except Bandaids. (My apologies to one of the other bridesmaids, & to my own heels.)
  1. Just before the wedding began, the bride's mother used said sewing kit to securely reinforce the last two remaining buttons on the neck of my dress after the third one mysteriously disappeared between group photos & the ketubah ceremony. I spent much of the rest of the evening worrying that I looked like a fancy hobo and/or that I was going to end up totally unbuttoned.
  1. I drank a lot of cranberry martinis & ate a lotttt of food. Like... a good-thing-I-wore-such-tight-Spanx amount of food. Seriously, you've never seen so much food at a wedding. Ever. More importantly, I also spent a lot of time with a lot of friends, & we did a lot of dancing, as one does at a wedding full of one's favorite people.
  1. One of my best friends married the love of her life in a beautiful ceremony on a day that was beyond joyful. I felt incredibly honored to be a part of the day, & it's one that will long remember fondly.
  1. The bride asked us to keep the day "light on social media," so I took exactly one photo at the reception (it didn't turn out well) & none with the bride. Hey, that's what pro photographers are for, right?
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