Monthly Archives: January 2015

Sucky People: The American Version

I used to write a lot about stuff in Korea that annoyed me to the ends of the Earth and back again.  Well, I’ve often said that no county has a monopoly on assholes and idiots, and that remains true regardless of where you live.  America has plenty of fools wandering around, and you will have to interact with them at some point.  The one great thing America has going for it vis-a-vis Korea is the extra space.  There are yards and bigger roads to create some cushion between you and the other morons hanging around.  But they will still find ways to make their presence known.

1. Crazy dog people

I never realized how many of these people existed.  I feel like it’s gotten worse in the last 10 years.  I’ve never been much of a dog person.  I mean, I don’t kick puppies or anything, but I feel about dogs like I feel about kids: I can deal with them if they’re mine, but they’re mostly dirty, poorly trained nuisances.  I will freely admit, having two kids and another on the way, that I only like my kids and a few select children of family members and friends.  Everyone else’s kids can sod off back to their dirty playpens.  Same with dogs.

I’ll probably get some ire for this, but here is the cold, unvarnished truth: dogs are dirty, stinky, expensive, and they are most definitely not on the same level as people.  My cousin put it to me like this, and I reiterate it to other people: “Dogs eat shit and lick their asses in the yard.  If you drove up to someone’s house and saw them eating crap off the lawn and licking themselves, would you let them in your house?  Your bed even?  Exactly.”  I mean, you’d have them committed or at least take a picture to post to Facebook about the crazy person you saw, right?  So if you’re going to go the full Monty and compare your dog to people, compare it to people!  Use the same standards!

Now, I’m not completely heartless.  I know there are people who have pets because they can’t have kids or things like that.  But I still don’t think you can compare them to children.  If your dog dies, it sucks, and it takes time to get over it.  If your kid dies, believe me when I say there’s no coming back from that.

Spending stupid amounts of money on pets does not make them human.  I don’t want to see pictures of “your babies.”  And for the record, I’m fully aware that nobody wants to see pics of my kids, either.  I post it on Facebook, and if you want to see them, great.  If you don’t, I am so not offended.  When I was single, I couldn’t have given a shit about people’s kids.  But you know what else I’ve never given a shit about?  Your dog dressed up like a witch for Halloween.  Cut that shit out.  You suck.

2. People who think leggings are pants

Holy crap, there is a lot of this going around Jacksonville, and it just shouldn’t.  And I’m not just saying that because I only go to Wal-Mart and the majority of the people there are scary walrus demons from the planet Welfare.  I have seen plenty of very slim girls “rocking” them some leggings as pants, and… Girl, when I can see your white underwear through your black leggings and also the fact that you have a camel toe AND a wedgie, you need to fix yourself.  Immediately.  I don’t care how bangin’ your CrossFit bod is – I don’t want to see it.  I feel like I’ve inadvertently molested a lot of people in public just by looking at them twice.

Don’t even get me started on the beasts that wear too-tight leggings with tank tops that go halfway up their stomachs matched with Payless brand Uggs and some kind of Old Navy sweatshirt.  Get that shit outta my face.

3. People who can’t be fucked to get dressed

There are lots of these wandering around, too.  I mean, I see them everywhere – at Wal-Mart, Aldi’s, gas stations, clothing stores, and walking their kids to school.  These people are wearing the classic slacker uniform of an Old Navy hoodie, plaid or stupid-patterned fuzzy pajamas, and either Payless Uggs or fuzzy bedroom slippers.  In public.

You know, I haven’t gotten dressed today.  You know what I also haven’t done?  Gone out in public.  If I leave the house, I always wear real pants.  I never sweatpants or pajamas.  You know why?  Because I give a fuck.  I’m not a supermodel.  Hell, I’m not even thin or particularly attractive.  But you know, jeans aren’t that hard to put on.  They just aren’t.  It’s not like I walk out rockin’ my Dior heels and a $350 dress, but dammit, I can at least put real pants on.

Honestly, to me, nothing says, “I’m lazy, and I don’t give a fuck about having a job, taking care of myself, or respecting any damn thing at all” like failing to wear real clothes in public.  These are the same people that you sell stuff to on the Facebook group who want to meet at 2 p.m. (because they have no job) and show up to said meeting wearing pajamas (because they just got up 30 minutes ago).  It pisses me off.

4. The politically ignorant who have loud opinions

This is most people, but some of the ignorant are louder than others.  And it happens a lot on both sides of the fence.  On Facbeook, most of my friends – mostly from college – are liberal as hell and aren’t afraid to lambast the world with their progressive ideals.  Fine, whatever.  I just unfollow them and, on the occasion that I do see something about how amazing Paul Krugman is, I smash my head against the keyboard, write a really logical, windy response which I then delete because I don’t feel like getting into it with economically ignorant MA students, and I unfollow them and move on.

The same thing happens around here, except that most everyone is Republican.  I know a few who can make a good argument, primarily because they make it a point to stay informed about actual numbers and facts, but mostly, they’re just hardcore Republicans who hate Obama because he’s a Democrat.  There are lots of reasons to dislike Obama, but most of the ones I encounter don’t make sense, aside from hating Obamacare, which go on with yourself.  It sucks.

But I’m telling you, if you lay some libertarian on either side of the aisle, it really gets people up in a dander.  Don’t support the drug war?  You must want deformed babies from drug-addicted mothers to be the norm.  Don’t support QE 504 or however far we are into it now?  You don’t understand that we have to pump money into the economy because inflation isn’t real.  Don’t support overseas wars because you believe war is almost always wrong and in most cases motivated for reasons that have nothing to do with the citizens on either side?  You’re probably a pinko Commie who longs for the USSR.

I know that political ignorance is mostly universal, but dammit, why are the ignorant so often the most vociferous?

5. Shellac manicures and the people who have them

Maybe I’m totally wrong about this, but I think when I was in college, this wasn’t so much a thing.  Oh, the sorostitutes had French tipped acrylics, but nobody I knew went to the Asian nail salon once a week to get four fingers painted one color and their ring finger painted another.

I appreciate the fact that a mani-pedi is relaxing.  It’d be great to have someone rub my feet for an hour.  I can’t afford it, but it’d be nice.  But I just really don’t get this whole obsession with getting your nails done every ten minutes and having a design on the ring finger.  I thought it was an Asian thing until I came back home and saw that everyone here was doing it, too.

Maybe I’m just jealous because I can’t spend $45 to have my nails done in shellac.  But I don’t think that’s necessarily it because I have a sort of aversion to long nails.  And it legitimately looks good sometimes.  I think I resent it because it feels like a fad, and I associate those sorts of fads with “basic bitches,” and there are a lot of things about basic bitches that bother me.  I don’t know.  It bugs me, but I feel like I’ll end up succumbing eventually, and then I’ll hate myself.

6. People who insist on blinding other drivers with their crazy-bright halogen beams

There are a lot of trucks in this town that have these crazy lights.  They’re invariably jacked up on huge tires, have a huge exhaust, custom paint, and are louder than ever-loving fuck.  And also, they will blind you.  They will ride your bumper as close as they can, even though you’re already over the speed limit in an area the cops love, and they will blind you with their insane headlights.  And the things aren’t even on bright.

I’m sure they’re fantastic for the person behind them, but for the person glaring them down at night, they suck.  I’m kind of sensitive to strong lights, and they just about blind me.  And I feel like the people who have them know that they blind everyone else and are such assholes that they don’t care.  They’re almost always stupid rednecks who drive their giant diesel monsters at like, 95 miles per hour down the highway.  It must be nice to have more money than sense. And speaking of stupid cars…

7. The guy in town who drives the Cutlass with 5-foot rims

Every time I see this car, I start ranting irrationally.  It’s the tires and rims.  100%.  There’s nothing that ridiculous about the car beyond those fucking tires.  And he isn’t hurting me at all.  He doesn’t blast his music too much, and he doesn’t drive recklessly.  But dammit, he looks like a tool.

What happens if you hit a pothole with those things?  Don’t the rims get bent?  He’s always rolling about 20 miles per hour, I assume for fear that the tires will get jacked.  I mean, they’re so high that you’d have to climb into the car like a truck.  There is just something about the whole thing that makes me want to start gnawing on my own steering wheel.  I just wish that car would explode.

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Places to Make You Miss Mizzou

Someone sent me a post like this today on Facebook, and I do miss Columbia, MO.  Often.  It’s a great town full of eccentrics, rowdy college kids, and good bars and restaurants.  There’s no denying that Mizzou makes it stand out from the average Midwestern town, which is what it would be without the university.

I really enjoyed my time living in Columbia.  There was plenty to do, I had a great apartment between campus and downtown, and it was just big enough to make you feel like you were in town, but it wasn’t an overwhelming big city.  It still felt “Midwest nice” without being too overbearing.

Anyway, this post I got featured a list of great places in Columbia, mostly to do with eating or drinking.  I’ll take it one step further and just mention my favorite spots in CoMo period – no drinks or minimum age necessary.

9th Street Deli

This one got missed on the original list.  I don’t know how anyone could not love 9th Street.  This place made the best damn roast beef sandwich, but you had to get it on a croissant.  They were amazing.  There were two tables inside, and getting served at lunch was always a challenge, with lines out the door.  Still.  Best roast beef EVER.

Sparky’s 

Gotta love Columbia’s best homemade ice cream parlor.  They had all sorts of great flavors like red wine and chocolate chips, Uprise Bakery brownie, and green tea.  Their servings were huge, and sometimes Sparky the bulldog would be there.  The thing was, he looked just like his statue, so you never knew until he switching panting positions slightly whether or not he was the real thing.  I used to get a waffle cone after class and walk home with it.  The perks to living near campus!

Speakers’ Circle

Where else could you go to hear Brother Jed and Sister Cindy preach hellfire and damnation?  Got cancer?  It’s probably because you had an abortion, you slut.  Wearing a short skirt today?  Don’t think Bro Jed won’t call attention to it, you whore. In desperate need of learning how to cook to rope a man?  Sister Cindy’s got you covered!

It wasn’t just sign-wielding crazies, though.  Sometimes we’d get a choir of singing Mennonites or a campus activist group.  No matter who was there though, there was always some controversy brewing, and it made for great entertainment while I ate lunch.

The Heidelberg

The home of German Club meetings when I was president.  We’d have our meetings and then start the evening with either a round of Starry Night, Dead Nazi, or straight Jäger shots.  Because nothing says “German Club meeting, bitches!” like a round of shots after discussing whether or not we got funding for something.  Good nights begin with shots containing Goldschlager.

Shakespeare’s

Stammtisch happened at Shakespeare’s Pizza right after the German Club meeting.  Shakespeare’s is the best pizza ever in the universe, and it’s a great way to prolong a night with the MU Drinking Team/German Club after a few shots at the Berg.  Not that there weren’t beers and shots at Shakespeare’s because besides the German grad students and occasional prof, the bar at Shakespeare’s attracted a wonderful group of hipsters and weirdos that made the evenings there quite a fun ride.

But seriously, their pizza is the best in the land.  My husband still raves about that place, and he’s been once.

Flatbranch

‘Chokes ‘n Cheese.  And beer.  Those are the only things you need to know about Flatbranch.  Great place to eat out.  Just great.

Ernie’s

I consider this the best place in town to soothe an angry hangover, especially in good weather.  Grab a “patio” table, put on your sunglasses, order some ice water, and wait for your hipster friends to come and join you for vegetarian sausage patties and pancakes.  It’s a great place to do some Sunday morning people-watching while coaxing yourself out of Saturday night’s stupor.  If you don’t like Ernie’s, you probably work for al-Quaeda.

Coffee Zone

I’m pretty sure this place used to be Osama’s, which was in a different location, on 9th and right-next-to-campus.  They have the best chair lattes, hot or cold, in town.  Kendra and i made frequent visits to this place.

Some people prefer Lakota, and I guess a lot of people now probably go to the Starbucks that popped up next to campus, but I just bet there are still loyal Coffee Zone patrons.

The Music Cafe

When I was a freshman, this place was a sure bet if you wanted to get in somewhere without getting carded.  Then it closed up for a while.  By the time I got back from Germany, it had reopened, and it became a watering hole for pretentious hipsters and their hangers-on.  Also, they had the best beer selection of any of the downtown bars, never mind hookahs for $15/hour.

I used to go there with my beer enthusiast friends and get some top shelf samples to split.  We’d sit there and get blitzed on seriously expensive beer and talk about whatever it was that we talked about.  Probably how amazing we were.  Gag.  Fucking hipster scum.

Anyway, they had Stella Framboise on tap, which always made me happy, and there was almost always music there after a certain hour, which was cool.  I never heard any outstanding acts there, but I liked the atmosphere, the beer, and the hookahs.  Also, back when the smoking ban came in, you could still smoke in there, so obviously that made me happy, being a pretty committed smoker coming back from Europe.

Snapper’s

This place could possibly be considered another hipster bar, and I guess it sort of was, but it was also a dirty old man bar.  There were people from all walks in that place, day or not, and they had $1 PBR and Stag cans.  When you want to go out and drink a lot of beers on the cheap, Snapper’s was the place to do it.

There wasn’t much to it – just a pool table, dart board, and a jukebox, but how much gimmick do you really need?  When there are beers for $1, the answer would be none.  A lot of my friends hung out there, so I could be reasonably sure that even if I went by myself for a beer, there would usually be someone I knew hanging around.

Overall, I feel like this was one of Columbia’s most underrated bars, and I liked it that way.

McNally’s

McNally’s has to get a mention on my roll-call, even though I have the suspicion that I might not enjoy it that much today.  I knew all the bouncers, most of the waitresses, and would usually walk out of there having had a free Irish Car Bomb or two.  The patio was great in warmer weather, and you could order a pizza from Wise Guys and just have it brought out there.  Drinks were poured strong, and there was usually at least a minor crowd there.

Again, this was a place where a lot of my friends hung out on the regular, so it was a fairly safe bet to go there.  I spent a lot of drunken nights at McNally’s – and more than a little money, drunkenly.  They even had a cigarette machine inside, so I didn’t have to go chasing when I ran out of smokes, although it was admittedly cheaper to just suffer until closing and then walk by the no-gas gas station on my way home and get some there.

Homeless people

I’m not sure if this makes me an asshole, provides a sad commentary on a college town, or both, but whenever I see homeless people – especially the really eccentric type – I think of Columbia.  Downtown was rife with them, especially at night.  I guess they were trying to get the college kids to give them money.

Most of Columbia’s bums, if they weren’t insane, sure put on a good show.  My friend Kendra’s ex used to talk to them.  He worked at Sunshine Daydream in the short time that it existed on Broadway.  One day, he was on break, having a Coke from Quizno’s, talking to one of them.  About midway through the conversation, he noticed that the guy’s dick was hanging out.  I think he stopped talking to the bums so much after that.

My personal favorite was going to get Chipotle one day, and there was a particularly interesting bum standing near the Chipotle building.  He was smiling and waving a stick around that was covered with yarn and some miscellaneous pieces of crap.

“Would you like to buy a fairy wand?  I made it myself.  It’s only $15!” he proclaimed happily.
“Nah, I already got one at home,” I replied.  “I made mine myself, too.”

Life in Columbia.  Occasionally a bit surreal.

Noyes Hall

No, you probably shouldn’t climb up the fire escape and sit on the roof, but yes, it is possible to do so.  We used to sneak up there late at night, smoke a joint, and watch the stars.  It was fun, for whatever reason.  Maybe that element of campus police catching us and arresting us for climbing fire escapes was just too tempting.  Either way, it was an occasional, fun thing to do while avoiding studying.

And for the record, no, I’m not telling you to go out and do it.  Climb at your own risk.  The MUPD are dicks, and I’m sure they would arrest you if they caught you.

The Diner

This was my go-to for greasy breakfast at 2 a.m., when Ernie’s wasn’t available to fill the need.  The Diner, if it’s still there, is this giant, silver bullet of a restaurant on the edge of the downtown.  I have never been there sober.  Ever.  Not once.

They serve the usual greasy spoon breakfast fare, and they are almost always packed after the bars close.  They’re the breakfast option equivalent of El Rancho, but you do get to sit down, instead of standing up in drunken misery and hoping that none of the Mexican guys with thick accents ask you any difficult questions, like chicken or beef.

Incidentally, I never went to El Rancho sober, either.  … No, once.  It was weird.  It felt wrong to be knowing what I was doing while ordering.

9th Street Video

I suspect 9th Street Video may have fallen by the wayside these past years, what with more and more hard-to-find films available for streaming.  9th Street was the place to go if you wanted a random film about something you’d never imagined one would make a film about.  They served their movies-in-a-box with a huge side of pretension and a distinctly unhelpful air, but I loved that place.

Kendra and I once picked out an old B/W movie from 9th Street about Chinese prostitutes during the Second World War.  The main thing I remember about it was the hookers dancing around singing, “If you take too long making yourself pretty, your guests will become impatient.”  Words of wisdom, ladies.

The Peace Nook

Nothing says Columbia like the old Peace Nook and the rainbow flag that flies outside when it’s open.  Staffed by hippies old and young, the Peace Nook is the place to go if you want organic stovetop cleaner, or any number of books concerning the idiocy of George W. Bush, garden witchcraft, or having a hippie grandmother.

As much as I say that with a bit of a smirk on my face, I weirdly found a copy of Albert Pike’s book Morals and Dogma, which concerns the 32 main degrees of Freemasonry.  I’ve never seen a physical copy of that book anywhere else.

If I think of other places, I will update this post, but those are my top picks of places that I love in Columbia.  There are other great places, don’t get me wrong, but those are my personal faves.  I miss Columbia with its occasional hippie vibe, its rowdy frat bars, its asshole cops, and Mizzou’s beautiful campus.  I still miss my old apartment on Anthony Street.  It cost a fortune every month, but it was so worth it to me to live near campus and downtown.  Everywhere important was walkable.

But alas, those days are over, and I’m now relegated to the occasional visit.  So enjoy your breakfast at Ernie’s, and have an iced chai latte for me on a particularly hot day.  Follow it up with Sparky’s, and that’s my definition of heaven!