NoSalesTax

Two Elon alumni (2002) have pooled their talents to bring excitement and joy to your day. One is a classy woman who combines her Italian and feminine powers to influence men of all shapes and sizes. The other is a tall blond man who relies on wit and boyish good looks to impress women, especially when they're drunk. Join them in their epic pursuit of the phenomenon known as adulthood. NoSalesTax side effects may include addiction and abrupt laughter as colleagues look on in confused jealousy.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Oh, Brother

While we're on the subject of unambitious brothers, my little brother graduated HS in June. I think back to this time last year, asking him to which schools he planned on applying. However, despite his good grades and community involvement, he insisted he was not going to college. His magical plan involved "taking some time off" to travel. Where does an 18-year-old HS grad from New Hampshire travel? Well, after first traveling to Europe to visit relatives for a month or two, he would return home for a short while before backpacking through South America. I'm sure other locations were also mentioned. Unfortunately, I was unable to convince him all these great vacations would require money.

So here we are, six months after his HS graduation, and what exotic lands has he traversed? Well, he currently works for a Northampton, Mass., pipe organ company. He and his co-workers travel all over the northeast in their quest to fill the world w/ pipe organs. Oh, and in case you ever doubted the importance of piano lessons, I'm sure my brother's ability to play the organ (and play it well) helped him secure the job. And it all started w/ piano lessons.

Anyway, he's living at home and making decent money, although I don't think he's havin much fun considering all his friends went off to college. My parents suggested he at least take some courses at the local college. He didn't. I told him to join AmeriCorps if he didn't wanna go straight to college. He didn't listen. Now, after three months of working at least 40 hours/week, he's realized "the real world" kinda sucks; he's going to college next fall.

I guess what I'm saying is you need to let people figure things out for themselves. Trial and error is the best learning method (and one of the 10 problem solving strategies learned in middle-school math class). If everyone could realize this, don't you think life would be a lot more exciting?

Surfing USA

I’m heading down to South Carolina tonight with my boyfriend to see my brother graduate from college. My baby brother- who used to set up GI Joe and Barbie camping trips in the basement with me, who cried when I told him I’d play kickball and then changed my mind, who stole the pennies I worked so hard for at a lemonade stand (and he’s got the scar to prove it) is a grown up now. Or, is supposed to be a grown up now.

I’m worried about him. I see this fun kid, a beach baby with so much personality and spunk who has somehow managed to duck and avoid and even run away from any ambition or dreams anyone, including himself, has ever had for him. How do you get such a cool guy from such a slacker?

He was a good student growing up. He loved history and science and read any book he could find that might or might not have to do with science fiction. He was always at the center of a baseball game, or a swim meet, or even just a neighborhood water gun fight. Where he went, adoring friends, sisters and parents followed.

He got in some trouble in high school. Mostly “high school kid” stuff… I wasn’t worried. I knew when he got to college he’d do exactly as I did- take classes, get involved, have a lot of fun but learn enough to last him a lifetime. I knew he’d find what he loved and go after it. He would discover his passion.

Turns out, I have heard my brother use the word “love” concerning only 2 things since he got to college- his girlfriend, and surfing.

His girlfriend is a nice girl. She is pretty and a great athlete and she looks at my brother the way so many before her have looked at him- with so much love and adoration. Incidentally, she is his polar opposite.

And surfing is something I myself have always wanted to learn how to do. I can imagine the feeling he must have on top of water like that- almost like he is conquering it. It must be such a rush of fear but love of speed and crystal clear blue, all at once. Ironically, he isn’t getting a degree, or a high paying job, from surfing.

What is there, really to do? Everyone wants me to talk to him. My parents say, tell him you’ll help him find a job or a place to live. Give him a push. Show him the way.

What is beginning to ring ever more clear and evident in my head, is that he has found his own way…. It’s not what any of us would have planned.

My Former Boss

I was cruisin the World Wide Web this morning and came across a recent photo of my last boss, known as King Jason (or simply "The King"). Granted, it's not one of his most flattering pictures, but it'll give you an idea of who I once had to answer to on a daily basis.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

She trips, she scores!!!!

The adventures of the incredible clumsy woman…
Yesterday at the gym, I fell off the treadmill. My roommate was with me, and she knows how clumsy I am, so we laughed about it together. But no joke, my legs just buckled and I sort of slid off it. I caught myself, as to not go flying off the back. But I turned around and a whole row of people on machines behind me saw the whole thing. Most looked on in horror. A few looked annoyed. A few looked genuinely concerned. This just made me laugh harder. When I got up I kind of turned around and put my arms up as if to say, “It’s okay, I’m okay!”
At any rate, the adventures continue. I took ballet for 10 years. I thought it would teach me some grace but apparently I was wrong about that. I have this thyroid disease, and one of the symptoms is clumsiness. Can I attribute my clumsiness to my thyroid disease? I don’t know. I could try.

She got Sauce...

If I were an oscar meyer weiner…..Oh no, wait, we’re doing sauce, I forgot. If I were a sauce, I’d be honey mustard. It’s a little bit sweet and a little bit tart….and sometimes you don’t know what to expect. Sometimes it’s even a little tangy! Just like me! Plus its yellow, just like me…wait, I’m not yellow……
OK really, this is a stretch and I don’t know how to relate myself to a sauce. But I’m obsessed with chicken fingers and honey mustard is HANDS DOWN the best sauce for chicken fingers…..mmmmmmmm…….chicken fingers……..
Want to know why I gained weight senior year in college? Well, besides 99 cent margherita night- chicken tenders. I’d venture to say I ate them at least once a day my last semester. It’s dirty and it’s bad….but it’s so, so good. Oh yeah…….

Hanukah

If you see one giant illuminated menorah this year, make it the one in front of The White House. You won't be disappointed.

I'm having a difficult time taming my mutant memory this holiday season. Out of nowhere, I started singing Come Light the Menorah the other day, even though I hadn't sung it since fifth-grade music class (taught by Ms. Matthews). I had trouble pronouncing a couple words, but managed to maintain my dancing and clapping without missing a beat.

What's Your Sauce?

My friend Robyn says everyone can be compared to a sauce. For instance, if you're a good, wholesome person, you might consider yourself gravy. If everyone likes you, you could call yourself marinara. Now you're probably dying to know what my sauce is. Hopefully you haven't fallen out of your chair with excitement. Relax, I will tell you. I'm actually two sauces, cuz I can't find one that sums up both of them.

I am pesto. I'm great in small doses, but too much of me isn't good. I'm also curry. Why? Well, I'm not for everyone. To quote Double-Down Trent (in Swingers): "I don't have to be liked by everyone. Some people don't like me, I don't like certain people."

So, what's your sauce?

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Pet Peeves

A lot of things really bug me, which may be why I’m so stressed. On a side note, if anyone’s looking to practice their massage techniques, I’m more than willing to be a test subject. As I was saying, I, like my friend T-Rock, have a lot of pet peeves. Here are a few quick ones:

I can’t stand people who stand right in front of the weight rack while using dumbbells. Do they not realize other people need access to the weights? One of these days I might accidentally drop a weight on someone’s foot.

Panhandlers really bother me. Understand, I don’t mind the people who sit/stand against a building and quietly ask for spare change. But since I moved to DC in January, I’ve encountered some unbelievably aggressive bums. While eating at Chipotle w/ a couple friends, a homeless man walked inside the restaurant and started asking us for money. When we said no, he asked me if I was gonna finish my burrito. I’ve also been approached downtown several times while running, as if I’m gonna stop, remove my headphones and dig into my pocketless shorts for some change. One man startled me last month by appearing from the shadows, rubbing his stomach and holding his other hand out, palm up, silently begging for money like a depressed Harpo Marx. I’m usually pretty patient w/ panhandlers, however. The only time I really get annoyed is if they approach me while I’m on the phone. That’s when I tell them to go away, which leads me to my next pet peeve.

If you’re talking to someone on the phone, don’t have a side conversation w/ someone in the room. There is nothing more aggravating than trying to focus on what someone’s saying over the phone, trying to decide which words are intended for me and which are being spoken to the other person. And if I’m on the phone, don’t talk to me! I have a hard enough time listening to one person at a time.

Let us know what bothers you. If it’s something I do, I’ll try to refrain from it, at least when you’re around. I can't say the same for T-Rock.

Pet peeves.....and we will have a lot of these.....

I have this pet peeve about people who always have to disagree. There are several categories of people….There’s several ways of always disagreeing-

“Yes and no.” The first group of people has to throw this into every conversation. For example, I would say, “It looks pretty crappy outside today. They would answer, “Well, yes and no. It’s not great now, but I think the temperature is gonna go up later.” Or, “I think we should try calling the distributor to get his opinion.” And they would answer, “Yes and no. We should maybe call, but then I wouldn’t take his opinion as gospel.”
My old boss used “yes and no” as a response to 97% of my questions or statements. I felt like she was trying to acknowledge me, but also tell me I was always going to be wrong on some level. I mean let’s face it, everything with her was a mind game anyway, but this used to drive me crazy. It’s like I could never be right. There would always be something she would have to tell me to really make things work. I worked for her for about a year and a half and by the end of that prison sentence, I wanted to cringe and scream every time I heard “yes and no”.
People like this feel like they are helping in some way. Shall I be the one to let them know they are NOT? Maybe I shall.
The best part about “yes and no” users is that usually, the question or statement I make doesn’t even need that kind of an answer. The answer doesn’t make sense. When I say it looks crappy out, you can agree with me. It’s ok- I won’t let it get to my head. You don’t have to remind me that the temperature will be increasing later in the day! That has nothing to do with the crap that is currently the weather.

“Not exactly.” This is kind of an extension of “Yes and no”. Also manifests in the form of, “Not quite”. People who feel the need to say “not exactly” are usually the ones who really feel like you want their input. They feel like they need to hear themselves talk. Like they are doing the rest of us a great service. They feel like you might be on the right track, but you’re not precisely right, the way they are. Example: I say “This coffee tastes old.” The response might be, “Not exactly. It’s more like the beans weren’t ground enough, so the flavor just didn’t really get absorbed by the water well enough.”
This is when you throw the hot coffee at their head.
No, no, no, just kidding. Don’t throw it. It won’t help the situation (I know this from experience). “Not exactly” users really value their opinion, want to poop on yours, and can’t ever really be convinced that what they have to say DOES NOT MATTER.
Frankly, there’s nothing worse than having someone let you know you are on the right track but it is their brains that will truly set you right. Well, maybe hot coffee on your head is worse. I will ask the person I threw coffee at which they think is worse.

The condescending laugh. This might be the worst of them all. This type of person doesn’t even really have to say something to let you know they do not agree with you, nor do they think you have a clue what you are talking about. Example: I say, “That was a helpful meeting.” They answer with a condescending laugh. Then, they would tilt their head and maybe raise an eyebrow. Sometimes it comes out as a little huff rather than a laugh. The noise is often unique to the individual.
AGGGGHHHH!!!!!! Do I even need to write anything? You know what I’m talking about.

Note: This doesn’t mean I’m always looking for people to agree with me. Because truly, I can’t stand it when I witness this happening to someone else, either. It just means I notice a trend in people who can’t possibly agree with me, based on some principal. What is that principle? Maybe they think they are smarter than me. Maybe they think they have something to teach me. Maybe they feel like they can’t possibly just let me have my own thought or idea or plan.

Maybe I should start avoiding these people.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Top-4 Mutant Powers

Top-4 Mutant Powers

Being able to fall asleep in random places. I have always been able to fall asleep pretty much anywhere. My parents have photographs documenting my history of napping in strange places. For instance, pictures from my sixth birthday party show a very blond little boy with his head resting on the hamburger in front of him, eyes closed as friends sit at the table and chow down. My power hasn’t weakened with age; I dozed off on the steps of The Vatican last fall, much to the disbelief of my g/f at the time. It’s amazing what a dark pair of sunglasses can do for sleep quality when outdoors.

Rearranging letters to make words. Some people grab the daily paper just to tackle the crossword puzzle. I prefer the Jumbles, however, just like my great-grandmother (Nana). Maybe it’s hereditary. I’m not sure how long most people spend on the Jumbles, but I’m usually done in two minutes, tops. When I was younger, I’d look at words and spell new words from the letters (i.e. Colorado became “cool road” and Maniac Magee became “CIA name game”). I didn’t set out to do this; the words just came to me as I’d read things. Damn, I was cool.

An unparalleled memory. My ability to remember things is really something to marvel. Like many mutant powers, there’s no explanation for this ability, and it often interferes with my everyday life. I can remember birthdays of second-grade classmates even though I haven’t spoken to them in more than 15 years. Do I really need to know Michael Howard was born Jan. 24, 1979? Does it matter that my third-grade crush, Bea Putnam, was born March 6, 1980? I don’t think so. Then again, it’s always nice to remember who my friends are dating, how they met, etc. And people are always impressed if you remember the first time you met them (including hot girls). It’s also great reciting lines from all nine seasons of Seinfeld. The downside to remembering everything may be obvious. I still recall every fight I’ve had w/ a girlfriend, every nasty thing someone’s said to me, every time someone’s let me down. I think Peter Parker sums up my memory dilemma quite nicely at the end of Spider-man when he says, “This is my gift, my curse.” And while we’re talking about super heroes, alcohol is definitely the kryptonite to my memory. Sometimes it takes weeks for me to learn what happened during a nite of drinking.

Typing without looking. This power comes in handy at work when I’m busy posting on the blog or checking porn. I mean email. It also enables me to stare at colleagues as they try to concentrate on their own work, wondering why I’m looking at them. I’m also a fast typist, thanks to my keyboarding class frosh year of HS. In fact, it only took me two minutes to type this entire post.

Top 4 Mutant Powers

Everyone loves lists. Our first installment of the TOP 4 will be: Top 4 Mutant Powers. Everyone has mutant powers. We want to celebrate ours. Feel free to share your mutant powers with us, too! (Well, share as in tell us about them. We don't want to take your mutant powers. They are your mutant powers.)

1. Being able to run into things at any time while laughing about it and making others uncomfortable. I am clumsy. I know this. Some other people don’t yet realize that I am always clumsy. Not sometimes clumsy, ALWAYS clumsy. Like when I started this job, my boss took me out to lunch on my first day. I saw water on the floor. I knew it was coming. I slipped and fell and landed on my knees and hands. I laughed hysterically. He look scared, mortified and like he might have made a BIG mistake when he hired me. So I just got up, told him I was fine, I was clumsy and it was no big deal. He has since looked very surprised when I tripped in the office kitchen and spilled water. Why? I told him I was always clumsy….

2. Marathon nosebleeds. Unfortunately, this power has somewhat faded with age. I still have an occasional 20 minute-er, but when I was a kid, even up through college, these things would last 40-50 minutes. That’s how you know who your real friends are. Someone who will sit next to you for an hour while you squeeze your nose, blood crusts on your hand, and your mom is freaking out…..is a TRUE friend. You know who you are.
My nosebleeds are crazy because 30 seconds before its going to happen (kind of like with the tripping and falling thing) I know it’s coming. My nose starts to tingle…..and then it flows. And it flows. And it flows. When I was a kid it scared me because I thought if I lost enough blood I might die. But now it’s more annoying than anything.
One time in high school I was arm wrestling this guy, Pete, and he was huge and strong and I was putting everything I had into it….and I got the tingle. WHOOOOSH!!!!! Blood everywhere. Only time I ever saw Pete scared.

3. Magnet for horrible pickup lines. Seriously, it takes some skill to be the girl who gets hit on by the WORST men (with the exception of one lovely bub I can’t get enough of) at bars, clubs, anywhere! I know all women think they get hit on by weirdos, but no. I win this one. They scope me out. They find me….and then they say things like:

Horrible man: Do you read Harry Potter books?
Me: No.
HM: Do you read at all?
Me: No. (Exit stage right)

HM: When was the last time you got a haircut?
Me: A few months ago.
HM: Oh, so you’re in that growing out stage, huh?
Me:………… (mortified and ready to put him in a headlock)

4. I’m one crafty lady. You name it, I can sew, crochet, color, bead or decoupage it. As long as you don’t mind it being too small, the wrong color, a little distorted or a little flashy (or trashy) I can make it. I have 8 boxes under my bed filled with craft supplies. You name it, I got it. And if you mess with me or Delaware, for that matter, I’ll sew up a can of whoop ass and make you wish you had never been born, buddy!

We're baaaaaack!

Popular demand insisted we start a blog. After our succesful radio shows at Elon University, we developed somewhat of a cult following. We had no idea we would get this big. Really.
But we did so here we are. Now leave us alone and stop asking for autographs.

Can anyone guess why we picked "No Sales Tax" as the name of our blog? Well, class, we are both from glorious states.....without sales tax!!! Some people think Delaware is small, chock full o' expensive tolls and rednecks but it ain't true. We have malls, mushroom houses, one fantastic marching band and whole lotta love! And let's not forget Rehobeth Beach!

A few months ago, Emily and I bought shirts from retroduck.com that say, "Don't mess with Delaware."

We mean it. Don't do it.

A Blog is Born

What better day to start a blog than Pearl Harbor Day? Btw, d'ya think Josh Hartnett knows the significance of this date? I doubt it.