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Monday, September 8, 2014

The Fuber

Yet again, I should not be alive.

I know, I know, I should probably start blaming myself for these things, but really, again, this wasn't totally my fault. Who shames the victim anyway? Don't be that guy.

Let's start at the beginning, where everything always seems normal and pleasant:

This weekend I was out in the Upper East Side grabbing drinks with a friend. Great night, great bars, great drinks, great times. Neither of us were in the mood to truly rage, so 1 a.m. rolls around and we go our separate ways.
Seeing as I just moved to the city like, two weeks ago, the Subway system still terrifies me.
Seeing as no one cares about my neuroses, and weekend track construction is a thing, changes to the late night lines are an inevitably confusing problem.

I hopped on the 4 train only to discover that my connection to the E would not be happening as I originally planned, and I needed to take the 6 back to Grand Central to get on the 7 to connect to the E later down the line.
If the previous sentence makes sense to you, you're either a saint or sober. At the time, I was neither, and although four drinks don't exactly do me in, they make any trip involving that many numbers and letters turn into quite the production. Still, I managed to follow directions reasonably well, and got off at my transfer station in Jackson Heights.

As soon as I stepped off the train and it pulled away I knew I was in the wrong place. The two trannies I encountered a few seconds later confirmed it. Luckily, I'm used to this shit by now, and I calmly stepped off to the side to consult my phone and the many transit apps I had installed the day I moved here.
Suddenly a stout man with grease stains on his shirt appeared by my side out of nowhere, speaking to me in Spanish. I ignored him and silently apologized to Señora Baker for spending both Español I and II in high school doing my homework for other classes. I noticed him gesturing towards the trannies standing close by and realized he was either asking if I was part of their clique or wondering if the one on the left was a natural blonde (Answer to both: no. I was wearing a sundress and gladiator sandals for God's sake. Harsh roots though, girl). I glanced at him, shook my head, ignored him while he yelled something that was definitely not, "Where is the library, friend?" and put my full attention and trust back into Moovit.

To get to a station that would take me back to Queens, I would have to walk nine minutes. Not a substantial amount of time at any other point of the day, but at 1:45 a.m. when you're tired, have lost your buzz, and have just been made aware that you have mannish features, nine minutes is a lifetime. Couldn't do it, so I called an Uber.

Amrin and his Toyota Highlander would be there to pick me up in six minutes. Perfect! I would definitely be thoroughly creeped out by the produce vendor on the corner making sexy eyes at me by then! My phone notified me that I had just hit 10% battery life, which is pretty standard for these situations, so I put it away and awaited my chariot's arrival.
Two minutes later a shiny black SUV crosses the intersection and the driver gestures at me. Amrin apparently replaced Paul Walker in Fast and Furious 7 and I could not be more pleased with the casting choice.
I approach the car's open passenger window.
And so commences a potential episode of Dateline: Missing in America.

The driver is very pleasant, asking me how my night was and making the usual Uber small talk that is typically cut short by one of my friends in the backseat screaming, "CAN YOU TURN ON THE RADIO?!" We discussed the humidity, how I used to live in DC, how driving in the city is a nightmare, and how cigarettes were a gross habit that I should definitely join him in on our ride because "You are eh-young, is no problem." Valid point, but I passed anyway.

Then my phone rings. Unknown number.

"Hi, it's Amrin. I'm outside Bank of America in the black Highlander. Do you see me?"
I glance at the Driver Formerly Known As Amrin, who is distracted by the gay bar on the corner blasting Skrillex.
"Well I thought I was with you already but apparently not."
"Yeahhh...I've got a ride right now but I might be calling you back."
"I'll call you back."

I hang up and look back at Stranger Danger.
Buzz: gone. Nerves: ignited. Game face: on. I have way too great of hair to disappear into someone's basement for a decade, okay? This was not going to happen on my watch.
"I'm sorry, what did you say your name was again?" I asked.
"Alex." Shit. "What is yours?" 
"Is very nice to meet you."
"You too!!!"

My overenthusiasm was a ploy to scare him into briefly forgetting which Taken dungeon I would soon be inhabiting.
"So you are married?" Translation: Who will come looking for you when you're gone?
"Never been married?" Translation: Did your ex-husband love you enough to come find you when you're gone?
"You have children?" Translation: What are we working with down there?
"You have boyfriend?" Translation: Sweet Allah have I hit the jackpot?!
"You do?"
"Yes yes yes."

(As every girl who has encountered a sketchy bro at the bar knows, the answer is always yes. Always.)

During this transaction I go to my recent calls and dial everyone that is not my parents. Three separate people, multiple redials, no answers. THANKS A HEAP GUYS, REALLY APPRECIATE THE FRIENDSHIP. I am simultaneously watching Alex's every turn and making note of the streets we are on, realizing we are, in fact, going in the opposite direction of my apartment. Classic.

"Uh-oh Alex, I think 67th Street is the other way!"
"No no, we are taking short cut to avoid lights. Is faster, trust me."
"Ten blocks the other way is faster? That's so weird."

Meanwhile, I'm still haphazardly dialing each number in my recent call log, wondering why I associate with lame-o's who aren't up, out, and about at 2 a.m. on a Friday.

"Alex why don't we just go the regular way. You can drop me off at 67th Street, then there aren't lights to deal wi-"
"Is no problem."
"Actually it kind of is. Just drop me off at 67th Street."
"You sure?"
"Is no problem."
"67th Street, please."

We pull a death-defying U-ie and Alex is chain smoking like an Indonesian toddler, visibly displeased with how this night has turned out. That makes two of us, pal. He casually misses the first opportunity to turn onto 67th Street, holding onto hope that I'll change my mind and be the drugged out Princess Leia to his Jabba the Hutt.

"Right there."
"67th Street is right up there. You can pull over."
"Is okay, I take you the whole way."
"No no it's really, really fine. Right there is fine."
"You sure?"
"Riiiiight there."

He stares at me for a solid ten seconds and then slowly pulls over, passing over the first option of the vacant fire hydrant space because that would be illegal.

Before he can child lock the doors and strangle me with his Brooklyn Nets lanyard, I say, "Alright well great thanks so much have a great night!" leaping out of the car and race-walking in a zig-zag up the street, as you are supposed to do to wild predators. I never looked back, but I know he waited in that spot until I was completely out of sight.

And that is how I escaped the Fuber, or the Fake Uber. As always, I'm sure a certain level of naïveté contributed to this mess, but I can't help but wonder when my nine cat lives will run out and I won't have the opportunity to write about my death-defying adventures for you folks.

I need a chaperone.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Instagram Stole My Sanity

I legitimately think I'm losing my mind, and it's all thanks to an app.

I posted my last Instagram picture sometime back at the beginning of June.
I've done many things since then.
Exciting things.
Fun things.
Adventurous things.
Things I want to brag about to everyone I know.
How am I supposed to do that, call them on the phone? Screw that. I want them to ogle my exceptional life via square photos.

When my photos first wouldn't post, I gave Instagram the benefit of the doubt.
"Oh, it's just a silly little mishap. Probably too much traffic from people posting regrettable Memorial Day Weekend pics. No problem. Maybe I shouldn't be THAT GUY and post a picture of my Blueberry and Peach Coffee Cake anyway," I thought.

Then I baked strawberry soufflé. Then I saw a homeless man wearing a full-on Cat in the Hat costume with Mardi Gras beads on my lunch break. Then it was my birthday. Then my friends from Louisville came to visit. And I couldn't post any of those pictures.

This is the screen that appears whenever I try to upload something.

My friends, though sympathetic, are no help at all.

I've reported my problem to Instagram Help Center which basically told me it was my fault and I should find a stronger WiFi connection and/or get a life.
In reference to the former: my WiFi connection is solid.
In reference to the latter: uh, fat chance.

So now I'm left with one option; the point that I never actually want to reach but which seems to come so naturally to me: complain mercilessly.
Reporting my specific problem to Instagram has done absolutely nothing, so I've taken to Twitter to show them not only how perplexed I am, but that desperation mixed with mental instability is a cocktail in which I indulge on a daily basis.

Please, Instagram, I beg of you, just fix my account. I'm trying to be the voice of a generation, and I can't very well do that without participating in Throwback Thursday.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Skylar's 2014 Emmy's Fashion Recap

Samira Wiley - I want that dress in every color and I want to wear it on the subway and to eat at Subway.

Kiernan Shipka - Brock Lesnar wants his WWE Championship Belt back.

Natasha Lyonne - I think that midi dresses make me look short and have fat calves therefore everyone wearing midi dresses looks short and has fat calves.

Hayden Panettiere - You are flawless and I will find the first homeless man on the street to impregnate me to be even closer to the perfection that you personify.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus - For I have seen the nipple on your soul. <---Completely irrelevant, but Seinfeld quotes are always appropriate.

Keke Palmer - If there's one surefire way to make yourself known when your career is on the brink of major stardom, it's to show some serious boobage. She gets it.

Giuliana Rancic - Donatella Versace if Donatella Versace was featured on a UNICEF commercial.

Lena Dunham - This is the biggest, pinkest can't that ever can'ted.

 Clare Danes - Hopefully didn't squat to pee under any evergreens on the red carpet lest she be confused for a Christmas tree skirt.

Louise Roe - This looks like a tampon on the last day of your period.

Dascha Polanco - The theme song of the night for her boobs and armpits: "Can't Be Tamed" by Miley.

Kristen Wiig - You are more beautiful than Cinderella! You smell like pine needles, and have a face like sunshine!

 Sarah Paulson - And from The Green Mile Collection, we can see that John Coffey has once again vomited up the evil spirit in gnat form to create this ensemble.

 Lizzy Caplan - You're a regulation hottie.

Kaley Cuoco - This is what you wear on Valentine's Day when you are definitely single and have no plans of rectifying that situation any time soon.

Gwen Stefani - Looks like the girl in O-Town's Liquid Dreams video. They were underrated, so I fully support this look.
Photos by Getty/not my property/don't sue
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Sunday, August 10, 2014

How To Uneventfully Get Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

I got my wisdom teeth out this weekend.

Medically, it went as planned, i.e. four teeth were removed and I'm assuming the surgeon wore gloves. However, as is to be expected from my life, it was quite the experience in every other way possible. How does one turn a seemingly run-of-the-mill procedure into a full-on calamitous event? Wellll....

Step 1: Arrive on time yet completely unprepared to fill out the paper work. Where is your insurance card? Beats me. Where is your referral form from your dentist? I actually do know, but the answer is not, "Right here in my purse." Did you fast for six hours? Yes. No water either? Nope (lie). Shake violently out of nervousness.

Step 2: Meet with your surgeon. Get reprimanded once again for not having your referral form (no one told me!). Have a group chat to examine your x-rays and decide what needs to be done, as if we're renovating a sunroom. Find out that while all four teeth are impacted, the bottom two are stuck in your jaw bone and the roots are either cuddling with your inferior alveolar nerve or have it in a chokehold. Removal of the bottom teeth could leave you with permanent nerve damage in your jaw. Cute!

Step 3: Be presented with three options: completely remove all teeth, do nothing to the bottom two and wait for them to get infected thus prompting emergency removal, or get a Coronectomy aka chop off the tops of your teeth but leave the roots intact so as not to disturb their sexy time with your nerve. Ask surgeon why none of this was ever brought to your attention before because uhhh it seems a bit serious. He avoids the question. Ask again. He avoids. Start crying and yelling at him that dentistry is horseshit. Essentially watch the scene from Knocked Up play out right before your, your mom's, and the assistant doctor's eyes:
Swap teeth for vaginas and this is exactly what happened
Step 4: Surgeon will ask you to consider all options and come back in a week.
Skylar - Actually, I'm moving to New York in two weeks so that's not going to work for me.
Surgeon - *Scoffs at your ambition*
Tell him to give you five minutes. He scoffs again. Continue to cry. He storms out of the room.
Step 5: Surgeon returns. Have him shove consent forms in your face without explaining what's going on. Apparently you're agreeing to the Coronectomy because that's what he thinks is the best idea. Good talk, bro.
Surgeon - This is the hardest procedure I will do all day.
Step 6: Surgeon will speak to everyone in the room except you. Mom steps in and says, "Uh, she's right here." He looks at you and might roll his eyes but it's hard to tell because he's Asian. Tells doctor's assistant to prep Room 6 and leaves. Immediately burst into tears and throw in some hyperventilation for good measure. Everyone tells you to calm down, which obviously helps a ton. 
Step 7: Get escorted to Room 6. Immediately notice Ryan Reynolds look-a-like assistant and suddenly feel calm, cool, collected, and angry at yourself for not wearing any makeup. He puts a blanket on you, which seems a bit forward considering the other people in the room but hey you're down if he is. Unfortunately he seems more interested in doctor's assistant. Slut.
Scrubs optional
Step 8: Get tubes shoved up your nose and offer up your arm so they can insert the IV, which goes off without a hitch because you have very prominent veins. Shout out to doing bi's and tri's last week. #killinit #fitfam #weightlifting #swole
Step 9: Come to in a holding room with your mom laughing at you hysterically.
Skylar - Do I look good enough for a beauty pageant?
Mom - Oh definitely.
Skylar - K good because I have one next week.
Mom - You do?
Skylar - Mhmmmmm.
[guy in next room singing "I Gotta Feeling"]
Skylar - Tell him I can join in if he wants, I totally know this song.
Skylar - Mom, when they tried to put my IV in I had to look away because I hate needles and blood.
Mom - I know.
Skylar - On campus in Louisville they always asked me to give blood and I always said I wanted to but I didn't weigh enough....*whispering* but I doooooo.
Step 10: Go directly home and pass out, but not before Snapchatting this picture to all of your friends:
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Friday, July 25, 2014

7 Reasons Why I Defriended You

We're all adults here. As adults, we understand that sometimes friendships just don't work out. It's not anything anyone said or did or thought, it's just a fact...

Unless it's a Facebook friendship. In that case, a connection between two people relies solely on what is said or done or thought. If Christina and Sarah can see my profile but you can't anymore, and you don't know why, you probably committed one of the following crimes against my sanity:

We're full broken, not just bent

You Got Married - Lesbihonest: We weren't that great of friends in college. I actually almost defriended you a year and a half ago, but then you got engaged and I just had to see which Pinterest crafts you chose to employ in your reception (beautiful vintage lantern centerpieces, by the way). I'll stick it out for a week after the big day to view your pictures from the honeymoon in Punta Cana, but then we're back to square one, where the only conversation we've ever had was about our Shakespeare II class. Soon enough, every #TBT will be of three weeks ago (THAT'S NOT A THROWBACK) and how shocked you still are about being "Mrs. Brown!" Byeeee.

You Are Now Your Baby - Where'd you go? / I miss you so / Your profile pic is now a baby / In a Graco
Fine, your kid is adorable. His chubby Michelin Man legs evoke squeals of delight and I want to squeeze his cheeks. That being said, is he that fat because he ate you? Because I haven't seen your face grace my timeline in a solid three months. Children are beautiful miracles, yes, but I would like some indication that you still exist. Replacing your profile picture and cover photo with Avery's face and replacing all of your embarrassing college albums with pictures of all of her "firsts" is zero fun for me to stalk. Peace and blessinz.

You Advertise Your Good Deed - Hayley Joel Osment could've payed it forward to a lot more than three people if he had posted about his deeds on social media. Here's my thing: I'm proud of you for being a kind person and helping people in need; good on you, Mother Theresa, that's very admirable. I just think it loses a little bit of its sparkle when you post a three paragraph status detailing how saintly you are. Doing things out of the goodness of your heart is respectable--doing things to get 34 'likes' in five minutes is not. Keep it to yourself. Take it easy.

You and Your Boyfriend Apparently Don't Have Phones - If you have to post "I love you!"'s and "You're the best!"'s on your significant other's wall every other day, you won't even make it to the first grievance on this list. Text each other. Call each other. Be with each other. I feel like the third wheel of a hang out sesh I didn't even RSVP to and now I'm super uncomfortable, making comments about the episode of Shark Tank that, apparently, I'm the only one watching. Deuces.

You Post Pictures of Your Paleo Meals - "OMG guys this Dairy Free Dark Chocolate Coconut Pudding is so much better than regular pudding." Easyyy, there's no reason to be a fucking liar. I have followed your fitness journey long enough to see ab definition and a singular chin, I'm over it now. Ya look good. Why do you continue to accost me with nightly snapshots of your hunter-gatherer dinner? If you think I'm going to believe that your cauliflower crust pizza is better than my Papa John's Double Bacon 6-Cheese you're wrong. Eat some gluten, live a little. See ya later.

You're a Staunch Republican - Subscribe to whatever political affiliation you wish, that's all you, girl. Hell, open up an educated conversation about current issues, we could use a few more intelligent people speaking their minds. The second you start attacking a specific group of people or way of life simply because TFM sold you a "Reagan Bush '84" tank is the second I stop respecting your opinion. Having a view on a governmental matter is not a segue into being a douche. Seacrest out.

You Don't Ring a Bell - I literally don't know who you are. Awkward squint and head tilt.

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

My 5-Piece Desert Island Survival Kit

I did not watch Lost.
I did not watch Fantasy Island.
I've been told that I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island, but I've never seen more than half an episode of that show either.
Thus, my familiarity with desert island life is not exactly up to snuff.

When Man Crates--a new company that ships awesome gifts for men in custom wooden crates--reached out to me asking what I would pack in my own personal survival kit, I was admittedly at a loss. "Um a cell phone and alcohol to keep me entertained until help arrives, duh," didn't exactly seem like the best response, and I actually believe that my friends would let me stew for a few days just to get some piece and quiet and to avoid being forced to watch pimple popping videos on YouTube (The Zit That Won't Quit. You won't be sorry).

Therefore, I needed to consider what my essentials would be, and you know what? Leave me on that island; with the necessities I've come up with, I don't want to come home.

Justin Timberlake, shirtless: He must look exactly like the picture below. I cannot stress this enough. We're stranded? We're running out of food? The animals are coming to gnaw on our thighs? It's okay, Justin, it's fine, let's just hug it out and never let go. Maybe an "I Thought She Knew" or "(Another Song) All Over Again" serenade while you rub my back will help us think of a survival strategy.

Drum Kit: I have always wanted to learn how to play the drums, and I would finally have the time to do so. As a perfectionist, I do not like trying things if I don't know I'll be the absolute best at them, so with this opportunity to learn (as well as JT's guidance) I could channel my inner Neil Peart and go nuts. 

Ketchup: I effing love ketchup. Like, more than I love my family (minus the dog). If I'm expected to cook mystery animals over an open flame, I will be needing an excessive amount of the red stuff. I recently sent a Snapchat to my friends about a culinary experiment pairing carrots and ketchup that they all found disgusting, but I'm willing to bet, given the circumstances, they'd respect my ingenuity in the interest of life-saving preparation. If things start to go south and Justin hasn't paid me a compliment in the last five minutes, he's getting whacked and I'll savor his biceps with a heap of Heinz.

A bat: I love being outdoors, I just don't appreciate the bugs that come with the territory. One bat can eat between 600 and 1,000 mosquitoes and other insects in just one hour. I like those odds. Bug bites on the tops of your feet are like, the worst, and I really just don't feel like dealing with that.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, the 4-book boxed set: Every literature professor I had in college would groan in agony to hear how much I love these books. They have been my favorite since high school, and I can read Bukowski, Plath, and King all day long, but Brashares is my girl. Have I read all four upwards of ten times? Yes. But you can't be alone and scared on an island when you have the story of long-lasting friendship and a pair of magical Levi's on your side, can you?!

Speaking of, there is one thing I definitely would not be needing on this adventure: Pants. I barely like wearing them when lounging around my house alone on a Saturday, there's absolutely no way I could be convinced to keep those babies on if I'm fending for my life. Shirts, you're next.

I'm clearly a smidgen on the complicated end, but Man Crates makes it easy to find the perfect survival essentials and/or gift for the guys in your lives. Their mission is to end the difficulties that have long been associated with buying gifts for men, and whether he's an athlete, a beer lover, a carnivore or more, Man Crates has something awesome that he's going to love.

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