Candidly Nicole:


Nicole Richie is one of my all-time favorite humans. She’s the version of myself that I want to be. Now that she has purple hair, I love her all the more. She’s perfect. I’ve been having serious withdrawals for years — ever since The Simple Life drew to a close. There have been many good reality shows since then, but there’s never been one quite so good. I doubt there ever will be, but Candidly Nicole comes close. It is based on Nicole’s Internet series that was based on her irreverent Twitter account. The first episode felt a bit forced, so I was worried, but then it found it’s groove and is absolutely hilarious. I can’t wait for Thursday now! Each week, Nicole gets herself into ridiculous situations, mainly due to her ideas about what she needs to do to improve herself or others in her life. For example, one week she started a chicken farm so that the other moms at school would like her and include her in their activities. The scene where she brought her “homegrown” eggs to the school function was glorious. And I was particularly moved by the time she got drunk at a wine tasting in a grocery store.

Nicole is my spirit animal and close friend. I’ve been on her Instagram. See here:

CLOSE PERSONAL FRIENDS. I couldn’t be on the show, sadly, because of my busy schedule. Le sigh… You must catch up and start watching, reader, Candidly Nicole is flawless. 

My New Sheets:


If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time (and if so, thank you kindly), you know that one of my major life goals is to turn my house into a vacation home. I want it to feel luxurious and simple. I don’t want closets full of junk and cupboards laden with mismatched dishes and ratty towels. Slowly, I’m replacing everything. It’ll take years. I just finished painting and installing trim in one of the upstairs bedrooms. It’s glorious, but I still don’t know what I’m going to use it for. I want it to be a combination walk in closet, gym, and writing studio. I haven’t figured all that out, but I’m off track. A few weeks ago, I was at the Iowa State Fair and I bought some sheets that claimed to be hotel quality. This intrigued me. I was also sick to death of my current sheets. They were a thin microfiber fabric that collected hair and was a constant victim to Edwin’s claws. So, I happily bought a set of sheets and put them on my monstrously large bed. I’m so in love with them. Now that I’m twenty-five years old, a quarter of a century old, I have learned to love the simple things in life. I’m nearly in the grave as it is, so I thought I’d better start finding pleasure in common things. So, I take great joy in these sheets. They’re sturdy and so incredibly soft. I feel like I’ve sunken into a cloud every night. That might be the pillow top mattress. Still, the sheets are wonderful and I wish I had bought five sets instead of the one. They’re perfect. They feel so nice and I can’t recommend them enough.

My New Vacuum:


On my birthday, I rather spontaneously decided to go shopping for myself. This isn’t an unusual occurrence, clearly, but I did some hearty shopping that night. I picked up a new television and a fancy new vacuum and a bag of baking potatoes. Of those purchases, I’m fondest of the vacuum. This is yet another sign that I’m an old man. I love this vacuum so much! I had a deliriously delightful time vacuuming every surface of my house. I vacuumed my closets and my rugs and my hardwood floors and my ceilings and even my bed. It picked everything up. I was appalled at how much dirt there was in my supposedly clean home. It’s a rather terrifying thing to vacuum a rug and see a canister full of dust and debris. It’s also deeply satisfying. I now vacuum every day and each time a thrill of delight courses through me as it picks up more and more cat hair and more and more dirt tracked in from outdoors. Maybe it’s silly to be so happy because of a tool for cleaning, but that’s the case. I’m crazy about it. You all need to go out and get a new vacuum!



Steamers are probably the greatest invention of all time. ALL TIME, READER! I have a professional one that my father gave me when his old work replaced it. I don’t know why, this one is perfectly fine. I’ve used it so much and for so many more reasons that I ever thought you could use it for. I’ve used it to soften that shit that clings horrifically to ceilings that everybody thought looked great in the nineties. It didn’t, reader! That stuff is a monstrosity. With my steamer, though, I can easily remove it from the ceiling to have a perfectly smooth surface. I’ve also used it to remove layers and layers of wallpaper in my living room until I unearthed the original wallpaper that had been hung in the 30s. That was a particular thrill for me. Most recently, I used the steamer to get the wrinkles out of my new bedskirt. I hated that dumb bedskirt. You’ll read about that in a bit. Anyway, I slaved away and got it properly aligned on the bed, but it looked horrific. Even though it is allegedly wrinkle-free fabric, it was NOT. It was covered in wrinkles. There is no way in heaven or earth that I was going to take it off to iron, so I decided to try out the steamer. Well, it worked fabulously, reader! The wrinkles fell right out. It was a magical moment. I still think back on it fondly. It was a special day. I love my steamer so much.

The VMAs:

I absolutely love the VMAs, but I never watch them live. I start an hour later than everybody else so that I can fast forward through about 3/4 of the show. I don’t have time for all that drivel! I’m here for the acts and to see who wins the big awards, not the terrible raps and even worse dialogue that the presenters use. Who writes that garbage, anyway? Aren’t there any rehearsals? If not, there most certainly should be. Anyway, this year’s show was just as insane as all the others. I personally thought that the Minaj performance of “Anaconda” went beyond the lines of tastelessness than Miley’s infamous twerkathon had drawn. But, nobody complained about it. I felt very much like Rita Ora. She was gloriously disgusted. The best moment of the night was clearly when Beyonce put on a miniature concert that completely encapsulated her latest album. Let me tell you, it was a night to remember! Seeing her at the end really painted a clear picture of how vastly superior our Beyonce is to her contemporaries. The other big names can’t compare and can hardly compete. Beyonce is everything. Seeing her up there, slaying, and snatching everybody’s weaves is a highlight in the history of television. The VMAs are garbage, admittedly, and I won’t ever disagree, but I’ll watch every year. Even when I’m a hundred, I’ll be tuning in and live-Tweeting. Do you think we’ll still use Twitter in 75 years?




OH MY SWEET GOD, bedskirts are a monstrosity from HELL! I’ve been meaning to order a bed skirt for over a year now. I just keep putting it off because I’m convinced I could easily make one, and I know that I could, but I just never get around to it. I’m quite handy with a sewing machine, but I’m the world’s greatest procrastinator. So, I finally found one on Amazon that seemed reasonably priced and of decent construction. It arrived a day later — I love that Amazon Prime membership! — and I was excited to put it on my bed and make my room even more luxurious than it already is. Little did I know the heartache and the heartbreak I would go through. Bedskirts are simply the most idiotic thing ever invented. I don’t know about you, but I cannot lift a king sized mattress. They aren’t built with any structure, so they just flop around and happily crush whatever they spontaneously land on. I couldn’t get the damn mattress off the bed, so I finally sandwiched myself between the mattress and the box spring and began to laboriously spread the fabric out. This wasn’t one of my brighter ideas, but I’m happy to report that I didn’t break my neck, although there were points where I was genuinely concerned for my safety. It took over an hour, but I finally had the bedskirt centered and the mattress replaced. Of course the fabric was wrinkled ridiculously, but at that time while I was drenched in sweat, I couldn’t care less. It looked decent, I supposed, but I wasn’t thrilled. I was mainly annoyed. Whoever invented the bedskirt was clearly an asshole with a great sense of humor.

Cricket Season:


I am losing my mind, reader. There are crickets everywhere. They are all over the place at work. I can’t go into a single classroom for more than a moment without hearing a creaking of a cricket. I stalk the horrid creatures. I hunt them down. I destroy them. I, a proud vegetarian and lover of all animals, have taken it upon myself to rain destruction down upon these monstrosities from the underworld. WHERE DID THEY ALL COME FROM? They leaped all over me in the garden. When I was working on my fountain/pool/pond thing, I had to fight my way through an army of the demonic things. They’re in my basement. THEY’VE INVADED MY HOME. There was one in my shoe the other day that crunched under my size 12 foot. It was beyond disgusting. I’m mortified. I want them all to die. I don’t remember a time in my life where there have been so many of those horrific shiny bugs.

The Death Of Joan Rivers:


The death of Joan Rivers has been one of the most traumatic things that has ever happened to me in my twenty-five years of life. I refuse to accept the fact that she is fallible, that she is anything less than immortal. For god’s sake, she’s half embalmed already! She can’t die. She can’t be ill! She’s going to be here forever. But she’s gone. I don’t remember when Joan first came into my life; it seems like it’s been forever. I watched her every week on Fashion Police, but I’ve known of her for years more. I’ve spent long evenings watching clips of her on the Johnny Carson Show, and listening to her standup routines. I eagerly went to her documentary and I think it was there that I truly fell in love with her completely and totally. She was very funny, but she was completely human. You don’t often see celebrities without their facade, but the documentary was open and honest and truly beautiful. My obsession grew. I write this blog every week because I was so inspired by a book she wrote, I Hate Everyone…Starting With MeYears ago, I saw her live in Des Moines and I honestly don’t think I’ve ever laughed at a comedian more. I’ve seen Kathy Griffin and Eddie Izzard and all sorts of people, but she was the best. She’s a goddamn star. One of my fondest memories is watching every episode of her podcast, In Bed With Joan, one night on the train home from New York City. I stayed up so late sipping gin and eating cheese and guffawing so loud that everybody around me finally moved to the other side of the car. She was hilarious. I knew then that I wanted to incorporate humor into my life. It started a desire to become a comedian of sorts. I’ve not yet done this, but I have every intention of taking classes at Second City in Chicago. I love comedy and I love what it can do for people. I’m not the happiest person, reader, I’m routinely depressed and often melancholy. I love laughter, though, it is escapism at its finest and I think that it’s a vital part of life. Joan makes me laugh. She’s made me laugh for years. And I know that she will make me laugh again.

Train Delays:


Last weekend, my sister and I took the Amtrak to Chicago to see a One Direction concert — we ended up seeing two One Direction concerts, but that’s not a story for this post. We decided to take the train in lieu of the bus because it’s much more relaxing to be on a train where you can stretch your legs, enjoy the view, and enjoy a restaurant. Well, this was one of my poorer decisions. The train was supposed to leave Osceola at 7:40 in the morning, but it was four hours late. FOUR HOURS. In that time, I could have driven 2/3 of the way there. It was totally unacceptable, but nobody in charge seemed to care. It’s not like they could have done anything about it, but I was left with an unsavory feeling at their lack of compassion. We’re not wild animals or cargo, we’re people with schedules. They were wasting my time. The concert was due to start at seven o’clock that night, so we still had time, but the train became more and more delayed. Then it became more and more delayed. I was infuriated and Jessica was on the point of a total nervous collapse. I can’t blame her. I have rarely been as annoyed as I was then. (The most annoyed I’ve ever been was at Disney Land Paris — I don’t like to remember that horrible day.) We finally made it to Chicago, but not at three o’clock like we were supposed to be, but rather at seven o’clock. We pulled into town as the concert began. We missed the opening act completely, but thankfully we saw the boys and Harry’s beautiful hair. When we returned on Sunday, the train was delayed for two hours. Amtrak wasted six hours of my life that I’ll never get back. I love the train, honestly I do, but I doubt I’ll take it again. Maybe I’ll go on long haul journeys like from Chicago to New Orleans, but I’ll take the bus to Chicago. I don’t have time for that.

My Fitness Regime:

Abs Arms ASS

I decided to do a thirty-day challenge thing that works out your ass, abs, and arms. I’ve not exercised all summer — aside from stomping all over Europe and hiking through the Sahara Desert (what did you do this summer, reader?) — and I can feel myself falling out of shape. I didn’t care for that at all, so I decided to do something about it. Yesterday was the first day of my new efforts for an enviable body, and it wasn’t too bad. But, when I woke up this morning, I felt near death. Near death, reader! DEATH! All of my muscles are aching and screaming at me. I have twenty-nine more days of this stupid challenge and they’re only going to become more intense. I fear what will happen to me. I’m really not meant to be an athletic person. It’s just not for me. I love to go for a long walk and I love to swim, but jumping and running and pushing things is not right. They don’t work for me at all. I just can’t get myself in that mindset. Some people talk about how it’s addicting. I think they’re filthy liars. Well, I suppose I’d better go do my squats and shit. Kill me. What sweet relief it’d be.

2 responses to “THINGS I LOVED / HATED THIS WEEK #77

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