oh for the Love of God People

#nonreligiousGodofcourse lest I offend anyone.

I love the internet. I love social media. I love how the different platforms can bring so many people together, and spark unity/outrage/conversation/discussions/growth/knowledge/awareness.

That being said – are you friggin people kidding me? The internet is making ya’ll dumb. Or ignorant – whichever classification you prefer. Guys – not everything you read on the internet is true. I know its unbelievable:

 

"BONJOUR"

“BONJOUR”

 

But its true (see the irony? THIS is on the internet.  SO its TRUE).

It’s very, very easy to believe everything you read.  I know this.  I re read your moronic posts every day – and I’m not talking about all of you – I’m talking about you über conservatives, or you ultra liberals that tap into your own political sites and spew your crap all over the internet.  MY internet.  That I LOVE.  And then – when people disagree with you, or begin to comment on what you’re talking about, you take one of two routes:

1. Insult them

2. Delete their comment

Which, at the end of the day, is fine.  You can do whatever you want on the internet.  I mean, it IS mine…but its also yours.  So go circulate your skewed “intellect” and your bizarre, often unfounded claims.  And ignore people when they try to discuss with you (because if your view isn’t shared, it’s clearly incorrect), but you’re only hurting yourself.  There’s so much knowledge and information, and such great debates to be had.  If the only response you have to someone disagreeing with you is: “your an idiot”…well…
facepalm

 

I rest my case.

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mawwwwwwage

Recently I went to a friend’s wedding.  During the ceremony, and the reception there after, you could literally see the happiness shooting off this fella and his bride. If I had that hippy-dippy ability to read people’s aura’s, theirs would be a blazing hot pink surrounded by rainbows. It was great to see, and it made me reflect on the past few weddings I’d been to.

 

But the Background should be pink

But the Background should be pink

 

A friend of mine got married a little over a year ago.  And we had been friends for a really long time.  I’m talking, upwards of a decade.  In that situation, you really want nothing more than to be thrilled and excited your friend was getting married.  He found the person he wanted to share the rest of his life with, hooray!

(This sort of ties into my previous post, about my inability to sugarcoat things, and if I should even say anything…the quandry…blah blah blah )

A while before my friend walked down the aisle, I met his then-girlfriend-soon-to-be-fiancee.  I didn’t know her very well, but she seemed very sweet…funny, entertaining, in love – and she seemed to take good care of my friend – which is awesome.  We hung out a few times after that, and I truly enjoyed her company.

I clearly remember where everything changed.

::cue ominous music::

One evening, we gathered as a group to one of my favorite local restaurants that was doing this great event called a “Beer and Bourbon” night, where they close down the restaurant, create a special 5 course meal paired with craft beers and Bourbons.  Its so awesome.  So, SO awesome.  We were all having fun, hanging out, and my friend’s girlfriend peers over her beer and goes “JoJo.  I broke him”.  Confused, and assuming there’s a joke somewhere, I got “Well how come?  I didn’t know he was broken!”

“he’s going to marry me!”

::confusion is starting to settle in::

“…okay…that’s great!”

My friend now interjects, and tells me this little story about how his girlfriend updated her Facebook status to “engaged”, spinning a little web of deceit.  He only found out after some of his friends started to text and congratulate him, looking to portray this is a funny joke.  A gag.  Now, I am not the girl who thinks its cool to drag your man down the aisle.  It is not a good look.  Not for me, not for you – not for anyone (and I can pull off orange taffeta).  I truly believe if you are going to marry someone, they have to want to marry you.  Enough to ask.  Of their own volition.  And if they don’t, or you have to trick them into it…you’re simply setting yourself up for failure.

As the evening goes on, she continues to tell me how there is a time frame in when they will be engaged, and then married, and then have children.  If the time frame gets delayed, she has a plan to move it along…by “forgetting” to take her birth control pills.

Hard Stop Number Two.

Yeah, that’s me.  Speechless.

At the end of the day, the only thing you can do is tell your friend the truth.  Which I did.  Afterwards, I continued to hear some horrible things she was doing, and saying about people I care a lot about – people I had been friends with for a very, very long time.  I could clearly see the kind of person she was underneath the exterior she was using to blind my friend.  He couldn’t – and it put a strain on our friendship.  It got to a point where he said to me (after one particularly ridiculous incident at their wedding – mind you, I’m trying to keep this story as vague as possible.  My friends know who I’m talking about, and so will he, but I don’t want to hurt his feelings with all the repulsive details about this woman) that he didn’t think I treated his wife with the respect she deserved.

I disagree, I think I treated her with more respect than she deserved.  If it were my choice, I would never have associated with her again, after I read a text she sent to a mutual friend saying she wanted to punch my friend out – for reasons that are so insignificant and immature – or told me she wanted to trap my friend into marriage by getting knocked up.  And we haven’t spoken, really, since his wedding – which makes me a little sad.

And this, friends, is one of the casualties of not being able to censor what you think of people.

Ain’t No Sugar Coats Here

A few weeks ago, a friend asked me for my opinion.  She prefaced it with “I am asking you this because I know you are going to tell me the truth, even if I don’t want to hear it”.  And she’s right.  While I never set out to hurt anyone’s feelings (friends and family), I’m not the girl you turn to if you want someone to “yes” you, or agree with you.

We all have those friends, or those people in our lives – and we need them.  Sometimes I just need someone to say “yes, Jo, eat that entire pint of Ben and Jerrys Nutella Core Ice Cream.  You had a salad for lunch and walked the dog today so it totally burned off those calories” not “eesh…thats like 1700 calories, you know its bikini season, right?”.  But when we come down to the important things – career, advice, family, financial, marriage – if you’re doing something stupid and you don’t want to hear it, just don’t involve me in your plans.  I’ll even listen to you after it blows up, and try to help you…I’ll never say “I told you so” but deep down inside I’m thinking “I wish you just listened to me in the first place”.

I’m not unreasonable.  I know that people don’t always follow logic.  I know that you are buying a new car for $60,000 and a $500 a month car payment that eats gas and costs an arm and a leg in insurance because you really, really want it…even though you’re on a tuna fish and ramen noodle budget…I just cannot physically tell you its a good idea.  My tongue will literally turn around, crawl down my throat and choke me before I tell you its okay to wear creamsicle taffeta overlay on a corset to work.

Not OK

Not OK

 

This can become a problem, though.  One that’s been detrimental to my friendships and relationships.  It has been, on more than one occasion.  Enough of a problem that I’ve considered biting my tongue sometimes and just not saying what I felt.

Considered…but won’t.  If I become that girl who censors herself because she might be afraid her friends won’t see it for what it is – straight concern for the people I love – then my friends won’t be able to put their faith in what I’m saying to them, all the time, is honest.

I still won’t break your horns for eating ice cream though.  IF you bring me a spoon and share.

The Focus Is On ME!

A few months ago, I was selected to be in a focus group.  Yea, you heard me right – focus group.  About the LIRR. Specifically, their bathrooms.

Yahtzee.  As we’ve discussed in the past, the Long Island Railroad – while vastly impressive in the number of people it hauls to and from the great City of New York, leaves a lot to be desired.

Some of the issues with the LIRR are not railroad problems – they’re people problems.  I could talk for days…and days…and days…about some of the freaks I’ve encountered during my 10 years (and counting) commuting from different areas of the Island into the City.  I’d type them all out, but I’m already terrified I’m going to get carpal tunnel, I know that will 100% push me over the edge.

I digress.  Focus, on the focus group.  Now, I’ve never participated in a focus group before – at least not a real one.  Telling everyone my opinion regardless of them wanting it can sometimes be considered “rude” or “annoying” (HELPFUL).  These people want to hear what I have to say, and they’re going to PAY me for it.  Effn.  Awesome.

There was one caveat.  We had to actually use the rest room in Penn Station and on the train before going to the group.

If anyone has ridden any train, or been in Penn Station, you know these are two places you do NOT want to go.  Especially not as a woman.  During rush hour.  Does it count if I sneak into Penn at 4am and go then?

My first stop was the restroom at Penn.  Now, I’m a bit of a germ freak, and I have a phobia of public bathrooms.  I hate them.  I hate the floors being sticky, I hate other people hearing me pee, I hate the thought of all the heineys that aren’t mine this toilet bowl has seen, I hate the idea I may or may not have toilet paper in the stall when I’m ready to go.  I mean – there’s a lot more that I can’t stand about public bathrooms, so this is the just the tip of the iceberg.

In any event, I’m not expecting much from this restroom (boy did they deliver!), but I am keeping in mind the fact that the restroom services so many people a day…it truly does have a very hefty job to accomplish.  With an open mind, I wait on the oddly long line for the ladies room (slightly before rush hour… I can only make so much progress in a week, guys).  As I approach the front of the line, I notice an entire wing of the ladies room not being used.  And a bathroom attendant leaning against the wall looking at her phone.  Word, I’ll go back here.

If you think public bathrooms are terrifying, public bathrooms with little light are even more terrifying.  Or better, I guess, because you can’t really see whats going on…so I rush in and out, careful not to touch anything…spraying hand sanitizer in front of me on the way out to block me from any airbornes…and walk directly into a homeless woman (I assume) washing her feet in the sink.

I’m out.  Sorry.

The one on the train…well.  I guess I’ll save that for another day.

No One Wants Your Opinion

 

…except Yelp!

For those of you that aren’t aware, I love Yelp!  I love being able to share my opinion about a place, and have other people read my opinion and use that as guidance in choosing a place to eat/drink/spa on, whatever.  I also REALLY love it when people seek me out for my opinion based on my previous reviews.  I think that Yelp! is a wonderful way for people to share what their experiences are – and I use to all the time in picking out places to go – without the threat of being bothered.

FALSE.

Now, if you’re curious and you’ve tried to find my yelp page, let me help you: joeygurl.yelp.com My reviews are hilarious, of course.  They’re not always positive – but hey, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles, pal.  Yelp has given the consumer a little bit of power.  With that being said, I do find it highly inappropriate for owners to contact yelpers and offer them free drinks/meals, etc in exchange for a good review – that’s just shady.  I also think it’s so shady when owners will say “come in and ask for me, we’ll take care of you”.  No!  You should take care of everyone, not just the people who actively affect your business.

Which leads me to a recent encounter I had with a business owner.  Let me set the stage for you:

Two of my girlfriends and I try to get together once a month or so for brunch or dinner.  We like to ditch the men, and find places that we haven’t tried before, because we like to eat (sorry fellas).  Now that the weather is so lovely in our tri-state area, we’ve been looking for places outside to nosh at.  This particular Sunday we decided to go the Nautical Mile in Freeport, NY.  I had never been there before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect other than waterfront dining, a few cocktails and a nice afternoon outside.

We have our brunch, and its early, so we decided to head down the mile and check out another venue for a few drinks.  After walking a bit, we came across a bar that had seating in the back and inside, but an outdoor area covered, with a live band – and it wasn’t too crowded.  So we go, it wasn’t that great (should have checked yelp), and I review:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/wet-waterfront-dining-lounge-freeport?hrid=RYVBGUJbnvVm7jUXW_DLOg

Granted, my review wasn’t nice…but it certainly wasn’t the worst review I’ve written, and I didn’t say anything that wasn’t true…I just colored it up a little bit for entertainment purposes.

Holy Hell.  The owner of the bar wrote me back, attempting to refute what I was saying…and we engaged in an email conversation that lasted entirely too long.  I blocked him, and reported him…and he logged into a different account to continue to harass me, including a threat of a lawsuit for slander.

1. Give me a goddamn break

2. Stop bothering me

3. If you don’t like my opinion, don’t read it.

there is no chance in hell I am ever going to remove or change my review.  And there’s no chance in hell I will ever go to this guys restaurant again…and if any of my friends go…good luck my loves, refer to the picture of the fella that threw up after eating his dinner there.

 

 

Never Met a Bigger Bitch Than Sandy

and I’m not talking about my old Landlord – but she was IN the running, fo’sho.

A little over a year ago my quaint little beach town was attacked by Super Storm Sandy.  Life on Long Island is pretty tame, and we don’t generally have these knock arounds by nature (sure, we have a nor’easter every so often or we lose power once in a while, but nothing of a massive proportion).  Once we got hit by the storm, though, things changed.

Cars went burning, buildings got flooded, people lost everything.  Driving through my town was like driving through Beruit – we had to navigate burnt out cars and houses and dodge the National Guard.

The weeks following Hurricane Sandy, two things that became adamantly clear:

  1. Never underestimate people – they can surprise you with their generosity
  2. They can also surprise you with their overwhelming selfishness

My friends and I did a lot of work around our island – people I hadn’t spoken to in years came from the weeds to donate time, goods, money – whatever they could – to the families that lost everything.  It truly was a sight to see.

Other people, however, were awful little fuckers.  And I have the memory of an elephant.  So I tucked some of those memories away for a later date…which will come. 

One of the best things that I got out of the storm, though, was my Beefcake.  We had started seeing each other about two months before Sandy hit, and quite honestly, if he hadn’t been around during the storm I most likely would have cussed out a lot more people than I did.  He picked me up and took me to assess the damage at my apartment, he helped my friends with their homes – he helped complete strangers with their homes -, he let me take his sweatshirts and when I needed to be mad at someone, he let me be mad at him.  He took me to dinner (dirty, exhausted, sore, and in the only pair of clothes I took with me when we evacuated…in purple crocs) and told me I looked pretty…and two months later when he mentioned moving in together….well, we haven’t looked back since.

And he doesn’t know how to use the interwebs so he’ll never know I was gushing.  BAM.

OWS…again?

you silly hippies, stop trying to wreck the normal working person’s commute.

seriously – stop it, or I’ll stun gun you.  There was all sorts of hub-bub the past few days about “May Day“, where the OWS hippies are going to start protesting again – I mean, why not?  Its warm out now, so they won’t shiver.  Clearly their cause is important enough to press on, even during the bitter cold of winter.  Oh wait…thats right, they stopped for a few months.

Know whats good about OWS threatening to slow down/stop my commute?  There’s more cops in Penn Station (which is always fun), I don’t feel the slightest bit guilty about being late in the morning (even IF my commute wasn’t affected) and I proudly replaced the batteries on my stun gun last night in the event someone wearing patchouli gets in my way.

I hate the smell of patchouli.

stop ringing my goddamn doorbell

I was going to post this yesterday, but I didn’t think it was a great follow-up to the whole “NYers aren’t rude” discussion we had.

I live in an apartment building that has one of those intercom things, that allow me to buzz people into the building.

There is a way around that, for my particular apartment.  Actually, its pretty annoying when people buzz me, so I know that if someone is buzzing my friggin apartment, it’s either someone I don’t know well, someone who hasn’t been to my apartment yet (so I would be expecting them) or the delivery guy.

note: I have a mental list of people I’m cool with dropping by unannounced.  With the exception of a handful of people what have not been by my new place yet, if I get a knock on my door and I haven’t made plans with someone, I can assume its either my ‘rents, my homeys, or my buddy.

So I’m home, staring at my dog (we have a staring contest every night when I get home.  I cheat so I can win) when the buzzer goes off.  I ignore it.  It goes off again.  I ignore it again.  Goes off again.

and it is LOUD.  Who is this persistent bastard?  I give it a few minutes, and they buzz again so I hit the intercom and say “what?”.

the response is something inaudible, so I say “What!” again.  Inaudible.  Clearly annoyed, I grab my pit bull and go outside to see who it is (I’m not going to randomly buzz someone into my building, I’d rather square off with them head to head).

It’s this little asian man.  I didn’t order any food.  So, I tell him “Hey, I didn’t order any food, why are you buzzing my door?”

well, he has a certified letter.  For my neighbor.

“Buddy, that’s not me”

“yes it is”

“NO, it’s not”

While this was a lot of fun, I had to end it.  I could just picture myself in a never-ending circle, like when I was little and I’d play the “I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I” game to aggravate my sister…so I took the high road and showed him exactly which apartment he was looking for.

And how to get there without using the buzzer.  Hope that doesn’t come back to bite me in the ass one day.  I hope I didn’t smithe the Lord by not ordering chinese food, I wonder if that was a sign from above.  We shall see.

We’re Rude?! No way!

…is the title of today’s AM New York.

Now, I only read AM New York because the guy that hands them out in Penn station tells me I’m pretty, and I’m a sucker for a compliment, but today’s headline is pretty funny.

“NYers scoff at survey saying Big Apple is least friendly city”

I scoff at that too!  Ruder then Boston?  Tell me that after walking through Kenmore square wearing a Yankee hat.  I don’t even LIKE the Yankees and I’ll wear their gear in Boston simply for the reaction.

A pitcher of Sangria makes the Yankee hat easier to wear

Ruder then Washington, DC?  I don’t know.  Well, maybe.  I mean NYers aren’t known for sugar-coating things, like politicians are, so maybe its rude to not give you a reach around whilst stabbing you in the back.

NYers are not rude people.  Sure there are rude people here, but they’re everywhere.  And when you cram a little over 8 million people in about 305 square miles, you’re bound to catch at least one person having a bad day, but on a whole, we’re actually pretty nice.  Ask me for directions, you’ll see.  I won’t even laugh when you ask me where 6th Avenue is.  Not even if you’re standing on it.

We’re assertive, sure.  We get frustrated when tourists take complete control of where we need to go for work, and walk so slow, you almost think they’re moving goddamn backwards.  We aren’t afraid to speak our minds, but we’re not rude.

Its rare you’ll find a NYer that won’t hold the door for you.  The difference is, if you DO close a door in my face, you can bet your ass I’m going to call you out on it.  I won’t just shrug it off as poor manners.  You should thank me, I’m helping you become a better person.  And when you cough your outbreak monkey germs for an hour on my train ride, I’m going to tell you that you should cover your mouth, or stay home when you’re sick (helpful advice).

NYers have displayed multiple times in the past 11 years their pride and love for the city they live in/work in/visit; and are more often than not found sticking up for our Metropolis.  Being the target of hateful crimes has merely brought a feeling of serious pride in where we live, so when people say we’re rude, we tend to get our fur up and tell them the f-ck off.

I’ve done a bit of traveling, and when I tell people where I’m from, they automatically ask me if I have a gun (well, a stun gun, but I don’t have a carry permit for the pistol), if I’ve ever been mugged, and why I don’t have an accent.  That seems a touch ignorant, no?  Granted, NYC is the most widely known part of NY, but it’s not the entire state.  That’s like me asking someone from Maine if they’ve ever caught a lobster.

I also get riddled with questions about NYC, how to find my way around it (it’s a friggin grid, even I can’t get lost here), if there really are giant rats in the subway (yep, and they like pizza), do Mole people really live in the tunnels (goddamn right they do, my old housemate is an expert in them), how to hail a cab (show em some leg), does anyone speak English (sure, along with 799 other languages), have I ever seen a hooker (every time I look in the mirror, JUST KIDDING), do bums take my money (not unless I give it to them), do I know any crackheads (no), drug dealers (just the pharmacist), cops (um, yes), firemen (uh…yes) or movie stars (just me).

We’ve got a city full of culture, food, celebrities, music.  Our Police Department and Fire Department are not only the Bravest/Finest men around, they’re also the best trained, and travel to OTHER states/cities to teach ya’ll how to handle your citizens.  We’re known for our pizza, our Bagels, our accents and our tough skin – and there’s no place else I’d rather be.

not even New Jersey.

If you don't like it here, then stay home

subway? Not the store

I cycle whenever I can – distance cycling, not mountain biking, and I do it with a group of people who look to raise money for a charity.

These people are great, and I’ve made some wonderful friends through the organization that I probably would never have met otherwise.

So aside from the team cycling we do, occasionally we would sign up for different rides and get a group together for fun, not sponsored.

One of the rides I wanted to do was the NYC century. 100 miles (there are shorter versions, but eff that, we’re bad asses) that starts in Central Park and goes through the 5 different boros.
Oh! I lied. We signed up for 75 because a friend who had done the ride previously said “the Bronx was hilly and boring, you should skip that part”.

My friend offered to pick me up the morning of the ride and drive us both into the city. I, in turn, offered to pick up bagels and coffee for the morning ride from my favorite bagel spot in town.

So we all meet up and start riding and are immediately disappointed the roads weren’t fully closed like they are for the MS 5 boro ride. But hey, getting honked at and yelled at by NYC cabbies at 7am is a kind of fun way to start a Sunday off. Also gave us a chance to hone our “Staying Alive Skills”.

We get through Manhattan and cross into Brooklyn when it starts to rain. My dear friend VO had gotten about 4 flat tires already, and my bike shorts were full of grit (side note: riding over the Brooklyn Bridge and through prospect park was a tremendous experience I won’t likely soon forget).

We’re cruisin through Bay Ridge at a SLOW pace. I’m talking rain, mud, head wind, all sorts of crap and we get to Coney Island when I start to get queasy.

What’s this now? Yes. Queasy. I chalked it up, at first, to it being a result of one of the most miserable bike rides of my life, thus far, but it started to get worse.

My other friend, AndyPants and Suebee were equally miserable, so when we got to Nathans we all kind of looked at each other and said “Subway?”

In sheer confusion, VO says “eh? There’s a Nathans over there!”

No, officer, not THAT Subway.

In any event, we hop the subway and start our ride back to the city.

And it gets worse. My queasy-ness is developing into full blown nausea. We get to one of the hubs to swap trains, and picture this, if you can:

6 people in soggy bike shorts with helmets, bike shoes, carrying road bikes.

A bum walks up to me and starts asking me about our shoes, bikes, etc. Little does he know, I’m about to blow. Not able to speak, I rush past the bum, drop my bike and beeline for a garbage can, vomiting a straight stream of cream cheese. Like soft serve ice cream, Andypants later told me.

Horrified, the bum takes off. Andypants and VO check in on me, out of concern, which later turns to laughter.

I was sick for two days and couldn’t eat ice cream or cream cheese for about 6 months.