Panel Interview at Benefit City

Hey Mike! Thanks for coming. I know our interview process is just really crazy. This will be the interview where we decide if you’re a good fit. Going from left to right you will see Zack, Mike G., Brad, Zach, Owen, and then myself, Mike M but as you may have noticed the guys just all call me Mikey.

Your last interview, you said your favorite beer is Pabst Blue Ribbon, solid choice. We usually let the new guy choose what’s on tap in the lounge. Since most of the guys we have working here also like PBR, that really worked in favor for you during that interview process. We really feel like you fit well in our culture. Come everyone, let’s walk. You said you were in what fraternity again in college? We have a lot of Kappas here at Benefit City so you may recognize some faces. Watch out for the flying helicopters in the hallways. Oh yeah, the foosball table was donated by Google we try really hard not to let the fact that Larry Page himself assembled it go to our heads.

Women? Yeah no, we don’t hire those. It’s not sexist, our HR team did a study and it proved that women are inferior and we’re the best so we can’t have any team members with uncontrollable bleeding every single month or an individual who could be out for periods of time due to a parasite. Bitches, who needs ‘em?

So you got a computer science degree from an uppity overpriced school in in the southeast? Cool man. We hire most of that school’s CS degree students right when they graduate and then we pay them a butt ton of money to sit in meetings all day.  What do we make? I really don’t know but somehow venture capitalists want to give us money. But it’s cool. Most of the guys on the team where you will be placed are making over $100,000 a year to respond to email and fix typos on websites. Are you still interested? Great! Let’s keep walking!

The reason we haven’t already offered you the position is because we have one final interview. We have these things called Healthy Points here at Benefit City. You can track them on your Apple Watch. You get points by doing physical activity, like running.  Oh this? This is just a storeroom. We call this a trust exercise, come on in. We are going to strip you naked, tape your mouth and put your head in a garbage bag. This is actually how you will meet our CTO.

I know it’s cold, just follow sound of my voice. We are going to round up the rest of the teams and we’re going to put on our sacrificial hoods now. I’ll take the bag off so you can see. Do you see what you have to look forward to?! We’re going to an open soccer field surrounded by woods. Our goal is for you to get away from us, if you do, you win and get the job. If you lose it means that you have been injured and you will be left to bleed out on the field. The one who killed you gets a new BMW.

On my count…1…2…GO!

My Husband’s ADHD

@jaredwsmith used to work together a lot.  When we moved to CHS that kind of stopped, and it really stopped when I went back to school because when I do school work I usually need to be left alone, and I find when Jared is with me and I am trying to do school work he tends to distract me.  Well this was proven true yet again yesterday at Starbucks when he was working on something and I was writing a paper.  I said to myself, sure, we can try working in the same room together again. Why not?

I have been telling Jared that he needs ADHD meds since I met him. I was formally diagnosed ADHD last year but I had been on meds for some time for it.  Now that I am on drugs for it though, I notice his….ADHD-ness more. Here is a list of observations that I had from the 60-ish minutes we spent together at Starbucks:

  • air drumming
  • forced focus and failure
  • ooo! a lady in a purple dress!
  • SHINY OUTSIDE!
  • more air drumming
  • door
  • bouncy leg
  • phone
  • phone
  • phone
  • bouncy body
  • is my phone on?
  • phone
  • air drumming
  • nodding
  • phone
  • bouncy both legs
  • window
  • door
  • *sips coffee*
  • puts cup down pensively
  • adjusts where the cup is on the table with great care
  • window
  • phone
  • OUTSIDE!
  • drums
  • drumming on the table – we put an end to that real quick
  • air keyboard – like the musical kind. yeah, that’s what I married.
  • door
  • door
  • door
  • phone
  • music
  • phone
  • nodding/”jamming out”
  • “whhhyyyyyy can I noootttt foooocuuusss????” head in hands
  • phone
  • window
  • window
  • window
  • dancing – and pointing at screen? wut?
  • air guitar

Needless to say, we did not stay at Starbucks very long because his distraction made me distracted so neither of us got anything done.

DOOR!

So, ok, we have 3 dogs. Two of them combined weigh like twenty pounds, the third is a forty-four pound beagle. Excuse me, (she looked at me when I wrote that) she is a forty-two pound beagle.

So here’s some background…

Maggie the Beagle: She is going to be 9 in January 2015 and she’s brilliant. We used to joke that she is community college material, no, she’s a genius. When she was a puppy she was drinking from a bowl, when there wasn’t much water left, she lifted her paw and set it down on the edge of the bowl so it would pool to one side. She did this without batting an eye. She broke the dog proof garbage can and has trained us to walk across the house to throw items from the kitchen away in the garage.

Charlie Freakin’ Brown (the dachshund): The pain in my ass and the apple of my eye. He can’t figure out how to push doors open with his nose but he can climb on top of 80% of the surfaces in the house and obtain whatever happens to be on them for his pleasure.

Roxy Freakin’ Face (the other dachshund): She’s community college material. We got her second hand (we also got Freakin’ second hand but he was still pretty young) at an elderly age. We are thinking she was 10-12 when we got her two years ago.   How can you throw a dog away after having her for 10 years? She doesn’t bother anybody, all she does is sleep all day, and she doesn’t really even eat much. How awful.  And no, we didn’t pick the name.

Ok, enough of that boring stuff.

Well, I reckon, about 18 months ago we had to take all three dogs to the vet at once (which is always a mistake). We go to Banfield which is located in PetSmart. They will let you bring your dog in in the morning so you can go about your day and they can work them in and they just call you when its time to get them. Kind of like daycare but with more needles (which if you go to daycare in Newark, it might be the same amount of needles.)

Charlie and Maggie we used to walk and if you have ever owned a hound you can hear my teardrops hitting the keyboard when I recall all the negotiating I would have to do in DC on a winter night when they catch wind of something and want to go on an expedition. We have a fence now and the backyard has cooties so I never go back there. That’s another story.

Where was I going with this?

Oh! They figured out how to wiggle out of their collars! Much like a toddler who doesn’t want to do something its mother wishes it to do, they go limp, roll over and wiggle around.

Anyway, where was I? We had all three dogs at the vet at the fucking crack of dawn. They want you there at 7:00 in the morning to drop them off. And this was when I was still drinking, so I was hungover and probably had day-old mascara all over my face. I may or may not have been wearing a bra.

As you can imagine, nobody wants to go to the vet, between all 5 of us, I think Jared was the only one who was pro-vet that morning. So we are talking to the nurse? Vet tech? Whatever they’re called, and I am not paying attention to Charlie all of a sudden I hear a familiar sound of his nails on tile. He has gotten out of his collar and is running toward the door.

I do not run at 7am while hungover.

Jared does not run at 7am. Ever.

We used to run together in the mornings, but that was at 8am a very long time ago.

Jared has a look of sheer panic, I figured we needed a new dog anyway, while we’re here at the pet store, we could probably pick one up.

The vet tech behind me screams, not just yells real loud, screams “DOOR!” and then two guys at the other end of the store respond with “DOOR!” in unison. I guess they closed and locked the doors so he would be unable to leave PetSmart. They bring him back and I put his collar back on and I put him on the floor. Because that is where he belongs, on the floor, because he is a dog.

For whatever reason the check in process is taking an extremely long time and we’re standing around doing whatever when I hear “DOOR!” again. I smiled to myself glad to know I am not the only one with a neurotic pet. I look down to tell Charlie that I am proud of him and he’s gone. And so is Maggie.

Meanwhile, Roxy wears a glow in the dark cat collar with a bell so we can hear her coming and we can see her in the dark. Since it’s a cat collar, she could have joined them on their quest for freedom since cat collars breakaway. But she didn’t, because she was too busy pooping on the floor.

Our dogs are returned to us and ultimately handed over to the vet tech who carries them away to the back where they will be stuck and pulled and things will be put in their butts but on that day, they deserved it.

 

 

Walmart on Easter Sunday

My loving and dear husband went to Publix for me yesterday I think only for the reason that if there was food in the house, perhaps I would prepare it for him. My handwriting is clear, but sometimes my abbreviations are not.  So when I put “mozz” on a shopping list what I mean is “shredded mozzarella,” not “skip this item on the shopping list and we will make baked ziti without cheese.”

So I am preparing to do…something…I can’t remember.  I was looking in the refrigerator and I was like “I don’t think we have that cheese!” yeah, we didn’t.

Anyway, I end up at fucking Walmart on Easter Sunday.  I knew they wouldn’t be closed because they’re soulless. Or maybe not, maybe they want to make sure you can get your plastic crucifix on Easter Sunday (made in China).

As I break into a slight perspiration fit on the half mile walk into the building from “priority parking,” I am faced with the fact that I really only need a couple things, but I have to take a whole cart in order to get them. I know why this is, but it still makes me mangry (not quite mad, not quite angry).

I then begin to compile a list of things that look good in the store, that would not work in real life in my house.

  • An entire vat of potato salad-like substance
  • A two gallon drum of mayonnaise
  • Hot dogs in any quantity
  • Anything that says “party size”*
  •  Gatorade
  • Gatorade powder
  • More than 1 bottle of juice (includes orange)
  • A carton of 18 eggs
  • Any quantity of ladies shave gel
  • More than one bag of pre-made cookies**
  • A gallon and a half of ice cream***

*We know how to party, ok, but I don’t need that much saturated fat in my life.  What is interesting is that “fun size” is wee, but party size is enormous.  What is “sad size” or like “funeral size?”
**What is curious about this is that there are only 4 varieties of cut and bake cookies at Walmart, but an entire aisle dedicated to their pre-made counterparts
***I don’t even know how this would fit in my freezer (with the other 5 cartons of half-eaten ice cream that already exist in there)

 

 

 

@scoccaro’s house or prison?

  1. Don’t eat that
  2. Stop licking his butt
  3. How did you get in here?
  4. Stop licking her ear
  5. SHUT. UP.
  6. Stop crying!
  7. Please don’t bite me
  8. You will get dinner when dinner is ready, brat
  9. You really are the worst
  10. Go to your room!

Why is my dog barking?

  • He thinks the Taliban is in the front yard
  • The geese (who we have established a close and friendly relationship with) are in the front yard
  • He wants someone to play with him
  • Nobody will play with him
  • He wants dinner
  • He wants lunch
  • He wants breakfast
  • He wants a treat
  • He wants to go outside and chase lizards
  • He is about to pee on the floor
  • He is tired
  • He lost his ball
  • The beagle is ignoring him
  • There is someone on the sidewalk
  • There is the man with the wagon
  • The man with the wagons kids are talking
  • The man with the wagons kids are singing
  • Teri (The one woman who waited for me to get out of my car, which incidentally I was avoiding her so I was hiding in my car, pretending to have a very animated phone call with myself.  She wanted to tell me her name and tell me she liked the people who lived here before better) is on her twice-daily dog walk with whatever she said her dogs name was
  • The neighbor across the street is having his lawn landscaped
  • The neighbor next door is having her twice-weekly landscapers pay her a visit
  • Someone parked on the street (I bark about this too)
  • There is a bird on the fence
  • There are two birds on the fence
  • There is a bird at the empty bird feeder on the side of the house (We keep it empty to discourage them from living.  I mean eating. I mean eating at our house.)
  • Someone within a 25 mile radius has honked their horn
  • Someone in the gaudy Clemson house has taken their golf cart past our house
  • The house who does CrossFit in their driveway closed their car door too loudly.  (I actually think these people live in their garage.  They never go inside.)
  • The man with the truck that affirms he has a small penis has started his truck
  • The man with the truck that affirms he has a small penis has driven past my house
  • The man with the truck that affirms he has a small penis is at the stop sign at the end of the street
  • The kid who drives a 1998 Chevy Lumina has pulled into the neighbor who barely waves at us driveway and is turning around so that he may park (ILLEGALLY) on the street
  • Someone is weed whacking (which is every day.  See, in my neighborhood there is an award to who has the nicest lawn every month. they get a sign in their yard.  We have never won this award.)
  • The boys who have no manners and have probably been kicked out of their own house are throwing a football to each other in front of my house
  • UPS is here
  • FedEx is here
  • UPS drove by
  • FedEx drove by
  • He thought someone drove by
  • The mail lady is here
  • The mail lady is dropping off a package
  • The mail lady is dropping off a certified letter (which I have to trick the dog and go out through the garage in order for him to contain himself re: her arrival)
  • He thinks he gets to go in the car
  • He is mad he doesn’t get to go in the car
  • He is mad he has to get out of the car
  • He is mad at me for not letting him play in the clean laundry
  • He is mad because i wont let him sit in the dirty laundry basket
  • He is hanging out in the bathroom and he’s not supposed to be
  • He thought he saw something
  • He thought he heard something
  • Someone set off their car alarm
  • The train
  • If I roll over in bed and I don’t take him with me
  • If I make the bed and he is still in it
  • If I yell at him for peeing on the floor
  • Someone goes by on a bike
  • Someone goes by on a scooter
  • Someone goes by on rollerblades (which I don’t think he is necessarily mad, I think he is laughing at them)
  • I have to go get the mail and he’s not allowed to come with
  • I am not paying attention to him
  • Nobody is paying attention to him
  • His ball is stuck behind a piece of furniture that requires that we move said furniture to retrieve it
  • You ask him to wear a jacket when it is 20 degrees outside
  • It’s raining
  • You are not preparing his food fast enough
  • There is no cheese on his food
  • There is not enough cheese on his food
  • You’re eating and he is not
  • You have cheese and he does not
  • He just wants to hear his own voice
  • He is feeling creative and he wants to express himself in song
  • His blanket is not folded
  • His other blanket got caught between the cushions on the couch
  • He lost one of his two octopi
  • He lost his stuffed dog and he doesn’t remember where it went
  • He wants to stand on the table
  • He wants to stand on my desk
  • He wants to stand on my husbands desk
  • One of the other dogs is sleeping were he wants to be sleeping
  • You don’t permit him from sleeping on top of your pillow behind your head
  • His toy is somewhere he is afraid to go, like under the bed
  • Someone other than Teri is walking by with a dog other than Teri’s dog
  • You sneak up on him and scare him
  • You take off his collar for a bath and don’t immediately put it back on
  • Someone else is sitting on my lap
  • My husband is mowing the lawn
  • He is in the same room as the vacuum
  • You sing to him too loudly
  • He gets locked in a room by himself
  • He gets lock out of a room he wants to be in
  • The cable company has come to lower our property values with a random orange cord in the gutter coming from the green thing in my front yard
  • He thinks someone is trying to steal our cable
  • You call him a cat

iCloud and Me

Fuck you iCloud, hard
Today you made me cry, sads
I hate you, iCloud

You try to run me
But you don’t know me at all
Get out of my head

My computer is sad
Because of you and your shit
So is my iPad

Updates, oh, updates
You take me all fucking day
You hurt my feelings

You make me throw things
And say mean things to the dogs
iCloud, I hate you

Listening? No way!
Apple is responsible
This is Steve Jobs’ doing

I didn’t invite you
Perhaps, you should be in beta
No training for me

Stop running my life
I like downloading things twice
I am controlling

A widower guide for @jaredwsmith

I have had several brushes with death in my house being that I spend most of my time home alone, so I got to thinking, what would happen if i died? There would be a period of grief followed by a period of celebration of the new-found freedom that Jared will have but then what?  So I have created a guide for doting husband in the event of my passing.

My darling Jared, if you are reading this, it is because I have inevitably met my demise. It was probably getting the pasta dryer down from over the cabinets and I lost my balance on the step ladder the landlord left us and i hit my head on the island and bled to death on the kitchen floor. I could have waited for you to come home but then we would have eaten dinner at midnight and you know how I feel about that.

So I have taken the liberty of putting together a brief guide for you after you have put your life back together.  Well, you dont have to worry about being woken up my Little Debbie wrappers anymore. I just want to be clear, your new lady friend is a guest in my house.

A few notes I just want to touch on:

  • Maggie has won the battle but I have won the war
  • Go get my clothes from the garage and put them back in the closet
  • Ramen is not a meal
  • Do not put a fountain in the front yard unless you join the mob
  • Just because you take a shower in the shower doesn’t mean it is clean
  • Continue recording Sister Wives and Project Runway
  • It is not up to the dogs to take care of the wild animals in the yard, that’s your job
  • Do not let your new wife in my kitchen
  • If the fridge smells you are going to have to clean it, the fridge will win
  • Do not ever cook Rice-A-Roni
  • Water my trees, even if you think its going to rain, water them
  • Stop putting things in the garage, nothing good will come of that
  • Don’t bother renewing my gym membership
  • If you notice your date sneaking a bottle of water into a movie theater you need to demand her plan for when she gets caught
  • The mop is in the garage
  • You have my permission to slap your new lady if she ever talks about me

 

 

Be Thankful

Today in the Washington DC metro area is a rainy and cold one.  Being that I am 4 years old and insist on wearing unseasonable clothing in the cold I was dreading getting gas. Typically @jaredwsmith is kind enough to get it for me but since he has been exceptionally cranky for the last 48 hours I elected not to ask.

I loaded up my 2010 red VW beetle with my mega bag and myself in running shorts, flip flops and a hoodie and off I went.  In the spirit of being a pansy I neglected to stop at the first 3 gas stations I saw.  The 4th one I saw I decided I would rather be cold for 5 minutes then cold and get yelled at when my car ran out of gas on the road and @jaredwsmith would have to come help me push.

I pulled in and saw a guy standing by a table with cans of something on it.  Since I am not an atypical “car person” (read: really girly, afraid of things with 4 wheels and barely passed the drivers exam – the written one) I thought I wouldn’t be a target.

I roll out of the car and off the heated seats into the cold, wet air.  I did my card, selected the grade and installed the pump in my car safely without being accosted.  Then he hit me:

Kid: “I know you want to check this out”

Me: “Not really”

Kid: “oh, ok”

Never one to pass up a teachable moment I decided to momentarily take this kid under my “mama salesman” wing.

Then I got back in my car after giving him a flimsy “it’s cold and im getting back in my car”.

My gas pumped successfully (YES!) and I got back out.  I saw him hustling some other guy in a Malibu and felt a tinge of nostalgia.

I started in sales (not commission based THANK GOD) at 22 and I was awful at it.  I would come home from work and cry because of one reason or another.  But my dad, a lifelong salesman, told me to “suck it up” and “get over it”.  I did and I have gotten a little tougher and a little better since.

I waited for the kid to finish up being told no and he came back, head held in shame.

Me: “Hey, lemme get one of those”

Kid: “yeah?!”

Me: “yeah, how much are they?”

Kid: “$25 for two”

Me: “WTF $25? what is it?”

Kid: “Let me show you, it basically details your car for you”

Me: “I pay Jose for that”

Kid: “Well this works better”

Me: “fine, well give me two”

Kid: “I’ll tell ya what, $20 and I will give you this restaurant.com coupon”

Me: “Great”

Kid: “Are you doing this because you feel bad for me?”

Me: “Pretty much, have a good one”

And I got back in my car.

I did feel bad for him.  It was cold and raining but he was wearing an Under Armor jacket so not that bad.

It also made me so thankful for every one of our clients. Without them I wouldnt have the opportunity to wear shorts and flip flops everyday, or even write this blog post.

November is a time to be thankful and I think that it is important to be thankful all year.  Its like people who go to church on Easter and Christmas and think their conscience is clear. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.

So next time you see some kid trying to sell you some car wax, buy it.  Its $20 and it will get him home to his mothers basement where he belongs until he graduates college and can write a blog about when he had to sell car wax at a gas station all day.

shit @jaredwsmith says: “wwjd? smh”

we have been working ourselves silly in the last month so we decided to go on a “date”. I for one, have never understood grown ass people who live together and either are married or about to be married needing to go on a date to an Outback on a friday night.  I call that more of a borderline punishment than a “date”.

We pile into the car and ship off to outback because at the end of the day, we were hungry for fat, salt and carbohydrates and since we are starting a business, we have little to no money after our bills and drug habits are taken care of.

Everything is semi normal, we get a beer and a glass of wine because god knows, just like Outback’s european cousin Olive Garden, there is always a wait. My purse decided to take up three chairs at a crowded bar and Jared decided to rock back and forth on his feet like a 5 year old that has to pee.

We are seated by a young lady who had a literacy deficiency (Coccaro: co-care-o guys, not so hard), to her defence, she was only an infant. We are seated at a table with one side being a bench.  naturally, having a much larger ass than @jaredwsmith I took the bench.

@jaredwsmith seems to forget we are getting married in 42 days and momma’s the size of a house, he orders cheese fries. thanks, ass.

We get half way through our steaks and I feel its time to start preparation for our impending after dinner meal, dessert.  This is when I announce to our waitress, Sandy (who has longer than healthy blonde pigtails) that it is @jaredwsmith’s birthday (in may) and we are celebrating tonight (in september).

Trying to ease the frustration and embarrassment that he has at this point I decide to engage him in the penis game. Like the book The Help, it starts with a whisper. eventually it turns into @scoccaro half shouting the word “penis” in a very crowded Outback Steakhouse on a Friday night.

His dessert arrives, the waitress refuses to sing, so I do.  Loudly. for everyone to hear. i am celebrating my life partners birthday after all.

He turns shades of red then purple that i have never seen.

We promptly pay the tab because he is afraid we will get discovered and we vacate.

Once outside @jaredwsmith launches a full-on Penis Game attempt. I have never heard him say the word penis so loudly.

I get over to the car, hop in and lock him out. he stands there knocking on the window and yelling at me as if i have forgotten him on the exterior of the vehicle.  Once he sees that I have in fact noticed him but have chosen not to welcome him into the car he starts with the shouting and hand gestures that make his mother proud. We went through the unlocking and locking process when he is finally allowed back in the car.

We rush home listening to bad rap and I make him car dance with me all the way home.

so he says: “thank god there are no PENISES in the road. and by penis i mean speed bumps and by road i mean this parking lot.”

This is who I am marrying.