That time I almost developed a porn site

Full disclosure: I am from the midwest. I dont like movies with too much sex.  I dont like movies with violence. The raciest thing I watch is project runway.

We are looking for web development work.  As I have mentioned, Craigslist has been very good to us. So once again, I go whoring through the classifieds looking for somebody, anybody who needs a website.

I found one, and she emailed me back. She mentioned “adult content” in the ad.  I think the AARP falls into “adult content”.  It is content for adults.

So she emails me all in caps, she seems to be quite shouty. She tells me what she needs and it sounds pretty reasonable.  Then she sends me a link to her site which i will not publish here because I dont have an age restriction on my blog.

I click the link and am met with all kinds of hardcore things I cannot unsee. Yes, it is a website for “BBW’s” (thank GOD for Urban Dictionary) and tranny’s. Not like BBW’s AND transvestites but like for people who are both. I really didn’t realize there was a market for this particular type of pornography.  I didnt realize a camera could take pictures of those things at that angle. I am not upset, just confused.

Anyway, once the body parts are removed from my machine she actually seems quite cool and we might end up working together on non-porny things.

As for our new business, back to the drawing board.

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.

My $78 meeting

It all started at 9:30 this morning.

I had a meeting in DC.  Still being somewhat new to the area, I am not familiar with all of the neighborhoods in DC yet so I am not sure the most effective route to go when I have to go in most of the time. Typically @jaredwsmith goes with me but since we had the new cleaning lady coming today he stayed home.

Sidebar: this is our 3rd cleaning lady.  the first on never did the inside of the microwave and she insisted on doing my laundry.  The result was a shit ton of stuff ruined because it didnt belong in the washing machine. The second one didn’t show up…twice then presented a lame excuse as to why and expected to still have a job.  So now we have Stacey. End sidebar.

So off i go to the vienna metro station which is at the scariest road i have ever been on.  I arrive promptly at 10:00 am. Then the trouble starts.  its a little known fact that if you arrive to Vienna after 8am, you will not be parking anywhere legal.  I forgot this fact this morning.  I was hoping that it was a myth.  It is not. Whats worse is the only way to get out of the parking garage is $4.50 on your metro card.  I have $3.50 on mine. So i circled the parking lot for 15 minutes looking for a spot and I couldnt leave because I wouldnt be able to get out.  I was literally trapped in a concrete fortress.

So what does any desperate-to-be-on-time person do? Invents a parking spot! I found a cozy little place on the sidewalk that would accommodate my volkwagen beetle nicely and pulled right in.  Concerned and looking for approval, I call my mother who tells me I am going to get towed.  She never supports my semi-illegal things. Late and stressed, I leave my car and head into the metro station.  I fill up my card with $20 and get on the train.

I have the metro system down pretty well.  I dont like the long escalators but the rest of it is ok.

This is when the trouble starts.

Let me take a moment to discuss Google Maps. Nothing says “lost” like a kid walking in circles looking at their iPhone. This was me.  I was begging to be mugged or converted to a religion i had never heard of.

I find a bus stop. Albeit, not MY bus stop but a bus stop where I promptly get on a bus and tell the bus driver I am looking for D6.  She kicks me off the bus and tells me to cross the street. I realized later that she meant while there was no traffic. I hop across the street but ask for directions from strangers on two occasions. Once was a nice lady who told me to walk down the block and another a guy in a hard hat smoking a cigarette who actually didnt say anything just shook his head and went back to his phone.  If that is how all construction workers communicate that would explain why things never get done.

I find bus stop number two. On the sign it says “D6”. and I wait. and wait. and wait.  I met a friend in the interim.  Martha.  A nice african american woman in her late 50’s she was also waiting on D6.  But like all good things in life, there is an expiration date. That expiration date was as soon as we got on the bus.  she didnt want to sit next to me. Google transit said the ride is only supposed to be 24 minutes.  apparently they werent ever on this particular bus because every single asshole on this bus wanted to get off not at a stop. I found them to be selfish and lazy.

I had a red sticky note on my puppy notebook telling me what stop to get off at.  so as soon as we got on Macarthur street, i jumped for joy.  Remember how I said the other bus patrons were lazy?  I felt I needed to set and example and get off at the stop 1.4 miles early.

Thanks google maps for brightening my day yet again.

Hot, late, hungry and hoofing it up a hill with a 30 pound purse on my shoulder I call the person I am supposed to be meeting with.  His secretary tells me no problem and she would let him know.

I get to the top of the hill and the road is no more.  I have to go left or right.  I go left.  New rule: if you look at google maps and it looks like you go right, go left.

I pick a direction and go about a block, realize its incorrect and head back. Keep in mind I have already gone a mile.  Luckily, not in heels.

Next thing I know, i am surrounded by houses and the german embassy.  At this point I give up.  I call @jaredwsmith to tell him im canceling my meeting and he says he will come get me.

At this point I call the office back. She tells me she will tell him but isnt that weird..I am not on his schedule for the day.

So I am tired, hot, sweaty, tired, hungry and almost out of money on my metro card and im not even on this guys schedule for the day.

I call @jaredwsmith back. He says he will take a cab to vienna to get my car so I dont get towed. The bright side: my car was still there, the down side: I had a $50 ticket on it.

So at this point we have spent the following to travel 21 miles for a meeting that never was:

  • $50 ticket
  • $22 cab fare
  • $5 metro fare

I am 189 in dog years

When I was 17, my Government teacher, Mr. Cwodzinski asked us to create a project that defines our political beliefs. The first line of my project read like this: “I am a 16 year old female with the political beliefs of a 50 year old male”.

This is not a post about politics.

This is a post about why im old as shit.

As I write this, the hoodlums below are listening to something that actually makes me blush when I try to Shazam it.

I am to the point in my life when I roll up (in my red volkswagen beetle with a white flower) like a badass listening to hall ‘n oates, to a stop light and a 1999 Toyota Corolla with 4 teenage boys pull up next to me with loud music. I mouth “I know your mother” while pointing to my iPhone. I choose not to shout it because they may hear me and I only point to my phone because its the only weapon I have with me.  If they decide to get even rowdier I will just throw it at them.

Case in point, about a year ago there were some children living below us.  Usually pretty nice, once one of them held the door for me. They typically waved with all fingers. One night at 3am, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.  Until those little fuckers came home from the bar with all the skanks in Hilton Head in tow. It would have been fine had the fat drunk one wasnt calling to her anorexic friend from the balcony.

I called the cops and then watched in my pink bathrobe from the window.

Listen, I am not a fun-hater, i am just a peace and quiet lover.

That one time in Roanoke

After a long weekend in Hilton Head, we are driving back to Reston VA.  We got a late start leaving this morning and made a detour in Charlotte (@lemursmanlemurs).  We finally got on i-77 North to head home around 8pm.

Things are going swimmingly until the 3 cokes I had with dinner hit my bladder around 11:15.  Jared, being the gentleman he is, finds the nearest rest location for me to eliminate my bladder contents.

After a death defying dash across 6 lanes of traffic in the pissing rain he locates a Pilot station.

He pulls into a parking spot and grabs ahold of maggie so she doesnt follow me into this dark, moderately populated rest stop.

I hop out into the icy, wet outdoors and proclaim “holy shit im fucking cold!’.  Much to my dismay, @jaredwsmith was already on to looking at his phone and over me getting out of the car.  Luckily the blonde with dark roots smoking a cigarette in the next car noticed.

My best defense mechanism that I have is to smile big and raise my voice an octave when I feel threatened. so with a big ass smile sounding like Ke$ha, I walk into this pilot station.  Lets do this.

I saunter up to the counter and ask Vi if I may use the restroom.  (tip: as somebody whose father made her go on annual treks from Minnesota all up and down the eastern seaboard, always ask, never assume, that the restroom is free or even located in the building.) She nod’s yes, I smile and shout “thank you” almost too enthusiastically, startled she points to the back corner, nods and mumbles “back there”.

It’s one of those restrooms.  The one where you can’t pick the cleanest one, just the one that is less filthy than the rest.  After creating my ass-to-seat barrier i do what i came here for. Just then, I hear the door open and close.  I am already on high-alert with Vi, the blonde and the fact that there are 10 semi’s parked out back. Just because this gas station has a subway in it doesn’t mean its safe for a lone female to wander at almost midnight alone. I decided to hide out in the stall for a few minutes.  What’s a little inhalation of industrial cleaner and fecal material?  When I am sure the coast is clear, I flush the toilet with my big toe and do the cootie dance all the way out of the stall.

Before I left @jaredwsmith and I made a pact to drink a shit-ton of red bull and finish the drive jacked up on sugar and caffeine.  I buy him a liter of red bull and a hershey’s bar, i got a normal-sized-person red bull and chewy sweetarts.  I also found a random magnet from South Dakota (where I went to college) that I had to purchase because if I made it out of here unscathed I needed something on my fridge to commemorate it. I ventured up to Vi.

Once again, i have my “i dont belong here” smile on when I approach the counter and put my soon-to-be-mine belongings in front of her.  When in doubt, talk about dogs and weather.  I mentioned how balls cold it was outside, she nodded, I told her how happy my dogs must be because they wear sweaters all year, she nodded, I mentioned how stupid it was to keep a bin on knifes under the counter at a shady gas station. She paused, gave me my total and the stink eye.

I handed her the $20 my mom stuck in my pocket before we left and giggled nervously. All I could smell was burning hot dogs, while she counted out my changes all I thought about was that smell seeping into my hair and how I might have to burn it off when I get home…

I got my $8.00 back and scampered out the door back to @jaredwsmith who was still playing on his phone next to the blonde who was still smoking.

Where I always feel like family

Olive garden. We have all been to one. We were mildly happy and then we went home and forgot about it. But what keeps us coming back? The mediocure breadsticks? The subpar wait staff? Kind of feeling like family?

Olive garden is like that high school boyfriend who you loved to hate. He was cute, always busy, emotionally unavailable and never had enough time for you but always wanted to be your friend.

It starts with someone in the car uttering the following statement “fuck Atkins, I want to eat the shit out of some carbs”. Then with a poorly executed 3-point turn at a busy intersection you land in the general vicinity of either olive garden, carrabbas or macaroni grill. All are similar enough to make a generalization of all chain Italian restaurants: they leave you sad and alone.

If you have chosen olive garden you have chosen the path on Oregon trail that gives you dysentery.

If you can find one of their three parking spots unoccupied then it must be after hours. Olive garden parking lots are crawling with pt cruisers and minivans with white stick figure people on them (are African American people offended by this? It seems only white folks are stupid enough to put this shit on their cars). You, father time and the 90 pound mother of three with the jogging stroller in the back are in a face off for an available parking spot. But then! You see a silver Sebring on the other end of the parking lot back up. You have two options: calmly back up, wave with all fingers and slowly move to the soon-to-be open parking spot or throw it in reverse and hope nobody’s packing.

When you are victorious in your parking grab your posse and head in. No doubt you are ravenous. Good thing there is a minimum of a 30 minute wait at 2:30 on a Tuesday afternoon. This is a prime opportunity to review the menu at a high level while high school juniors move around in polyester ties.

Once your buzzer finally alerts you that it’s your turn to feel like family you proceed to the hostess station where she will guide you to the back of the dining area to a vinyl booth where you can stick to the seat.

Sheena will then come by and get your drink order but not before offering you a snoot full of riunite. Yes that shit your parents drank in the navy in the 70’s when stationed in third world countries.

You may now review the menu in detail. How can I have a heart attack today? Let me count the ways! Let’s see how much cheese we can put in a single dish. Maybe ravioli or just a big ass bowl of cheese served with buttered bread.

Place your Order and wait for the soup, salad and breadsticks to come out. They never bring you as many breadsticks as you will need. You better believe sheena will cop a little attitude on her 4th trip to the kitchen for breadsticks. It’s call unlimited for a reason honey.

Food arrives. Once again, more cheese is applied. The food at its best is at least hot.

The check arrives and it’s time to drop $45 on carbs that made you feel bloated and undeserving.

Return to the parking lot full of shame and humility that nothing will fit tomorrow due to the amount of sodium you just consumed. Hating yourself for falling into that same rat trap again.

Go home. Sleep in the fetal position while you quietly mist in your pillow. All families are a little dysfunctional and remember, when you’re here, you’re family.

Just like crack!

There are many things that people list as being “like crack”.  Crack seems to be the drug of choice when people are talking about things being addictive.  Most of these individuals have never actually tried crack cocaine so they really have no basis for their comparison. Moreover, studies have shown that crack is not the most addictive substance on the planet.

I like to say that something is “just like finding a clean bathroom” in that is is pleasant and also somewhat addictive.

Here are the top 10 things that most people would consider “just like crack” but are not quite actually crack…

  1. heroin
  2. gummy bears
  3. oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
  4. children
  5. those bath salts those kids were smoking/eating/snorting
  6. compressed air
  7. starbucks
  8. homemade italian food
  9. fancy, overpriced cupcakes
  10. cocaine

The day Panera changed my life

As some of you may remember, when I last did freelance I worked at a Panera on Hilton Head Island (I didn’t work AT panera just IN panera…) everyday from usually around 11am til 9-9:30pm.  Now that I am back to doing freelance full time I am starting to remember some of the challenges that I had in finding semi-well lit areas with a mild temperature and ample opportunity to plug my laptop in. I liked panera because every booth had a plugin, it was well lit, the staff was friendly, the coffee was hot and it was right by my gym.

With these memories unfolding as I try and get my sea legs back bring me back to a time when I had only first heard of Panera.

When Panera opened on Hilton Head everyone was excited.  Since I lived in a cave in South Dakota for 5 years and a bomb shelter in Minnesota for 18, I didnt know what a Panera was. I pretended to be excited and hungry like everyone around me.

The day panera opened there was electricity in the air.  I was going through an arbys phase (read: fat phase) so I wasn’t too keen on trying Panera on that day.  I wasn’t too sure what the expect and I couldnt leave the fate of my lunch unknown.  What if I didnt like it and then i would be hungry the rest of the day? So I skipped it.  I actually avoided panera for about 2 weeks before I finally gave in.

Panera’s driveway is on the busiest street in Hilton Head.  Its a 4 lane death trap that they expect you to dart over just for dry baked goods. I digress.

I got into the parking lot without incident. I drove around the parking lot three times (ala @jaredwsmith) looking for the perfect parking spot.  I was really just trying to prolong the time that I had before I had to go in and face my uncoolness.

As a side note: I hate trying new things. I have had my hair cut the same way since 8th grade, it has always been the same shade of brown.  I always eat turkey sandwiches with american cheese and I drink plain coffee with milk and sweet and low.  I won’t even try splenda.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I especially hate trying new restaurants.  I get very cranky when my blood sugar is low and I would hate having to go somewhere, drop $10 on lunch and then not eat it because I dont like it.

I slowly walk up to the door and I am greeted by a mob of people hungrier than the entire continent of Africa.  The door at this specific panera is at an angle and the counter is at another angle creating a sort of triangle effect which makes it very difficult to create straight and orderly lines of people.

I decided to duck behind the person furthest back in the line so I could decide what kind of turkey sandwich I wanted to get. There are 6 distinctly different turkey sandwiches on the Panera menu, with all the types of bread, the permutations are endless. My heart was racing. The crowd was thinning and I was rapidly approaching the counter.

When the girl got to me she was plump and friendly making me feel that if I ate here enough I might be plump and friendly as well. I felt good about the decision I was making.

I asked for “a turkey sandwich”. She asked which one “the one with turkey on it”. she was sweet and obviously saw me sweating through my bra and she simply suggested the sierra turkey sandwich.  I was grateful to have her in my life at that moment. She asked what I wanted as a side item, bread, an apple or chips.  I asked for an apple.  turns out they are macintosh apples which are disgusting and fodder for another blog entry. She handed me a cup (she knew how salty that sandwich would be) and asked if I wanted a cookie as well. I accepted the cookie (read: fat phase).

Then she told me my total. $14.56. No kidding. I had to dip into my emergency candy reserve funds to pay for lunch. I handed her my visa and while it was processing she tried to ease the pain by telling me that “it was for the best” and that I would “just LOOOOOVE the sierra turkey sandwich” and that “its SOOOOOOO good”. She handed me a buzzer and then started at me blankly as I looked at her and then looked at the buzzer. What the fuck was I supposed to do with this thing?

She then looked at the floor and then eventually looked past me and asked for the next person in line.  I was, for a fleeting moment, this girls best friend. I wandered around the new mob of people that were starting to accumulate in no particular fashion around me.

Then my buzzer lit up and started shaking violently. I was overly alarmed.  Now I had this crying device in my hand with no cradle to put it in. I must have looked panicked because a man in a striped brooks brothers shirt pointed me in the direction of my $14 sandwich.

I looked at him like “yeah, i know, just testing you!” and walked down the aisle. I was greeted by a manager at the end asking me how I was doing that day.  I was confused, starving and broke.

I got my bag and vacated but not before getting a diet pepsi. The drink station was chaos. There were kids and adults everywhere just looking for carbonated syrup. I waited in the back until everyone cleared out and walked up to the station.  I got my diet pepsi and I went to put a lid on it.  I have a small issue with lids.  Particularly clear plastic ones that need to go on clear plastic cups.  It took a little finess, readjusting my purse and putting my bag ‘o sandwich on the floor, but I got it.

Triumphant, I walked out of panera with my head held high.

I got back to the office, ate half the sandwich then threw it away with the apple and half of the cookie.


This is why I have a hard time making new friends.

About 3 years ago I was with a girlfriend and her fiance (at the time).  She was about 6 years older than me and was only my friend because my dad was her boss.  I had just moved to Hilton Head and had no friends so she was nice enough to hang out with me for awhile.

She had some friends in town from St. Simon’s Island, GA and I definitely didn’t feel “Beach Cool” around them.  “Beach Cool” is the easy style that people in the south along the coast have.  Its the ability to go to the beach, not break a sweat, not get sand where the sun dont shine and tan evenly. I am none of those things.  I sweat like a hog, whine that the sand is too hot, i usually only tan half my body, get my books wet (even though i go nowhere near the water) and find sand places where it doesn’t belong for the next 24 hours.

I managed to get through the afternoon without having sweat marks under my boobs (deodorant FTW) on my tank top nor did my entire forehead turn bright red being exposed to direct sunlight so I looked like I just ran a marathon.

All was going really well while we walked back up to the house.  We all went inside and drank a beer.  The sun was starting to go down and I needed to get home.

I hugged my friend goodbye because she initiated it then i hugged her fiance because he too initiated it.

Then it came to her friends who I just met that day.  We all got along pretty well and I would, at that moment, hang out with them again. There was that awkward dance were to you do a half-hearted hug or shake hands. It is like a dance among friends just seeing which is the more dominant member of the pack. It is also the timeframe where you would exchange phone numbers.  You just pray that the other person initiates it so you can go along.  We were on the same wave-length because we extended our hands then opened our arms to hug at different times.  Then she made the decision and went in for the hug.

My hand was still extended to shake her hand and thats when it happened.

I cupped her boob so very gently. I didn’t just brush it or skim it.  I grabbed it. and my hand remained there for the duration of the hug.  There was no sense in retracting my hand because then it would be a big deal. So i left it there in hope that maybe she just thought her left boob was extra supported during the last 5 seconds.

I wasn’t the only one who noticed. There was a very long “i didn’t know you were a pervert” pause where we all looked at the ground and mumbled the word “so…”.  I took this as my queue to leave. I made up some excuse like “oh i forgot I had to go hide in the deep end of a pool” and made haste.

This was 3 years ago.  I will have you know that I have not spoken to any member of “the incident” since.

Searching Craigslist for freelance work is like whoring for heroin in pittsburgh

Now that I am a free agent, i need to find some business for our small web firm (we do design, programming and SEM if you are curious).  What better place than to troll Craigslist?

I have provided you all with a glossary of terms that can be found in the “computer gigs” section of Craigslist…

  • Must be experienced: “we have been burned thinking we could hire an infant to do our marketing in the past.”
  • Partnership opportunity: “we have no money but we think its a super rad idea so you should too!”
  • I have a small budget: “I have no budget.”
  • I am in a tight schedule: “I expect this to be done in less than 24 hours.”
  • My last guy quit on me: probably because youre a pain in the ass.
  • Be creative!: “give me $5,000 worth of work for $500”
  • Lets barter!: “I want something for nothing”
  • I need a NDA: because your idea to rip off Facebook is such a great one
  • I need 2500 followers on twitter ASAP!!: and I need $1,000,000, we dont always get what we want.
  • Great for students!: we have no money and we think a kid who has an equal amount of experience will make us famous.
  • Fair pay: your opinion of “fair” is not the same as mine.
  • Part-time work!: because i am looking for $12/hr to lick envelopes
  • College credit available: “stand on a corner and pass out flyers to strangers who throw sodas at you”
  • It’s 90% done!: Bullshit.