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Walmart-ing

14 Sep

Walmart is a wonderful mecca of deals, steals (sometimes literally) and wonder, but also a hellhole. Going there on a Sunday afternoon is probably the worst decision you could ever make, because come 12pm, it turns into the official local church after-party no matter where you live. Seriously, sometimes I think that if a Walmart threw an I-Hop inside of one of its locations instead of a Subway sandwich franchise, there would literally never need to be anything else open on a Sunday–Joel Osteen would probably invest. Better yet, a church should probably just open a Walmart in the back, because move over, Taco Bell/Pizza Hut/KFC combo, a new mega trio is coming your way and it’s called The Walmart I-Hop Mega Church Center.

Anyway, Walmart. Yes, Walmart–the place once infamously confused as a store that sells walls by Paris Hilton, doesn’t actually sell walls, but they do sell legitimately everything else. This is why when it came time for me to re-organize my sneaker closet, the Walmart website was my first stop because let’s be honest–the safest way to shop at Walmart is by not physically being at Walmart. So how did I end up at Walmart then? Good question. I wanted to save the $7 shipping cost on the shoe cubby I ordered, so I opted for the in-store pickup option. A week later, I strolled through the doors of my local Walmart and wandered through aisles of camouflage hats, camouflage televisions and camouflage children until I finally found the online order center nested neatly by the Subway sandwich franchise. I worked my way around the line at the registers that seemed like it was Black Friday in the middle of September and wondered if I was missing out on something, but instead I just got in line behind several people in the online order area.

The area was small, and for some reason had its own Sunny Delight display tower, just in case you felt the need to hydrate with some sugar-water while waiting to pick up your microwave. There were 4 registers and about 10 employees, but only 2 registers were actually open. After waiting for 5 minutes and realizing the line hadn’t moved at all, I asked a sales associate if people were also in this line for general purchases, not just order pickups–“no, it’s also layaway.” Ah–layaway. Alright, no big deal. I stood there, waiting, eavesdropping on conversations about pregnancies and refrigerators, wondering if I would ever get to pick up my shoe cubby. I took a moment to take in my surroundings–there were still several associates standing behind the counter, but still only 2 stations were open. There were two Walmart employees sitting on a bench in the area, one of them was eating chicken–I am hoping she was on her break. It didn’t smell like chicken at first, but then it did…and as my hunger grew in correlation with my impatience, the smell was more apparent to me and I just wanted to know where I could get that chicken but I couldn’t get out of the line because then the vicious cycle would begin once more and I HAD SOMEWHERE TO BE, DAMMIT. And that place was a diner, because I was hungry.

FINALLY, after several texts from my mother and what seemed like the longest 20 minutes of my life, it was my turn. Once I got up to the register, it was quick and painless, but of course the box for my product was bent and damaged. I just wanted to get out of there, though, before the spell of chicken came over me and forced me to wait in yet another line. Also, I had seen a camouflage Mets hat that was quietly calling my name, so I legit had to bounce before I dropped anymore money there that day.

When I got home, after the diner, I assembled my shoe cubby, noticed one of the metal poles was damaged, took a moment to think of what a hassle it would be to try and return or exchange the item, and decided to just take the chance of it collapsing because somehow that would be more convenient to me than having to go to Walmart again.

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Poetic Fist Fight

3 Dec

A few friends and I often partake in bar trivia at an establishment in Manhattan on Tuesday nights. Trivia begins at 8:30, so we usually try and arrive around 8pm to make sure we get ample seating/table space for our writing materials, beers and sometimes food. On this particular night I arrived at 7:30 because I grossly overestimated how long it would take me to get to the bar from my new office. When I arrived, there was another event going on. I walked in and saw a middle-aged woman standing up at a microphone reading some ridiculous poetry with zero passion in her voice. As a matter of fact, she sounded like a teacher reading a story about ponies to her first graders just before nap time, except her poem was about the birth of her son…it was interesting, but you can only make a cesarian section sound so poetic before it sounds like a scene straight out of a Wes Craven film.

It was clear that I had stumbled into some kind of older, open mic poetry night. Dammit. So, to kill time, I went to 7-11 for a hot chocolate. They didn’t have those mini marshmallows, though, so I left less than satisfied with a still-tasty hot chocolate in hand. I drank that in record time on my way back to the bar. During this time, I had only managed to kill 15 minutes, but that meant 15 minutes less of that poetry I’d have to hear. Well, to everyone’s dismay, including the employees at the bar and the trivia master, the poetry night ran over by 15 minutes to allow for the “Godfather” to say a few words and recite a story and poem and then sing a song…a man next to me mouthed the words along with the “Godfather” and clapped and whistled upon completion. He was super into it, I was super annoyed.

When poetry night was finally over, most of the older folks started to clear out for the turnover to trivia night which consists predominately of guys and gals ages 21-35 from what I can tell. I, along with a friend, waited for tables to clear that fit four people as we were expecting two more in our party. I scouted a table where the women who previously occupied it were preparing to leave. My friend and I hovered, patiently, as other tables opened up and were immediately occupied by trivia-goers. After about 10 minutes of continuous hovering, I decided to place my belongings down on one of the benches at a table where cesarian section woman was sitting. Her and a colleague were chatting but sitting far enough from each other that they managed to take up three tables in the process. I waited patiently, again. Finally, after the woman was now there by herself, nursing a 96% empty glass of water, she put her feet up essentially on my belongings, so I just went and took a seat next to her feet. Then, the dialogue began:

Woman: So are you taking over my table?
Me: Yeah, our trivia is about to begin and you appeared to be leaving.
Woman: Well, I wasn’t.
Me: I’m sorry, I really thought you were leaving. Your friends all got up so I thought you were too.
Woman: I wasn’t leaving. (At this point she FINALLY takes her feet off of the bench she had them resting upon) You could have asked.
Me: As I said, I am sorry, it looked like you were leaving. I can move…
Woman: You could have asked.
Me: I said I’m sorry. There’s no reason to have an attitude…
Woman: It’s not an attitude, I’m just saying you could have asked. Get some manners.
Me: (Appalled at this point) I said I am sorry and I will move.
Woman: Get some manners. (Storms off)

It was too bad she stormed off like that, I didn’t have enough time to tell her how much I resonated with her poem being a cesarian child myself. Darn. So much for that missed opportunity. Never fear, though, because I made sure multiple employees heard about it afterwards. They found it wildly entertaining…I have a feeling they’re not the biggest fans of that poetry night either.

Moral of the story? Just because you wear a purple sweater and read three sub-par poems at a monthly open mic night for middle-aged folk does not entitle you to put your feet up at a bar once your event has gone over and thus prohibited a WEEKLY event from starting on time. Talk about manners.

To The Guy Who Sold Me Fake Blink 182 Tickets…

12 Sep
Who I didn't get to see last night...

Who I didn’t get to see last night…

I met you in Union Square where you sold me what I now know are fake Blink 182 tickets. I don’t know why you do what you do, I don’t know why you did what you did but I just cannot understand it. Does it make you feel good, taking people’s money like that? Of course it does. It mustOtherwise, why would you keep doing it. I doubt anyone has a gun to your head, but if they do–duck and run!

I should have known the tickets were fake. I got a burning feeling in the pit of my stomach immediately after I bought them from you that they were. They didn’t feel quite right. They were on the thick side and somewhat glossy. The ink looked a little too bold and prevalent on the backdrop of the ticket. They were fake, but it was too late so I just told myself I was being paranoid. You had already disappeared into the crowd of street performers, coffee-drinkers and commuters. I was stuck with those tickets.

You said you were a fan. You said you wish you could go but work got in the way. I believed you because I didn’t have any reason not to.

So I showed up to the venue in Brooklyn. Nervous, but incredibly excited. My favorite band was playing and I couldn’t wait to see them go on. I passed through security and waited in a small line. The girls in front of me got turned away because their tickets wouldn’t scan. Their tickets were fake. At that moment it felt like my entire body was on fire. The burning sensation had spread and I couldn’t handle it. For at that moment my fears became a reality and I learned that people like you actually exist. Finally, it was my turn–my tickets didn’t scan. The tickets you sold to my friend and I were fake. But you knew that. You knew I would travel all the way to Brooklyn by way of the L train which I had made it my life mission never to take, but for Blink 182 it was worth it. But this would end up being for nothing but disappointment and tears. Yes, I cried. YOU made me cry.

I didn’t get to see them play any of my favorite songs–like “Stay Together for the Kids” a song about divorce which I relate to tenfold. Or “Dammit” or “Carousel” or “Man Overboard” or ANYTHING. Instead I was stuck listening to “Adam’s Song” alone in my room and any Blink fan knows how depressing that can be.

It’s not about the money. You robbed me of an experience that I will never get back.

People go to concerts for the experience–they want to feel the music they’ve listened to so many times through their headphones and car stereos. They want to see it, hear it, feel it, live it. I wanted all of that too. Yes, I’ve seen Blink 182 live several times but this show was special. It was a charity show, which makes what you did all the more disgraceful. But it wasn’t just me, it was DOZENS of fans. Dozens of people who just wanted to escape for a few hours. The bouncer told me he counted at least 50, and from the description another girl gave me of the guy who sold her fake tickets, it was you. You and a friend or a group of guys setting out to just make some money.

Sure, maybe this was my fault for not examining the tickets closer but I just never thought that this would happen. I have too much faith in humanity sometimes and my excitement for having found someone to sell me their tickets clouded my judgement. I should have known. I should have known…

I should have realized that after I was stood up two times by who I believe to be two different people I arranged to meet to buy tickets from that I wasn’t meant to go to this concert. But I wanted to so badly. Third time’s a charm, right? You were the third, so I guess that saying doesn’t always apply…

But this isn’t my fault. It’s yours. You knew I was excited to see them–otherwise why would I have sought you out? You took advantage of me. Yes, it could have been worse and you could have written the script for The Craigslist Killer Part Two, but you didn’t. So, thank you for that. But I’m still upset with you.

I’m not angry, I’m just upset. I am hurt, and I don’t even know you. You did seem like a nice guy, but I suppose that’s how con artists are, right? And don’t think for a second that’s not what you are because that is what you are.  I found myself wondering last night if your parents know what you do. Do they know when you say you’re “going to work” that it means you’re just in a basement somewhere putzing around with paper and ink, gearing up for your next fake-out? Does your mother know?

Blink 182 will come around to New York again sometime soon I’m sure and you’ll get down to business making your fake tickets again–but I hope you don’t. I hope you stop. You cheated over 50 people this week. FIFTY. Isn’t that enough? I couldn’t sleep last night knowing I had been cheated–could you sleep knowing you were the cheater

I know you’ll never see this letter and I know this letter won’t accomplish anything except for helping me get my feelings out in the open and somewhere other than my mind. I know you’ll keep manufacturing and selling fake tickets. I know you’ll spend the money in a way that makes you happy. I just hope that maybe, just maybe, some of that money you made by ripping off 50+ people will go towards something good. Maybe a charity–maybe a few dollars in a homeless man’s change cup. I must restore the same faith I had in humanity that led me to thinking no one would ever make and sell me, or anyone for that matter, a fake ticket and apply it to this scenario. I must hope that the money isn’t going towards something negative, even though it sort of already has. Wherever you are, I hope you’re happy because in the end, everyone deserves happiness, but just know that in this scenario your happiness comes at the expense of others.

Time will pass and we’ll both forget about this. It’s a new day. I’m still upset but I feel better now. I’m sure you don’t care, but I just want you to know that just because you have my money doesn’t mean you’ve won. You’ll lose at some point and maybe then you’ll finally realize what you’ve done–what you’ve been doing–is wrong.

Thanks to you, I couldn’t be that girl anyone fell in love with at the rock show last night…

An Open Letter to Justin Bieber

20 May
via Getty Images

via Getty Images

Dear Justin,

First off let me say that I enjoy your music. It’s fun, catchy and your story, however redundant it gets, is inspiring. I can even deal with your diaper-like pants but what I cannot stand are your fans.

I’m not discounting their devotion, because it’s definitely top-notch, but they’re a little over the top in the sense that they would KILL someone if that person said something negative about you. This simply is not right.

Last night I was watching the Billboard Music Awards. An hour or so before you were booed while on stage, you performed a song I’ve never heard. It wasn’t a bad song, but I noticed that you were lip syncing. Even if it wasn’t a full lip sync and you were using a backtrack to help pick up where you may have lacked in your vocals, it looked like you were lip syncing.  I understand artists do this literally all of the time, which is disappointing, but regardless of that, I tweeted about what I believed I saw.

Firstweet

A harmless observation and request

Literally seconds later I received a tweet in response…

response1

**Please note that I have blued-out the username of the girl who tweeted at me last night because this is regarding your entire fan base, she now, unfortunately, serves as the poster child for all of them.**

Now, I don’t think this is an appropriate response. Maybe I’m wrong or just naive but does tweeting that you lip synced during your performance make me a slut? Last time I checked I didn’t sleep with the founder of Twitter to send out that tweet, nor did I sleep with anyone who gave me inside information about your performance and even if I had slept with ONE person that by no means makes me a slut. Not only is calling someone a slut a form of bullying, but calling someone a slut who you don’t even know is a form of ignorance, and just cruel. Let me be clear–this didn’t anger or upset me, but had she said this to someone else, it could have drastically upset them. Luckily, she got herself into a tiff with someone who happens to have a wild sense of humor–yes, I’m talking about myself.

The conversation didn’t stop there…

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Are you alarmed yet? Have you noticed that this young fan is ONLY 11 YEARS OLD? This became an entirely different conversation once I found out she’s 11. Setting aside that she’s a crazy fan, her language is atrocious for someone her age. Are they learning slang for the male genitalia that early? What’s happening? I know you don’t curse in your songs so perhaps this isn’t your fault, but to what level do you brainwash your fans to get them to pull out all the stops when it comes to defending your honor? It’s not like I even said “Justin sucks!” or anything of that nature. I made a claim, I stand behind it 100%, and this is what I get? From someone not even following me? From someone HALF my age? I attempted to change the tone of the conversation:

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She actually admitted to taking you more seriously than school. I don’t care if you’re famous, rich, poor, performing on the street or performing in a sold out arena–education is important. Even you should know this. I saw that documentary of yours, I know you have a teacher who teaches you on the road. What’s going on here?

As you probably have heard, bullying is an epidemic. Thousands of kids and even adults are affected daily and several instances have unfortunately resulted in death, often by suicide. You teach your fans to believe, never say never and that if you were their boyfriend, you’d never let them go. Don’t you teach your fans not to bully, too? Well, that’s exactly what they do. And I bet once I tweet the link to this letter some girl who sits and stares at her phone all day, refreshing the Justin Bieber search she has permanently glued to her Twitter account will read the letter, try to define a bunch of the larger and above grade level words in it and then send me a poorly worded attack that calls me something I’m not just because I chose to speak my mind in an incredibly mild manner. Justin, I’m not expecting your fans to stop piercing eardrums with their high-pitched screams, I’m not asking you to stop making music, heck, I’m not even going to ask you to stop wearing leather drop-crotch pants because that’s your choice and doesn’t really affect others too negatively, but I will ask that you please try and control your fans to some degree. The girl who fired back at me over and over via Twitter last night actually said that she takes you more seriously than school! Like, that actually happened! Is that what you want? To have an army if uneducated and delinquent fans? Lets be honest, it’s only a matter of time before you get arrested for God knows what but until then, lead by example. Pull up your pants and teach tolerance, love and acceptance.

I’m not saying the way your fans act is your fault but they idolize you–so maybe you should take that as an opportunity to teach them to be better people, to not bully others and to not spread hate for no apparent reason. Teach them that you can fight your own battles, haters and speeding tickets. I know you’ve never asked them to help you fight a speeding ticket but explain to them that these are your battles. Not theirs. You say it should be about the music, well, encouraging them to buy your records is fine, but you need to encourage them not to be rude or disrespectful just because someone doesn’t share the same taste in music as them.

Whether you were lip syncing or not, I’m not a slut. Even if I was a slut, it would have nothing to do with you having lip synced. Your fans are so ruthless and willing to do literally anything for you that I’m worried they’re going to keep the bullying epidemic going and eventually something terrible could happen.
Please do something about this. Go on Ellen if you have too. It doesn’t matter where, but it matters when–and that time is now. You were booed on stage last night. You won that award because your fans are relentless, but clearly those who were present, people who aren’t necessarily in your fan wheelhouse, didn’t think you deserved it and also thought you were wearing too much leather and acted way too cocky with your leather and aviators. Slow down, Bieber, and control your fans–otherwise you’re going to spiral out of control and find yourself composing jingles for a Canadian restaurant chain.
Sincerely,
Allie

Hate Is A Strong Word

6 Oct

There are tons of people in this world that I dislike, no doubt, but there are very few that I truly, TRULY hate. This past week has separated the two for me and those who I hate have risen to the top in a major way. Stupidity is something I absolutely cannot stand. That’s not to say I’m not stupid every now and again, but I’m talking about people with a constant disregard for their brain. Specifically people who have no idea what it means to take responsibility for their own actions.

If you get drunk and pass out–your fault. You chose to drink. You can say all you want that someone else “made you do it” but unless they tied you up and forced it down your throat, it was ultimately YOUR decision to do so. If you have a medical condition or are taking a medication that does not mix well with alcohol or other drugs, it is YOUR responsibility to know that and NOT to mix it with your current condition. You obviously know you have the condition when you go around telling everyone about it so don’t you dare try and make it seem like this was something that just happens. Also, if you drink to the point of unconsciousness and your eyes are rolling back, don’t expect people to just stand there and watch until you fall over and crack your head open. Just because you suck doesn’t mean people around you suck as well. So clearly if a bystander believes medical professionals need to step in then they, the people who are stone-cold sober and completely capable of making a decision, have the right to call 911. You should THANK them for doing so. Even if you got into trouble because, once again, YOU made the decision to drink underage to the point where you fall into and lie down in the middle of the street. Regardless, it happened. Had you not gone to the hospital, what would have happened? No one knows for sure but what COULD have happened was death or an alcohol induced coma. And that would have been a whole hell of a lot worse than getting written up by the University. So quit playing victim and start realizing that you have a laundry list of people to thank instead of trying to get those who helped you out into trouble.

 

Then there’s the type of person who decides to stand around and do nothing. Oh, I’m sorry, by “do nothing” I mean “stand there and yell at a drunk person, slapping them across the face, because they drank so much with an absolute disregard for the fact that the person you are yelling at is currently incapable at responding and receiving your message.” Way to kick a girl while she’s down. Then you’re going to talk back to police officers? Girl, you’re stupid.

 

That’s the kind of stupid I’m talking about.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, something did happen that triggered this and it’s just ridiculous. Be responsible for yourself because it sucks when other people have to step up and be responsible for you.

 

 

(Where’s the)Spirit Air

27 Dec

Being an opinionated person, I have decided that every time I realize I hate something, I am going to award it the title of “The Worst_____.” This can mean anything from the worst restaurant to the worst brand of sneakers. Today, I am going to share with you an experience that resulted in me discovering THE WORST airline. Please remember this is all my opinion, but trust me, this airline SUCKS!

SPIRIT AIRLINES: I remember a few years back there was an airline by the name of Trans World Airlines, TWA for short. It was a running joke that the TWA  really stood for “The Worst Airline” which is probably a contributing factor to them closing their flight decks one last time and going out of business. I assumed they went bankrupt or something along the lines of that, but in actuality, it was because they could no longer compete with the new sheriff of shitty airlines in town—Spirit Airlines.

I had neither flown nor heard of Spirit before this year when my mom booked us on a flight down to Florida. For a flight the day after Christmas, all airlines wanted an arm and a leg, so my mom chose the cheaper Spirit Airlines, which only asked for some money…and my dignity.

I was skeptical about the airline from the very start. Yes, the roundtrip flights for the two of us came out to about $400 less overall than other airlines, but then they got us with all of their unnecessary fees. First let me say that (the) Spirit (of Halloween) Airlines prides themselves to be an airline in which you only have to pay for the amenities that you want. This sounded quite auspicious to me as I thought we’d be able to choose if we wanted to pay for a movie, upgraded meals or more leg room. Instead, the amenities they were referring to ended up being standard procedures/complimentary on every single other airline. You see, according to them, these amenities are: checking baggage, carrying on anything more than just one personal item, bigger seats and drinks…EVEN BOTTLED WATER. My mom got a hot tea…that’s hot water, a tea bag and a packet of Splenda= *$2. God forbid she wanted fresh lemon, that probably would have cost her an extra buck fifty, but luckily she carries around her own packets of lemon juice in her purse…perfectly normal. As I was saying, to check a bag-$26, to have a carry-on aside from ONE personal item-$30, sodas-$3, for a bigger seat-$75. The BEST part is that you have to pay for the flight and THEN you have to pay for a seat! I asked if you could just pay for the flight and stand the entire time, but of course this would be dangerous and against the law so the answer was “no.” Thus, in what world does that policy make any sense? Maybe Nebula or the Starship Enterprise, but definitely not America…probably not even Abu Dhabi.

Then we got on the plane. Leather seats…stained and most likely unsanitary. There was a black, oily looking substance lining the top of my headrest which I forced myself to ignore, and there wasn’t even enough room in front of the seats to fit a laptop. No televisions in headrests or suspended from the ceiling, aisles so thin even the Olsen twins would have to turn sideways to walk down them. It sucked…just shitty.

To give you an idea of just how awful this airline is, here’s a personal anecdote that unfolded just this morning. As you may or may not know, New York (my place of origin) is expected to get several inches of snow yesterday beginning in the early morning or afternoon. So naturally, in NY style, everyone rushed to change their flights to the earliest available which means overcrowding and overbooking which Spirit is first-rate at! It ended up that Spirit needed to make room for two customers, so they asked for two volunteers to give up their seats and in exchange for their kindness, they would receive $400 CASH each, 2 round trip tickets to ANYWHERE Spirit flies and a guaranteed seat on the next flight to Florida. They found their volunteers but once we were on the plane they had a late-comer who needed to make a cruise so she HAD to get on our flight. He offered the SAME deal to us, needing only one customer this time. No one raised their hands. Then he told us he’d be able to get that person on the next JetBlue flight out to Florida—at least 10 people raised their hand this time. Spirit Airlines is, and always should be, a last resort. Unless of course all the other airlines want $1,000 each way and Spirit is offering $5 flights. Otherwise, under no circumstance should you fly Spirit Airlines. What a displeasure.

My question is, where do they get off charging someone for a cup of luke warm water the size of a baby’s fist? Every single other airline, whether they charge for baggage or not, is kind enough to give out complimentary beverages other than alcohol. JetBlue even gives out snacks—GREAT snacks! Spirit was charging $4 for a bag of Combos. I’m truly surprised there wasn’t a coin slot next to the air vents above our seats. Same goes for a coin slot outside the bathroom…but then my mom told me that would be illegal.

* Of course this fee was not paid for because my mother complained the water wasn’t hot enough, so we just paid the $3 for my can of Coke Zero instead.

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