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Passport Problems

So I don't know if I mentioned it before, Imac and I are going on a cruise to the Caribbean this may. I love cruises; I love going to new places; I love the boat; I love the food and I love vacations. This is only my second cruise and we are going to Jamaica and Grand Cayman, both of which I heard are gorgeous.
Who can say no to that view?

We opted for these spots because neither of us have been there. Imac has been to the Bahamas twice and I've been to San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maarten (I would move to St. Maarten). Originally we were supposed to go with Imac's family as a family vacation thing, because apparently his family does these things. Unfortunately not too long after we booked his family cancelled because one of his sisters found out she was pregnant. I can't blame her for cancelling. I would not want to be seven months pregnant in the Caribbean either.  But Imac and I couldn't cancel without losing our $200 deposit and frankly we didn't want to cancel, so we're going anyway.

I am so looking forward to this

This whole thing is very exciting, except that Imac demands that I get a passport. Now I'm not morally opposed to getting a passport, in fact I have wanted to get one for quite some time. I just didn't want to be rushed in the process. So at the end of January I went to the passport website to find out what I needed and I hit a whole wall of problems.

The biggest of which was my birth certificate. Now I have a birth certificate, in fact I have two copies of it because I lost one for the longest time. Neither of these birth certificates, however, have my parents names on them anywhere because the State of New Jersey doesn't do that. So for two weeks I went searching to find where I could get a copy of my birth certificate with my parents names on it. Finally I found out I could order one to the tune of $35 dollars from the NJ Department of Vital Statistics but it was going to take a month to get here.

So mid-February I ordered my birth certificate and I got it less about it a week ago. And guess what? It still didn't have my dad's name on it. Apparently my mother never put my dad on my BC, so the US government is just going to have to deal with it. I mean I'm almost-30 it's a little late to be petitioning the state of NJ to put my dad's name on it and even worse since I haven't talked to my dad in close to ten years as it is.

This is what it is starting to feel like.

So then I got up Saturday morning to go to the Post Office to get my passport only to find out that the Passport office was no longer open on Saturdays (what? a month ago they were open on Saturdays) and now only take passport paperwork by appointment. So now I have to call on Monday to make an appointment to drop off my passport stuff.  Now because its taken me so long just to get the paperwork in order, I have to pay extra to have my passport expedited and overnight shipped to me because the cruise is the third week in May and the Passport office takes 6-8 weeks for normal processing and that's cutting it awful close.

The worst part about this is I don't even need a passport to go on this cruise. As long as the cruise starts and ends at the same dock (Miami in our case) you don't need a passport, just a birth certificate. Imac, however, refuses to believe this even though I showed it to him in writing on Carnival's website and demands that I get my passport anyways. UNC-Sis is on a Carnival cruise right now (one of like 6 for her) and she doesn't have a passport either. I don't mind getting the passport I just don't want to spend 210 dollars in shipping and handling costs to have it for a cruise I don't need it for. But there is no arguing with Imac.

Sigh, men.

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I'm Going to Regret This

You ever do something and know you are going to regret it in like an hour?

Yeah, I did that recently; I bought a scale.

And I knew when I was buying that scale that I was going to regret it in less than 24 hours. Heck, it didn't even take 6 hours. The minute I took that thing out of the box and got on it, I knew I had made a horrible mistake. See the problem with me is that I am never happy at the weight I am at. I'm pretty sure I could be 100 pounds and still not be happy. But if I don't know how much I weigh, I can only judge by the way my pants fit and I can always argue its due to PMS. The pants system has worked for me a long time and makes me infinitely less neurotic.

That being said this "get healthy" New Years Resolution of mine has resulted in me losing three pounds this month, which of course I'm not happy about because WHY IS IT NOT TEN! I know, I'm insufferable and should be smacked repeatedly. Pray for iMac as he has to put up with me everyday.

Speaking of iMac, he got on the scale a little while later and found out that he has gained 15 pounds since moving in with me. This is mostly likely due to the fact that I make him eat real meals and don't allow him to go a whole day just eating pop-tarts. Before anyone tells me I've done something horrible to him, iMac weighed all of 125 pounds and was a size 28 pants when I met him. They don't even make a size 28 pants in men sizes.  I couldn't even find a belt small enough for him without going to the kids section. I did him a favor by giving him food; he no longer looks like spent a month living in a concentration camp.

In other news, when is winter going to be over? Didn't I move to Florida to escape this?

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I'm Supposed to Fight in That?

Disclaimer: This is a post about video games. No, I am probably not ready for the harassment and hate that is probably going to come from writing this.

So iMac recently got me into playing video games with him. Specifically Final Fantasy XIV. I have to say I am enjoying it way way too much. But I've noticed a trend that I find more funny than anything else, basically: why does the fighting gear show off so much damn skin?

That is a leather onesie. I'm not sure how that outfit is supposed to be durable in a fight against wild creatures and evil demon bosses. Listen, I'm not trying to make an argument about video games being sexist. That topic has been discussed ad nauseam and frankly the male characters wear a very similar outfit. I'm just saying, there is too much skin showing for me to be fighting anyone in this. One swipe to the stomach and my intestines will be falling out.

This is my character at a later point in the game where I am literally wearing a metal bikini. This gear has fairly good stats in the game and doesn't take much damage, but really it would be completely unrealistic to wear this outside of the game. Also note that every guy in that dungeon with me is checking out the metal bikini.

This is Imac's character in the game, and supposedly his character is wearing a "skirt."

Now, I know its a video game and real world logic does not apply to it. I'm just wondering what the game designers were thinking when they said "yeah lets make this class of characters looking like they aren't wearing pants" or "Metal bikinis sound great to fight in." I might as well be wearing a giant clown nose and an 18th century petticoat for as realistic as these garments would be to fight in.

In fairness, this is a picture of Imac and my character later in the game where we get to rock out full outfits.

So is it just me that thinks the metal bikini is a weird choice?

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The Holiday Chronicles (or Forced Time with Family)

So I realized I never blogged about the holidays, so time for a quick round up of stories.

A Very Vegan Thanksgiving

We originally were going to go to my parents house for Thanksgiving, but last minute we found out that one of iMac's sisters was hosting Thanksgiving at her house in SC, so we opted to go there. We left after work and drove six hours with Nixon and Kennedy in the back driving us completely nuts the whole way. We got to SC around 11 and promptly passed out in our cheap hotel room.

Apparently, the sister hosting Thanksgiving has recently become vegan (her husband, thankfully, has not). So we got to hear all about her being vegan and how its so hard to go anywhere to eat. I don't want to say iMac and his sister got into a fight over the welfare of the animals that we eat, but there was a disagreement where his sister stomped out of the room being like "I can't listen to this anymore."

I Need to Find a White Dress

The other highlight of Thanksgiving was that iMac's stepmom is fairly religious and didn't really take to the two of us living together and not being married. More importantly she really wants grandkids and seemed to think iMac and I getting married would achieve that (even though she has two married daughters as it is). She pounced on me about getting married and when I pretty much flat out told her that iMac was in charge of that decision, she pounced on him.

It was pretty much two days of suggesting to iMac that he better marry me soon and trying to figure out when my wedding should be. I half expected her to demand a list of my bridesmaids and what the wedding colors were going to be. After we left, anytime the word wedding was brought up iMac went into convulsions and needed to change the subject. I had to prep my family not to use the word for Christmas, for fear that iMac might run out of the house screaming.

Boys and Their Toys

So Christmas shopping for iMac is always a little challenging because he has everything he wants, so finding things to buy him can be hard. Luckly, we had gotten free tickets to a Jaguars game not that long ago and when we were there he saw someone with a Jagurs hat where the ears moved up and down. He drug me to every NFL shop in the Jaguars stadium looking for this hat. Now granted he was two beers deep when he did this. So after the game I went online and found the hat and bought it for him.

Doesn't he look thrilled
He had also been telling me that he wanted a remote control helicopter for awhile. We had seen one on King of the Nerds (yes, this is a real TV show), and he was like "I wants I wants." Unfortunately, the one on the show was out of my price range. So I had picked out a nice on on Amazon and when i went to buy it, the price had doubled making it out of my price range. So I went on eBay and found another one and quickly ordered it (lucky for me too, 4 days later the price on it doubled as well). The one I ended up getting was smaller than I imagined but came with a video camera.

 Like a five year old child, iMac had to take it out to play right away.... and then he promptly flew it right into the overgrown lot next to my parents house. It took us 30 minutes of search through waist high brush and bushes to find the damn thing. He managed to not loose it again, but he was playing with it before we left to drive home and managed to get it stuck on my parents roof.

crawling on the roof

Good use of teeth

In Conclusion

All in all the holidays were fun. My mom got Lil' Miss Sis Disney Headbandz, which turned out to be hilarious to play with 4 adults. iMac and Unc-Sis' boyfriends could not figure out what Disney characters they were and it was so funny seeing them get so frustrated. Unc-Sis's boyfriend must have asked if he was a lion 6 times when his card was Bambi.

Obligatory picture of my sisters being cute

iMac's family was nice and fun and except the badgering about getting married, we both managed to survive the holidays without too much permanent scarring. But thank god I don't have to do any of this again until next year.

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Ch-Ch-Changes (2013 Year in Review)

 Its the second day of 2014, which means the internet is inundated with year in review articles and blogs. I would be remiss if I didn't post one of my own considering how much changed in 2013 for me.

In January of 2013, I was living in a tiny one-bedroom apartment with my two mutts. I had just started a job that turned out to be a nightmare (this boss). My coworkers there were awesome; It just wasn't the right company for me. In Feburary, Imac and I moved in together. This is my first time living with a boyfriend and its good and bad in its own weird way. I spend way too much time finding things for him. I swear he doesn't even look anymore, he just yells for me to find stuff. I am constantly searching for his belt or his cell phone or his car keys or his shoes. Boy can't keep track of anything.

In May, I turned 29 (ugh, yuck NOOOOOOO). I also got to go on a trip to Miami for a Digital Marketing conference my job was hosting. Miami was awesome. So awesome that I wrote three separate posts about it. I got to meet a lot of really great people in my field and got to cruise around the harbor on a fucking-huge yacht. Of course in June, I got fired/quit my job (jury is out on which it actually was). So it was back to waiting tables in July and I enjoyed it while it lasted. Waiting tables definitely has its moments.

At then end of August, Imac got offered an amazing job in Jacksonville, Florida so we uprooted ourselves in 11 days and moved 6 hours south. I won't lie, the 7 days to pack and move might have been the most stressful week of my life. I swear I had at least 3 nervous breakdown from it. Florida has been great though (except for the freakishly huge mosquitos and the insane amount of fleas). We live in a three-bedroom house with a fenced in backyard. Sure, we don't have a garage door opener or working outlets in the bathroom, but we have tons of space. It might have taken me awhile to find a new job but the job is awesome. Yes, I work in customer service and frequently get spoken to like I am an idiot, but somehow I find it fun and rewarding anyways. Plus, they let me play with the twitter accounts!

All in all 2013 ended on a high note. The year had its up and downs and my life definitely changed a lot in the last 12 months, but mostly for the better. Here to 2014 being a more stable year that 2013.

Now for my 2014 resolutions:

  • Get Healthier- its cliche to want to lose weight, right? With all the ups and downs this year, my weight went up and down to and a lot of it was due to my poor habits (like too much chocolate). So I want to eat healthier and get more exercise this year.
  • Blog More- I really slacked on the blogging last year, which is sad because I really love it. I doubt this will last past March though, because I tend to run out of things to say.
  • Finish a Novel- I've been working on like 3 novels for years now. I want to finish writing the rough draft of at least one of them this year.
  • Figure out how to avoid turning 30- There is really no way out of this except death right?
Obligatory Pic of iMac and I looking happy (Ginger Family FTW)

 Happy New Year and a great 2014 to all y'all!!

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I Feel a Disturbance in the Internet

So I wanted to write this post last week but Christmas, you know. Unless you have been living under a rock recently, I'm sure you heard the news about Phil Robertson and Justine Sacco. Both of them were lambasted on the internet for some really stupid comments they made. I'm not here to justify what either of them said. I personally didn't find anything racist in either comment, just stupid and ignorant in Justine's case and uber-religious and badly-worded in Phil's case. I can see how people were offended but I'm not sure I classify either as racist per say (IMO).

What concerns me the most about these two, is not the comments that they made, but the way the internet reacted. Maybe I'm idealistic but I firmly believe that everyone has the right to say something idiotic and not have an unruly mob go after them. They certainly don't deserve to lose their jobs over it. The sheer venom and anger that people on the internet unleashed after those two made their now infamous comments was worse than what those two said in the first place.

Internet this is what you looked like

I have never seen such a despicable display as the comments made after Justine Sacco's tweet. Here are just a few of the worst that are still floating around the interwebz.

Sure what Justine said was ignorant but hoping the girl gets raped? Way out of line. Apparently there were death threats on her and members of her family. Pictures of her daughter on instagram were covered in hateful comments and threats.

Dear Internet: THIS IS NOT OKAY.

In fact, this is about 100xs worse than what Justine said in the first place. She made an ignorant comment, you threatened physical violence against her, her family and her child. In what world is that okay?

Frankly, I really don't understand why Justine's tweet was singled out for being especially bad. A twitter search on any given day will give you hundreds of racist or homophobic tweets that were just as bad or worse than what she said. This isn't an excuse for her behavior and what she wrote, I just find it circumspect that a girl with less than 200 twitter followers gets that kind of publicity. I'm almost suspicious that someone at Buzzfeed had it out for her, bit that's neither here nor there.

Either way Internet, you do not get to be an unruly mob. Put your fucking pitchforks away and stop thinking it is okay to bully people on the internet. Yes, what Justine said was awful but the way you bullied the girl was just as awful.

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SUNDAY PIC: Christmas Survivor 2013

For those of you who have been reading this blog for awhile (if people are even reading it at all anymore), you know my family has an annual Christmas Survivor tradition where my mom makes us compete for presents. This year it was UNC-Sis, iMac, UNC-Sis's Boyfriend and myself competing.

I now present this years competition:

Challenge One: Flip pencils on their end into a coffee mug.

 Winner: UNC-Sis's Boyfriend


Challenge Two: Using salt make an egg sit upright on a lightbulb.

Note Lil' Miss Sis and Baby sis watching in the background.
Winner: UNC-Sis

Challenge Three: Throw ping-pong balls across a room to stick on a peice of bread with peanut butter on it.

Winner: UNC-Sis's Boyfriend

He won a desktop bowling game. UNC-Sis and I claim beginner's luck because both iMac and her boyfriend have won the first year they played.

Oh well better luck next year. Anyone else have a fun family Christmas tradition?

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Family Affairs or Please Stop Hugging Me

So I talk a lot about my family and all the weird stuff they do. I mean I'm pretty sure my parents are trying to set the bar for bizarre traditions and such.

But I'm going to switch it up and talk about Imac's family for a change. Much like me, Imac's parents are seperated. His father remarried and he has two older step-sisters and two younger half sisters. I have met the two younger sisters, who are very religious before. I haven't gotten to meet the older sisters. One lives in Cuba (lucky her) and the other one I am going to meet at Thanksgiving at her house. This is my first official family function with Imac's family and so I'm a little nervous. Also its the sister who is hosting Thanksgiving and apparently she just became a vegetarian so I keep telling Imac were going to end up with Tofurky. He doesn't think that is very funny.

On the other side of Imac's family is his mother. His mother is..... interesting. She is a very nice woman but she is different. Let start off with she is bleach blond (naturally) and trying to rock dreadlocks but can't get them to take, so her hair is braided instead.

Like this but she's 50.
I'm not going to go into her taste in men but Imac summed it up best when he said "it pretty much just keeps getting worse." Neither of these things bother me that, what bothers me about her is two things:

A). She gets drunks and says things that are really inappropriate, awkward and uncomfortable. Also I'm pretty sure most of them are entirely not true. One time when drunk she told me that Imac's dad kicked her in the stomach on purpose when she was pregnant with Imac because he was mad at her/didn't want kids. The man has five kids and is like the sweetest, quietest, nicest guy. So believe her I do not. Also WHY WOULD YOU TELL YOUR SON'S GIRLFRIEND THAT? For the record, this happened right in front of Imac and he politely changed the subject. But that is just the tip of the iceberg of weird things she has said when drunk, besides the fact that every 3 seconds its "when are you having my grandbabies?"

But the bigger reason is B). SHE WON'T STOP HUGGING ME.

Listen, I don't come from a family of touchy-feely huggy people. My own mother hasn't hugged me since I was 9. Even when they moved 12 hours away I didn't get a hug goodbye. Hugging just isn't in my family DNA. And if we do hug its a 5 second, haven't seen you in 5 years kind of thing.

Imac's mom, however, is of the touchy-feely variety. She wants to constantly be hugging me and constantly be touching me and all I can think is:

I would forcefully throw her off me if I could but I don't want to be rude. Imac has gotten pretty good about trying to keep her on one side of him and me on the other because he knows it drives me insane. Seriously, I don't see her that often but when I do its like she wants to get in a whole year of touches in.

So you tell me: Am I crazy for letting that bother me or am I totally justified about the hugging thing?

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