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I’m Sorry

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Dear Friends,

If you are reading this, it is probably because you read my last post, “An Open Letter to Bearded Hipsters“. This post was published on Monday morning and at last count has been viewed 528,821 times, shared on Facebook and Twitter over 10,000 times, and commented on by a staggering 972 people. These comments were a virulent swirl of beard pride and butt hurt. It is these commenters I would like to address in this post.

I’m sorry. I had no idea how strongly people feel about facial hair. As a woman, I tend to shave and pluck my unwanted hairs, so I guess I never really thought about the deep symbolism and masculine pride men are wearing on their faces.

I made the statement that I am sexually attracted to beards. To those of you who pointed out that this is because I secretly want to sleep with my father, I thank you for your profound insight. You have saved me a fortune in therapy bills. I have done some deep soul-searching, and now realize I also want to sleep with the members of ZZ Top. And Santa Claus. In fact, as long as a man has a beard, consider my vagina open for business. I am also sorry for daring to write on my personal blog about my likes and dislikes. You are all right, that is a completely outrageous thing to do. I am humbled.

For the bearded manly men, I’m sorry for making you feel good about yourselves. Since I wrote this post, I have been introduced to an amazing group of people called “feminists”. They told me that we are living in something called a “patriarchal society” and apparently it’s guys like you that have been keeping us women down for centuries. My mind is blown! Apparently, by me wishing for a more old fashioned guy, I am encouraging the perpetuation of this nefarious system. I have gotten a library card and plan to read more about this. As a side note, I also learned that no means no.

These awesome feminists also told me that by calling a man a “pussy”, I am equating female genitalia with weakness. I’m still on the fence about that one. Honestly, I just thought it sounds funny. Plus I am always bragging about my own freakishly strong vagina, so by that logic if I call a guy a pussy I am actually calling him “amazing”. Hmmm. Food for thought, friends.

I’m sorry that I have not graduated from college. As many of you who are currently taking “Gender Studies 101” pointed out, I am guilty of perpetuating “hetero-normative” stereotypes and even “micro aggression”. Thanks to Google, I was able to figure out what these words mean, and learn more about how to sound cool at parties. Man, I love the internet. Thanks, guys. The world is going to be a better place when you enter the workforce. Be the change, right?

For those of you who told me to stop “body shaming”, I’m sorry. I thought I was actually “face shaming”, but still. Point taken.

I’m deeply sorry for being sexist, or practicing “reverse sexism”. Honestly, I didn’t know that was a thing. I mean, didn’t we just get the right to vote? You’re right, how would I feel if the situation were reversed, and men were telling me what is a sexy way to dress and look. I have never experienced that before, but I can only imagine it would be profoundly hurtful.

For those of you who said I am perpetuating violence, and stuff like this can actually cause hate crimes, I am actually weeping with remorse. I didn’t realize that people don’t think for themselves. People could read that open letter, and since their minds are as malleable as Play Doh, they might actually hurt someone for having a hipster beard. Please don’t hurt anyone, people. I already feel bad enough. I simply cannot have that on my conscience.

To the many, many people who suggested I learn to change my own fucking tires, you’re right. I should probably also learn to feed and dress myself. I’m sorry. Nicki Daniels is a work in progress. Baby steps.

And to the hipsters themselves…where to begin? Yes, I know that hipster bashing is so 2005. From now on I will try to be more on-trend and topical with my disdain. And you’re right, the world IS changing. I will try to keep up. I also now realize that making fun of overprivileged white people is very, very naughty. As of today, I vow to only kick the paralyzed and slap the retarded. By the way, if you guys are looking for some chicks, check out those feminists I mentioned above. They have more enlightened views about masculinity than I do, even if they will keep your balls in their bell jar.

Lastly, I am sorry for blogging in the first place. “They” really will give a blog to anyone. I didn’t realize that writing is a Godlike, sacred power. That every time I sit down to write, I must think: how will this impact every person in the world? Will I offend anyone? Could anyone possibly be hurt?

Sadly, this is impossible. But I really love writing. So, as of Monday, “The Nicki Daniels Interview” will change to “Funtime Happyplace” and will feature my thoughts on navel lint and lots of GIFs of dancing cats.

Hope to see ya there!

Nicki

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An open letter to bearded hipsters

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Dear Bearded Hipsters,

YOU GUYS ARE RUINING MY BEARD FETISH.  Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved a man with a beard. To me, they meant strength, power, MANLINESS. Someone who could protect me. Unfortunately, you guys have turned it into a fashion statement. The beard has turned into the padded bra of masculinity. Sure it looks sexy, but whatcha got under there? There’s a whole generation running around looking like lumberjacks, and most of you can’t change a fucking tire.

Look, I get it. I really do. I understand the motivation behind your beardedness. In fact, I even pity you. Thousands of years of evolution priming you guys to kill stuff, and chase stuff, and fuck stuff….and now what? You’re stuck at a desk all day. No battles to fight. No wars to wage. So you assert your masculinity the only way you know how. You brew beer. You grow some hair on your face. I’ve seen you, hipsters, sitting in downtown eateries, with your rock chick girlfriends, dipping your truffle fries, trying not to get the aioli in your mustache. I’ve seen the quiet desperation in your eyes. I know you’re screaming into the void.

But I still hate you for it. You’re confusing me. It’s now on me to suss out who is the real man and who is the poseur. Sadly, I fear most of you are the latter. Before this explosion of whiskers on trendy men everywhere, if I saw a bearded man it was safe to assume certain things about him. Like, he probably owned a hammer. Or washed his hair with a bar of Irish Spring. His beard was probably scented with motor oil and probably had remnants of last night’s chili in it.

But you vegan nancyboys are a different breed altogether. You have your mountain man scruff, but you maintain it. You groom it. With products. A quick google search of “beard grooming products” turns up literally thousands of articles explaining how to have the most lustrous beard possible. Take this one from Philadelphia Magazine, where they tested TWENTY DIFFERENT VARIETIES of beard oil. The result of this intrepid testing?

“I’m talking softer, more manageable whiskers that hold their shape better and smell nice, besides. Doesn’t sound so bad put that way, does it?”

Yes. Yes it does, you GIANT PUSSY. Am I reading “Cosmo”? What the fuck is going on here? Betty White has bigger balls than you. Look, I know I sound harsh, but I’m actually trying to rein myself in. A beard is meant to keep your face warm. Seriously, that’s it. You guys had your warm beards so you could go out and hunt us food, and we had our boobies with warm milk to feed the young’uns. That’s why I love beards. It is a natural, physiological response. I want a man who can keep me safe. How did it all get so twisted?

I don’t want to go back to Cro-Magnon days. I’m glad we have more gender equality and I like not having to worry about being eaten by larger creatures. But I am calling for a moratorium on the hipster beard. I demand that you reach for a razor if any of the following are true:

Your beard is accompanied by a bowtie or horn-rimmed eyeglasses. Why on earth do you want to look like Sigmund Freud? At least he could blame this strange look on his massive cocaine problem. Sometimes a cigar is just a douchebag.

You grew a beard to be “ironic”. But you don’t exactly understand what “ironic” means, or why having a beard would be ironic if you did.

You take time off from your entry-level graphic design job only to attend South by Southwest, take your French Bulldog to the vet, or lie on your futon and weep.

You do not know what an Allen wrench is, but can explain, in detail, the difference between a macchiato and an Americano.

There is an existing Instagram photo of you wearing a knit beanie and chewing on a stalk of wheat.

How’d you do, boys? Better go get your moisturizing shave gel. It’s time to stop playing at being a man. But don’t throw all those perfectly good whiskers in the trash. Give them to your upcycling, DIY girlfriend and let her decoupage some photo frames, or something. But please, just get rid of it. Another trend will soon come along to occupy your technology-addled attention span. And me? I have some beard-ogling to get back to.

Thanks in advance,
Nicki

*UPDATE* If you were offended by this post, please read my sincere apology here.

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Time Travel with Nicki: Ep.1 “The Fistfight”

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Becky Braun wanted to beat me up because she was jealous of my new perm. It was 1986, I was in the fifth grade, and the permanent wave was EVERYWHERE. Everyone from my parents to my MTV idols were rocking crowns of massively poufed and hairsprayed curls. In retrospect, it is hard to believe that people were paying good money to look like electrocuted poodles, but at the time, I wanted one. Desperately.

My mom was a hairdresser who worked out of a tiny salon in our basement. On lazy afternoons, our little Cape Cod house would slowly fill with the wafting fumes of chemicals and cigarette smoke as she coiffed the manes of friends and neighbors. After months of begging, it was my turn in the chair. I watched as she tightly wrapped my baby-fine hair in the brightly colored plastic rollers and applied the stinky solution. After what seemed like 7 hours, she rinsed me, dried me, and voila! I was a fucking ROCK STAR.

Kind of like this, but not really.

Kind of like this, but not really.

I didn’t think I could look any hotter, but then she came at me brandishing a large can of mousse and worked a giant blob of the stuff into my hair. She showed me how to scrunch it to define the curls, a move I proceeded to do every 30 seconds for the next 3 months. My once-limp locks now stood out from my head in a frizzy halo, and were as crispy to the touch as a can of Pringles. It was magical. I couldn’t wait to go to school.

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I set off on the walk to school breathless with anticipation. It was a bleak winter day, but the sun was shining in my soul. My Prince and the Revolution backpack bounced on my shoulders in time with my steps. I would be the first one in my grade with a perm! I was naturally petite, and had skipped the second grade, so I was already in awe of my classmates and their budding boobs. Now they would see who the real woman was! And I hoped rabidly to catch the eye of Ryan Jr. Ryan was the coolest kid in my grade, with soft blonde hair worn long on his neck and fuck-me eyes. Well, as fuck-me as an 11 year old’s eyes can get.

Kind of like this, but not really.

Kind of like this, but not really.

I had no idea the day would end with the first butt-kicking of my life. And I was utterly clueless that this beatdown would come at the hands of Becky. I had actually tried to be her friend. She was new to my school that year, having recently moved from Germany. I was looking to exotify my circle of friends, and a Girl From Another Land was just the thing. I did wish she was a little more attractive, however. She had a stout farmgirl body, and a homely, grim face with a soft down of mustache on her upper lip.

Kind of like this, but not really.

Kind of like this, but not really.

Her house smelled like dirty clothes and burnt food. Her parents were never home, and we were supervised instead by her older brother Henry, who had a bad case of adolescent acne and an even worse case of what I like to call “rape eyes”. After he tried to wrestle me in a way I was not at all cool with, I never went back and our friendship fizzled. I decided to wait for a friend from France, and she decided to wait and kill me.

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Later that afternoon, in math class, I got up to sharpen my pencil for the 87th time. You see, Ryan Jr. was in the classroom across the hall, and from the vantage point of the pencil sharpener I could see him perfectly. I glanced across, and lo and behold, he was looking right at me! I fake-dropped my pencil, and as I stood back up, I whipped back my hair in a perfect Lita Ford video move. Now he was not looking, but staring. It seemed my hair was already changing my life.

I floated back to my desk, on which was a small square of yellow paper. A love note from another admirer, perhaps?

Nicki,

Your ugly. Your hair looks stupid. I am going to kill you after school.

Your enemy,
Becky

My first thought was to tell our teacher Mrs. Horngoggles. But I had already noticed that in between swigs of gin from her thermos, she had been giving me bitch looks as well. With her beady eyes and female pattern baldness, she would not be my ally in this matter.

I knew this was one of those defining moments. I could be a scaredy-cat, or I could be the new, bepermed and badass Nicki. I chewed on my eraser, and wrote.

Becky,

No. YOU’RE ugly. I will fight you after school.

Your enemy,
Nicki

P.S. Germany is stupid because Hitler lived there.

I glanced back to watch her read my note, her unibrow raised in surprise. Suddenly my bravado dissolved in an ocean of icy terror. What had I done? I needed weapons. A silk robe like Sugar Ray Leonard. A boom box to play my theme song. I needed time to actually learn how to fight. For the rest of the day, adrenalin pumped through my small body as the seconds ticked by like hours.

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Finally the bell rang, signaling the end of the day. The news of the fight had spread like jam on Wonder bread, and instead of scattering off in different directions, THE ENTIRE SCHOOL FOLLOWED US HOME.

Kind of like this, but not really.

Kind of like this, but not really.

I was carried along in the crush of bodies. Everyone was yelling with excitement. Becky was walking ahead of me, leaving me in the curious predicament of running to catch up with someone who wanted to kill me. Finally, about two blocks away from my house, she turned to face me. She dropped her coat and backpack on the ground. I did the same.

“OK” said Becky.
“OK” said me.

I thought there would be some more name-calling, or at least someone would yell our heights and weights into a microphone, but before I could blink, three things happened.

She punched me in the stomach.
She kicked me in the vagina.
She grabbed my hair.

Oh, helllll no. It was enough that this bully who had 7 inches and 50 pounds on me was trying to hurt me. But now this bitch was trying to mess up all that careful scrunching? For the first time in my young life I felt BLOODLUST. A clean, pure rage that made me feel invincible.

Actually, EXACTLY like this.

Actually, EXACTLY like this.

I came at her like a tornado, landing punches wherever my tiny fists could reach. I grabbed at her hair but it was coarse and greasy and I couldn’t hold on. She smacked me in the mouth. I smacked her in the chest. Around and around we went, for what felt like hours but was probably more like two minutes. Becky was winning, but all this time the kids were chanting my name. It seems everyone loves an underdog.

Maybe Becky could tell I wasn’t going to stop until I was dead. Maybe she got bored, or afraid an adult would pass by. Maybe she was bummed out that no one was cheering for her. But finally, she disentangled herself from me and walked away, her shoulders slumped.

I had a bloody lip and my vagina was radiating waves of agony, but I turned around and saw something that took away my pain like a shot of morphine.

Ryan Jr. was holding my backpack and coat.

Ryan Jr. was holding MY fucking backpack and MY fucking coat.

And he walked me home.

And he sat in my living room with his friends and ate cookies with me.

And all that tussling had given my hair tons of body.

It was the best day ever.

I felt even better than this guy.

I felt even better than this guy.

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That, friends, was the day I grew my ladyballs. I also learned some valuable lessons. I learned that physical pain can’t kill you. (Unless, of course, it kills you.) A few scrapes and bruises are less wounding than the shame I would have felt if I didn’t stand up to her.

It was also a powerful lesson in what it means to be a strong woman. The fairy tales always show the Prince slaying the dragon to win the heart of the Princess. But in my life? Sometimes it’s the other way around.

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*NOTE* This is the first of what I plan to be a regular series here at the Nicki Daniels Interview. I will randomly pluck a memory from the vault and share it with you. It’s fun to blog about my life now, but I hope you will enjoy this peek into the past and begin to understand how I got to be the crazy beast I am today. Over time, I hope to have sort of a jigsaw puzzle memoir. The stories will be true inasmuch as my damaged brain can remember, but names will be changed for the obvious reasons.

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Dear Jesus

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Hey buddy,

So it’s that time of year again! I know you think I’m really ballsy, writing you directly every Christmas but all I’m doing is cutting out that fat, jolly middleman and giving you the respect you deserve! If you really are almighty, you need to get that joker in line. I mean, you died on the cross and all, and every year on your birthday who are all the little kiddies freaking out about? It’s just not fair. I know you’re above that sort of thing, but if I were you I’d be pissed.

And I know you get aggravated because the only time you hear me utter your name is when my dog shits in the kitchen. And I know you think I’m a big hypocrite spending the whole year menacing people from behind the wheel of my Subaru and then asking you for shit come December, but I’ve made some changes, Jesus, and I think you’ll be glad to hear about them.

I’ve given up nearly all my vices! All I have left is sugar and caffeine. Ok, I know you saw me take those bong hits earlier but that was only so I could feel closer to you. I’m really trying to be healthier, and be happier, and spread joy throughout the land! And, here is a little spoiler alert, Jesus, but I have big plans for 2014. Stay tuned because it’s going to be pretty fucking cool.

I’ve also become much less materialistic. I’m not writing you to beg for a coat made of unicorn fur like I did last year. I’ve matured a lot, and now I want things that money can’t buy. Just a few little tokens of affection from you to me. Things like…

MERMAID HAIR. Please, Jesus. I want long flowing Mermaid hair so bad. My own hair is shitty. It is coarse yet fine, straight yet curly. It will not grow. I know I can get extensions, Lord, but I refuse to pay to have someone else’s hair sewn to my head. I know I am already terribly vain, but someone with the lustrous, silken head of hair that you possess could never understand this terrible longing. If it could be waist length, wavy, and auburn with copper highlights that would be just super.

Also, PENROSE HOT SAUSAGES.

857 Facebook fans can't be wrong!

857 Facebook fans can’t be wrong!

I need these like the flowers need the rain. I know that they are made of beef lips and mechanically separated chicken, but they are fucking delicious. One day they just weren’t at the grocery store. I heard the factory burned down. Now you came back from the dead, for Christ’s sake, so surely you can magic a few jars of these puppies back into being. I don’t know if you have internet, Jesus, but there is an actual Facebook page called Bring Back Penrose Hot Sausages…and it has 857 likes. I’m sure at least some of these people go to church. So if not for me, do it for them.

TIPS FOR JESUS. Surely you’ve heard about this “Tips for Jesus” guy. If you haven’t, Lord, click here. This guy is just randomly going around tipping servers and bartenders like thousands of dollars. What I’m hoping here Jesus, is that you can give this dude a nudge in my direction. Because let’s face it, I’m sure some of these lucky winners are real assholes. I work in this industry and there are a lot of real ass clowns. But you know I am basically a good person. You know my schedule, Lord, let’s make it happen.

A PILLOW DAUBED LIGHTLY WITH THE SWEET ESSENCE OF RYAN GOSLING. YES, Jesus, I know I’m married. My thing with Ryan is not sexual. I admire who he is as a human being. He kind of reminds me of you, actually. He’s always there when people are in trouble, breaking up fights and helping them chill out. I don’t need to touch his skin or anything. But see, I sleep with a pillow between my thighs and it just would be sort of cool if that pillow had been rubbed all over The Goz. And by sort of cool, I mean amazing. C’mon, JC, this is the big one!

WORLD PEACE.

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I’m not just adding this as an afterthought to suck up so you give me all the other shit. I know you’re smarter than that, Jesus. If it is true that you know me better than I know myself, then you know that this big bad world hurts my heart. I have trouble trusting people. I don’t trust my government and that really sucks. I know that every day people all over the world are just getting fucked, and I’m sick of it Jesus. I know this is more like a miracle than a gift Jesus, and I know you’re sick of me always bargaining with you. But I will promise to do what I can in my little world if you can take care of the big picture. Does that sound good? I think so.

Well, that’s about it for this year. I know you are admiring my restraint. Thanks for making me be alive. Most of the time, it’s pretty fucking awesome.

Oh, and one more thing. Happy Birthday, Jesus.

Love,
Nicki

Rumpled Girl Gets Freshly Pressed!!!

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Official WordPress trophy and sword. "Where's Waldo?" ensemble sold separately.

Official WordPress trophy and sword. “Where’s Waldo?” ensemble sold separately.

This is me. Right now. Gloating my little ass off. And you, well you are probably reading this because you found me via Freshly Pressed. But let’s return to me. I am so into myself right now. I spent two whole hours at work last night staring into a corner and visualizing my Oprah interview. Actually, that was the first hour. The second hour I had my own talk show at the conclusion of which Ryan Gosling shampooed my hair. (luckily it is like 4 degrees out and we were not very busy!)

I have been blogging for less than a month. Having this honor bestowed upon me has left me giddy with delight! It’s the coolest thing that has happened to me for a while. Unfortunately, my armpits have not stopped sweating for like 48 hours. Let’s just say I picked a really shitty week to switch to Tom’s Natural Deodorant.

I never expected to have any readers other than people who know me in real life. I certainly never dreamed that the very busy editors at WordPress would notice my little corner of the Internet. 

I can’t believe I actually wrote those lies! As I have already mentioned above, and HERE, I spend 97% of my time fantasizing. On any given day, I am lifting cars off babies, performing delicate brain surgeries, giving rousing speeches, leading armies into battles, accepting various awards, and hanging out with famous people (me and Tina Fey, just two girls havin’ a latte). So of course I thought a lot about getting Freshly Pressed.

But I am not an insane person, and am usually able to discern fantasy from probable reality. So I truly was surprised, and not really expecting new readers so quickly. I am hoping that you will stick around. In hopes that you will, and in my ever-effervescent spirit of oversharing, here we have…

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17 FUN FACTS ABOUT NICKI DANIELS

1. I am lucky to be surrounded by highly amusing people. But the funniest person I know is little-not-even-three-Sadie Isabel. Seriously she has the comedic timing of Lenny Bruce. She also has sharp little incisors and a mean right hook. She has given me so much fodder for this blog it’s unreal.

2. I went into labor with her while tending bar. Like, literally. I was pouring someone a draft beer, and my uterus started pouring amniotic fluid. I realize how white trash this sounds. But I also love Mountain Dew and shopping at Big Lots, so go figure.

3. My Xbox Live avatar is a black man with a “Fresh Prince” hairdo. Also, I am almost 38 years old and I have an Xbox Live avatar. It’s just for Netflix, I swear.

4. I was a nightly bed wetter until junior high school. Slumber parties were the bane of my existence. My doctor consequently taught me to do Kegel exercises to strengthen my tootie. Seriously, what kind of person teaches a 10 year old to flex her vagina? After 27 years of these, I could probably snap the neck of a rattlesnake with the darn thing. My husband is a lucky man.

5. I read. A lot. I usually average 2 or 3 books a week. Although my own prose relies heavily on toilet humor, I actually prefer to read dark, dystopian novels and stuff with lots of killing.

6. I don’t own an iron. When I need to de-wrinkle my garments, I throw them in a very hot dryer. This is why I sometimes look like I have switched outfits with a 13 year old Asian girl.

7. I got into a bad car accident about ten years ago and injured my brain. I still have a dent in my head that I often rub when I’m thinking. I’m rubbing it right now. While doing Kegels.

8. I do my best pooping when I’m buck naked.

9. I have been to jail. Several times. I might blog about it once the PTSD goes away. Actually, it was kind of fun at times. And I got a ton of compliments on my “pretty teeth”. I live for compliments.

10. My idea of heaven would be being stuck on an elevator with Bill Murray. We would both be wearing bathrobes made of Twizzlers.

11. My personal concept of hell would be hearing the voice of Diane Rehm from NPR on a constant loop while Newt Gingrich and Kim Kardashian grind away in my lap. This is especially terrifying to me because I have done some very naughty things in my day and will probably be serving at least a catnap* in the ol’ firepit upon my demise. (*catnap is jail lingo for a short sentence. See the things I can teach you?)

12. I used to be quite the party girl. My liver still isn’t speaking to me. I once had a taco stuck to the wall in my apartment for two weeks. My friends used to call me SpongeBob Pisspants. But I always say, former alcoholic sluts make the best wives and mothers ! Because we’ve already done it all! Now we can just kick back and be June Cleaver instead of having some creepy midlife meltdown where we start shoplifting and taking loads of Xanax. Show me a 22 year old innocent, and I’ll show you a future 48 year old woman giving a handjob to her dentist in the parking lot of a Golden Corral. Not me! My favorite place to be is in my little house in Kentucky- ensconced on my Value City sectional with my little butter bean and my big beastie husband, my two dogs, some “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”, fish sticks, and a heating pad for my shitty back.

13. Seriously fish sticks. I love them so much I have two burn scars from trying to eat them while they were blistering hot. Is it weird that I enjoy munching them while gazing into my fish aquarium?

14. I have the self control of a seven year old. Example: while waiting for my post to hit Freshly Pressed, I refreshed my browser  approximately 78,972,987 times.

15. I have a terrible, terrible case of road rage. I am generally a laid back person, but there is something about being wrapped in a few tons of steel that turns me into Pol Pot. The way people drive in Kentucky defies all logic. The pedestrians are even worse. It’s super fun driving home from work at midnight and trying to avoid jaywalking hillbillies who are toting underdressed small children while smoking cigarettes and arguing with one another and paying zero attention to their surroundings.

16. I drive home from work at midnight because I tend bar for a living. After all these years I still really enjoy it. Especially the decidedly non-PC environment. Last night, I told an annoying coworker that I was going to kick him really hard in the dick. I have learned through experience that this is not tolerated in most workplaces. Also, I’m so glad I never have to use terms like “wheelhouse” or “proactive”.

17. Writing is the only thing I’ve ever been good at. Well, I guess I also excel at being awesome.

I’m looking forward to having some fun times together, and not in a creepy way. Thanks so much for stopping by. And thanks for the blast of hot steam, WordPress!

Love,
Nicki

p.s. I was going to post a funny update photo of Jingles the Elf stuffed in the garbage can, but I can’t find him anywhere. Seriously. He must have read my blog and gotten his little feelings hurt. Hopefully, he’s back at the North Pole, because otherwise, he’s hiding somewhere. In this house. With a knife.

"Hey Reggie, did you hear about what happened to Duane?"

“Hey Reggie, did you hear about what happened to Duane?”

Meet Jingles, the chronic fatigue syndrome elf!

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This is Jingles. He is Sadie’s “Elf on the Shelf”. In case you are living in a fallout shelter, “Elf” is a little toy that you can use to launch a nice Big Brother spy mission on your kids at Christmastime. Elfie sits on his shelf, or wherever, and watches your kid all day. Then at night, he reports to Santa on the day’s transgressions before flying home. As a parent, it is your job to move the elf each night to his new spot so your child can find him upon waking up. Also, the child cannot touch Elfie or she will contract full blown AIDS she will rub off his Christmas Magic.

I can’t believe I actually fell for this shit. It’s because I saw one too many pictures like this:

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Freakin’ Pinterest is the bane of a lazy Mom’s existence. “OHMAGAWD!” I exclaimed. “How cute is that! This is going to be sooooo fun! Christmas memories. YES!!!” And before you could say “Kris Kringle” I was slapping down my plastic at amazon.com. I couldn’t wait for Elf to arrive! Where would I hide him? How would Sadie respond? Even more important, would he actually make her BEHAVE???

Two days later Elfie arrived. I had gotten the $30 version with elf, book, and bonus DVD. Now from all these pics I had seen of Elves hanging from Christmas trees and ziplining through kids bedrooms, I figured he would have a bendy Gumby body. Not so. Get some duct tape, ya’ll, if you plan to get freaky with your Elf. He is your basic “Made in China” piece of shit with a felt suit, permanently sewn together hands, and no feet. Workshop accident, maybe? Even worse is his face. From all the photos, I knew he had an impish grin and upturned eyes, but let me tell you…look in his eyes and it’s clear to see he has killing on his mind.

Later that night, I introduced Sadie to him. Now keep in mind, she isn’t even three. So, in addition to explaining about the old fat man who brings toys in his magic sled, I am now trying to coax her tiny mind around the idea that this CHEAP DOLL is actually one of Santa’s magical elves. I read the book for some backup help. But with awesome writing like this:

“Each night while you’re sleeping to Santa I’ll fly to the North Pole right through the dark sky.”

and….

“A push or a shove I’ll report to the boss but small acts of kindness will not be a loss.”

She was more confused than ever. I kinda get why the book was self-published. “Let’s give our elf a name!” I cried, undaunted. “Ummm, you do it.” she tells me. Now keep in mind Sadie names EVERYTHING, even her turds. So I named him Jingles.

I also thought the whole no-touching thing would be an issue. But she has never tried to touch him, ever. Little kids can sense evil.

But the main thing I hate about Jingles is that I’m supposed to move him every night. It sounds fun, it’s not. The last thing I want to do after I get home from work is make some holiday magic. The first night I put him in the leftover Halloween candy. I also put him on top of the aquarium with a fish net. I put him in the Christmas tree (yawn) and then her stocking (double yawn). And after that, he’s pretty much stayed on top of the bookshelf. Sadie doesn’t care.

And the few times I’ve tried to use Jingles to stop her bad behavior, i.e. “Sadie STOP punching the dog!! Jingles is watching and he will TELL SANTA!!” she has looked at me with a “bitch, please” face, like, “ok mom YOU can’t tell me what to do and now you think I’m going to listen to that toy?” And, sadly, she is 100% right.

Here’s the moral to this sad holiday tale: make your own traditions. I’m an unconventional Mom with a crazy, wild ass kid. Something that’s mass produced and comes from a box is not going to make our season bright. I could have just as easily bought a two dollar rubber snake (Sadie loves snakes) and made up some sort of tale around him. Even better, we could do this in JULY when I don’t already have a long list of shit to do. If you love your elf, awesome. You are a better woman than I. It just seems like anytime I try to be the kind of mom I’m not (organized, cheerful, crafty) I lose out on being the Mom I am (awesome).

take this job and shove it!

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Confession: I’m a bridge burner. At least, I used to be. I was a pyromaniac-immolating jobs, friendships, romantic relationships…..and standing back to watch the blaze with glee. I would nearly always do this in the month of December. While others were trimming their trees, sipping cocoa, and ice skating hand in hand, I was getting all contemplative and feelingsy. This had nothing to do with Christmas, and everything to do with the impending end of another year. Another year gone, and I was still broke, still crazy, still not where I wanted to be, and someone must be punished.

Five years ago at Christmastime I was working for a new-home builder. We’ve all heard of McMansions, well I sold McHovels. I once saw a kitchen cabinet fall off while I was giving someone a tour of a model home. I was constantly harassed by my creepy boss (he had tiny soft Little Person hands) and I made something like 47 dollars a week. I also worked two nights a week at The Lodge Bar. The Lodge Bar was a cheesy chain nightclub with a hunting lodge theme. I know, it’s really embarrassing. I had been working both jobs all year, but suddenly December came and I decided to get out the matches. I quit my day job, filing a complaint against Mr. Creepytown, and I quit my Lodge Bar job too. This email I wrote them made the rounds in the industry, passing from person to person, but since I started blogging I have received several requests to post it. So here you go, my early Christmas gift to you. I will post unedited, and footnotes as well.

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On Sun, 12/21/08, Nichole wrote:
From: Nichole
Subject: Partnership…..not!!
To: some people who shall remain nameless
Date: Sunday, December 21, 2008, 4:25 PM

Hey guys,

This is usually the time of the week that I email my partnership availability. (1) Well, this week I am emailing that I am quitting this janky shit shack called the Lodge Bar. I have been tending bar longer than most of our staff has had pubic hair, and in twelve years in this industry, this is the absolute worst job I have had. I came in with my eyes open, I was warned. I knew it was corporate and cheesy and the epitome of everything I loathe in life. But I really needed some extra cash. Sadly, the cash never came. I have never worked so hard for so little return. (2) At this point I would feel like less of a whore giving hand jobs in a massage parlor. Even more frightening is the fact that most people who work there actually think it’s cool, as is evidenced by the fact that they are lurking about every night whether they are working or not. It is such an alien concept to me, since everytime I walk through the door I feel like I am dying inside. I have not seen a group of people more zealously brainwashed for a common cause since the Third Reich. Since I am not a sycophantic turd who drinks/sleeps with management, I get treated poorly even though I am literally one of maybe three girls who work there that can actually mix a drink. Apparently, the priority is to be an adderall-crazed poptart who gyrates behind the bar all night giving free drinks to every d-bag that throws me a wink.

Our customers suck. Only people that do suck would want to come to the Lodge Bar. If I see one more fat girl sucking down a fishbowl I am going to go on a killing spree. Oh, and while I am it…..quit billing DJ SEAN as the best DJ in the city. That washed up coke mess has been a social pariah and known douche since the late 90’s. I am frankly amazed he has managed to have a renaissance of sorts in the redneck club scene. Also, napkin throwing…don’t get me started. I love how we can waste upteen boxes of napkins a night throwing them into the air like ghetto confetti to bad techno music, but if I crack open a Red Bull to enjoy, I get looked at like I just stole the Hope Diamond.

I have been enduring the hour of phone calls a week, inviting people in to enjoy a “VIP Happy Hour” consisting of soggy sub sandwiches and cheese cubes from the Ice Ages, but now I am responsible for selling New Years Eve tickets!!!! As if I know anyone, self included, who wants to ring in the new year surrounded by dead animal heads and the finest that Price Hill has to offer. So while I would love to be your resident cougar (even thought I look younger than half these leather-faced tanning bed junkies) I am saying sayonara suckers, I am off to greener pastures.(3) Thank God. Don’t worry about getting me my last check since you never managed to process my paperwork correctly anyway.

xoxoxo
Nicki D

P.S. Jenny, you’re actually really cool. Get out while you still can. (4)

***********************************************
1. “Partnership” was a nice markety term given to the hours a week we were required to come in to the Lodge Bar and make telemarketing calls to people, inviting them to come in for a “VIP happy hour”. We were required to do this without being paid, because, hey, we’re all partners here at Lodge Bar!
2. Technically this was not true because my day job sucked pretty hard also.
3. I had no job prospects whatsoever.
4. I have zero recollection of who this “Jenny” person is.

In conclusion, I would like to say that The Lodge Bar was no better or worse than any other club. I was 32 years old! I was ready for a different phase in my life. And the next year, I got married, and the year after that I got pregnant, and here it is 5 years later and it’s hard to remember that life at all.

I haven’t set anything on fire in a while. I love my job, my husband, my daughter, my house. But it is good to know that when things get bad, I have the ladyballs to fuck some shit up.

P.S. If you currently hate your job, feel free to use this email as a template.

Gobble Gobble

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Confession: I have epic daydreams. If you’ve the slightest imagination, you’ve got a few. Well-worn fantasies you can shuffle like cards in moments of boredom or loneliness. But mine are ridiculous. I’m like Aladdin masturbating that lamp, jerking off all kinds of fantastical treasures.

Some are bombastic Hollywood blockbusters, others little foreign film vignettes drenched in color and beauty. Here’s a sample:

RYAN GOSLING SAVES ME FROM RUDE BAR CUSTOMER: It’s a busy Saturday night. Customer X is all blah blah blah while staring at my boobs. Suddenly he grabs my arm and twists it to see my tattoo. I’m seething. Suddenly, RyGo melts from the throng. “Hey man, that’s not cool,” he says, fixing him with that Christlike stare. The man bursts into flames. Ryan hands me a hazelnut latte. “I thought you could use this.” He leans in close, brushing back my flowing mermaid hair, and whispers: “It’s still not over.”

I know, right? But my all time favorite is a little number I call APOCALYPSE, WOW. It is the end days. Nuclear armageddon has ended much of life on Earth. But this isn’t some dystopian shit. Because miraculously, I was chosen to detonate the top secret bombs, which could limit their blast radius and only take out the people, places and species I chose. Bye bye, people of Walmart. See you later, fucking 17 year cicada. Adios, Newport. Joe, Sadie, and I are the leaders of the new tribe. A noble band of warriors who are eschewing the evils of the techno age and reimagining Eden. Here’s me, running through a field like a lady in a tampon commercial while my husband Joe flies overhead on a pegasus, the soft laughter of my daughter like so many fairy bells. Lots of soft, flattering light. We would live like….hmmm…..like…

The motherfucking NATIVE AMERICANS. Remember them? You should. Remember learning about the first Thanksgiving at school? Looking at shit like this picture. First of all, the Pilgrims are creepy. What’s up with those shoes? The outfits look like they were styled by Michael Stipe. I just don’t trust those guys. Even in third grade I smelled a rat. And sure enough, soon enough they were burning bitches.

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On the other hand, the Indians have this effortless boho chic thing going on, but I can’t look at this picture and not think “those poor chumps.” They had no idea. Thanksgiving, my ass.

Fast forward a few hundred years and you get this:

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A bunch of white people in bad sweaters gloating over their kingdom. Like the pigs in Animal Farm, the grease shiny on their chins, their eyes beady with greed. “Bwaahaha. Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow is Black Friday.” It’s so gross. Don’t get me wrong, I love celebrations and I have a lot to be thankful for. But this whole, let’s arbitrarily celebrate the first harvest and completely ignore the genocide of an entire people, is so quintessentially American. Oh, that beloved hamster wheel of tradition! I am sensitive to the plight of the downtrodden, but for the most part we have so much more than we ever need. Thank God there’s no gift giving, at least. (Turkey Klaus? Pilgrim Baskets?) We could have learned a lot of lessons from the native people, and instead we’ve gotten so far from where we need to be. It gets me to musing again.

Quick, hop in my time machine!!! We’ll go back and tell them, we’ll warn them all! We’ll show them what the future holds! Even better, let’s just stay in pre-Colonial America. Let’s worship the Great Mother and dance in the firelight. My skill set is underutilized in this modern world anyway. I’d rather stab my dinner to death than wait in line at the DMV. I’d be a kickass savage. I’m a simple pleasures girl, I like mind altering substances, I’d look awesome in a loincloth.

But if I’m keeping it real, that’s such bullshit. I’m the last person who would want to camp out permanently. I’m a little bitch about a soft mattress and some thread count. And I would definitely need some spices, and some coffee, and some freakin’ Funyuns to round out all that maize. And speakers with some bass. A flute can only get you so far……I just find myself wanting something other and having only a vague idea of what that “other” is.

I’m a hot mess, a walking cliche. Clinging to my creature comforts while I shake my fist at the heavens. I just know that life was meant to be a little more magical than it is right now. So while I do give heartfelt thanks for my family, my health, my gorgeous face, and my giant brain- I do venture one wish:

This Thursday, after you feast on that factory farmed flesh, and before you slip into a narcotic doze, you will have a brief idyll of imagining with me.

A girl can dream.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

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1.0

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Blogging. Blaaaahhhgging. Deciding, against my better judgement, to dip a toe into the dark, deep sea of endless ramblings. What do I write about? Now, more than ever, I gotta have a schtick. How do I grow my audience? How do I reach millions with my quick and easy quinoa recipes? My amazing DIY headwraps? How do I brand myself? Hmmmmmm.

I know! I’m a bartender at a very nice little establishment here in town. I could have one of those great little mixologist/foodie blogs where I expound on my homemade placenta syrups and wax euphoric on walleye. But, I’m a beer drinker. And the truth is I love flamin’ hot Cheetos more than foie gras. I can appreciate a fine meal as much as the next girl, but let’s not waste our time together. Amateur food blogging is about as culturally significant as…it’s so stupid I don’t have a metaphor.

Oh, oh, do you know I’m a Mommy? I have a lovely little girl. Maybe I could have one of those overly effusive blogs where a thirtysomething parent (even more precious when it’s a Daddy) with ONE KID gets all Deepak Chopra about the miracles of life and how having this little gift has made her/him realize it’s not all about me anymore and how amazing is that and look how they teach us about patience and being kind and loving the Earth and loving ourselves, look at me, I wear these deflated milk teats like badges of courage! (maybe not the dads.) No thank you. My child is my light, but she also shits behind the coffee table and lies about it. Besides, she’s not even biracial. Or autistic.

Perhaps, since my husband is famed fitness blogger Joe Daniels, you think I maybe should provide you with my workout and diet secrets. If you are expecting selfies of my dewy face at the gym, swinging kettlebells with effortless grace and flexing my deltoids (those are your shin muscles, right?) you are going to be sorely disappointed. You ain’t seen nothin’ till you see me hotbox a bag of Sour Patch. I’m sorry. Go visit http://www.swingthiskettlebells.com.

Obviously, I bring nothing to the table. So while I take a moment to think of what my blog WILL be about, please enjoy my list of seven things my blog WON’T be.

1. political. Now I’m not one of those people who say “you know I”m really just not into politics.” Which is really a nice way of saying “I spend the time I should be using to read about current events to look at makeup tutorials on youtube.” Even though I spent nearly an hour online yesterday reading about bubonic plague, I do sometimes make myself aware of things that are going on in this century. But again, in no way do I see how that qualifies me to be the voice of the nation, or anything. Although I am an avid conspiracy theorist and very interested in the ratification of marijuana prohibition. Ahem.

2.trendy. I give zero fucks about what is going on in the world of fashion. The last time I took a gander, it seemed like every decade of the twentieth century was simultaneously exploding and being stitched back together with tiny third world hands. I like clothes, they keep me warm when it is cold. If said garb makes me look slightly more fuckable/less retarded, that’s pretty cool too. That is all that needs to be said.

3. all funny all the time. Humor is my weapon and my shield. But I have a molten core of sentimentality that may ooze at inappropriate times. Consider yourself warned. Let me hold you while we sob together.

4. all serious all the time. Sometimes people fart at funerals. Life is absurd. I love your brave blog about how you approach your cancer with grace, but while you are laid up at Cedars Sinai nibbling rapini, some poor fuck is getting served in ways you can’t even imagine. Life is a B movie with bad dialogue, a predictable ending and waaaay too many commercials. If you can’t laugh about it, see above.

5. zeitgeisty. I can’t promise not to blog about pop culture. I love it. But for me to assume that from my command center at my desk in Latonia, Kentucky that I have my FINGER on the PULSE of the ENTIRE FUCKING UNIVERSE, now that, that is ridiculous. Isn’t it?

6. inspiring. I don’t want to be the turd in the punchbowl, but Tedtalks suck. At least in the context I view them. Slumped at my desk, tongueing beef jerky out of my molars, and learning about how some really smart person did something awesome. These talks make me feel bad. Very bad. Then I think about people playing Second Life and I feel better again.

7. honest. This is inherently difficult for me. I think every question has at least five answers. If given the option of A or B, I will pull the fire alarm.

That’s all for now, kids. Tune in next time when I answer the question “why erotic asphyxiation has me choking with laughter”!!!