Saturday, October 20, 2007

Monopoly Millions: Boardwalk & Beyond

I was going to be the next Monopoly millionaire at McDonald's. I was going to be out of debt, get a new computer, and have my picture on the side of the cup like Charlotte M, the old lady who won last year. I even practiced the face I would make in the mirror. I don't want to give it away, because I still might win that Oscar one day, but it looked something like this:
However, I didn't win. The contest isn't over yet, there are a few more days, but I've lost all hope. I only need one game piece in every category. I've had friends and family members in five different states gorging themselves on McDonald's and sending me game pieces, to no avail. I've entered all those codes online, even though those rat bastards only let you put in ten codes a day.

I really thought I was going to win it this year. After all of the smite God has bombarded me with, I honestly believed things would turn around. I went from be an eternal optimist (age 14) to an eternally optimistic pessimist (age 22). I hoped that by age 23 things would get better, and I have to eat every day anyway, so I figured why not win?

But it didn't happen. However, I learned a valuable lesson.

The stomach goes through stages of grief, much like people do when loved ones die.

Stage 1: Denial. At first, nothing was wrong. I knew all the McDonald's I was putting into my body was a bad idea, but physically I was feeling normal.
Stage 2: Anger. By the end of the first week, my stomach was screaming for mercy, angry that I would dare deny it real food.
Stage 3: Bargaining. My stomach would often make deals with me. "If you give me just one piece of broccoli, just one, I won't cramp so much. I promise."
Stage 4: Depression. I got really tired. To fill the spaces between school, work, and McDonald's, I slept. My stomach was depressed and rarely hungered for anything. Still, I continued to shove Big Macs down my gullet.
Stage 5: Acceptance. By the third week, my stomach calmed down and decided to just accept tjhe fact that it wasn't going to get real food until the contest was over.

Isn't that terribly interesting? Maybe I'll get a Nobel Prize for enlightening man-kind. Still, I envy Charlotte M, because she got her picture on the side of the cup. That cunt.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fast Food Foibles

I ordered a Big Mac for lunch last week at McDonald's. I thought I ordered this:

But I received this:

Messy, but they even have the cheese dripping over the edge. Of course, the thinness of the burger patty is appalling.

I also ordered a Big Mac later in the day for dinner, from the same McDonald's. Yeah, I know, I'll be dead by 24, but I'm trying to win the Monopoly million and there are only a few days left. Again, I'd like you to refer to the first picture of the Big Mac I showed you. This burger was awful.
Save for three strands, I was lettuce-less. And I love lettuce on my burgers. Where's my drippy cheese? I was horrified to see only two pickles, stacked on top of each other so all the flavor is in one bite. The bottom bun was drenched in mayonnaise. It took me a couple of minutes to find the second burger patty.

As a college student, I practically live on take-out. With the addition of the dollar menu at most fast food restaurants, it's cheaper to use the drive-thru than the oven. I work in a casual dining restaurant, so I can usually get some great food discounted at work too.

Lately, I've been terribly disappointed by the quality of the food I receive. I've noticed Burger King NEVER remembers to add cheese when I ask them to. To me, a burger without cheese is like ice cream without sprinkles. Why fucking bother? Burger King even gave me the wrong shake twice. I'm just too lazy to go back and complain, and I'm sure they're not exactly striving for greatness either. McDonald's doesn't salt the fries anymore, and the kicker is most people eat all their fries on the way home with the food, just because there's nothing better than a fresh, hot, salted fry. Wendy's charges fifty cents for extra sauce, which I think is ridiculous. I've had customers ask me for PLENTY of extra sides over the years, but we don't charge for them. I could see asking for a bag full of BBQ sauce with an order of nuggets, but if I don't see a big deal with an extra packet of sauce if it makes your customers happy.

The only fast food restaurant I've been consistently happy with is Taco Bell.

But I digress.

Do You Take Plastic or Should I Offer You My Unborn Child?

With college comes bills, and with bills come stress. I admit, I fell into the trap credit card companies set for newly legal teenagers. When my eighteenth birthday rolled around, the influx of credit offers poured in, and after awhile, I began opening them. My parent's credit cards were always a solid color, boring, but these cards were a far cry from what I'd been accustomed to seeing. Beautiful beach scenes, animal prints, cartoons, mountains; the choices were vast and each color was more vibrant than the last.

I've always been a personalization
junkie. I spent more time choosing the colors for my MySpace than I did actually writing about myself. I used to draw on my jeans with a Bleach pen. I had a Bedazzler. When I was seven, I wouldn't leave the house without "accessorizing" (albeit too much) my outfit. I was a weird kid.

So it wasn't a surprise when I fell in love with a leopard print Capital One card. I love animal print, and I was really into leopards at the time. When it came in the mail, I was just about to leave for college, and my parents warned me to use the card for emergencies only.
And I did only use it for emergencies. That McChicken at 2:45am was an emergency, at least, at the time, because I was drunk and hungry. And those shoes that were 75% off at Macy's? A complete emergency. What about the Mystery Meat in the Dining Hall? Going elsewhere for dinner, despite my food plan, was an emergency. If only for the sake of my colon.

Of course, I had a job and I paid off my bill as best I could. However, the "emergencies" got more dire as time went on. I ran out of money for books in my savings account and was forced to charge them. $500 for books? I couldn't believe it. I hadn't spent that much money at one time in my entire life. My hands shook as I signed the payment slip.

I had signed a deal with the Devil.

Looking back, I probably should have just sat in the back of the classrooms without the books and faked it until I had the money, but I'm nearsighted and particular and I always sit in the front row. Yeah, that's me, keep laughing, at least it's not as funny as you look naked.

After the semester ended, I worked a lot, but I still never made enough money to pay off the bill. I was driving the kind of car that they set on fire at monster truck rallies. It probably shouldn't have been on the road. I ended up buying countless parts from the junkyard, shelling out money to greasy mechanics who made great eye contact...with my nipples. My car stalled in the middle of a Highway. In the left turn lane. In the middle of rush hour. In New Jersey. Being the strong, independent woman that I am, I sat in the drivers seat crying hysterically into the phone, begging my father (who was 1,000 miles away) for help.

So, as time went on, the bill kept getting higher. A new semester rolled around, and I had a newer car. Things were great for two months. And then everything went wrong at once and I was back to shelling out all my money to mechanics. I ended up charging books on a different card because the first was maxed out. Of course, by then, my credit wasn't too good and the card they had given me only had a $300 limit. It was maxed out with the books, and I was even more in debt than ever.

Fast forward three months, and my laptop gets fried. I won't go into the details, but I had nothing to do with it, and the person who broke it never paid me. I was stuck, an English major and self-proclaimed Internet addict with no computer. With the laptop went fifteen pages of a twenty page paper which was due in a week. Other classes were starting to demand more and more papers. Between school and work, the only time I had to do homework was in the wee hours of the morning. I did the only thing I really could do at the time: I applied for a Dell credit card and charged a new computer. Why they even gave me credit, I'll never know, but it was the icing on the top of a very tall cake.

So, my advice to those of you salivating over the abundance of credit card offers littering your kitchen counter: don't do it.

But if you do do it, be responsible.

And if you're not responsible, at least get it on sale.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ready for Anything

No matter how ready you think you are, love will always come hurtling toward you and knock you over. I just recommend wearing flat shoes so you can try to keep your balance.

In the real world, I guess it's not always that easy. Usually, you're totally unprepared once the love bug bites you.

It's kind of like when you break a heel on your way to the car from the airport. Sure it's hard to walk the four blocks to your vehicle, but with a little gum and a G-ed up swagger you can make it with your dignity in tact.

It's all about staying on your toes.