Friday, May 31, 2013

The Adventures of Surrogate Kitty


What? It wasn't me who sat on this dill plant with my big butt.



















Once upon a time, Bethany took her cat to the vet. "We'll need to keep her overnight and possibly longer," the vet said. Bethany went home. Her apartment was very, very empty. There was no one to shout at for eating the houseplants. No one stared at her creepily from the top of the couch or tried to eat a weird bug she found on the floor. And not one creature attempted to get onto her lap, forcing her to move her laptop elsewhere, and then changed its mind and wanted to sit in the laptop's new location.

Bethany was sad. 

As she was on her way out the door to get a coffee the next morning, she turned back to say, "Now, be good," like she always did, and found herself saying it to a very empty, fur-covered couch cushion. 

That was when she went into her bedroom and got Fat Cat. 

Fat Cat was a stuffed cat who normally lived in a box under Bethany's bed. 

"This is me hitting rock bottom. I'm Norman Bates now," Bethany said. And she put Fat Cat on the back of the couch and positioned so that its empty, staring eyes would be staring right at her. 

Fat Cat ended up being a very good surrogate kitty. 

"Stay out of that cabinet!" Bethany shouted, in a manner that revealed her to be clearly deranged like Jennifer Jason Leigh in Single White Female

Fat Cat did not even attempt to climb into the cabinet.

"Do not throw up on the bathmat!" Bethany called, definitely resembling Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction

Fat Cat did not throw up on the bathmat. He didn't even look at it.

"Can you not sit down in the middle of the book I'm reading?" Bethany questioned, rocking back and forth in her chair, feral and inventing a secret twin language like Jodie Foster in Nell.

If Fat Cat were a living being, he would have been totally offended that Bethany would suggest that he would even consider putting his butt near her book, much less on it. 

Fat Cat didn't wake Bethany up at 4 AM to be petted.

He didn't hide under the coffee table and try to bite her ankles when she walked by. 

He didn't try to jump on top of the flat screen television, nearly knocking it to the floor. 

Nor did he try to rub his dirty butt on the bedspread, kill a mouse and leave it in the middle of the bathroom floor, or attempt to eat any embroidery floss. 

Fat Cat was a very good kitty.

Bethany went about her daily routine, and she felt quite stress free, like Rebecca De Mornay in the earlier parts of the movie, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle.

But when it came time to change the sheets on her bed, and Fat Cat didn't even attempt to flop down in the middle of the bottom sheet, forcing the bed to be made right over the top of him, Bethany felt a little sad, clearly resembling Whoopi Goldberg running toward her long-lost sister at the end of The Color Purple.

Bethany felt a little more sad later on--like Bette Midler in Beaches looking over at her dying best friend Hillary from their side-by-side beach chairs--when she reached back into the pants shelf of her closet and not one pair of pants bit her.

But saddest of all, on a level of Sally Field in Steel Magnolias finally realizing that her hair does look like a brown football helmet, Bethany had no one to sit and stare at her while she ate any of her meals. She didn't have to say, "Will you stop? You can't have any of this. You're not people," even once while she feasted on her gluten free pancakes. 

So, while surrogate kitty was a very good kitty, he was not Bethany's real kitty. He just sat there and stared, not moving, like Jack Nicholson at the end of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. It got boring around the apartment very quickly. 

Eventually, Bethany turned Fat Cat so that he was facing the wall and not staring at her with his beady eyes and got up to sweep around the litter box. She cleaned out her real cat's food dish and washed all the laundry in the apartment that was covered with black fur. It was a cleanup worthy of Natalie Portman stuffing Mila Kunis into a closet in Black Swan.

Because of this, Bethany felt better and somewhat recovered from her crazy feelings, like Linda Hamilton at the end of Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Best friends, like Kevin Costner and Two Socks in Dances with Wolves.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Post About Talking to Animals and Getting Peed On

The scene of the crime.











If there is one thing that unites everybody in the world, it is the fact that we all have to drink water to survive.

If there are two things that unite everybody in the world, they are the fact that we all have to drink water to survive and eventually, through the hard work of our endocrine systems, pee it out. 

But if there are three things that unite everybody in the world, they are 1) drinking water 2) eventually peeing it out with the help of our 1-2 functioning kidneys and 3) being peed on. We have all had the experience of being peed on, whether it be willingly or unwillingly. And it's time to finally talk about it. 

Mom, Dad, everybody else, I've been peed on. Here is my story.

Last year, I was visiting the Bronx Zoo. If you know me personally, you are probably aware that nothing makes me happier than talking to animals. I talk to horses. I talk to cows. I talk to cats. I talk to spitting cobras. I talk to regular cobras. I talk to ring-tailed mongooses. So, going to the zoo for me is like, to quote the immortal bard SpongeBob Squarepants, "THIS IS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE." 

You can imagine how quickly my day went downhill after I got peed on by the grossest animal there. It wasn't a lion. It wasn't a tiger. It wasn't an opaki or a giraffe or even a pygmy marmoset. 

It was a person. 

I was in the women's bathroom, sitting on the toilet, like you do if you aren't a complete and utter piece of shit or a man. There was nothing strange about the way I was sitting. My foot was just there, directly in front of me, hanging out, doing what feet do. And suddenly, the complete and utter piece of shit in the stall next to me did the thing that I rank as number two in the list of things that horrible people do. 

The list goes like this:

1. Genocide.
2. Hover pissing.

Hover pissing, if you are not aware of the term, is when women don't sit all the way down to pee. 

The woman in the stall next to me hover pissed, and in the process of trying not to get icky germs all over her pristine and angelic butt cheeks, PISSED ALL OVER MY FOOT. Not just a few drops here and there, but more like if someone had left a can of Coke in her car on a hot day to get nice and warm, opened it, and dumped the whole thing on my foot. On that day, I talked to many, many animals, but only one got called the c-word. And while I normally do not advocate use of the c-word in casual conversation, if anyone deserved it, she did.

If I could have boiled my foot right then, I would have. Instead, I took off my shoe and stuck my foot under the tap for several minutes. I got a lot of weird looks. And it is important to note, that the person in the stall didn't come out until I left, so I couldn't yell at her face to face. At least she understood that she had a reason to be ashamed of herself.

Now, rewind my life about ten years and we'll get to the last time I was peed on.

It was winter. And because it was winter, it was a very cold, unpleasant day. In addition to it being a cold, unpleasant winter day, it was also calving season. And on the farm that means being outside almost all the time on a cold, unpleasant winter day. On this particular day, I was running across a field at top speed. Now, if you know me personally, you know that I never, ever run unless there is an emergency. This emergency came in the form of a newborn baby calf who had somehow gotten out of the pasture. He was running. I was chasing him. After what seemed like a million decades later, I finally caught him and wrangled him into the cab of the pickup. He was sitting across my lap.

You can guess what happened next.

My little newborn emergency peed and peed and peed and peed and peed and peed and peed.

He peed forever. Probably because it was most likely his first real pee since birth.

It was very, very warm. But because it was a cold, unpleasant day in winter, the warmth quickly turned to frozen, smelly pee pants.

To make matters worse, because we needed to get our little newborn friend reunited with his mother as quickly as possible so that she wouldn't reject him, I didn't even have time to run into the house to change pants. So, I walked around for the next 30-45 minutes like that.

When you're in grade school, you learn a little writing concept called "Comparison/Contrast," wherein you describe the differences and similarities of two things. In grade school, you might write a comparison/contrast of dogs and cats. In high school, with your tastes more refined and adult, you might write one comparing dogs and cats in the works of Steinbeck and Dostoyevsky. But when you're a full-grown adult, you can write a comparison/contrast of whatever you want.

I decided to write one about the two times I got peed on.

Here is the comparison/contrast part of it.

Comparison: It was very unpleasant both times I got peed on.

Contrast: Several gallons of calf pee all down my pant leg and into my socks and shoes where it got cold and frozen was far less traumatic than a woman getting significantly less pee on my foot for two seconds.

That's the end. I'm going to take a shower.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Updates on My OKCupid Profile















Has it been two weeks already? It seems like just yesterday I popped on a pink shower cap and sat around updating my OKCupid profile with a fake cigarette hanging out of my mouth. Either way, it's time to say goodbye to Old Lady Bethany. Long may she reign over the kingdom of Having Full Control Over the Remote and Keeping an Eye on Those Foreigners.

Let us look back one last time. Click on the images below to read them in a size that won't make your eyeballs explode. Or may I recommend squinting?







Not while I'm cooking the eggs, Norman.
Now is not the time.
What the heck is this now?


You're not the regular mailman.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

HEY! Need Some New Bathroom Decor? May I Suggest FLATTENED MARBLES?

LOOK AT THEM. THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL.













Do you ever walk into your bathroom, look around, and think to yourself, "This room is missing something?"

Something of the decorative variety?

Something shiny but still subdued? Something small in size but big in ambiance?

Maybe what you need is...some flattened marbles. 

I know what you're thinking. "But, Bethany, I'm not the flattened marbles type! I would never dream of putting a large bag of flattened marbles into a vase and setting it on top of my toilet tank for others to gaze at in wonder." But trust me when I say that anyone can be the flattened marbles type. It's easy!

Step 1: Decide you're going to buy some flattened marbles.

Step 2: Go to a store that sells flattened marbles.

Step 3: Find the flattened marbles aisle. If you can't find it, ask an associate for help. If the associate doesn't know where the flattened marbles are, just walk up and down the aisles until you find flattened marbles.

Step 4: Pick up some flattened marbles. They might come in a bag. They might come in a box. Either way, they will be flat and they will be marbles. Be sure to choose your flattened marbles in a color that matches your bathroom decor!

Step 5: Purchase the flattened marbles using money that you'll find in your wallet.

Step 6: Take your flattened marbles home and put them in something like a jar or a vase or any other see-through receptacle that is not filled with something else at the time.

Step 7: Put it on the back of your toilet!

Step 8: Look at those shiny and beautiful flattened marbles.

Now, I know you have questions, and I am prepared to answer all of them.

What makes flattened marbles so special? 
I'm so glad you asked. They are marbles, but flat. Like God himself stepped on them with his huge, blessed, marble-flattening feet.

Will these marbles roll away?
NO. They're flattened, and physics doesn't work that way.

If I put flattened marbles next to a dish of potpourri, is that okay?
Yes. Just know that the overpowering floral fragrance of your potpourri will make your flattened marbles less special.  

What do I do if someone asks me if they should invest in some flattened marbles?
Tell them yes, absolutely, and then offer to drive them to the flattened marbles store. 

Are the flattened marbles on the back of my toilet watching me poop?
No, flattened marbles don't have eyes or cerebral cortexes. They are marbles.

Are flattened marbles safe for human consumption?
Absolutely not. Don't eat flattened marbles or look at them for an extended period of time or you'll get a big, red ring on your butt from sitting on the toilet too long.  

Can I make my own flattened marbles with regular marbles and a heavy encyclopedia?
Not unless the encyclopedia is heated to marble melting temperatures beforehand and made of something flame retardant. 

Should I trust flattened marbles to do my taxes?
No. Flattened marbles do not have a degree in accounting.

Is flattened marbles single? And, if so, is he interested in marriage?
Flattened marbles are inanimate objects and therefore cannot engage in a matrimonial ceremony and lifelong partnership with you. But if they could, you would be very happy for the rest of your life.

Why don't I have some flattened marbles in my hand right this second?
Because you're sitting here reading this instead of going out and buying some flattened marbles.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

An Elaborate and Unnecessary Apology to Megan, Whose Drink I Stole at Starbucks

"Indeed," Bethany said, while twirling her mustache around her finger.














If your name is Megan and you ordered a drink at Starbucks this morning and then went to the counter to wait for your drink, only to discover that someone had stolen it, this blog post is for you.

I'm sorry.

It was me. I took your venti iced coffee with the name "Megan" written on the side. I did not notice that the drink said "Megan" and not "Bethany" until I got to the office. I even put unsweetened almond milk in it, which is a thing I'm sure you would never do.

Here is my elaborate apology. I hope you enjoy it while sipping slightly inferior coffee from a cup that clearly says "Bethany" and not "Megan."


An Elaborate and Unnecessary Apology to Megan, Whose Drink I Stole at Starbucks

Once upon a time, a beautiful person named Megan went to Starbucks and ordered a venti iced coffee. She paid for it with her hard-earned money and then walked over to the counter to patiently wait for her beverage.

But unbeknownst to Megan, her drink would never arrive. For it had been stolen several minutes before.

Stolen by whom?

By Bethany.

Bethany was a horrible, horrible villain with a heart so dark it was made of licorice-flavored jelly beans and that tar stuff they use to fill potholes. People often crossed the street when they saw her coming because they were so afraid that she would run over and take their drinks without asking and then scamper away, giggling gleefully. As a result of her cruel caffeinated drink-taking, Bethany was hyper pretty much all the time.

Here are some other things you should know about Bethany.

1. She has been fired from babysitting not once but three times, and she thinks that's really funny because why would ANYONE put her in charge of child care? She openly admits to thinking that 99.9999999 percent of the world's children are total buttholes.

2. She did not post anything about the tragedy in Oklahoma on her Facebook today.

3. She warms up fish in the office microwave.

4. If she goes on a date with a guy and he sucks, she will not bother to "let him down easy." She just won't call him back ever again.

5. She threw out some batteries recently because she was too lazy to take them to the battery recycling center.

6. She thinks that your favorite movie from childhood, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, is the worst thing that has ever slithered past her eyelids and into her brain.

7. She laughed when Bambi's mom died.

8. One time someone invited her to a super fun birthday party, and Bethany was all, "Nah," and stayed home and played video games instead.

Now that you know what a horrible person Bethany is, you can fully understand why she would take someone else's coffee. She was very dastardly indeed, and that is why everyone in the whole world hated her.

Luckily, many years after the events in this story unfolded, Bethany died, and her reign of terror came to an end. I hope that this news eases your suffering, Megan.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Broke Time, Flip-Flop Injuries, and My Evil Insurance Company

Would you excuse me? I cut my foot before, and my shoe is filling up with blood.














The hardest time of the month for me is that period between the first of the month and the 15th. That is the period I like to call "Broke Time." My rent check has gone through. All of my utility bills are paid. And I'm finally left with about $200 that I have to stretch and stretch in order to buy the essentials like groceries and shampoo for a very long fifteen days. During "Broke Time," don't even ask me to the movies or dinner because I'll just tell you, "Maybe, you adorable friend," while I really mean, "Look at old money bags over here with his big, fat wallet that can afford to see a movie right now. You know, I always kind of hated him."

Broke Time was particularly hard this month because last week, smack in the middle of Broke Time, I suffered a severe flip-flop injury. How does one suffer a severe flip-flop injury? Well, I'll tell you. I went for a very long walk while also wearing flip-flops. At the end of the night, my left foot sort of hurt. The next day, it still hurt. And now it's been seven days, it continues to hurt, and I think I maybe part of my foot broke off or something because this is not normal. Right?

Now, before you begin your lecture on how flip-flops are a terrible choice for footwear, let me just stop you right there. I hear you. I understand. I already know. But, for fifteen days out of the month, I have $200 to live on. I don't really care much about arch support when I can buy a pair of flip-flops for $5. So, take your amateur podiatrist lectures and drive over to Warren Buffet's house in your solid gold dickmobile because I'm seriously not interested.

This is the part where I apologize for implying that you own a solid gold dickmobile. Also, I'm sure your amateur podiatry lectures are reasonably priced and quite informative. I'm just a little bit testy because of the next part of my story. Are you ready for it?

My mom always said that if something still hurts after seven days, you should definitely get someone to look at it. I decided to go see my doctor, as she tends to be a good judge of these things, due to her many years of medical school. Yesterday, May 14, was the last day of Broke Time and the only day I could get in for an appointment. I had $13 in my bank account, not even half of the amount of money I needed to pay my copay. "Maybe my foot doesn't really hurt that bad," I thought. And then I stepped kind of weird and remembered that, yes, it did actually hurt. I reluctantly handed over my credit card.

My doctor looked at the foot. She didn't scream or anything, so I took that as a good sign. "It's probably just inflamed," she said. And then she wrote me a prescription for an anti-inflammatory cream that was probably just mayonnaise that had gone bad and the President of Hellman's was like, "I know what we can use this for." 

I took the prescription to the pharmacy. Now, I know that it isn't the pharmacy's fault that my insurance company is the worst. But I can always tell that they take a certain pleasure in telling me the full price of something when it isn't covered by my insurance. "That will be $472!" they chirp merrily, rather than delivering it the way horrible news should be delivered, which is tied around the ankle of a dead raven.

"That will be $114!" the pharmacy cashier practically tittered when she rang up my anti-inflammatory foot cream.

"Uh, I take it that my insurance isn't covering this," I said.

"Nope!" said the cashier, jolly as ever.

This news was unsurprising, as they refuse to cover the most random things. One time I went in for x-rays, which were covered. But the additional x-rays I had to get afterward weren't.

I didn't even take my credit card out and look at it in utter devastation. I didn't even open my wallet. I just said, "Nope," and limped away.

Now, I would just like to take this moment to say that having health insurance is an incredible privilege, as is having a job that pays me over minimum wage. I am 100 percent aware of the fact that while I'm not doing great or even good, I'm okay. Like if there were a plague epidemic going around, I'd be one of those people who gets a few pustules and a fever for a few days and then recovers and gets out of bed and goes on with my life but with a dark, devastated, lost look in my eyes forever after. I would rather be that than one of those pustule riddled corpses at the very bottom in the corpse wagon that only Old-Eyed Bartholomeus can stand to look at without screaming. I am very, very lucky and do not, for one second, take it all for granted.

But lopping off my leg at the knee and hopping around like some kind of deranged Hershel on The Walking Dead is looking better and better every day.

Just in case it comes to that, does anyone have a saw that I can borrow? 

Monday, May 13, 2013

A 100 Percent True Follow Up to My Earlier Story About My Mom

MISS PIGGY FOREVER.



















I talked to my mom this morning, and as expected, she was very angry and vengeful about the article I posted about her for Mother's Day. She even threatened to make spinach soufflé for me next time I visit.

So, I thought I should mention that the Miss Piggy part of the story is 100 percent true. My mom did sell my Miss Piggy doll at a garage sale when I was a child and made me very sad.

But then! Many years later, she went on Ebay and found a replacement. Miss Piggy was still in her box and was just as glamorous as ever. My mom watched that auction like a hawk, probably staying up late, late into the night in order to win Miss Piggy for me. That's a huge thing because normally my mom can't stay awake past 8 PM.

"You should leave her in the box," Mom said when she gave me my birthday present, "so that one day you can sell her for a lot of money."

But I said, "OH HELL NO MOM THAT'S CRAZY TALK." And Miss Piggy came out of her original packaging and gets her hair brushed and outfits changed every other month or so. She has a Pigs in Space costume, you guys.

So, now you know 100 percent of the truth.

I stand by my statement, however, that the spinach soufflé was inedible and probably deadly.

Updates on My OKCupid Profile

Just chilling out at home.












Well, it's that time again. Time for me to strap on my creativity cleats and take the field that is OKCupid with a brand new, updated profile. But before we do that, let us look back on the glory that was Black Widow Murderer Bethany. She got almost no responses because people were so afraid of her, but she will always live on in my heart as the one who got away. From the police.

Here is the actual profile write up. You can click to enlarge it. Or just put on some embarrassingly enormous reading glasses.



I love to cook!
Definitely not planning a sudden and unexpected trip to Rio.
What? I can't hear you. I'll come closer.
Now, what were you saying?
No, really. WHAT WERE YOU SAYING?
Rio, here I come!












Sunday, May 12, 2013

A 100 Percent True Thing I Wrote About My Mom

Mom, just doing stuff around the house










If there is one thing I love to do, it's to write things about my mom and then have her read them so that she will say, "I never did that. People are going to think I'm horrible!" 

Just like she will do when she reads the above sentence. 

So, it's Mother's Day, right? And I thought I should write something about my mom that is 100 percent true and in extremely good taste. Here goes. 


A 100 Percent True Thing I Wrote About My Mom

The most important thing to know about my mom is that she is extremely vengeful. It's very important that you don't forget that as I tell you this story. 

Hey, remember that time one sentence ago when I said not to forget that my mom is vengeful? DON'T FORGET IT.

I believe it was that very vengeance that led her to take my Miss Piggy doll and sell her at that garage sale that time against my wishes.

"Mwahahahahahahahahahahaha! Vengeance is mine!" is what I'm pretty sure she said at the time, while I cried and cried. 

But why would a mother do such a thing? Why take revenge on a small, innocent, and adorable child who never did a thing wrong in her whole lifetime? I'm glad you asked.

BECAUSE OF THE SPINACH SOUFFLÉ INCIDENT. THAT'S WHY.

"What spinach soufflé incident?" you might be asking, if your curiosity is piqued and you're still awake.

Well, let me tell you about it. 

My mom made dinner one time, and the dinner was called SPINACH SOUFFLÉ. It was eggs, spinach, cheese of some sort, and dragon vomit. At least we're pretty sure that's what was in it because it was the worst thing I've ever put in my mouth, and I've put yams in my mouth, so you know it's gotta be pretty bad. Bad enough to probably die from.

We were all like, "What is this?" 

Mom said, "It's spinach soufflé, and you're going to eat it." 

"What's in it?" we asked.

"I'll never tell you," she said, "but definitely poison and some other things."

"You're the meanest mom!" we cried. 

She said nothing in response, but she didn't need to because red hot laser beams shot from her eyes and melted my brother. 

"You'd better eat your dinner," our dad said. He was pretty scared too. I could tell because he began to force feed himself several bites of spinach soufflé while crying silent tears. 

I put a bite of the spinach soufflé in my mouth and then gagged and gagged and tried to put myself up for adoption.

What was left of my siblings did the same. 

"You will all clean your plates," Mom said. "And when I say 'clean your plates' I'm referring to you eating all of that spinach soufflé, but afterward you will all literally be cleaning your plates because it will be time to wash all of the dishes and all of our neighbors' dishes as well while your father and I go watch Night Court." 

We ate and ate as hard as we could, but our plates were still completely covered with spinach soufflé after thirty seconds.

I tried to feed some to our dog without anyone noticing, but the taste was so horrible, he immediately ran away to find a new family. 

"Now you've done it," Mom said. "I'm extra mad now. You know what that means?" 

We all screamed.

"That's right," Mom continued. "This means....DESSERT."

And suddenly Mom swooped down like an evil bat and gave us each a scoop of ice cream. But while you're thinking that sounds very nice and non-vengeful of her, just know that it was SPINACH SOUFFLÉ ICE CREAM that she had prepared in advance.

It was at this point that, exhausted and hungry from being totally mean and vengeful, Mom finally picked up a fork and stabbed her own piece of spinach soufflé. 

I think it was at that point that she realized that the spinach soufflé really was terrible. Because twenty minutes later, I saw her feeding the rest of it to the chickens and frowning very vengefully. I told everyone, and it was because of that terrible error in judgment, I was later separated permanently from Miss Piggy.

That's the end of the dark, terrible, and 100 percent true story about my mom. Whatever you do, don't tell her you read it because she'll just deny the whole thing.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

For Angry Times, Try Welcome to Bethville West

Go west, young person whose age and gender are irrelevant.













The Welcome to Bethville Tumblr has been up forever, but I rarely post on it because I am terrible. Also, it's still a giant hot mess. (DON'T LOOK! Okay, you can look.) But I do write things over there sometimes because some things are too angry or political or whatever to be on Welcome to Bethville, which is a happy place with only the tiniest amount of violent death. So, if you are feeling your blood boiling or your hackles rising or your Spidey senses tingling, feel free to head over there for more serious discussion.

Here is a post to get you started.

http://welcometobethville.tumblr.com/post/50095518319/here-is-a-thing-that-makes-me-so-mad

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

How to Clean Your Apartment

It was that bad.


















If there is one thing I'm known for among my friends, enemies, and people I stalk, it is my cleanliness standards. You could eat a sandwich off my living room floor. If you were interested in doing such a thing and not really bothered by bits of kitty litter, dustballs, and stray toenail clippings mashed into the bread. (Please don't eat things you found on my floor. You don't know where they've been. It's likely they've touched my cat's asshole.)

Therefore, I feel that it is time to share my cleaning secrets. It is, after all, spring, and spring is the time of year when many people throw open the windows of their apartments, let in the fresh springtime air, and do a big time spring cleaning. Just like I did this past Sunday. I was at it all day, and the result was a fresh-smelling, dust free, sparkling apartment. So, with no further ado or mention of eating sandwiches off my floor, here are my cleaning tips.

1. Get out of bed and immediately put on your shoes for your long walk to the bathroom through what I like to call "The Cat Vomit Zone." No, socks or slippers won't work here. They have to be shoes with a slip-free sole.

2. Once you've left "The Cat Vomit Zone," look around at your bathroom and say to yourself, "Jesus, it's like Grey Gardens in here. Let's clean this shit up." Look at yourself in the mirror and mutter, "What have I done with my life?" for as long as it is necessary to convince yourself that cleaning is the right course of action, as opposed to, say, an all-day Tomb Raider playing extravaganza.

3. Mentally go through your schedule and try to decide if you have the twelve hours required to do a thorough cleaning. If you think to yourself, "Well, I do have plans at 8 PM, but I'll be done by then, surely," then your head is not in the game. Maybe put off cleaning until tomorrow or next weekend instead.

4. Check your energy levels. How do you feel? Do you need a second or even a third cup of coffee before you can begin? The accidental afternoon nap on your couch or extended 6-hour break from cleaning is not going to help you achieve your goal for the day.

5. Consider your supplies. Do you have enough paper towels, sponges, and Scrubbing Bubbles? If not, time to plan a fast trip to the store. While you are there, it is a great time to pick up snacks and beverages. Cleaning day should be treated like a party day, so you can trick yourself into thinking you're having fun. If you drink, I recommend picking up an entire six-pack. But limit yourself to drinking only three beers or two vodka tonics. Otherwise, you will have to return to step 4. 

6. Get back to your apartment and put down your bags of cleaning supplies. Be sure to give yourself a 20-minute recovery time. Carrying bags up those stairs is hard work.

7. Plan your cutest cleaning outfit. This is important in case you have to run out for extra snacks or the mailman stops by. Bandanas to hold back your hair in an adorable manner are a must. If you don't have a bandana, you should make one. Sweatpants or old yoga pants are absolutely your friend and should not be neglected for something that does not allow for ultimate flexibility, like an old, torn pair of jeans. It can be easy to fall into the jeans trap, but just don't do it. Jeans can and will weigh you down.

8. Check out your outfit in the mirror. Do you look cute yet? If not, put on some rubber gloves. Now, you are at your cutest and can begin.

9. Clean your apartment.