Category Archives: life lessons


Uncommon Goods

I don’t doubt for a second that women are harder on ourselves than men. We’ll stare at our thighs and let out a stream of curse words that would make Joe Pesci say, “Whoa, chill out.” We’d stay stuff to ourselves guys would never even dream of saying to us. When men fail, they tend not to take it as personally as we do.

Let’s change that.

As someone going through what we call a “transitional period” (read: “I feel like a total fuck-up” period), I have some tips how how to not feel like a total failure, even though you may really, really want to.


So, you gained some weight.

This one sucks because no one can tell you “oh it’s all on your head” if the dress that fit you 2 years ago now seems like it was made for a doll. “WHO IS PUTTING DOLL CLOTHES IN MY CLOSET?” you want to scream. If it doesn’t zip, it doesn’t fit, and that’s just how it is. Firstly, as with all “failures” don’t feel bad about feeling bad — you’re allowed to take a moment to wallow even if it’s over not being able to fit into a skirt that’s honestly kind of ugly to begin with. So take your moment to feel bad.

NOW you have to change your current thoughts, feelings, and behaviors so that you set yourself up for a better future. That goes with any “failure.” You wallow, then you pull yourself together. Make a plan to exercise every day or every other day — or just start with once a week. Just plan it. Then do it. Then for every day you work out, put a sticker in your planner or write a big fat X. Then watch your progress grow into a sea of stickers or X’s. Go out and buy healthy foods. Start cooking for yourself at least once a week. Just start.

Sometimes, even if our clothes don’t fit, the weight gain is only visible to us. No one else can tell. We are really our own harshest critics and only we know how our clothes really fit. They might feel tighter but people don’t have X-Ray vision — they can’t tell the way you can.

And maybe it’s enough for people to notice. Okay, so what? It’s not like you drowned a bag of kittens. You decided to eat indulgently and not work out. That’s actually not a crime. That’s actually totally okay. But if you’re unhappy with it, change it. Don’t whine about it and then not change it. That’s the worst.


So, you lost your job.

This one sucks because losing your job can mean huge life changes, like having to move. Some of us are okay with big changes. Some of us resist it and hate it with everything we’ve got, like a cat in a costume.

In most cases, your job loss was not personal. It’s not like you were let go because no one liked you. And let’s say you got fired because in fact, it waspersonal. Guess what? That was a terrible work environment and you’re going to be a better person for not being there. The only way to handle a job loss is to spin it until you find the bright side. For example, now you can focus on what you really want to do. Maybe it’s time to make big career changes. Maybe now you can follow your dream. But really, do more than follow it — hunt that motherfucker down. Turn this loss into a gain.

And maybe you’re going to have to make sacrifices, like selling a major item, moving, or taking on a crappy part-time job until you find something. And it’s okay to be upset by that. But you can’t be upset about it every day for the rest of your life. You just can’t. You can, but you’ll have no friends left and you’ll be completely miserable. Is that something you actively want to choose?

You’re not a failure because you lost your job. Lots of people lose jobs. You’re only a failure if you let it define you as a person. You are not your job.


So, you got dumped.

This one sucks because it is personal. It’s the most personal thing in the world. Even if someone says, “It’s not you, it’s me” they’re still talking about you. How can you not feel hurt?

Once again, take time to mourn the loss of the relationship. Cry, shout, do what you have to do to keep yourself from holding onto any anger or sadness inside. Don’t keep it all inside. It will explode later at the company picnic when Deborah takes the last corn on the cob. That bitch. Let it out now.

Then start to heal. Think about what you learned from the relationship. We always learn something. Maybe it’s as simple as, “I’ll never date guys under 24 again.” Fine. Go with that. Just take something, anything and learn from it. Grow from it. Don’t let it make you bitter. If you let it make you bitter, you’re turning your future self into an asshole. No one likes the asshole who is caustic about relationships and uses every opportunity to bash their ex. Write about it. Make funny videos. Turn it into something positive. Even if it’s just a funny tweet. That one tweet is something good and positive, and that’s exactly what you need.


You’re only a total failure if you allow yourself to stop growing. And how do you grow? By learning from mistakes, facing change, and doing things that scare you. (At least, those are some ways.) Accept your loss, mourn it, then move on. Because you owe it to your future self. You owe your future self success, even if present self feels nothing but failure. Ignore present self. Think about future self. What do you want to do for her?


Photo credit: Uncommon Goods. Originally posted on The Gaggle, by me.


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Bad Alcohol Purchases I’ve Made And What They Say About Me


My brother and I trying an oyster shooter. Honestly, it wasn’t REALLY as bad as it looks.


Friends, ’tis no great secret that I enjoy alcohol. And why not? To quote the brilliant Homer Simpson: “Here’s to alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.” And when it comes to alcohol, I’ve had some problems.

But nothing serious, God no. I mean, I’ve had problems when it comes to buying the right alcohol. I’ve made some mistakes. Please learn from mine. Here are bad alcohol purchases I’ve made and what they say about me.

Root Beer Liqueur


Don’t. Just don’t. Photo by me.

I know — why on God’s beautiful alcohol-laden earth did I decide to make this purchase? There were a few factors. 1.) Root beer! Who doesn’t love root beer? 2.) My mom encouraged it and purchased it for me. And when someone buys you booze, you drink it and say thank you.

This sat in my cabinet for close to a year. And no, it does not get better with age. It is grossly sweet and heavy. Like some sort of diabolical cough syrup. It was like trying to drink an oil painting. An oil painting of sad.

WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT ME: I am still a little kid at heart who wants the best of both worlds: root beer and booze. I can’t have both. It’s time to grow up.

Ariel, the Non-Alcoholic Wine


This is obviously the Little Mermaid Ariel. It’s more interesting than the bottle. Image via Wikipedia.

I was in a rush. I was broke. I went to the discounted wine section of the store. The price was right. The wine was not. The wine wasn’t even wine. It was basically glorified grape juice. Apparently, Ariel is a non-alcoholic wine. Which I didn’t figure out until I was about 5 sips in. “Why does this taste so…off?” I wondered. Then I read the label.

Yes, this is my fault for not reading the label. But what kind of sick fuck places non-alcoholic wine amidst the regular wine? It’s like they WANTED this to happen. Don’t worry, I cut it with vodka. It was…okay.

WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT ME: I need to slow down and pay closer attention to what I’m doing.

Southern Comfort


No amount of bartending books can save this hellish elixir. Photo by me.

Janis Joplin chugged Southern Comfort (or “SoCo”) so I thought, if it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for me. And it was, for a while. SoCo lime (Southern Comfort with fresh lime juice, usually taken as a shot) was fantastic. And then recently, I bought a bottle because it was majorly discounted.

Want to know WHY it was majorly discounted? Apparently, they changed their formula in 2010 or 2011 that made Southern Comfort more of a liqueur, and less of an actual whiskey. From Wikipedia: “Although the original product contained whiskey, the current formula for Southern Comfort only contains whiskey-tasting flavoring rather than actual whiskey (except for the premium version called ‘Special Reserve’).”

To quote Bruce Brian Billings, “Southern Comfort tastes like Southern vomit.” I tried to mix it with water and cranberry juice, which weirdly made it better, but I still can’t bring myself to drink it. I tried my beloved SoCo lime, but goddamn you need a lot of lime in there. Basically, it’s crap. It’s a crap drink and I will never buy it or order it again. Unless I can take a time machine to the ’70s when shit was good. Or at least, acceptable.

WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT ME: I am nostalgic for a time period I wasn’t even alive for, and this makes me stupidly optimistic and painfully unglamorous.

Red Wine From the 99 Cent Store


At least the straw matched. Photo by me.

I know, I know, it’s like I wasn’t expecting anything good from this. I bought it because I wanted to make Kalimotxos. The best way to make those is with Mexican Coke (the SODA) and the cheapest red wine you can find. I found both those things at the 99 cent store.

What I didn’t count on was the red wine tasting like nail polish. No, I don’t drink nail polish, but trust me. You smell it and you just somehow taste nail polish.

WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT ME: I can be too cheap for my own good.

That Diabolical Pink Vodka Whose Name I Blocked Out

This wasn’t it. This is just how I wished the night had gone instead of how it went. By: Brian Walworth

The whole evening wasn’t set up for triumph. We were looking to purchase booze to do our first ever drunk podcast with Matt and Christina of the podcast “Let’s Talk About Feelings.” I wanted to bring something fun to the party. So I found some moderately priced Pepto colored pink vodka.

Do you want to know what Pepto pink vodka looks like coming up? IT LOOKS EXACTLY THE SAME. But more…rubbery. Yeah, you grossed out? I was, too. I vomited the whole way home in a Trader Joes bag as my boyfriend drove while miraculously not breaking up with me.


WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT ME: I am easily swayed by pretty colors and good marketing. No more “cute” bottles of booze.

Gross White Wine I Bought Twice By Mistake

apocalypstick instagram

This isn’t the gross white wine. I just wanted you guys to know that Hello Kitty wine is a real thing. Photo by me.

Again, this is a classic example of why trying to save money can backfire. I found a bottle of either Pino Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. I still can’t remember which it was, which comes into play later. The bottle was around 3-5 dollars. It tasted like…rotted fruit. Or rotted something. In my entire life, it’s the only glass of wine I wasn’t able to finish. I think my boyfriend took it off my hands. I couldn’t. Something about it just tasted wrong. Like Rosemary’s Baby wrong. “Oh well,” I thought. “Never again.”

But guess what? I DID do it again. I couldn’t remember if the bad wine was the Gris or the Blanc. I chose poorly. I chose the same goddamn bottle of ass-wine. After one sip I realized the horrible mistake I made. This wine tasted like evil grapes. Like super pissed-off grapes who didn’t want to be wine. Who wanted something better for themselves.

WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT ME: As with the Ariel lesson, I need to be more attentive and aware of what I’m buying. And since I still don’t remember which one it was, I avoid the bottom shelf of white wines at Vons entirely. Unless it’s a super weird name that I know I’ve never tried. Which I’m sure will go over really well but, guys…don’t stop believing.


What are YOUR biggest booze blunders and what did they say about YOU?


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I Suck With Money: Trying To Make My Money Matter

Mall Madness via Apocalypstick instagram

I am terrible with money. I spend money like I have it. I spend it like I’m Jay Gatsby and the all the world is one big party guest.

The worst are credit cards. I have to remind myself that when I use a credit card at someplace like Starbucks, I’m basically asking the bank for a loan for an iced cappuccino.

And then there’s the banks. I used to know so little about banking and how banks actually work. It wasn’t until I started seeing random $10 charges here and there that I started to question, what does a bank actually do for me, its client?

A while back I wrote a post on shopping local. I firmly believe it’s important to shop at small stores and keep your money in your community — if you can. So where does that leave me with banking?

When I wrote that post, I learned a lot about not just shopping local, but keeping your money local. And that’s when I entertained the idea of joining a credit union. In a credit union, you’re the owner. You know exactly where your money is going. You have, on average, lower fees for things like using ATMs, surcharges, overdrafts, and so forth. With banks, it’s like, god forbid if you use an ATM that isn’t part of your bank. You may as well walk over to the nearest body of water (a spilled drink at a bar is fine), open your wallet, and dump everything in it. Which, in my case, is like four dollars.

I would love to join a credit union. I’d love lower interest rates and lower fees. I’d know exactly where my money was going. However, and this is the big problem, there’s no credit union near me. The closest credit union near me may as well be in Michael Caine’s vacation home on the moon (because you KNOW he has one there).

So I’m kind of stuck. I don’t know what to do. Right now I belong to two banks. One of them I guess has most of their ATMs in Narnia, because there is only one near me, and the other one likes to charge me for apparently no reason.

Do you use a credit union? Do you like it? If not, what do you use and why?

Make Your Money Matter

This post is sponsored by Make Your Money Matter, in association with PSCU, though all views expressed are my own.


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10 Little Things We Can Do To Make Life Easier For Each Other

Loomis Dean

Louis C.K. has a bit he does where he says, “People don’t want to back off from their favorite thing. They won’t even do their second favorite thing.”

He describes someone screwing over entire lanes of traffic because the driver forgot to get in the left lane, so they cut over several lanes to make their turn before the light changes. “He just shoves his car through everybody’s life,” Louis snaps.

We have to stop doing things like this to each other. We’re all just going the best we can in life, and our best would be ten times more awesome if we tried to make the lives of people around us better, because as a result, our lives will be better. If everyone wants everyone else to be okay, then won’t we all be okay?

Here are 10 things we can do to make life easier for each other.

10. Have more patience while waiting in lines.
My local Vons supermarket is one of the worst places in the entire world. But I have to go there because I have to eat, and it’s close. Trader Joe’s is even more horrifying. So I go to Vons and I’m happy that I can afford food. Waiting in the lines at Vons is easily the worst part about the entire experience. There are never enough cash registers open. Sometimes the cashiers move at the speed of a kindergartener learning to tie their shoes. Sometimes the person in front of you has an avalanche of groceries and wants to pay in pennies. Whatever. That’s just life. Me sighing in annoyance isn’t going to make things go faster. I try not to do that because I hate when people do that to me. Like, oh, I’m so sorry I have to eat. Please forgive me for buying groceries at the grocery store. I don’t know what the fuck I was thinking.

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Stop being oblivious.

almie rose blondes make better t-shirts

Awesome tee courtesy of Blondes Make Better T-Shirts. I’m so happy they gave this to me, because I saw it and thought, “NEED.” It’s basically just a big comfy shirt that says “M. M — MEDIUM” on it and then beneath that is a description of what the M doesn’t stand for, like “monkey.” And they’re a green company! And they have hilarious instructional labels sewn in them. And they’re made out of that material that makes tees fell all vintagey and soft. AND they’re offering a SPECIAL DISCOUNT to Apocalypstick readers: 20% for the entire month of Novemeber! (enter apocalypstick at checkout). Yay!

One of the questions I’m asked all the time, aside from, “Are you drunk?” is, “How do I tell if someone likes me? Like, likes me?”

My answer to this is, “If you have to ask, they don’t like like you.” That’s number one. I know this may hurt, but if someone really liked you, you would know. And if a month passed by and they didn’t make a move, it’s not going to happen.

But some people are diabolically shy, and make this a little harder to figure out. And on the other side are the people who are diabolically clueless who don’t realize if someone is blatantly hitting on you.

Here are some hints if someone is into you (or not):

— They go out of their way to make you happy. This could mean hanging out with you, helping you out with something, whatever. Going out of their way means maybe they have to drive a long distance or change up their plans, but they do it because they like you, and want to see you.

— They don’t call you repeatedly after 2 AM and ask you to come over. All this means is that they like having sex with you. They don’t like you. They don’t hate you, they just don’t want to take it beyond sex.

— You can be a total bitch to them (either on purpose or because of a rough day, hopefully it’s not on purpose) and they forgive you. Not only do they forgive you but they continue to hang out with you.

— They actually listen when you talk to them. You can tell that they were listening because later, even weeks after your conversation, they’ll reference something you spoke about, like, “Hey how is your grandma by the way?” or, “I saw this thing that you just have to see, it reminded me of you.” This usually segues into the private joke stage.

— They flirt with you. I mean really, that’s the most obvious clue. The above signs are some ways people flirt. Another way they flirt is to laugh at your inane jokes. Try telling a joke or a story and see who is actually looking at you the most. Who is really listening. If it’s them, that’s a good sign. (Remember “you’re just too good to be true, can’t take my eyes off of you”?)

— They make a move. This is the bottom line. If this doesn’t happen it means you’re good friends, or they’re too fucked up to handle anything beyond friendship. It doesn’t mean they don’t like like you, but if nothing’s happened by now, nothing will for a long time, if ever.

These are the signs. Stop being oblivious and pay attention. If you are the recipient of these signs, wise up.

What do you think? What did I leave out?


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almie rose child actor apocalypstick

My nana still keeps my childhood headshot framed in her room. Solidarity.

I have no regrets. Sometimes I need to constantly remind myself of this, because it’s easily to slip into that terrifying moment of, “Oh shit, I’ve ruined my entire life with that one decision.” And that’s ridiculous and I know that. I need to feel good about my decisions, and if I made one I didn’t like, I have to say, “Ob la di ob la da, life goes on” and not worry about. That’s how I want to do things.

For a while though, I did have one regret. I thought about what I would do if I had the chance to do it over. I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t quit acting at six years old.

I was a fairly successful child actor. Not famous by any means. But I did some commercials that paid very well. National commercials pay very well, you’d be surprised. My big hit was a commercial for Clarion liquid makeup. No, it was not makeup for children. This was one of those artsy commercials. It was shot in black and white, in a deserted street, with a model walking down it. Then it cut to me standing against a wall. I think I was standing next to a little boy. Cut to the model. Cut to a slow close up of my face. Boom. Clarion liquid makeup.

Those few seconds of standing against a wall set me for most of my life. The shoot was very long, so long that I was late to my own birthday party. But so worth it.

I loved acting. My entire life I thought I would be an actor. I went to a lot of auditions. But apparently one day, I threw a fit, and I told my mom I had enough. I don’t remember this. I have a pretty good memory of that time. I remember I was a total dick in an audition because I wanted to play with my friend Katie and didn’t want to be there. My mom was the total opposite of a stage mom, so as soon as I told her I wanted to stop she jumped away, hands in the air, saying, “Okay! No problem, we’re done.”

I don’t know why I did that. I was a kid. Kids are stupid. Kids don’t think in the long run. I need to be easier on myself. But I was on a roll. I got cast in a sitcom starring the mom from “Home Improvement” and some famous dude. Then that show fell apart when the mom from “Home Improvement” decided to do “Home Improvement.” Bitch.

Though I stopped acting professionally, I kept doing it. I was in every high school play. I wrote my own plays in elementary school, high school, and college. I went to acting classes and casting workshops. I loved acting. But I couldn’t catch a break. “I’m born and raised here, shouldn’t it be way easier for me to get into this industry?” I always wondered. But connections fall through. I would kill it at an auditon only to be told, “We need a name, but you were great.” I got meeting with agents who said things like, “Come back to us when you’ve done more work” (how the fuck am I supposed to get more work without an agent?) and one who told me, “The bridge of your nose is very straight and narrow, I would think about that.” I thought about it and determined that she was an asshole.

One day I came to a conclusion. I could struggle to get auditions for shitty projects that two casting directors in a room would see, or I could make my own videos my own way that thousands would see. It was an easy choice. Fuck the industry. All you actors out there, I encourage you to do this your way. Keep going to auditions if you want to, but do your own thing. Use the internet to your advantage. We’re lucky to be in this era. The internet is your friend.

Every once in a while I wonder what my life would be like if I hadn’t quit when I was six. Would I be a famous actor now or a has-been? Or none of the above? Things are working out for me pretty well, but every now and then I feel a pang of jealousy when I see “my type” getting roles that I could have gotten. That episode of “Mad Men” where Megan explained to Don why she had to quit her successful job to peruse her dream of acting really got to the heart of me. I understand, Megan. I understand.

What would you do-over if you could?


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I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective. All the opinions expressed here are my own.


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Do or do not. There is no try.

join our cult

I am back from my unexpected hiatus. Some crazy things have been going on in my life. I don’t want to talk about them now. But I’m okay.

There is so much that I want to do. And I will do all of them. I live my life by a “Star Wars” quote which both surprises and alarms me: “Do or do not. There is no try.” (Yoda). That’s how you live the life what you want and that’s how you get what you want. You don’t try. You just do. If you have a passion for something, then you don’t try to do it, you just do it with everything you have, as often as you can, and to the best of your ability. That’s what I’m realizing. You want the secret to success? That’s it. Spoiler alert.

Do you think life is unfair and that you’re not getting what you deserve? It isn’t life. It’s you. Change your outlook and change your habits, and your life will change. Stop fucking it all up by making excuses and blaming other people. Write down the obstacles that are keeping you from doing what you want and then eliminate them. If you want something badly enough, you’ll figure it out.

Do not stop.

What quote do you live your life by?


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