Hayley’s Favorite Things.

by hayley frank

In honor of the annual Oprah’s Favorite Things episode that aired Friday, I have begun an ongoing list of my favorite things. After I was able to recuperate from the sheer terror of this:

(Terrifying)

…I commenced my own list. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

1. LinkedIn:

On Twitter, I am no one. On LinkedIn, I AM SOMEONE.

I have a volatile relationship with Twitter—joining, quitting then joining again—all because of my insecurities due to my lack of followers.

Lady Gaga has 7,143, 558 followers; I have 65. I realize meat dresses do wonders in regards to boosting Twitter followings, as do ongoing debates over one’s status as a hermaphrodite. So maybe it’s my own fault—I guess this is what I get for being so blatantly female (except for this time in my life):

Questionable.

In the heat of the moment, I’m ashamed to say I’ve firmly tweeted out ultimatums to the Twitterverse, threatening to remove myself once and for all if I didn’t garner more fans STAT. Then, upon seeing violence/verbal abuse wasn’t doing the trick, I tried a different approach by tweeting, “I feel very self-conscious over my lackluster number of Twitter followers.” In my experiences, guilt trips have always worked in the past, especially when you have some sort of ammo on which to build them (…like being 14 and overhearing your father telling his work friends that you were a “mistake.” Years later, he still maintains he actually meant “not planned” and that “mistake” had just slipped out by accident. That’s like meaning “tolerable” and saying “Miley Cyrus” instead. I’m not buying it, Tom. Time to up the ante for the 9th year in a row this Christmas.)

Needless to say, my efforts were all in vain and I am still sitting at a disheartening 65.

On the other, more self-righteous hand, I have a solid 98 (and counting) LinkedIn followers. (I know some of you will argue that on LinkedIn they are not considered “followers,” and to you I will say, “Kindly STFU. Remember, I overheard my father telling his friends that I was a mistake. Therefore, they are considered followers.”)

I have spent minutes, half-hours even, typing in my “Present Job Title” and “College Degree.” I have tediously outlined my previous work experience, dutifully reporting all the way back to my days as Secretary at Texas Stud Weld & Fastener, Inc. (my father’s stud-welding company, where he likes to refer to himself as “The Texas Stud” and rides around the office parking lot in a used golf cart he found on eBay). I have the entire layout perfected, and I am vaguely peeved but mostly flattered that people are probably using my profile page as a blueprint for their own, less impressive page.

2. Spray Butter and Splenda:

I will openly admit I have a sick dependence on Splenda and spray butter. I have even found a way to incorporate the both of them into every single meal, should I really want to.

Butterlicious.

A current favorite is a Gas Station Apple* sprayed with spray butter, dipped (i.e. coated) in Splenda. And zero calories?? Talk about hitting the nutritional jackpot! Every time I spoon out a pint of Splenda into my morning coffee I get this giddy, naughty feeling inside, like I’m doing something so wrong that tastes so right. (Fun Fact: There is never a time when I don’t have at least a couple of stolen Splenda packets on hand in my purse. Never. When you see me, ask to see inside my purse.)

I am not quite sure what is in these products, and I am not quite sure I care to find out. I’m a little confused as to how it can look and taste like sugar, yet not be sugar; or how it can be yellow with buttery undertones, yet not be butter at all. But, maybe some things just aren’t meant to be understood—like the reason why Katherine Heigl is still here.

Yep. Still here.

I ventured into Trader Joe’s once but got too intimidated by the surging levels of healthiness and coolness of my fellow shoppers that I turned right back around and saw myself out the door and on to the Food Town across the street. (Nothin’ classier than your local Food Town, where you’re always sure to find an abundance of neck tattoos and dirty mop water.) I don’t know, I just felt more at home there. Plus, it’s more to-the-point: signs like “Fresh Organic Soy Legumes” are replaced with “Cheap Ham N’ Stuff.”

*I’ve been known to do some convenient produce shopping at gas stations, thus purchasing my Gas Station Apples. Don’t judge me; it takes half the time as a grocery store AND I can get a blue slushie. When Kroger installs a blue slushie machine next to the check-out counter, I’ll reconsider.)

3. Dirty Rap Music:

The dirtier, the better—I’m from Houston, I have an excuse.

If I had to listen to one genre of music for the rest of my life, it would be dirty rap music, with an emphasis on Gucci Mane and Swishahouse.

I cannot explain it, nor do I have to explain it. (Do you think Weezy has to explain the AK 47 tattoo on his neck, or the MOB (Money Over Bitches) tattoo on his chest, or the smiley face tattoo on the inside of his lower lip, or the ultra-violet star tattoos on the side of his face (google it)?? NO. He doesn’t. You know why? ‘Cause gangsters don’t explain. They just tat it up. They also probably do a bunch of other dangerous, semi-illegal stuff. But for this post, we’re just going to focus on them permanently embedding ridiculous images on their flesh.)

Hawwwwt.

The best thing about dirty rap is the fact that it evokes zero emotion in me. If you know me, then you know that within the first four seconds of a sad country song I am bawling my eyes out. This is not an exaggeration. While the rest of my friends were enjoying the excitement of the CMA awards a few weeks ago, sitting in the stadium while Carrie Underwood belted out “Mama’s Song,” I was the emotionally unstable lunatic hunched down in my seat quietly sobbing while simultaneously texting my own mama who, sadly, does not have her own song. (Damn you, Carrie Underwood. Damn you for making all of us other daughters look like talentless, unfeeling offspring with bad hair.)

I am not proud of it, but I was even reduced to tears one pathetic afternoon when a Jessica Simpson song came on the radio. It was her hit, “With You,” and when she sang, “With nothin’ but a T-shirt on, I’ve never felt so beautiful, baby as I do now that I’m with you,” it was ALL OVER. I was embarrassed for myself, but mostly I was embarrassed for my friends riding in the car with me, trying (in vain) to ignore the audible weeping coming from the back seat.

This is why I listen to dirty rap. With this genre, I never have to deal with heartbreak or sadness, unless you count the one about the ho who wasn’t bringing in enough dollah billz and was dumped by her pimp. But honestly, I have no sympathy for her because she should have stepped her pimp game up a bit once she realized there was a steady decline in biznass. Hos these days…

But really, how can you not love a song that yells, “Yeah, she know she bad, bad as a motha f*ckah” over and over to a driving bass beat, with other random rappers arbitrarily yelling indecipherable expletives over the singer in the background?

There are also valuable lessons to be learned from these songs. For example, Gucci Mane speaks fondly of his ladyfriend, saying, “She my shorty, she gon’ hold my forty.” Now this man knows how to make a woman feel needed—if it weren’t for her, who would be there to hold his malt liquor? I would gladly hold a forty for my man, especially one as appreciative as Gucci Mane. It’s just so refreshing in an age of such rampant disrespect, and it’s definitely a breath of fresh air compared to all the other jokers who take us for granted.

Definition of a gentleman.

Another reason dirty rap music is top notch is because of the music videos that accompany the songs. A prime example of this is Soulja Boy’s “Turn My Swag On,” which consists largely of a 19-year-old Soulja Boy rubbing money all over his body and jumping up and down on a bed. We also get to tag along as he completes such riveting endeavors as brushing his teeth and then pouring himself a big bowl of cereal. It’s fascinating though, because he is a millionaire and is infinitely more successful than any of us could ever fathom being. And, because he said this: “Skeet Skeet Skeeted on that hoe yea boy, I make it rain, Shawty dont do me, I don’t play no games.” Well said, Soulja.

You Will Never Be As Rich As Him.

I once met Paul Wall at a UofH football game back in 2003. He was wearing a wife beater and had six golden teeth and there were women in bikinis surrounding him. It was everything I ever dreamed it would be.

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