Thursday, March 31, 2011

picture me rollin.

when you google "girl reading email"...the images are lame
So by now, this news is semi-old, and some of you in my life may have already heard it, but you may not have. Intrigued? [Tangent: I am telling you all, my friends and readers, the following story so next time I am whining about wanting to be a tortured writer/permanent talk show fixture, you can light a fire under my ass and tell me to reach for the stars and buck up and get on the ball...or any cliche for being proactive.]

After a green beer or two on St. Patty's Day, I left the bar early because it was just a blah day in general. Instead of being social, I decided to be the coolest girl alive and clean out my gmail box and watch some 30 Rock. As I sifted through about 700 spam messages from Victoria's Secret and Amazon.com, I found the following saved email from my lovely sister:



After the initial bout of laughing at my sister who is forever suggesting that I date either fetishists or other disabled people [Tangent: Neither is out of the question given my rockin' dating life.], I became slightly fascinated with this Kevin Connolly person [Tangent: No...not E from Entourage. That's someone altogether less interesting and more douchey.] Anytime I hear of a cool disabled person who doesn't really pigeon-hole themselves as such or isn't trying to be a sob story, but just rather living life in full badassery, [Tangent: Without some weird "wind beneath my wings" undercurrent of inspiration. Hurl.] , I feel like we are immediately in some kind of club. [Tangent: It's kinda like Jeep drivers wave to other people in Jeeps, but when those people have really awesome Jeeps with maybe a jaunty wheel cover, they warrant a honk. Kevin Connolly warranted a honk.]
Jeep wave in effect.
I had actually heard of his photography work, The Rolling Exhibition,  before, and if you haven't, look into it NOW- an interesting idea and striking images. Frankly, I wish I had thought of it, but I wouldn't have done the theme justice. It's all based around capturing people staring at him rolling around legless on a skateboard.

After getting caught in that dastardly interweb, I learned all about Kevin's writing projects and blog [Tangent: I even ordered his book, Double Take,  and can't wait to read it!] and as I saw his contact info jumping off my macbook's screen, I thought, "What the hell? If anyone can show me the ways of gimps being published 101- it's this guy. I mean, he seems chill. C'mon..he's in the X-games.  Let's give this a go."

Hastily, I assembled a decidedly non-generic message telling him about my blog, the essays I have been compiling and my dream to one day have it published, and what I got back was unprecedented and amazing.  Within a few days, he replied saying that he had checked out my blog, and he then went on to give me roughly 7 paragraphs worth of valuable guidance and steps to getting my foot (errr...wheel) in the door with publishing houses; basically, he gave me the golden ticket. I could have easily been swimming in his spam folder with other undesired emails from internet creepers, but instead via email,  he gave me the matches to light that fire under my ass that I so desperately needed.

Thanks, Kev...you kick ass...or at least punch it and then run over it repeatedly.

Now go buy his book.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I don't get it...

Today I had to kill some time, as I was unable to get into my house due to a temporary backyard mudslide, [Tangent: My tires need chains, because if no one is home and it's raining, I just can't navigate the hill to get into my house.] so I decided to wander the mall like a vagrant in business casual.

With no intention of buying anything, I headed into Forever 21 [Tangent: I generally really enjoy this store because its inexpensive and they have cute cardigans and little dresses and what not, but at times it makes me feel like I am roughly 97 years old because the trends are outta control.]. Within a few minutes of roaming the store, I saw not one, but two girls who I believe worked there, but looked as if they had just left the set of the Madonna Borderline video. I tried to snap a picture, but I was already that weird wheelchair girl shopping and not buying anything all by herself, [Tangent: As if I had wandered away from the center.], so I tried not to give any more reason to ostracize myself. Here's a close approximation.
wow...Madge has a lot of jelly bracelets.
 As I wove my way through the jeggings and adorable sweaters,  I came across a couple blast-from-the-past looks that made me uncomfortable yet curious.

First of these was looks is the romper.
 
At Forever 21, they had rompers in every possible incarnation: short, long, tube top, floral, striped, ruffled etc. Someone needs to prove me wrong, but I don't think this look is comfortable, functional or flattering. All I see is wedgies and fumbling to get out of it when you really have to pee. Even the word romper hearkens back to looks I rocked at age 8 [Tangent: Although, I think my romper was a lovely beige floral corduroy and accessorized with a shoelace bow. A winning look.]

I am 99% positive that's a romper she's wearing.
It also further perpetuates that if you have ever seen the amazing 90's teen angst film Welcome to the Dollhouse- you will see the parallels between Dawn Wiener's wardrobe and that of every hipster that roams the aisles of an Urban Outfitters in your neighborhood. I see way too many beautiful people trying to make themselves look ugly...and that makes me sad.
the romper strikes again.
 Forever 21 also made me realize that overalls are apparently coming back, which I find a little strange.
Horder Alert: Just months ago, I finally let go of my overalls that I have clung to since roughly 1995. For years, I resisted giving them to Goodwill  in hopes that a.) the would make a resurgence b.) that I would visit a farm and wish to be "in character" c.) that I would take on a large house painting project. Since the latter two options seemed more likely than the former, I let go of the dream as well as the denim. 

At this point in the hour of window shopping, my mind was reeling and my stomach was growling so I met my best friend at Chipotle, which I had never been to.  Chipotle is new to the Nashville area, and I have added it to the list of thing I don't "get." The food was delightful, but essentially, it was really just the same as any other place where you get a $6 burrito like Blue Coast/Baja Fresh/Moe's/Qdoba/Swanky's, etc. The difference is Chipotle charges extra if you want guacamole, forces you  to make the difficult choice between cheese and sour cream [Tangent: Why not both? There's plenty of room for all forms of dairy in my belly!] and it's interior is decorated inside like an Ikea store. [Tangent: This last element made me really unsettled. I have a great respect for minimalist design, I just have no idea how it relates to a big as your face burrito. This bizarre atmosphere is made even more eerie by the music, which is not light and fun like taco music should be; it's stuff from Beck's Sea Change album. It's almost as if someone got really stoned while they were designing an upscale stationary store and decided to sell Americanized Mexican fare instead.]

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

whats your type?

this is always funny to me.

Today was a big day, I became "facebook official" with a major relationship in my life...my relationship with typography.


Under normal circumstances, I try to keep this love of mine under Fort Knox surveillance, because as several in my life know, it's something seemingly mundane that I have WAY too many opinions about. [Tangent: NERD ALERT- lately I have been very into handwriting type fonts, but generally I enjoy a typeface like garamond. Also, I hate when people use display font in several lines of text... I don't care to see anyone's paragraph written in Jokerman. One more thing... all caps and white text on dark backgrounds enrage my pupils if its in more than one line of text. I really could go on all day.] As shown in the prior tangent, once I start talking text, it results in a full on nerdgasm. 

Who is to blame? Let's start with my art and media design teachers in college for making me unable to view magazine layouts, billboards or even street signs without thinking things like:

"Ya know...There are other text fonts besides Times New Roman." 

or

"Gross! Anyone who loves apple chancery should be stoned!"

go check out this blog.
Prior to college, my typeface ignorance was bliss, and now I not only seek out, but get overly excited about everything font! This weight feels nice coming off my shoulders as I come clean with my addiction. [Tangent: If fonts were like Itunes and charged per download- I would be selling "The Contibutor" on the streetcorner.]

Who else is to blame? The makers of the film Helvetica (trailer shown below), because after having it pop into my Netflix queue a couple years ago, I watched it. I may have watched it twice, and likely there was a lot of rewinding and fast forwarding during the good parts. [Tangent: I am admitting this as if it was porn...it wasn't...it was about as far from as you could possibly get, but to me it was just as juicy.] If you make the plunge to sit through it- please be forewarned you will either come out of it loving Helvetica, or loathing it from its overuse. I am not a huge fan because I find it's over abundance annoying, but have a respect for it (kinda like my feeling towards Tyra Banks).



Designing a font is definitely on my bucket list, sometimes I just look at blogs like these and check out what some typography artists are up to. It could happen...maybe one day your kid's research papers will be required to be double spaced 12 pt. Kimmie.  [Tangent: Who am I kidding? I am more a display font kinda gal.]

OK, at this point you have probably already stopped reading, or you are as much of a dork as I am [Tangent: In which case, my sincerest apologies.]. For those that stuck around...here are some pretty pictures!



...the only time you'll see me endorsing guns.






Sunday, March 27, 2011

jenna rose > rebecca black

"partyin' partyin' YEAH!"

If you have been living in a 1960s bomb shelter (or you have a life and better ways to make use of your time),  you may be unfamiliar with Rebecca Black, the teenage singer (?) who has stormed the Internet with her video for Friday. [Tangent: After hearing the song, even once, I dare you not to hear the day mentioned and not correlate it with this song. Scientific fact- It's impossible!] I can't fault her, if my family was loaded, I may have wanted to make an overpriced and completely unnecessary music video with a cameo by a superfluous rapper when I was a youth..ya know, just because. [Tangent: Although this video will likely haunt her for decades to come, it also has probably already bought her first car and paid for her college.]

I commend the songwriters; although I know she didn't write the song and it is semi-terrible, it seems like something a thirteen-year-old would write:  partyin. excited for the weekends. deciding who should ride in the front seat or the back seat.  All of these are valid concerns for a teen...all seemingly ripped out of my Lisa Frank diary. 

Her video is responsible for tons of parodies and analyses [Tangent: This is one of my favorites, although they are all equally ridiculous, and I don't advise falling down that rabbit hole unless you pack a lunch.] and have been discussed in nearly every medium. I feel like Rebecca Black media saturation has nearly reached Charlie Sheen proportions. However,  I feel the Ark Music Group, which produced Rebecca's jam is responsible for something much greater. I present to you Jenna Rose and rap superstar (?) Baby Triggy with this timely tune about a very important issue: DENIM!



I think young Jenna deserves her stonewashed, bedazzled day in the sunshine. Anyway, Rebecca Black was so five minutes ago. [Tangent: <---do kids even still say that? Who am I kidding...there is plenty of autotune to go around.  Keep on keepin' on, internet tweens with rappin' sidekicks. ]

Saturday, March 26, 2011

impulse buying bell grande

I don't know if I would marry Taco Bell, but I might introduce him to my parents.
Update: My Lent vow to give up the term "I'm sorry" is not an overwhelming success. I'll admit that I still say it; but have cut down on its utterance by at least 62% (roughly) and am recognizing the extreme overabundance of it in my life. That's pretty good for a semi-Catholic [Tangent: If I were more religious, I imagine I would be saying Hail Marys instead of just silently saying "shit!" every time I slip up and say I'm sorry unnecessarily]. This "sacrifice" has also caused my vocabulary to diversify a bit. Instead of just saying "I'm sorry" when someone tells me they are having a terrible day, I have started saying things like, "I empathize with your situation and can imagine what you feel like." [Tangent: This whole thing is making me sound like a freshman Psych major. Easter really can't come fast enough.]

While we are on the religious, I have discovered that Taco Bell is the epitome of gluttony [Tangent: That's one of the seven deadly sins (at least according to Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman) so what if its a poor excuse for a segue.]. Even if I just want a light snack, I am incapable of buying just one item at the fast food giant...probably because everything is roughly a quarter. [Tangent: I am not sure why, but I feel Taco Bell prices have remained consistently bargain-basement low for decades. Do I care that they probably use cow leavins for meat? Not really- It keeps the overhead low and allows me to get an extra gordita.] 

who knows whats in those things...
All I wanted was a seven layer burrito, but then I got there and noticed all sorts of new or forgotten menu items. Cinn-a-twists, frutista freezes and volcano tacos were toying with my emotions from the menu board. [Tangent: For some reason I regularly feel compelled to purchase the seasonal/limited edition menu items at eateries because their exclusivity entrances me. I sometimes feel like if I don't try Sonic's Valentine Red Velvet Cheesecake Blast, I may or may not regret it on my death bed, and that's a chance I am unwilling to take. Sometimes ya just gotta carpe diem Shamrock Shake style. I know its the whole "McRib is back" mentality...a person can easily get caught up in the hysteria before realizing that, indeed, it is still the McRib, and nothing to get excited about-  insta-regret of a hasty purchase.]
perfect some ecard...over-apologizing and gorging on mud-butt inducing food.
Impulse purchases are an inevitability at fast food restaurants. "I promise all I wanted was two chicken soft tacos....but ahhh what the heck, let's get a cheesy potato burrito, a nachos bell grande and oooohh...a pacific shrimp taco!"  Of course, because the grand total is about $2, the regret is from my gut, now stuffed beyond capacity, and not my wallet. Immediately I shape-shifted from wanting "just a snack" to stuffing my face in a Costco parking lot. The lure of the cheesy potato burrito was much too strong.

see....it's bewitching.
When I returned home I posted "It's so easy to impulse buy at Taco Bell" on my Facebook wall. Seven "likes" and 28 comments later, I realized that I was not alone in this boat bound for the border. It's physically impossible to show any restraint, and not leave the place without a hefty plastic sack o' meaty cheesy goodness. If this wasn't proof enough that ardor can easily be stirred by a fast food menu, check this out. Apparently you can add rage to the list of deadly sins awoken by Taco Bell. [Tangent: Thanks Carri and Amber for both thinking of me when you saw the below post on Failblog.com. My fat kid inside feels very loved!]

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

nostalgic tv adjustment


In my day job, my main duty is the ever-thrilling process of adjusting ill-paid insurance claims. It doesn't matter if the doctor of the processor messed it up, its my job to add the needed element and fix it so that it will all shake down as it should. Because I spend 30 hours a week doing this, I start to use terms like "ammendment" or "adjustment" in my everyday, non-insurance, life.

What am I getting at? Well it seems lately I will write a blog on a topic, and within minutes of finishing it, I will think of something I should have added to it or someone will leave me a comment of something I missed. One of these such blogs was my 80s-90s TV blog. The following is my ammendment...so I will do it insurance style.

BILL NOTE: THE PREVIOUS POST WAS SUBMITTED WITHOUT ADEQUATE DOCUMENTATION FOR SESAME STREET AND TODAY'S SPECIAL. POST ADJUSTED WITH THIS ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND PROCESSED ACCORDINGLY. [Tangent: The ability to bill note has never benefitted me in the real world, and probably didn't benefit this post. I just wanted to see what it would feel like to try.]

The evening after I posted it, my mom told me I had totally neglected to mention the best example of how over-involved I was (and kind of still am) in my TV shows. When I was in preschool, Maria on Sesame Street got married to Luis. To 5-year-old Kimmie, this was like a royal wedding or a space shuttle takeoff...only bigger. The only two Hispanic inhabitants of Sesame Street were going to get married surrounded by their muppet friends; this was something I had to see.  I may or may not have cried at the very thought that my going to school would keep me from seeing it [Tangent: I'm pretty sure this was a couple years before VCRs so I was outta luck if I didn't see it live.]
see...look how excited Big Bird was!
My mom, having her priorities straight and being the mama she is, thought that since it was so important to me [Tangent: ....or as she worded it "these people were your friends"] that I would be allowed to stay home from school to watch it, so I did. I am unsure how that excused absence note looked, but I am forever grateful for her parenting decision because now I know what all the Muppets look like in formal wear.  [Tangent: Now that I look back on it, the great Sesame Street wedding probably overlapped with the day that we learned how to tie our shoes, because that was a basic skill that I was VERY far behind on learning.]


Sesame Street- Maria & Luis Get Married by aardvark917

My parents were always very enabling supportive of my television habit and felt that it was "cute" that I was so into the story lines. When I was little and would come home from pre-school, my mom would set up my little drawing desk so I could happily draw and eat my Ramen noodles while watching my lineup. David The Gnome. Maya The Bee. Today's Special. It was a formula for awesome.
the original gnomeo and juliet

I don't recall at all what this show was about, but it made me not scared of bees. I mean...look how adorable.

The. Best. Show. Ever.
The last show was my kryptonite. I loved it. Just the thought of it makes me question my current job, because when I was wee, I wanted to wear a pink jumpsuit everyday and have an interracial will-they-won't-they affair with a mannequin at a magical department store that inexplicably hires puppets as security guards. My current job does not match that description, even on casual Friday. [Cue the sad trombone.]

If you don't recall, Jeff, the hot dorky curly headed fella on the right was the mannequin, and here is how my guidebook, wikipedia, described him:
A mannequin with a magical hat that makes him come to life when someone says "hocus pocus alimagocus". If the hat comes off of his head, he turns back into a mannequin. He cannot leave the store or he will become a mannequin permanently (he can only go outside when he is on the building's roof or, in very rare episodes, when traveling by magic). Because he has not been alive for very long, he knows little about many everyday objects (at least in earlier seasons). However, he is often shown to be a fast learner, a deep thinker and a source of ideas. He is also a very talented dancer, which he gets to show off at some point in nearly every episode. Though he wishes that he was not bound by the rules of the spell that keeps him alive, he puts his friends' needs first.



So why did I have a crush on Jeff as a kid? He sounds sheltered, and he hangs out in the children's department all day. That's a bit worrysome. Oh, but wait, he's a talented dancer and wears a jaunty hat. SOLD!

I also had a little soft spot in my heart for Muffy Mouse, who had her own little mother-in-law apartment/mousehole somewhere within the store. [Tangent: Was it not a concern that they had mice in the store... much less mice that wore clothes and could talk? Who am I kidding...I love her regardless of her status as vermin.]  As a kid, I named all my stuffed animals because I was weird creative and I absolutely named one of them Muffy. [Tangent: I also had a Pound Puppy named Freddy Kreuger so I'm not sure what I am getting at.] I also remember being extremely distraught when muffy's pet butterfly died. That's some heavy shit for someone in Pre-K.

I'm pretty sure I aspired to live in Muffy's apartment as a kid.
It makes me wonder why mannequins coming to life was such a hot idea when I was younger? They were showbusiness's go-to storyline for a brief time, and something that hasn't been done in a while.  Besides Today's Special, the late 80's and early 90's blessed us with the Oscar-worthy Mannequin and Mannequin 2: On The Move.
Now...THIS is the best movie poster ever!
It was a simpler time then, and I miss it so.  Thanks for riding shotgun on my trip back down Nostalgia Lane. Adjustment complete (....at least for now. BUH BUH BUMMMMM!) 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pogonology. I like your beard.

yeah...they are.
When I don't know what to write about...sometimes I need look no further than my cell phone's inbox. Last week I had a text message from my dear friend/coworker/henchman in ridiculousness, Alex, saying the following:

Pogonology. Look it up. Fall in love.

After some fierce smart phone googling, I learned that Pogonology is indeed a legitimate study (maybe), and not just "the study of pogs" like some might have guessed. 

By the end of this blog, I will technically be a pogonologist, which makes me proud.

It has always been a running joke that there are a lot of weird traits that I find very attractive in men.  Examples: I think ginger haired fellas are very hot. I like a good beard. I like a guy who wears glasses. Jewish men I find very foxy. A therapist might speculate that I like a good underdog or anyone that can undergone persecution- but the beard doesn't quite fit that mold. [Tangent: I mean its not like Jesus was persecuted for his penchant for facial hair. If that was the case, I was grossly ill-informed in CCD class growing up. The only ways I thought persecution and beards could have any connection were for guys that couldn't grow good facial hair or women that could. Yes. Maybe they would be some alienated by society at large.]
yep...that's a scum 'stache or DTM: dirty teenage moustache

Why is Salma Hayek gorgeous even when bearded? Not fair. She would likely not be persecuted, but drooled over.
Also, a boys hotness capacity can skyrocket with a just the slightest smidgeon of peachfuzz.  I have previously gushed about my love of bearded brothers, The Avett Brothers, but they are not alone in that heart chamber reserved for hairy dudes. I think Conan O'Brien is a dapper bearded gentleman [Tangent: ...And he's a redhead. Bonus points!]. Even when I went to go see mellow tunesmith, William Fitzsimmons, play at the Cannery Ballroom, my friend Alicia had to remind me that I shouldn't ask him to touch his beard or even stick my face in it, like I desperately wanted to do. 
....Can you blame me?
Even guys that are already a wicked breed of pretty can get a swift kick into sexy town by leaving their Mach 3 behind. Take a good looking guy like the mellow, perpetually barefoot singer, Jack Johnson:
Before: 
 After:
Forgetting to shave made him so much better looking to me, and I don't think I am alone in thinking so. Americans seemed to be obsessed. Beard fever has become epidemic. Don't believe me?  Log onto  the hipster haven Etsy and type in "beards". You will find the following proof that everyone wants in on some hot hairy action. 
this will be my child.

What if you have a baby girl? Problem solved.

Although this baby looks horrified, I could see myself torturing my child with this.

I bet this guy gets a lot of tail.
As if a baby beard isn't proof enough that everyone should have a beard, there are also multiple blogs on the bearded culture and  online forums devoted to beard issues [Tangent: Not sure what these issues are. I am guessing: ingrown hairs; pros and cons of the chinstrap beard; the fine line between folksy and homeless, etc.] If you still don't see that having a beard is a solid lifestyle choice [Tangent: Yes...I believe its a lifestyle.] and not just a sign of laziness reserved for loggers and truckers,  check out sites like the phenomenons Whiskerino and its creepy cousin, Moustache May. I've had friends participate in the past in these celebrations of follicle, and when it's their hair growing season, I grow increasingly jealous that there isn't something similar for the ladies. Why do guys get to have all the fun?

Luckily I have found a couple loopholes...ways that the ladies can bring bearded sexy back, without resorting to shots of testosterone and getting the unattractive side effect of "tranny voice." If you can't make it, you gotta fake it.

I don't know if these will catch on...but they should.
This picture is of my friend, Rae, who wore this shirt to trivia night a couple years ago, and this mental image is still one of my favorites. 

Given that it's March and all...I thought I would leave you readers with something timely and beard-centric that I blatently lifted from beardrevue.com. I think a Gandalf/Kenny Rogers championship would be the cat's pajamas.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

gravelly voice

Isn't this simultaneously amazing and extremely creepy? Want more? Click here.

Its almost 6 o' clock on a Saturday, [Tangent: The Billy Joel enthusiast inside me just sang "...the regular crowd shuffles in." Isn't Piano Man somehow applicable to all life processes?  Drinking. Being alone. Singing. Joining the Navy. ] and I am beat. It's a gorgeous day. As I drive around Nashville with my windows down and AC blasting simultaneously, the streets are bustling with happy families on roller blades and packs of women power walking.[Tangent: Apparently I live inside a commercial for vitamins.] One would think witnessing all that activity would encourage me to go participate, but I am worn out from all my errands and goings on earlier in the day [Tangent: Plus...I've never been much of a power walker or roller blader. Weird, right?]. Add my full day to pricey gas, and, although it pains me, I feel an evening at home with cable television is in order.

Because I have neglected my blog for a few days since my descent into the rabbithole of nostalgia (at least for people in the 25-35 demographic), I thought I would write today on something that really irks me: gravel. It's one of those fixtures of everyday life that grinds my gears like no one's business. This afternoon I was looking for a handicapped parking spot and where were they? On a gravel covered plain.

Being that I have a strong background in building Lego cities, I understand commerce and construction. It's my guess that gravel is more cost effective then cement and seems easier to maintain. Instead of going to the trouble of repairing a pothole or uneven surface, someone could just throw some gravel on it instead.[Tangent: Doesn't that seem like lazy problem solving? It's kinda like if you need to wash your jeans, but instead of doing such, you just spray them with Febreeze. It takes care of it for the day, but doesn't really take away from the fact that your jeans still need laundering]. However, the decision to post multiple handicapped parking signs in a gravelly area seems like a cruel joke by a very sadistic developer.
...maybe not as bad as this...but still the result of poor decision making.

I'll admit, now that I am officially a motorized kinda gal, navigating on gravel is a lot smoother, but when I was in a manual wheelchair most of the time, it was a much rockier road. [Tangent: How many puns about gravel are possible in one sentence?] Imagine trying to push someone in a shopping cart with a wonky wheel or driving a car with flat tires through a tar pit, and then you will get an idea of what it's like. On a scale of 1-10, (One being hardwood floor and ten being quicksand), I will put gravel at a strong seven.

When I was little, my brother, who is inexplicably good at everything, played soccer, and when I used to go see him play all over the state- gravel was part of the package. Getting me over the rocky terrain was usually more strenuous to my parents than running up and down the field for an hours was for my brother. [Tangent: Usually  pushing my formerly chunky preteen self up a steep gravelly hill was akin to the Double Dare obstacle course, except there was no Huffy bicycle or trip to space camp waiting for me at the end. Normally there was just the promise that we would have to pass back over it to get back to our '86 Jeep Wagoneer.]



A hug or 900 is likely deserved by mom and dad for always pushing me over the gravel, despite the fact that it was annoying and the cause of many an expletive. I am extremely surprised my parents never thought to invest in either of the following to keep on hand.
Maybe if I had this, I could go see penguins like this lady! In all seriousness, I have used one of these on the beach and I have sworn that I will NEVER trespass over sand without one. 
When I google image searched wheelchair over gravel, the image I got repeatedly was this sucker. It seems like it's missing a grenade launcher, and if I ever saw one on the streets, I think I would be unable to play it cool and not point out the obvious elephant in the room- that there are tank wheels on a wheelchair. 

Ok. Tirade over. Go about your lovely Saturday, and I hope, not unlike icicles, you will never look at gravel the same. Now, don't even get me started on cobblestone.
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