Monday, June 24, 2013

The Starbucks Reaper and; Kimye Logic

Yesterday morning I was reminded just how much I loathe Starbucks bathrooms. Nay: the toilet paper holder in Starbucks bathrooms. I don't know if it's a corporation-wide conspiracy or what. But the shear volume at which toilet paper is dispensed in a Starbucks bathroom is so LOUD, so RATTLY, so PERVASIVE, it simply must be a ploy to dissuade customers from using more than their fair share. Certainly, I would rather the entire store not know that I am currently dropping the kids off in their midst. Let's save that information for the select few necessitating a bladder tap after me. And hope that I am far, far away by then.

This is how the Reaper sounds when he's breathing on your neck.


In other news on Things I'd Rather Not Share, I recently spent an entire evening obsessing on the personal life of one fellow blogger; albeit a far more influential -- and thus, equally as abhorred -- one. If only I had the techno-savvy to screen shot my history for that day. It would read, in varying search terms, somewhat like this:

  • "dooce divorce"
  • "dooce reasons for divorce"
  • "dooce cheating?"
  • "dooce monetize the hate"
  • "dooce Today show interview"
  • etc.


Yes, I am aware that Kimye recently named their child North. I'd like to ask Sir Kanye if he considered his hometown in this decision. You guys, we have a tiny baby with a future giant ass and probable droopy eyes named after our relative geography. SUCCESS.

Maybe not. No fair, Portland gets all the cool shit.

But while the rest of the world sinks its claws in either baby Middleton or baby West, I am still trying to remove the couch-wedgie sustained by vested research into Heather B. Hamilton's sordid affairs. No, I do not care that someone renowned for parental guidance via her "mommyblog" is getting divorced. Of course I'd like to know who is getting lazy in bed. Or maybe who spent the night in another. Because I'm a nosy motherfucker.


What really cracked the door to Crazytown was search column #4. Props to doocey for banking on the horrid things people say -- of which they are many and variously crazy. Basically she's created a separate blog chronolicling the most awful of the awful comments that people have made on her blog, in her email, and various forums. It is plastered with ads. Thus, big bucks for every nasty word. A personal favorite:


um….the hair. really? you look like a white lesbian version of rhianna-but she is actually attractive and you look like a banana head with a chin. some people can pull it off (michelle williams) but honey you are not one of them. yikes. you were cute for a while, but what the hell are you thinking? that heather can look good no matter what?

why would you do that to yourself. why don’t you just shave it next?


And it goes on. For pages and pages and pages. Some of it I can get behind -- the comments on narcissistic tendencies and a predisposition to whininess. But most of it is just concentrated cruelty. And grammatically poor, I might add.


But when, WHEN did we decide that by the simple guise of a computer screen, we're allowed to let hate reign? When did having an anonymous IP address give us the juevos to criticize some far-away person's lady locks? Why does anyone care that Kim Kardashian has an ordinal direction for an offspring? Why did I tell you that I sometimes poop where I get my coffee (sorry again, barista friends)?


Because look, here's the thing:


We can't deny that we live in a culture saturated in information -- most of it with as intellectually stimulating as squashing celebrities names together. We must be getting bored, if criticizing the entertainment has become the entertainment.

There are several variables to the whole TMI or Overshare way of life or; How We Live. For starters, those that choose to share do so at their own discretion. And you read/watch/listen at your own. This is a mutually participatory act. You may remove yourself from the share/care cycle at any time. And for those whose argument might follow a "they put themselves out there and they know the consequences" trajectory, I would direct you to my rather large collection of SVU episodes in which NO MEANS NO.


Regarding the matter of necessary criticism: we have people for that. They're called critics.


It's simple, really. We share to connect, to find our similar beating hearts. And if you don't like it? Stop reading. Stop watching. Stop listening. Yelling at the dragon is never going to make him go away. So just shut up, already. I am.






Friday, June 21, 2013

The Great Gatspiration

I took myself on an artist date the other day. If you're not familiar with the term, it's what we call avoiding actual work to sit at the movies all night and eat skittles from a vending machine. Except that I sort of killed it by inviting Nichola because duh Leo crying; thereby voiding the concept of dating oneself via cultural immersion and subsequently gaining inspiration. But whatever, she was the one that bought me the skittles.

We saw The Great Gatsby. While visually gorgeous and all the rigamarole that comes with spending millions on a two+ hour extravaganza, I'm not sure how I felt about the experience. If I sound conflicted, it may be due to the jarring aftershock of unnecessarily loud music accompanied by unnecessarily crowded imagery. On the Rocks In A Dryer scale, it would rate just under Transformers. I mean I like glitter as much as your average stripper. Just please don't play Jay-Z out of nowhere, that loud in my face. I'm just getting over Beauty and the Beast.

I admit that the anticipation of this cinematic event has prompted me to actually read The Great Gatsby. I've gotten through half -- mostly because the annotations in Katie's copy remind me of being in High School, when I was an idiot, and nobody really wants to be reminded of that when ingesting one of the greatest literary excursions of our time (or so they say). On a more important note, Daisy is a dumb whore.

You don't let Leonardo DiCaprio go. You just don't. And you most certainly don't let him die of hypothermia in freezing ocean water so that you have to pry his cold, dead hand off your own since he's let you live when there is CLEARLY ENOUGH ROOM ON YOUR RAFT.

This photo is stolen. As if you hadn't seen it already.

Despite the questionable outcome of The Great Gatsby and all its floating text -- lest we forget while Lana Del Ray bemoans her sagging sweater monkeys that you actually read this in American Lit garblegarble years ago -- it reminded me of why I am never disappointed in spending upwards of ten bucks for a flick. And 50 cents for those ten skittles:

The previews. Obvi.

Previews are this magical sub genre of filmmaking that have the ability to make something like Grown Ups 2 look like cinematic mastery. I'm fairly certain I've cried at more previews that the actual films they accompany.

You've got to hand it to the folks over there slaving over a drafting table splicing bits of film together -- or using computers or whatever these newfangled techno nerds do nowadays -- to shove all the best, most enticing portions of a two-hour experience into a 60 second epic. I literally wanted to see Premium Rush so hard when I saw the preview in theaters that I almost forgot how stupid the premise sounded. I still haven't seen it. Therefore, Previews = Totally Fulfilling Singular Experiences.

Which leads me to wonder; are we archaic visual artists nothing if not composers of the highly concentrated movie trailer? Were the cavemen of Lascaux actually the first marketing houses for Premium Rush: Hunt of the Mastadon? Or am I getting it backwards again, seeing as those cave drawings are our first records ever of humans doing cool shit like stabbing the air with sticks and ruining their real estate values? Or is it forwards, seeing as so many of today's films explore past events -- like how dope Lincoln's beard was? Do I have to figure out if the chicken came before the egg before I can eat it with bacon?

I was looking through an old yearbook yesterday, in which my former art teacher quotes, "quit thinking!" Regardless of what the point is, being immersed in a few moments of concentrated theatricality reminds me that making art doesn't always mean thinking art. Or thinking life, for that matter. Sometimes all it takes is removing the extras enough to get at the meat of the thing. In the same way that watching movie trailers gives enough away to create a reaction, so does a good painting. Or portrait. Or suspiciously red bust-thing.

There's an audience for it all. The real point would be to remember that whatever you're doing, make it the most stimulating experience you've ever had. Because nobody cares if you don't care, either.



Thursday, June 20, 2013

Techniques In Bathing Avoidance or; Assessing Your NSPW (Necessary Showers Per Week):

1. Enlist a friend. If you have not bathed within the last 24 hours, evaluate your level of Stench (1 through 10).
2. If, by the enlisted party's summation you rank weak-iffy (1-3), throw on some deodorant. You are now set to enjoy your day!
3. If you rank iffy-stank (3-7), find your cleanest washcloth and best-smelling shampoo. Lather those pits with Essences of the Herbal sort (or whatever else you have that smells like flowers).
4. Repeat step #2.
5. If you rank stank-severe stank (7-9), enact steps 1-4. Finish with a 20 second continual spray (10 pumps) of your strongest eu de cologne.
6. If, at any point in steps 1-5 hair reaches Critical Washing Point (matted texture and/or "hair-like" smell), fear not. The illusion of clean hair is within reach for:
  • Those with bangs: simply shampoo the frontal (most visible) area in sink. Air or blow dry for stunning effect. Can be worn comfortably for up to 2 (two) days.
  • Bang-less: Sorry. You're screwed.
7. In addition to emergency bang washing, kitchen and/or bathroom sinks and/or dish soap may also be utilized for the following:
  • Emergency pit washes -- for shirts that necessitate multiple wears (slash laundry laziness).
  • Feet-stank touchups -- for those of the emmenating sort.
  • Spot cleaning (clothes) -- for those working with paint/ink/poop/other organic materials.
  • Spot cleaning (skin) -- for those working with paint/ink/poop/other organic materials.
8. If you rank 10, it is time to bathe. Total days between steps 1 and 8. Divide this number under 7. This is your Necessary Showers Per Week (NSPW).
9. If at any point during this assessment you are or have become a man, for the love of God get in the shower. I can smell you from here.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Chicken Shit

You know how, in the infancy of every new romance -- save maybe Ryan Gosling's -- you and your precarious partner spend your first date unwinding each other's lives via a series of questions meant to extract the vital moments of your respective lives into some sort of roadmap, so that at the end you might have a glimpse at the chance your paths could successfully cross? And, though you'd like to think your imagination strays towards the MPDG of those carefree, wistful Zoe Deschanel's and Natalie Portman's; you, or that mirage standing beside you, will inevitably become more solid under questions like "what's your worst memory," "what kind of superpower would you have," or, as is the case in question, "what is your greatest regret?"


As a standing practice I don't believe in regrets. I don't believe that life is so finite that every moment could not be turned on its head to uncover some greater, soul-dissecting truth within its supposed beauty or ugliness. But I've also been accused of thinking too much.


Sam and I recently spent three days driving an accumulated 24 hours to and from San Francisco. Bed bugs and shitty motel 6's -- and the subsequent night spent in her car notwithstanding -- I don't regret the trip. Not even when considering the fact that the Kerouacian Empire currently sits #2 on my two-city list of Dumbest Cities Ever:


I'm sure my brethren of the Hipster Culture will lay down their Wayfarers in contempt for this. But seriously, San Francisco: YOU'RE NOT EVEN WARM. 70 degrees at the peak of Haight's attraction is not enough for me to regret offending the masses with this statement. And WTF, claustrophobic hills? Get it together, California.


Despite Sam and I's relatively dismal perception of a city even Google and Apple have hard-ons for, the trip could have been worse. I don't regret the two hours I spent weeping on the ride home nor the unexpectedly comfortable, aforementioned night's sleep in Sam's compact.




Mere hours before we embarked upon our inevitably disappointing and hilly ride Northwest, Sam awoke me at the ungodly hour she rises every single day during the school year. While she embarked upon another day molding young minds, I sought out what I'd hoped would be a solitary journey up the backside of the mountain Formerly Known As Squaw Peak (google dictionary for origins on its former moniker and henceforth name change).

I did not take this picture. I am not that cool.

The scene: waiting behind some sporty Jeep-or-another in the parking lot, chatting with my mother, hoping my phone won't inform me of its heat stroke again in the 95-degree-and-climbing early morning. After a few distracted moments, noticing that Jeep Or Other has finally shut his driver's-side door, which until this moment had seemed just inconsiderate due to its blocking of the path to sought-after parking spots, but now a minor inconvenience to be navigated around. Notice: the lone car passing to the left, on its journey away from the soul-engaging hike up Chick's Tit. Fail To Notice: signage informing all incoming vehicles of their obligation to wait in line for their turn at parking for soul-satisfaction. Notice: singular parking spot, ripe for the taking, upon which phone call is interrupted by Jeep Or Other's vulgarity over disregard for aforementioned sign.


Let's just say that this guy, fit to grace the wrappers of Clif bars everywhere, was certainly not pleased with my apparent disregard for The Rules. And, being the smug out-of-towner, I thought that my defensive vulgarity was well warranted considering his previously obnoxious door-blocking and local mean-mugging. Despite the brief raising of hackles, his persistence on the Importance Of The Sign won over my feeble argument, and I waited in my (appropriately earned) parking spot for Clif Bar to make enough of an advance to finally depart upon my own journey.


Solitude bequeaths answers to all of life's questions, right? Barely two minutes up that scorching heap of rocks my answer came -- to apologize for being a royal dick to this guy on his way down (even if he did start it first).


So the whole way up I'm stealing myself to see Clif Bar again. I'm thinking I really owe this to myself, to redeem the Hipster Culture and young people of the world by apologizing, for being the Bigger Person. I'm really going to show him, you know? The rest of his life, he's going to remember this self-righteous, tattooed Midwesterner that apologized for being rude in a parking lot in Phoenix, Arizona. He'll always remember being showed up by the mean-turned-courteous girl half his age. I saw him about three quarters of the way up. And you know what I did? I chickened the fuck out.


Maybe it was because he looked so intense in his Clif-iness, or because I was out of breath in my big-assedness, or because after 20 minutes of preparation the sun suddenly got in my eyes. But as his head looked down to avoid further confrontation (or possibly falling and dying), I simply puffed on.


Since this moment I've concluded that it is the only act I've committed that I regret: the act of not acting at all. Maybe it's for the best, considering my intentions were pretty much selfishness anyways. But mostly I regret being a coward. And I regret that he still thinks me one, too.




Monday, June 17, 2013

A Burning Sort Of Itch

I'm not that funny in real life. Most of my conversational humor is accidental, stemming from a shrillness of tone, a pension for self-deprecation and a general lack of coordination. I have also discovered of late -- due in no small part to Buddy Holly's insistence -- severe shortcomings in the Comeback department (reference: "no, you're a -----!" brand of humor). So you can understand my surprise when feedback from this little experiment that began many months ago included what some called "humor writing." Yeah, I try really hard. That's probably the least surprising part.


I have also been called "a Winston."


Some of you may remember a variety of posts that cropped up here and there, when the humor ran dry and the focus seemed to wane, relating to my confusion as to what the fuck I'm doing writing in the first place. And then a couple weeks ago, that random thing about stars and water and shit. Are you wondering where I've gone? Do you miss me? Am I delusional over how much people really care?


Whichever of the three it might be, I don't want to know. Let's just all keep it to ourselves (I'll still be watching my stats. That's just how self-absorbed I am).




I understand that when I began this project, those interspersed, pleading posts about my direction and my focus and my life and wah wah wah; now make complete sense. Yes I am slightly ashamed at the publicity of my drama. But we'll all get over it.


Taking a break from any creative endeavor is usually relieving but always devastating. The never-ending struggle: to allow for the influx of information in order to breathe it out in creating, without beating yourself senseless for it. It's a process I've never been able to remedy within myself, but one that, if ignored, inevitably leads to periods of silence like the last few you all have been experiencing. The one thing that the final breakdown does teach us is where the focus lies.


Which is why I am -- to quote the fashionionistas of our realm -- simply swooning over what is in store here. These last few months have served me well. What at the beginning of the radio silence had become a numbness is now swelling into a persistent itch. And it's burning.


So stay tuned, everyone. I'm excited. You're excited. Let's just not give each other chlamydia, K?




Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Metaphor School

Clouds. Like the condensation on a glass of water in the heat of summer, they sweat their fat droplets on the sides of our glass when their weight becomes too much to bear. Like the cup on whose sides we draw misty circles, the sphere we call home holds us in place also-like the container holding our favorite beverage. But then why, in our haste to label its contents as a single entity--water, beer, some fruity chemical imitation of a liquid--do we persist in labeling the inhabitants of our own glass as separate, different, wholly apart from one another? Why when those tiny molecules of carbon and oxygen can be separated by the curious mind, can be dissected and individuated so easily, the way we have done to ourselves apart from one another; we call it both one thing made up of parts, but one thing in its naming?

The hand is not just a hand. It is a collection of cells and organelles and atoms and electrons and, and, and...we recognize it. But to call a hand anything but by its name, primary to the collection of pieces and parts that create its surface, is to disregard its purpose.

Like the water in its sweating glass, like the hand attached to the person, like the person contained within this ball of carbon and oxygen, we are all parts of a whole. The whole does not exist without its parts--nor do the parts exist without the whole.

We've forgotten how it works. From the smallest atom to the fattest soul, to the largest boulders and the vastest oceans, we are all a part and contained within a body greater than our own. And not in some woo-woo, new-age, bullshittery (some might say) way, but in the way that we are all literally breathing the same air, sown of the same soil, borrowers of the same waves of light and of energy over and over again, until the energy our greater body has borrowed gets handed over for the birth of something else. In the way that your marrow will one day feed the first meal of a forager. In the way that science tells us that energy cannot be created or destroyed, we are all here sharing everything with everyone else-and you are not alone as much as a leaf is alone on a tree.

We are all here as pieces of a body. Your body is pieces of other bodies. And on and on; nothing can exist as separate from anything else. So why do we insist on acting like it?

I'm not a tree-hugger. I'm not an environmentalist. I'm not a scientist or even a guru. I am all of these things and none of them because in their labeling they lose their value -- I believe that we are all of these things and many more at our cores. I am simply someone looking for my individuation while trying to understand my connection to everything else -- marrying the two into something that makes sense of my place as a body and a cell, all at once.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mechanical Soft

So my downstairs neighbor texts me:


"Hey Molly you hungry? Just made dinner and we've got some leftovers."


To which I respond:


"Haha" (<--where did the nervous text-laughter come from? Somebody punch me.) "No I'm good thanks, I just had some frozen pizza."


This is one of the many reasons why I love my neighbors. Along with their adorable daughters that give me Girl Scout cookies, their shoveling of my sidewalk, providing free internet access and not making snide remarks about "making music" like SOME of my previous shelter-acquaintances, I'd say we're perfect for one another. And after subsequent bashings of my frozen dietary lifestyle, I had no choice but to acquiesce to the free home-made goodness courtesy of my favorite dwelling-companions. TO MY CREDIT, HOWEVER, it was not frozen pizza. It was refrigerated Dominos.


Why the uncharacteristic ordering of overly-priced pizza at 10:30 on a previous weeknight -- sober, no less -- you ask? It was the first thing I could summon the energy to virtually order and shove down my gullet after coming out of a two-day food poisoning or stomach flu-like episode. One of which had kept me up for an entire Saturday evening and in bed the following two days. I still feel puke-drunk.


But bedtime marathons and Fifty Shades Freed (speaking of, we need to have a conversation about that) aside, I'm reminded of the few years my brother spent working at a retirement home in High School. Not because of my lack of control over my bodily functions or irrational tirades on the weather, but because of the running joke my family adopted over his role in the kitchen. It was my brother's job as a dutiful Servant of Elders to provide a few resident's meals Mechanical Soft.


For those of you not in the know, mechanical soft is a handy term used to describe one's entire meal being tenderly placed inside a blender and then mashed into a pulp-like substance, easily consumed by those without convenience of teeth. It's days like I've had this week I really wish I had someone around to liquify my food for me.


But then again, isn't that the very place at which I'm feeling stuck? Wanting someone to take care of me, but forget taking care of myself in the run-up? Trying to find this juncture of complete freedom and total dependence? Wanting all of what I want without compromise, but none of the consequences? Because as much as I hate to admit it, there's a whiny teenager lodged somewhere in my abdomen, screaming for the car keys but holding her hand out for gas money. I want to stay up all night working on my plans to rule the world, but I just don't want to clean up the puke when lack of sleep explodes in my face. And just like those retirees who must love being taken care of after so long doing nothing but the opposite, we all know it's no picnic being wheeled to the bathroom everyday.


My spiritual teacher once told me that power and responsibility should not be two words -- in essence, they work so closely together that they are the same. Peter Parker's uncle was right. With great power comes great responsibility, and every time I make the choice to treat my body as if it's the energizer bunny capable of great feats in sleeplessness, it will be my responsibility to deal with the aftermath. And in this particular case, the puke.


My mechanical soft diet has near about run its course. And I'm going to bed, because I have shit to do and not near enough rechargeable batteries in this lifetime to do it without a nap. And since I've missed you so much in the last few weeks...goodnight, my friends.






Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Fingernails May Not Survive This

Last night a battle of epic proportions waged. In one corner, a craving for homemade chocolate chip cookies so great it could be described as criminal; brought on by end-of-Winter, brink-of-Spring anxiety that only creature comforts in the form of calorie-dense sugar bombs could calm. In the other, a lack of baking goods (thrown away in a fit of moth fright) and a fierce desire to Not Leave The House, Ever; compounded by a newfound interest in The Mindy Project and unlimited access to the entire season via Netflix (I told you that stupid thing is ruining my life).


The winner: chocolate chip cookies. Though you could call it a tie, seeing as I did subsequently finish the entire season -- aided in part by sluggishness due to aforementioned sugar consumption. Also, gluttony.


It's always around this time of year that I start noticing the inevitable signs of Winter Depression. My worst traits accumulate through the months of insufficient sunlight and too many layers of clothing: the inability to make decisions (see above); the underlying anxiety that manifests in pacing from room to room, unable to commit to any one activity; the fatigue accompanying each and every day, no matter its excitement. I don't know why I'm still caught by surprise at the dive my mood takes each year after Valentine's Day. It's official. From February to the first 80 degree day our unfortunate geographical position experiences, I am one crabby bitch.


While the snow angrily pounds the earth outside my house today, I'm afraid I've hit Critical Mass. Or some other techno-jargon, because I'm fairly sure I'm not using that term correctly at all, that means I'VE FUCKING HAD IT.


I still don't understand why I live here. Surely I would fair better in some balmy, imaginary state where snow falls but one month a year and by the time it hits I find it charmingly quaint. And then just at the right moment, it warms to a comfortable 75 degrees for the rest of "Winter." Haven't we figured out how to science the weather yet?


Bears hibernate. So do other smart animals.


So why is it that I -- as well as a majority of the human population -- still believe we have to keep the same pace in Winter as we do in warmer months? Why do we not see this as a time to slow down, to sleep more, to spend more time being domestic or simply just lying around? It's a time to recharge, right? So why the hell do I still have to stay the same weight in January as July, when all my squirrel neighbors are nice and fat right now?


Maybe we're all just nuts. So while I'm remaking the bed for the fifth time today and agonizing over wanting to do absolutely nothing but feeling ashamed about it, I hope you're at least finding some cozy ways to spend this home-binding day. And if not, here are some suggestions:



COOKIES. I've had this recipe memorized for as long as I can remember and it contributes as much to my domestic repertoire as to the size of my ass. The secret? Nestle Tollhouse. Adjust the amount of brown sugar to one cup and white sugar to a half and you have the Brown family secret recipe -- also a reason to not leave the couch for several hours. And if none of the dough makes it to the oven, I won't judge.



Celebrate Johnny Cash's birthday by dressing all in black and drinking too much. Could also be confused with a one-person funeral.



Make a list of SVU marathon names to send to USA. Instead of "Caffeinated Cases" or "Uncracked Cases" why not:


"Dramatic One-Liners Marathon"


"Awkward Explanatory Scenes Marathon" or;


"Overly-Obvious Apple Plug Marathon"?


I think I may have a future in TV. Everybody needs a wise-ass that makes cookies, amiright? And if all else fails, there's always the Middle Distance:


Enjoy your depressing day!




Friday, February 22, 2013

[Not So] Feminist Rant

A friend and I were having a texual-based conversation last night. It went like this:


Remember how I told you I really need to get my period? CASE IN POINT.


Whenever women rant about how horrifying it is to experience the monthly symptoms of pre-menstruation, I find that most men that make it past the word "menstruation" without running in the opposite direction tend to respond along the same lines. It's always something to the effect of a verbal eye-roll, a sarcastic defense of their gender deeming women that have the sheer gumption to single themselves out because of a monthly bodily function either dramatic, feminist, or a hormonal cocktail of both. As if we have the ovaries to insinuate a gender superiority, or that we -- by the nature of our strife -- are capable of more than you. Because being a guy is no picnic either, you feminist so-and-so!


Fine. So you accidentally get hit in the balls by a stray something every couple months or so, and when you were 16 your hot teacher asked you to answer a question on the board during a particularly graphic midday fantasy. Get over it.


In the same way that every man I've ever met insists that testicular-jarring is the worst pain imaginable, I respond thusly: please image feeling that pain for one hour. Just one. And then add the sense that someone is inflating a balloon in your stomach, hire a midget to follow you around repeatedly punching your abdomen, stretch it out for about three days and then get back to me. And hey, while you're at it, throw in the need to sob uncontrollably at every lone leaf floating down the street.


I'm really not one to play the gender card. I don't think that there is any one superior sex, though if I had to trust one to CEO a company with a hairline fracture, it would be those with two X chromosomes.


Being a woman is a tricky thing. Even in writing this, I feel the nagging thought that I'm doing something wrong -- I'm playing the "PMS" card, I'm making men uncomfortable, I'm airing my bloody underwear. See, right?! I just said "bloody" and you cringed! Are we supposed to talk about this stuff, but keep it to our knitting circles? Are we supposed to reach the brink, but never jump over it? Are we supposed to dance around the topic endlessly, pretending that it both exists and does not exist -- to keep the illusion alive that we are not women bound to a monthly process that makes simple daily tasks feel like climbing Mount Everest?


Again, to reiterate: I am not a feminist. I love being a woman, and I love men, and women that love men, and men that love men, and men that are really women, and, and...and. But I do understand that we have still not yet reached that point of understanding between genders, where men sympathize with our monthly monster and we don't smack their balls for fun. I could point out the pressure that women feel, to be this way or that, to have this or that trait, to be capable, et al. I could recognize the same in men but justify ours as being so much less forgiving. But I won't, because while I think that no man could ever understand what it feels like to burst into tears at the word "orange," I have nothing in the way of experiencing an organ that lives externally and acts of its own free will. Or...desires.


Because look, here's the thing: we spend so much time trying to differentiate ourselves and our experiences -- to try and get those around us to understand us, because I am Me and you have no idea what I've been through -- that aren't we missing something along the way? If we all spent our years trying to get heard without doing any of the hearing, doesn't that make us all just shouting bumper cars? To be a human is a two-part process. It's the feeling and the understanding that does, indeed, make you uniquely you. But you will forever be just that without a few other "you's" to connect to. And connection takes time, understanding, patience and love. It IS the back-and-forth.


To be a woman is a combination of both the best and the worst that this world has to offer. But the same could be said for men, children, homosexuals, blacks, whites...each and every person around you has experienced their personal heaven and personal hell. Because what is life, without a little of everything? And that, my friends, is the most roundabout way of saying Life is Life that has ever been. Be it a good one for you all.


Happy Friday!






Thursday, February 21, 2013

Stir Crazy and Reddit

I was watching SVU last night after a several day hiatus. The episode ended in a horrific car crash involving Benson and Stabler's pregnant wife Kathy. Kathy is pinned in the passenger side and goes into labor as the fire fighters arrive to cut her out. The firemen crowd around the shattered vehicle, yelling about cutting off its roof and instructing Benson -- still in the car -- on how to medically treat Kathy. As soon as I see the giant metal-cutting chompers that arrive to free poor Kathy, the phrase "jaws of life" swims through my brain and I feel a lump rise in my throat. Seriously. Just thinking, "jaws of life," made me want to cry. Why? I DON'T FUCKING KNOW.

I really need to get my period.

Later, as Kathy nestles safely in the hospital with her newborn baby boy after miraculously surviving the crash, Stabler holds his son for the first time and says, "welcome to the world."

At which point I cried mercifully for the duration of the show. You guys, being a woman is retarded sometimes.

In other news, I recently crawled out of some sort of hole and discovered Reddit. Ok, I didn't discover it. Mostly I just got to sick of Buddy Holly making fun of me for having a Pinterest app (which I don't use) that I installed a Reddit one (which I probably won't use). I'm sure I won't be any more Internet-savvy but maybe for today let's pretend. Here are some gems from the world of EVERYTHING:

I will post this on my ceiling. It will make getting up in winter months not The Most Depressing Thing Ever:



I will adopt a wolf and call him Jonas and he will kiss me all day:



And finally, bartenders of the world unite over the rest of us drunken fools:


I worked at a movie theater where we sold wine and beer. This one lady came in and had apparently pre-gamed too much as well as downing a couple of bottles in the theater. She got the extra bottles from friends because we cut her off a long time before the bottles after she spilled red wine on the floor leaving the counter.

Movie is over and she comes stumbling down the walkway, literally bouncing off the railings and slams a glass of wine into an employees hands, spilling it all over the employee. She then slams herself into the counter and screamed "DO YOU SELL WINE TO GO?!" We told her no and she ran off into the projector room because she 'thought it was the bathroom' and vomited blood red wine everywhere.

Her husband was absolutely mortified, paid for damages from the puke and left.

That was a bad night for a lot of people.

I had a drunk customer who could not pay her bill run off and call 911 claiming that I had stabbed her. My weapon of choice you ask? A sweet potato french fry. The reaction of the cop (who showed up to look for a blood trail) when I told him that the restaurant had discontinued sweet potato fries months ago was truly priceless. Rock solid alibi.

Had two regulars that would come in for Bears games like clockwork. Never missed a game in the two years I worked there. Nice guys married with kids and working as house painters. One looked like Michael Chiklis the other looked like Ned from Groundhog's day. One day they get fall down sloppy and start causing a ruckus. I tell them that they have to clear out and they stumble to the sidewalk. Five minutes later everyone in the bar is gathering around the front window. I look out and these two dudes are making out in the middle of Clark Street. Never saw them again.



Surviving Midwestern Winter one day at a time brought to you by Reddit and SVU on Netflix. Actually, most things are brought to you by SVU on Netflix. HELP ME.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Influx, Outflux

Sam says to me yesterday:


"Why don't you try and write advice to people actually asking for it?"


Touche, madame.


This is not the Sam of Phoenix and Yosemite adventures. This is Sam of my writing group, the one of All Hail Ze Zygote and other inflammatory sketch comedy writing; of which I have yet to share but secretly read in throws of envy over her seemingly effortless humor. She did not intend the above comment in as bitchy a tone as could be interpreted. Though I'd have liked to dump her glass of wine over her head for it, I -- alas -- know exactly what she's talking about.



I started this blog in September with the hopes of sharing my life's experience with those that might find a connecting thread in its messy web. That mess being no more or less than my innards spilled onto the page; set free by my angst, gumption, fear of being unknown, or whatever: it's been as messy a process as it sounds.


But then, months after the fact, Sam has to go and ask the very question I've been asking myself since the beginning. She brings up exactly the struggle I have daily with this thing. What the hell is it? Is it me talking to the wall, hoping something bounces back with enough force to stick? Is it me, aggrandizing my own wordsmithery in some sort of masturbatory process? Or is it me and you, communing together as we all are on this little sphere, hoping that the connection gives us the answers we're looking for?


That's a lot of questions. And unfortunately on this particular topic, I have very little answers.


I ask myself these same questions often. When you make art that bares your naked flesh over and over again, you're going to wonder what the fuck the point is every once in a while. Though I know the message and its intentions somewhere, I still have to take stock every now and again to make sure I haven't fallen into that self-stroking cycle.


So what am I doing here? What do you think I'm doing here? Or more to the point, what are you doing here? Is that connecting thread really there, between the reader and the writer, that pulls you out of the depths of yourself for a little while; to remind you that you are still human and so is everyone else?


And if not here, what is your connecting thread?


I was having a conversation with an old friend last night. He asked me how I was doing, to which I responded in some roundabout way on the uncertainty of being a 20-something. He called it a mid-life crisis. I just said I was trying to get as many of them out of the way before everybody starts buying unnecessary motorcycles.


So again, as we're all trying to figure it out at the same time, what makes you feel alive? And what's getting in your way?






Friday, February 15, 2013

The Evolution of Glitter, Part 3


If I were technologically inclined, I would devote all of my time and energy to inventing a machine that would give me enough hours in a day to get all the shit done that needs getting done. But then again, if that were the case, I probably would be rich and famous already and without need of a "job." What is the retirement age, again? Oh yeah, FUCK US, Y-GENERATION!


In the meantime, I will be functioning on barely passable levels of sleep and large quantities of caffeine.


This installment of the Evolution of Glitter and the introduction of a FACE to the painting brought to you by Starbucks and Mr. Coffee coffee brewers. Also my bed. Hello, lovely.

And in case you were Valentine's Day was fantastic. Go Buddy Holly. This is what the love of my life and I would look like as cartoons. Obviously, my super power would be That of the Round Face. Happy Friday!






Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Relationship 101 or; Valentine's Day is for Beginners

As I sit here, rifling through Facebook and engaging in similar Internet debauchery; wondering how the hell I'm supposed to introduce the topic of love and relationships in an "advice" setting -- considering the chance that I may be way out of my league, overreaching, or generally "out of line" -- I somehow rifled my way to this image:


Unless you've sustained a lasting head injury in the past week or so, you're likely to be aware of the pending holiday. It's time once again for us experience the excitement and inevitable despair of Valentine's Day. Allah help us all.


The above image might elicit a well of tears in some, a shower of rage in others, a long-standing tradition of apathy in a select few. I tend to vacillate between the former two, depending on how annoyed with Buddy Holly I feel at the current moment or how close I am to my period. Luckily for him, both Valentine's Day and the monthly tear-storm fall in the same week. You'll be sure to hear of the aftermath on Friday.


But I couldn't ask for a more perfect opening than this. The sickeningly sweet story of one man's ethereal devotion to his widow? You've got to be shitting me. Way to kill the aspirations of Every Other Man (or Woman) on the planet and their inevitably disappointed partners, guys. You've just ensured no one's getting laid this Thursday.


Forgive me, I don't mean to disrespect the dead or anything. Or my elders, which would send The Mother storming to change her will. What I mean to point out is, relationships like this take a long time to develop. 46 years, to quote Sue's tale. And anyone that's pining at their computers right now over all they have and have not -- the faults and flaws in their relationships, be them old or new or non-existent -- should take heart (pun intended) in the great tragedy and simultaneous blessing in this sentiment.


The good part is that there's always room for improvement. The bad part is that the improvement is up to you to initiate. Good luck.


A few years ago, shortly after Valentine's Day, The Mother was telling me about what my stepfather had gotten her. I was jealous and despondent that someone might have the foresight to think of me in such a careful manner, with all the flowers from her favorite place and the gifts and whatnot. But then -- and this is the best thing that's ever been done, ever -- she told me how she had secured her Valentine's Day be as awesome as it panned out. She had emailed my stepfather, with a list containing no more or less than a Google map of directions to said florist, instructions to accompany this gift with another at their shared favorite boutique and -- so as not to miss any detail and curtail any anxiety on the other party -- a copy of their bank statement and budget that would ensure the plan entirely feasible. You guys? My mother is fucking awesome.


I've shared this story with a few friends. A few have actually followed it up by sharing with their partners exactly what would make them feel good, to wildly successful results. It seems entirely unromantic, I'll give you that. But at the end of the day, my mother got exactly what she wanted and her husband felt fantastic being able to provide it.


Because look, here's the thing: the bottom line of a successful relationship is communication. That's not a new concept, it's fairly standard protocol. Or at the very least, we all know it but may have a harder time practicing it. The extent to which your relationship requires communication is on you -- it's on you to understand what needs discussing and what needs leaving alone. It's on you to dissect what needs dissecting, and let go of what you're unnecessarily holding onto. And until you can come to the place that values communication for both its talking and listening parts, you're probably not going to get what you want -- both on Thursday's impending disappointment or otherwise.


Laura and I have been talking about Valentine's Day intermittently in the last few days. We both understand that the holiday is absolutely a corporate-backed fraudulence. It exists to sell shit and to make you feel shitty. But as two women currently engaged in Serious Relationships, we both feel our partner's distaste for it while simultaneously desiring their participation. For those of you guys (or girls) that think your girlfriend is "one of the cool ones" that doesn't care about Valentine's Day: she's full of shit. You've been warned.


We shared the discussion with our boss. He's a guy that buys his wife flowers just because but forgot her birthday last year. Meaning, he's pretty typical. Laura explained it like this:


"I just want to be treated like he likes me at least as much as those girls that get stuff on Valentine's Day."


To which Dave responded:


"You've got to tell him in a way that makes him think you're nice."


I couldn't have said it any better myself. We all want to be wanted, and shown that this is the case. But we all need a little nudging, sometimes. And when you need to nudge, make sure it is done with as much care and attention as you know the relationship deserves. So tell your partner what you want. But make sure that when you do, you're also willing to listen.





Sunday, February 10, 2013

All Hail Zee Zygote

Because I don't feel like writing anything profound today, because my friends are funnier than your friends, and because I CAN:


My very talented, very raunchy, very twisted friend Sam wrote this sketch recently for her Second City class. I've had the pleasure of reading a few of her pieces in our writing group and to be honest, though I'm supposed to critique them each time, there isn't much I would change about the way she writes. She is a sick little chick and that is exactly why I love her.


I may also like it because my namesake's character is everything that I aspire to be. Though I'm pretty sure she was cameo-ing under my name. If you want to read more of her effortlessly dry and enlightening humor, visit her here. And if you decide you don't want to associate with me or anyone I know after this, I'll understand. So will she. Enjoy!







Katherine – 30’s with a Texan accent

Natalie – 20’s

Molly – 30’s


(Natalie walks into Buy Buy Baby whereKatherine is organizing racks and Molly is behind the counter texting)


(Peppy and obnoxiously cheery)

Hello there, darlin’. Welcome to Buy Buy Baby. How may my lovely associate and I help you this morning?


(Confusedly looking around)

Uh, hi. So this is ‘Bye Bye Baby’?


Mhmm, sugar plum.


Oh, well, I heard an advertisement on the radio and it said you guys, you know, ‘take care of babies’ here?


Why of course, sugar plum. Are you here for yourself or someone else?




Oh, well bless a binky!

(Grabbing for Natalie’s stomach)

You are just the tiniest little thing, ‘aint she Molly?


(Not looking up from phone)

The tiniest.


You are almost as precious as a Precious Moments figurine. Much like my uterus is almost as hard and uninhabitable as a Precious Moments figurine.




Oh, um. Thank you? So, anyway, you can help me with this situation, right? I kind of want to just get it all taken care of, you know?


Absolutely. First of all, my name is Katherine. And this is mycolorful colleague, Molly.


(Not looking up from her phone)

It’s a pleasure.



Great. I’m Natalie. So do I need to fill out any forms or…?


Sure, if you want you can fill out this mailing list application.


Oh, I don’t think I’ll be needing that. Hopefully this is just a one time thing.


They send coupons. Who doesn’t need those?




I know, ever since those extreme coupon shows, we’ve been sending ‘em out faster than a mommy on a breast pump.


I’m sorry, I don’t mean to judge, but who’d needs coupons for…





I beg your pardon.


…Why would you need coupons for abortions?


Lord have mercy on a onesie! That mouth is pure sin. Why would you come in here and talk such terrible nonsense?


Because this is And you said… Oh my God. This is not an abortion clinic is it?


Jesus take the stroller! Of course it’s not! Why on Earth would you think that?


Bye Bye Baby? Like, G-Good Goodbye Baby? …I thought it was a play on words.


Joseph, Mary, Elmo! It’s spelt B-U-Y Baby! As in purchasing.Retail.


It was on the radio! I didn’t know. Plus it said you guys take care of babies. I thought you meant taaakee caarre of babies.


Oh my- I can’t even- Molly! Are you hearing this?



Yeah, huh.


Are you even paying attention??


Listen, I guess I misunderstood. There was some severe miscommunication here so…I’m just gonna-

(Starts backing out to the door)


You can’t just leave!


Excuse me? Why not?


Because! I need to protect my baby! I mean, our baby. I mean, your, your baby.


I’m so sorry! I have to go!


(Finally looking up from her phone)

Hey, you might need one of these.

(Molly throws a hanger to Natalie. Natalie catches it and runs out)


(Crumbling to the ground)

Fetus Jesus! Molly, swaddle me! Binky! Gimme! Ga! Gooo!!