Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Nerds I Have Loved

I spend way too much time thinking about Jon Cryer.

Before you get all up in my face, like “Gurrrrrl, I have every single episode of Partners taped on VHS—RESPECT!” let me say that I’m not a Kathy Bates-level #1 fan. I’m just slightly unhealthily obsessed with Philip F. “Duckie” Dale from Pretty in Pink.

How far does the obsession go? Well, the URL of this very blog is an homage to one of Duckie’s bon mots in the film. I have an original PIP movie poster—framed. And I may or may not have tried to adopt the parting phrase “I’m off like a dirty shirt” in high school, to spectacular failure.

I once told a friend that Mel from Flight of the Conchords is what my soul would be like if it took human form, but I think that’s selling myself a little short (and a lot mentally unbalanced). My soul is 100% Duckman: quirky, awkward, prone to impromptu dance performances and hairbrush-singing, lovesick, moody, unable to pull off a bolo tie.

And it’s not just Duckie, though he remains now, and will always be, my favorite. The truth is I’m a sucker for pop culture geeks. To wit:

Eugene Morris Jerome, Brighton Beach Memoirs

Turn-ons: Pretending to pitch for the Yankees; spying on next-door neighbor MILFs; fantasizing about first cousins; tense family moments
Turn-offs: Liver; blue balls

Cameron Frye, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Turn-ons: Obedience; pessimism; the Detroit Red Wings; totaling 1961 Ferrari GTs in a fit of repressed rage
Turn-offs: Cocksure best friends; asshole fathers

Seymour Krelborn, Little Shop of Horrors

Turn-ons: Blondes; blood; Doo-wop
Turn-offs: Skid Row; Sadistic dentists; bossy flesh-eating plants

Dr. Egon Spengler, Ghostbusters

Turn-ons: Parapsychology; spore, molds, and fungus; candy
Turn-offs: Small talk; crossing streams; being stopped from drilling holes in his own head

Then of course there's Brian Krakow, Roman from Party Down, and Data from The Goonies (who I love in a non-sexual way, seeing as I am not a pedophile). And I haven't even started on the ladies. So help me out -- who are your nerd crushes?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Who You Gonna Call? (911, Probably)

I don't know if it's the heat or hormones or someone has a voodoo doll in my likeness that they are slowly inflating with one of those red straws generally reserved for floatation devices in emergency airplane landings, but for the past week I have had a protruding belly that would land me on Us Weekly's bump watch if anyone cared at all about my abdominal curvature.

I'm not pregnant, and as far as I know I haven't ingested any balloons or Chia Pets recently, so I have to confront a very real possibility:

What's more troubling than the Stay-Puft parasite is the fact that I seem to be lacking a heart, lungs, ribs, or a spine. Off to see the wizard, I guess.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Weekend O' Mini Golf and Nut Meat

Hello! I’m alive and so is my sister. Was traveling all weekend and got in late last night to a hot, sticky apartment that basically had the same effect as five Ambien.

True story: Yesterday I sang in front of a roomful of octogenarians AND played minigolf in wedge heels while holding a plastic cup of Pinot Grigio. I only fell over twice, which I think should have been a factor in scoring (I came in third out of…um…three).

Then there was a long car ride home, during which my sister and I got the giggles while listening to NPR, because there was some food show on and the host sounded exactly like Molly Shannon on that Schweddy balls SNL sketch and there was a call from a lady who didn’t know what to do with this coconut she somehow ended up with, and you have to wonder how badly technology had failed this woman that she resorted to calling a radio show for recipe tips. I mean, right? Just Google that shit, woman! For some reason this struck me and my sister as hilarious, possibly because we were still drunk and also possibly because the phrase “nut meat” was uttered. Then I ate a quarter pounder with cheese and let my shuddering arteries lull me to a sleep that was interrupted every ten seconds or so by my head bouncing off the car door.

So, really what I'm saying is: You didn't miss much.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Texts From My Sister: Brushes With Death And Kelly Bensimon

2:30 PM:
OMG Kelly from Real Housewives is in front of my apt. building. She just had her friend take a pic of her with her cellphone. She looked crazy in the face as usual.
8:57 PM:
I'm pretty sure I'm about to die because of a Tootsie Roll. I put it in my mouth and it tasted like acid so I spit it out... but then my genes kicked in [Ed. note: Atta girl!] and I chewed it really fast to get to the inside (which was tasty btw) but now I'm worried about that acid taste. I figured it was rotten so how dangerous can a rotten Tootsie Roll be? But now I'm worried it's roach poison or something. I got it out of a dust bin at the bodega. This whole message is incredibly shameful haha. If I die, don't tell anyone about the Tootsie Roll.
Damn, I don't know which is scarier: This train wreck...

... or a rabid, poisoned midgee.

[I called Zoe right after I got the second text. After a prolonged debate about whether a Tootsie Roll can, in fact, rot, I asked her to text me if she really thought she was about to die. "Um, I might call 911 before I text you," she said, adding "If I die, you can't blog about this." So... good news, folks.]

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Still Life With Unibrow, Boats, And Miko, Beautiful Island Friend of Barbie

My dad emailed me the following picture last night:

He emailed it with no comment, but there is much to be learned from this.

Such as:
  • Never pose with Tropical Miko, "beautiful Island friend of Barbie," unless you are truly prepared to bring it, because that girl gives good face.
  • Also maybe don't stand 6 feet in front of Miko, making self look like a hirsute garden gnome photobombing her perfect vacation memories.
I tried to get a second opinion, but Jeff got kind of cagey.

Me: What would you say about this picture?
Jeff: [Long pause] many things. [Makes hasty retreat]

Sigh. I guess I'm left to ponder this hypnotizing scene by myself, then. My gut tells me that much like a Magic Eye image or a lotus flower, this has many hidden layers. I think that maybe, with enough peyote and a steady loop of Cyndi Lauper's "Iko Iko," I can unlock its true meaning.

P.S.:  I posted at The Big Give today, and managed to call Haley Joel Osment a cockblock while talking about giving. It's pretty heart-warming.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

If These Walls Could Tweet

Boudoir69 @ClosetHamper Um, the woman filled a straw bag with dry cleaning six weeks ago and hasn't moved it yet.

ClosetHamper @Boudoir69 Do not even talk to me. There is laundry sediment in here. There are fossilized undies. And, freakishly, a single baby sock. #fml

El_Baño_Sucio @HotInTheKitchen TP running low. They'll be coming for ur napkins soon. Also, not amused by DIY olive oil/sugar exfoliator. Tub now like gritty Slip n' Slide

JustKeepLivinRoom @Boudoir69  Upstairs neighbors playing Rock Band AGAIN. [BAM BAM! BAM BAM!] Say it ain't so a-woah-a-woah.

HotInTheKitchen RT@El_Baño_Sucio Not amused by DIY olive oil/sugar exfoliator. Tub now like gritty Slip n' Slide // LOLZ at least it wasn't honey, that shit is like superglue

ClosetHamper @JustKeepLivinRoom I *wish* I could hear that, dude. All sounds are muffled by a mountain of towels that smell like balls.

JonathanSafranFoyer @ClosetHamper @JustKeepLivinRoom Haha... balls.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fun With Ladymags: Stupid Answers to Stupider Questions

I have a love/hate relationship with women's magazines.

I love how thick and glossy they are, filling my mailbox with the intoxicating scent of perfume and the promise of a lazy afternoon spent looking at candy-colored baubles and the freakishly static, almost meditative planes of Nicole Kidman's face.

But I hate how lazy and vapid they are, assuming that women don't appreciate real wit or sarcasm, pretending that we don't notice that they just publish the same fucking "Easy Summer Beauty" or "The No-Diet Diet" articles every single issue with different pictures, and assuming that if they run a single photo of a real woman or plus-sized model that it undoes all of the subtle "hate your body" messages they've been sending for decades.

Sometimes, though, they go beyond insulting.

To borrow a phrase from Tropic Thunder, sometimes they go full retard.

Allure, for example, features "insider's guides" in each issue that offer fashion, beauty, and social advice from experts. They mean well, but if you just read the headlines it's hilarious.

I took the liberty of imagining a literal explanation of one of this month's entries...

How To Wear A White Shirt
(adapted from the June 2010 Allure)
This guy must be a Cosmo girl.
  1. Go to closet; open it.
  2. Pick out a shirt (the item of clothing with no legs that isn't long enough to cover your ass) that is not red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, black, brown, pink, or any of the aforementioned colors in pastel. Also avoid prints. Pick something the color of clouds, only not rain clouds… or sunset-reflecting clouds. Hmm, that could get confusing. Ok, pick something the color of fresh fallen snow that has not been peed on.
  3. Does the shirt button up the front? In that case put your arms in the holes and then fasten all the buttons. If there are no buttons, stick your head in the top hole and your arms in the side holes and pull the front down over your chest and stomach.
  4. Oh, wait, do you have breasts? If so, reverse step 3 and put on a bra first. Since your shirt is white, your bra must be that fetching shade of beige that recalls a two day-old Band-Aid, or leftover flan, in order not to show through.
  5.  Ta da! You’re done. Except for pants, which will be discussed in next month’s issue. 


Monday, June 21, 2010

Weekend Getaway

I'm very relaxed, which is rare, and which I want to preserve by not clogging this post with words. So please enjoy this essentially silent blog, brought to you by Jeff Zorabedian.

(There was also beer pong, but I wanted to keep it classy. And I also almost peed my pants in traffic coming back to New York, but Jeff was asleep and so was not able to document my anguish, nor my subsequent euphoria after tearing through a 7-11 in search of sweet release.)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Old Man (Which, For Future Reference, Means Father, Joni Mitchell!)

This blog would not exist if not for my dad.

I don't mean that like, if he hadn't sired me this genius could not flow forth from my fingertips... although that is technically true. I mean that my dad introduced me to blogging. He had a blog long before I did, and has had the decency not to write about me on it, preferring to tackle loftier subjects like health care reform and social justice. Unfortunately I can't say the same.

Like any good daughter, I show my love through gentle (and sometimes brutal) mocking. My dad always says that my sister and I keep his ego in check. He's actually kind of important, or we hear, but we're too busy retelling the knee-slapper about how he once somehow got a taxi cab door lodged in the side of a moving bus.

Don't get me wrong: I don't think of him as a clown. He's creative and fun-loving and an incredible role model. I have his ears, his fingers, and, I'd like to think, his sense of humor. I used to get all misty when I listened to that Joni Mitchell song that goes...

My old man
He's a singer in the park
He's a walker in the rain
He's a dancer in the dark

...until I realized that it's about her lover. Uh, oops. Also: gross.

The bottom line is that I do feel bad for making so many jokes at my incredibly accomplished father's expense, so for Father's Day I'm going to give you some really impressive facts about Papa Curmudgeon to counteract some of the previous, less flattering mentions (below in italics).

1/27/07: "Dad is obsessed with a game on his BlackBerry called ‘Brick Breaker’. It’s kind of like Tetris, and he plays it any time we have, like, five seconds to spare. He sheepishly admitted to me that he lost while playing one-handed at the urinal."

BUT ALSO: My dad has been a guest at the White House twice since Obama took office. They are basically BFF. A right-wing blogger even included him on a list of suspect guests! She called him a "friend of Valerie Jarrett, Leftist Philantrapist." Dad, it's bad enough you're fist-bumping with a socialist Muslin. Please stop raping Philants.

2/20/06: "My father is extraordinarily intelligent, caring, generous, and successful. However, he has also been known to call inanimate objects 'assholes.'"

BUT ALSO: Well, first of all, I do that too. Secondly, my dad has put up with a lot of animate assholes over the years, including yours truly. I recently found this telling Father's Day coupon from elementary school:

Jeff wishes he could get his hands on this coupon. I wish I still had this sweet Garfield stationery.

5/19/10: "It is a true story that my father, who was captain of his high school debate team, once put his back out changing a roll of toilet paper."

BUT ALSO: Now he works out with a personal trainer and can do a series of gymnastic weight-lifting moves, which he likes to act out when company comes over. Last week he finished the J.P Morgan Chase Challenge 3.5 mile run. He is basically Lance Armstrong, but with more testicles.

1/18/10: "My father—who is constantly devastated by people telling him he's a dead ringer for William H. Macy (I myself think he's more of a Frank Sinatra: all ears and smiles and twinkling eyes)—will never live down the day in high school that he told me I looked like Hillary Clinton."

BUT ALSO: He apologized for that. And also he told me I was gorgeous all the time, even with my massive unibrow and acne and multicolored braces (although he recently said, gingerly and not at all cruelly, "You know, I really did think you were beautiful back then, but looking at photos now... you did have an awkward phase." Aw, bless. My dad needs reading glasses nowadays, but at least his hindsight is 20/20.)

8/29/09: "My father takes birthdays very seriously, as I've mentioned previously, and the celebrations for his 50th in 2005 went on for so long that a friend of his dubbed it 'Garadan.' His name is Gara, so it's like Ramadan, get it?"

BUT ALSO: He made me a freak about birthdays, which is a great gift and which I wrote sappily about here. And he wrote me the sweetest letter ever when I turned one, a letter that I cherish and that I would keep in my purse at all times were it not already filled with destructive agents like uncapped pens and partially-eaten candy bars.

"Sweet Jesus, child, how did you match your shirt to your cake? You have skillz."

Lest you think I'm a total brat, I have written some sweet posts about him, which you can find here and here. There should be more. Does this one count? I hope so. Dad, you're the best father a girl could ever ask for. If I end up with just a fraction of your character, compassion, talent, and grace, I'll be lucky.

And I'll stop making fun of you. That bus totally had it coming. Happy Father's Day!


Friday, June 18, 2010

Texts From My Sister: Catheter? I Don't Even Know Her!

OMG I just saw an old white bicycle dude in Spandex peeing into a Ziploc bag. Goodbye 'til Sunday, NY!
 I couldn't have said it better myself. Happy weekend, everybody!

Medical Mysteries Volume 6: WebMDon't

I came home sick from work yesterday. I had a bad headache, plus congestion and a sore throat.

I watched five straight hours of The Bachelorette, which didn't really help, except that it finally answered the burning question, What if, after The College Years, Saved By the Bell's A.C. Slater moved to Canada, grew a soul patch, and became an entertainment wrestler? And also, why must there always be at least one contestant who recalls Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs? (Kasey, I am looking at you.)

Anyway. (Apologies to the men reading this, by the way. Yesterday it was online shopping and today it's The Bachelor and--spoiler alert!!!--pre-menstrual bloat. Next week it will be all Mythbusters and monster trucks, all the time.)

So, anyway, as I was segueing, anyway.

At some point I noticed a dull pain in my lower right abdomen. I had chalked it up to PMS or stress or intestinal Doozers (that is how digestion works, right?), but then Jeff had to be all, "It's not appendicitis, is it?" And then I Googled "appendicitis symptoms" and concluded that OMIGAH YES IT TOTALLY IS, AND I AM GOING TO DIIIIIEEEEE.

I was contemplating my imminent emergency surgery and whether I could still watch Hulu from a hospital bed when one of the symptoms caught my eye: "Abdominal swelling."

(Are you ready for my Jeff Foxworthy joke? Well, get ready.)

You know you're a woman if you're partially relieved at WebMD's appendicitis diagnosis because it explains your belly bloat.

It's like, Oh, thank God--I'm not fat, it's just one of my internal organs about to burst. Pass the Bugles.

Luckily, it turned out just to be gas, or maybe a bleeding ulcer or jungle parasite--WebMD has many theories, which he espouses eagerly and without much regard for my feelings. You know, I'm starting to wonder if his school was accredited.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Polka Dots, Biker Boots, And Other Infidelities

I went back to an old lover this week.

It's okay--Jeff knows.

It's just a series of quick, meaningless encounters: I approach him, he seduces me, and at the end I pay him. My cheeks flush and my breath catches as I push all of his buttons: Add to Cart, Proceed to Checkout, and--that sweet spot--Place Order.

Yes, I've gone back to online shopping, and it hurts so good.

I don't usually have any money, so sometimes if I'm feeling depressed I'll fill up virtual shopping carts with hundreds of dollars worth of crap and then, before I can think too much about it, close my browser window. It's like playing credit card roulette. But I recently became a hundredaire again, and I haven't bought clothes in forever, so I decided to finally pull the proverbial trigger.

It all started with some sweet, cheap summer dresses from ModCloth that I just had to have.

Jeff loves a good boob detail. Anything placed in the vicinity of my nipples can keep him entertained for hours.

Die-hard readers may recall that I already own a similar retro polka dot dress, in which I used to procrastinate at work. Hmmm. I should probably amend my Top 10 Wardrobe Staples That Are Not Made of Sweatpants.


That got me really hot so then I decided I needed motorcycle boots to offset the twee factor of the polka dots. Specifically, the exact boots I saw Cameron Diaz wearing in InStyle. I KNOW. Just as jean shorts will not transform me into Giselle Bundchen, boots will not suddenly inspire me to style my hair with Ben Stiller's sperm. (Let's hope not, anyway.)

I hope the back of that dress says "If you can read this, the bitch fell off."

Buying shoes online is risky, but that only made it more exciting. I clicked. They shipped.

They did not fit.

To make myself feel better I bought this dress:

You GUYS. It has CANDY on it. How could I not buy this? (Fun fact: When I was little I had a beloved article of clothing I dubbed "the junk food t-shirt." It had drawings of ice cream bars and hamburgers and shit--shit as in other foodstuffs, not as in cow pies, just to be clear. To this day it pains me that I did not keep this shirt for my future children.)

And speaking of fabulous t-shirts (and awkward segues), my friend Alex, who was frustrated by the Lost finale (I watched it with him and remember his anger vaguely through my half-bottle of wine haze), made a tongue-in-cheek tee that he's selling:

It's the red herring Dharma station! Get it? So nerdy, yet so right. Buy it here.

Click the shit out of it. You know you want to.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Idiot's Guide to The World Cup

I am totally authorized to write about the World Cup because I owned scooter soccer in elementary school.

What is "scooter soccer," you ask?

As I wrote previously,
The essential rules of soccer were the same, except that instead of standing or running, we sat on little squares of plastic equipped with wheels—the kind that legless homeless people favor or that might be used to transport janitorial buckets. This being public school in the 1980s, the wheels were often warped and twisted, and in order to move at all you had to pound the floor furiously while pushing backwards.
A rare photo of scooter soccer in action. I forgot how much it looks like everyone is pooping on tiny mobile bedpans! Memories!

Hell, yes, I am saying that I dominated at what is essentially Murderball for amputees. Can I get a Milli Vanilli chest bump?

Also, FYI, I did play some soccer without training wheels.

When I was eleven, I joined a local after school team. I asked my parents to let me quit the very first night, but, having already paid for cleats, knee pads, a completely unnecessary sports bra and a non-refundable enrollment fee, they declined. I spent the next eight weeks standing on the field as if my cleats had taken root, refusing to move, waiting for one of the bigger kids to tackle me. I wanted nothing more than to limp home battered and bruised so that my parents—bleeding-heart liberal pacifists—would see the error of their ways and see that they had forced me into a horrifying twilight zone. "We're supposed to run after a ball," I would report. "We're supposed to run even though no one is chasing us and there isn't a bus coming."

So, yeah, I am basically a soccer expert.

And I love the World Cup, because with all that hair and all those abs, it's like watching an episode of Jersey Shore, only with more head-butting. SNAP.

Anyway, now up on the Observer website is my Idiot's Guide to the World Cup. You will learn amazing things. Such as:


Call soccer "football" if you're American.
This is pretentious.

Root for the U.S.
Our great nation does not dominate at soccer. This should be obvious based solely on the fact that the most memorable soccer movies produced by our country were vehicles for Sylvester Stallone (Victory, 1981) and Rodney Dangerfield (Ladybugs, 1992). We'll likely advance beyond the first round, but then teams from South America or Europe will promptly trounce us.

We totally deserve to get our asses kicked just for this.

Try to drop Afrikaans slang.
(A) You're not in Cape Town, and (B) using "now-now" to mean "soon" will just make people think you're Rain Man.

Ask where David Beckham is.
He's injured an Achilles tendon and won't be playing, though he'll likely be mugging (or moping) for the cameras from the sidelines.

Make fun of Kaka.
His real name is Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite; he survived a terrible spine injury (feeling bad yet?); and he was named European Player of the Year in '07. A man should not be measured by his scatological nickname, although one wonders how his parents allowed this to happen.

Compare the World Cup to the World Series.
They are nothing alike. Putting aside the fact that they're completely different sports with completely different rules, 32 countries are represented at the 2010 World Cup; the misleadingly named World Series has two (and that's only if you count Canada-sorry, Blue Jays).


Know your rivalries.
Rooting for Brazil in an Argentine steakhouse is like wearing a Yankees cap at Fenway Park, only more dangerous (knives trump drunken townies in "Green Monstah" T-shirts).

Study the cards.
A yellow card is a caution. A red card expels a player for the remainder of the game. Green Card is a delightful comic romp starring Gerard Depardieu and Andie MacDowell and is not generally used in play (though there's a first time for everything).

If a referee gives you a green card, it means you're a terrible actor.

Brush up on your math.
The 32 teams are initially split, based on rankings, into 8 groups of 4 (basic multiplication, makes sense so far). Each group plays a round-robin tournament so that each team plays each other team in its group once (got it?). Winning a game is 3 points, a tie is 1 point, and a loss is 0 points. The top 2 teams from each group advance to the next round, and so on and so forth, until the competition shrinks from 16 teams to 8 to 4 to 2 to the square root of Pi minus .7725, also known as one, which is the winner.

Embrace South Africa's colorful mascot.
The World Cup mascot, an anthropomorphized leopard with green dreadlocks named Zakumi, makes Mr. Met look like ... well, like an asshole. But Zakumi has one weakness: narcolepsy. According to FIFA's official site, "occasionally ... he may suddenly fall asleep on the spot at the most random times!"

Admire the players' Samson-like manes.
Soccer players are like the Red Sox in 2004, or maybe like Guns N' Roses circa Appetite for Destruction: all hair, all the time. Even if Spain doesn't make it to the finals, they win at follicular excellence this year, with Carles Puyol as MVP.

Root for the Ivory Coast.
O.K., so they probably won't win (if you have money riding on the victor, go with Spain or Brazil), but they could win. Plus, no African team has ever made a World Cup final, and South Africa is hosting this year. And if that doesn't get you misty-eyed (especially after a few beers), your soul is likely the color of tar.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Throwing in The Towel(s)

So somehow I ended up in Bed, Bath and Beyond last night, wandering zombie-like, transfixed by a wall of carpets.

I was there because all our towels were dirty. OK, stop laughing. See, I dropped off laundry the other week and I swear to God I put in, like, seventeen towels, but only two came out. Either they were in the hamper so long they resorted to cannibalism, or the laundry people stole them.

 (Or they got high and wandered off...)

I think the laundry people stole them.

Hear me out.

We were missing towels, but we also got a single baby sock. Do you think that's a message? Is that like The Godfather horse head of launderers?

Anyway, I was sick of using the same damp, accidentally Clearasil-bleached towel that Jeff and I have been sharing for a week. It had gotten to the point where every time I wiped my face I was acutely aware of the statistical likelihood that I was putting my nose to a swath of towel that had been used to dry genitals (after a week, I'm pretty sure it's like 100%).

So I bought two new towels instead of doing laundry. (It could have been worse--when I lived with a group of men after college, they once left a dirty pot go for so long that it grew its own ecosystem. Lifting the lid was seriously like peering down into Fraggle Rock. Rather than washing this pot, my roommates duct-taped the lid shut and put it out on the curb. This was probably during a "Stairway Clean," a technique they invented in which we tidied the entire house in the time it took to play Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven.)

Point being, buying new towels instead of doing laundry is lazy as hell, but I don't want another baby sock, dude. That shit freaks me out.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Una Loompa: Songs of Self-Tanning

Every once in awhile I succumb to the siren song of the self-tanning market. This time, I think, I will come out looking like Elle MacPherson dipped in caramel instead of like a preteen drag king version of Valentino.

And yet...

I've done this before. Why don't I learn?

A lesson, in verse:

Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-do
I have a perfect puzzle for you
Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-dee
If you are wise, you'll listen to me

What do you get when you try to self-tan?
A cross between a zebra and Lindsay Lohan.
Please just accept that your skin is see-through.
Pumpkin is not a good color for you.

(I don't like the look of it.)

Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-da
Embrace your whiteness and you will go far.
You will live in happiness too
Like the Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-do

Bonus song, because this photo is just too perfect:

White girl!
There's no need to be brown
I said, white girl!
Put the self-tanner down
I said, white girl!
'Cause you look like a clown
There's no like Snooki
Stay away from the DHA
Stay away from the DHA...

Oh, man. I'm cracking myself up. I think these are tears of joy. Off to exfoliate!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday Funday: Media of the Past

Found at my Mom's house in a box this weekend, presented without commentary because I'm too busy dying laughing (or, maybe, of dysentery):

(Click to enlarge that mix tape and you will get a lethal dose of the 1990s. You have been warned.)

(Also, isn't my tablecloth pretty?)

Friday, June 11, 2010

TGI...WTF: What the FAQ?

I interrupt your regularly scheduled TGI...WTFing to bring you an oh-so-cleverly titled one time post.

See, sometimes, readers email me with blogging questions. I love getting these emails and I sincerely want to help everyone (Sing with me now: “I’d like to teach the world to blog… in perfect harmony!” Now, punch me in the face.) But I’m lazy and I don’t want to keep writing the same rambling paragraphs. So I thought a comprehensive ramble might be in order.

Don’t worry, I'll try to make this funny. And I’ll illustrate it. Gather round, children, for...

The Story of How I Somehow Ended Up With a Blog That People Actually Read 
(Or, At Least, FollowWhich Is Not The Same Thing)

A lot of you are new readers, meaning you started reading my blog in or after January of this year. The reason I know is that on January 20, Blogger made me a Blog of Note, and since then I have gotten a lot more traffic.

There’s nothing wrong with being a new reader—I’m so pumped to have you! I am, in fact, even more pumped than Christian Slater was to disseminate fuck-the-man pirate radio broadcasts in Pump Up the Volume.

But I fear that new readers may get the wrong idea.

New readers may think that because my blog has readers/followers now (and let me state for the record that in the grand scheme of things my blog is still a miscroscopic amoeba in the vast primordial ooze that is the magical Internet), it has always had readers/followers.

A super scientific map of the Internet, to scale (click to enlarge)

Not true.

I started this blog on Wednesday, January 4, 2006 on Friendster, which is like saying I scratched it on my cave wall when I wasn’t busy hunting Triceratops.

The blog was called “The Secret Life of A Would-Be Writer,” (which it remained until April of 2007, when I adopted the current title) and the tag line was “I promised myself I’d write this year, so here goes.” It was really just an exercise to force myself to write. So I wrote. It was pretty free-form: I posted stories, poems, photos, random musings. Some of it was funny and some wasn’t. I was quarter life crisising pretty hard at the time, so there were a lot of angsty ruminations on growing up.

Some of my friends read it, as well as my immediate family. I never once thought about tracking hits or getting followers (I didn’t even add a followers box until a year ago!). I got a comment from a friend once in awhile. But I’ll never forget my very first anonymous comment, almost three months after I started blogging:

A few months later, I got another random anonymous comment, this one from a real person. I have no idea how they found me—I wish I had asked at the time. As far as I know no other blogs knew of my existence or linked to me. I can only assume it was word of mouth.

 Those aren't birds, they're UNIBROWS uniting people of all nations, y'all.

Slowly but surely I gained a few readers who, as far as I could tell, were not blood relatives or college roommates. I had no tracking system, but I would guess that from 2006 to 2008 my readership increased by two dozen or so people.

In August of 2009—more than three and a half years after I started the blog—I started blogging for the Huffington Post. This was a huge deal for me, even though it was (and still is) unpaid. Through my exposure on their site (and the fact that I linked to the blog in my posts), my readership tripled. I was overjoyed.

(I'm actually jumping for joy in this photo because Jeff and I are on our way to buy candy. For real.)

Around that time, I added a followers box to my site, and from mid-2009 to early 2010 I amassed about 100 followers. I felt flush with appreciation. I wanted to throw all of my followers in a pile and jump in them like Scrooge McDuck with his gold coins.

Then, on January 20, 2010 (please note, this is less than six months ago and more than FOUR YEARS after my first blog post), The Sassy Curmudgeon was featured as a Blog of Note and all of a sudden my readership increased almost tenfold.

(Of course, after a month or two, readership died down again... which is normal, but which temporarily gave me an inferiority complex, which is why I now no longer check my traffic).

Which brings us up to date.

I was planning on doing a little Q + A now, but that seems kind of presumptuous considering you haven't actually asked me any questions. So instead, here's what I'll say:

If any of you are feeling discouraged because no one is reading your blog, don't let it get to you. You should be writing, first and foremost, for yourself. Sure, every day you hear about some blogger who got a book deal or went viral and now gets millions of hits a day after only blogging for eight months, and yes, that information can make you feel inadequate by comparison. But the important thing is that you are writing, that you are putting your voice out there. I promise someone will hear it (like in Field of Dreams, if you blog it, they will come).

When I started my blog, I had no clue about anything. I didn't network. I didn't read or comment on other blogs. I didn't Facebook. I didn't Tweet or Tumbl or Digg (even now I don't know how to put those little "retweet" buttons next to my posts...sigh). You can, and should, do all of those things if you want to drive traffic to your little corner of the Internet. But traffic alone does not a successful blog make.

I had a film teacher in college who told me that there is no such thing as an original idea. Her point was that Hollywood tells the same stories over and over again, and that what distinguishes a great movie from a terrible movie isn’t the idea behind it, but the voice behind it. It’s how you tell the story, and the humor or insight or passion or wit or unique point of view that you add. I think the same goes for blogs.

I mean, I would say that blogs are a dime a dozen, but that’s not true—they are fucking free a dozen. The only thing that makes one blog different from the next is the person writing it. The voice. The character. The point of view. I am continuously humbled and amazed that people read mundane, often inane stories about my life. I am touched that I have been able to connect with readers from so many different backgrounds and stages of life (I know my readers range from a high school student to a grandma, and, I'm hoping, that 4 year-old Asian PC girl. I mean, if she can make a photo collage she can find my blog, right?)

Anyway, what I want to stress is: Don’t give up. It might take you years to find your audience—don’t give up. Your blog might not have any bells and whistles or HTML might scare you—don’t worry about that superficial stuff. Just write, as often as you can, about whatever you want. I promise it will pay off (just not financially… if you’re looking to get rich blogging, well… good luck with that).

I still have to remind myself every day not to give up. I still have to repeat that little mantra I wrote myself on my prehistoric Friendster blog in 2006:

I promised myself I'd write this year, so here goes.

(If you still have questions, leave them in the comments and I'll do my damnedest to answer them. And thank you, from the bottom of my Tootsie Roll-clogged heart, for reading. Without you, I'd have no one even asking me any questions, and then I guess I'd have to go FAQ myself, wouldn't I?)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Big Give

So a month or so ago I got approached to be part of an internet project called The Big Give. It is the internet’s first-ever random acts of kindness contest, and clearly they chose me because I am a super awesome gift-giver.

Who gives a shit? Clint Eastwood, that's who.

Granted, my gifts aren’t random—they generally coincide with Christmas and birthdays—and I’ve never given anyone a gift that truly keeps on giving, like, say, a kidney, but it is a fact that I made my roommate Ellaree cry when I gave her a rock tumbler for Christmas in 2003 (and yes, she was crying from joy).

Not that I haven’t also done random nice things for people—I hold doors and give directions to foreigners (although my own sense of direction is so bad that I often, unknowingly, lead them astray) and give up my seat for children, the elderly, and pregnant women. But I don’t do a lot of surprise things ever since I showed up in Boston to “surprise” my college boyfriend on his birthday, went to his apartment while he was at work, accidentally left a curtain resting on top of a halogen lamp, and then had to greet him later by saying “Surprise! I set your room on fire!”

Anyway, as I was saying, I am super giving. I am like The Giving Tree, only less self-loathing.

What I’m doing for TBG is being part of their prize pack. Yes, all you have to do is give someone $20 worth of kindness and you—yes, YOU—could win 15 minutes in an IM chat with me (I'm supposed to give blogging advice but am also open to discussing which celebrities you think might be gay and whether Two and a Half Men would suck less if Jon Cryer played Duckie Dale and Charlie Sheen played that drug addict from Ferris Bueller's Day Off who made out with Jennifer Grey at the police station. I'll tell you right now, I think YES.)

Anyway, here's a little taste of what you can expect:

Don’t all line up at once.

But seriously, check out the site and become a fan on Facebook. And invest in a rock tumbler. It will blow your mind.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Will Carol Seaver Still Cutabitch? More Poll Madness

Okay, I've had my coffee now... but still think Texts From My Sisqo would be a great website. Sisqo--call me!

Anyway. Today BlogHer has syndicated my TV Character Cage Match poll! There are new battles, so you should totally go play.

And speaking of BlogHer, I'll be at their conference in NYC this August. Are any of you going? I'd love to meet some of you in person. (I still fantasize that someone will stop me on the street and say, "Excuse me, are you the Sassy Curmudgeon? I never stop people like this but when I saw you pick up that M&M off the ground and lick it I just knew it was you." Sadly, this has yet to transpire... the stopping on the street, not the licking of the M&M. Obviously.)

Texts From My Sister: Thongs of Summer

A sign of spring in New York for me has always been the first sighting of a discarded weave on the sidewalk. It's like the city's version of Punxsutawney Phil.

So the urban anthropologist in me was excited when my sister tipped me off yesterday to a potential sign of summer:
In the past 24 hrs I have seen 2 visibly worn and abandoned thongs on separate city streets. I hope I am never in a situation where I lose the thong I'm wearing at the Bergen Street bus stop.
P.S. I get so many amazing texts from Zoe that this will be a thing now. I expect it to go viral and make me millions.

P.P.S This one should have been called Texts from my Sisqo. Heh. Heh. Get it?

P.P.P.S. Haven't had coffee yet--apologies for attempting to pun.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

How To Make An American Turd Yurt

A few years ago, high on tinsel and goodwill towards men, I attempted to build a gingerbread brownstone... with disastrous results.

So when I recently found myself in possession of a surplus of Tootsie Rolls, I saw my shot at redemption.

Yes, friends, I decided to build a structure that icons like Abraham Lincoln and Melissa Gilbert have at one time called home...

The Tootsie Roll Log Cabin!

Where Satan lives, obviously.

Super easy-to-follow instructions:

1. Take giant bowl of Tootsie Rolls, unwrap while watching premiere of The Real Housewives of New Jersey and drinking wine. 

2. Stack them haphazardly, like Pa Ingalls might have done, but with logs. Drink more wine.
3. Attempt to stick Twizzler roof on with honey. This is a bad idea. Drink more wine, fetch sewing kit you have never used for anything other than attempting to fasten Twizzler roof to Tootsie Roll log cabin--Mom did always say it would come in handy!
4. Pin Twizzlers to cabin. Present to Jeff. Beam when he declares, "Oh look! It's your turd yurt!"

I am Yertle the Turdle, queen of the pond.

5. Eat in unattractive fashion, as you are compelled to do with all failed arts & crafts projects. Dodge pins to avoid unwanted tongue piercing.



Sunday, June 6, 2010

Jean Shorts: A User's Loser's Guide

The only hard and fast rule I know about summer clothing is that, apparently, it's only OK to wear white shoes between Memorial and Labor Day.

I don't know who decided this--probably the same old rich dudes who find it acceptable to attend yacht parties wearing pastel-colored khakis embossed with tiny lobsters and schooners.

Anyway, the white shoe thing isn't even a problem for me, because wearing white shoes in New York City is a fool's game. After a week, your virginal footwear will take on the fetching, mottled gray hue of diseased pigeon (incidentally one of New York's most prized indigenous species).

No, my summer style conundrum can be summed up in two words: jean shorts.

I love jean shorts... in theory.

In theory, as soon as I put them on I instantly look exactly like Giselle Bundchen from the waist down.

In theory, my skin turns from the color of tracing paper to a golden tan the color of fine scotch, and my legs grow two feet, like Inspector Gadget's did when he needed to climb over tall things.

Of course, this is all in theory. In reality, even doing my model-iest pose I resemble an albino Munchkin when compared to Her Leggyness.

Seriously, here's what a combined photo of the two of us would look like, to scale:

And in those photos I'm wearing store-bought jean shorts. So you can imagine how dire the situation is when I wear cutoffs I made myself.

You know what? Why bother imagining? Let me show you.

(Jean shorts mistakes to avoid)

Please note: Lest you think I've succumbed to TTDT disease, know that I'm purposefully standing with my legs apart in these photos, for vanity purposes.


Paranoid about accidentally cutting too short (see #4), you may end up with unflattering--albeit Vatican-appropriate--jean-Jams.

This is a hell-to-the-no style for all but the most coltish among us. Try again.


If you're anything like me, you don't use measuring tape or even a ruler; you just eyeball the length and hack away. This can result in an Arnold Schwarzenegger-Danny DeVito situation:

It can also result in...


"Oh, hey!" you may be saying to yourself. "These look OK."


Unscientific cutting has led to an uneven, mullet-y effect:


The only thing worse than leaving shorts too long is making the question "Who wears short shorts?" rhetorical.

(Fun story: I went to the NYC gay pride parade with my uncles in the mid-90s, and a gentleman was wearing shorts so short his balls were hanging out of one side. Innocence lost!)

Is there any way to use the remaining legs?

There are only so many ladyparts a denim sleeve can fit on. Herewith, some ill-advised modeling:


Because the most flattering part of the leg is the upper thigh!

*Like hijab... get it?


Could this be summer's answer to the Texas tuxedo?

Yeah... no.

Also, maybe I've just been staring at this photo for too long, but don't my knees look like little faces? I wonder what they'd say if they could talk...

Perhaps best not to know.


No, I haven't been drinking... why do you ask?

BTW, when I was taking this photo with my self-timer, the settings were off and I wound up with this:

Me: JEFF! Jeff, omigah, look!
Jeff: [Playing video games] What?
Me: The camera can't see me! I'm a ghost! 
Jeff: It was a natural light photo, so the shutter was open for a long time, and you moved.
Me: No, I'm pretty sure this means I'm going to die. 
Jeff: Yeah, probably.
Me: AND if this picture's any indication, I'm going to spend eternity in jean shorts and arm cutoffs!
Jeff: Let's hope St. Peter's blind.


Wait... this means my thighs are the same circumference as my skull. Is that normal? Excuse me while I go stick my head in all of my pants.

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