Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Last Unibrow?

Have you guys ever seen the trippy, unsettling 80s cartoon (is there any other kind?) The Last Unicorn? Well, replace the horn with some excess facial hair and you have the story of my life. "Am I really the last?" I often sigh in the voice of Mia Farrow, gazing out at pastoral scenes, clutching my tweezers.

Anyway, a few months ago, I wondered where my unibrowed sisters were--if they even existed--and thanks to a tip from a reader, I think I found them.

I want to go to there. Road trip?

(We might have to pass through Afghanistan, but I'll buy the McRibs.)

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Naked and the Fed


I am so full, you guys.

Thanksgiving, for me, is just the beginning of a weekend-long food bender. I'm an all-or-nothing kind of girl, and so once I've eaten my own weight in crescent rolls I figure I might as well stuff my pie-hole with anything remotely edible until I pass out or can no longer button my pants, whichever comes first. Cheese, bread, spaghetti and meatballs, pancakes, pulled pork quesadillas, babaganoush, warm gingerbread with vanilla ice cream--nothing is safe once I'm in the dark, savory recesses of my K-cal hole. Especially not my triglycerides.

Seeing as I've just emerged from my food coma, I don't have much blog fodder except to list everything I've consumed since Thursday (see above). Well, except... my sister did sent me a photo yesterday of myself at age 3, standing naked in front of a Christmas tree and pinching my nipples, but I can't post it here or I might get investigated for child pornography. (As it is anyone who sees my laptop screen-saver is going to have some serious questions.)

On the upside, though, I think Jeff and I have our Christmas card concept.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Th**k You

I've always loved Thanksgiving for the food (and the excuse to trace my hand and make it into a turkey wearing a Pilgrim hat), but I've  never really gotten comfortable with the heartfelt thanks part. I used to dread being asked, round-robin style in my classroom or at the dining table, what I was thankful for each year. The pressure was just too much. (Plus, my mouth was usually so full of stuffing that to open it would cause a small breadcrumb avalanche.)

In all seriousness, though, I have so much to be thankful for that it's impossible to put it all into words. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am. This year has been a rough one, and I must admit that I'm thankful it's almost over. But a lot of great things have happened, too. Many of you started reading this blog, for one. I got a new job that allows me to go drinking with sailors, watch movies, and make fun of Gerard Depardieu, all while on the clock. I had freelance opportunities open up, I got to reunite with my beloved KevBac (albeit by phone), my amazing mama let me visit her in Rome, and my beautiful sister moved back to New York (she says it's for school but I know it's because she likes watching Teen Mom with me.) Even though I am 30, my father still takes me out to dinner and lets me come over to his house to drink martinis and watch Mad Men on DVR. He swears he will pay for my cable, too, if the Cablevision gods smile upon me and my poor, entertainment-blighted apartment building.

The love of my life puts up with my many moods and tantrums, surprises me with flowers, and literally just brought me a donut while I was in the middle of typing this sentence.

I have an incredible group of friends who are whip-smart, wise, witty, and wonderful. I even made Internet friends this year, other bloggers whom I feel I know even though we've never met.

So even though at times I've wanted to flip the bird--or at least sing a sassy Cee-Lo song--to 2010, I'm going to spend today thinking about all of the people and things I have to be thankful for.

And then I'm going to go to town on some stuffing.

Happy Thanksgiving!

(I'll be busy eating until Monday, so I'm taking the weekend off from blogging. I'm also going to Boston, the home of the Pumpplecake! If you never hear from me again, that is why.)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Christmas Una's Pagan Playlist


It’s the day before Thanksgiving.

Do you know what this means?

It means as of 5 pm EST tomorrow I can start listening to Christmas music!

(Yes, I am one of those people. But I don’t care what you say; it’s not a choice. I was born like this.)

If I could only listen to one song for the rest of my life, it would probably be the skating theme from A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Well, that or “Pussy Control” by Prince.

(Or a mashup of the two, like on Glee! Consider that gauntlet officially thrown, Ryan Murphy.)

Also, when I hear Frank Sinatra sing about snowflakes and holly sprigs and stockings, it’s like my ears are filled with butter-drenched puppies and there’s mistletoe hanging over my crotch.

(I take away the mistletoe when he sings about the baby Jesus, though.)

Also, since you asked, yes, I WILL share with you my ultimate pagan holiday playlist:
  • Cool Yule, Louis Armstrong
  • Santa Baby, Eartha Kitt
  • Skating, Vince Guaraldi Trio (Charlie Brown Christmas)
  • Nutcracker Suite, The Brian Seltzer Orchestra
  • Baby, It's Cold Outside, Ella Fitzgerald
  • Let It Snow, Lena Horne
  • Christmas Every Day, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
  • All I Want For Christmas Is You, Olivia Olson (from Love, Actually--don't hate)
  • The Christmas Waltz, Frank Sinatra
  • Saludo (Aguinaldo), Luis & Maria (from Merry Christmas From Sesame Street, 1975)
  • Run, Run Rudolph, Chuck Berry
  • Merry, Merry Christmas Baby, Dodie Stevens
  • Put A Little Love In Your Heart, Al Green and Annie Lennox (Okay, this is not a holiday song per se, but it's at the end of my favorite Christmas movie, Scrooged, so it counts).
Leave a comment with your guilty pleasure holiday tune* and I'll pick one lucky** reader at random to receive an old-school mix of the above Christmas classics.

*This is optional; you can also just tell me how I'm going to burn for eternity***, or how surprisingly good Prince looks with Farrah Fawcet hair.

**No, I am not being sarcastic.

***You probably won't get the CD, though.

UPDATE: I'm capping this contest at 69 comments, because that is awesome. And since there are 69 I'm picking three winners (in celebration of the inadvertent dirtiness). Using a random generator they are:

1. Stated4all
2. Kristie Lynne
3. Erin (the 4th comment from top; sorry, other Erin!)

Congrats, guys! You just won something of absolutely no real value! I'll be contacting you for your addresses. Get ready for some sweet mix tape action.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Sassy Curmudgeon's Holiday Gift Guide: Special Blogger Edition

(Let's try this again...)

New Yorker cartoon print: very expensive
Stealing Jpeg from Google image search: FREE
Shopping is fun!

The holidays are a great time for stereotyping. Every year by mid-November, we’re inundated with gift ideas for that special -- albeit cookie-cutter -- someone. Dads are allowed to be into either gadgets or golf; Moms, fashion or food. Does your partner appreciate scarves or wine stoppers made from twigs and berries? If not, good luck and Godspeed. Have fun sucker-punching strangers over the last iPad at Best Buy.

Bloggers, of course, are treated no differently. Since we need so few tools -- (Computer? Check. Free time? Um. Willpower? Sigh.) -- all gift ideas inevitably involve external hard drives, coffee-makers, or those carpal tunnel squeeze balls that look and feel like a single, giant testicle.

I came up with eight genius--if occasionally imaginary--gift ideas for BlogHer's 2010 Gift Guide. Read them here.


I wrote a post for today linking to a piece I wrote for BlogHer that's not up yet.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Disgusting Foods Associated With Thanksgiving That I Would Still Totally Eat

That post on cock soup yesterday really whet my appetite, and got me thinking about this coming Thursday, a glorious day on which Americans are encouraged to consume as much as humanly possible (okay, well, that used to be a novelty) while watching inflated Simpsons characters bump into skyscrapers and drinking to avoid feeling bad about what we did to the Pequot Indians*.

*Contrary to the warm, fuzzy Pilgrims + Indians 4EVA stories we learned in gradeschool, in Connecticut "thanksgiving" was celebrated after a successful attack on the natives, and their decapitated heads were reportedly kicked through the streets of Manhattan. Try eating a guilt-free dinner roll now.

Anyway, I started fantasizing about the grossest, most gluttonous creations we've have managed to come up with so as to consume as many calories as possible in one sitting... and, subsequently, coming to terms with the fact that I would totally put all of these in mah belleh.


Ah, the turducken. Edible poultry nesting dolls that celebrate our right to stuff birds inside of other birds and then eat them so that we form the fourth layer... a Homoturducken, if you will (homosapien, people). I don't actually like duck, but how can I say no to such a pornographic protein explosion?


Pumpplecake, the dessert version of the turducken, if you will, is new this year, and the only thing I need to know is, Where have you been all my life, sugar tits? Your eyes do not deceive you--this is a two-layer cake with two different kinds of pie baked in, plus what looks like enough icing to kill a Shetland pony (and Shannen Doherty, if she happened to be posing next to it at the time).

Rounding out this trio of triple bypass goodness is...


This can be viewed as a kind of wedding of the previous two--while it appears to be a cake, this entire thing is actually constructed of savory Thanksgiving staples. The top and bottom layers are ground turkey; the middle layer, stuffing. The "frosting" is mashed potatoes and the topping is yams and marshmallows.

(Okay, so that last one does kind of trigger my gag reflex, but it's a psychological trap. It only looks like ground meat covered in buttercream. And even that, if I'm being honest, would not be a deal-breaker. Of course, it would all depend on the potency of the peyote.)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Perhaps It Can Be Served With Cock Au Vin?

When I was in 9th grade, I had a mousy social studies teacher who displayed absolutely no sense of humor, and who one day decided to read aloud to us from some story involving roosters.

Only she didn't say rooster. She said cock.

To a roomful of fourteen year-olds.

The first time she said it I forced the giggles back down into my throat, but she kept saying it, over and over, almost like she was testing us on purpose (which she must have been, because since when do roosters figure prominently in American history?)

I lost it around the third cock.

(I don't think I need to tell you that that's what she said.)

Anyway, my teacher was quite disappointed in us. "I expected more maturity from you," she said, fixing me with a sour stare.

I hadn't thought of her in years until yesterday, when my sister bought me a gift:

Yup, still hilarious. It's good to know my inner fourteen year-old is alive and well.

P.S. How many copies do you think Cock Soup For the Teenage Soul could sell? I think a lot.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Scene From A Marriage: Grape Expectations

Jeff and I have both had crappy weeks. He's been overworked and under-appreciated, while I've been phlegmy and under-showered.

So when he showed up after work with flowers, it was extra romantic because I was in my underpants on an exercise ball trying to work my core without choking on my cough drop while waiting for America's Next Top Model to download on iTunes.
I promptly displayed them in our most exciting vase.

But wait! There's more!

Jeff: I also got you this... [lifts bottle of wine from bag]
Me: Awww.
Jeff: And this... [presents a Rocky Road bar, Chick-o-Sticks, and a handful of Mary Janes]
Me: OMG! I did the same for you, except without the flowers. It's like the gift of the Magi!

I show Jeff the bottle of wine I bought on the way home, and Petit Écolier cookies, the kind with the chocolate on top of the biscuit with the little schoolboys engraved on them.

Jeff: You know how I love schoolboys!

(Jeff is always trying to come out to me and I refuse to let him. True story: Right after we got married, we had our recessional and then got ushered into a little room to have a few minutes together before entering the reception area. I looked at Jeff. Jeff looked at me. We clasped hands. He said, "I'm gay." Jealous, ladies?

Anyway, I ignore him and turn my attention to the wine.)

Me: Let's open yours first, since it has a screw top!
Jeff: It's a Malbec... I got it because you like that.
Me: I have no idea what mine is. I got it because the guy at the wine store was having a tasting, and I felt awkward not buying it after I drank two Dixie cups.
Jeff: There's your blog for tomorrow. (I know--this is so meta it is totally blowing your mind right now.)

He is making fun of the fact that I feel obligated to spend money on things I do not want or need, like the time I answered the door expecting my Thai delivery man and instead found a canvasser for the New York Public Interest Research Group, who implored me to donate the minimum amount of $64... and I did. (In my defense I was confused... and hungry.) Or the time I got drunk and bought a monogrammed whiskey decanter just because I had a Pottery Barn gift card. (What? I was drunk! Someday I will use it or gift it to my nemesis, Uma Thurman.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Sassy Curmudgeon's Holiday Gift Guide Part Deux: Moonlight (And Vibrators) in Vermont

This is a repost from last winter, but I just got the Vermont Country Store catalog in the mail and I seriously think I will be doing all my shopping there this year. Get excited, friends and family!

A few years ago, I was looking to buy Jeff a Monchichi doll for Christmas (since that was his childhood nickname—seriously, he was born with a full pelt of fur head of hair), and I stumbled upon the website for The Vermont Country Store. Not only did I get the Monchichi, I also bought like six packages of delicious lebkuchen—German cookies that are like pillowy discs of chocolate-covered soft gingerbread. The site was weird and wonderful, selling everything from maple syrup to underwear to sock monkeys. And thanks to my purchase, I got on their mailing list.

Isn't it magical? I mean, look at that table of contents:


Move over, Wal-Mart!

Seriously, check out some of the insane goodies on sale:

I must disagree that nothing delights a young child like a Jack-in-the-box (nothing HORRIFIES a young child... well, me, anyway, more than the tinkling keys of Pop! Goes the Weasel as I wait for a freakish clown to spring into my face) but I can vouch that nothing delights an adult more than chocolate-covered booze!

They also sell my favorite cookies: The mealy, almond-flavored, neon-colored bars you are most likely to find rotting away on a dusty shelf in an Italian bakery. Yummy. (They age like fine wine; dust only adds to the flavor.)

While we're on the subject of old, musty candy, take a gander at this:

Skybar! Zagnut! Walnettos! If this isn't the cutest little country store I've ever seen, I'll eat...

Well, I'll eat this hat.

Um, a felt fedora with an attached burka? YES, PLEASE, SANTA.

Haven't left your house since the Ford administration? How about a record player, a cassette recorder, a handheld slide viewer, or a typewriter?

Watch your slides while you listen to Benny Goodman 45s and type an angry letter to the Beatles for wearing their goddamn hair so long and smoking too much reefer. Good times!

Another blast from the past:

Man, how much would someone make to do a remake of this for hipsters? I'd call it "Fuck! Your Hair Smells Like Magic." Potential investors may contact me in the comments.

You've got to love a store that sells cassette players, children's toys, cookies, and ...

Vibrators! Accompanied by a photo of a sexually robust Wilford Brimley doppelganger. He knows that you'd rather order your "German massager" along with your ribbon candy from a nice family establishment instead of "run down to Sex World or visit some uncomfortable website." And fucking how, dude.

Of course, who needs sex toys when you can wear scents like Woodhue, Tigress, and Ben Hur?

Rrrrowr. There's also one called "Persian Wood." Snicker.

Here's something you don't see everyday: a miniature cast iron stove!

Here's the best part of the description: The set "includes a miniature iron cooking pot, kettle, frying pan, spatula, griddle holder and coal bucket that you can arrange to taste." [Emphasis mine]. I like to imagine someone coming over to my house and seeing my miniature cast iron stove and going, "Oh...oh my GOD. What were you THINKING putting the kettle on the LEFT BURNER??? YOU DISGUST ME." and then storming out.

Anyway, yeah. The Vermont Country Store. I guarantee that you'll find something awesome—and hopefully kind of inappropriate—for your loved ones within its bizarre warehouse. I recommend a gift basket consisting of Ben Hur cologne, a package of Walnettos, a Hitachi Magic Wand, and a handheld slide viewer. Keep that special someone guessing this Christmas.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Critic

I'm still sick, and don't have the strength to summon another stream-of-consciousness post (although I will tell you what is blowing my mind right now: Nermal from Garfield is a MAN, and he's 31 years old. The more you think about it the creepier it gets...) so instead, please enjoy these movie reviews I wrote for The Observer this week, filling in for our critic Rex Reed.

I saw The Next Three Days and Made in Dagenham. They wouldn't let me into Harry Potter because I'm not important enough, which is probably for the best as I haven't read past book two (I KNOW) and thus couldn't tell my ass from my Azkaban. (As Dorothy Parker might have said had she lived today, "You can lead a horcrux to culture but you can't make her think.")


The best movie review I ever wrote is still the one on I Know Who Killed Me. (Stigmata? I don't even know her!... sometimes I slay me.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Billie Jean King Is Not My Lover, And Other Sickbed Non Sequiturs

I’m sick again. I don’t know why God hates me so much considering I drink of his son’s metaphorical blood so often. Anyway, being sick wipes me out. It drains my energy, it clogs my pores (which means I am EXTRA PRETTY), and most of all, it saps my will to blog. Ironically, of course, it also means I have more time to blog, or it would if I didn’t spend the equivalent of an eight-hour working day watching Three Amigos clips on YouTube.

Usually post ideas come to me suddenly after I read an article or watch something on TV or have a conversation with Jeff. A lot of bloggers work on posts for days, editing them until they are perfect, stand-alone pieces, but I just let it fly, seat-of-my-pants style. I joke that this is because I value quantity over quality, but really it’s that A) this blog started out as a way to get myself to write more or less every day and it’s important to me to stay true to that; and B) if I start to think too hard about my blog posts it freaks me out and I get the mental equivalent of shrinkage.

Which is what is happening right now.

Anytime I find myself staring at my computer screen trying to think of ideas it feels like my brain is suddenly really drunk, and is lurching around my mental attic opening cobwebbed boxes in the hopes of finding the idea equivalent of a mint-condition Faberge Egg it can get appraised on Antiques Roadshow.

For example, the first thing I latched onto today was Tiger Eyes. I have not read Tiger Eyes in fifteen years but suddenly I thought of it and I wanted it so I Googled it.

Then I found its Wikipedia page and thought, did Ione Skye model for the cover?

Seriously, this is EXACTLY how Diane Court looks at Lloyd Dobler for the entirety of Say Anything.

Then I remembered that the main character’s name is Davey, which made me me wonder if I could write a whole blog post about how I went through a phase of wanting to have a bunch of girls and name them things like Frankie and Charlie and maybe even Billie, after Billie Holliday, not Billie Jean King.

Then I wondered if naming fictional tomboys after a heroin addict was worse than naming them after someone with really terrible hair, which ended with me Googling Billie Jean King and developing a theory that she might actually just be Carrie Fisher dressed as Sue Sylvester from Glee:

Then I thought that Tiger Eyes would be a really good name for a memoir written by one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses, or maybe by Tiger himself, if he didn’t mind sounding like a teenage girl.

Then I realized that there are multiple Judy Blume titles that could, taken out of context, describe the Tiger Woods scandal: Then Again, Maybe I Won’t; It’s Not The End of The World; and Here’s To You, Rachel Uchitel (okay, really it’s Robinson).

Then I thought, maybe that would make a good blog post. Especially if I could find other authors whose book titles mirrored other public scandals. I was able to match Sarah Palin with Danielle Steele (whose books include Rogue, Impossible, and Accident), but then I got a migraine and had to put my sunglasses on in bed.

Then I thought, Is this what Kanye West’s life is like all the time? I took a picture of myself with my BlackBerry and considered removing my entire bottom set of teeth and replacing them with Tootsie Rolls, because I can’t afford diamonds and besides, my forehead shines enough for my entire face as it is.

Then I thought, Shit, I still have to write a blog for tomorrow. But before I do that...

And now we've come full circle. I've blogged without really blogging, and I managed to work in Lloyd Dobler and Tootsie Rolls.

I feel good about this. 


Monday, November 15, 2010

Texts From My Sister: Finding Fault With Fairy Tale Footwear

In this week's epic installment, Zoe proves why she is the perfect person to read bedtime stories to any child.

9 out of 10 podiatrists agree: You are a dumbass. 
Last night when I couldn't sleep, I thought a lot about the fact that Cinderella wore glass slippers...aka glass high heels. Whose fuckin' idea was that? That sounds like a good way to impale the soles of your feet at a big fancy party. I have broken stacked wooden heels; of course you broke your glass slipper, bitch. Your shoe was made of GLASS. It'd have to be really tough glass... and she'd have to weigh like 65 pounds. And have you ever worn shoes with clear plastic in them? Don't. Clear shoes make feet look like baby pig fetuses stuffed into jars half their size. We are disregarding the pumpkin carriage etc., as that has some practicality. Though it's gross to make tiny shirts for the rodents that live in your room.
Have I brightened your day? I will cover Sleeping Beauty and the ease of avoiding spindles tomorrow. ;)


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Curmudgeon of the Week: Toni

(You guys. I think this week's COTW is the middle part of Tony! Toni! TonĂ©! Yes, it's a lady who appears to be white and doesn't mention being a new jack/R&B superstar or wearing day-glo orange pimp suits, but I have a feeling. Anyway, she's awesome. )

(Also, you need to listen to this while reading today. YES!)

If I Had No Loot (1993)

Toni would still be my COTW even if she had no loot.

Name: Toni

Age: 29

Provenance: Slaughterville, Oklahoma. Seriously, I live in a place called Slaughterville. How wicked is that? Even cooler: I grew up in a place called Pink, Oklahoma. Google it. Totally real.

Occupation: I find that telling people I'm a full-time volunteer chef, maid, chauffeur, nurse, seamstress, Pre-K teacher, personal shopper, guidance counselor, therapist, vet, and call girl gets me a lot more respect and/or attention than simply saying I'm a homemaker.

When did you first self-identify as a curmudgeon? I think my earliest experience as a curmudgeon was in the 2nd grade, when I realized that the ENTIRE FUCKING NATION revolves around a sport where men chase a lemon-shaped "ball" and smack each other on the ass.

Who’s the curmudgeon (living or dead, historical or contemporary) you most identify with and why? My dad. He spent my childhood sequestered in his workshop, getting high, building swords and guitars and bicycle-powered rock-cutting machines. He was a bit of a mad scientist, and he hated pretty much everyone and everything but his wacky creations. Hell, he was such a misanthropic curmudgeon, he didn't even go to work and earn a living for the family like a normal father, because he hated everyone he came into contact with. I hate him, but I can't say I fell too far from that tree...well, except the getting high, building stuff, and neglecting the family part.

What do you hate that other people inexplicably love? Ohhh, goodness. This would probably be a shorter list to tell you the things I DO love that others do also. I'm not one of those "curmudgeons for the sake of being a curmudgeon"-type people who hates things simply because others like them. I'm just...well, I'm a weird person, I guess, and I'm pretty oblivious to most things "popular" or what-have-you. That being said, I'm gonna pick booze/drugs. I don't drink/get high, I've never had the urge to drink/get high, and I've never even tasted anything alcoholic or tried anything...drugaholic. I don't see the point in it.

You are Dante. What, in order from least to most excruciating, are your nine circles of hell?
My levels of hell would require the offending dead watch terrible television all day*...no remote, no popcorn, no soda, and the only furniture in the room is this cast-iron bench that's been sitting in the July sun for several hours (have you ever sat on one of those in the middle of the summer? 5 minutes and you'll be doctoring an ass-blister for a month):

*Ed note: If this is hell, sign me up. I'll see you soon, Snooki! I'll bring the pickles!!

The levels of hell would be as follows:

1. America's Funniest Home Videos, or any of the cheap knockoffs with the canned laughter and videos of guys getting hit in the crotch by a toddler's errant wiffle ball.

2. The Lifetime channel. Everything on that channel is cringe-worthy.

3. CSI, NCIS, Law and Order, "Cop Drama #24306," etc. (With the exception of Bones. I actually tolerate that one and watch it on a semi-regular basis...cuz Brennan is basically me. ::blush::)

4. Two and a Half Men

5. Two and a Half Men deserves to be listed twice

6. Jersey Shore or any of those other "reality" shows about jackasses who have no business getting any public attention.

7. MTV

8. Any sports program, with the exception of Football.

9. Football.

If you had the power to sign into law an amendment prohibiting a specific human behavior (i.e. using a Bluetooth or singing karaoke), what would you outlaw?
Using "ur" instead of "you are" (or the contraction of). Ur was an ancient Sumerian city, and most likely THE birthplace of civilization. Using its name in such an erroneous fashion is ironically UNcivilized. This atrocity needs to be stopped. A simple $10 fine per use on Facebook could rack up THOUSANDS of dollars a day from my friends alone! Think of all the shiny new police cruisers and orange jumpsuits that could be bought with that kind of dough!

Let's lighten up. What makes you all warm and fuzzy inside? (Your heart can’t be COMPLETELY charred.)
I wanna be a good mom and wife and say my daughter or husband, but in all reality, it's my rabbit. He never talks back, he always eats his vegetables, he always senses when I'm feeling bad, and he's never too busy to snuggle on the couch. Also, I secretly get all giddy inside when he chews up the cords to my husband's XBox controllers or my daughter's Leapfrog system. That'll teach the lazy, ungrateful bastards to leave their shit out after I so meticulously cleaned the goddamn living room just an hour ago.

What's your favorite curse word/phrase?
Goddamn. It's a pretty new fave, actually...maybe a year and a half old. I grew up in a Christian home, but even after I "turned to the dark side" in my early 20's, that word was still taboo for me for some reason...I dunno. Anyway, It's my "last resort" word now. I try to save it for special occasions for when I'm REALLY, REALLY, REALLY upset.

Essay Question: Please write a 100 word open letter to an object, person, or other entity that has recently incurred your wrath.

Dear Dumbass Rednecks in the trailer next door,

Your kid is fucking CREEPY. I dunno if you guys did crack when you were pregnant or if you dropped him on his head when he was a baby or what, but he's the weirdest damned kid I've ever seen -- and I should know, I taught Kindergarten for many years 'til I scored this sweet gig -- and I'd REALLY, REALLY appreciate it if you'd keep a leash on him.

I don't know if you're aware, but he watches through your living room window and comes out to talk my head off every.single.day when I go check my mailbox. He's memorized my daily schedule well enough to know when I typically check my mail. YOUR KID IS KEEPING TABS ON ME. If he were 10 years older, that would be enough to take out a restraining order. And when he talks, he does not pause. His speech is just one long, rambling, incoherent string of nonsense about his "guard dogs" and his sister and his firetruck and blah-blah-blah-blah. He has also followed me INTO MY HOUSE without being invited on several occasions, where I would then have to ask him to leave. And this past weekend, as my family was sitting in the living room enjoying a nice documentary on the Terra Cotta Warriors in China, the creepy bastard opened my front door, let himself in, and asked if he could play with our dog. WE DON'T HAVE A FUCKING DOG! My husband told him to leave and never come back into our house again, but he shouldn't have had to say that. The kid is eight goddamn years old!!! Even if he'd never formally been taught not to barge into strangers' houses, common sense should have kicked in by now!

I'm sure you're nice decent non-offensive people, but please, move away.



(She says she hasn't blogged in months, but check her out at blogs.myspace.com/Fat_Toni)

Friday, November 12, 2010

TGI...WTF? Oedipus Cake Wrecks

A reader sent me a link to a stupid Marie Claire article--is there any other kind?--and while I won't link to it in protest I will mock it in sweatpants.

The gist is that there is some new trend in babymaking rituals that involves learning the sex of your baby via baked goods. (Yes, for real.)

 Congratulations--it's a Smurf!
(image via A Tender Crumb)

Here's how it goes down:

1. You make your doctor write the baby's gender on a scrap of paper (I'm guessing s/he may substitute the Prince symbol if the ultrasound is inconclusive) and then seal it in an envelope.

2. You hand the envelope to a baker, who probably thinks you are trying to involve him/her in a human trafficking ring, since customers usually request buttercream or fondant instead of "GIRL."

3. You pick up the pink or blue cake, which is covered with white icing so as to hide the delicious gonad-determining food coloring within.

4. You try to look happy as you learn, in front of a gathering of your family and friends, whether you'll be spending the rest of your life fearing passing on body image issues or male pattern baldness.

5. You eat your baby's junk. Metaphorically.

I don't know about this. It's harmless enough, but it's a slippery slope. I mean, how long until women are slipping notes to their caterers and lifting silver lids to reveal platters of pigs in blankets (boy) or clams (girl)?

How long before women start throwing pregnancy test parties, illustrated with hidden layers of jam?

Those parties would have a 50% chance of being really depressing.

How long before multiple births get announced with the aid of Puppy Surprise?

Actually, that idea is awesome. Let's do that.

ALSO: Children of the 80s: Did any of you EVER get more than three puppies in a Puppy Surprise? The tagline was "There could be three... or four... or five!" except there were never five. I feel used.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I Thought Of It First (You Are Welcome, Delta)

Over a year ago, my friend Amy and I thought about making a book of inventions and ideas we wanted to claim rights to but were too lazy to actually produce. We were going to call it "I Thought Of It First."

We never got around to writing said book (although we did think of it, so technically it's perfectly in keeping with our plan), but we made a Twitter feed... that we kept up for about a month:

I've spent past year, since my last great idea, for the ThuttBuster, hoping that inspiration would strike once again.

Well, friends, that day has come. 

Dear Delta Airlines,

I have an awesome idea. An idea that will make you bajillions of dollars. And I am writing it down now so that you can’t steal it from me.

Hire Delta Burke as your spokesperson.

You heard me.

Suzanne Sugarbaker will be your version of the Old Spice guy. It will be more viral than John Mayer after a weekend in Vegas.
All you have to do is put Delta on a nearly flat plain of alluvial deposit between diverging branches of the mouth of a river (a delta--get it?) and have her say something funny.

Like, “I’m on a delta. Now I’m on an ill-conceived 1992 sitcom that is totally a rip-off of Reba. Now I’m back on Delta--the plane, not the riverbed. It’s a lot cleaner. And I can watch my favorite show--you’d think it would be Designing Women, but actually, it’s Ice Road Truckers.”

I know what you’re thinking. Delta had some plastic surgery lately and now she kind of looks like Connie Chung. But to that I say, first of all, this woman married Major Dad. The fact that you question her decision-making is offensive. Also, there have been rumors that she’s going to guest star on Modern Family, so you’d better snap her up before she blows up.

DO IT NOW, DELTA!!!! Do it before JetBlue gets wise and hires Joan Jett and Corbin Bleu! (Which, by the way, I also thought of first, suckas.)


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Domo Arigato NaNoWriMo

November is National Novel Writing Month, for some reason.

(I'm thinking the reason is that the inventor of National Novel Writing Month was unemployed and had just been gifted a typewriter and a wheelbarrow full of amphetamines.)

The shorthand used on Twitter is NaNoWriMo. It sounds like a new hybrid neighborhood with airport bathroom-sized studio apartments that rent for ten times my annual salary.

Having fired off my final Project Runway recap just as November began, I had grand plans to celebrate my newfound freedom by banging out a novel in 30 days.

Who cares that I have a stressful full-time job and that I've never successfully written fiction, unless you count When Cathy Learned Sign Language?

Who cares that my wheelbarrow of amphetamines has been peculiarly replaced with a refrigerator filled with eight different kinds of mustard but no chocolate, no matter how many times I open and close the door?

Who cares that I have a blog to feed, and a husband to pester, and abdominal exercises to think about doing?

(These questions are meant to disorient you so that you pay no attention to the fact that I haven't really started my novel yet.)

(I have a sentence.)

(The "iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii" is an accident but I'm totally putting it towards my final word count.)

Maybe November can be National NO Writing Month, and December can be when I get shit done.

(Bonus: The acronym stays the same.)

*Okay, I just Googled it, and apparently "domo arigato" means "thank you very much" in Japanese. Therefore I'd like to stress that the title of this post is sarcastic.  

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pheidippides-Do-Dah, Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Cross Marathons Off My Bucket List

For most of my childhood, I lived approximately 300 feet from one of the major avenues that make up the route of the New York City marathon. Every year, on what was usually a clear, crisp Sunday, my parents would take me and my sister down to the end of the street to watch the runners. I remember cheering, waving signs, and listening to the eardrum-shattering reggaetron being blasted from the van that was invariably parked at the corner. But most of all, I remember the peeing.

At the end of our block race, volunteers would set up tables stacked high with cups of Gatorade, which they would hand to passing runners.

Also at the end of the block was a Medicaid office, a large, squat beige building that provided an unbroken stretch of already vaguely urine-colored brick.

This was in the years before port-o-sans got trucked in, and the male marathoners knew a good pee wall when they saw one.

So while the rest of New York watched athletes run, I watched them pee.

What can I say? Autumn in New York is a magical time.

I decided long ago that I will never run a marathon, and it has nothing to do with my fears about bladder control. It’s just that there are only so many things I can do in my lifetime, and after some (read: no) deliberation, I’ve come to the conclusion that running almost 30 miles in short shorts in November is not going to be one of them. I have lots of friends who run marathons (including guest-blogger and fellow pop culture freak Owen as well as my dear friend the Rock 'n' Roll Gourmet's husband Mike), and I am totally in awe of them for doing it. Most of them run because they love it, or because they want to challenge themselves and have something to train for. Once in awhile, though, someone will tell me that they just want to prove to themselves that their bodies can do it.

Which is why I’m not ever going to run a marathon*. I know my body is, technically, capable of running that far. When I trained for track in high school I could run 5 miles or so at a stretch, and my training at that point could generously be described as half-assed, so if I devoted a year to building up my endurance I’m sure I could adapt, thigh-chafing be damned. Plus I have hours of early 90s hip-hop on my iPod that could carry me through. So I’m going to give my body a pass on this particular challenge. I’m going to give it an honorary degree in being badass. In the meantime I need to focus on smaller physical milestones, such as:
  • Actually doing 30 days of the Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred instead of stopping after ten minutes for a Diet Coke and a few episodes of Teen Mom.
  • Learning to stand upright in the shower after shaving my legs without clinging to the soap dish for dear life.

*Another reason is my crippling fear of sudden cardiac arrest, not helped at all by the fact that Pheidippides**, the Greek messenger who inspired the modern-day marathon by running 150 miles in two days, collapsed and died upon his arrival in Athens.

**He is also the namesake of Dippity-Do hair gel, which was originally called Pheidippidy-Do.***


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Curmudgeon of the Week: Erin Bradley

Meet Erin, a young divorcee who heals by heckling your pre-teen on World of Warcraft. Likes include Matt Groening and watching babies cry in restaurants. Dislikes, well... read on, children.

Erin wrote that this "is the only pic I have that says to the world 'I hate you but damn, I look good hating.'"

Name: Erin Bradley (ugh, former last name contemplating going through the hassle of going back to my maiden name)

Blog: Reclaiming My Life. The name of my blog (castingrenew.blogspot.com) is from World of Warcraft, it was supposed to be symbolic of me healing from a divorce. I am that nerd who talks shit to your 12 year old son or daughter on World of Warcraft.

Age: 27, Oh the humanity, I'm getting older.

Location: Austin, Texas. Yes, it is hot here, no, not every town is like Varsity Blues... and get the image out of your head that Texas is a desert. It's not. Rolling hills, farmland, mountains, beaches, and some desert but not the whole state. I do say y'all. Get over it.

Occupation: I was working but now unemployed like half the nation. What can I say misery loves company, it was the peer pressure.

When did you first self-identify as a curmudgeon?
College. I was a late curmudgeon. I hated the people I went to school with. They were all forever doing the cliche things and were clueless to why I didn't participate and chose to actually study and work hard for my grades. And now, those crazy drunk idiots that couldn't write a paper are working for good companies traveling the world and I am stuck at home smoking cigs and hating them still.

Who's the curmudgeon (living or dead, historical or contemporary) you most identify with and why?
Matt Groening. The dude created the simpsons and wrote that movie Idiocracy. He held nothing back when it came to tearing apart how sad and pathetic the world could be if we keep going the way we are going. I am constantly amazed at how stupid we are becoming and I frequently bitch about it on my blog. I am sure my two friends that read it are like, WTF another bitchfest about society? Fuck yes, cuz he gets to do it all the time on a TV thats been running since I was running around in elementary school.

What do you hate that other people inexplicably love?
My cheating ex-husband. Apparently a lot of women love him. I was just the moron who married him first.

You are Dante, What, in order from least to most excruciating, are your nine circles of hell?
1. People driving while talking on the phone on the highway. I know I do it too but I am not laughing my ass off so hard that I cannot manage to stay in one lane.

2. Parents who are convinced today's music is horrible. Yes, lets keep that stereotype going. How many movies and how many times in real life do we have to hear or say "Turn off that noise! I don't know about music today" within every generation?

3. Body odor. I am sorry. I know there are certain cultures in which it is acceptable to smell like moldy ass but can you adhere to this one small thing? Is it really so hard to walk down the deodorant aisle and think maybe I smell like creeping death and thats why girls run away from me? Maybe I should fix that.

4. Girls or guys in college that tell me about their sexcapades like I am going to validate that they are doing a good job. Yes, you rock! You have inspired me to want to get not just one STD, but all of them.

5. People my age having a hissy fit when songs on the radio have curse words and their children repeat them. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Really? You rebelled in school against your parents because told you you can't listen to rap or rock bands because they said dirty things and here you are. Silly rabbit. Also these are the same chicks who will have a hissy when their 13 year daughter dresses like a hooker but oh how half of our high school have pictures of those same mom's looking like whores themselves back in the day.

6. I cannot stand having my phone ring off the hook every 30 minutes because someone needs not me, they need my car. "Can you take me to work?" Sure, then I pick you up and then all of a sudden I am on a scavenger hunt across the city because you fucking tricked me into being your chaffeur for the next 2 hours before I drop your ass off at work.

7. I cannot stand on facebook the constant bitching and moaning. There is always one or two people who apparently have such shitty lives they must make the rest of the facebook world join them in their misery. This is also the same person who: WRITES IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE THEY NEED TO FEEL ACCEPTED BY EVERYONE AND HAVE EVERYONE FEEL SORRY FOR THEM. Take your claw off caps lock and write like a human. The reason noone comments on your pity party is because noone cares day after day your life sucks. Maybe try less bitching and try actively to have a better outlook on life.

8. For the love of all things holy, I cannot stand people who talk during movies and not just at the movie theaters. No one wants to hear your running commentary on how bad the character in the movie looks. Shut the fuck up! I am trying to listen to what they are saying because at this rate I'll be explaining what is going on later and I can't do that when you are talking non-stop.

9. If you make me repeat myself, I will shank you. I cannot stand people who are like 2 feet to 5 feet from me and are looking at me and talking to me and when I respond you look at me like I just spoke kling-on. Then when I do repeat what I say a bit louder to where even GOD himself can hear me, you are still deaf and cannot hear me. After that you are fucked because I will not repeat myself. I could have told you that the glass you are holding has poison in it and you would have been all like HUH?

If you had the power to sign into law an amendment prohibiting a specific behavior, what would you outlaw?
I think there should be a law that prohibits people from changing lanes without using a blinker. Oh wait.... Why don't the cops punish people for that? It makes me scream like a banshee getting cut off by fuckers who cannot manage to flick their index and middle finger on the blinker handlethingamabob and let people know, Oh btw, I plan on moving one or two lanes over can you make sure not to hit me?

Let's lighten up. What makes you all warm and fuzzy inside (Your heart can't be completely charred)
I love cats and kittens and puppies. I pet them and my blood pressure drops and my impulse to kill goes down. And for some reason I love watching parents panic when their baby cries at a restaurant. I just smile and look at the cutey face that is turning tomato red and screaming. Soooo adorable. (yes, I realize this makes me a freak of nature, but I accept that)

What's your favorite curse word/phrase?
That would be "fuck" and any variation of that word. I got in trouble in 2nd grade for using that word. Bitch had it coming.

Essay Question: Please write a 100 word open letter to an object, person, or other entity that has recently incured your wrath.

Dear asshole brothers,
I love you both but can you stop calling me every fucking day to take you to work or to take you to the store? I am not a fucking cab or chaffeur. Paying in me breakfast or dinner is not payment. I want cash money bitches! Food just makes me fat as I sit in my car driving you around for hours on end. I don't know why I have to suffer because you both can't take care of cars. It's sad when I am 27 and you both are 39 and 40 and I am more responsible.
hugs and kisses,
your pissed-off sister.
P.S. I have a dozen or so curmudgeons on deck, so I'm not going to solicit any more submissions for a bit. But you won't be forgotten, thanks to the No Curmudgeon Left Behind act of 2009 (See? Obama gets some shit done. Stop hating.)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Notes to My 16 Year-Old Self

As a general rule, I don’t base blogs on topics that are trending on Twitter. If I did, Justin Bieber would feature much more prominently, as would etiquette lessons—based on the hashtag “don’t act like”—and fun lists like #thingsthatwillgetyouslapped (which, incidentally, would include #dontactlike #JustinBieber).

But yesterday I noticed that people were Tweeting advice to their 16 year-old selves, and I couldn’t resist.

(Note to my future children: These also apply to you.)

-Are you milking a cow? Are you painting a house? No? Then take off the overalls. If Angela Chase couldn’t rock them, no one can.

-The boy you want to go to prom with is gay.

-Speaking of prom, do not wear this much makeup. Twilight is still 10 years away.

Best part of this photo: The fact that my head is perfectly aligned with the vaginal opening of my mother's artwork behind me.

 -Also speaking of prom, try not to spend the entirety of the after-party in a hammock drinking Peach Schnapps. This may seem like a no-brainer, but wait until you’ve had three Zimas in the limo.

-Which reminds me, don’t drink Zima. It’s the alcoholic equivalent of Crystal Pepsi and you’re better than that.

-Consider rethinking your Billy Joel yearbook quote.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Whip My Hair

So Willow Smith, the progeny of Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith, whips her hair in a catchy new single, the video for which recalls Pearl Jam's Jeremy, had he used his weave to splatter paint on his classmates instead of dousing them in his own blood.


I also whip my hair. I have really long, wavy/curly locks that tend to lie flat against my scalp unless I engage in a morning ritual involving a mosh pit-like snapping of my neck.

I bet Willow Smith never whacked her head against her bathroom cabinet door, though.

I should totally call in sick.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Scene From A Marriage: Special Mad Libs Edition!

So here's the deal, people: I'm out of blog post ideas. I've been up late closing the paper and also finishing an article about Kevin Bacon, and a girl can only write so many pork product- and Footloose-related puns before she burns out.

So help me with this one, pretty please? It'll be fun! And then we can read it back to each other and snarf our thermos-fuls of Sprite and do each other's hair while we play M.A.S.H. and watch Willow*.

*Okay, now I'm actually really sad that we can't do this. Madmartigan was hawt.

Anyway. Here goes.

"SCENE FROM A __type of relationship__"

Scene: ______day of week___________. Jeff and I are in the _________room in house______. I have on _____ridiculous/pathetic item of clothing or unsavory acne-fighting product_______.

Me: ________inane question___________?
Jeff: _____bemused retort_____________.
Me: Whatever, Martha. You’re just __adjective____.
Jeff: _____sounds like the teachers from Peanuts_______.
Me: Twat? I’m sorry, I cunt hear you. I think I have an ear infucktion.
Jeff: ____line that’s funny but not as funny as me because I AM THE STAR OF THIS BLOG____.
Me: ___last word, preferably involving reference to the Jersey Shore and/or a Little Debbie brand snack cake__.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What's That? It's Pat! (Or Velma. Or Rachel. Or Harry. Or Alex.)

Our friend Alex's birthday is today, but he had his party on Halloween. His girlfriend, Christina, emailed a bunch of his friends inviting us to dinner and telling us to "feel free to come dressed in costume, drag, or as Alex."

We unanimously replied that of course we would dress as the guest of honor.

For reference:

Sorry, ladies (and gentlemen), he's taken.

(You're especially sorry that he's taken when you see this exceptional photobomb...)

From here to eternity... ruined.

Anyway. I bought a short boy wig and some cheap plastic glasses. I looked less like a boy than I looked like Velma from Scooby-Doo dressing as Rachel Maddow or Harry Potter.

Meanwhile, Jeff looked kind of like Egon from Ghostbusters...

Without my coat, Jeff said I looked like an unfortunate lesbian, but that didn't stop him from grabbing my boob during an auto-timed portrait:

We went as gay Alexes. Or is it Alexi?

At the restaurant, a bunch of friends joined us in paying homage to our beloved A-hole:

I still looked like Harry Potter dressed as Rachel Maddow (a.k.a. s/he who must not be named).

But if you're asking yourself, What's that? It's Pat!

I'll say, no, it's love.


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