Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Scene From A Marriage: Love's A Gas

Sorry, guys, I'm burned out after staying up until 4:30 finishing my weekly Project Runway recap. Someday I'll stop writing about toilets. Someday...

Scene: Walking home from a friend's house Thursday night. I am tired; Jeff looks troubled.

Me: Are you OK?
Jeff: [grunt]
Me: Is there something on your mind? You look like you have feelings that need to come out.
Jeff: [silence]
Me: Do you need to make an emotional fart?
Jeff: [laughs]
Me: Just let it rip. Like a heart fart. A fheart!

Long pause.

Jeff: He who felt it, dealt it.
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Monday, August 30, 2010

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall

For me, going to the bathroom and having sex should never overlap. (Yes, folks, it's Monday morning and I'm swingin' for the fences!) But this weekend I discovered there's one awkward situation that applies to both: the presence of a mirror.

Now, I get the sex mirror thing. I get that some people like seeing themselves in flagrante delicto, which sounds like a pretentious gelato flavor but which actually means humping.

But prithee, oh bathroom contractor, why is it possible for me to take this photograph?

Reenactment; I do not use my cell phone on the toilet except to take covert photos of multi-racial babies frolicking in buckets. Wait, that sounds wrong...

And that is how I discovered that the menu of faces I make when faced with myself in a compromising position are the same no matter what I'm doing:

SHOCK

FASCINATION

SHAME

AVOIDANCE

DISGUST

CONTEMPT/NEARSIGHTEDNESS

NARCISSUS

REMOTE POSSIBILITY I AM ACTUALLY ON CANDID CAMERA, EVEN THOUGH THAT SHOW DOESN'T EXIST ANYMORE AND DOM DELUISE IS DEAD

Needless to say I will not be starring in a homemade toilet sex tape anytime soon. You're welcome, America.

P.S. I live-blogged the Emmys last night. So that happened. Fashion throw-down to come later this week!
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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Curmudgeon of the Week: Wronged Me Today

He had me at Statler and Waldorf...


Name: P. Fenton Cosgrove (Yeah, Google that obscure reference) of Wronged Me Today.

Age: Technically 26, but by all accounts, I’m an old man already. In fact, I can’t fucking wait until I’m old enough for it be socially acceptable (and perhaps even expected) to be an even bigger asshole.

Provenance: Boston, MA. Pretty much one of the most unfriendly places ever. No one makes eye contact when you walk around the city and don’t even think about smiling at someone. My friend says it’s our hatred of each other that keeps us together.

Occupation: Well, I complain like it’s my job…

When did you first self-identify as a curmudgeon? I don’t think I really embraced it until a couple of years ago. However, according to my friends and family, I was always a curmudgeon. Letting it all out now is just kind of cathartic.

Who’s the curmudgeon (living or dead, historical or contemporary) you most identify with and why? I should say Statler and Waldorf because they are my pseudo-mascots of choice. However, in reality, it has to be Larry David. His combination of chagrin, anger, whininess, and his inability to let anything go fits me to a T. I feel like if he were to write a blog, it might look something like mine. Of course, he’s legitimately funny and extraordinary successful, so who the fuck am I kidding?

What do you hate that other people inexplicably love? Fun.

You are Dante. What, in order from least to most excruciating, are your nine circles of hell?

1. Celine Dion. Seriously. I don’t know how she actually exists. It would be a fucking nightmare to have to spend any amount of time near her or her music.

2. Close talkers with bad hygiene and/or body odor. If you don’t want me to vomit directly on you, move the fuck back. And why don’t you understand personal space anyways? Or bathing for that matter?

3. Talking politics with really angry and adamant people who are either Republican or Democrat just for the sake of being Republican or Democrat and actually have no fucking concept or real opinion on any issues of any importance. If you’re going to pick a side, at least open a newspaper now and then and learn some fucking talking points.

4. Sitting at a crosswalk in the city with people from the suburbs. Hey, guess what guys? If there aren’t any cars coming, you can cross the fucking street. No need to wait half an hour for a fucking walk signal. And hurry the fuck up while you’re at it. Do you know why people in the city walk fast? Because unlike you, they actually have shit to do.

5. Being on public transportation with people from the suburbs. There are maps EVERYWHERE. It doesn’t take a fucking advance degree to figure out the next stop. Also, are you new here? Hold onto the fucking handrail. I don’t need you or your children falling into my lap because you don’t think you need to hold onto anything in a moving train.

6. Being at Jesus Camp. Super serious hardcore fundamentalist Christians scare the absolute shit out of me. Although, it is kind of ironic or something to think about fundamentalist Christians spending eternity in hell.

7. Perpetually waiting for chronically late individuals. I don’t really have anything clever to say. I have no fucking patience for people who can’t get somewhere within 20-30 minutes of when they said they would. It’s not fucking rocket science.

8. Having to be around hipsters. Hipsters are the fucking worst. They don’t stand for anything. I think they think it’s trendy to not have opinions. If it wasn’t for local coffee shops and ice creams stores, I’m fairly certain they’d all be unemployed. They drink cheap beer because they think it’s ironic. They wear girls jeans for no apparent reason. And don’t even get me started on the random roving bands of fixed gear biking clubs.
 
9. Being on public transportation generally in Boston. This is known at the MBTA. It’s the worst fucking thing ever. I mean, one of our stations caught on fire like three fucking times in June. That shit is not safe. One of the heads of the MBTA refuses to ride portions of the subway because it’s too dangerous. In addition to an evitable fiery death, all of the aforementioned circles of hell are almost guaranteed to be on your subway or bus at some point or another. The MBTA, without a doubt, attracts the most terribly annoying and just plain old strange people you’ll ever encounter.

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? I honestly think there should be some sort of formal grievance procedure within our criminal justice system directed at people who act like complete asshats on public transportation. There are so many people who feel the need to fuck up your commute for a wide variety of reasons and they are able to do so without retribution. And that’s a damn shame.

Let's lighten up. What makes you all warm and fuzzy inside? (Your heart can’t be COMPLETELY charred.) Dogs. Especially puppies. I have a huge fucking soft spot for our four-legged friends. Except toy dogs. Can’t stand those things. If its small enough to carry in one hand, it’s not a real dog. And while we’re on the topic of animals, cats can go fuck themselves.

What's your favorite curse word/phrase? It’s entirely unoriginal, but I think “fucking” has to be my favorite curse word. It’s quite versatile. You can use it an almost situation in which you need an adverb.

Essay Question: Please write a 100 word open letter to an object, person, or other entity that has recently incurred your wrath. This is essentially every single post of my blog. I mean, it’s called “How You Have Wronged Me Today.” Instead, I will write an open letter to virtually everyone.

Dear General Public:

You are, by and large, terrible. I don’t know how it’s possible that so many of you lack basic social skills and any concept of appropriate behavior. I know I sound like a jerk with my ranting and raving at all of you, but really all I want is for everyone to be marginally more civil and respectful to one another. I draw attention to your weird and annoying fucking behavior as a lesson to not act like that. Do not be “that guy.” Do not make strangers roll their eyes at you and wish ill upon you. Do not be so fucking oblivious to those around you. I know you don’t give a fuck. But try. Just a little. Just a tiny fuck is all I ask for. Until then, however, I will continue to hate everyone by default until they prove to me otherwise that they are not giant fucking wastes of time.

Cordially yours,

P. Fenton Cosgrove

Do you want to be a Curmudgeon of the Week? Email me!
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Friday, August 27, 2010

TGI...WTF? MUM's The Word

So a week or so ago my friend Ellaree (she of the tear-inducing rock tumbler, questionable Christmas tree disposal methods, and death at the hands of the Oregon Trail) posted a link on my Facebook wall to a Cracked.com story about the 7 Most Horrifying Museums on Earth.

"Next time you're in DC," she wrote, "We're going to #4. By appointment only."

So what, pray tell, is #4 on the list of the world's most terrifying museums? It's the Museum of Menstruation & Women's Health!

Not so horrifying, right? I mean, girls today could probably use an educational tool more thorough than Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. Right?

RON.

Because this museum (with its shady acronym, MUM, which doesn't even make sense, unless the official name is the Museum Uf Menstruation) is located in a private basement somewhere in Maryland. The private basement of a single, middle-aged dude.

Highlights include:

A dress made of sanitary napkins!


And... frightening lady codpieces!


Plus, as Ellaree pointed out, visits are by appointment only. In other words, you and this period-worshipping dude and his scary mannequins are the only people in the house. As a friend wrote on my wall in response to Ellaree's link, "It puts the lotion in the basket."

P.S. Do you think I should send in my artifact?
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mix Tape From a Marriage

Last weekend, Jeff and I drove up to the North Shore of Massachusetts to see our dear friends Mike and Lindsay get married (Jeff, who has known Mike since kindergarten, also photographed the wedding).

The trip took 4 hours and change, so we brought along our little travel sleeve of CDs, which I haphazardly threw together sometime back in 2005 and which we are always too lazy to change. What this means is that we have basically three options on any car trip: Django Reinhardt, Miles Davis, and The Eminem Show. But on Saturday we discovered, towards the back of the sleeve, a fourth option: “MIX FOR JEFF BY UNA.” Undated.

 Hey, Staples, I'm giving you free advertising! You now owe me for life.

An aural time capsule! Jeff practically drove us off the road lunging to put it into the CD player.

Here's what it sounds like, apparently, if I love you:

Track 1: “I Don’t Know What to Do With Myself,” The White Stripes
Sample lyrics: I just don't know what to do with myself/I don't know what to do with myself/Planning everything for two/Doing everything with you/And now that we're through/I just don't know what to do
Message: When Jeff and I first hooked up in the spring of '03, the album Elephant had just been released, so we listened to it pretty much non-stop, mostly while getting high and screwing our brains out. (Sorry, Mom and Dad! There's really no other way to put it.) So it's a nostalgia track. We also broke up for six months shortly after that spring (which led me to write verbose, bleeding-heart prose poems), so the fact that it's also a breakup song is apt.
Jeff's reaction: Passive acceptance.

Track 2: “Teenage Dirtbag,” Wheatus
Sample lyrics: I'm just a teenage dirtbag baby, like you. Oooo-ooooooooooh.
Message: I like obscure bands! There is more to me than Madonna's Immaculate Collection! I am sensitive and insecure.
Jeff reaction: Bemused resignation. (This may have been effected by my insistence upon singing entire song at top volume.)

Track 3: “Rumpshaker,” Wreckx-n-Effect
Sample lyrics: I like the way you comb your hair (UH!)/I like the stylish clothes you wear (UH!)/It's just the little things you do (UH!)/that makes me wanna get with you (UH!)
Message: All I wanna do is zoom-a-zoom-zoom-zoom and a boom-boom. (Read: take your clothes off.)
Jeff reaction: Reluctant foot-tapping.

Track 4: “Such Great Heights,” The Postal Service
Sample lyrics: I am thinking it’s a sign/That the freckles in our eyes are mirror images/And when we kiss they’re perfectly aligned
Message: I lie in bed thinking about your irises and naming our future children.
Jeff reaction: SKIPS PAST SONG AFTER ONE SECOND. (I think he may have shuddered.)

(At this point I should mention that almost every song that gives me the warm fuzzies about Jeff turns out to be a song that Jeff hates. “Stay With You” by John Legend comes to mind – back in the summer of 2007 I had what I thought was the great and romantic idea to have a friend sing it at our wedding, so I sat Jeff down and played it and gave him meaningful looks and held his hand at meaningful times, and at the end he just kind of went, “Eh.”)

Track 5: “Let’s Hear It For The Boy”
Sample lyrics: My baby may not be rich, he’s watching every dime/But he loves me, loves me, loves me/We always have a real good time
Message: You are not perfect but I love you anyway. You know what else I love? Footloose.
Jeff reaction: SKIP (!) “You made this for the most effeminate man alive.”(He has a point.)

Track 6: “Holdin’ Out For a Hero,” Bonnie Tyler
Sample lyrics: Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed?/Late at night I toss and turn and dream
of what I need/I need a hero/I'm holdin' out for a hero till the end of the night
Message: No, I mean I really love Footloose.
Jeff reaction: SKIP (!) (I guess someone's not exactly a white knight upon a fiery steed...)

Track 7: “The Tower of Learning,” Rufus Wainwright
Sample lyrics: I saw it in your eyes, what I'm looking for/I saw it in your eyes, what will make me live
Message: I think about your eyes maybe more than is normal (see Track 4).
Jeff reaction: SKIP. Gay!

Track 8: “It’s Always You,” Chet Baker
Sample lyrics: Whenever it's early twilight/I watch 'til a star breaks through/Funny, it's not a star I see/It's always you
Message: I am sitting outside your bedroom window right now with a boom box, a Peter Gabriel tape, and maybe also some chloroform. 
Jeff reaction: Awwwww.*”

*This heartwarming moment was tempered somewhat by the following exchange:
Me: Didn't Chet Baker die young?
Jeff: No, but he was a heroin addict. He hid out in Europe in the 60s and lost all his teeth.

Track 9: “Cheek to Cheek,” Fred Astaire
Sample lyrics: Heaven, I’m in heaven/And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak/And I seem to find the happiness I seek/When we’re out together dancing cheek to cheek
Message: I like either slow dancing with you or doin' da butt. I wish the lyrics were more specific.
Jeff reaction: Smile, hand on my knee.

Track 10: “Let’s Get it On,” cover by Jack Black from High Fidelity soundtrack
Sample lyrics: Let’s get it on.
Message: Let’s get it on.
Jeff reaction: “Stop it, I'm trying to drive.

We can't figure out exactly when I made and mailed this mix CD, but it was likely sometime in 2004, when Jeff was living in Cambridge, Mass. (and I was making a Fung Wah bus pilgrimage every other weekend in the name of young love). Still, that was only a few months after we started seriously dating, so I'm impressed with myself for really letting my musical freak flag fly. Love it or hate it, this mix is me: unabashedly cheesy, indulgently schmaltzy, awkwardly sexy, instantly nostalgic.

Now the pressure's on Jeff to produce a list of songs that make him all moony about me -- while my husband is very loving and demonstrative, he has never made me a mix tape. Feel free to heckle him in the comments.
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Past Due

This post is not funny. I just want to put that out there, in case you are having one of those days when you need a laugh. I won't be offended if you skip over to some other blog for the day and revisit this later, once you've had a few beers and that Sarah McLachlan commercial about abandoned dogs comes on TV and you're ready for some FEELINGS.

For those of you still with me, here goes:

Today was supposed to be my due date.

That was what happened in January. I found out I was pregnant. Then I found out it wasn't viable. Then I had a miscarriage. At almost twelve weeks.

[Deep breath.]

I debated writing about it. Ever since it happened I've wanted to write about it, but I didn't want to upset anyone, make anyone uncomfortable, cross any lines.

Then I thought of the flip side: The people it could help, the people who might find comfort in knowing they weren't alone, the women (or men) desperately Googling "blighted ovum" or "sonogram no embryo" who might end up here instead of on some cold, frightening WebMD message board.

When I found out I was pregnant I started a new blog. I figured that way I wouldn't have to rehash everything when I finally told you. Even though events took a turn for the worse, I'm still glad I kept a record. I still don't feel like rehashing. If you want to read it, you can find it here.

It's actually kind of funny. Please don't be offended -- humor is my crutch. Plus, there's plenty of depressing stuff, too -- something for everyone!

I hope it goes without saying that I don't expect anyone to tell me about their own miscarriages or other struggles in the comments (although if you feel comfortable doing so you're welcome to). If you would like to respond without making it public, you can always email me.

P.S. Thank you to everyone who weighed in on the "Where's the Line -- or the Lie" post. Your support means so much to me. This isn't a new direction for the blog, it's just... well, it just is what it is. It's just something I needed to write.
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Unabrow: Searching For My Heritage (Half-Assedly on Wikipedia)*

(This is excerpted from an essay I'm working on, because I'm elbow-deep in a Project Runway recap* I have to finish.

*I was going to say elbow deep in Heidi Klum, but most of you are just now having your coffee and I don't want to throw out any fisting jokes until at least after lunch -- you are welcome.

Aaaaaaaaanyway.)


So here's something I discovered on the magical Internet: having a unibrow is actually a medical condition called synophrys. Isn’t that cute? I even thought of calling this post Synophrabulous! but I didn’t think people would get it. Anyway, there’s not much about synophrys on the worldwide web—if you can believe it, no one has ever thought to write a cultural history of unibrows. Most of the entries say things like:
The unibrow conventionally has negative associations in western [sic] culture, and is the reason why many people remove excess hair between the eyebrows.[citation needed]
Oh, Wikipedia. The citation you’re looking for, I believe, is "No shit, Sherlock." Here’s another one:
In Western perception, a unibrow may make a person seem ugly, fierce, grumpy, or over-serious… Among Western women, the region between the brows is often plucked, waxed, shaved, or treated with electrolysis or other forms of depilation.
OK, first of all, ladies, do not shave your eyebrows. I say that from experience. But more importantly, what about women in other cultures? Surely there must be somewhere that unibrows are coveted. Aha!
…In some non-Western cultures this facial hair does not have a stigma, and may even be seen as a sign of feminine beauty, as in Caucasus or in Iran, where connected eyebrows are a sign of virginity and being unmarried.
That’s interesting. Jeff is third-generation Armenian—part of the Caucasus! (Which he had to inform me of, sadly, as I am worthless at geography). While I didn’t have a unibrow when we met, maybe he could sense it there, like a phantom limb, and heard the voices of his ancestors whisper “This is the virgin for you.” Unfortunately, I suspect, the correlation between synophrys and celibacy is one of cause and effect.

The general Internet consensus on unibrows seems to be that no one has ever done a scientific study on them (except when they are the byproduct of a disease like Cornelia de Lange syndrome) because everyone hates them and that is a known fact. From what I can glean, the first official vilification of monobrows came courtesy of a guy named Cesare Lombroso (1836-1909). Called “the father of modern criminology,” Lombroso was convinced that you could identify a criminal by certain physical traits, including projecting ears, left-handedness, weak eyes, and—you guessed it—joined eyebrows. Actually, even just being extra hairy was suspect to Lombroso, whose sketches of criminals kind of resembled Early Man. (As Lombroso was Italian, I cannot believe he wasn’t used to extra body hair.) Apart from Lombroso’s reports, however, according to the Uncyclopedia (yes, all of my research materials are this trustworthy--why do you ask?), “there have been no serious scientific studies of the unibrow in culture or whether certain ethnic groups are more prone to developing a unibrow or not, though it is likely caused by an excess of testosterone.”

Quite frankly, if I have too much testosterone, that would explain a lot more than my eyebrows (and, increasingly as I grow older, hair in other dismaying places). It would shed some light on why I chopped off my curls and insisted on playing with He-Man figures as a child, or why I was the only girl in my preschool class to cross heteronormative lines on Halloween by dressing as Peter Pan. Sadly, nothing can explain the Donnie Whalberg doll I purchased circa 1990, at the height of NKOTB mania. If I am really a man, I must be gay.

*Obviously, the title of my forthcoming memoir
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Monday, August 23, 2010

The Best Part of Waking Up... Is Not Being Dead

Free marriage tip (Monday morning special):

Rousing your sleeping husband after he has worked a 12-hour day by screaming, as you are driving down I-95 in torrential rain after approximately six Diet Cokes, "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I can’t see the lines on the rooooooooooooooooooad!" is like the opposite of an aphrodisiac. Turns out, the sexual antonym for oysters is imminent death. The More You Know.

In my defense, I panicked. I went into my safe-mode, which is composed entirely of shrieking and making inappropriate references to early 90s hip hop lyrics.

Once we were safely parked in the Denny's lot, I turned to my shaken spouse.

"I'm sorry, " I said. "I had to check myself before I wrecked ourselves."
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Curmudgeon of the Week: The Fine Pair

Ladies and gentlemen, as Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino might say, we have ourselves a situation. Don't worry! No Valtrex required.

It's just that -- I may tear up here -- my last Curmudgeon of the Week was last Friday. And a mere eight days later, I have another. You are making an honest woman out of me, people!

I got such a great response after I posted L's COTW that now I have enough curmudgeons to last me practically through the end of the year. It's a Christmas miracle, y'all. Every time a bell rings, I don't have to think of a new blog post because I already have like 20 in the bag. BAM! In your face, Clarence.

This week, feast your eyes on the... um, well, The Fine Pair, a loyal reader and frequent commenter.

Sexiest COTW ever! Except, obviously, for this stone cold fox.

Name: They call me The Fine Pair because of my beautiful big eyes. Really.

Age: 34

Provenance: Portugal (Yes, it's a real country, y'all!) [Ed note: That y'all was her, not me. We are like ghetto contraction soul mates.*]

*I wanted to use a better adjective than "ghetto," so I Wikipediaed "y'all" -- and while I did not find a better adjective, that Wikipedia page is a GIFT. The sample usage sentences are particularly choice. Anyway, sorry, I'll butt out of TFP's COTW now. Does this tiny type make me look like I'm whispering? I like to think it's like I've just taken a huge hit of helium. 

Occupation: Badass-blogger wannabe. (My badass blog - or just bad altogether - http://theboobschronicles.blogspot.com/)

When did you first self-identify as a curmudgeon? Let's see: an 18-hour labour that left my mom black and blue all over, even the nurses cursed the hell out of me; broke up with my first "boyfriend" at the age of nine, after my first grown-up kiss; literally kicked ass at soccer, and some boys' too (a totally guy's sport here); was a nerdy kissing-slut (a very rare and dangerous combination) all through high school; made my English teacher's life miserable during my freshman year; and then they gave me my driver's license. My vileness could no longer be locally contained, and all hell broke loose.

Who’s the curmudgeon (living or dead, historical or contemporary) you most identify with and why? George Carlin. We both like people, we just can't stand them for too long. He could endure the pain for a minute, minute and a half... Boy, that man had crazy super-human stamina! Me, I'm just human - 20 seconds of close interaction, at best.

What do you hate that other people inexplicably love? Justin Bieber, spoof movies (why??), those emo-looking-up-at-the-camera-pouting-your-lips Facebook pictures, Farmville, fricking relaxing zen music or machines that reproduce nature sounds, and any kind of liquor chocolate candy (that's just a waste of good chocolate and alcohol, come on!).

You are Dante. What, in order from least to most excruciating, are your nine circles of hell?

1st Circle - Pigheadedness (particularly on stupid clueless people).

2nd Circle - Dishonesty.

3rd Circle - Meanness.

4th - 8th Circles - STUPIDITY!

9th Circle - Publicly mortifying another being through acts, words and/or physical violence.

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? Celebrity sextapes. There's a recession going on and the porn industry is the only thing keeping the Dow Jones up. These cheesy second-rate celeb performances are ruining the industry's good rep. And making me sick in the process.

Let's lighten up. What makes you all warm and fuzzy inside? (Your heart can’t be COMPLETELY charred.) Listening to great music, singing and dancing, sunshine and warm weather, my family, close friends, a good book. And water, I love water.

What's your favorite curse word/phrase? "Up yours!" I find that it goes with everything I wear.

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

Dear Kidney Stone,

You were a guest of mine for two weeks and, as far as guests go, you suck big time! You showed up uninvited, put me in the hospital, made me puke my guts out, and the only gift you brought me was a fucking world of pain! Then, you took me to an overpriced specialist who put me on a dumbass medicine for my enlarged prostate (btw, of the female persuasion here!), which made me vomit even more, and who also prescribed me a concoption that made even the baddest of the bad colonoscopies in the world look like a wide-eyed puppy. Two whole days and nights of Puke-and-Crap Fest. Ah, the good times... Ten pounds and several hundreds of euros lighter, and a crater where my butthole used to be later, please, PLEASE, feel free to never come around again. Ever!

Do you want to be a Curmudgeon of the Week? Email me!
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Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Roundup: Hendricks, Hormones, and Hot Probs

  • I totally got a Hot Probs request, and not from a blood relative! Y'all know the drill -- got a hot prob? Email me. This is Heather. I mean, Tweety. I'm listening.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Texts From My Sister: Putting the Blind in Blind Date

"Dans Le Noir -- a French chain where diners eat in PITCH BLACK AND ARE SERVED BY BLIND WAITERS [emphasis Zoe's] -- plans to open an outpost on the Lower East Side's Norfolk Street, according to the Wall Street Journal."
How is this a thing? Someone tell me the appeal of this other than A) the restaurant gets to serve cheap old crap but no one can see it or B) you can gorge yourself without shame. Or C) great new spot for robberies and guys who grind themselves up on you in the subway.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Beavers, Balls, and Best Friends

I have written before on this blog about my beloved Bergen-Butler.

For the uninitiated (or those too lazy to click on the link above), Bergen-Butler is my urban family, formed at age 23. Bergen is shorthand for the boys, who lived on Bergen Street -- Alex, Bajir, and Kabir (Bajir and Kabir are not, as one might assume, Islamic twins, but rather exceedingly lovely and goofy and artistic white boys and best friends who were raised in the same Sufi community in Pennsylvania). Butler is shorthand for the ladies, who lived on -- wait for it! -- Butler Street: myself, Ellaree, and Betsy. Together we formed a brother/sisterhood rivaled only by the He-Man/She-Ra relationship in its raw power and feeling of unstoppable destiny*.

*I had to Wikipedia He-Man and She-Ra just now and I had always assumed they were lovers. I'm pretty sure I, um, made them lovers as a child, playing with their figurines. Oh, God. 

Anyway, in 2004 at another friend's wedding, Bergen-Butler made a pact that whenever one of us got married, we would all gather to celebrate it, and to reunite.

On Sunday, Kabir and his lovely bride Ani got married against the staggering backdrop of Mount Hood in Oregon.

This is Ani and Kabir.

And this is Alex pointing out Mt. Hood.

We spent Friday and Saturday nights at the airport HoJos, which was sketchy as hell. It was, however, located just steps from a 7-Eleven (and late-night drug dealing hub) that sold giant sheets of Rice Krispies treats. So it was, overall, a win.

No rehearsal dinner is complete without a 2-lb. block of partially-hydrogenated awesomeness. Betsy knows.

Our goal for the weekend, other than to watch Kabir get hitched, was to get as fat as possible, so we hit up Voodoo Donuts (tagline: "The magic is in the hole").


The bonus? Voodoo Donuts had a photobooth. It rivals Economy Candy now as the place I want my ashes scattered when I die.


Also, because I am actually a twelve year-old boy, I bought...

This, the only crappy photo in the post, was taken by me. All other photos courtesy of Jeff.

If you like beaver jokes, you'll love Oregon!

When not eating beaver (see?), we took Big Chill-esque group photos:



And I fulfilled a lifelong dream of being the top of a human pyramid/Ponzi scheme.


The human centipede, not pictured, was less successful. But our group jump was awesome, mostly thanks to Ellaree's entire body.


The only way to end the weekend was with some black-light pirate-themed mini-golf. I hustled Jeff, Alex, and Ellaree. What can I say?


I'm a baller.


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Saturday, August 14, 2010

I'm In Oregon This Weekend


For reals. (In Oregon for reals, not dysentery for reals. And FYI I made it to the Willamette Valley safely despite my illness. At the very last minute, though, we hit a rock and lost 7 oxen, 4 bullets, and my friend Ellaree.)

Back on Tuesday!
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Friday, August 13, 2010

Curmudgeon of the "Week": L

This is an actual reader, y'all -- and not related to me by blood, except if you buy into that we-are-all-sons-of-Adam crap in which case, fine, she's probably my 17th cousin thrice removed.

I'm anointing her Curmudgeon of the "Week," with the understanding that the word in quotations could actually come to mean "Month," "Quarter," "Year," or possibly even "Decade," depending on how lazy I am.

Anyway, meet L. She doesn't even have a blog to pimp. UPDATE: She totally does! Visit it here! She just has vitriol that needs to get out. Come to mama, L. I am like the bitch exorcist.

(Disclaimer: This post is probably not appropriate for children, if "bitch exorcist" wasn't enough of a clue.)


Name: L

Age: 25

Provenance: Southern California

Occupation: Waitress at a theme park in Anaheim, CA

When did you first self-identify as a curmudgeon? I’m sure my Mother would say when I was my high school year book’s editor in chief and fired over 50% of my staff because they were “lazy butt heads.” I would say when I started working for said theme park at age 19. It made me realize how incredibly stupid people are and made me hate with a fiery passion: strollers, obese people in Hoover-Rounds that run over my heels while eating turkey leg, and people who are too lazy to read signs or maps.(It’s basically like free birth control every time I clock on. )

Who’s the curmudgeon (living or dead, historical or contemporary) you most identify with and why? Bea Arthur is my curmudgeon soul sister. We both cast mad crazy judgment with our faces.

What do you hate that other people inexplicably love? There are so many things! Babies, pickles, ranch dressing, PDA, Megan Fox, Avatar, Pooh Bear, NASCAR, The Jersey Shore, U2, sushi, beer, potato salad, shabby chic, the term “hubby.” This is just the Reader’s Digest version because I could go on.

You are Dante. What, in order from least to most excruciating, are your nine circles of hell?

1. Heresy (I don’t agree with the dogma of the church b/c I’m not Catholic, so I’m already going to hell in a cute little wicker hand basket.)

2. Lust (I never get any action so I’m almost constantly in this level of hell.)

3. Gluttony (I work where people are always eating, so it would be like an eternity of working, crappy, but I could deal with it.)

4. Wrath or Sloth (Again, this would be like being at work forever, I could deal.)

5. Avarice or Greed (I enjoy collecting/hording/spending money. I’m Scottish and Jewish…I kind of have to collect money, it’s in my DNA.)

6. Limbo (I don’t like indecisiveness, take a side, make a decision already!!)

7. Violence (I watch WAY too much Law and Order so I hate people that are violent, especially those that are against animals. Those people need to die by getting their balls cut off.)

8. Fraud (Liars piss me off to the nth degree.)

9. Betrayal (People that screw other people over are raging buttholes and if I had to be with them forever I’d want to sit on a knife!!)

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? Parents that do nothing while their child screams like a banshee from hell while in a public setting. Those people are the worst.

Let's lighten up. What makes you all warm and fuzzy inside? (Your heart can’t be COMPLETELY charred.) Fuzzy baby animals are my kryptonite, mostly kittens and sea otters.

What's your favorite curse word/phrase? Motherfuckingsonofabitch. Lengthy, but it gets the point across.

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

(I’m 12 words over. Worth it!)

Ex-Roommate:

You are a sociopath, a spoiled brat, entitled, smug, lying, slutty, twat. I would call you a whore but that would be an insult to whores, who are more intelligent than you. They are at least smart enough to get paid for being slutty. How do I know you are a slut?

1. I’ve never met any of your friends who you have NOT doinked.

2. You said this “Doesn’t the thought of sucking cock just make your mouth water?” No, it does not, mostly because I’m not a crazy slut like you! Please never reproduce because you are a horrible person and the world at its capacity for crazy skanks.

Do you want to be a Curmudgeon of the Week? Email me!
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fun With Dick and Jane (Eyre)


Oh, see. Oh, see Jane. Funny, funny Jane.

Run, Jane, run.

Oh, wait. You can’t. Locked in room with uncle’s ghost.

(This was going to make me millions, like that guy who rode Pride and Prejudice Zombies all the way to the bank.)

Go, go, go. Go to school. Oh see, see Jane at school.

Uh-oh! Typhus epidemic.

(But it turns out I didn't actually read Jane Eyre, so I know dick about Jane. It also turns out that the SparkNotes are really confusing. What happens to a dream deferred again? Does it explode? Or does it stop blogging and watch Top Chef on Hulu?)
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Will Never Live Up To Steven Slater

Well, guys, it’s time to quit our jobs.

I mean, we have to – it’s a pop culture phenomenon this week. It’s trending on Twitter. We have to strike while the iron is hot, and before we remember that we already owe enough money on our mortgages and credit cards that if we lived in the Middle Ages we would probably be dying of typhoid in debtor’s prison right now.

It all started, of course, with Steven Slater, the JetBlue flight attendant and most amazing airplane hero since Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger, who cursed out a rude passenger via intercom, grabbed a few beers, and made a slow clap-worthy getaway using the emergency landing slide. This settles once and for all that the majority of people with the surname Slater are awesome (argument for: Christian; argument against: A.C.).

 
 This man takes full advantage of the exit row.

Then – although this turned out to be a hoax – photos of a pretty girl quitting her broker job via a series of dry erase board messages* went viral.

*She “quit” because her boss called her a HOPA, or “hot piece of ass.” Um, shouldn’t that be HPOA? I’m confused.

I myself have never been able to live the dream of quitting a terrible job in a heroic fashion.

When I was in college I worked for a few months in the campus center, refilling potato salad and greasy wax beans and cleaning up the Belgian waffle station (and seriously, guys, if the future of mankind depended on being able to make a waffle without dripping half of the batter on the counter in the process, we would be fucked.)

Anyway, I didn’t like it, so I took to taking (yeah, “took to taking.” I’m a wordsmith, what can I say?) extended smoke breaks in front of the building – directly beneath my boss’ window, in fact – while still wearing my uniform. I got fired and stole a few loaves of bread. It was totally lame.

Right after college I got a job as the assistant to a film producer. I worked out of her home – specifically out of her 10 year-old daughter’s bedroom. Her very openly gay husband didn’t work and spent all day at the gym. The producer was a real bitch, so after two months I told her I couldn’t hack it. “I’m having a really rough time in my life right now,” I said. “Maybe you should consider waitressing,” she said. “Maybe you should consider marrying someone who doesn't subscribe to Butt magazine!" I said. No, I didn't. I slunk away and licked my wounds.

The only time I came close to revenge was when I left a publishing job a few years ago. I told my bosses about another offer I’d received, allowed them to counter (they didn’t), and gave two weeks’ notice like a decent person. Then I heard that the CEO had referred to me as a “fucking cunt.”

I anonymously reported him to the IRS.

He never got audited though. So it was kind of a revenge fail in the end.

Hence the title of this post.
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sassy's Mom Gets A Piercing

"I'm going to get some more piercings," my mother announced recently, out of the blue.

As a child, you never expect to hear your parents say certain words. Like the time I heard my dad call someone a cocksucker for the first time when someone cut him off on the highway. You never expect to hear your dad say "cock," much as you don't expect your mother to say "piercings" or "gonorrhea" (as she did memorably during a 1997 birds-and-bees talk over lunch at a Chinese restaurant in our neighborhood. I never did finish my lo mein.) I mean, you know that technically they can say make the sounds for words like those with their lips and tongues and teeth, but you trust that they won't, so as not to make their children's eardrums spontaneously implode from the force of the shame.

"Piercings? As in plural?" I asked gingerly, glancing at my mother's traditionally-pierced ears, the only holes in her body not present at birth. "Like... where?"

"I'm getting two more in my right ear and one in my left," she said, and I sighed with relief. There were so many ways that our conversation could have taken a turn for the worse.

Don't get the wrong idea -- my mother isn't a thrill-seeking biker chick (not that there's anything wrong with that). But she has always really accepting of whatever I chose to do to my appearance. She took me to get my ears pierced when I was six, simply because I asked. And when I called her in 10th grade to get permission to dye my hair black, she actually laughed.

"Honey, please," she said. "Call me when you get a tattoo!"

Three years later, when I actually did get a tattoo, I didn't call her, mostly because I was drunk but also because I was certain she'd try to talk me out of it. I was nervous showing it to my parents, and it is to their credit that they took it in stride, especially considering that of all the images to imprint on my skin for eternity I chose a silhouette of Tinker Bell from Peter Pan that made her look kind of like a mudflap girl. When I unveiled my new tat, still shiny with Bacitracin, all my mom asked was, "Is that permanent?" And when I said yes, she shrugged as if to say, what's done is done. "Just don't get a tongue ring," she said.

Three years later, when I got my tongue ring... just kidding, I don't have a tongue ring. That would have been awesome though. I should get one just to make this story better. Right, Mom?

P.S. This post has no photos because... well, just don't Google "piercing Mom," okay? It will have the same effect on your appetite as your mother blithely rattling off the symptoms of various STDs.

P.P.S. You want a picture? You got it.


(That's me and my college BFF Meredith, at our 5 year reunion. Her parents were not so jazzed about the tat, but that's what you get for letting your daughter run with a badass renegade like me.)
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Monday, August 9, 2010

Romp and Circumstance

As I'm sure you've noticed, Jeff likes to take pictures of me. It's quite flattering. And, sometimes, lucrative.

Like the other week, when we were on vacation, Jeff goes, "I want to take pictures of you wearing a pretty dress." And I was like, "Um, all I brought is jeans and a variety of stained tank tops, seeing as we're on vacation. And also a sports bra that holds an entire bottle of Zinfandel."

"Well, I'll buy you a pretty dress, then," he said, and I think I may have actually made the cha-ching motion with my elbow, because it's not every day I get rewarded for being a slob.

Anyway, Jeff and I went dress shopping -- which he enjoys perhaps more than a straight man should -- but couldn't find anything that's both wearable and less than $100. We finally ended up at a little discount store, where I spied something soft and ruffly and lavender on a rack outside.

"This isn't so ba--" I began, but then gasped and dropped my hand.

"What?" Jeff asked.

"It's..." I started backing away slowly. "It's a... romper."

Jeff's eyes lit up. "I'm getting it!" he said, and bounded off to the cash register before I could stop him. (It was only $20, a price I would soon realize was insultingly high.)

That evening's photo shoot required some liquid courage on my part, and even then I only posed for a few shots before I had to jump out of the romper and take a hot shower, scrubbing the sin off of me with a loofah.

I made a valiant attempt at looking badass, but instead I looked like Romperette, a sixth-string Marvel superhero benched indefinitely for her lackluster costume and useless superpowers, which include...

  • Getting fully naked in order to urinate
  • Looking like Little Edie Beale on a bender
  • Viciously cutting people off at the most unflattering part of the thigh
  • Camel toe

So now you know why I hate rompers. It's not that they don't look good on anyone... it's that they don't look good on me.

Let's never speak of this again.
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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Where's The Line - Or The Lie?

Yesterday I went to a really interesting panel discussion at BlogHer about where to draw the line in personal blogging. The basic question was: Where do you draw the line about what you will blog about and what you won’t? And can you claim to be writing true stories when you might edit, exaggerate, or even plain make stuff up? This question is something I’ve grappled with a lot over the last four and a half years, and even more so recently. I was so inspired by the panel -- that included the hilarious and lovely Bloggess, Jenny Lawson -- that I sat right down in the middle of the Hilton hotel and started to write. Here’s what came out.

A few months ago, someone told me that they thought my blog was, basically, a lie.

Let me explain.

I have always been a perfectionist. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t feel the need to succeed, impress, and, above all, make the people around me comfortable and happy (Jeff might dispute this last point, but baby -- I can’t control my hormones, okay? They’re like Dementors, manifesting every time Harry Potter and friends stray too far from the grounds of Hogwarts OR whenever I am within seven days of my next period.)

Anyway, the point is that this perfectionism, over time, evolved into something less healthy than simple ambition and drive. It got to the point where if my life wasn’t perfect, I would lie. Sometimes I would lie outright, and sometimes I would lie by omission. I would scramble to cover up any cracks in the surface. Fear, anxiety, sadness, self-hatred, self-destruction -- none of this was allowed to show. When I was a teenager I had bad breakouts that lasted through my early twenties (and which have recently made a resurgence -- I’d like to take this moment to say a big fuck you to adult acne). I would spend hours painstakingly covering my blemishes and, later, scars, with heavy concealer. Sometimes I would wash my face halfway through the day and reapply, quite literally obsessed with putting on a good face. This strikes me now as a perfect metaphor for how I hid my emotional pain, too. I had some serious problems in my twenties that I successfully hid from my family and friends for many years.

Over the past decade I’ve made incredible progress with accepting my flaws and expressing my feelings. In many ways, this blog is both a reflection of and a tool for that progress But the truth is that I don’t often write about pain on this blog. And that’s why this person suggested (albeit gently, and without malice) that my blog walked the line between the truth and a lie.

His point was that since I choose to write only about funny, quirky, happy parts of my life, I’m lying by omission. I’m giving you, my readers (the ones who don’t know me personally, anyway) the impression that I don’t have any problems, that my life is one big, charming Scene From a Marriage, interspersed with hilarious follies and, of course, lots of drinking.

I don’t, for the record, believe that you think this. I trust that you are smart enough to realize that this blog is not a straightforward diary of my life, but an edited selection of pieces of information I choose to share.

When I started the blog, it was fairly free-form. Some posts were funny, some weren’t. But I found that I most enjoyed writing the funny posts, that I had a knack for it and got a great response from you guys, and so for the past two years I’ve steered the blog away from anything too messy or sad or emotionally complicated. This has become, with few exceptions, a humor blog. Which, on the one hand, I love, but on the other hand, can feel limiting. You know how people (well, not anybody I’d want to be around, but some people) say “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?” Well, if I don’t have something funny to say, I feel like I can’t say anything. I’ve painted myself into a corner. Or blogged myself into it, I guess. Anyway, I’m sick of being in the corner. Nobody puts Baby in the corner! (No one has ever called me Baby but whatever, you get it. And also, yes, in this scenario I am both Jennifer Grey and Jerry Orbach. And now I have to be Patrick Swayze, too, and drag myself out.)

In January of this year, I went through a really upsetting and difficult experience. I’m sorry to be vague right now, but I’m still figuring out how to share it with you -- I guess this post is an exploration of that conflict. Anyway, this thing happened, and my first instinct was to write about it. Which I did. But not here. There are a number of reasons why I didn’t write about it at the time, but a big one was this: It wasn’t funny. At all.

If you go back to my January posts, you’ll see an uninterrupted schedule of my regular, irreverent blogging. Reading it you’d never know that I was struggling. It’s a lie -- there’s no other way to say it. I was lying. I wanted you to think everything was fine.

So I guess all of this is to say, I guess I’ve been drawing my line between things that are light and funny and things that are heavy and potentially upsetting or sad. My blog is like the opposite of The Real World: When things stop getting real and start being polite! (Okay, not polite like not using the word douche every other post polite, but not sucking you into my personal demons polite.)

I know the two (funny and sad, light and heavy, polite and really fucking real) aren’t mutually exclusive, and I think they might even be able to overlap from time to time without horribly offending anyone. But I have my work cut out for me.

If you’re a blogger, where do you draw the line? Do you even have one? And how do you find the courage to cross it?
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Friday, August 6, 2010

BlogHer Bound

So I'll be at BlogHer this weekend -- my first time -- flying solo. If any of you readers are there, email me immediately and then come find me so I have someone to talk to. I'll be the girl in the corner stuffing muffins* into her purse, with the unibrowed still life as her desktop background.

*They have muffins, right? All I know is that conferences have muffins and shoulder pads. At least, if Big Business is to be believed.
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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Scene From A Marriage: You've Got Mail

(I'm hiding Jeff's email because I know you will try to steal him otherwise. Admit it. It's the 'stache.)


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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What I Did Over My Summer Vacation, or The One Where I Test-Drive The Wine Rack

Hey, guys, I'm back from vacation!


But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's rewind.

As you know -- since I blogged and Tweeted and posted on Facebook about it approximately every five seconds since I discovered that it existed, my eyes swelling with tears and my esophagus shuddering with what was either pleasure or gag reflex -- I recently purchased The Wine Rack.

The before-and-after photos were pretty seductive. I mean, who wants to be sad with no boobs when you could be drinking and showing off your tanned, rippling abs at the same time? (Also, suddenly your jeans time-travel from 1992 to 2010 and you get a sweet belt!)


Unfortunately, as I found out this weekend, the road from before to after does not run smooth. (Also, I can't get any darker than the color of uncooked shrimp. It's genetic. And also, the belt? False advertising.)


But to answer your burning questions -- Did it work? Was it awesome? -- I must borrow a phrase from multi-platinum artist and noted crack detractor Whitney Houston: Hell to the no.

I have to admit that I was not optimistic, hence my purchase of a bottle of cheap rose I could easily stand to waste:


It all started off OK. Despite the sports bra being extremely snug, the colostomy bag full of White Zinfandel slid in easily enough...



But when I tried to drink from the attached catheter/bicycle pump, I found I had my work cut out for me. No amount of sucking (and trust, I was sucking hard, which unfortunately my mother witnessed and can back me up on) would move the wine up the tube -- I actually had to milk myself by pushing on my boob...


...Which back-fired when I lowered my arm and gravity sent wine shooting out all over me. (Note that despite my angry, confused expression I am still fondling myself.)


Once I had determined that for actually drinking wine, the Wine Rack is useless, I lightened up.


Another thumbs down: I soon realized, after my enthusiastic milking, that the wine did not flow easily between the breast-sized chambers of the plastic bag attachment. In the end, I had one ripe, Zinfandel-filled chesticle and one withered, empty one.


And I was sober.

So, to recap:

Wine Rack : $29.95
Barefoot White Zinfandel: $7
Your dignity: Eh.
Photos of your folly to last a lifetime: Priceless Well, actually, free, since it's digital.

P.S. Jeff thinks I should give away to Wine Rack to one of you guys, but I think that's mean. It smells like cheap wine and desperation.

P.P.S. Doesn't this make you want me to send me a free sample, Pajama Jeans manufacturer? DOESN'T IT????
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