Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Getting Carded



I don't know why I even bother with Christmas cards, I mean really. [Gulps wine.]

To paraphrase that MasterCard commercial:

40 fairly twee (but really it was the less...est? of 5 million evils that involved lots of candy cane graphics and fonts that might be best described as "Tinsel Ejaculation") holiday cards featuring a single photo of my adorable spawn that I designed on the internet: $80

40 special square envelopes in red because, apparently, plain ol' free white is not festive enough for Christmas Una: $2

40 85-cent (!) stamps because square envelopes require extra (!) postage (!!), which is something I only learned after I already bought the 40 twee, perfectly square holiday cards (!!!!!): $34

Mailing little pockets of goodwill to 40 of my closest family and friends: Priceless No, actually, $116! And that's not counting labor, i.e. all of the time I have to spend looking up people's zip codes.

I know, I know. You're wondering why I would shell out that much cash for actual mail when I could just slap up another Fresh Prince of Bel Air gif and call it a day.

Here's why: My grandma doesn't have email.

So I have to send her a card, because at the risk of sounding ageist, old people are weird about holiday cards. Not sending one is basically like telling them to eat a shit sandwich and die.

I have to send a card to my grandma. Which means that I also have to send a card to every other relative in the small town where my grandma and all of my dad's other relatives live. And they're gossipy Catholics so that's 20 right there.

And then if my dad's family all get cards, I have to send them to my mom's family, too, because otherwise I'm playing favorites (and also, I am someone who thought her Cheerios had feelings, so when it comes to actual humans I am hopeless).

And then I have to print some extras just in case I misspell (I just typed mispell, btw, so this is clearly a problem) someone's last name or accidentally get deodorant on the envelope (I DON'T KNOW HOW IT HAPPENS, IT JUST DOES SOMETIMES), because with exactly 40 envelopes for the freakish atypical square cards that require postage made from gold leaf and foie gras, there is no room for error.

(This also explains why I don't just get a box of blank cards and write heartfelt greetings. Nothing doing. I need that shit pre-printed.)

Oh, and disclaimer to anyone reading this who gets a Christmas card from me this year: It is because I am filled with the joy of the season and wish to spread it to you and yours, not for any of the aforementioned, more selfish and paranoid, reasons. Good tidings unto you, o blessed--

Eh, fuck it.

[More wine.]

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

30 Days of Thanks in 30 Seconds

On Facebook this month, my news feed has been full of people doing 30 Days of Thanks, where they express gratitude for something different approximately every 24 hours. Naturally I do not have time for this, as I am too busy trying to entertain a toddler with a shoebox, or listening to Jeff make inappropriate Elmo jokes--thanks to the recent controversy, it's really his moment to shine--and other extremely important things.

But being that today is Thanksgiving, I wanted to jump on the bandwagon in a half-assed way, as is my general wont. And instead of 30, I'm doing 13. Not because of that Jennifer Garner movie. Because 30 is a lot and I tire easily.

(And, side note, I hope it goes without saying that there are a lot more serious things that I'm thankful for. Like, if I had to choose between Hurricane Sandy relief efforts and gifs of Will Smith doing the Running Man, I would OF COURSE pick the first one. However, no matter what the New York Times says, I don't generally buy into the importance of being earnest, at least not on a blog that's mostly about watching Bravo and eating Girl Scout cookies out of the trash.)

So here's what I'm irreverently thankful for this year:

1. That human hands make turkeys so easy to draw.

I cannot take credit for this. I stole some kid's drawing off the internet. I picked this one because it looks like jazz hands AND testicles simultaneously.

2. That I finally learned how to save gif files and can therefore gift your eyeballs with these moveable feasts:





3. Children's toys on Amazon that sound, on paper, like S&M gear: Double Pounding Bench; Ring and Trap Combo; Deluxe Monkey Bouncer; Hammer Balls; Whipslammer;  Glow-in-the-dark Gimp.

4. The increasing ubiquity of places you can use a debit card, and for the kind vendors who refrain from judging me, at least to my face, for charging a bottle of water.

5. That my BFF Beth's husband Michael came up with the perfect way to describe Honey Boo Boo's mother, June: "She looks like a thumb."

Mean, but true.
6. Honest Toddler (which I suspect is written by Sam*).

*I know his name. You know his name. You know I know you know his name. I'm tired of worrying I'll forget and slip up with the initial. And writing "S." always makes me think about S. Epatha Merkerson. Not that she's not lovely; I'm sure she is. But she's not my baby--not in the biological sense, anyway. Not in the romantic way, either, I should clarify. Although I'm sure she'd be a wonderful partner. 

7. Digressions. Also, incomplete sentences.

8. Ira Glass, whose sweet, reedy voice on my This American Life podcast gets me through protracted bedtime sessions.

9. Louis C.K., Chris Messina, and (DO NOT JUDGE ME) Luis from 1980s-era Sesame Street, who are my current celebrity crushes.

10. Speaking of which, everything about 1980s-era Sesame Street. (But especially Luis... in tight bell bottoms and a muscle tee... singing about the letter U. Side note, he's 72 years old now, and I am gross.)

11. Banh Mi. I know I'm late to the party, but damn.

12. Fran Lebowitz, Nora Ephron, Tina Fey, Lena Dunham, and all of the other funny and brilliant women writers who inspire me on a daily basis. See? I can be kind of earnest.

13. Okay, fine, I'm too lucky to finish this list without gushing like George Bailey at the end of It's a Wonderful Life. I'm thankful for my husband, who is endlessly patient and even-tempered and silly and wise and warm and talented and devastatingly handsome, and who loves me for who I am, even when who I am is a histrionic Muppet who can't get a grip and see her life for the charmed wonder that it is. I'm thankful for my baby boy, who is sweet and hilarious and deliciously adorable, and who fills me with a joy that more than makes up for the (continued) sleep deprivation. I am thankful for all of my families, whose support and love I could not live without, and whose mild dysfunctions I would not trade for all the wine in Spain. I am thankful for my friends, whose support and love I also could not live without, and who help me to support the Spanish wine industry as we blame our families for our mild dysfunctions. I'm thankful that I get to do something I love for money, and that the next year will bring exciting new career milestones. And I'm so, so thankful for you guys, who take the time to read my writing here even though I don't have time to blog much anymore, and for encouraging me and boosting my ego with your kind, thoughtful, and funny comments--even though, like an asshole, I don't often respond.

Shit. "Like an asshole" isn't a very good way to end a surprisingly heartwarming ending to my Thanksgiving post.


There, that's better. Now go get your stuffing on.
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Monday, November 12, 2012

How to Be the Object of Chris de Burgh's and/or a Bloodhound's Unbridled Lust

Today I saw this link online:


Psssssht, I don't need to click that. What do you think I am, stupid? Common sense steps to achieve this look:
  1. Go to a farm or a ranch somewhere, or to the Arctic if you want a musk ox and not just a regular ox. I don't know if their blood is different. Maybe ask Dr. Oz?
  2. Slaughter ox. Strap to roof of car. (Maybe cover it with an old blanket or something to avoid suspicion/permanent stains.)
  3. Shrink-wrap your whole apartment, Dexter-style.
  4. Drain blood from ox. I don't know how to do this. Maybe ask Sarah Palin/Survivor Man?
  5. Dispose of ox (if it won't fit through your window, you will have to taxidermy and incorporate into your existing home decor.) 
  6. Drench self in ox blood.
  7. Mingle.
Shit, I forgot the most important step: Make sure it is fall.
"Oh no. It's May. I am so embarrassed."
Otherwise you'll look like an asshole.

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Friday, November 9, 2012

An Open Letter to Racists

Hello, racists*.

*Disclaimer to any Republican readers who did not disown me during my Epic Political Rantfest of '08: I do not assume that you are racist simply because of your party affiliation. This post is directed not at Republicans in general, but at awful fucking racists. 

I know that you're more comfortable communicating via misspelled, hand-lettered sign, but if you're reading this, I'm glad you stumbled upon my blog while searching for "Rush Limbaugh penis" or "Obama is Muslin."

I'm glad you're here even though I'm a lefty Jewess with body hair patterns that suggest my DNA probably doesn't trace back to the Mayflower. Because we need to talk.

Look, I understand that you're upset that President Obama got re-elected. But being extra racist about it will not undo the election results. In fact, maybe since there's a black president in the White House (and please shut up about how it's called the White House for a reason... by that logic, you're not allowed to own a BlackBerry, use a blackboard, play blackjack, or listen to Black Sabbath), you should actually try to be less racist.

Bear with me. The first step is to figure out what kind of racist you are. Tell me which of these sentences best describes you:

1. You Are Really Super Fucking Racist and Don't Even Try To Hide It

Nay, it is, in fact, HENCE WHY you are a racist.
Um, congratulations, I guess, on your honesty? I realize that there is no arguing with someone who doesn't think using the most famous racial slur in history is racist, so instead I'll just say: sucks for you, dude.

It sucks for you because--and I want you to appreciate the sweet irony here, you miserable douchebags--you are now in the minority. By no means do we live in a "post-racial" society, but I'm pretty sure at least 51% of Americans are not awful racists anymore. And if polling has taught us anything, it's that the younger the voter is, the more liberal they are likely to be. So, racists, you may not be willing to change, but the rest of the country is on its way. And with every passing year, society will become less and less tolerant of your relentless hate-spewing. Then someday, you will die, and your gay, biracial grandchildren won't even come to your funeral because they'll be too busy interning for the Jewish-Mexican transgendered lesbian who will by then be president. Boo ya.

2. You're Totally Not Racist, You Just Think Maybe Possibly Obama Really Was Born in Kenya

Pop quiz, hotshot:

Have you ever demanded to see the birth certificate of any other U.S. president?

No. But Obama's father was from Africa. Everyone else is Ameri--

Andrew Jackson's parents were BOTH Irish immigrants, fool. Woodrow Wilson's mother was from England. Herbert Hoover's mother was born in Canada. Don't you think we should look up their shit?

But England, Ireland, and Canada aren't the same as Africa, because--

Hold that thought, racist. Maybe instead of telling the President of the United States that he should go back to Kenya, YOU should go back to the 1820s. They didn't have flush toilets then, but that shouldn't be a problem for you since you're used to dumping all over everything, including other human beings' civil rights.

3. You're Not Racist At All And Believe Obama is American But Still Love That Firecracker Bill O'Reilly/Rush Limbaugh/Donald Trump/Karl Rove/Ann Coulter

Sorry, but the first rule of not being a racist is not consorting with other racists. STEP AWAY FROM THE CRAZY RACISTS.

Okay, now that you know what kind of racist you are, let's begin the healing.

Repeat after me:

I do not like President Obama.

That is my right under the constitution. In America we have freedom of speech, which is usually the excuse I use to say racist shit and get away with it.

But I can dislike the president for his political actions and personal beliefs without being a fucking racist about it.

Skin color has nothing to do with intelligence, judgment, morality, character, the ability to run a country, or the worth of a human life.

If it did, I would be a brilliant billionaire scientist and not someone who makes jokes about slavery on social media sites without even thinking to set them to private, because my frontal lobe is more empty and cobwebbed than Ann Coulter's chest cavity.

Now lock yourself in a room and look at this Obama Zoolander gif for 36 hours while listening to Wham!.... or the sound of your lonely, wracking sobs.


Later, haterz. FOUR MORE YEARS.

Love,
Una
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Monday, November 5, 2012

Free To Be... You and Me: Still Kind of Creepy After All These Years


This month marks the 40th anniversary of Marlo Thomas' charmingly oddball hippie propaganda album, Free To Be... You and Me, and since I'm trying to ignore my election-related diarrhea, I decided that today would be a good day to write an ode to FTB...YAM's delightfully unintentional creepiness.

To those of you who are all, Free to Be... You and Me was my jam and you shall NOT disparage it! take a look at Original Flavor® Michael Jackson™ pretending to be a little boy alongside a pigtailed Roberta Flack and then talk to me.


Mostly, I kid. FTB...YAM includes a lot of great messages, like telling kids they can be anything they want to be no matter what society considers normal, and that they shouldn't judge other people or subscribe to traditional gender roles. But there are a few tracks that stand out as kind of... freaky. And not in the '70s disco way:

Song: "Boy Meets Girl" (spoken word)
Intended Message: Making assumptions based on gender is wrong.
Hidden Message: Newborn infants are pushy and sound like Mel Brooks.
Creepiest Lyric/Line: Boy: You just shaved, right? Girl: Wrong.
Creepiness Rating, With 1 Being 1969 Motown Michael Jackson and 10 Being 2003 Molestation Trial Michael Jackson: 2 (It's pretty cute, actually. Except for the whole talking adult babies thing.)

Song: "Ladies First" (spoken word)
Intended Message: Don't be a selfish bitch.
Hidden Message: Animals might kidnap and eat you.
Creepiest Lyric/Line: And if it's all the same to you, Tiger, I wish you'd stop licking me. And untie me this instant! My dress is getting mussed.
Creepiness Rating, With 1 Being 1969 Motown Michael Jackson and 10 Being 2003 Molestation Trial Michael Jackson: 5

Song: "William's Doll"
Intended Message: Boys should be allowed to play with dolls if they want to.
Hidden Message: They will still get mercilessly mocked, though. Also, Alan Alda can sing--who knew?
Creepiest Lyric/Line: A doll, a doll, William wants a doll!/A doll, a doll, William wants a doll! (Packs of children singing a refrain is never not creepy. See also: M)
Creepiness Rating, With 1 Being 1969 Motown Michael Jackson and 10 Being 2003 Molestation Trial Michael Jackson: 3

Song: "Dudley Pipping and the Principal" (spoken word)
Intended Message: It's alright to cry, especially when you're falsely accused of sand table sabotage.
Hidden Message: Bureaucrats are assholes.
Creepiest Lyric/Line: Dudley ran into the principal. He had a long nose and fierce eyes. "Hello, Dudley. People are saying you tipped over the sand table at school today... you look like you're about to cry." (Paging Joe McCarthy!)
Creepiness Rating, With 1 Being 1969 Motown Michael Jackson and 10 Being 2003 Molestation Trial Michael Jackson: 3 (Because the actual song "It's Alright to Cry" is boss.)

Song: "Girl Land"
Intended Message: Girls no longer have to be subservient housewives, isn't that great?
Hidden Message: AAHHHH THERE'S A CREEPY CARNIVAL BARKER WHO'S PROBABLY GOING TO SELL YOU INTO SEX SLAVERY! RUN FOR YOUR LIIIIIIIFE!!!!
Creepiest Lyric/Line: Wonderful Girl Land, the island of joys, Where good little girls pick up after the boys! So come on in. Look about. You go in a girl ... and you never get out! (I mean, seriously, Marlo?)
Creepiness Rating, With 1 Being 1969 Motown Michael Jackson and 10 Being 2003 Molestation Trial Michael Jackson: 10.5

Girl Land... shudder. That still gives me flashbacks of bladder-empting terror.

I'd still take FTB...YAM over The Wiggles, though. Any day of the week. And I'd rather be strapped down and forced to listen to "Girl Land" on repeat for a week straight than entertain the reality of a Romney presidency.

Sorry, election paranoia sneaking in. So much for distracting myself. Here are the creepy babies. Sleep tight, America!


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