Sunday, May 30, 2010

Excuse Me, Miss? You've Got A Little Seaman on You

It's Fleet Week here in New York, and I didn't blog yesterday because I was busy running around Manhattan trying to find sailors for an article I'm working on. And since I have to save it for the article I can't really tell you much about what happened.

I know, I am such a tease.

What I can say that being a married woman flirting with sailors in a downtown frat bar was not my finest moment, but I got to wear the hat--a lifelong sailor fashion dream fulfilled!--and ultimately my six beers and I decided that made it all OK.
Have a great Memorial Day! Your regularly scheduled blogging will resume on Tuesday.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

TGI...WTF? You'll Shoot Your Eye Out

Reader Jessica alerted me to a disturbing trend: no longer content to simply snort cans of Redi-Whip or lick poisonous toads, kids today are TAKING SHOTS OF VODKA THROUGH THEIR EYEBALLS.

Shudder. I can't even commit to contacts.

Once I was using Nair (which I have since stopped using because--and all the ladies can back me up here--it smells like burrito farts) and accidentally touched my eye with a depilatory-covered finger. It burned like the fires of Hades, friends. Now I wear lab goggles for all of my personal grooming.

But seriously, a slightly quicker buzz is no reason to melt your cornea. Administering a shot of Stoli to the ocular nerve takes a second; an eyepatch is forever.

[P.S. I told Jeff about this phenomenon, which lead to the following conversation:

JEFF: Well, didn't you do anything like that when you were a kid, anything stupid?
ME: I snorted a Pixy Stix once.
JEFF: And?
ME: That's why I can't ever get the blue wedge in Trivial Pursuit.
JEFF: Didn't you ever steal from your parents liquor cabinet, or drink a bunch of cough syrup?
ME: Cough syrup? Ew, why not just steal liquor?
JEFF: It makes you trip your balls off.
ME: Isn't that what acid is for? Why drink something that tastes like Dr. Pepper mixed with baby vomit?
JEFF: You. Trip. Your. Fucking. Balls. Off.]

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go to the emergency room to have someone suction the NyQuil from my eye socket...

Disclaimer: Just in case there are any impressionable youngsters reading this, I want to make clear that I do not in any way condone getting high on cough syrup, stealing booze, snorting Pixy Stix (imagine purple snot and an ice cream headache that lasts for an hour) or putting vodka directly into your eyes. For the love of all that is good and holy please do not try any of these things at home.
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

A League of My Own

There was a time not long ago when I thought condoms were the most embarrassing thing one could purchase at the Duane Reade.*

*Non-NYers: this is a chain drug store, like a CVS

Turns out, this is not the case.


True story: I once saw a man in a West Texas Wal-Mart check-out line who was purchasing a box of bullets and a loaf of Wonder Bread. At the time, I got kind of judgy. But what if he was in line behind me tonight? Each purchase by itself might lead a stranger to jump to conclusions, but it's the combination that really speaks volumes.

Hey!, they seem to say,

I enjoy bathing my seventeen cats while sobbing uncontrollably to 90s romantic comedies.

or

Cutting off locks of my own hair to send to Tom Hanks has really done a number on my drain!

Oh, well. At least I wasn't also buying condoms.
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What Not To Drink: A Cautionary Tale

Have you ever seen that show What Not To Wear on TLC? (I like it because Stacy and Clinton frown on denim jumpsuits and once even made Blossom Russo stop wearing Canadian baseball jerseys--and, OMG, please do yourselves a favor and Google "Canadian baseball teams." Fuck the Toronto Blue Jays, give me the Weyburn Beavers!)

Anyway, point being, I've decided I will make my first million with my book, What Not To Drink, inspired by my freshman year of college. (As I've mentioned previously on the blog, "Beer before liquor, never sicker; liquor before beer, you’re in the clear" has never proven true for me. I go by my own mantras: “Add cheap vodka to Mountain Dew, you’ll be puking till you’re blue,” and “Milk is healthful and nutritious, but mixing it with booze is injudicious.”)

The Cloudy Martini (aka The Bombay Ass-fire)
  • Remains of bottle of Bombay Sapphire your roommate stole from a frat party after the dude she was hooking up with passed out listening to Jethro Tull
  • 1 cup milk
Strain ingredients into chilled martini glass. Garnish with cinnamon. Vomit as necessary.

The Little Voice
  • 2 parts Dubra vodka
  • 4 parts Mountain Dew
  • 1 part Cherry Kool-Aid
Mix ingredients in 20-oz. Mountian Dew bottle. Smuggle into British art-house film. Drink until you inexplicably start crying, then puke in the backseat of your friend's car.

The Pabst Yellow Ribbon
Get high. Decide beer mixed with lemonade would be the best idea ever. Prove self wrong.
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Monday, May 24, 2010

Scene From A Marriage: Gimme Some Sugar

SCENE: Friday night, after midnight. Jeff and I prepare for bed.

On my way to the bathroom, my sugar sonar picks up an errant Tootsie Roll on the floor near the pantry.

I must pick that up and eat it after I brush my teeth, I think to myself, as, somewhere, my dentist shudders.

I am so excited in the bathroom. What could be rote activities like washing my face, examining my face for new wrinkles, and flossing are elevated to new heights of enthusiasm knowing that I have a chewy little brown morsel awaiting me en route back to the boudoir.

Dramatic reenactment. Or reendrawment.

But when I go to claim my prize it has disappeared. I begin to experience symptoms of what my fifth grade self might have referred to as "a titty fit."

"WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY TOOTSIE ROLL?!?" I wail to Jeff, who is standing in the bedroom shirtless and displaying unmistakable bom-chicka-wah-wah eyes.

"Um, what?" he asks, backing away ever so slightly.

"I SAW A TOOTSIE ROLL ON MY WAY TO THE BATHROOM AND I WAS GOING TO GET IT ON MY WAY BAAAAAAACK!!! I MADE A MENTAL NOTE!!!!"

The bom-chicka-wah-wah fades, replaced by a look of abject terror last seen on the faces of passengers aboard commercial towing spaceship Nostromo when a shrimp-like alien burst through John Hurt's chest cavity.

"The Tootsie Roll on the floor?" he asks.

"Um, DUH." (I am well-versed in the art of foreplay.)

"I put it back in the bowl full of Tootsie Rolls in the pantry." He says "bowl full of Tootsie Rolls" like they are all the same. Jeff is a candy racist.

"BUT I WAS GOING TO PICK IT UP! I MADE A MENTAL NOTE!!!!" I am testifying to an invisible jury. They are nodding sympathetically.

"Why didn't you pick it up then?"

"BECAUSE I WAS SAVING IT!!!!"

"For what?"

"AS A REWARD!!!!"

"For... peeing?"

"FOR BRUSHING MY TEETH!!!!"

"That... makes no sense."

I then give Jeff my best "if-you-want-to-see-boobs-tonight-bring-me-my-midgie" eyes. And, because he is a good husband, he puts it back on the kitchen floor so that I can live out my fantasy.

Watching your wife pick up and then gnaw on a Tootise Roll she finds on the floor after a temper tantrum is not generally an aphrodisiac. But at this point, Jeff takes what he can get.


Bom-chicka-wah-wah.
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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Medical Mysteries Volume 5: Let's Talk About Sex

I was going to make this a TGI...WTF post but got distracted by my sister's amazing analysis of Eeyore's psychiatric profile ("Poor Eeyore. His friends are such dicks." Hahahahaha. And also, true.)

Anyway, I was at my mom's a few weeks ago and for some reason she whipped out my 20 year-old immunization card. I'm about to experience a slight gap in health coverage, so I can only assume she wanted me to have it as sort of a protective talisman. See, God? I got my measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine! And two tine tests! I'm a good person, please don't run me over by a truck just because COBRA is fucking expensive as shit!

Anyway, take a look at this and tell me... what is wrong with this picture?

"This information is needed when your child enters school..."


"... to confuse teachers as to which bathroom Una needs to use."

I'd shrug this off as a clerical error, but let's not forget that my Phi Beta Kappa letters are addressed to Mister, and that I was the only "girl" in my kindergarten class to dress as Peter Pan for Halloween.

Mother, is there something I should know?
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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Punky Reviewster: Sweet Sandy B

If you read this blog at all, even while sloppy drunk (and I hope there are at least a few of you), you know that I love food. It is a fact that when I was but a year old, I attempted to climb out the window of a moving car because there was fried chicken in the trunk.

You also know that of all the food in the world, I obsess over cookies the most. Specifically Girl Scout cookies. I even wrote an entire post about accidentally throwing two Samoas into my office garbage can and the mental anguish that ensued. In that post  I wrote that I hoped people might send me cookies in the mail, but it was a joke, like all  of my sexually suggestive references to Clive Owen (it's not like I hope he has Google Alert on his own name and reads them and gets inexplicably aroused, haha, but seriously Clive, call me.)

But you guys.

SOMEONE SENT ME COOKIES IN THE MAIL.

It started with an email:
Hello Una!
So, my name is Sandy. aka Sweet Sandy B.
I've been following your blog for a little while now and frankly, you crack my shit up.
I have this little side gig going on--I bake and decorate cakes (hence the Sweet Sandy B)
Every once in a while you give your thoughts on different items your readers/fans send you. I've been dancing around sending you some cookies for a while because I'm afraid of rejection. Being brutally honest. Let me know if I may send you some to sample.
I am not good at playing hard to get. I replied so fast my email looked like a breathless preteen's Youtube comment on a Justin Bieber video:
SANDY!!!!!!!!! OMG I LOVE COOOOKIES!!! EVEN IF YOU MADE THEM OUT OF BROKEN GLASS AND COW PATTIES AND BITS OF DISCARDED WEAVES I WOULD LOVE THEM LOLZ OH PLEASE MAIL THEM RIGHT AWAY. I MIGHT EVEN SEND A MESSENGER--THE MIDWEST'S NOT THAT FAR RIGHT? JEFF LOVES LONG WALKS. 
Less than a week later, I arrived home to find a box of homemade cookies (chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin oatmeal raisins with pecans) and a sweet little note on polka dot stationery. I wish I could say that I sat down with a plate of cookies and shot glasses full of milk, tasting everything slowly and thoughtfully, forming impressions for a thorough review while listening to classical music, or at least some classic Motown.

But actually what happened is like that scene from I Love Lucy when Lucy and Ethel are working in the candy factory, except in my case there was no conveyor belt and thus no real reason for me to stuff multiple cookies into my mouth, down my shirt, and into my hat while half-watching Billy Bush interview Donny Osmond on Access Hollywood.

Only in retrospect did it occur to me that a photo of the package might have been nice. I hope Sandy takes it as a compliment that I was too busy eating her delicious goods to properly document them. Here, however, is a photo from her blog, Sweet Sandy B. Bakes:


Sandy's cookies are almost as high as they are wide, forming perfect, pillowy globes that are crispy on the outside and ever-so-slightly chewy inside (in my view, the perfect cookie consistency). Her chocolate chip cookies are perfection--packed with chips, sweet but not cloying, and satisfyingly crispy without being tough. (Look at me, I'm like Frank fucking Bruni!) Oatmeal raisin cookies have never been my favorites (due to lack of chocolate), but Sandy's won me over, especially with the pecans. Less rich than the chocolate chip variety, they were a lovely palate cleanser, which I especially needed after staring for so long at Donny Osmond. What is up with his face? Does he drink the blood of virgins?

Anyway, after eating her cookies I got to reading Sandy's blog, which made me like her even more. She's a spunky, adorable, tattooed Midwestern mom who makes amazingly sculptural cakes that look like they belong on a Food Network show. She also shares a recipe for a cake that's topped with one and a half sticks of butter--I think maybe we are soul mates.

If you love baking, need baked goods, or even just want to read a funny, fresh voice I suggest you check her out. She accepts orders via Facebook or email and you can follow her on Twitter @SweetSandyB.

I hope this serves as a lesson to all of you about how much good can come of sending me food in the mail. I need something to eat while I wait for the Pajama Jeans peeps to get back to me.
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Friday, May 21, 2010

Curmudgeon of the Week: Sister Zoe

Some of you die-hard readers may remember that I used to do a little something called Curmudgeon of the Week.

The last time I did a COTW was May 19, 2009, so really I should call it Curmudgeon of the Year, or maybe just Curmudgeon!, like Fela! with less afrobeat (but more cowbell).

Everyone, including me, has forgotten about Curmudgeon of the Week… except my sister, Zoe. Zoe has made it known on multiple occasions that she is jonesing for the title, and lord knows she deserves it. When she was a toddler, Zoe used to introduce herself to houseguests with a charming vocabulary lesson.

“Here are all the curse words I know,” she would squeak. “Shit, bitch, ass…” This was right around the time that I took to roller skating around the apartment listening to Madonna’s “Hanky Panky" on my Walk-Man. In 1989, our house = good times.

Anyway, here's my adorable, even sassier sibling sounding off on Amtrak woes, her soft spot for Muppets, and why Winnie the Pooh is actually kind of a dick.


1. Tell me, Zoe, did I make you this way?

You wish you could take credit for this extraordinary attitude!

I’m pretty sure it’s hereditary. You were a freakishly wonderful big sister, but I’m sure following your straightedge teenage years and your perfect SAT score contributed somewhat to my neurosis, so thanks for that.

2. Describe your current state of mind in one word. Discombobulated.

3. Where do you think rainbows come from? Uh, science.

4. What do you hate that other people inexplicably love? Oh gosh, so many things, its hard to remember them all on the spot. Where to begin? Wait, things that douche bags inexplicably love? Or things that otherwise awesome people inexplicably love? I will cover both.

Parades

Guinea pigs... I shudder even thinking about them

Crocs

Gin

Techno music

Segways. (Tool on wheels.)

Games that involve coordination and pressure (flip cup, steal the bacon, RELAY RACES.)

Wearing flip-flops

That horrible pirate ship ride

Sponge bob square pants

Twitter

Carpeting vs. hardwood floors

Yellow cars

Elliptical trainers

Every dress or skirt that I pull off a rack secretly being a skort or romper. Why do people want this? Whhhhyyyy?

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

1- Having to watch Mama Mia again (the 2008 film, to clarify)

2-Talking to Julie, Amtrak’s automated agent. Bitch can't understand a goddamn thing. God forbid a car goes by when you're trying to make a reservation. I hate her.

3- Dodgeball.

4-The emergency room waiting area, especially in Philadelphia where it doubles as a regular doctors office for crack addicted homeless people. Sad and mildly dangerous.

5- Moving. To a new home…not just motion in general. (Ties with putting together Ikea furniture.)

6- My friends are secretly fattening me up with African protein bars a`la Mean Girls.

7- Being hand-cuffed to Spencer Pratt (for like a day, not eternity. Eternity would be the unexplored 15th circle of hell)

8-Waiting for my track number to come up on that giant board at Penn station. Forever. Or Penn station on a Friday night when it’s full of drunken 16 year olds from New Jersey. Or Penn station on a weekday morning. Anything involving being stuck in Penn station.

9-Being trapped in the Saint Patrick’s Day parade forever- or like in Groundhog Day, Saint Patrick’s Day is every day. Girls wearing slutty green outfits, people cheering and getting in your fucking way, tall people elbowing me in the head, streets being closed off, people puking on the subway, green beer, retarded sparkly green hats, 4 leaf clover pasties.

6. Let's lighten up. What makes you all warm and fuzzy inside? (i.e. watching reruns of Law and Order late at night like Mom)

Hmm- I like holding babies... is that a creepy thing to have popped into my head right away? Days when you are allowed to lay around being cozy (i.e. watching TV all day. What is wrong with us?) you know, like rainy days or hung-over mornings with greasy diner food and the OC. Swinging is the best ever (In the playground). Block Island. Muppets… I will sob during The Muppet Christmas Carol, you have witnessed this. Spendin' time with youuuu of course.

* I also secretly watch reruns of Law and Order SVU late at night like mom. Shhh.

7. If you could blight one thing from the earth forever, what would it be? Um, I should say war or poverty or racism/homophobia/sexism...but I'm gonna go with models and/or airbrushing. Someone should invent runway robots instead. Get on that, world.

8. Curmudgeon (living or dead, historical or contemporary) you most identify with? Grandma. Actually, both of our grandma's were very successful curmudgeons, and proof that you can be both glamorous and curmudgeonly. Oh and perhaps Alexander on his Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

9. What's your favorite curse word/phrase? I think I say “Jesus fucking Christ” in most of my sentences. I am terrible. When I am very angry at inanimate objects (about 12 times a day) I will address them as " You cock-sucking piece of shit!". I can’t help it; it's in our blood. I also enjoy saying "holy mackerel”, which I’ve picked up from our New England relatives.

10. Eeyore: depressed or full of rage? In the Winnie the pooh books it seems like Eeyore is one step away from climbing up a fucking tree and shooting down everyone in the whole hundred acre woods:


Poor Eeyore, his friends are such dicks. Pooh took piglet in when his GIANT TREE HOUSE was destroyed in the blustery day. ALSO Eeyore's birthday is on Christmas. Obviously I'm very concerned with this issue. I hope Eeyore starts a forest fire.

Want to be Curmudgeon of the Week? Email me!
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Thursday, May 20, 2010

That Girl Is Poison

I cracked opened a fashion magazine recently to find this Ralph Lauren ad:
If Anne Geddes and Annie Leibovitz had a love child it would be this photograph (and also, the Apocalypse).

I mean, I know Ralph  likes his models small and everything, but that is just plain ridiculous.

It would be one thing if it was just a little kid in big girl shoes (still not really an effective advertising message as far as I'm concerned: "Hey, lady, buy these exorbitantly expensive sandals and then watch your kid ruin them--which, actually, you kind of deserve for putting her in that bandana."), but this looks like Bret Michaels caught Benjamin Button disease and became a female impersonator, which is not cool considering his recent brain hemorrhage.

Unless those are, like, side-effects.

Too soon?
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Wrong Track

Previously on, in The History of Una's Athletic Underachievement (a PBS special of my wildest nightmares), we learned about my patronizing Wii Fit and my memories of elementary school gym class. In today's episode, we discover what happens when an ambitious but uncoordinated young woman tries in vain to overcome her genetic makeup and be a good sport.

(Note: Some names have been ever-so-slightly changed to protect me from anyone who might have a Google Alert on themselves.)


I only joined track in the first place because my friend Rachel convinced me it would be a good character-building exercise. Up until sophomore year, my extra-curricular activities had been limited to Art Club and a local musical theater class composed mostly of twelve year-olds. I had the pasty, black and white complexion of Peter Lorre in M. Rachel, by comparison, was almost six feet tall and built like a tree. She played a different sport every season. She glowed with health. I don’t know what I was thinking, listening to her. I suppose I hoped that running would be transformative, that it would sprout me up a few inches, turn my chalk-colored skin a healthy peach, and form sinewy muscles out of the soft, fatty pads of my calves and upper arms, which were so undeveloped that neighbors probably suspected that my parents were raising me for veal.

Genetically—and I'm certain this could be backed up by a blood test—I am at an athletic disadvantage compared to most of the world's population. I come from a clan that has churned out successful musicians, businesspeople, artists, and writers, but put up a volleyball net at one of our family reunions and you will clear the yard. It is a true story that my father, who was captain of his high school debate team, once put his back out changing a roll of toilet paper. I was never forced (or even encouraged) to play competitive sports as a kid, but somehow I must have intuited my lack of ability because I soon came to live in fear of them. I decided that track was my only option for organized athletic participation, as its sole requirement for eligibility was that I be able to remain upright while moving forward. To excel, of course, you had to be strong and fast, but to be a member of the team all you had to do was show up. My high school was a magnet school for math and science, and attracted the types of kids who begged Santa for new graphing calculators, so jocks were in short supply.

It didn't take long for me to realize I had made a mistake. On my very first day I had to run a timed loop of the Central Park reservoir—just over a mile and a half—under the supervision of the coach, Ms. Patchman. Easily in her late sixties, she appeared small and shriveled, her tiny head poking out of the collar of her tracksuit like an angry turtle’s. Her cheeks were sunken like a cadaver's and she wore her thinning hair in a close-cropped, wispy Afro the color of rusty tap water. When she saw me I could swear her eyes narrowed. She nodded once in acknowledgment of my arrival. "Ever run this far?" she asked, her voice a gravely bark that suggested she mixed her morning eggs with shards of glass and rusty screws. I mumbled that I had not. She considered this for a moment and then sighed. "When you vomit," she finally said, "Try to do it off the main path." I like to think that it is to my credit that I did not throw up until I got home that night, anxiety turning my stomach to vinegar.

Luckily I started group practice the following day, and found that there was safety in numbers. Running with the rest of the team allowed me to study and imitate them as though doing field research on an alien race. There were a few slower girls with whom I could keep pace, and I carefully pumped my arms and kicked my legs in tandem with theirs. I learned how to run through a "stitch"—a painful abdominal cramp—by pinching the muscle and breathing deeply, and even if I didn't have one I would mime one every so often just to appear legitimate to the Japanese tourists snapping photos along the reservoir path. I also learned a lot about Ms. Patchman from the other girls. Legend had it she had once been a great runner but had injured her knee and had to retire. They were all pretty sure that she didn’t wear a bra, but none were willing to do the kind of research necessary to find out definitively. She has no husband or children and was widely assumed to be "a lesbo." She had once chaperoned a school dance wearing a bolo tie and blew a whistle when kids started slow-dancing to November Rain.

Ms. Patchman kept her office in our high school's basement with the rest of the physical education teachers and encouraged us to visit for one-on-one meetings, but I couldn't bring myself to go. Not only was I already terrified of her, but I had unintentionally flashed one of her colleagues, Mr. Mariel, during an 8th grade swim class in which I opted for a floral cotton suit with a sweetheart neckline instead of my more trustworthy Speedo. I had propped myself up on the lip of the pool to ask a question, and when I looked down I saw that the neckline had stretched below my ribcage. The thought of accidentally running into the man who had seen my awkward, fledgling buds was more than I could bear, plus it provided a great excuse for not having to face the angry, pinched face of Ms. Patchman. I felt certain that if I ever stopped by her office, she would simply level her gaze at me, her milky eyes looking up and down my scrawny frame and short legs, her nose wrinkling as if catching a whiff of the unmistakable sour stench of failure.

Since I was a terrible runner, it was pretty easy to avoid interacting directly with Ms. Patchman; she spent the vast majority of her time training and tending to the good runners on the team. The slow runners were treated with a mix of apathy and disgust, like we were stray cats peeing in the hay reserved for her thoroughbreds, and she eventually separated our workouts from those of the varsity girls’ so that we wouldn’t slow them down. Not that we minded. All of us in JV were thrilled that we hadn’t raised anyone’s expectations of our abilities; in fact, we kept them low on purpose. One spring, I accidentally won an 800 meter race by inadvertently joining the slowest heat, made up of the types of people who carry inhalers and wear strapped-on goggles. You should have seen Ms. Patchman’s face when I crossed the finish line—I think she almost smiled. As I collected my medal I cursed myself for having excelled enough to garner her attention, but the next week I tripped over a hurdle and the universe righted itself once again.

Unfortunately no amount of underachieving could exempt me from the weekly 5K races that were part of fall's cross-country schedule, which is how I found myself on that uptown train senior year, my muscles tense and my stomach in knots, trying to find a way out. A braver person would have simply marched over to Ms. Patchman—who was sitting alone at the opposite end of the subway car—and quit then and there, but I was too afraid. A healthy respect for authority figures combined with a near-evangelical devotion to conflict avoidance led me to believe that telling my coach that I wanted to quit the track team would be tantamount to a made man telling Vito Corleone that he wanted to stop whacking people. I fantasized about Ms. Patchman ripping my uniform off of my body with her bare hands and then marching me up to the registrar's office and demanding that I be expelled. The next morning I might awaken to find a lacerated sneaker under my covers, reservoir mud seeping into my sheets, and then I'd have to change schools and use my mom's last name, and maybe even get a nose job before I'd stop having nightmares about waking to find her standing in my doorway with a starter gun aimed at my forehead.

(To be continued... the next time I have writer's block and have to post from essays I'm working on.)
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How Ronald Reagan Got In My Pants

"What should I blog about?" I asked Jeff. "I'm uninspired."

He thought for a second and then said, "Underpants."

Well, okay, then.


Underpants. As a child, I often went without them. In fact, my parents tell me that when my grandmother--who was vocal about her disapproval of their urban hippie lifetsyle--used to visit, I would run into the living room totally nude and squat, pretending that I was about to poop on the floor. Now that is precious, based on the novel Push by Sapphire, which doesn't even have to be altered in any way in order to allude to bowel movements.

Eventually of course I wore clothes, which turned out to be even more embarrassing. My first memory involving underpants is this playdate I had when I was around six. Me and a few other girls were at the house of a classmate named Jimmy. At some point Jimmy's mother found a pair of underpants on the floor, and to find the culprit she lined us all up and made us lift our dresses to prove we weren't naked. Mine were decorated with snowmen. I was a good girl and had kept them on. (This memory has haunted me all these years, so imagine what it must be like for the girl who turned out to be bare-assed!)

I've had all kinds of underpants in my day; I am like the Wilt Chamberlain of undies. Ever color, every style, every unfortunate saying emblazoned across the butt--I've loved them all, until they were threadbare and billowy enough to steer a ship through treacherous waters. I even had a special pair made for my wedding. They did not say "Mrs. Zorabedian." Barf. They said "Mrs. Poo Pants." Well, at least, they were supposed to say "Mrs. Poo Pants;" actually they just said "Poo Pants," which is a different message entirely (I should have called and complained: "That's Mrs. Poo Pants to you!!") See, it all had to do with Ronald and Nancy Reagan, and--wait, this explanation isn't going well. I've circled back around to feces and exhumed The Gipper along the way.

I need to stop letting Jeff play word association with my soul.
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Monday, May 17, 2010

Uncle Jesse Has No Mercy: The Poll Results Are In!

Hey, do you guys remember those inane polls I created a few weeks back that pitted beloved television characters against one another, because apparently I have nothing better to do with my time (or have possibly replaced the time-management sector of my brain with trying to remember which member of Milli Vanilli is still alive, and whether he was the cute one)?

Anyway, the results are in! I know, thrilling isn't it? Your Monday is now covered in spangles!

Here's what I learned from a super serious analysis of my data. (By the way, eat your heart out, Nate Silver. I RULE at statistics.)


THE NAIL-BITERS

Lovable, if kind of dickless, Friends dweeb Ross Geller narrowly bested How I Met Your Mother's Ted Mosby by a margin of one percent.

And in the ladies' competition, Freaks and Geeks' Lindsay Weir out-angsted My So-Called Life's Angela Chase by just under two percent. Actually, I'm pretty sure this battle was won through hair-pulling. No one can out-angst Angela Chase

Finally, Alex P. Keaton (53%) just managed to WASP the floor with Carlton Banks (47%). Oh yes, I did.

THE LANDSLIDES

As I expected, Liz Lemon handily opened up a can of whoop-ass (or, perhaps, a bag of Sabor de Soledad) on Carrie Bradshaw, to the tune of a 70% victory.

Proving that outer space aliens rule and illegal aliens drool, Mork owned Balki Bartokomous with 72.2% of the vote.

My childhood crush, Cheers' Sam Malone (74.5%) beat Moonlighting's David Addison, probably because no one know who David Addison is and also because Sam Malone is smokin' hot.

As alluded to in the title of this post, Uncle Jesse from Full House kicked Gossip Girl dad Rufus Humphrey's ass, winning with 82.3%

But the biggest margin of victory belonged to none other than Zack Morris, who, with 87.5% of the vote, proved once and for all that Parker Lewis can lose.

THE REST

Clarissa Darling (59.6%) over Blossom Russo.
Mona Robinson (55.7%) over Samantha Jones
Sue Sylvester (66.3%) over Amanda Woodward
Kevin Arnold (57%) over Sam Weir
Dylan McKay (63.4%) over Jordan Catalano
Julia Sugarbaker (60.2%) over Grace Adler
Meredith Grey (56.1%) over Ally McBeal
Kenneth Parcell (58.8%) over Anthony Bouvier
Carol Seaver (55.6%) over DJ Tanner
Wayne Arnold (61.2%) over Bud Bundy
Carmela Soprano (54.2%) over Nancy Botwin
Rudy Huxtable (68.7%) over Stephanie Tanner

A brief recap of what we've learned:

  • The Arnolds reign supreme
  • Carol Seaver will cutabitch (I like the graphic I made so much that I think I need to make tee-shirts)
  • Rudy Huxtable does not suffer meth head fools

Oh, and Rob was the cuter one. And yes, he's dead.
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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Get Your Free-k On

Yesterday I saw this on a stoop near my house:


Normally I'm a big ol' whore for anything free--true story: Jeff once had to physically restrain me from accepting an offer of a rolling wicker bar cart from a family friend that looked like something Blanche Devereaux might have designed for HSN while intoxicated. (If you are thinking, Wait, that sounds awesome!, you are totally right and I still regret not going back for it. Where else am I going to keep my monogrammed whiskey decanter?)

Anyway, I have very low standards when it comes to picking things up off the street (especially if it's something edible), but this gave me pause.

My first reaction was, of course, FREE THING IN A BAG!!!!!!! I WANT!!!!!!

Then my common sense kicked in: Wait, why does it have to be in a bag? Is it something that wouldn't stand up on its own or might run away, like pudding or gerbils?

And if it can stand up on its own, why is it in a bag? It looks like a four-pack of toilet paper.

BUT I NEED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I COULD MAKE A TP TEEPEE TO WATCH MY GOSSIP GIRL IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then again, it could also be a bedbug-riddled throw pillow. Or anthrax.

OR IT COULD BE CAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If it was cake, then why would it be wrapped up like a ludicrous trap Wile E. Coyote set for the Road Runner?

MEEP MEEP! LET'S OPEN IT!!!!!!! [Ed note: Yes, I realize at this point I am third-personing myself in the voice of the Road Runner. My freak (free-k?) flag is not just flying, it is billowing.]

In the end I let it sit there. I mean, I'm all for mystery prizes, but when your best-case scenario is a four-pack of toilet paper and your worst-case scenario is anthrax, I think it's best to take the advice of Dionne Warwick and walk on by.
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Saturday, May 15, 2010

When People Stop Being Polite and Start Getting Anal Retentive: A Weekend Diary

I started a new job this week.

As a result I was super busy and missed all of my TV shows.

I'm really Type-A, so I made a weekend schedule to make sure that I could fit sufficient ass-to-couch time into my busy social life...


... and immediately upon finishing said schedule I realized that I am basically Tracy Flick with Asperger's, and that I need to stop myself before I start scheduling bathroom breaks (you'll notice, incidentally, that throughout Saturday I will have to wear adult diapers... or my giant swag pads.)


I hope you enjoy. Click to enlarge. Happy weekend, and may yours have more room for error, and less time devoted to reminding yourself to dress AFTER you shower.
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Friday, May 14, 2010

TGI...WTF? Well-To-Do Rag

It's been so long since I've written about Twee Heaven, aka Anthropologie, aka Hot Topic for elves and faeries.

Anyway, this is their "Sunday Drive Head Wrap," (or, might I suggest, "Effeminite Urban Yarmulke" or "Carrie Bradshaw Hobo Sack"?) currently retailing for $188.


This is a do-rag from Walgreen's. $2.99 (and it locks in moisture for the perfect wave).


I'm just saying.
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Radio Raheem and The Theory of Lost

I love Lost.

I love Lost like Brick Tamland loves lamp.

Last week, I actually wept watching it--and I don't even cry at funerals. (I know; I'm a terrible person.)

Jeff has given up on Lost. He always gets addicted to shows with me and we spend hours hanging out in our mutual sweatpants watching entire seasons on Netflix, but then, inevitably, he loses interest.

If Jamie from MythBusters showed up on Hydra Island I bet Jeff would watch. But then Jamie would stick his oft-abused dummy in the shack with the generator and would be all, “Actually, no man can withstand that much electromagnetic radiation. BUSTED.” And I would be like, “Actually, Jamie, no straight man can pull off a beret AND a handlebar mustache. BUSTED!”

(Sorry, I get mad when people question the reality of what Jeff calls “my stories.” When I was in high school I had to ban my mother from watching ER because of her running commentary. While she’s not a doctor, she spends time in hospitals and has an intimate knowledge of childbirth practices, so every time someone delivered a baby in the OR she would get up in arms. Whatever mom, LET GEORGE CLOONEY DO HIS JOB! God.)

Anyway, as anyone who’s been following Lost knows, the final season has been set up as a kind of good versus evil spiritual showdown between two characters I could not care much less about: Jacob (the goody-goody, who looks perpetually stoned, like a middle-aged Jeff Spicoli) and The Man in Black, who is NOT, cruelly, played by Tommy Lee Jones and who is apparently going to destroy the world as we know it. When not in human form, he basically looks like that Icelandic cloud of volcanic ash that’s been fucking up air travel for the past few weeks. When the show ends I guess he’ll go back to following Pig Pen around.

While I know that the ultimate battle between good and evil forms the basis for many pop-culture pairings (I’m speaking, of course, of duos like Garfield and Nermyl, Amanda Woodward and Allison Parker, and Alexis Carrington Colby Dexter Rowan and Krystle Carrington), I’m left kind of cold by this story arc. Don’t get me wrong—I’m still totally obsessed. It’s just that if the entire basis of Lost turns out to be Radio Raheem’s monologue from Do The Right Thing, I am going to be pissed.


“Lost,” though, I will grant, is a much better title than “The Story of Right Hand, Left Hand.” (Ahhhh! Which brings us to Mr. Hand, Jeff Spicoli's history teacher nemesis! I love it when my blogs come full circle. Also, judging from yesterday's and today's posts, I think I need to Netflix Fast Times at Ridgemont High.)
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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Judging Judges: Kagan, Reinhold, Kinnear, and the Future of America

Fun fact: Elena Kagan, current nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States, is the sister of Mr. Kagan, who taught International Relations at my high school. Mr. Kagan has a first name, but calling teachers by their first names always seemed unnatural to me, like giving pets a surname (I know that a dog is technically—and emotionally—a part of your family, but my rule is that if it doesn’t wear pants it doesn’t get a last name. Like Cher, or Lady Gaga.)

Anyway, Elena Kagan also went to my high school* and is now poised to become the fourth woman ever to sit on the Supreme Court—and the third from New York.

*Who knows what her class mascot was—maybe Judge Rhino’ld? Yuk yuk yuk. Also, whatever happened to Judge Reinhold? Wikipedia’s latest entry for him is that he “is credited as the whistler on the Martini Ranch** song “Reach”. Ouch. I think it’s time for a comeback.

**Nevermind, I take that back. Martini Ranch was an 80s New Wave band featuring Bill Paxton, and it turns out Reach was directed by James Cameron. No comeback necessary, Judge; it is totally understandable that after that your career would go downhill.

Naturally, everyone wants to know if Kagan is a lesbian. Just like with Sotomayor, only worse because this one has—gasp!—short hair. Sigh. Pundits never wondered if John Roberts was a big old queen. (It’s probably because he looks like Greg Kinnear—no one who looks like someone who played the guy who invented the intermittent windshield wiper could ever be a friend of Dorothy. I’m pretty sure it’s in the constitution; ask Scalia.)

But seriously, we have bigger problems than the possibility that a (gasp!) gay could be elected to the nation’s highest court. For instance….

Exhibit A

….why does the official portrait of the SCOTUS always look like a pre-school class picture?

 Exhibit B (My preschool class photo. Peep my John Travolta look-alike teacher!)

I mean, right? Kennedy, Stevens, and Scalia can’t keep their mouths shut, Breyer looks like he wet his robes and is quietly hoping no one will notice, Ginsburg is distracted by something shiny, Thomas is clearly having a Time Out, and the girls are forced to wear bibs! Alito is clearly the teacher in this scenario, and Roberts is the goody two-shoes who manages to smile while looking at the camera at the same time—like the center kid in my photo except without the overalls and bowl cut.

Greg Kinnear should never get a bowl cut, by the way. People might think he’s a lesbian.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Google Searches of Shame

Actual searches from my toolbar... that kind of redefine toolbar.






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Monday, May 10, 2010

A Slow Clap For The Slow Clap

When I was in high school, my best friend Anna and I had a pact. We didn't know how, and we didn't know when, but someday we would successfully originate a Slow Clap.

You know what I'm talking about: Someone does something amazing and poignant and/or makes an impassioned speech. This leads one rad onlooker to stand up and begin to clap, slowly and loudly and deliberately, with a super serious expression. Other people join in, and within seconds the clap picks up speed, building to an orgasmic crescendo of applause. At this point people stop looking super serious and start wolf-whistling and fist-pumping. It is awesome.

I'm going to go ahead and say that The Slow Clap is the best kind of clap that has ever been clapped. How do I know? Well:


Clearly clapping is the best kind of clap, as defined by Wikipedia, unless you have a fetish for painful urination or sound-activated light sources (or homosexual brothels--Margaret Clap sounds like a lot of fun!).

Wikipedia doesn't break down different types of claps within the realm of clapping, but luckily I am an expert. To wit:

The Standard Clap: Strong, moderately fast; hands rigid; maintains the same speed and rhythm throughout. [Examples: First curtain call at Shakespeare in the Park; keeping Tinkerbell alive.]

The Steroid Clap: So strong your palms sting; hands cupped for maximum echo; fast and furious; accompanied by cat-calls and yelling. [Examples: When your child gets their diploma; a particularly impressive keg stand.]

The Flaccid Clap: Weak, moderately fast; hands limp; sounds kind of like someone beating off under a pillow. [Examples: When someone else's child gets their diploma; the second curtain call at a three hour long modern dance piece with no intermission.]

The Physically Challenged Clap: Wikipedia says that "some people slap the back of one hand into the palm of the other hand to signify urgency or enthusiasm." No. This is retarded.

The Slow Clap: Strong and almost comically slow [not to be confused, however, with The Sarcastic Clap, a bastardization of The Slow Clap], building to fast and furious; hands reverent and expressive; comes with amazing facial expressions; gives you chills; probably makes God cry. [Examples: The Jamaican bobsled team almost dies but then gets up and carries their sled to the finish line; the coach of your small-town high school basketball team gives a kick-ass motivational speech right before you win the Indiana Regional Finals; nerdy Corey Haim (sniff) finally gets his letterman's jacket after getting out of the hospital.]

Anna and I never did succeed in starting a Slow Clap while we were in high school. I'd like to say that our hands were just too soft and frail to do the Slow Clap justice, but the truth is we were pussies. Neither one of us wanted to take it upon ourselves to make the impassioned speech that would give the other one the opportunity to Slow Clap, and it turns out, when you wait around for it, that not too many people make Slow Clap-worthy speeches in real life. Years later, when Anna told me that she'd ridden a grocery cart down a hill while drunk at college, I tried to Slow Clap, but one hand was holding the phone, robbing the moment of its gravity.

In closing, I present to you some of the greatest celluloid Slow Claps of all time (the last video features some claps that I do not feel qualify as Slow Claps, but it is also the only YouTube video with the final scene from Lucas, so I must forgive its shortcomings):




Clap.


















Clap.









Clap.








Clap.






Clap.


Clap.


Clap.

Clap.


Clap.


Clap.
Clap.
Clap.
Clapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclap.
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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sassy's Mom

I've written about my mom a lot on the blog, usually in her own voice (like when she gets drunk and Miley Cyrus bashes during the Oscars telecast, or is appalled by fashion spreads in the New York Times Magazine, or sends me emails about how I should reconsider my stance on harem pants). Every time I post about her, people ask when she is going to start her own blog, and when I tell her, she laughs and shakes her head. "I'm just Sassy's mom," she says.

No, mom...






I'm pretty sure I'm just your daughter.

Happy Mother's Day!
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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Acadumbia

Do you ever find old papers you wrote in college and wonder how, between ice luge shots and participation in something called "the bong Olympics,"* you somehow also managed to be a genius?

I found some old academic papers last night that my present-day brain--which has been slowly braised with wine and reality television for the past eight years--simply could not compute.

I was a film major, which meant that I watched movies and then deconstructed them until they were no fun. Check it:

"In using cinema to explore the aesthetic dichotomy of high art versus entertainment, Minnelli succeeds in contrasting three levels of reality and performance that he stylistically explores, juxtaposing musical spaces in life, musical spaces on stage, and musical spaces inside the camera."

Whaaaaaaat? I drop so many fifty cent words, that sentence is worth more than my checking account. And I was talking about The Bandwagon, an MGM musical in which Fred Astaire dresses up like an infant. And to top it all off, this shit is 31 PAGES, Y'ALL.

Seriously, a steady diet of microwave nachos and watery keg beer must be what astrophysicists eat to keep themselves sharp.

*This actually happened in Jeff's senior year house. No one knows who won, because, well... the athletes were distracted.
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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Courtesy and Other Subway Contagions

I miss the days when subway conductors were actually allowed to talk. Most of the time they were boring, just announcing the stops in monotonous voices that sounded not unlike the grown-ups in Peanuts, had they lost the will to live. But sometimes, magic happened.

Like this one time, during rush hour, when my conductor growled, "Next stop... hell!" (At least he was being honest.)

And I'll never forget the time my female conductor said, sighing, "To the two men having sex on the lower platform--we can see you. We can ALL SEE YOU."

"Oooh, boys, watch out for the mariachi band! And the lady selling churros!"

Now we just have automated, voices with flat, regionless accents that jabber incessantly between stops. One recording warns passengers to "protect yourself," and every single time I finish the sentence in my head "... before you wreck yo self." (Those automated voices should totally rap.)

There's also a buzzkill robot who basically tells us that the crumpled Subway wrapper on the floor beneath the sleeping homeless man, next to the cup of either pee or Mountain Dew, is probably rigged to explode.

And then there's this one: “If you see an elderly, pregnant, or handicapped person near you, offer your seat. You’ll be standing up for what’s right (pun intended). Courtesy is contagious, and it starts with you.”

Look, I have nothing against the elderly, pregnant, or handicapped. I'll stand up for what's old, or fat, or blind. But courtesy is not contagious, no matter how much you pun. What's contagious is the hacking cough of the man leaning against the pole (DUDE. THAT IS NOT. YOUR. POLE.) ...or the glances of relief when the very vocal insane person decides to stop arguing with the Jerry Orbach organ donation poster and exit the train... or, surely, the bench being used by the two men having sex on the lower platform.
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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Street Walker

Last month I teased you that I was doing something I hated for a piece of writing.

Well, here's what I hated... (I hated it enough to post about it twice, actually.)

And here's the writing.

I totally had a change of heart, like the Grinch. Except I ended up giving someone my credit card, and I didn't get to carve the roast beast.

If you're in NYC, pick up a copy of The Observer to see it in print!
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Monday, May 3, 2010

Blossom Versus Clarissa (And Other Pointless, Imaginary TV Character Battles Taking Up Valuable Space in My Brain)

I could not tell you why, but on Friday I became obsessed with the idea of a cage match between Blossom Russo and Clarissa Darling.

(You have to read from the bottom up, because it is Twitter and therefore hella advanced.)

I cannot remember a single thing about calculus--which I studied for four months during my freshman year of college--and would be hard pressed to correctly state my grandmother’s birthday, yet my brain is able not only to name two television characters from long gone 90s sitcoms, but also finds the space to store their respective physical and mental strengths in order to handicap the outcome of an imaginary fight. It’s incredible that I haven’t yet wiped out my basic motor skills in order to memorize more Bel Biv Devoe lyrics, or stopped my heartbeat by stocking my brain stem with potential band names based on my 6th grade stationery preferences (Lisa Frank and the Trapperkeepers, anyone?)

Anyway, for reasons that, as previously stated, are beyond my control (or my therapist’s area of expertise) I present to you a May Madness matchup of beloved television characters.

Watching an actual TV show takes so much less time than making a crappy-looking collage of TV characters' faces, it turns out. The More You Know.

Weigh in on the first ten battles here. (The ghetto online survey software will only give me 10 questions at a time!)

The next ten are here.

I have no idea what I will do with this information, other than use it to edge out stored data like the basic times tables and the ability to control my bladder. But I WILL post the results. So you, um, have that to look forward to. In the meantime I'm going to stock up on Depends while I try to figure out why, exactly, I should never trust a big butt and a smile.
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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Scenes From a Marriage: Taking the Cake

Scene: Saturday night. My sister throws me a belated birthday party. My mother bakes an adorable cake*.


Candles are lit, we sing, we serve, we eat. Sometime later, I leave the room.

Five minutes pass.


Jeff is totally going to be in charge of teaching our kids how to spell.

*She said to me, only half joking, "I want to see a picture of the cake on the blog." I don't think this is precisely what she had in mind. But mom, rest assured it was beautiful and delicious (seriously, everyone said so.)

BREAKING UPDATE, SUNDAY, 8:50 PM: I just called my sister to thank her for throwing the party and she dropped the following bomb on me: The anus cake was not a solo effort. "You were a part of that?" I asked. "But I just gave Jeff credit on my blog!"

"And he let you?" Zoe was shocked. "I carried that. He was trying to do it and I stepped in I saved his ass. And then we high-fived." 
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Saturday, May 1, 2010

The (Sandy) Vagina Monologues

The Sex and the City 2* poster was released this week, and Jezebel did a great breakdown of the terrible, obviously Photoshopped design.

 For real, what is up with Kim Cattrall's face? Did she turn back into a mannequin?

I, however, simply feel that the poster is uncreative. Apparently the girls go to Abu Dhabi (Alternative title idea: Sex and the Desert: Crotches of Sand), which opens up a world of bad puns** and camel jokes!

I couldn't help but wonder... was I thirsting for a different life, or was it just the sunstroke talking?***

Anyway, here, producers, is what I would have done:

(Release the movie on a Wednesday, obvs, for the joke to reach its full potential...)

*In spite of this post and any subsequent mocking, I am still totally seeing this movie.
** $10 says Samantha utters the phrase "Abu do me!"
***Jeff, looking over my shoulder as I wrote this, said "I can't stand the voice-overs. It's like... vapid chick Doogie Howser."
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