Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Recharging the Battery

I’m trying not to be one of those self-righteous people who announce their backpedaling from social media with a megaphone. As if the whole world has just been relying on my (or any one person's) pithy wisdom, witty jokes, and jaw-dropping pics without which the whole internet would be a barren wasteland of cat memes and Thinx Period Panties ads.

Really, I’m just writing this last-blog-post-for-a-little-while as an explanation for myself. As a way to reckon with the fact that social media—this blog included—is cunningly and insidiously designed by mega-corporations to be addictive, outer-directed, and profiteering.

Although it feels like--and perhaps is--a necessary evil these days, much of social media is a drug of diminishing returns.

Yesterday two small everyday things happened, in which a couple of strangers—whom I know agree with me on the issue being debated—tried to start a fight with me on the internet. This happens all the time, which is why my first rule of internet engagement is not fighting on the internet.

But for whatever reason, this time, even just being baited into the fight was too much. It was the proverbial last straw. It was like that morning in 2005 when I boarded a crowded downtown 6 subway train, and although it was no different from any other NYC rush hour commute, I suddenly reached a breaking point and knew I would not spend my adult life doing this every day.

Similarly, I know I can no longer spend my nights, weekends, and early mornings spiraling down the bottomless rabbit hole over Who Is Wrong on the Internet, and thirsting for validation that I Am Right/Smart/Funny/Good on The Internet.

It’s stupid. It’s futile. It contravenes my beliefs about the value of being inner-directed. It’s bad for my mental health. It takes the final third of my life (the one that is not spent working or asleep) and fractures it into little slices that should be redistributed to my family, exercise, and human interaction.

Worst of all, it contributes--or can contribute--to the overall divisive, negative, depressing, and utterly desperate despairing zeitgeist of the Age of Trump. 

An age in which even people who agree find ways to cannibalize each other, thereby catalyzing the divide-and-conquer mission of fascism, all the while fueling the propaganda engine that once relied only on newspapers and rallies, but is now super-charged by social media and commodified outrage.

I don’t want to be a part of it anymore, no matter how much viral content I manage to create in the process. It's a devil's bargain and it isn't worth the trade-off.

So I'm trying to take some quiet time to return to the things about social media and blogging that I love. The things that are real, and that were my reasons for being so active on social media in the first place: 
Meeting new people. Connecting with people. Sharing ideas. Honing a craft. Bringing some small, brief moment of laughter or intellectual stimulation to a friend or a stranger’s day. 

I know I can do that if I just recharge my battery and return to the creative essence of why I started this blog in the first place. 
This picture of my kids on a rainy Juneau October December morning says it all. 

See you soon.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Could Weekends With Kids Be More of a Clusterfuck? Asking for a Friend

I’m just wondering. You know, hypothetically-speaking. Because here are a few highlights, and I’m just kind of curious if maybe my clusterfuck meter needs to be recalibrated? Like maybe it's not really AS much of a clusterfuck as it feels? 

I'll let you be the judge:


6:00 a.m.: I open my left eyeball in the pitch black. I’m super excited, because I hate mornings and suddenly remember it's a Saturday, which means I can theoretically go back to sleep. BUT WAIT! JUST KIDDING! IT’S DECEMBER IN ALASKA AND IT’S ACTUALLY 8:43-- a full two hours and 43 minutes later than it feels! Which means my kids have been watching Danger Mouse and eating foraged sugar for almost three hours now. BAD. MOMMY.

9:00 a.m.: A generational showdown is underway over the condition of our shared living space. It's me and Geoff vs. Paige and Isaac, and we pepper them with questions: How do you live like this? Like ungrateful pigs in a trough? Do you know a lot of kids don't even HAVE a house to mess up like this? Weren't you supposed to clean up this painting project three days ago? Do you realize there is now an indefinite moratorium on new stuff coming into this house? INCLUDING for holidays and birthdays? Do you think I care that you don't know what an indefinite moratorium is? Do you think it sounds like a good thing? GO LOOK IT UP IN A BOOK!

12:00 p.m.: We're between soccer games, and have already driven the same stretch of beat-to-shit Juneau pavement back and forth about 74 times. We now have exactly thirty minutes to buy used ski boots next to the going-out-of-business gun store. Just typing that sentence makes me want to fall through the floor for 100 different reasons. The only thing missing is a minivan, mom jeans, and a box of ammo. But I'll tell you what's NOT missing. A lot of whining about what size feet Paige and Isaac actually have at the end of their legs. THESE BOOTS FEEL TOOO TIIIIIGGGHHHT! THAT'S HOW THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO FEEL! And so on, until the kids are practically standing with both feet in a single giant boot and still claiming it's too small and tight, and it's 47 degrees anyway on New Planet Earth so who even cares about ski boots.

1:00 p.m.: Second soccer game, this one for Paige's team. I just mowed down three grilled chicken tacos from Breez-In in a carton off my lap in the car, and let my kids buy juice to shut them up. I'm watching Isaac hit pinecones with the empty plastic juice bottle as far as he can, and then count the number of steps back to the pinecone in, again, 47 degrees and sideways rain.

2:30 p.m.: Paige has "dance pictures" and is under strict orders to dress up like Jonbenet Ramsey for said pictures. I force her to shower for the first time in a week. Apart from her unwillingness to bathe, Paige, who will be all of ten on New Year’s Eve, is in full-blown tween ASSHOLE mode. The eye-rolling. The back-sassing. The "fresh mouth" and "tone of voice" as my parents used to call it. It's in full effect, and it's all I can do to resist grabbing her chin in my hand, squeezing it like an orange, and spitting into her face that WE DON'T TALK TO OUR PARENTS WITH THAT FRESH TONE OF VOICE!!!!

6:00 p.m.: Babysitter arrives and I can finally start tying one on and eating salami and cookies at a couple of Christmas parties. I make sure to eat and drink as much crap as possible to ensure the next day will be awesome.

10:00 p.m.: Return from parties to kids still awake, having baked "cookies," and refusing to go to bed. I remind them that IT'S A TREAT TO HAVE A BABYSITTER AND IF YOU DON'T GO TO BED THIS MINUTE WE ARE NEVER GETTING YOU A BABYSITTER AGAIN!

11:00 p.m.: Finally get kids down for the night and eat three of the "cookies," which are actually just like these round, sugar dough-bricks with a butter and sugar glaze on top adorned with those gross little cinnamon decorative candies and something else that's green but definitely not a vegetable. 


6:00 a.m./8:43 a.m.: Repeat yesterday’s wakeup routine, but with new flair. The kids are on the couch fighting like two cats in a sack over a blanket and whose feet are on whose. PAIGE STOP KICKING ME ISAAC YOU'RE STEALING ALL THE BLANKET ETC. I CAN'T TAKE ANOTHER SECOND OF THIS! I'm already being nagged for playdates, so I start text-stalking parents, and immediately get accused of ignoring my family because I'm on my phone.

9:30 a.m.: I gulp down two cups of coffee and instantly have to crap my brains out due to what I put my body through at the aforementioned Christmas parties. While I'm trying to take a shit in peace, I hear FUCK FUCK FUCKETY FUCK ASSHOLE MIDDLE FINGER YOU'RE A FUCKING SHIT HEAD ASSHOLE! I'm forced to scream from the bathroom down the hall to STOP USING THAT LANGUAGE OR YOU'RE GOING TO GET MOMMY AND DADDY IN TROUBLE AND END UP IN STATE CUSTODY IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT!?!??!?


11:15: I am now subjected to more "gymnastics" in my living room with promises of future cleaning and reading. I try to make Paige remove her Jonbenet Ramsey eye makeup and she refuses. Quite the opposite: she insists that I text AND email AND call her dance teachers to see if she is going to get to move up a level next session, and every five minutes asks me if they've emailed or texted back yet.

The day isn't over yet, not even close. Monday feels like a distant mirage of an oasis in the Sahara. I choose to commit the weekend's exploits thus far to the internet for posterity. 

After all, I don't want my kids to say I never did anything for them.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Your Kids’ Worst Messes

I put out a call for submissions of your kids’ worst messes and y’all delivered. For those of you who are smart enough to not have kids, or have your own messy room/house, enjoy this new form of birth control!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

I Am the Sun! The Ultimate Authority On Hot Takes!

(1) A piece of commentary, typically produced quickly in response to a recent event, whose primary purpose is to attract attention; (2) A piece of deliberatively provocative commentary that is based almost entirely on shallow moralizing in response to a news story, usually written on tight deadlines with little research or reporting, and even less thought.

With hot takes quickly overtaking whataboutism, propagandist psychological warfare, weaponized information, and outright hypocrisy as the primary mode of communication in the Age of Trump, I would like to remind everyone on planet earth that I am THE SUN and therefore the final and ultimate authority on hot takes.

With the help of Wikipedia, which is where I always go to read about myself (don’t forget to donate to their fundraising campaign!), let me explain why:

I am “by far the most important source of energy for life on Earth,” and I am YOOGE: 1.39 million kilometers to be exact, i.e. 109 times bigger than earth, with a mass 330,000 times that of earth, accounting for 99.86% of the total mass of the solar system.  

I am big. Like, BIGLY big.

In fact, except for Jupiter and Saturn, the rest of the solar system accounts for only .002% of the solar system’s total mass, which means earth’s total mass is even smaller than that, which means each hot take written by any given person on the internet is, like, .000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% of the total mass of the solar system, or less.

In other words: Your. Hot. Take. Is. Vaporized. Cosmic. Dust. Smaller. Than. An. Atom.

Don’t let my status as a “yellow dwarf” fool you, either. This isn’t my first rodeo. I’m 4.6 billion years old, for fuck's sake, and I’ve seen some shit. 

I came up from nothing. I formed from “the gravitational collapse of matter within a region of a large molecular cloud.” My “central mass became so hot and dense that it eventually initiated nuclear fusion in its core.” And although I’m “roughly middle aged,” I have “not changed dramatically for more than four billion years and will remain fairly stable for more than another five billion years.” 

All of which is to say, I’ve been around for a loooong time, compadres, and I’m not going away anytime soon. No matter what Mercury said about me grabbing her ass that one time.

Indeed, my “enormous effect” on earth has “been recognized since prehistoric times” and some cultures even recognize me as a GOD. A GOD! I’m even the basis for time itself! I am “by far the brightest object” in the sky, and have a strong magnetic field. A certain magnetism, if you will. Ask anyone. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, maybe. I’m so bright it hurts. Literally, looking at me directly can destroy your eyeballs.

But perhaps the biggest reason that I'm the last word on hot takes is my heat. 

Like do you even KNOW how hot I am? You need to have paid attention in trig and physics to even comprehend this. My core is 1.57 x 10 to the SEVENTH K. I don’t even know what a "K" is in this context, and neither do you unless you’re a scientist. But suffice it to say, IT IS VERY HOT.

Like I am hotter than everything from Jay Z dropping a surprise album to Donald Trump’s twitter take on Little Rocket Man. So every time you go to write a hot take, remember this:

You are not the sun, so your hot take is shit.  

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

2 Live Crew Lyrics Rewritten for Woke Hipsters in 2017

The school bus in 6th (?) grade in 1989 was something else, lemme tell you. It seemed like evvveerrry boy had a cassette of 2 Live Crew and was playing it on a boom box, screaming out AH ME SO HORNY ME LOVE YOU LONG TIME at the top of their lungs. 

And for better or worse, you just know that shit would NOT fly now. So I rewrote some of 2 Live Crew's lyrics from As Nasty as They Wanna Be for Woke Hipsters in 2017.

There's only one  any number of equally valid ways to have a good time
Fuck that pussy and make it mine patriarchy where the sun don't shine
Figure out what she's into and then sort of like, feel it out, bro.Lay the bitch on the bed, flat on her back
Hold her legs up high, make the pussy splak
You can put her in the buck by sittin' on a sink
Wrap her legs 'round you, now take this DICK!

--Put Her in the Buck

There's only one any number of equally valid places where we can go
Where the price is right just to fuck a ho depending on what you feel like doing
It's always popular with the girls and the guys
Cause for all my money, it's the best buy
Ten dollars, two hours is the time of the stay There's no cover charge
It's more than enough time to slay
Each room has a bed and also a sink This microbrewery has the best BOGO deal
So you can also catch live music there on Wednesdays, I hear. wash your dick after fucking the pink
But be careful of the things that you use
Cause you can get arrested for sex abuse
So as you hit the door and the panties drop
Whole lot of suckin' and fuckin' at the Fuck Shop

--The Fuck Shop

You in my house now, you talkin' all that shit so please, go on. Didn't mean to interrupt.
So get the fuck out, you sorry ass bitch I'm sensing a tension between us right now
You come in my house, eatin' all my shit micro-greens
So get the fuck out, you sorry ass bitch I think we need some space right now?

Get up off yo' ass, and clean up all this shit your collection of Arcade Fire bobbleheads
Look at you, you sorry ass, low-down raggedy bitch you've always looked kind of like my sister. Hahah, I know that sounds kind of weird and random.
You sittin' 'round my house, smokin' all this shit
So get on out my house, you slimy ass bitch I'm wondering if you still have my travel mandolin and that dab rig I loaned you.

--Get The Fuck Out My House

For reals, I want to go to a wedding where 2 Live Crew's "Fuck Shop" is the couple's first dance, because they met at a 2 Live Crew concert. Admit that would be seriously amazing.

Dudebros Licking Actual Feline Pussycats With a Silicone Tongue is the Zenith of Nope

Guys. Guys guys guys GUYS.

Sometimes a product comes along that is just so unbelievably WTF, it merits a detailed takedown of its fuckery and begs to be dragged into next year. The “LICKI Brush” is one such product, and by all indications, IT IS NOT FAKE NEWS.

“Have you ever wanted to lick your cat?”

This is the first question posed on the LICKI Brush Kickstarter page, and the answer, at least from me, is a NO so loud it would drown out a sonic boom generated by a mushroom cloud over Asia while the entire North Korean navy was in the middle of marching band practice.

Now before you unfairly tar me with the “she-just-hates-cats-and-is-therefore-a-horrible-and-mean-human” LICKI Brush, it’s true that I now hate cats, because they turn my face into a red, swollen, bilious mess of tears, snot, and crusty scabs. Also they are generally mean and ungrateful, and who needs more of what I already have in spades in This Life.

But I grew up with cats, and didn’t always hate them.

First there was Tana and Jerry. Tana had a lot of long hair and was so dumb she would look for bugs after she ate them. When Tana died, we got Marmalade, who at 23 pounds was clinically obese. Unrelatedly, my grandmother was convinced that Jerry and Marmalade were in a May-December homosexual feline relationship.

Then Jerry died of old age, and we got Sergeant Pepper (Pepper for short) who was born with feline AIDS in the back of a bodega and who quickly became Marmalade’s adopted son or perhaps lover, we are not really sure. 

In any event, Marmalade ultimately perished from kidney failure after a round of dialysis (I shit you not) and Pepper finally succumbed to diabetes after years of insulin injections. To say our family was dutiful cat owners would be an understatement, as my parents spared no expense to keep these four shedding messes happy and alive as long as felinely possible.

Sometime in my teens, though, I developed cat allergies so severe that I can no longer go within ten feet of a cat without my whole face exploding unless I have at least three Benadryls on board.

But even in my most cat-friendly days, I don’t think I could or would have put a “high-quality, soft silicone brush, designed to feel pleasurable to [my] cat’s sensitive skin” in my mouth and simulate feline licking behavior. 
Nor would I worry that “as a human,” I would be “left out of the intimate licking ritual” with, “at best, a one-sided licking relationship” with my cat.

It's like, I'm totes good with "at best, a one-sided licking relationship" with an animal, and preferably a zero-sided licking relationship. Indeed, at WORST, I would have a two-sided licking relationship with cat hair.

Using the LICKI Brush is advertised as an “oddly meditative practice” that helps you “develop a deeper relationship with your cat.” 

I can only speak for myself of course, but my idea of an "oddly meditative practice" is eating weed candy and coloring in butterflies with gel pens. Not putting my face into a cat, pretending to lick it with a plastic tongue, and then calling an ambulance to take me to the hospital in anaphylactic shock.

In my own personal experience, cats don’t give a fuck about having a relationship with you, deep or otherwise. They want a clean litter box and a bowl of Fancy Feast, and then you can fuck off to hell as far as they’re concerned. Maybe the LICKI Brush will change thousands of years of feline indifference to humans, but I doubt it.

Regardless, I encourage you to visit the LICKI Brush Kickstarter, because I guarantee that when you watch the videos of the LICKI Brush in action, your craydar will go on red alert. 

The dudebros in these videos look like they just got back from running IT for a Bernie Sanders rally, and here they are licking their cats like a BOSS. You can never unsee this, and will likely need to douse your eyeballs in bleach after you do.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but if the dudes who invented LICKI Brush put this much thought, work, and energy into promoting the art of human pussy-licking, they would be millionaires by now and might forget they even have cats.