Wednesday, October 18, 2017

15 Little, Everyday Juneau GRIPES!

1. “In America, we drive on the RIGHT side of the road!”

2. “What? This place is CLOSED?! It says right here it’s supposed to be OPEN!”

3. “How is this construction project STILL going on?!”

4. “Aren’t these teenagers freezing their ASSES off?”

5. “Is there some off-gassing chemical in that Holland America poncho that makes you want to walk DIRECTLY in front of my car and almost commit suicide? Asking for a friend.”

6. “Is it raining AGAIN? Wait of course it is.”

7. “Ugh not a low ceiling! We’re NEVER gonna get outta here.”

8. “Ugh not high winds! We’re NEVER gonna see the ground again!”

9. “Wait today’s a teacher IN-SERVICE day?! Nooooo!”

10. “Why is the weed store already out of WEED?”

11. “This Costco peeled garlic is all moldy ALREADY?”

12. “OMG I can’t believe I just spent $10 on SOUP.”

13. “How do these leggies WALK in those HEELS?”

14. “Someone put THAT on Juneau buy/sell/trade?”

15. “How can one town produce SO MUCH DOG SHIT?”

BONUS GRIPES: "I DARE you to tow my car!" and "Is there ANY middle ground on the radio between Justin Bieber and Rod Stewart?"

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Newsweek Has Great Tips on Surviving Two Sociopaths Blowing Up the Planet to Prove Whose Dick is the Yoogest

It seems almost retro to say we’re in this place again, but welp, here we are, cowering under our literal and figurative desks once more. And not just to avoid an active shooter armed with 23 pieces of military-grade artillery festooned with bump-stocks and silencers dispensed as free samples at a gun show, either.


This time, we’re taking cover from two active sociopaths—one of whom happens to be the figure-head President of the United States—and both of whom seem bound and determined to return Planet Earth to its origins in the Milky Way just to prove whose dick is the yoogest and fairest in all the land.

The fact that no one will actually remain alive to rule definitively on this question has not deterred Fascist Senile Cantaloupe and Sentient Cabbage Patch Kid from holding humanity hostage in their global peen-measuring contest.

It's all good though, because the FAKE NEWS is here with this BOMBSHELL (pun intended) piece from Newsweek chock full o’ tips to survive a nuclear blast! Let’s break these down and see just how realistic this guidance actually is, m’kay?

“Experts recommend being on the lookout for emergency alerts that could come in the form of text messages.”

Okay, first of all, my iPhone sends me push notifications from trash-ass apps my kids download on the reg. This could easily devolve into a “boy who cried wolf” situation. Like when I hear one of those loud pings, pangs, bings, or dings, how do I know it’s not Barbie Dreamtopia Magical Hair telling me that new hair fashions are available for in-app purchase, as opposed to The Donald telling me that he finally pulled the trigger on the ultimate ragequit? Second of all, I’m sure Trump’s text will get lost among the zillions of group texts and FB messages on which I routinely find myself, despite making it clear in no uncertain terms that group texts and messages are Satan’s handiwork. This whole “nuclear-blast-text-lost-in-the-shuffle” is exactly why.
“It can take up to as little as ten minutes for a nuclear bomb to strike the U.S. giving no time to buy emergency supplies.”
The person who came up with this tip obvs doesn’t have the Amazon Dash Button. Thanks to Jeff Bezos, you can now order Charmin and Cheez-Its right from your bathroom and they will be on your doorstep immedes. I’m confident that ten minutes is MORE than enough time to procure the Nyquil, Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food frozen yogurt, Four Loko, and heirloom tomatoes (among other bare necessities) required to survive the nuclear apocalypse.
“Likely targets of a nuclear attack include strategic missile sites and bases, D.C. government centers, ports and petroleum refineries.”
D.C. is a fucking swamp in every sense of the word, and everyone who lives there should move anyway. That festering boil was officially canceled on 11/9/16. Otherwise, it sounds like you’re probably fine unless your house is in Prudhoe Bay or Cape Canaveral.
“Staying inside in the event of a nuclear blast is key. After 20 minutes of the blast, radioactive flurries and toxic matter will begin to fall. Fallout is especially dangerous during the first two weeks.”
Staying inside for two weeks is gonna be a fucking CAKE WALK, fam! My bed is already my favorite place on earth! The one teensy wrinkle is that I might be overcome by curiosity about “radioactive flurries” and be tempted to go outside with a black-light and see if we can maybe organize an end-times rave.
“If radioactive material gets on your clothing, government officials say taking off the outer layer can eliminate 90 percent of the radioactive material.”
But what happens to the other 10%? Will it give me glow-in-the-dark titties? Gawd that would be bananas, amirite? Here’s hoping!
"Get down, cover your head, don't stand there in the middle of Central Park and gawk. Get under something."
It’s too bad Harvey Weinstein had to fly to Europe for “sex addiction” treatment because his number one skill is getting on top of people. A nuclear blast would finally give that repellent, bloated sack of gelatinous hirsute donkey shit something useful to do with his “addiction” to jumping people’s bones. This is right in his wheelhouse. FREE HARVEY! The future of the planet depends on it!
“FEMA suggests camping out in underground spaces underneath large buildings before the blast. Experts also encourage hiding in a central location with no windows.”
Bruh! I love camping! Based on this description, the State of Alaska’s centralized mail room in the basement of the State Office Building in Juneau is the perfect place to pitch a tent and roast some s’mores over an open uranium fire.
“With a nuclear bomb eminent [sic.] experts warn [against] looking at the blast. Unlike the eclipse, special glasses won’t save you in the event of nuclear destruction, which causes a light so strong it's brighter than the sun and will blind you. Experts urge keeping your mouth open to keep your eardrums from bursting. If you live close enough to the blast, chances of survival are slim.”
So let’s dispense with the elephant in the room: post-nuclear winter, no one will care about the difference between “imminent” and “eminent” anymore, if they ever did. Much less will anyone know where to track down those special eclipse glasses that everyone threw out ten seconds after the eclipse was over. I’m sure when the Blinding Light of Impending Doom sears our retinas, we'll all remember to open our mouths so that our eardrums don’t burst, but also so that little specks of cosmic dust get into our lungs, presumably. But this only applies if you live far away from the blast. If you live close by, you might as well look right at that mushroom cloud with your mouth closed and your ears and eyes wide open so that all of your senses are fully engaged in your last moments on earth and you die looking like one of those little rubber stress dolls that you squeeze and the ears and tongue and eyeballs bulge out comically.
“A 2014 study published in The Royal Society found that most homes and buildings will not be able to withstand a nuclear blast.”
Actually forget everything you just read. We're all fucked and we're all gonna die! JESUS, TAKE THE WHEEL!

Monday, October 16, 2017

I Wrote a Song for All the Garys In My Life

I wrote a song for all the Garys in my life: past, present, and future!

Gary, oh Gary, you have ALWAYS been there for meeeee
Though I may have been quite wary
When you barged into the bathroom just to watch me peeeeeee (your actual name was Garyyyyyy!!!)

Gary, oh Gary, you said I should cover myself up
Even though I was only eleven
I said okay, sure, yuuuuuuuuuuuuup!

Gary, oh Gary, you said I was too faaaaat
Even though my body was 100% normal
Whadyya make of thaaaaaaaaaaat?

Gary, oh Gary, you were there on the Brooklyn-bound A
Following me insanely from car to car
Just because you had something to sayyyyyyyy

Gary, oh Gary, you told me I dressed like a slut
Never mind that I didn’t ask for your opinion
And called you a fucking nuuuuuuuuuuut

Gary, oh Gary, you made an obscene gesture at meeeee
And pretended a softball bat was a dick
And gave it a fake hand job for all to seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Gary, oh Gary, you asked if we could “make a porn.”
My boyfriend was sitting right there
Clear as the day you were booooorrrrrn!

Gary, oh Gary, you’ve supported my careeeeer
Telling me to make eye contact and smile more
And comparing me to your wife with a sneeeeeeeeeer

Gary, oh Gary, you’re in the comment threeaaaaaaaads
Shit-posting dumb-ass memes
That make it seem like you got dropped on your heeeeeeeeeeead

Gary, oh Gary, you cat-called me on the streeeeet
And followed me with your friends aggressively
And looked at me like meeeeeeeeeeeeeeat

Gary, oh Gary, you got that crazed look in your eye
And pushed the boundaries of consent
But hey look I know you’re not that kind of guuuuyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

I’m sorry if your name is Gary and you’re really a woke-AF duuuude
I don’t mean to imply that all Garys are Beckys because that would be very ruuuuude.


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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Surprise! Mike Ditka is a Yooge Dick

Here's a non-exhaustive list of things I find more surprising than reports that Mike Ditka is a clueless, racist fucking dumbass:

1. Finding my kids' dirty socks all over the the floor and inside out.
2. Ending up on a group text against my will.
3. Trump tweeting some bullshit at 3:00 a.m.
4. Needing to take a piss when I wake up in the morning.
5. Dog shit on a trail in Juneau.

Ditka went full-on Archie Bunker in this radio interview about the NFL's #TakeAKnee movement:
I think it’s a problem. Anybody who disrespects this country and the flag. If they don’t like the country they don’t like our flag, get the hell out. My choice is, I like this country, I respect our flag, and I don’t see all the atrocities going on in this country that people say are going on,” Ditka said. “I see opportunities if people want to look for opportunity. Now, if they don’t want to look for them then you can find problems with anything, but this is the land of opportunity because you can be anything you want to be if you work. If you don’t work, that’s a different problem.
The stupid in this statement is SUPES hard to break down, but let me try one piece at a time.

I think it’s a problem.

TRANSLATION: A bigger problem than unarmed Black people being executed by the State on the spot with impunity.

Anybody who disrespects this country and the flag. 

TRANSLATION: Anybody who has the uppity complaining nerve to ask not to be executed by the State on the spot with impunity.
If they don’t like the country they don’t like our flag, get the hell out.  

TRANSLATION: If they don’t like being executed by the State on the spot with impunity, they should leave the country.

My choice is, I like this country, I respect our flag, and I don’t see all the atrocities going on in this country that people say are going on.  

TRANSLATION: Everything in my life has led me to this moment; this moment where I can’t possibly imagine anyone having a different life experience than me, much less consider the possibility that (a) that experience might be beyond the person’s control; and (b) similarly, not everything I am and have is simply the natural consequence of my hard work and the American meritocracy.

I see opportunities if people want to look for opportunity. Now, if they don’t want to look for them then you can find problems with anything, but this is the land of opportunity because you can be anything you want to be if you work. If you don’t work, that’s a different problem.


DA BEARS! What a dick.

Hurricane Maria Response: Trump is Garbage, My Mom is an Animal, and My Friend in the Coast Guard is a Badass

"Wait WHAT?" I asked my mom over FaceTime Friday night. 

My parents had just returned home from a play, and we were watching the end of the Yankees/Astros game when my mom casually dropped that she was headed to the U.S. Virgin Islands to do mental health/PTSD relief work for hurricane victims. 

She'd done this before. 

She spent six weeks in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan and made several trips to post-genocide Rwanda. So it's not like this doctors-without-borders routine is out of character or unexpected. It's just that each time she does it, I'm amazed, because at age 72, she is by far the oldest doctor on these missions and is only getting older with each trip. It makes me anxious, but also awed.

I'm not a fan of invidious comparison, so I try not to think about the fact that while my mom is trying to step in and do something real and compassionate for humanity--something not even our own President seems capable of doing without revealing himself for the steaming pile of hot garbage that he is--I'm on the internet writing jokes about my period and checking every ten seconds to see how many people reacted to them with a crying-laughter emoji. 

Everyone has their niche and their strengths, I suppose, and I'm not going to sit here and say my mom can "do it all." She definitely can't. Like there is a shitload of stuff she can't do. She's a terrifying driver and her idea of cooking is "foraging" for takeout at the various bodegas and farmer's markets in northern Manhattan and the Bronx. 

But when it comes to activism, she's an animal. "I'd go to jail to resist Donald Trump," she said before attending one of many post-election protests. "You have kids to raise, I don't recommend jail.” She's probably the only person I know who hates Donald Trump more than I do.

Now she's headed to a disaster zone yet again. This is why she went to medical school.

A friend of our family's--another total badass--is in the Coast Guard and stationed here in Juneau. Andy is away from his wife and two daughters for at least a month on deployment to Puerto Rico and the USVI. Here's his report from October 12, reposted from Facebook with permission:
For the last week, I've been back and forth between Miami and Puerto Rico coordinating logistics for the Coast Guard's hurricane Maria response.
I have traveled the north coast of PR; the damage is extensive, but the vast majority of buildings are made of concrete and are structurally intact. I have talked to people who were handing out relief near Humacao today (near where the eyewall made landfall), they reported that even there, though many houses were destroyed, most were not. 
The biggest issue is the devastation of the utility grid. Most of the island does not have electricity or potable water, and there are widespread landline and cell outages. The electric grid was on life support before Maria and this storm pulled the plug. We are expecting to operate on generators at our bases for 6 months+. Even the Coast Guard bases did not have reliable or sufficient backup power before the storm, and getting the right generators airlifted and installed has been a major effort. 
I have heard talk that the grid will be restored to current standards and be much more resilient that the previous version, which could be a good thing to come out of the storm. Coast Guard, National Guard, Air Force, Navy, Army and Marine aircraft are all delivering aid to the remote areas, but aid has not made it to all parts of the interior. 
Many people I have encountered in San Juan are piecing things back together and getting back to work in a city with very limited electricity. Shops and restaurants are opening back up, gas stations are open and regular commercial flights have returned to the airport (though the terminal had no air conditioning when I arrived). Leaves are growing back on many of the trees amazingly quickly. I have noticed a marked increase in green in just the past few days.  
I am flying to St. Croix and St. Thomas for the next couple days and will report what I see there.  
@ Viejo San Juan
I spoke to Andy on the phone yesterday, and he noted that the above update was mostly about the coast and not as much about the interior, which is still struggling to get aid. 

He is now on St. Croix on the east end of the island. He says the population centers are okay, but that folks in the hinterlands aren't necessarily getting services, there's no refrigeration, and it's miserably hot. 

In St. Thomas, he reported, about a third of downtown Charlotte Amalie has electricity and people are settling in to a new normal. Overall there was a mixture of hope and frustration, and I plan to share his next update separately.

I thanked Andy for his service and being a credit to our country. He responded: 

“This is why I joined the Coast Guard.”

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Attention 2017 Females: You’re Gonna Piss Yourself Laughing at the Snake Oil for Sale in the 1900 Sears & Roebuck Catalog

I love old-timey snake oil ads for women, whose insecurities have for centuries been a lucrative business. What's amazing about these ads from the Fall 1900 Sears & Roebuck catalog, which a friend sent me snapshots of, is really how little has changed. 

Check it out:

Freckles are very annoying blemishes, especially for those with pretty complexions. Time to render that skin soft and white! And of course, nothing disfigures a woman's face so much as an unnatural growth of hair.

Looking for a cure for "female weakness" and "all female disorders?" This is the greatest remedy of the ages! Especially if you're suffering from a "dread of some impending evil" or have "a craving for unnatural foods."

Do not be without an electric belt (WTF?!) for a hundred little aches and pains, including "weak nerve pains."

FAT FOLKS: Too much fat is a disease of great annoyance to those afflicted. Also, don't let your headaches turn you into a "martyr."

Oh look! Some guy named Dr. Worden is going to give you "female pills for all female diseases," especially "all forms of female weakness." WOMEN CAN BE BEAUTIFUL. Note: these pills are not a cure-all, yet two paragraphs down they guarantee a cure for any case. M'kay.

Constipation: that most hideous and deathly demon of sickness.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Yay! There’s No Travel Ban on “My Wealth!”

If it’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s when my wealth can't travel as freely as me. 

Forget about foreign exchange fees. I hate it when my wealth gets traveler’s diarrhea from a sketchy papaya salad in Ko-Lanta and can’t leave the resort hotel room for a few days. 

Or when my wealth forgot to sign up for TSA pre and has to get its titties felt up along with the rest of the unwashed masses in their neck pillows and Juicy Couture sweatpants and Uggs.

Or when (God forbid) my wealth's passport is expired and ends up grounded in Cannes.

If you have a lot of money, you have "wealth." If you only have money that comes twice a month in a paycheck, you have "money” or in my case, “a paycheck.” If you have a "job" you're just a regular old plebe. 

The real ballers of our one-percenter, economically-segregated, free market trickle down capitalist society don't have "jobs," or even "careers." That's for The Poors. No, these aristocrats are IN some amorphous field. I wish I could explain exactly how they got so rich, but as the saying goes, wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up first.

Like here's what the woman in this ad would say if you asked her what she did for a living. "I'm in finance," or "I'm in real estate," or "I'm in pharmaceuticals," or "I'm in advertising," or—my personal favorite—"I'm in business." It sounds almost mafioso, except it's perfectly legal and in fact actively aspired to.

See, if you're just a workaday rube, you're not "in" anything. I'm not "in" law. I'm a lawyer.  My friends who are fishermen, engineers, teachers, nurses, police officers, bus drivers, and doctors, aren't IN anything, either. They're just "a fisherman," a "teacher" or a "pediatrician." They aren't "in fishing" or "in pediatrics."

And don't bother asking anyone who's "in" anything what the fuck it is that they do all day. They won't be able to tell you. I've tried--MANY times--and I can't get a solid answer out of anyone. All I know is that people who are "in" something make unspeakable amounts of money, the origins of which not even they are willing or able to explain.

My point is, if you're not IN something, you probably won't find yourself wearing a size 2 tan suit and a white shirt with no stains on it (because you don't eat or drink) walking through a veranda in Italy on your way to an important meeting of whatever the thing is that you're IN. 

You're probably so calm, cool, and collected that your Diva Cup is staying in place as you stroll confidently and with zero concern about perioding all over your light beige pants. And you probably already have a CitiGold card to ensure that your "wealth" (as opposed to your "money" or "paycheck") can "travel as freely as you."

For the record, here are the top 10 places my “wealth” has “traveled” over the past year—all in one direction: forever out of my possession:

1. The deli counter at Rainbow Foods
2. The bank that holds my mortgage
3. The plumbing & heating guy 
4. Juneau Parks & Rec youth soccer 
5. Capital Service auto repair
6. Alaska Airlines
7. Amazon prime 
8. Hurricane relief
9. Snowpants
10. The giant gaping hole at the bottom of my checking account.