Saturday, September 22, 2018

The False Alarm Friend

Can we talk about this person for a second, please? The false alarm friend? Or relative. It can definitely be a relative. Usually an in-law. I can’t say for sure that they haven’t covered this on Seinfeld, but a quick Google search suggests not. Which is odd, because the False Alarm Friend (hereinafter, “FAF”) is definitely a type. 

A close cousin of the “The False Gasper” and “The Scary Sneezer,” (both of which I have covered in prior
posts), the False Alarm Friend scares the shit out of you with cryptic texts and voice mails, only to unwittingly deliver a punchline that results in a massive and jarring feedback loop of neurochemicals in and out of your adrenal system.

Here’s how a text convo goes with a FAF:

FAF: I have something urgent to tell you
You: OMG what?
*10 minutes elapse*
You: Hello? I’m calling you.
*straight to voicemail*
You: what’s going on are you okay?
FAF: Are you sitting down
You: WHAT?! You’re scaring me
FAF: They have organic anchovy paste on sale at Costco

Here’s a voice mail from the FAF:

FAF VMX: “Hi .... um. Can you call me back? We need to talk as soon as possible.”
You: SHIT!! *calls FAF* Hi I got your voice mail what’s up?!
FAF: What size socks does Isaac wear?
You: Wut 
FAF: What size socks does Isaac wear? I’m standing in Gap Kids and they’re having a half off sale on boys’ socks 
You: Are you fucking serious right now?

There’re only so many times your heart will restart. If you want to conserve them, I suggest readjusting your expectations of the False Alarm Friend.

Friday, September 21, 2018

I Wanna Do X With an Octopus!

By dosing the tentacled creatures with MDMA, researchers found they share parts of an ancient messaging system involved in social behavior with humans.

--On Ecstasy, Octopuses Reached Out for a Hug, JoAnna Klein, NY Times, Sept. 20, 2018

I assume doing ecstasy with an octopus is more fun than doing it with mean, insecure frat bros at Phish shows and music festivals.

Like I would be BEYOND stoked to drop molly with an octopus. First of all, an octopus has 8 arms, which if I’m doing the math right, is four times as many arms as humans have, plus hundreds of suckers on each one. And so deductive reasoning suggests that octopus hugs are at least four times better than people hugs.

Still, I bet there’s nothing worse than being a young female octopus who drops X, opens your big fat beak, and confesses all your mollusk feels to a male octopus, only to have him look at you semi-sympathetically with his beady little eyes and tell you with brutal honesty that you’re fat and embarrassing, and he wouldn’t mate with you if you were the last octopus in the ocean, until you slither away and smush yourself onto a trout’s sandy blanket for awhile, crap in a porta-potty under a coral reef somewhere, and spend the whole next day curled up in a squishy ball in your cave crying salty little octopus tears because no one will ever love you and you’re gonna be Hideous and Alone Forever.™

I have no personal knowledge of any of this, by the way. I’m simply relating this scenario from a friend-of-an-octopus-friend.

But how fun and trippy would it be to take an MDMA bath with an octopus?! This is fully #LifeGoals for me. I’m very scared of the ocean, TBH—the currents, the sharks, the stinging and biting things, the sharp rocks—no thank you. But the ocean on ecstasy with an octopus? 

Totes different story. 

I’m sure I’d lose all my inhibitions and we’d take a big tour of the seabed together and go check out an octopus DJ in an algae-covered booth under a shipwreck that only a few “in-the-know” cephalopods could find. All 8 arms would be scratching away on the turntables and we’d be gnashing our beaks and waving our tentacles in the air like we just don’t care. Also a lot of bioluminescence in the house.

(Little Known Fact™: Ringo Starr was dropping X with an octopus when he wrote Octopus’s Garden!)

I wish I’d thought of doing X with an octopus back when I wasn’t scared of parenting through brain damage and driving kids from soccer to skating and back again with a serotonin-depletion hangover.

I thought my MDMA days were done, but this octopus study is a fuckin' game-changer.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Kavanaugh Circus All Boils Down to One Word: Entitlement

So here's a little thought experiment. 

Pretend you were born rich, white, and Christian in post-war America. You attended the best private schools and Ivy League institutions in the country, worked at a series of progressively prestigious jobs, and now you have the chance to reach the absolute pinnacle of your trajectory. 

You've planned for this your whole life. Everything you've done has led to this moment. You're about to interview for a lifetime appointment to one of the nine most important jobs in American civic life. 

The reason this job is so important is because it has the power to affect a lot of people's lives, and whether you want to admit it to yourself or not, if it's one thing you have and don't want to let go of, it's power. ESPECIALLY power to affect other people's lives. The job also commands respect among the people whose opinions you care about, and you also deserve respect. You know the interview is gonna be grueling, but you're a shoo-in for the gig. 

But then something happens. 

Some bitch you don't even remember surfaces from the great beyond to tell on you for the usual stuff you did with girls that you don't even remember. (You were also entitled to her body). And yeah you know they dig for skeletons, but you've basically been a Boy Scout and fuck if you're gonna let some drunken antics from 35 years ago ruin everything you've worked so hard for.

You deserve this job. You're ENTITLED to this job. And so you're relieved when your prospective employer--which in theory is the American people but in practice is a bunch of spineless hacks--says they're gonna put your accuser on trial. 

Because of course! That's normal for a job interview, right? When an allegation of sexual assault surfaces, doesn't EVERY employer put the accuser under oath instead of saying "Thanks for your time, we're going in a different direction?"

In your world, they do. In your world, you're ENTITLED to a seat on the Supreme Court. That's the only possible explanation for assuming that you still deserve this job, and that the women of America should have to beg two lone female Senators to protect their medical safety and--for the SECOND time--demand that a Supreme Court Justice be held accountable for the actions of his own dick.

That's the world you live in. Must be nice.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Nothing Will Ever Come of This, Because No One With Any Power Gives a Shit

Reality check: the best predictor of the future is history, and if it's one thing history teaches us, it's that women's bodies don't matter.

Maybe it's a bit cynical to say this out loud, but I also think it's realistic: the sexual assault allegation against a 17 year-old Brett Kavanaugh won't matter one iota to his Supreme Court prospects. Of course, there are 6,878 reasons not to confirm this guy to a lifetime appointment on the United States Supreme Court. But people who think this is one of them are deluding themselves.

Per the Washington Post:
Kavanaugh pinned [Christine Blasey Ford] to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it. When she tried to scream, she said, he put his hand over her mouth. “I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” said Ford, now a 51-year-old research psychologist in northern California. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”
YAWN! HUGE IF TRUE?! Not so much. First of all, it's probably NOT true. Okay, wai wai wait . . . it probably IS true, because this isn't even deviant. THIS. IS. NORMALIZED. BEHAVIOR. IN. OUR. SOCIETY.

Wake up.

Every single woman has experienced something along this spectrum. We have come to accept it as normal. We've taught boys to do it and girls to take it. Forget about rape and sexual assault and more obvious forms of wrongdoing to women's bodies. I don't think there is a woman alive who has not felt pressured and coerced or BEEN pressured and coerced into sex, and guess what?

NO ONE CARES. Certainly not anyone who can do anything about this.

Men by and large don't care, and most women don't either. In fact, most women shun other women for suggesting that maybe this shit is not okay, because accepting it’s not forces them to take a hard look at their own experiences. 

You'll see it all over the internet: are we really going to smear a man's whole career (aka not give him a lifetime appointment to a nine person court that decides everyone’s lives) and dare to stand in the way of his blind ambition for ALLEGEDLY groping a girl and making her fear for her life when he was a drunk teen?


That's right, folks. Only we as a collective society can decide what a "big deal" is, and we have decided that women's bodies are No Big Deal.™ To the extent they matter at all, they matter only to be legislated and controlled. It's no small irony, then, that Kavanaugh is the justice most likely to at long last inflict the thousandth cut on Roe v. Wade that will herald the return of wire-hanger abortions in America.

Don't forget: the same power structure that confirmed Clarence Thomas over Anita Hill's testimony and that gives confessed sexual assailants their careers back after a little time-out in the dunce corner is the very same power structure that elevated Kavanaugh and assembled every Supreme Court before and since.

So if you're waiting on this to matter, I'm sorry to say you'll likely be waiting forever.

Saturday, September 15, 2018


Every once in awhile I just need to process this fact. Like from the first fucking SECOND it’s 24/7 anxiety and questions and insomnia. This has seriously been me EVERY SINGLE DAY since 2007:

What if I have a miscarriage?
What if the genetic testing is positive for something scary?
What if I go into pre-term labor?
What if they die of SIDS?
What if they contract meningitis?
What if they get an incurable disease?
What if they suffocate from anaphylactic shock?
What if they don’t make friends?
What if they get kidnapped?
What if they develop a mental illness?
What if we have a car accident?
What if she develops an eating disorder?
What if they can’t learn?
What if they play with guns?
What if the whole planet is uninhabitable?
What if Donald Trump blows us all up?
What if they drink and drive?
What if they get addicted to drugs?
What if they get bullied?
What if they ARE the bully?
What if they get molested?
What if he sexually assaults someone?
What if they shoplift?
What if they fail out of school?
What if they never graduate?
What if they go to prison?
What if they can’t get jobs?
What if they live with me forever?
What if we get into a feud and they never speak to me again?
What if I get fired and lose my health insurance?
What if they have a horrible breakup?
What if they hit their heads?
What if they get run over by a bus?
What if their bodies are already inevitably and irreversibly riddled with carcinogens?
What if they fall off their bikes and break a bunch of bones?
What if they bleed to death?
What if someone breaks their heart?
What if I disappoint them?
What if they disappoint me?
What if I’m missing out and not present enough?
What if I fail to make adequate memories?
What if I set a bad example?
What if they drown?
What if I outlive them?
What if I die while they’re still young?
What if they go to therapy just to talk about what a bad mom I was?

Like at least some of this will happen. I seriously CANNOT with the stress and vulnerability of parenthood. There is not enough Prozac in the WORLD for this. 

Why did I do this to myself?!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Widespread Manic Panic Room: A Step by Step Guide to Dyeing Your Kids Hair

Step One: Don’t give two shits about your kids’ hair. Not caring if your kids cut all their hair off and dye their scalp hot pink or whatever is like a threshold prerequisite to this project. Personally, I couldn’t GAF what my kids do to their hair. I’m saving my battle-selection capital for drunk driving, helmet-wearing, firearm safety, and homework.

Step Two: Try to explain to your kids what Ricky’s in the Village was, and how it was the only store you could buy Manic Panic. And how in high school you’d tromp over to the Waverly in your thigh high purple Doc Martens with your dirt weed from Tompkins Square Park and bust out your wallet on a chain to shell out a few bucks for the midnight screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Realize they have zero idea what you’re talking about and they couldn’t GAF. Feel old AF again.

Step Three: Read the directions on the jar. Ignore them all. Go with what you feel.

Step Four: What you feel turns out to be using your bare hands, because a paint brush takes too long. Technically, you’re supposed to use a “tint brush,” whatever that is. Anyway what does this look like? A fucking salon? Sorry, the closest thing you have is a stray Crayola watercolors paintbrush and fuck if you’re gonna be here all night. Use your damn bare hands, come what may.

Step Five: Set them up on a stepstool and tell them that if they don’t sit very still and read quietly for thirty minutes the dye won’t work. Wrap the dyed parts of the hair in a bread bag.

Step Six: Help them rinse it out; flood your bathroom. Do a big reveal in the mirror. Enjoy hero status.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Inspiring! This Woman Brought a Tuna Salad Sandwich from Subway to a Brown Bag Lunch

In a controversial move that her co-workers are heralding as “brave” and “ballsy,” local accounting assistant Annie James, 32, has taken the bold step of bringing a six-inch tuna salad sandwich from Subway to a working brown bag lunch on Quick Books best practices.

Although arguably delicious, the smell emanating from this particular sandwich is indistinguishable from the crotch area of a pair of polyester bike shorts that have been sitting on the floor of your closet for a week.

“I just thought it was like, really fearless of her to bring wet tuna fish into an enclosed space with six other people like, sitting RIGHT there,” said Annie’s co-worker, Leslie Maldonado. “But you have to hand it to Annie. She’s on her own journey and living her truth. You gotta respect that.”

Not everyone agrees.

“I mean, who does that?” Erin Foust, one of the presenters at the brown-bag, asked rhetorically. “Like, everyone knows you ONLY bring turkey sandwiches or grilled chicken salads or coffee to brown bag lunches. No one wants to smell tuna while they’re trying to focus on a spreadsheet.”

Annie, however, remained undeterred and steadfast about the super gross sandwich.

“It’s not like I microwaved it,” she said, defending her unorthodox choice. “But even if I had, I need 8 grams of lean protein before noon or I flat-line, and nothing worth having comes easy.”

At press time, there was a poster hanging in Annie’s cubicle that read, “The devil whispered in my ear, ‘you’re not strong enough to withstand the storm. Today I whispered in the devil's ear, “Wanna bet? Smell my breath, bitch.'”