Saturday, April 30, 2016

First World Kiddie Cheese Plate

Last Will & Testament from the Girl Scout Camp In

If you're reading this, I've probably been murdered by 150 little squealing Girl Scouts. I'm at the Juneau Girl Scout "camp-in" "sleeping" in a tent on AstroTurf in a field house. And what can I say? I might not make it out of here alive.

I ran into a mom friend of mine in the bathroom. One who very clearly has her shit together. "Have you been here this whole time,?" she asked incredulously. I replied that I had, and she asked if I'd been hiding out blogging. I denied it, but didn't have the heart to tell her that I'd been hiding out coloring instead. (Yes, for the record I made Geoff drive 20 minutes out of his way to bring me my supplies, which I had forgotten. And what of it?!)

Truth be told, the girls were being tended to by older Girl Scouts, so it's not like I was failing to be present. Well, I was failing to be present, but not to the detriment or notice of my child this time.

Let it be known that my last meal was wine and cheese. Just kidding. It was a cheese stick and freeze dried red grape slices from Costco. Which is basically the same thing.

When I set up our tent, it was like riding a bicycle. A really annoying, tattered, and dirty bicycle that reminds you that you haven't been on a legit backpacking or outdoor camping adventure in years. I think I'll leave that tent to any number of people I know who get off their kiesters often enough to enjoy it.

As for my personal effects, including all my coloring supplies, I'll leave those to Juneau Parks and Rec to pawn at a massive garage sale on this very spot. Attention ladies: I've got some supes cute shoes. Just saying.

UPDATE: I survived! On five hours of sleep in which I dreamed about being in a pie-eating contest with Jay Z at Gracie Mansion in NYC. I drank a half cup of coffee, which is the carefully calibrated amount I need to avoid a migraine and still go back to sleep while Paige watches Harry Potter 6 (thank you Hollywood for making that movie 2.5 hours) and Isaac plays T ball in the driving rain.

I'm happy I lived. After all, I've got a lot of sleeping left to do.


Friday, April 29, 2016

Sounding Like a "Drunken Hyena" to a 12 Year-Old Boy is My #1 Squad Goal

If you've ever read this blog before, you know I'm a person with goals. I'm EXTREMELY goal-oriented. 

I guess you might call some of my goals "untraditional" though, since they aren't stuff like "be present" or "exercise 5 days a week." They're more things like, "finish coloring the negative space in this adult coloring book with a blue metallic gel pen," "think up some stupid observation and blog about it," or "spend less money on lunch." And sometimes, you don't even realize you had a particular goal until you've achieved it.

That's what happened last night, when I was hanging out with two of my sister wives. The one who hosted us texted the next day to report that her 12-year-old son, who was in self-imposed solitary confinement upstairs, told her we sounded like "drunken hyenas."

This was one of those moments when, with the help of two good friends, I achieved something remarkable and unexpected: sounding like a drunken pack of hyenas to a 12-year-old boy.

#SquadGoals

Uninterrupted Basic Activities of Daily Living that I Never Thought I'd Miss After Having Kids

Before I had kids, it did not remotely occur to me that ALL of my basic activities of daily living would--without exception--be regularly interrupted for the indefinite future. Now that my kids are 8 and 5, I know better. So I'm settling in for the long haul and trying to get into "cherish-these-precious-and-fleeting times" mode. It's not always easy to do that though when you're dealing with lack of the following:

1. Uninterrupted Sleep: This is one people actually tell you about (the others not as much). From day 1 of parenting you're losing sleep, and the sleep debt just keeps getting bigger. Now instead of waking up at 1:47 a.m. so a baby can gnaw on my tits until they bleed, I just literally get kicked out of my own bed.

2. Uninterrupted Bathroom Use: The bathroom is like a sort of domestic Green Zone. There's a general expectation that you're not to be fired upon, but it's rarely heeded. So you basically get a lighter version of the usual heavy artillery. I don't think I make it through a single week without being barged in on in the bathroom, whether I'm doing real business in there or simply just hiding. The kids are onto the fact that I sometimes do the latter. Accordingly, the other day they stormed in just as I was settling into a juicy profile of Paul McCartney in the New Yorker, and asked me to settle a squabble over an empty shoebox. An. Empty. Fucking. Shoebox.

3.  Uninterrupted Intimacy: Nothing brings a couple closer together than having children. That bond, that feeling that the two of you are doing something so amazing as ONE. It really takes your affection for one another to the next level. HAHAHAHA! PSSSSYYYYYYCCCHHH! The one thing kids give zero fucks about is whether their parents get any sleep (see #1 above), so they certainly don't care that they're turning them into mortal enemies who are running through the day on fumes, fighting over everything from oil changes to pistachio shells. A Marvin Gaye LP record it is not.

4. Uninterrupted Meals: I don't think I've had a single, complete meal sitting down in my house in 8 years. No really. I'm not kidding. And when I am sitting down, I spend the whole time yelling at my kids to do the same.

5. Uninterrupted Sentences: Here's MOMMY MOMMY DADDY what MOOM I JUST HAVE TO SAY this sentence would look like IT'S JUST ONE QUICK THING IT'S SUPER IMPORTANT if I was saying it out loud to you I PROMISE IT'S IMPORTANT. I NEED TO GET PINK TISSUE PAPER!! while on the phone or MOMMY MOMMY DADDY DADDY driving in a car with you.

For realsies tho. #Cherishing.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Uggggghhhhhhh! Not Conflict PALM OIL!?

First it was conflict diamonds. Then it was conflict coffee. Then came conflict quinoa. Now it's conflict PALM OIL?

Is there NO totally gratuitous First World piece of jewelry or foodstuff that is safe for my guilt-free consumption in upper-middle class white America anymore?

Jesus Christ.

Palm oil, one of the world's most widely consumed vegetable oils, has reportedly been linked to deforestation, animal cruelty, and human rights abuses. That's sad and all, especially for the orangutans (who are SUPES adorbs). But frankly, I'm not sure the First World will be able to absorb this blow to its mint-chip ice cream, lipstick, shampoo, and instant noodle soup market.

I guess what I'm saying is that my quality of life and my psyche will SUFFER for this. I will not be able to apply my palm oily lipstick with a hand that bears a giant glass rock as I sip a 12 oz. Starbucks mocha after downing a tasty quinoa salad for lunch. 

At least not without feeling a tiny bit sad for a nanosecond. 

Instead, I will need to spend that nanosecond (which I would otherwise happily spend playing Candy Crush Saga or posting a cute selfie to Insta) thinking about all the poor anonymous peasants whose short, nasty, and brutish lives were spent bringing all of these products to my fingertips. Not to mention all the funny-looking trees in a rain forest in some hot, scary, bug-and-snake-infested malarial hellhole that got chopped down in bulk like a real life version of The Lorax.

FML you guys. Eff. Emm. Ell.


An Open Letter to My Children: Can't You Just Brush Your Fucking Teeth Already?

Dear Paige and Isaac,

By the time you're old enough to read this, I hope that each of you will have much better oral hygiene habits than you do right now. Because at the moment, getting either one of you to brush your teeth is, if you'll excuse the pun, like pulling them. 
So I will put to you now one simple question, and the answer better be "yes, mom." 

Can't you just brush your fucking teeth already? Honestly. Inquiring minds want to know.

I don't understand what's so hard and offensive about availing yourselves of the highly valuable First World privileged access to dental care and hygiene that you are fortunate enough to enjoy. Specifically, Minion-themed toothbrushes, bubble-gum flavored toothpaste, Disney mouthwash, clean, fresh, delicious water, and regular trips to the dentist where you get to sit in a chair and watch cartoons with your mouth open until a pretty, nice-smelling lady gives you gold star stickers and cute little plastic dental floss containers destined for a landfill.

Quite literally, I devote hours of my life each week to begging and pleading with you to brush your goddamned fucking teeth. I even put the toothpaste ON the toothbrush for you, and the toothbrush is ELECTRIC. Your teeth practically brush themselves! When I was your age we only had analog toothbrushes. I had to put some real elbow grease into making sure my mouth didn't look and smell like a London sewer. And guess what? it's still full of silver!

I know. You have a lot of baby teeth left, but I'm trying to instill some decent habits here. I'm simply trying to save you from the long-term decaying effects of chocolate-covered almonds, donuts, and all the other sugary shit you're constantly (and often successfully) begging me to let you cram into your Pirate's Booty and Annie's Organic Mac n' Cheese holes 24/7.

This really shouldn't be that hard. It takes all of two minutes and yet I spend fifteen minutes begging for every minute you spend brushing. It's ridiculous. And don't even get me started on baths. 

Seriously kids. For fuck's sake. 

Love,

Your Mother






Oklahoma: A Great Place to Go if You Want to Suck a Dick While You're Unconscious



Great news for the Sooner State you guys! It's about to officially change its nickname to The Sooner-or-Later-You-Can-Have-Your-Dick-Sucked-By-An-Unconscious-Woman State!"

The Guardian reports that an Oklahoma criminal appeals court stunned local prosecutors when it ruled unanimously that state law does NOT criminalize oral sex with a victim who is completely unconscious. The case involved a teenage girl who awoke to a bunch of jizz on her face and body after a night of drinking in which she apparently performed fellatio on another teenager while she was blackout drunk. 

Prosecutors charged the recipient of the beej with forcible oral sodomy, but the court pulled an Amy Winehouse and said NO, NO, NO! Why? Because "forcible sodomy cannot occur where a victim is so intoxicated as to be completely unconscious at the time of the sexual act of oral copulation."

This is seriously good news for the Oklahoma tourism board. There are already so many great things to do in OK, (whose state initials are now officially being changed to "M'kay" in light of the curious conclusion that forcing your dick into an unconscious woman's mouth is totes cool).

I know I know, she shouldn't have been drinking! OBV. Since when a woman gets drunk, she is thereby implicitly consenting to a dick in her mouth. Maybe not even just one. Maybe like, a dozen? Dicks are like donuts that way. They're more delicious in packages of 12. With "custard."

Regardless, there is now one more thing to do in the great state of Oklahoma. Horseback riding, biking, golf, visiting Native American cultural sites, touring farms--and--from the OFFICIAL OKLAHOMA TOURISM site--"CHICK TRIPS!" That "chick trip" you've been planning with your besties? If you take it in Oklahoma, it can include everything from "traditional shopping and spa excursions to unconventional outdoor adventures," and by "unconventional outdoor adventures," they mean SUCKING A DICK WHILE YOU'RE UNCONSCIOUS.

Not to mention the options that abound for "bro trips," in which bros can go on a "pub crawl mouth tour" of local nightlife hot spots, trolling for drunken women on "chick trips" who will soon be unconscious and performing blow jobs that they can't remember.

Yay!

OOOOOklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain, and some drunk guy's meat, can sure taste sweet, when your face is buried in his taint!











Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Piers Morgan Found in a Closet Looking Like that Becky Named Katie from The Ring After Watching Trailer for Beyoncé's "Lemonade"

BEFORE YOU DIE YOU SEE . . . THE LEMONADE TRAILER! 

This was the stern warning that should have been heeded by Piers Morgan, the ruddy-faced British tabloid journalist who has famously and infuriatingly mansplained and whitesplained everything from Susan Sarandon's titties to Beyoncé's Blackness in the interest of provoking public outrage sufficient to retain his own relevance.

Piers Morgan has not been seen since the release of Beyoncé's visual album Lemonade last Saturday night, until this morning when he was found in a closet in his Los Angeles home by a gardener looking like that Becky named Katie from The Ring:




It is thought that Mr. Morgan suffered a fate similar to the supporting character from the 2002 psychological thriller, in which seriously bad shit happens to you within seven days after watching a short, creepy video.

Similarly, when old, white, boring AF dudes watch the gender and race-empowering imagery delivered by Queen Bey in the four-minute long Lemonade trailer, urban legend has it that they can't deal with it on any level, and end up looking like this.

Bill O'Reilly, Stephen Colbert, and Mike Huckabee: You've been warned.

Alaska State Capitol Needs a New Street Address AND a New Theme Song

An op-ed in the Alaska Dispatch News on Tuesday reported on a street-naming drama afoot in the Fairbanks North Star Borough. 

Fairbanks residents have been debating whether it's a good idea to keep the name "Terminal Street" as the site of the Borough headquarters, since some argue the name has negative connotations (e.g., terminal cancer). Now I haven't been to Fairbanks in a few years, so I can't credibly speak to this issue. But I DO think there's a takeaway here for Juneau. 

This year's legislative session is now well into overtime, and I'm starting to think that 120 East Fourth Street, the address of our Capitol Building, needs a new name too. Maybe "Boulevard of Broken Dreams?"

In the meantime, forget the Alaska Flag Song.The Capitol and its denizens deserve a remake of U2's famous hit, Where the Streets Have No Name off the Irish rock band's 1987 album The Joshua Tree.

Ahem.

Where the Streets Spawn Disdain (alternative working title: Song for the Alaska Legislature)

I want to run
I want to hide
Jackhammers tear down the walls
That held them inside
I wanna reach out
And lay some blame
Where the streets spawn disdain

I want to feel, they're not a disgrace
I want to see them disappear without a trace
I wanna take shelter, 'cause they're insane

Where the streets spawn disdain
Where the streets spawn disdain

Where the streets spawn disdain

We're still building
Then burning down laws, burning down laws
And when I go there
It's like deja vu
Alaskans are screwed

They're stuck in the mud
And our faith turns to rust
We're beaten and blown by these fools
Trampled to dust

I'll show you a place
Drenched by the Juneau rain

Where the streets spawn disdain
Where the streets spawn disdain
Where the streets spawn disdain

Still building

Then burning down laws
Burning down laws

And when we go there
We go there to stew
It's all we can do

Our faith turns to rust
We're beaten and blown by these fools
Blown by these fools
Oh and the public trust
See that trust turn to rust
We're beaten and blown by these fools
Blown by these fools
Oh when we go there
We try to break through
It's all we can do


Alaska State Capitol Building.jpg

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

God Cancels Appearances in North Carolina

Following in the footsteps of other big names like Bruce Springsteen, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Pearl Jam, and Blue Man Group, God announced Tuesday that he was canceling all future appearances in North Carolina in response to HB2, the controversial anti-LGBT law commonly known as "the bathroom bill."

Reached at his celestial home in Heaven, the ancient deity remarked that He's never been so offended by anything in His 3,000 years.

"I know it will be a disappointment to faithful North Carolinians, but unfortunately I have to draw a line somewhere," God said. "Particularly because supporters of this measure are invoking My name to talk about toilet bowls and refuse to bake two dudes a wedding cake."

Sponsors of HB2 would say only that they were indeed "disappointed" with God's decision. 

God reiterated that He fully intends to return to Tar Heel Country once the state's elected officials remove their heads from their asses and repeal this unholy abomination of a law.

8 Other Beckys Who (Based Exclusively on Their Hair) Have Been Ruled Out as "Becky With the Good Hair" from Beyoncé's Lemonade

The internet is ablaze with the secret identity of "Becky with the good hair," Jay Z's alleged paramour outed in Beyoncé's "Lemonade." Good thing O.H.M. is on the case for the Beyhive, meticulously whittling down the possible sources strand by strand, and so far I've eliminated 8 possible Beckys based on their hairstyles at key points in time:

Becky from Full House



Becky from Roseanne





Becky from Glee



Becky from Empire



Becky G



Rebecca DeMornay



Rebecca Watson



Rebecca Romijn

Image result for rebecca romijn

I think I'm really onto something here. You're welcome, internet!

Operation Woo: Hillary Clinton's Secret Plan to Woo Bernie Sanders' Voters

This is huge you guys. YOOOOOGE. O.H.M. has the official scoop on Hillary's plan to woo Bernie voters! Through a freedom of information act request, O.H.M. recently obtained the establishment candidate and likely Democratic presidential nominee's SECRET PLAN to WOO disappointed Sanders voters, many of whom have vowed NOT to give Clinton their vote should she attain the nomination. Her top-secret agenda--hatched by key advisers--to convince them otherwise is retyped here verbatim:

HILLARY'S TOP SECRET PLAN TO WOO BERNIE VOTERS

Step 1: First reach out by text. Casual, but like, still sweet and affectionate. Something along the lines of: "Heeeeyyy, been thinking of you," smiley-blush emoji/heart emoji. And just sort of leave it open to see if they respond. Nothing too forward, give them some space. 

Step 2: If you don't hear from them in a week, follow up with musical card in the mail that plays protest rock medley and says, "I Bern for you, but please just say you're with me now?"

Step 3: Go to their homes while they're at work; surprise them with home-cooked veggie burritos.

Step 4: Sprinkle their bedspreads with rose petals and dank nugs.

Step 5: Leave rare, signed poster of Karl Mark in their cubicle while they are at 10:00 a.m. status meeting.

Step 6: Take them on weekend getaway to a B&B in Vermont, stroke their hair gently while looking deeply into their eyes, extolling Sanders' virtues, and vowing to honor his anti-establishment legacy if they will simply just give you their vote.

Step 7: Divest stock portfolio of gross Wall Street financial "products" that secretly back civil unrest in underdeveloped countries and have probs fueled campaign. Reinvest in public university system in all 50 states and several burgeoning retail weed establishments in Pacific Northwest. 

Step 8: Email receipts of transactions completed in #7 to prove fidelity to public interest and rejection of corporate overlords.

Step 9: Hire plane to fly back and forth over their houses with a banner that says "MY ONLY SPECIAL INTEREST IS YOU."

Step 10: If all else fails, stand outside in the rain in a trench coat while holding boombox over your head as it blasts Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes." Hope they are listening, crying in their beds, deciding that they're going to vote for you after all.


Photo: Boston Globe

Unexpected Pitfalls of Taking My Kids to the Library

Libraries. I love them. Always have. And at least in New York City, they double as homeless shelters, but that only makes me love them more. 

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of walking down the street to my local branch of the New York Public Library and sitting in the children's section reading books with my mom or dad. The musty smell of books and the quiet, serene white noise of carts rolling and pages turning have always made me feel at peace. And Juneau has an AMAZING public library system, so naturally I want to share my love of libraries with my own children.

As usual though, fate had other plans, and last night's trip to the downtown Juneau public library was rife with pitfalls, two of which were unexpected and one of which I've come to anticipate.

Now that Paige is reading on her own, she's easy to take to the library. Isaac still requires some guidance and has always had less patience for books than his sister, so I try to follow his lead and hope he has the attention span to let me read to him. This time, he picked out a book of poems by Edward Lear. We sat on one of the cozy couches and opened to "The Owl and the Pussycat." I got to this stanza when I began stumbling:
The Owl looked up to the stars above, And sang to a small guitar, "O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love, What a beautiful Pussy you are, You are, You are! What a beautiful Pussy you are!"
Well, shit. 

Obviously, the commonly-understood meaning of the word "pussy" in the English language has changed since Mr. Lear wrote this poem in 1871. I glanced around to see who else might be listening to me heap enthusiastic praise on a pussy, not once, but four times. I quickly called a last-minute audible and changed the word to "kitty." But Isaac wasn't fooled and quickly lost interest. He slammed the pussy poem shut and handed me a different book about tigers or some shit.

I opened it up to the title page, and there it was, buried deep within the spine but clearly visible. It was unmistakable. I knew I shouldn't touch it, but in that moment it was almost like my hand didn't belong to me. It took some effort to dislodge it, and as I pinched it between my thumb and forefinger and twirled it about in the light there was no remaining doubt. 

It was a pube. 

A single thick, black, curly pube that easily could have been one of my very own, but for the fact that I had not (to my recollection) ever even seen this book, much less touched it or had occasion to store one of my own pubes firmly inside of it.

I didn't want to alarm anyone, so I simply dropped the pube over my shoulder as though it had never existed, doused my hands thoroughly with a mini-bottle of hand sanitizer I keep in my bag for precisely this type of situation, and continued reading the now de-pubed tiger book to Isaac. 

I don't remember what the story was about, because the whole time I couldn't stop reflecting on the irony of abandoning a poem about pussies only to discover concrete biological evidence of one in the very next book I opened.

No sooner had I completed this thought than Isaac announced he was going to use the computer and "play the Dora the Explorer game with Paige." I had a brief moment of frustration at the existence of screens in a library, but I do realize it's 2016. And who can blame the kid? Given the proper parental controls--which I can only assume are in force in the children's section of a public library of all places--the Dora the Explorer game is, presumably, generally devoid of pussies and pubes.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Concept of Fidelity in Marriage Officially Dies with Rumors of Jay Z Cheating on Beyoncé

Today the last nail in the coffin of marital fidelity was firmly hammered down amid rumors that Jay Z cheated on Beyoncé. We repeat: Cheated. On. Beyoncé.

Although these rumors have been long-churning, they were given new life this weekend with the release of the superstar's cinematic and musical tour de force, Lemonade, which is already being hailed as a ground-breaking piece of art and cultural commentary.

But where does this leave the sin of adultery? In short: adultery has won and marital fidelity has officially lost.

One biblical scholar O.H.M. contacted agreed to speak to us on the condition of anonymity, for fear that admitting that adultery has finally carried the day after thousands of years of human history would be highly controversial in academic and theological circles.

"If a man can't keep it in his pants for 
Beyoncé, then there is literally zero hope for fidelity in marriage anywhere," the scholar told us. "I mean, who I ask you--man, woman, or inbetween--would cheat on Beyoncé?" the scholar continued. "Either hypothetically OR in real life? She's fucking Beyoncé for fuck's sake!"

We couldn't agree more.


R.I.P. Marital Fidelity: 1,400 BC - April 25, 2016.


A Timeline of the Neverending Jay Z and Beyoncé Cheating and Divorce Rumors
Photo: Jezebel

Should I Sign Up for These Free Bible Lessons (No Donations Asked)?

I'm guessing I should. This religious tract arrived at the home of a lesbian couple I know (coincidence? I think not) and they gave it to me, because they (rightly) assumed I would be interested in signing up for the free bible lessons (no donations asked) that are offered here. 

In order to figure out whether I really need these lessons, though, I decided to honestly answer for myself the questions posed on the backside of the postcard:

1. Do you have concern about the future?: Well, who doesn't? I guess in the immediate future, I'm concerned that the Thai peanut noodle salad I just ate for lunch is going to give me stomach issues in a few hours. And I wonder if my husband's snoring and/or my kids' kicking me in the ribs is going to keep me up all fucking night again. Long term, I worry about my children growing up to be normal, functional adults despite their crazy mother. So yes. Yes I do have concern about the future.

2.  Does a one world government (with no freedom) sound good to you?: I'm glad you added that parenthetical caveat, because a one world government WITH freedom does sound good to me, since then everyone in the whole wide world would like, totes be besties, right? With NO freedom though? Well, no. That does not sound good to me. That sounds bad to me.

3. Ever wondered what the mark of the beast is?: Yes! But I did see The Omen (original 1976 and 2006 remake starring Julia Stiles (whatever happened to her btw?)) and I think the mark of the beast was the red "666" the demon child Damien was born with on the back of his neck like a birthmark. So I have wondered what the mark of the beast is, but my question was answered both by those two movies and the song "The Number of the Beast" by Iron Maiden ("666, the number of the beast! I have the power to make my evil take its course!" and so on). Also, I think 666-6666 was the number of a cab company I used to use when I lived in Brooklyn.

4. Babylon?: No, I don't wonder about this. I already know that Babylon is a stop on the Long Island Railroad, a place Bob Marley sings about a lot in a thick Jamaican accent, and a soulful easy listening song by David Gray (OMG, he's supes adorbs is he not?)

5. The man of sin whose number is 666?: See answer to question #3 above. But if the man of sin whose number is 666 is that super shady dude my friend met on OK Cupid last week, then I have to say my curiosity is piqued.

6. Would you like the answer to these questions and be able to understand Bible Prophecy?: Well, I already have the answer to most of these questions but I'm afraid they are incomplete. So yes. 

See? 

It's obvious I need to sign up for this class so I can "learn these critically important truths." Now the only thing standing between me and eternal salvation is a postage stamp. I also love that there is a number you can call for "answers to immediate questions." Like "I just saw the man of sin whose number is 666 get off the LIRR at the Babylon station. What should I do?!" It's like Truth Triumphant's version of 911 emergency dispatch. 

And to top it off, they're in north-central Florida. Who wouldn't want to go there?



Sunday, April 24, 2016

Remember This Thing? Why Couldn't It Have Been Real?

For as long as I can remember, my mom swam at a pool in an apartment building in the Bronx a few miles from our own, and sometimes she would take me with her. 

The pool was part of a gym, and the gym had THIS thing in it. This. A fat jiggler. Seriously. 

Who ever thought that putting a vibrating vinyl belt on your ass would make your ass fat disappear? I mean, it's a nice fantasy and I suppose it makes some sense. In the same way that the earth can't be round because we aren't falling off of it makes sense. That's the kind of sense a fat jiggling machine makes.

The only thing more interesting to me at my mom's gym than the fat jiggler was the seemingly endless parade of naked, desiccated old ladies who would amble around the locker room with what seemed to me at the time to be a highly unfounded level of confidence and shamelessness. Conscious of my mom's reproachful dagger eyes, I would try SO hard not to stare. 

But I couldn't help it. 

My pre-pubescent gaze was drawn inexorably toward the (way) post-menopausal bodies I saw displayed before me. It felt like trying to look away from a train wreck. Saggy, wrinkled breasts, wispy gray pubes, gnarled feet with bunions and bright red toenail polish, and plastic bathing caps with weird little plastic flowers protruding off of them. (That is, when their heads weren't under those giant colander-shaped hair dryers, which were also a feature of this gym at the time). 

It was like a scene revealed by The Ghost of Christmas Future in some dystopian, Dickensian parable.

As a means of distracting myself from all of this, I would put my young, perky ass into the fat jiggler and turn it on. I giggled at the sensation until, inevitably, one of the naked old ladies would rap me sternly on the shoulder. "Excuse me young lady," she would croak in a voice grated down by 30 years of a two-pack a day menthols habit. "That isn't a toy and I would like to use it now."

Fine. Have at it OLD lady. I was just biding my time trying not to stare at the terrifying ass that you are about to put into this weird belt thing in an utterly futile effort to improve matters.

Now that I'm older, of course, I have a different perspective on this device. As I see the freight train of my own saggy-ass-colander-hair-drying days bearing down on me with increasing velocity, I can think of only seven words.

I wish this fucking thing was real.

Dog Breed or Kinky Sex Move?

Affenpinscher 
American English Coonhound
Bearded Collie
Bernese Mountain Dog
Black and Tan Coonhound
Bloodhound
Boykin Spaniel
Broholmer
Chow Chow
Dutch Shepherd
Finnish Spitz
French Bulldog
German Pinscher
German Spitz
Giant Schnauzer 
Irish Setter
Japanese Chin
Leonberger
Miniature Pinscher
Miniature Schnauzer
Mudi
Norbottenspets
Otterhound
Portuguese Water Dog
Redbone Coonhound
Rhodesian Ridgeback
Russian Toy
Shikoku
Siberian Husky
Smooth Fox Terrier
Spanish Water Dog
Stabyhoun
Sussex Spaniel
Swedish Lapphund
Thai Ridgeback
Treeing Walker Coonhound
Whippet

Saturday, April 23, 2016

I Did Not Enjoy My First Food Poisoning Experience

Just two days ago, I bragged smugly to a couple friends who were driving me home from work that I had never once in my life had food poisoning. And two days ago, that was true. 

I'd seen Geoff endure many an episode of food poisoning over the years, and always assumed I was just more heartily constituted. But some higher power was listening in on my carpool and decided to smite me for my hubris.

This morning I awoke with a bad headache and mild nausea that I assumed was a migraine. I took two aspirin and sat down to write an indignant blog post about racism, which shockingly did not improve matters. Again, some higher power must've been punishing me for being a sanctimonious, woke white ally, because I had barely finished my very last self-righteous sentence and first sip of coffee when I was suddenly seized with a violent wave of dry heaving. 

The rest, as they say, was history. And in this case, history lasted 8 hours. 

Somewhere between pacing around frantically, going out on my deck for fresh air, sweating bullets of cold sweat, puking, shitting, doing my best impression of that girl from The Exorcist, and praying for someone to kill me, I asked Geoff what he thought it could be. Since no one else was sick, we narrowed it down to some questionable cilantro that only I had eaten the previous afternoon.

"You just have to ride it out," said Geoff with kind but authoritative expertise as he handed me a glass of water to "SIP SLOWLY." I called a doctor friend of mine and asked her permission to take expired Cipro that I still had from when I went to Vietnam two and a half years ago. She echoed Geoff's advice and told me to forget about the Cipro. Then I called my mommy and whined, and then I lay down in Isaac's room--the darkest, coolest room in the house--and prayed for death to come swiftly.

I don't remember much after that, other than hearing happy peals of oblivious children's laughter coming from the living room. At some point, everyone left the house and I came to in the late afternoon ready to accept Geoff's offer of dry toast and orange Gatorade served to me in bed. The whole thing gave new meaning to the name of this blog.

I don't blame you if the above account was too boring to read and you just skipped to the end. That's why I've reduced this entire narrative to a story in three pictures:

Step 1: Shady Cilantro 


Step 2: The Exorcist


Step 3: Recovery


Woke

Whenever someone criticizes my motives, or suggests that they are somehow ulterior, I try not to get defensive about it. Instead I try to honestly ask myself if the person is right. 

This came up recently in the context of race, which I sometimes write about here, but which I fundamentally lack the credibility to discuss in a meaningful way because I am white and for that reason (and that reason only) do not have the same experiences as people of color do in America.

That type of observation--or something similar--was recently interpreted by a white male friend of mine as an expression of self-congratulation, hypocrisy, sanctimony, and participation in a fad. Was he right? Well, sort of. I'll explain.

The issue arose while discussing Prince as "post-racial", with me pointing out that calling Prince post-racial was a whitewashing of Prince, and my friend implying that I was minimizing Prince in the service of self-promotion as a "woke ally," which he used in a denigrating way to suggest that "wokeness" and "alliance" were temporary fleeting stupid concepts and racial justice work is a fad. Numerous non-white friends took offense to that suggestion.

I couldn't get all this out of my mind, so I asked myself if that was really my intention behind repeating this observation about Prince: to "establish myself as a woke ally." And I concluded that while that was not the main point, it was a collateral consequence of my comment and one I was happy to suffer.

This is why.

I have a fundamental interest in how my fellow humans experience the world, especially when they are experiencing it in a way that is unfair, unjust, and unequal because of immutable characteristics such as race, gender, and sexuality. Characteristics which, by the way, are problematic only because what is still the world's most powerful demographic (Donald Trump's assertions to the contrary notwithstanding)--Anglo, white, straight men--are often uncomfortable with otherness, threatened by it, scared of it, or just hate it.

For that reason I don't put a lot of stock in what the most privileged people in the world have to say about people of color and their experiences. I know that in being straight and white I also benefit from that privilege and also don't have much to add of value. So I pay attention, and I listen instead. I am on "Black Twitter" every day to see what is happening in the Black Lives Matter movement. I read feminist blogs and opinion pieces by people of color, LGBTQ people, Native American people. 

I do this not to elevate or congratulate myself, but simply because I think it's important for white people to have an awareness of what the people who live this reality every day have to say about it, instead of pontificating from an online forum and mansplaining and whitesplaining and straightsplaining--or whatever the faddish current language is--to the people who least need an explanation.

My comment that calling Prince "post-racial" was problematic reflected the opinions of many, many black people who held the same view, and in repeating it I considered myself a messenger of that message, using my own privilege to highlight someone else's reality for the benefit of those who might not have considered that perspective. A reality that is not just a fad, but life lived every day in skin different from my own.

So yes, I did want to establish myself as a woke ally, even though that concept has plenty of its own problems. 

Absolutely.

Friday, April 22, 2016

O.H.M.'s Definitive Goy's Guide to Jewish Passover Food

Before I left New York City, I didn't realize that 75% of the world wasn't Jewish. Well, technically I knew this, but not in any immediate sense. In addition to never having set foot in a Costco prior to moving to Alaska, I had also never had egg nog, green bean casserole, or a jello mold--all favored foods of the hearty mid-westerners and rest-of-America Americans I've met since moving here. I've also now had salmon and halibut 800 ways, as well as Akutaq and seal. 

This week it's Passover (a.k.a. Jewish Easter), and I've had a few questions from the gentiles (a.k.a. "goys") in my life about traditional Jewish Passover foods. I'll skip over the Seder Plate since I blogged about that last year, and just get straight to the top 6 Jewish Passover foods served at the dinner itself.

Here's what you need to know. And yes, this is just one person's perspective. It should go without saying (but because this is the internet nothing can ever go without saying) that I do not speak for all of my Semitic brethren on the relative merits of these dishes:

1. Gefilte Fish: Think of this as the hot dog of fish. If you eat it out of a jar (without holding your nose and breath), you're likely to gag SUPER hard, because it looks and tastes like a used contraceptive sponge (remember those?) that's been brined in pickled karp juice for a year, and then coated with a thin slimy skein of cervical mucous. Not a good look. That being said, some Jews in Alaska (a.k.a. "The Frozen Chosen") have made gefilte fish from scratch using Alaskan salmon and halibut and they swear by it. This particular jar was from my mother-in-law's refrigerator and with all due respect to her, I do not recommend it. Just look at the label and consider that this was the BEST photo the Yehuda Gefilte Fish company had, and you'll know why.


2. Matzoh Ball Soup: Aside from being a little bit bland, there's nothing offensive about a bowl of chicken soup and dumplings, which is more or less what matzoh ball soup is. It's good for what ails ya, just like chicken soup should be, and is made with unleavened matzoh meal. (The Jews don't eat leavened bread on Passover, to honor the fact that they had zero time to deal with that shit when fleeing slavery in Egypt back in the day). So instead they eat cardboard bread for a week to honor their ancestors. This soup is innocuous enough and most goys love it. True story: Geoff once told me that Jewish men were known for having gigantic balls (i.e. testicles), but when I tried to confirm that rumor on the Googles, all I came up with was more recipes for matzoh ball soup.


3. Brisket: Now this is the shit. If you're a vegetarian on Passover, I feel supes sorry for you, because brisket is fucking delicious. Think of a pot roast mixed with a Texas barbeque pulled pork situation (except not pork because pork isn't Kosher). The problem with brisket is you have to cook it in a crock pot all day and night until your whole house and everything in it smells like brisket. But it's so tasty that I once witnessed two of my family members (names withheld to protect the innocent) nearly come to blows over who would get to take home leftover brisket. Just saying.


4. Charoset: This is a feature of the Seder Plate but is worthy of its own entry because it just feels so random. It's supposed to represent "mortar" or something, and sometimes tastes like it. The classic version contains apples, walnuts, red wine. It's a little like fermented pie filling or something you'd put on oatmeal maybe. Not bad.


5. Potato Kugel: This is a brick of potato. There's no other way to describe it. Well, maybe there's one other way to describe it: it's sort of like bread pudding married a brick of potato and had a baby named kugel. It comes in a casserole dish and you cut off a hunk and eat it with your brisket. It's all very meat and potatoes and shouldn't be too scary for the goys.


6. Manischevitz Wine: This inexpensive, not very delicious, and indisputably not very fine wine plays a central role in the Passover experience, so all Jews seem to have a soft spot for it despite the fact that it secretly/openly tastes like ass. By no means is this bottle of juice for cork dorks or winning any awards. In my mind, it's simply an opportunity to celebrate the fact that Jewish culture condones drinking, and even considers it a blessing at times, which is good enough for me.




"Alaskans for Action Through Loud Inconvenience" Shut Down Every Street in the Capital to Prompt Elected Officials Into Action

Earlier this week, O.H.M. reported that a loose affiliation of Alaskans had taken to Kickstarter to hire a team of burly dudes with jackhammers, aiming to prompt their elected officials into some sort of action. The citizen group behind the effort--which is now calling itself "Alaskans for Action Through Loud Inconvenience" or AATLI--is now switching approaches slightly.

Last Tuesday, on the the 91st day of a 90-day legislative session, the hope was that 130 decibels of pneumatic metal-on-rock jackhammering directly under legislators' office windows would force the 60 elected representatives and senators in Juneau to reach a consensus on whatever stuff they were still fighting about, pass a budget, and go home. 

But that hasn't worked, says Tim Jones, an AATLI spokesperson from the Kenai Peninsula.

"The jackhammer thing didn't pan out like we thought it would," Mr. Jones screamed over the sound of explosive air exhaust and hammer blows on the corner of Fourth and Main Streets in Downtown Juneau. 

"So we decided to shut off almost every street from Whittier down by Centennial Hall all the way up to Calhoun Avenue near the Governor's Mansion in an effort to trap elected officials here like rats in a maze."

AATLI figures that since the jackhammers didn't expedite the legislative process and drive lawmakers out of Juneau as expected, the group would try the opposite tack and attempt to cordon off the entire Captial until the body does the job it was elected to do.

"We know this overtime session is costing the State $12,500 a day in payments to lawmakers, but frankly it's costing AATLI that much to fund the crews and equipment we hired to entrap them here. So it's sort of a wash for us," said Mr. Jones.

At press time, several lawmakers could be seen driving around in circles, looking for a way out of town toward the ferry terminal that links to the road system.

How Could I Have Missed It? Adult Coloring is the Work of the DEVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL!

Thank GOD a good friend of mine was paying attention to Satan's latest doings, because she sent me a link to this blog, which argues that adult coloring books are part of a secret Satanic plot.

The post, entitled "Adult Coloring Books and Mandalas, a Warning for Christians" is written by a blogger called "The Last Hiker." Mr. (Or Ms.?) Hiker's previous post was about how Do Terra essential oils were "occult multi-level marketing," which I kind of agree with, because all of that shit makes me sneeze and gives me a rash, and yet my friends keep trying to sell it to me.

But back to the mandalas. 

Mr. Hiker tells a story about a friend of his--"one of the godliest people [he] know[s]" and who is NOT "a crunchy new-ager" (emphasis in original)--who innocently gave him an adult coloring book. Mr. Hiker doesn't have a problem with coloring books per se, but he DOES have a problem with "mandalas," which "happen to be a part of most of these adult coloring books." (emphasis in original). Apparently, mandalas (Fig. 1) are very dangerous, and Mr. Hiker is giving "a stern warning to [his] sweet Christian friends to stay away from mandalas."

Why? 


Because "focusing on mandalas is a spiritual practice where you merge with 'deities'," which in turn "opens the door to demons," and "[w]hen you think about how our brains zone out when we color anyways [sic.], this makes it even more interesting," Mr. Hiker helpfully Godsplains.

You see, mandalas are basically "upside down crosses and swastikas." They are "a receptacle for 'deities' and 'universal forces'" who are "knocking on the door of a false temple." They "are not just pretty shapes and designs." Mr. Hiker's "question when it comes to the whole adult coloring books [sic.] is this: is it really about coloring, or is it really about spiritual hosts of wickedness sneaking mandalas into our homes and into our subconscious minds?" (emphasis in original).

Excellent question, Mr. Hiker! The answer is yes. Unequivocally, YES. I can't believe I missed this. Adult coloring books--which readers of this blog know I very much enjoy--are the work of the devil. I'd even go a step further and argue that the problem goes beyond mandalas, because I've colored zero mandalas, and yet the devil's game is clearly afoot in my home. 


Here are five things that recently happened to prove as much:

1. A colleague tried to both mansplain AND whitesplain Prince to me at the exact same time on Facebook, accusing me of being self-congratulatory and trying to "establish myself" as a "woke ally" at the expense of Prince's artistic merits. When in fact, the point I was making had nothing do to with Prince (or me, for that matter), and everything to do with the completely obvious (and I would think uncontroversial) fact that many white people very clearly want to pretend Prince wasn't black in order to make themselves comfortable and convince themselves that racism is over.

2. While backing down the driveway, Geoff popped a tire on our 2005 Honda Pilot and blamed me. Then he proceeded to lecture me--a captive audience in the passenger seat--for 20 minutes, despite the fact that I was not, in fact, driving.

3. Alder pollen and cottonwood pollen exist.

4. The Facebook ad gnomes suggested I join a class action lawsuit over an anti-psychotic drug that causes man boobs, despite the fact that I am not a man, do not take an anti-psychotic, and while I do have boobs, I would like to keep them under ideal circumstances and don't believe I have much of a cause of action in court over their existence.

5. Mr. Hiker used the word "anyways," and only Satan could let that happen.

Mr. Hiker is definitely onto something. The devil is here, and his name is Adult Coloring Book. Time to throw all of mine away.

Fig. 1: Mandala