Sunday, July 31, 2016

DNA Testing Proves Trump Made of Que Bueno Nacho Cheese Sauce

New health records released by the Trump campaign reveal that Donald Trump is, genetically speaking, composed of 75% Que Bueno brand nacho cheese sauce product. The remaining 25% is tepid air, corn silk, and miscellaneous biomatter.

The disclosure comes as something of a shock, since never before has an animate mass of palm kernel oil, sodium phosphate, aged white cheddar, acetic acid, yellow #7, jalapeño extract, modified corn starch, and monodiglycerides ever run for the office of the United States Presidency.

Then again, Trump has broken the mold in other unexpected and unprecedented ways, such as insulting a federal judge, a POW, the family of a Gold Star soldier who died in battle, Jews, Muslims, women, Mexicans, Black People, "Hispanics," disabled people, journalists, and firefighters.

So it's actually somewhat predictable that Mr. Trump would turn out to be physically composed of a fluorescent orange cheese-flavored product as opposed to sinews, bones, veins, and tissue that form the basis of life for ordinary humans beings.

Scientists and policy wonks alike were agog: "This is certainly unprecedented," said Tim Jones, a professor at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. 

"Not since Netflix dropped Wild Kratts has the future of our nation's children been so uncertain," Dr. Jones added. "It certainly accounts for his orange hue, but the more interesting question, I think, is whether 170 pounds of Que Bueno and corn silk has the temperament to be President?"

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Boulder Style Memo #2: Men in Shorts and Blazers

What is it about a man in shorts and a blazer that seems to announce to the world in a hearty acapella group baritone: "I'm an irrepressible douchebag who seeks to base every aspect of my life on the bullies from Dead Poets Society and School Ties? (Early Matt Damon and Brendan Frazier fans (R.I.P. his career): you know you feelin' me).

Boulder, I was somewhat surprised to learn, features the "man in shorts and a blazer" in abundance. 

I don't know what it is about this outfit. I'm sure perfectly wonderful people wear pink plaid shorts, boat shoes with no socks, Ray Ban Wayfarers, and navy blue blazers like the model in this Google image I found by searching "Blaine." I just haven't personally met any.

In my own personal experience, the relationship between this particular outfit and the status of its wearer as an irrefutable douche canoe is almost a perfect one-to-one correlation.

Of course there must be some statistical outliers, but something tells me they're not in Boulder.

My Life/Body Would Be Perfect if Only . . .

A van from "Orange Theory Fitness" (with locations in Fort Collins and Boulder) pulled up to my house every morning to deliver "heart rate based personal training" with "accelerated results."

I wonder if the well-cared for looking teenager with white girl dreads I saw panhandling for dollars and "smiles" near the Pearl Street pedestrian mall yesterday secretly lives in this house? If not this exact house, I imagine maybe one just like it, and she simply grew weary of her parents always pandering to The Man by ordering up take-out personal trainers.

I also wonder if Orange Theory Fitness takes its name and inspiration from Donald Trump. Maybe its signature training method is to scream "YOU'RE FIRED!" at clients while exposing them to a ceaseless stream of televised vitriol from Trump's anus-shaped stupidity-vent until they lose their appetites? 

Regardless, Orange Theory fitness has not yet expanded to Juneau, although there is something similar. 

It's called your commercial fisher friend pulling up to your house in their pickup truck and telling you they're short a deckhand, and they need your help for the king opener on the outer coast. 

Between all the hard manual labor of commercial fishing for 72 hours straight and raging open ocean seasickness, accelerated results are guaranteed!

"Work-Hard-Doing-Real-Work-for-a-Living Theory" fitness. It's a revolution.

Friday, July 29, 2016

How Did We Get Here?

I was on my way to check out a legal Colorado retail marijuana dispensary (to do tourism research for a friend, DUH), when I happened across this strip mall strip club off route something-or-other in Boulder.

I couldn't get a clear shot of the sign (which is why I had to Google image the place instead) but trust me when I tell you it was only this woman's face on a light up sign, the words "bus stop," and nothing else; yet like every other passerby, I instantly knew what it was.

Somehow, we as a society have gotten to the point where all we need are shorthand emojis or pictographs for everything, including a young, white, blonde cheerleader-looking type with her mouth half open, making bedroom eyes with fake eyelashes that look like two performing circus tarantulas are living off her eyeballs, and a fan set up in front of her face to blow her hair just so and BOOM. Stripper!

How did we get here? I will let you ponder that for a moment while I move on to the reviews.

In my continued research of the bus stop, I saw there were 29 (twenty-nine) reviews of this titty bar. Wow! 29 humans had taken precious moments from their fleeting lives to review the Bus Stop strip club in Boulder. 

So naturally, owing a debt of gratitude to my loyal readers, I was forced to read each and every review and cull the two best, which I have reposted in screen shots below. This was NOT a waste of precious moments of my own life, nor, I assure you, will reading them waste yours.

Aside from their dubious grammar, my favorite thing about these reviews is that both authors claim to be discerning patrons of strip clubs around the country, and yet the bus stop fell short? 

I find that very difficult to believe . . .





Thursday, July 28, 2016

We're Just Trying to Take You to a Fucking Water Park (9:30 a.m.)

Do you even understand that? Do you? Do you even get that we are just trying to take you to a FUCKING WATER PARK?!

No, no of course you don't, because you live in Alaska, and your frame of reference is limited. 

So you don't realize that the more you fight over brushing your teeth with the sparkly toothpaste versus the strawberry kind, the fewer precious moments we'll have to spend somewhere that I SWEAR will be really fucking fun for you, and the source of many wonderful goddamned memories for years to come!

Your parents are about to spend too many dollars to endure traffic, hot concrete, endless pools full of 85 degree pee-pee water, and hordes of disgusting strangers whose elaborate tattoos, piercings, stretch marks, man boobs, back hair, and moles we will become all too intimately familar with while standing in a snaking line to climb into a giant rubber donut and slide down a plastic tube full of gushing luke-warm water.

Again I ask: Do you not get how FUN THIS WILL BE FOR YOU?! 

Why are you making it so hard for me to help you have fun? You're acting like one of those stores or restaurants in Juneau where you practically have to beg the people who work there (if you can find them) to help you spend money in their establishment. 

Similarly, I am trying to help you have fun at a place that literally exists for that sole purpose, and you won't put on shoes to go there.

Do you ALSO not get that you will be permitted to eat shit like corn dogs and cotton candy and Dippin' Dots ice cream, that repellent confection resembling the tiny styrofoam balls inside an exploded beanbag, but which is actually allegedly edible and only available at water parks, stadiums, and zoos for some reason? 

That's right. DIPPIN' FUCKING DOTS.

What more do I have to do to make you kids get ready to go to a FUCKING WATER PARK?!

GAH!




Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Brief Lapse in Contempt

Here's one thing (of millions) that I hate about myself: I deeply resent rich, thin, women. Especially tall white ones who look like nothing bad or difficult has ever happened to them or ever will.

Resentment isn't quite it actually, but it's not exactly straight envy either. It's some toxic brew of snap judgment, contempt, jealousy, and anger. I try to deal with it through humor, and often do, as any regular reader of this blog knows. 

But I hate the way it makes me feel, and I hate what it says about my character. I hate that I'm not cool enough with myself to just live mindfully in the present, with a Zen sense of inner direction, instead of invidiously measuring myself against some cookie cutter standard of mainstream Western beauty and success all the time. 

I strive for that, but usually fall woefully short of this goal, as I did today under somewhat unusual circumstances.

The beach at a reservoir in Boulder, Colorado was primo hunting ground for my lesser angels, all of whom were zeroed in with laser focus on two mid to early 30-ish moms with five kids between them. 

The brunette was wearing a blue and white strapless bikini and a floppy hat over her straight ponytail. The other was blonde with a dainty headband the width of a pencil, and she had on a pink string bikini. Neither had thighs that touched each other in a standing position, and neither looked like she had borne children, though their physical resemblance to various kids in their surrounding brood made it clear they both had.

That's because, I concluded with a bilious silent rage, they obviously don't have to work in OR outside their homes. Here they are in the middle of a weekday in uber upscale Boulder with their kids, looking neither like women who've been forced to earn a paycheck recently nor like harried stay-at-home moms who get by on no help.

Nope. These were moms with enough time and money to make their full-time job staying thin and tan and looking like cover models for a yoga magazine while their husbands made oodles of money all day.

I pushed aside some goose turds with the toe of my sandal and moved on to feeling superior for living in Alaska, where there are neither dessicated goose turds, nor stupid bureaucratic rules about if or where to swim outdoors, nor rail-thin supermodel moms just lounging around in bikinis in the middle of a Wednesday under a punishing sun.

Suddenly though, my stream of contemptuous consciousness was interrupted by a sound that took me a second to identify. When I did, the blood froze in my veins and revealed thousands of years of human evolution.

It was a mom screaming in a way that only an emergency involving a child can provoke, and it was coming from the blonde pink bikini mom. She was crouched over one of her kids and screaming for help, and for someone to call 911, because her daughter was dying. 

In fact, her 3.5 year-old daughter wasn't dying. She was having a seizure, but no one knew that right away, and regardless a kid having a seizure is a terrifying sight.

I felt an instinctive, sudden, and almost violent empathy toward this woman, whom I had been secretly reviling for no good reason only three seconds earlier. It was almost as if her panic transferred directly into every synapse in my body, where it was internalized and translated into action, all in a nanosecond.

But being a useless lawyer, there was no action I could take besides scream for my father-in-law, who is a doctor, kick off my sandals, and sprint up the beach as fast as I could to retrieve him. 

He joined a fast-growing huddle of lifeguards and medical professionals, all of whom quickly identified the seizure for what it was.

heard pink bikini mom say her husband was a doctor and saw her pass her iPhone to a lifeguard to explain what had happened. Brynn was probably going to be just fine, seizures are common in children, it usually looks worse than it is, and so on. The immediate danger was over.

I knew my own empathic panic was tailing off too, because I had the presence of mind to think to myself, "Of COURSE her husband is a fucking doctor and her kid's name is Brynn! Why wouldn't this woman be married to a doctor and have a daughter named Brynn?"

But hey, look. I might be petty and judgmental, but I'm not some sort of sociopath, which is my basic point here. 

I was deeply and profoundly relieved that this child hadn't drowned or choked or anything, and even through the haze of my fast-resuming resentment of Brynn's smoking hot mom, I felt both relief for the abated emergency and sadness that their day at the beach turned into a trip to the ER and a battery of tests on one of the most precious people in pink string bikini-clad woman's life. 

I know I'm going to be thinking about Brynn's pink bikini/no-touch thighs mom for a long time, hoping her daughter's seizure was a one-time thing and nothing more serious than that. I mean, we're both moms after all. We both have that primal fear and fierce urge to protect our collective offspring. It's a force that binds all female primates together on some level, no matter what size their thighs are, or how much money they have. 

For those few brief seconds, I actually felt close to Brynn's mom somehow, and had she still been standing nearby, instead of up in the parking lot with the ambulance, I would have tried to hug her.

I still secretly hate that bitch though. I'm not proud of it, but it's the God's Honest Truth.

Do you know what I'm saying?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Boulder Style Memo

There's a uniform here in Boulder, CO, and needless to say I didn't get the memo before we showed up here for a week's vacation with my in-laws.

Boulder, CO--whose theme song could be "Whiter Shade of Pale" based on the racial and ethnic diversity index--definitely has a uniform, and from what I can tell, this is it:

Women: Skort made from some sort of hi-tech "performance" fabric; racer-back tank top made from the same material; long, straight high ponytail; ankle socks with sneakers OR Tevas/Chacos; total full-body tan and 0% body fat; big dog on a leash. Alternatively, you can be a hippie with the same basic stuff noted above but in a long dress with a nose ring and dreadlocks.

Men: "Manpri" Capri pants; form-fitting T-shirt that says something like "Rocky Mountain 100K," making it clear that the wearer ran or biked an obscene distance one time and probably all the time; Tevas; designer sunglasses on a rubber necklace; trucker hat; full body tan and 0% body fat; dog on a leash. Alternatively, you can be a hippie and in all the same stuff mentioned above except also with earring plugs and dreadlocks.

Me: Mom shorts AND Mom sandals. Hand-me-down T-shirt from a friend who is both younger and thinner than me. Alaska/lazy ghostly white pallor and terrible eczema; not 0% body fat.

I won't lie: This place is KINDA bad for my self esteem. It's like a black hole of self-hatred with a lot of upscale organic supermarkets and cars with kayaks and bikes strapped to the top for good measure. You know, just in case I didn't hate myself enough after the skort and racer-back tank top. 


Inside My Head at a VRBO

Wow. This place is DOPE. Where do these people get all their money? Let me see if I can deduce it from photos and diplomas. Ah! Something to do with exchanging assets for other people or something? Of course. I get it now . . .

Wow this bathtub is ridiculous! How do you use this faucet/toaster/coffee maker/TV? I can't believe people just let strangers live in their house like this . . .

OMG. This is the blondest and whitest family ever. They have Jesus and German paraphernalia all over the place, too. I wonder if they're secretly neo-Nazis who want Trump to get elected and genocide my family? Is "genocide" even a verb? I know I'm being really judgmental right now, but seriously, under the right circumstances? They would totes ethic cleanse me if they could I bet . . . 

Then again, it's obvious from these pics that they had a child who was very ill and died young. That is so incredibly tragic. There's no WAY they're neo-Nazis.

Holy shit. This is the least relaxing vacation ever! I think I just did the same 22 dishes 5 times. OMG. NUTELLA!!! Where're the spoons?

Look at all this random shit in their fridge. Bud Light?! That's it. They definitely want Trump to genocide me, family tragedies notwithstanding.

God what is WRONG with me? Who thinks like this? I deserve to be genocided!

Well someone had fun with the label maker. There are labels on everything. "OWNER'S CLOSET." I wonder what's in there . . . 

It feels so violating going through these people's Netflix queue. It's like rummaging through someone's underwear drawer. More boring soccer documentaries? They gave the instructions right here in this binder though. It's not like they don't know their Netflix is full open kimono for everyone to see?

God what is wrong with me? Like I said. I deserve everything that's coming to me, including genocide.








Monday, July 25, 2016

The False Gasper

If the "false gasper" wasn't a character on Seinfeld, it should've been. 

A close cousin of the "scary sneezer," the false gasper excels in creating unnecessary alarm and panic in someone else via the rush of adrenaline that comes from the false gasper gasping dramatically at nothing.

My daughter Paige is an honors-level false gasper. The impact is compounded in a moving vehicle, which is a favored site for practicing her craft.

"[GASP]!" 

It's the sound you'd make if you were just stabbed between the ribs with a shiv, or there's a small child in the middle of the highway that we're about to run over. No matter how many times she's done this, it catches me off guard every time.

"OH MY GOD, WHAT?! WHAT HAPPENED?!" I cry out. And then: "I just saw a horse on that farm over there!"

I wait for my normal heart rate to resume before explaining for the millionth time that "WE DO NOT MAKE THAT SOUND UNLESS IT'S AN EMERGENCY AND ESPECIALLY NOT IN A MOVING VEHCILE!"

There are also adults who are false gaspers, which I don't understand since I can't imagine how anyone survived childhood without having this habit screamed out of them by its victims. 

I assume most of the adults who are now reformed false gaspers turn into adults who do the whole "I need to talk to you about something." And you think someone died or they're friend-breaking up with you. 

Then they come out with: "Organic anchovy paste is on sale at Costco!"

"JESUS DON'T EVER DO THAT TO ME AGAIN!" 

And the very next time they call, it's like, "We need to talk," or "Are you sitting down?" 

And you think to yourself FUCK, before learning that Finding Dory is playing in 3D at 7:50.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

"Peanut Butter Jelly Time!"

There's one at every wedding. 

It's usually a ruddy-faced, clean-shaven frat-type bro with a sunglasses tan. He's clearly had one or five too many before the wedding has even begun, and he's loud. Christ is he loud. And, there's absolutely nothing funnier or more entertaining in the world to this guy than the sound of his own voice, which is why he does his best work in a crowd.

I don't know who or if he will make his appearance this weekend at my cousin's wedding, but I hope he does. He straddles that fine line between amusing and douchey, and no wedding is complete without him. He's like an "amuse-douche," if you will--as central to a wedding as booze. (Don't get too excited, I doubt I'm the first to come up with that name).

Whoever he is this time, he can never top "peanut butter jelly time" bro, a groomsman at the wedding of one of my college roommates about five years ago.

I pegged PBJT, as I will call him, as the amuse-douche of this particular wedding the moment I laid eyes on him during bridal party pictures. 

He was the loudest, crassest, and most self-amused person there, but the shuttle bus to the ceremony and reception is where he really shone.

To a captive audience of about 60, this bro stepped into the aisle of the bus and led the entire vehicle in repeated chants of "PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME," in a booming baritone, along with a little shuffling dance and uproarious cackling. 

I texted one of the other bridesmaids and another roommate of ours, who was sitting next to me. 

"WTF?" She looked up at me with wide eyes and just shook her head almost imperceptibly. 

"I'm kind of obsessed with this guy," I texted again. "He's like a total fucking train wreck and it's hilarious. I am never getting this PB&J chant out of my head."

And to this day, I haven't. Each wedding's amuse-douche now goes by the alternate name of "Peanut Butter Jelly Time." He's like Xerox or Band-Aids: a self-defining brand of a genre.

Will he make an appearance tonight? Welp, a gal can dream! Stay tuned!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

If Juneau Were Your Semi-Shitty High School Boyfriend

He's like, soooo good looking. That's the thing that makes it impossible to break up with him. He's so fuckin' hot! (Not weather-wise of course). I mean, I can't stop staring at him and taking pics of him. 

Like this one here. I've taken this exact pic and shared it on my Insta like a ZILLION times but seriously. Is he like, a totes dime piece or what?

Oh he can be really cold, remote, and distant at times. Actually, I take that back: he's remote and distant all the time and cold like, half the time. But when he's in a good mood he's like, THE BEST. 

He's always bringing like, all these bouquets of wildflowers and berries? And he's like, ammaaaaazing when it comes to seafood. He could be less messy though. He's often covered with dirt and mud, but he cleans up really nice.

It's those times that make me stay with him, when he's like, on his best behavior, and all like, "Baaabe, forget what I did last week with non-stop sheets of 50 degree rain. I'm sorry. Let's go for a hike or a boat ride in the SUN!" 

It's like a full-on Justin Bieber "Sorry" playlist on repeat shuffle. I want to tell him to fuck off and like, delete him from my phone and all my social media. But then I come back every time, after we go crashing down, like T. Swift.

Fucking Juneau. He's such a dick, but I love him anyway.

If You Were a Girl in the 80's and Read Shitty Books, You'll RecognizeThis

I don't mean to pull a Melania and plagiarize anything, but I have this shit memorized and hey, I'm giving credit where credit is due: To the writer of a series of books, all 603 of which started out with the EXACT SAME DESCRIPTION of the main characters. It went a little something like this. 

Ahem:

Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield were exactly identical. They were both 5"6 and a perfect size six with blue-green eyes that were limpid as pools, and long blonde hair that fell softly to their shoulders. The only way anyone could tell them apart was by a small mole on Elizabeth's right cheek. They shared a red Fiat convertible, but that's where the similarities ended. Jessica was always getting in trouble, and Elizabeth was the well-behaved editor of the high school newspaper.

There was something soothing about the predictable way each of the 603 books in this series described the main characters. It was like some sort of mantra, invocation, or call to prayer for every 80's tween who knew that the only thing standing between her and happiness was being thin and blonde, owning a red convertible, and landing a rich, arrogant boyfriend named Bruce Patman.

Mix that with Nancy Reagan-era anti-drug propaganda interwoven into every plot line and VOILA! You had a veritable bible for 80's girls.

35-45 female demographic: You feelin' me? NAME THAT SERIES!

If Only I Could Be "Platinum Elite!"

I wouldn't know, because I haven't worked in Corporate America for over 15 years, but it seems like there's been a development in that time, where every company from airlines to hotels to amusement parks and gyms feels the need to create increasingly fractured levels of status for everything. And each of these things has fancy-sounding names like "Platinum Elite."

Truly and obscenely wealthy people don't need Disneyland Fast Passes (TM), of course. They already have a Disneyland Fast Pass to Life. They are self-segregated by their wealth. They live in gated communities or on private islands; they fly in private planes at private airports; they have entire staffs of people to meet their every need and personal assistants to manage it all. 

And it's not just famous people, either. It's plain old ordinary anonymous rich people whose obscene quantities of money basically buy them total insulation from everyone and everything that MIGHT remind them they aren't the only people in the world. 

I'm not saying these people are bad people, though surely some of them are. I'm just pointing out that their habits of conspicuous consumption drive the desires and preposterous ambitions of everyone else.

For everyone else, it's like corporate boardrooms everywhere have figured out that regular or semi-rich people will do anything to feel like VIPs, even when the thing that's being offered to make them feel special is objectively laughable if they would only just stop to think about it for even five seconds.

Like this "Platinum Elite" parking space. The sign says "this parking space reserved for Marriott Rewards PLATINUM ELITE guests." Whoa. Platinum! That's more fancy than gold! And Elite? That means VERY SPECIAL! Right?!

Nevermind that in the very next space is a rented Chrysler minivan with zero special status. Your loyalty to this hotel chain just bought you a parking space two inches to the left of the regular old proletariat guests. Also, free cookies on the "concierge level," where I can only assume one is waited on hand and foot by a staff of thick-accented, interchangeable name-tag wearing hotel staff clad in maroon polyester.

Just like the rich and famous.



Friday, July 22, 2016

Loosening Up the Reins

There's a feeling I get every time I let one of my kids do something on their own when it's right on the edge of my comfort zone. It's like a little shot of adrenaline mixed with anxiety. 

Not sadness though: I try to encourage my kids to be independent even when it's scary (for me and/or them), and even when it makes me a little sad that they're not babies or toddlers anymore. I do worry, however, that sometimes my judgment is off.

Like here when I let Isaac, who is 5 and a half, go down to the lobby of a big hotel in Denver, buy a cup of tea at Starbucks, and deliver it back to me on the fourth floor all by himself.

The moment I suggested this excursion, I was sorry I did. Isaac's face lit up, and he began frantically putting on his clothes and shoes. But now I wasn't so sure it was a good idea. What if he got lost or spoke to a shady stranger? Then everyone would tell me I shouldn't have let him go. They would think I'm a bad mom who got what she deserved.

If I rescinded the offer now, though, Isaac would feel babied and disempowered, like I didn't trust him and lacked faith in him. Which is the last thing the baby of the family needs. 

I decided to prioritize Isaac's sense of self over the rather remote possibility of catastrophe and ensuing public shaming of my parenting. I let him go. 

He came back five minutes later with tea and change from a $5, and he was pretty stoked with himself. It was worth the five minutes of anxiety as I wondered whether he was really up to the task of this transaction; one which required him to push the right button for lobby, navigate the lobby, find and stand in a line at a Starbucks, order tea, find the elevator again, and push the 4. 

It's not some epic adventure of course, but I felt like it was a lot to handle for a kid his age and wondered if I would live to regret this parental leap of faith.

But he was so insistent, I let him. I knew it wasn't really about going to get the tea. He was begging me to believe in him, and to trust his abilities. As it turned out, we both felt good when I did.

Man Buns of Sweden

Here's a window into my little family of origin.

My parents are on vacation right now with my dad's youngest brother and his wife, my aunt and uncle, who we grew up traveling with along with their two kids, my only first cousins.

Now that my parents are over 70, they're on a mission to see more/as much of the world as possible "before we get too old and decrepit," in my mom's words.

One place they've never been is Scandinavia, and they've been traveling over there for a few weeks. So here they are in Sweden, and what are they doing? The answer is I don't know. 

Surely they must be seeing some Scandinavian sights, like Icelandic volcanoes and Shakespeare's inspiration for Hamlet in Denmark, if only so my dad can say "THERE'S SOMETHING ROTTEN IN THE STATE OF DENMARK!" 

I'm not there to be embarrassed by my dad's Shakespeare humor, nor by what my aunt is doing, which is documenting the man buns of Sweden. 

I'm pretty sure man bun hunting is not listed in Lonely Planet or Fodor's, but my family likes to go off the beaten path when they travel. (Once they came home from Brazil with a collection of beach photos that could have been called "Thongs of Rio de Janeiro.").

My mom's email to me and the ensuing photos tell the rest of the story better than I could. As I say above, in the last pic my aunt is chasing down a man bun-wearer for the best man bun shot possible, like some sort of Swedish man bun paparazzo (paparazza?)

Is it any wonder I'm completely fucked up and crazy?





Thursday, July 21, 2016

Airport Stylings

Curling your hair in the bathroom of the Seattle-Tacoma international airport is some next-level commitment to your hair game.

I'm just saying, sis.

I just witnessed a woman performing this particular ablution with no evident shame, like it was the most normal thing in the world to stand next to a public bathroom sink, plug in a curling iron, and start methodically putting some soft waves into your porn-star-bottle-blonde locks. I mean, maybe I'm the crazy one and this is normal?

I try to spend as little time as humanly possible in public restrooms. If it were up to me, I would insert a catheter into my bladder every time I traveled just to avoid having to pee in airports and on planes. So you can imagine that reenacting a Pantene commercial in the women's room in the N-Gates of SEA-TAC falls somewhere on the personal hygiene scale between "fuck that shit" and "nope" on my list of priorities.

Then again, I'm primed for style resentment when I travel, mostly because of the fragrances.

The fucking fragrances.

Who in 2016 doesn't know that perfume, cologne, and fragranced skin care products are an aerosolized ticket to a malignant tumor in a major organ? (Personally, I'm staking my life on makeup and shampoo instead). Regardless, the little particulates of everyone's carcinogenic fake rose petals and sandalwood get up into my nostrils and eyeballs, and make my whole face explode. I can feel them staring at me, like I'm the guilty party here. I want to scream, "I don't have Ebola, assholes! It's your wild orchid body butter that's making every orifice in my face leak snot and tears!

For whatever reason, airports and airplanes are like a fucking fire sale at a Bath n' Body Works. It's a bit ironic too, since my fellow travelers seem to have no problem strafing an entire 747 with fart Napalm, yet they'll spray warm vanilla ginger cookies on top of the Agent Orange they're dropping from their asses?

GAH! Until the next rant, my boos ...

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Ted Cruz's Failure to Endorse Trump Rips Hole in the Universe

CLEVELAND, OHIO

Big news out of Clevleand tonight.

Our sources there and contacts at NASA headquarters in Houston have confirmed what both astrophysicists and Republican Party operatives have long predicted: Ted Cruz's failure to officially endorse Donald Trump for President has ripped a massive black hole in the very fabric of the universe.

"The force of a collision between two assholes of this magnitude is immense. It cannot be overstated," said Dr. Samuel Smith, chair of the astronomy department at Stanford. "It's like ten million Hiroshimas, but with more booing and uglier T-shirts."

Asked about the impact of the spatial tear on the long term health of the universe, Dr. Smith was circumspect.

"It's hard to say. We might all literally be pulled back in time to before the Big Bang. At least then none of us would have to argue that science is real, because we'd all just be cosmic dust."


I Beg to Differ with This Anti-Drug PSA from the Indian Government

I know it's a little tough impossible to read, but take my word for it: this poster, while highly entertaining, is 500 shades of WRONG!

It's a PSA from the Indian government that was hanging in the hallway of my friend's office, where I had a simple lunch of soup and Jalapeno-flavored potato chips on the industrially-carpeted floor while our daughters ate pizza under her desk. (Don't ask).

I had to take a picture of it, because brazen LIES like these deserve to be dragged from here to next Tuesday, people!

1. The picture of that guy holding a cricket paddle says: "an addict cannot be a good sportsman." What the whaaaaaaaaaa?! If that's true, why is the entire Russian Olympic team so fuckin' dope? (BOOM). Addicts make the best sportsmen! Ask Lance Armstrong, A-Rod, and literally everyone who has ever played professional sports and juiced up with the "cream and the clear" or whatever it is. Indeed, you kind of have to be an addict to be a good sportsman, at least in sports that aren't cricket. I can't speak for cricket.

2. The one of the guy at the table with his sad boo and child nearby, and the guy next to him in downward dog yoga pose says: "Addiction to vices means ruining of family. These addicts are a burden on the earth and are responsible for the moral degradation of our social life." WRONG AGAIN, INDIA! Addiction to vices is possibly the only thing that helps you cope with your family, and if anything is responsible for the degradation of my social life, it's not enough habit-forming drugs and alcohol. And the "burden on the earth" thing is true for everyone.

3. The picture of those two guys who look like they're in a homoerotic wrestling match in ancient Sparta are actually supposed to be two drunk dudes brawling, I guess. The caption says: "A drunkard loses temper soon and picks up a quarrel." Now that I can't argue with. BUT it also depends on the kind of drunkard. In my case, if memory serves, a drunkard loses the keys to her apartment soon, acts basic AF, and picks up an awkward one-night stand.

4. All the way down in the lower-left hand corner is a picture of a factory with people streaming in that says: "Money wasted on these vices can bring employment to millions." Okay, so I admit I'm no Paul Krugman and I know nothing about India's economy, but how exactly does one hunched-up, sad looking dude deciding not to smoke "charas" from a hookah (see picture, inset), lead to employment for millions? That's some Sherlock's Logic right there. If I go to a Phish concert and make everyone pool all the money they'd otherwise spend on ganja goo balls and hits of cut-to-shit Molly, name one person who gets a job from that, much less "millions!" Again, I'm probably looking at this all wrong.

Either way, whatevs. This poster is aces.

New Poll: 99% of Americans Want to Be Placed in Drug-Induced Coma Until After November 8, 2016

A new poll just out today from the Pew Research Foundation concludes that 99% of Americans all along the political spectrum desperately want to be placed into a drug-induced coma until after the general presidential election on November 8 of this year.

"Oh good heavens, yes!," said Mabel Merriwether, a homemaker from Iowa who identifies as a conservative but said she was unsure she would vote for Donald Trump. "Whether I vote for the fellow or not, I'm just so gosh-darned tired of hearing about this election all the time! I would very much enjoy an intravenous drip of Fentanyl under close medical supervision until after the election, although I'd need to have my grandson come and feed my kitty cats of course."

"What I'd really prefer is to be in my own bed," said Tom Rellingston, an IT manager at a small insurance firm in Olympia, Washington who is a former Bernie Sanders supporter slowly coming around to the Hillary camp.

"But I'd settle for like, a hospice care facility. I'm thinking about absentee voting like, a few months in advance if possible, because ideally I will go under a heavy dose of Propofol and not awaken until at least January of 2017. It's really the only coping mechanism left that I can see to deal with the pre, during, and post-election coverage anymore. Seriously a drug-induced coma is preferable to one more second of TV or the internet."

Authors of the study could not be reached for comment because zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.


Young Misadventures in Plagiarism

There's a quote or some variant of a quote, attributed to everyone from T.S.Eliot to Oscar Wilde to Aaron Sorkin, that "good writers borrow, great writers steal." 

I've never "stolen" anything in my life. Not even the drugstore lipstick my friends loved to shoplift from a pharmacy near our high school, and certainly not words; although surely I must borrow all the time, if only subconsciously. I guess that makes me a good writer at best, but I'd rather be mediocre than a thief.

I didn't refrain from theft out of principled virtue or a delicate moral compass, necessarily, but simply because I was afraid of authority and a total rules follower. Just the thought of getting caught doing something dishonest or wrong--and certainly I would be caught--set my heart racing to the point that it was unpleasant even to contemplate such conduct, much less engage in it.

The whole kerfuffle over Trump campaign speech-writing plagiarism brought to mind the two times in my life I was accused of plagiarism. One was in junior high, and the other was in law school. I remember them so well because of how terrifying it was to be falsely accused of something and not necessarily be able to prove it. It was almost like a microscopic, childish window into wrongful conviction.

"THIS LOOKS LIKE PLAGIARISM!" I can't remember her name, but I still remember my seventh grade history teacher's angry, scarlet scrawl across the front of a paper I'd handed in about the beginning of World War II. The word "plagiarism" was extra big, and underlined perhaps ten times. 

I stared at the four-word indictment in horrified disbelief, mindlessly running my finger across the serrated edge of the paper you used with an old-school printer connected to an Apple II-E; the kind that sounded like a lawnmower, slowly regurgitated the paper in a long spool, and required you to separate it by hand, carefully tearing off the little ticker-tape margins punctured with tiny holes that connected to the printer hardware. 

My father was livid. He knew I was an imperfect person with many faults, and he wasn't afraid to point them out. But a plagiarist? No. Certainly not. 

I don't remember how the situation resolved exactly, but it involved my dad. And in the end, the teacher understood I had not plagiarized anything, which in fact I had not. Before the internet, plagiarism was both more difficult to commit and more difficult to detect; but whatever my dad said to this teacher satisfied her that my paper had been original work.

Later in law school, I was past the point of calling in my dad to defend my honor. The accusation was smaller in size, physically, and more subtle; but it was much more significant because I was in law school and not junior high. 

The adjunct professor in a class on legal writing hand-wrote on a draft pleading I'd submitted: "The language in this complaint looks very familiar. Did you use a sample?" For non-lawyers out there, "plagiarism" in the world of legal writing is sort of a different animal, simply because there are a limited number of ways to cite and discuss cases and statutes, and recite established principles of law grounded in specific words. Lawyers often rely on templates and each others' work to restate this stuff, and it's perfectly ethical and acceptable to do so. The fact that something might "look familiar" in legal writing is a given.

That being said, I had not "used a sample" beyond whatever course materials and direction were provided. Was this professor--whose name I've also managed to forget--accusing me of plagiarism? It was hard to tell, but I was determined to find out.

I sat down in the basement computer lab of my law school in Brooklyn and composed a long, indignant email, the articulate nature of which I'd hoped would serve the dual purpose of putting this guy in his place and proving I was too good a writer to resort to plagiarism. 

I don't recall what I said verbatim, but it was something along the lines of "I can't tell if you're implying I plagiarized something here, or are accusing me of plagiarism, but that's a very serious accusation. And if that what you're suggesting, I'd like to see some proof." 

He never responded. When the semester ended and I went to check my grades, I saw he'd given me an A.

Who knows why people plagiarize or are tempted to. Surely a lack of ethics and laziness both play a role, but insecurity and fear must too. People must plagiarize for the same reasons I've been tempted to cheat on math tests: I suck at math. But I just accepted that I sucked at math, rather than cheat on a math test. If you're someone as powerful as the Trumps, you can just hire a decent speech writer and then not fuck with their work product. 

Then again, we rank-and-file mortals live in a world where there are actual consequences for our mendacity. I guess if you never suffer the regular consequences of lying, and you've sailed within striking distance of the White House on a raft of lies, why stop now?




Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Prediction for Donald Trump's Convention Speech

I was born in hard time Mississippi, surrounded by four walls that weren't so pretty, okay?

My parents gave me love and affection, to keep me strong and moving in the right direction. They were living just enough for the city at that time.

My father worked some days for fourteen hours, and let me tell you: he made billions of dollars, okay? My 
mother had to scrub the floors for many, and you'd best believe she hardly got a penny! Really, she was living just enough, just enough for the city.

My sister's black, okay? I'm the least racist person you've ever met. And boy let me tell you she is sho'nuff pretty. She could have been a Hispanic Miss Universe! Her skirt is short but Lord her legs are sturdy. I would date her. Between her and Ivanka it's a hard choice, but I'm not afraid to say it, I'd date her. 
To find a job in this country anymore is like a haystack needle. But in my world, we steal from colored people, okay?

I've spent my life walking the streets of New York City. Now I'm asking you to vote for the solution. I hope you hear inside my voice of sorrow, and that it motivates you to make a better tomorrow. 

Thank you. 



Juneau Police Department for the Win (Again)

2016 feels like a giant turd sandwich on a stale AF hoagie roll that we're asked to gobble down with no water every time we turn on the TV or open up our smartphones.

Well, the Juneau Police Department is pulling a Meghan Trainor and saying NO to that shit by hosting a BBQ tomorrow to celebrate diversity, denounce violence, and create unity in Juneau, asking people to show up and "be counted as a person against violence, against discrimination, and against hate."

Word!

Per the press release, JPD is doing this in conjunction with community partners of their own initiative, and it's an exemplary effort of community policing. I think it's thoughtful and proactive, and should be publicly commended.

I previously posted about how classy it was of JPD to send the LGBTQ community flowers after the Orlando massacre. Now JPD has brought its community policing A-game once again, and is making a proactive effort to deal with the very real issues of law enforcement and community relations. 

JPD is not the first police department in the country to take this sort of step--Wichita just did something similar, but I'm very proud to live in a place where the police department takes this kind of initiative in and for the community.

Of course a hot dog and mustard won't save the world, but any red-blooded American will tell you it's a damn good start. 
If you're in Juneau, come out for this!

There's something in my eye, and once again, it's JPD FTW.


Melania Trump's FLOTUS Inauguration Speech

WikiLeaks has hacked the Trump speechwriter team's servers and found a draft of Melania Trump's planned inauguration speech. O.H.M. has obtained an exclusive copy, and here it is:

Please allow me to introduce myself. I'm a woman of wealth and taste. I've been around for a long, long year. Stole many a man's soul and faith.

But I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside. Give them a sense of pride, to make it easier. Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be.


[APPLAUSE]

Because personally? I decided long ago never to walk in anyone's shadow. If I fail, if I succeed? At least I live as I believe. No matter what they take from me, they can't take away my dignity.


[APPLAUSE]

And all you need is love. There's nothing you can do that can't be done. There's nothing you can sing that can't be sung. There's nothing you can say, but you just learn how to play the game. It's easy! See, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

Life is a highway. And yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there's still time to change the road you're on.

Listen. We didn't start the fire. It was always burning, since the world was turning. No, we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it.

There comes a time when we heed a certain call. When the world must come together as one. There are people dying. And it's time to lend a hand to life, the greatest gift of all. We can't go on pretending day by day, that someone, somehow will soon make a change. We are all a part of God's great big family. And the truth, you know, love is all we need.


[APPLAUSE]

We are the world. We are the children. We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let's start giving. There's a choice we're making. We're saving our own lives. It's true: we'll make a better day, just you and me. When you're down and out, there seems no hope at all. But if you believe, there's no way we can fall. Let's realize that a change can only come when we stand together as one.

Thank you.


[APPLAUSE]




Monday, July 18, 2016

Who Do You Call When You're Completely Fucked?

That's what friendship's most fundamental essence can be reduced to, basically: who you call when you're completely fucked.

Fucked in the head, or fucked in a sketchy situation of some sort, either way, a true friend is someone you can always call to de-fuck a super fucked situation, and you know there is zero chance of them fucking it up any further. 

De-fuck your child care emergency; de-fuck your broken outboard motor and stranding on a sandbar; or de-fuck your depressed, anxious, neurotic mental state. 

And you do the same for them. 

That's pretty much the whole point of friends in my opinion. To make your life feel just a little less fucked.



Easy for You to Say

Here are the best comments on my op-ed in the Alaska Dispatch today. The one discussing my fears about Trump's white supremacist leanings and my disappointment that people I consider friends would support for President a man who openly appeals to neo-Nazis and skinheads, and who has advocated treating women "like shit."

I'm going to assume that none of these people have family members who died in or survived the Holocaust. 

I'll assume none of them have any reason to fear violent factions of our society who are indisputably incited by Donald Trump and thrilled with his willingness to "speak his mind," because they are by gender and/or ethnicity inherently safe and insulated from his rage and the rage of his supporters. 

So they can insult me and write me off as an "oppressed waif" in search of things to feel sad and indignant about.

I have to believe that the folks who wrote these comments are missing my point: which is that in my opinion, anyone who would vote for Trump also, presumably, would happily stand idly by someday while his neo-Nazi supporters clamored, perhaps successfully, for my demise. 

We should all heed the lessons of history. It's Muslims today, it was Jews and Japanese internment camps yesterday, and it will be Jews or someone else again tomorrow, guaranteed. 

I didn't once say who I was voting for, or even if I was voting. I simply said that I'm afraid of a candidate who courts white supremacists and who thinks women should be treated like shit. And I said that I am afraid and saddened by the acquiescence of people I know who are giving their tacit approval to those things by voting to put Trump at the helm of this country. 

They and these commentators might not have to be on guard for fascism, but that's their privilege, and it doesn't belong to everyone. Funny how the folks who don't need to worry about genocide and race wars never seem to understand why anyone else would care or worry about those things. 

Really, all it takes is a little empathy. It's not that hard or complicated. That's my point, and I'm sticking to it. Without further ado, here you go:
  • Libby: Yes, your friends will read this, and talk about it amongst themselves. They will conclude that whomever they decide to vote for is none of your business, and that you’re trying to play on their emotions to compel them to vote for the candidate of your choice. Were you a true friend towards them, whomever they decide to vote for would be irrelevant. True friends are very permissive towards each other, not taking slights over whatever religious beliefs, political leanings, or their being friends with others which you may not be on good terms with. Their political choices are not about you, and if you continue trying to manipulate them, to vote according to your standards, you may become very lonesome. 
  • Libby is a free-lance writer, and the author of the blog “One Hot Mess”. It would be reasonable to infer that she may sometimes write material designed to stir up controversy. A self-promotion tactic. So, the question we must ask … is she really the seemingly oppressed waif as portrayed in her article? Or is she stirring her readership kettle? She is also a lawyer, a vocation widely regarded as below used car salesmen for veracity. Personally, I neither believe nor doubt her self-portrayal in her article. I simply have responded on the face value of it. It gave me opportunity to express some of my views on what true friendship is, or is not. Just like you, I have elbows and opinions. I also find the diverse, often divergent opinions of others to be very educational and informative. I think that ADN’s comment section helps fill out issues, in a way that the staff don’t have the time or resources to do. Keep making me think … It’s good mental exercise. 
  • The Author is as full of crap as a Christmas goose. Has she ever wondered why it is that her so called friends are turning out to be Trump Supporters? BTW: This woman resides in Juneau… most liberal community in Alaska and one of the most liberal in the entire west coast. That being the case, if some of her friends are turning to Trump what does that say about the Democratic Party? 
  • So you are taking personal offence by your friends political choices?? True friendships should be able to transcend political opinions. In addition, your views on Trumps actions and what you are creating out of them are your sensationalized viewpoint. Others do not automatically think he is pandering to the Neo-Nazi groups. Was his statement of “disavowing” them not acute enough for you. I guess my point is that you are looking for things to make you sad or feel attacked when some of your friends might not “feel” or take his actions the same way you do. Let yourself feel marginalized by his comments all you want but being “sad” because your circle does not share your view and sensitivity is you being a little bit sensitive, no? I will cherish my friends and acquaintances regardless of our differing political views. Thinking my friend should have the same feelings as myself and getting offended when they don’t is shallow and self serving.