Friday, May 26, 2017

You Can Get Used to Anything, but It's Nice Not to Have To

They say you can get used to anything, and they're right. Only now am I letting myself exhale and really experience the extent to which the largest organ in my body has been compromised, and for how long. 

How many different things I've tried over how many years. How many medical doctors, naturopaths, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, oils, and diets I have tried. How many drugs, topical and systemic, I have been prescribed and dutifully taken.

How often I've written about living with a chronic but not life-threatening disease that quietly chips away at your quality of life, and about graciously handling well-intended unsolicited advice, allergies, and magic bullets. How much sleep I've lost to itching and how driven to the brink of sanity I have been by all of it.

How I couldn't nurse my babies for as long as I wanted, because I was bleeding from my nipples, and how the lactation consultant made me feel guilty about quitting anyway and tried to tell me some unscientific bullshit about how my kids would have eczema too if I stopped nursing. (I was nursed as a baby, so, um, no).

How I can't exercise or swim in a pool because my skin can't tolerate sweat or pool chemicals. How there are tiny blood stains on all my clothes and sheets. How the only thing that ever really helped me was a psychologist in San Francisco specializing in skin disorders, and a dilute bath with one cup of Clorox bleach to kill bacteria.

Until now. 

I knew this drug was different, because it was an entirely different category of drugs.That didn't mean it would work, of course, but I had to try. My immune system doesn't work right, but fortunately my mind does, and I have extensive research skills. I knew this was the biggest medical breakthrough for eczema in my lifetime. So I followed the clinical trials closely and I was determined to try Dupixent. 

I battled my insurance company for six weeks, enrolled with the drug company, and sent countless emails to my providers to have shipped to Alaska four syringes at $40,000 a year of mysterious, scary-looking yellow liquid.

It wasn't a steroid and it wasn't an immunosuppressant. It was a "biologic" that works differently than any other type of medicine I'd ever tried. The National Eczema Society has a good description of how Dupixent works:
Dupixent is the first biologic medication approved by the FDA for adults with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (AD). It is taken subcutaneously (by injection) at 300 mg once every other week.
 

Biologic drugs or “biologics” are genetically engineered from proteins derived from living cells or tissues. Biologics are designed to target specific parts of the immune system that contribute to chronic inflammatory diseases such as atopic dermatitis.

Biologics take an “inside out” approach to treating inflammatory conditions by addressing the issue at the immune system level, the root cause of many diseases.

Dupixent works by blocking a type of protein called an interleukin, or IL, from binding to their cell receptors. Interleukins contribute to a functioning immune system by helping to fight off viruses or bacteria in our bodies. When the immune system goes haywire, it can trigger certain ILs to mistakenly attack the body, resulting in chronic inflammatory conditions such as atopic dermatitis.

Dupixent works on two interleukins thought to contribute to atopic diseases: IL-4 and IL-13. By blocking IL-4 and IL-13 from binding to the receptors, Dupixent curbs the immune system over-reaction that results in atopic dermatitis. A calmed immune system leads to fewer and/or less severe symptoms of AD.
Ten days ago, I got my first injections of Dupixent. At first It didn't do anything, and in fact it was making things worse. I was disappointed but not at all surprised. I was flaring up on my eyelids and my neck. I had to take another bleach bath. I was worse off than I was before. Of course this was one more failed experiment, but at least now I knew.

Then about three days ago, my skin started turning a corner, and I knew it wasn't just another tenuous remission. My eczema was clearing up in places--like the seam where my earlobes meet my neck--that hadn't been free of eczema at any point in my adult life. 

The voice in my head said not to be too excited, that the next injection might cause a setback or another flareup. But I felt different enough this time to think maybe, just maybe, this was the "miracle" I had been waiting for.

It's hard to justify such drastic, remedial medical measures for a common condition like eczema. A condition most people have in one or two little spots that they can fix with lotion. 

People ask me if I've tried lotion. They wonder why I would go to such extremes. I know they mean well. I don't get angry. I know they don't understand what I've been through, and they don't know all the things I've tried to get to this place. They don't understand that living in chronic discomfort in your own skin isn't a cosmetic problem, but a medical one that's worth whatever unknown sci-fi type risks come with tinkering with your genome.

I'm past the point of caring though. I'm more than willing to accept all of those risks if it means I can stop thinking about eczema forever.



This is me doing wet wraps during a flareup, October 2014. If you're curious, Google it, I'm too lazy to explain!



This is me after 10 days of Dupixent.

Justice is Served, and it Tastes Like Sour Milk and E.T. Bait

What ever happened to the 95% of dudebros whom I sized up--correctly I might add--as hopeless douchenozzles on the very first day of law school? 

Well, at least some of them wound up on the other side of every case I've ever litigated. Others churn out cease and desist letters for banks all day long, trying to bully little old ladies whose homes are being foreclosed on out of 28 cents.  And the rest are suing Hershey's for under-filling candy boxes

In the legal profession, candy-based class action litigation is a calling.

That's right, my fellow citizens. It should cheer you immeasurably to know that, FAKE NEWS notwithstanding, the sweet, chewy center of American justice is tasty, fresh, and currently being munched upon by a Missouri man who claims that 41% of his sour-milk tasting, freeze-dried chocolate-flavored moth balls and 29% of his E.T. bait are full of room temperature air. 

As the Washington Post story notes, "you're not killing me fast enough with the amount of garbage food I paid for" is the frontier of plaintiffs' claims, and Hershey's is just one of many companies to at last be held to account for these affronts to our economy.

Let me be clear: Not for a NANOSECOND do I doubt that Subway, Wise Potato Chips, Mike & Ike, and Barilla pasta are fleecing drive-thru America with the Fritos equivalent of that scam in the movie Office Space. The one where quietly shaving a penny off every transaction adds up to millions of dollars in the pockets of the scammers. 

At the same time, I am also glad that a-lawyer-with-even-less-self-respect-than-me is willing to fall on the sword of holding Jared Fogel's former employer to account before Noble Lady Justice.

She may be blind, but her nose works just fine, and she can smell bullshit right through its plastic wrapping. So now, as part of a class action settlement, Subway workers are required to use "a tool for measuring bread" to ensure that their foot-long and six-inch subs measure up to their names.

Based on the quote below, the lead attorney on the Subway case seems to have a sense of humor about the fact that he's not exactly defending Darwin's theory of evolution in the Scopes monkey trial or prosecuting genocide the Hague. 

"It was difficult to prove monetary damages," he quipped, because "everybody ate the evidence." Note that he says nothing about equitable damages, such as the scarring emotional distress borne of discovering that you just gobbled down one less inch of sponge bread than you paid for.

Usually in settlement agreements, there is some sort of definitions section, and I can only hope that "a tool for measuring bread" is explicitly defined as "anything but a human dick." For I have worked in food service, and know all too well that boredom, monotony, and contempt for one's lot can breed a certain insidious creativity during any given McShift.

Best of luck to the named plaintiff in the Whoppers/Reese's Pieces litigation. This is sure to be a landmark consumer protection case, and I'm certain Ralph Nader is done changing the course of history by helping to hand the presidency to war criminals and back to consulting for a tidy fee on these important matters. 

O.H.M. will be watching this litigation closely as it winds its way through the courts, and will keep you apprised of any important developments.





Thursday, May 25, 2017

Photo Essay: Isaac at Kindergarten Graduation, Paige at Gastineau School Classroom Cities Day, and Franma Came to Visit!

Juneau Montessori School Kindergarten class of 2017 at Saviko Field Pavilion.

Ukulele Recital during passage (graduation) ceremony with kids and Geoff.

Isaac receiving his diploma from his teacher, Monica.


Isaac standing with his diploma, flowers from Mom, and photo album gift from school. "I'm never going to forget Ms. Monica," he said.





















"I feel happy and sad. Happy because I'm graduating, and sad because I won't get to see all my friends everyday." He cried looking through the photo album of his six years at JMS that his teachers and staff made for him.



My sweet little empath recovering with a reception at the school in the "gross motor room" afterwards.




"One last swing on the playground, Mom."





















Then it was over to Paige's third grade classroom at Gastineau Community School for "Classroom Cities." The class did an entire city simulation with a bank, shops, a mayor, a park, businesses, and more. Paige started a tattoo business. "Call, well don't call I don't have a phone. But contact Paige."










































Thanks to the always generous and kind (in my experience) Alaska Airlines, Franma made her very tight connecting flight to Juneau without a second to spare! (Grandpa, a.k.a. Baba Nicky, arrives tomorrow).




We went to pick up Franma, and it was a boring wait. Isaac proclaimed it "the longest ten minutes of my [his] life." But it was worth it!











































Franma got me my favorite gift; the one she always gets for me: salty socks!


Ending the day with Seong's and froyo with friends.





Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Alaska is Kind of a Clusterfuck in Summer

I mean, I won't argue the point so let me head this one off at the pass. Tourism is the lifeblood of Alaska's economy, especially now, and we should all genuflect before Princess Cruise Lines and the tourism industry that lines our pockets with the proceeds of tanzanite necklaces, chocolate moose droppings, and Ulu knives. After all, without all of that, we'd probably be a blighted resource colony; raped, pillaged, and culturally genocided into obsolescence by Big Oil, Big Mining, and Big Dicks who are long gone back to Texas or Arizona.

Fine. FINE FINE FINE FINE FINE. We can be upfront and honest about all of that.

But we can also admit--can we not--that Alaska is an unmitigated clusterfuck to end all clusterfucks from May to September?


Because it is.

When the tundra sets ablaze with color, and termination dust settles quietly over the mountain ranges, when we get our skis out of storage and begin to take stock of our wood supply, it's easy to forget. 

It's easy to forget that not two short weeks ago, every glacier on the road system was melting even faster than usual from human body heat, the sound of helicopters and float planes made the Last Frontier sound more like the Viet Cong, and you couldn't get a seat in a brew pub--even a shitty one--after 5:00 p.m. to save your goddamned fucking life.  

When you're on your way to Seattle for medical care, you'd better build in extra time for a practice mammogram delivered by TSA first, because there are fishing poles and walking sticks and brand-spanking new trail shoes that have to get re-run through that belt. And when you come back home, whatever you do, don't make eye contact with anyone holding a laminated placard. 

You're not looking for them, and they're not looking for you. 

But Alaska is amazing, and usually worth the hype. You wouldn't live here if it weren't. And you can acknowledge that, while also acknowledging that you need to take a deep breath and mentally and logistically prepare for reality. 

The sometimes harsh reality that Alaska is kind of a huge clusterfuck in summer.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A Perfect Girlhood

Is there such a thing as a perfect girlhood? For my sake, I hope there is. For yours, I know that's impossible, and that disappointment is good, necessary, and inevitable. 

Yet . . . I still want a track record of 100% perfect happiness for you. Is that too much to ask?

Of course it is. I know that, even if you don't. You're almost 10 and approaching the second half of your girlhood. That most vulnerable part. The part where the instincts of confidence and self-preservation that have defined you up until now subjected to the slings and arrows of The World.

Uuuuuggggh.

Not "The World," capital T, capital W. Anything but that. I want to SAVE you from The World. MAYDAY! SOS! Here comes the fucking WORLD.

I want to vacuum seal your healthy self esteem in a jar, and put it on a shelf forever with one of those airline "FRAGILE" stickers on it. I've worked too hard to help you cultivate its contents for the better part of a decade, and I want that jar to be shatterproof. 

I want to place it far out of reach of mean boys who would call you fat or ugly or violate you or mistreat you emotionally or physically. 

I want to hide it away from academic and athletic rejection and failure. 

I want to shelter it from other girls who would cannibalize your spirit and chip away at your sense of self. But remember--and this is important: they are fragile and vulnerable, too. They are your sisters on this journey. Do not forget that.

Still. 

I wish you could skip that whole part. The part that's barreling down on you like a freight train right now. The part of girlhood where the gathering storm of adolescence and young womanhood thrashes your soul against a jagged reef.

No one gets out of The World alive, we all know that. Even you. But in the meantime, will you be able to do the things you set out to do and embrace setbacks as new challenges and opportunities?

Only you can decide that. 

I can't give you a perfect girlhood, even though I wish I could. All I can do is act as a counterweight against The World; give you safe harbor; whisper in your ear to be confident, fearless, to love yourself first. And, if you want to, become a rocket scientist or go to culinary school like you told me the other day you wanted to do.

I can't give you a perfect girlhood, and maybe that's a good thing. All I can do is try to give you the tools to make a happy girlhood for yourself.


Monday, May 22, 2017

Is This Really Necessary? No, Really, Honestly. Is It?

This is a serious question, because I'm legitimately fascinated by the mentality of someone who puts the stars and bars on the front grill of their truck in Juneau, Alaska (or really anywhere), in 2017. 

Let's unpack this a bit without judgment, because it's actually pretty interesting, at least to me. 

First, a few neutral (if vastly over-simplified) important historical facts:

1. This flag is one of several official flags of the Confederate States of America.

2. The Confederacy existed from 1861-1865.

3. The Confederacy was a self-proclaimed nation of 11 secessionist slave-holding states that relied on a labor economy of black slaves. The Union considered the Confederacy illegitimate.

4. The Civil War began on April 12, 1861 with the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in South Carolina.

5. The Confederacy fought the Civil War because it wanted to maintain a system of slavery, primarily for agricultural economic reasons.

6. The Confederacy lost the Civil War in 1865, and slavery was abolished and made unconstitutional that same year.

7. Today, all the previously Confederate states are part of the Union and there is no legal or constitutional difference between them and the rest of the United States.

So that's the historical backdrop. 

As I see it, there are a few options--none of them mutually exclusive--for why you would choose to fly a confederate flag in 2017, ranging from innocently ignorant to intentionally bigoted:

1. You're just a big Dukes of Hazard fan and one hundred percent ignorant of history.

2. You're from the south and consider the confederate flag part of your "heritage" and feel entitled to "honor" it, regardless of its connotations, implications, or impact on others.

3. You lack empathy for victims of slavery and/or like to provoke anger and controversy.

4. You think slavery was a good thing and should never have been abolished.

5. You don't realize that the south lost the Civil War and that the Confederacy were traitors to the country in the most literal sense of the word.

6. You're a big macho "patriot" and don't think people should be slaves, but yet you also don't think it's a problem to display a symbol of treason, losing traitors, and slavery, all of which could not be less patriotic.

7. You fail to see the logical fallacy in #6.

8. You just think it looks cool and badass and don't know, think, and/or care about the rest.

9. You don't know, think, or care about any of those negative historical connotations, so that means no one else will (or should) either.

10. You lack intellectual curiosity and empathy (in general).

11. You're legally entitled to/can do something, so that means you should, no matter what.

This is all I can come up with. But the one unifying feature is this: if you feel the need to display a confederate flag in public in 2017, you have a lot of critical thinking and self-examination to do.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

If You Thought Your Marriage or Divorce Was Bad . . .

Then this is the post for you. I guarantee you that as acrimonious and miserable as your marriage or divorce is or was, you probably never divvied up Beanie Babies in open court, under the eagle-eyed supervision of a judge.

Recently my dad suggested I was "unambitious" for having zero interest in ever becoming a judge. I explained to him that I didn't want to work alone in a windowless room, listening to grown adults fight over who gets to keep a set of power tools, and then promptly sent him this picture.

Real life courtroom drama is, sadly, less Law and Order and more Honey Boo-Boo.

Chances are this photo will make you feel better about yourself, regardless of the state of your union. Even if you're happily married, you're still likely fighting about the same three things every day: (1) who works harder/does more; (2) who gets less sleep; and (3) where the fuck all your money goes each month. If you're unhappily married, you're probably fighting about the exact same three things, except ten times as often and with more yelling and even less sex, if that's possible.

If you're divorced, you're probably just relieved you don't have to see your ex's dirty socks or listen to their snoring anymore. You'd likely let them have every Beanie Baby ever manufactured if it meant you only had to speak to them when absolutely necessary for co-parenting reasons, and then only after three glasses of wine or several beers so you don't say something you later regret and that can be used against you in a court of law.

Awkward Family Photos is a highly recommended follow on Insta. It's like a daily affirmation that as lame and stupid as you are or feel, someone out there is even lamer and stupider than you.

Certainly, by the time you're consuming judicial resources to help you DIVIDE FUCKING BEANIE BABIES, it's game over. At that point, once you finish separating Ariel the Bear from Dippy the Bunny (yes, those are real Beanie Babies, look it up), you should walk into a lake with stones in your pockets ala Virginia Woolf.  

But you have never needed judicial intervention for Beanie Babies, and you never would, which is why you feel really good about yourself right now.

You're welcome. 

P.S. On the remote chance that you have needed judicial intervention for Beanie Baby division, I'm sorry. "People Who Fought in Open Court Over Beanie Babies" will just have to join the looooong list of people I have offended with this blog.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Easy Decisions

I can be indecisive about a lot of things, but some decisions--particularly parenting decisions--are easy. 

For instance:  This morning's decision to delete the app "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood" (and all of its data), whatever that consists of. Through the ether of cloud computing, Kim Kardashian ended up on my iPhone, courtesy of Paige downloading her million dollar bootie on a linked device. 

Don't ask me how Paige found "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood" or what the app is or does. I don't want to know. I just want to pretend it never happened. But not before I confronted Paige about it, and she insisted it was "like a girl dress-up game." "I don't like that," I scowled. "It sends a bad message."

That's how I feel about sharting. Sharting sends a bad message too, and you want to pretend it never happened.

Both my kids went to a Montessori toddler preschool that I loved because it emphasized independence in everything, including toileting. That part I didn't love. The staff of this school was not just willing--but quite insistent--on doing something I refused to do myself: put my kids in cult-issue tighty whities and let them piss and shit themselves until they magically figured out how to control their excretory functions. 

It doesn't sound like fun, does it? It wasn't.  

Not surprisingly, every kid participating in this grand pedagogical experiment shat their undies on the reg, and the undies would come home in a little tied-up plastic bag to be washed. 

The shit-bag would stare out at me from Paige or Isaac's hook, silently reporting on my child's toileting progress while daring me to touch the results. I wouldn't. I couldn't. I would take that bag, underwear and all, and stick it right into the giant dumpster in my garage. 

I know it sucked for the planet and I'm not the least bit proud of myself, but I simply was not fucking around with scrubbing shit out of underwear. This would have to be my ecological sin, and I would pay my penance to save the planet. But I was not putting any elbow grease into saving those undies.

Fortunately, when you're older and (hopefully) toilet trained, you hardly ever shit in your undies unless you make a really bad call on a fart. Like you're at that moment of "what's gonna happen here," and decide to roll the dice and BAM. Shart. That's an easy decision that quickly turns into a terrible decision. I did this when I was checking my bar exam results to see if I passed. Twice. You'd think after New York, I would've learned to evacuate my bowels before checking bar exam results, yet I didn't fare any better with Alaska.

This was my long-winded way of saying: "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood" is the shart of apps, and deleting it from my phone after lecturing Paige about internalized misogyny was pretty satisfying. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Trump Impeachment Erotica

She woke up that morning not knowing if it was real--only hoping against hope that it was, wondering if it was a dream. A wistful, fading dream of a long-ago time when the so-called leader of the free world didn't demonstrably lie about the weather and misspell the word "tap" on Twitter with impunity.

As she rolled over in bed, she looked longingly at her phone charging on the beside table, and rubbed the sleep from her eyes. Since she was in a time zone four hours behind many of her friends and family, it wasn't unusual to wake up to texts or messages, but this seemed like more than usual.

"OMG, have you heard?" said one. "TRUMP IS GETTING IMPEACHED!" said another. Suddenly she was wide awake. 

Every fiber of her being tingled with anticipation and the electric possibility of the shittiest president and most mediocre human being ever to trod the global stage going down in a humiliating hurricane of corruption, scandal, incompetence, and stupidity of his own making.

"It can't be real . . . " she whispered softly as she opened Twitter and scrolled down ever so gently with her right thumb to see the top trending topics. As her gaze fell to the list, she bit her lower lip and pumped her left fist in the air:

1.  #45Impeachement 
2.  #JaredKushnerArrested 
3.  #MikePenceBustedInFBISting 
4.  #JulianAssangeGetsJobatWendys 
5.  #RichardSpencersDickFellOff
6. #BillOReillyCaughtonTapeSexuallyHarrassingEveryone
7. #Election2016DoOver
8. #IvankaShoeFactoryFire
9. #MikeFlynnTurnsStateEvidence
10. #TrumpTookDumpOnHisDesk 
11. #ThePizzaDiet

Her relief for the country and searing schadenfreude over the downfall of The Worst Humans Ever were too gloriously overwhelming. She had to stop at trending topic 11 and couldn't even make it to 12, which turned out to be #ClimateChangeSolved.

OH MY GOD, she moaned, exactly like Meg Ryan in the diner scene in When Harry Met Sally, except for real. MMM. Oh yeah. That's what I'm talking about. Right there. 

Yes. Yes. YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!!!




Donald Trump Writes Home



Thursday, May 18, 2017

I Need a New Duffel Bag so I Guess I Should Join the NRA Now

This ad popped up while I was reading Talking Points Memo, which means the NRA doesn't really know its own target demographic. But they scored with me, because it just so happens that I need a new duffel bag, and joining the NRA for $30 in order to get one is an offer I cannot refuse.

Holdup. Maybe I can.

They don't say what comes IN the duffel bag. I feel like this offer would be more enticing if there was like, a prize inside. Remember when you could get prizes out of a cereal box? Or mail box tops to some random P.O. Box in Kentucky and receive a so-called prize 32 weeks later? 

I think that's how I ended up with the Snoopy Sno-Cone Maker. A close cousin of the E-Z Bake Oven, this "machine" was a suuuuuuper ghetto way to make shave ice. You stuck ice cubes down the plastic chimney of Snoopy's dog house, and ground them up using with a manual hand-crank until you developed blisters on your fingers. By the time you made enough ice shavings for a tiny Dixie cup-sized sno cone, the whole fucking thing was water.

But I digress.

The point is, I think the NRA would have more takers on this if it offered several prizes INSIDE the duffel bag, particularly to readers of Talking Points Memo. For example, I would be MUCH more likely to snap this up if the NRA was offering to send me:
  • A Wayne LaPierre pillow pet.
  • Guns, guns, and more guns!
  • A Unabomber style getaway-survival-in-the-woods-militia-prepper kit.
  • A 12-pack of urinal cakes with Alex Jones' face on them.
  • A SNOOPY SNO-CONE MACHINE
Come on, NRA. Make me a serious offer here. My luggage needs can't go unfulfilled forever.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I Wish I Could be as Excited About Anything as Ryan Seacrest Pretends to be About Everything

Do you guys listen to Ryan Seacrest? I do. Not on purpose, exactly, but more by default. Okay fine. I'll level with you: I secretly love T-Swiz and Katie Perry and this is one of the few things on which my 9 year-old daughter and I can agree. That and tacos. We both love those, and I think it's because that's all I ate when I was pregnant with Paige.

Which brings me to the point of this post.

Have you heard of the Chicken Chalupa Crunch Wrap (TM) from Taco Bell? If you answered yes to the Ryan Seacrest question, then your answer to this second question is probably "yes" too. You probably have heard of the Chicken Chalupa Crunch Wrap. 

At least I think that's what it's called. I'm too lazy to look it up. I've been doing some heavy parental lifting lately, and took the day off from work today because our house is a faaaaahhhhhckkkin shit hole. I spent a long morning doing laundry and spacing out in Costco, wandering around aimlessly looking for noodles. It ended up taking twice as long as it should have, because I kept getting distracted by a sudden compulsion to buy a three-pack of beach towels and 35 toothbrush heads instead of the shit I came in to buy.

So just go with me here.

Basically this thing--this Chicken Chalupa Crunch Wrap, let's call it--was some sort of limited time special at Taco Bell where the TACO SHELL WAS ACTUALLY MADE OUT OF FRIED CHICKEN. In other words, it was a genetically modified chicken ass-lips-n-feet grease pouch filled with whatever they fill burritos and tacos with at Taco Bell. When I say I love tacos, I don't mean Taco Bell. In desperation I will do Taco Bell, but the idea of a taco shell made OUT OF CHICKEN Is just . . . 

Hell to the No.

And I am pretty sure it's a big negatory for Ryan too, which is why I am so in awe of him. 

One look at this man and you know he lives on kale smoothies and wheat grass cleanses. There is no fucking way Ryan Seacrest has ever--or would ever--eat a Chicken Chalupa Crunch Wrap from Taco Bell. Yet he makes it sound like it's THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD AND HE EATS IT ALL DAY EVERY DAY.

He gets on the radio right after he plays some Lorde and is all like, "Okay you guys. I don't know if you've tried this yet." And we listeners are like, "yes, please go on!" And Ryan is all like, "Get this. It's ONLY available for a limited time at Taco Bell. It's crunchy. It's delicious. It's crispy. It's the CHICKEN CHALUPA CRUNCH WRAP and wait wait. Get this . . . the SHELL IS ACTUALLY MADE OUT OF FRIED CHICKEN."

And suddenly you're like, "I want one." You stop thinking about the fact that it is completely against nature for chicken to be ground up and fashioned into a fried chicken tortilla shape, and the vile conditions in which that chicken lived such that he or she became a pretend tortilla. Like it's not enough that this chicken had to be turned into meat for Taco Bell. It is being forced to suffer the posthumous indignity of playing the part of BREAD.

I wish I could be as excited about literally ANYTHING in my life as Ryan Seacrest is about everything. The only thing that would make me sound, act, or really be as excited as Ryan Seacrest pretends to be about a Chicken Chalupa Crunch Wrap is news that Donald Trump is finally getting impeached (although today's special prosecutor news put a big ass smile on my face).

That's it. 

Apart from the demise of Cult 45, there is literally nothing in the world that makes me even half as excited as Ryan Seacrest seems to be about a Chicken Chalupa Crunch Wrap and everything else he talks about on AT-40.

Amazing.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Into the Void of Derp: I Have the "Comey Memo!"

To:        Whom it May Concern
From:    James Comey
Re:        POTUS-Russia Clusterfuck
Date:     Literally Every Day After 11/9/16

_____________________________________________________________________

TIMBER HO! 

If you're reading this, that means the shit's about to go DOWN, and I am long gone. But I wouldn't be a respected career civil servant if I didn't leave a CYA paper trail behind. Now John Chaffetz and Nancy Pelosi get to hold hands like Hansel and Gretel, and follow the trail of bread crumbs to the Gingerbread House of Impeachment proceedings.

I'm not sure what America expected when it did the electoral equivalent of putting a second grader in the cockpit of a 747 and asking him to do maneuvers like he was Maverick from Top Gun

But that's what it did, so that's where we are.

Yep. America elected a President who has taken us across the Rubicon and into the Void of Derp, down a deep hole of semi-inadvertent misconduct the likes of which I've never seen in my long career. When I wrote that letter about John Podesta's Risotto recipe and Hillary's private email server with Carlos Danger and all that shit, I couldn't have known what was coming.

As it happened, what was coming was a fascist, genetically-modified cantaloupe with less knowledge of basic American civics than the fruit which bears his likeness. If you sat Donald Trump down in front of the television (where he can usually be found when he's not golfing) and turned on School House Rock, he still wouldn't understand that the President isn't supposed to interfere with a pending FBI investigation, divulge classified information and intelligence to known foreign enemies in the Oval Office just to brag, or ask people to be "loyal" to him like he was the CEO of America.

I genuinely think Trump believes this country is an Atlantic City casino or one of his shady foreign real estate deals where he can just hire and fire people at will and impede federal investigations with a wink and nod like it's NBD. Well, ignorance of the law is no excuse, as they say, and that's why you're reading this memo.

Now the alt-right Twitter bots will tell you to burn this because it's all meant to distract from Hillary Clinton putting a hit out on some 27 year-old D.C. intern named Seth Rich who once emailed Julian Fuck-America-in-the-Assange from his iPad or some shit. 

If you believe that, you probably also believe that Avril Levigne died in 2003 and was replaced by a clone. I'm not saying it couldn't happen, but it probably didn't.

Let me ask you which seems more likely: that HRC had a Congressional paige murdered in the D.C. subway OR that Donald Trump opened his big fat KFC-hole without having any fucking idea what he was talking about?

That's what I thought.

Anyway, I look forward to your subpoenas and to testifying to my knowledge of this entire situation in the Halls of Congress. That is, if you can find even one specimen of the species of invertebrate formerly known as our elected officials who will bother listening to me.


Attention Career Gals! The Tone Deaf Irony of This is EXTRA!

According to the Internet, PR Week is “the leading source of news, analysis, features, & jobs for the Public Relations Industry.” And according to a vagina-having friend of mine who works in PR, this is an event they’re advertising in NYC next month.


Welp, gals!  

Looks like the organizers of the “Hall of Femme”—who oddly appear to have vaginas themselves--don’t necessarily appreciate the irony (or, as we say in the industry, the OPTICS) of inviting an entire “Panel d’Homme” to mansplain to a room full of women why they are kinda sorta failing at life. (Spoiler alert: it's because vaginas).

But the experts know better. And again, the experts are—surprise surprise!—people with dicks.

“Male senior executives from some of the biggest brands and agencies” are going to gift their female colleagues with some “frank discussion and unique perspective on where and how successful change is happening and on overcoming challenges that remain for women in career advancement,” and further, how women can “find the support, company culture, and resources to ensure a rewarding long-term career.”

To be fair, when I clicked on the agenda, I saw that there is, in fact, a panel of women scheduled to speak at this event, but I note that the Keynote Speaker is a dudebro named Michael from Johnson & Johnson, and, of course, the above-referenced panel consists of four people named John, Richard, Jim, and Tony.

We can only hope that Michael, John, Richard, Jim, and Tony will have some insights to offer the Beckys with the Bad Jobs in the room, as well as the other failing women on the panel that precedes theirs. While it’s not clear exactly what science Michael, John, Richard, Jim, and Tony will drop at this conference, what is clear is that they have the straight dope on working while female.

Good thing I’ve been given exclusive access to their PowerPoint presentation! Here are the titles of the first ten slides:

1. How We Got Rich by Being Named Michael, John, Richard, Jim, and Tony.

2. Why Bleeding Into Your Underpants is Kind of a Disadvantage that We Can’t do Anything About, Sorry.

3. Breastfeeding in the Office: It’s Gross albeit Perhaps Necessary, but Let's Face it You Did This to Yourself.

4. Having a Penis Really Helps You Get Ahead (AHEM!) in the Workplace, It Turns Out.

5. Smile, Look Pretty, and Wear a Supportive Bra: Three Tips to Climbing the Corporate Ladder.

6. The Very Existence of Your Uterus is a Huge Obstacle that You’ll Never Overcome Unless You Transition to Male and Then You'll Have Even Worse Problems.

7. How to Tell if a Man at Work is (A) Taking You Seriously or (B) Just Wants to Have an Affair with You (Answer: It's Usually B).

8. Checking Our So-Called Male Privilege: We Checked Everywhere and There is No Such Thing.

9. Why Being Named Michael, John, Richard, Jim, and Tony has Actually Made our Lives Harder than You’d Think.

10. We are Your Woke AF Allies but We Have it Worse than You, We Promise. (Yes, It’s a Contest and We Win. Also: What Are You Doing After This)?


See you there, ladies!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Trump Hasn't Tweeted for 5 Hours: Taking Bets on Next Tweet on Russia Clusterfuck

1. FAILING Washington Post is lying about Russia hoax. Top security officials say no "intelligence protocols" breached!

2. When will tax-payer funded Russia charade end? FAKE NEWS MEDIA has once again gotten story WRONG!

3. H.R. McMaster, nat sec adviser, says NO intel "sources and methods" revealed and called WaPo story "FALSE." Very unfair!

4. Had great meeting with Russian ambassador. Terrific guy who will help USA get (and keep!) JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!

5. FAKE NEWS MEDIA is at it again today with "Russia" story. This is the DEMOCRAT EXCUSE for losing election by millions of (illegal) votes!

6. As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for me to recall what I tell "officials" with perfect accuracy!....

7. So-called Russia "bombshell" is just more FAKE MSM. I will be interviewed by @seanhannity at 6:00 p.m. on @FoxandFriends tonight to explain. Enjoy!

8. Russian ambassador has the confidence of almost everyone in Washington, Republican and Democrat alike. When things calm down, they will be thanking me!

9. Democrats should be ashamed of this witch hunt. Disgraceful!

10. Top security officials call FAILING Washington Post story on Russia "false." When does it end?




The United States Presidency for Dummies

There seems to be a lot of confusion about this lately, particularly among our current President and his cohort. So I wrote up a helpful primer on basic American civics.

1. Once Upon a Time, there were 13 American colonies under British rule (England).

2. On July 4, 1776, the colonies “declared their independence” from England. They did this by writing a piece of paper called “THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.” 

3. The DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE is why we celebrate July 4 every year as “Independence Day” with fireworks and cake, because it is “America’s birthday!"

4. A really important part of the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE was this: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

5. That is a lot of bigly words. But it means that the government must treat everyone the same way, and that everyone who lives in America has the right to live their lives and be happy.

6.  In 1787, the Continental Congress—which was like a temporary government--wrote the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION to be the “Supreme Law of the Land.” That means we do not have KINGS or DESPOTS or any LOYALTY to anyone except for THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION which is a PIECE OF PAPER and not an ORANGE person or any person.

7. The guys that wrote the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE and the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION are called THE FOUNDING FATHERS. You may have seen them before on money. They have weird old timey wigs and were trying to not live under a king and queen, also called a MONARCHY.

8. The UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION has been the Supreme Law of the Land since 1789 and is a very important piece of paper that tells us how to run America.

9. Under the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION, there are three “co-equal branches” of government: 

(A) The LEGISLATIVE branch, which MAKES the laws; 
(B) The EXECUTIVE branch, which ENFORCES the laws; and 
(C) The JUDICIAL branch, which INTERPRETS the laws. 

"Co-equal" means "the same." "Branch" means part. It is not the same as a literal tree branch.

10. The head of the EXECUTIVE BRANCH is called the PRESIDENT.

11. The LEGISLATIVE BRANCH is made up of the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES and the SENATE, together known as "CONGRESS."

12. The JUDICIAL branch is made up of lots of courts, but the one that gets the very last word on what the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION means is THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT which has NINE (9) judges. The "decisions" of the UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT are sometimes called "opinions" and they also become THE LAW, unless Congress changes the law later or AMENDS the Constitution. "AMEND" means "change."

13. It is very important that the three branches work well both alone and together, like a school project with small groups. This is called “checks and balances" and "separation of powers." That way, no one branch of government can do anything another branch is supposed to do. That is why the branches are “co-equal.”

14. The UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION has been and can be AMENDED.

15. In 1791, the first ten amendments to the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION were adopted. Together, these ten amendments are called THE BILL OF RIGHTS.

16. THE BILL OF RIGHTS contains important freedoms. For example, freedom of speech and religion; right to bear arms; right to a fair trial; freedom from police search and seizure and the government taking your stuff; prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment; and saving powers the federal government doesn’t use for the states to have.

17. Many other important AMENDMENTS were passed later, like the one that abolished slavery (#13) and the one that let people with vaginas vote (#19).

18. Today there are FIFTY (50) States. Each State has its OWN STATE CONSTITUTION that can provide MORE rights, but not FEWER than the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION guarantees.

19. The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is a REPUBLIC. A REPUBLIC is a type of government in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, not a king or queen.

20. Here are three (3) things the UNITED STATES IS NOT

(A) A CHURCH
(B) A COMPANY, CORPORATION, or BUSINESS
(C) A MONARCHY.

Any questions?