Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Really, My Dude?

Governor Dunleavy just doesn't get it, or maybe he just doesn't care. I don't know which, but it's probably both. Here he is on the 8:30 p.m. flight from Anchorage to Juneau last night, asking someone to move their bag out of the way so that he and his third floor minions (whom the state pays six figures for doing more or less nothing) can sit in first class on Alaska Airlines.

This is a big no-no, and every Alaskan politician knows that. Ever since Frank Murkowski traveled the state in a publicly-funded private jet--which Sarah Palin immediately sold in a stunt-queen gesture of solidarity with the commoners--gifting yourself special perks on air travel has just been a bad look.

Every Alaskan has seen senators, legislators, and governors sitting in coach, because, DUH, optics. Look, I get that Governor Dunleavy is 6'9. His entire horseshit brand is built on his height. But Fascist Giraffe™ can easily sit in an exit or bulkhead row and have just as much legroom without exposing himself for the asshole he is, and not have to do that thing where he watches his constituents shuffle past him and his lackeys like zombies into coach class.

That averted-eye look of shame most first class passengers give to the coach plebes as they walk on by to seat 26E is apparently not in Dunleavy's repertoire. I don't care if you're a gold-level million miler who gets free upgrades and it costs the state nothing. I can count on one hand the number of times that I, in my 12+ years as a lowly AAG state employee, took even a free upgrade offered to me while traveling for work. 

Because, again, optics.

For high-profile politicians especially, it's simply a really bad look to lounge around in first class; especially while you are out here in these Alaskan streets telling elders they have to pay 140% more to live in the Pioneers' Home, cutting ferry service to the point that rural Southeast needs to beg for diapers on Facebook, and slashing Medicaid funding because Donna Arudin.

The hypocrisy is stunning, and the flagrant flaunting of privilege is even worse. Mike Dunleavy or Micheal J. or Big Mike or Tall Mike or Mike J. or whatever TF he's calling himself these days is the living incarnation of mediocrity ascending to the heights of power based on nothing but privilege and family wealth. It's certainly not his charisma or intellect or hard work that got him where he is, since, I think it's safe to say, he's proven himself fairly deficient in all of those areas.

The legislature gavels in today, and if "The People's Governor" is starting out with free drinks for rows 1-4 at 30,000 feet, it's going to be a looooooooooong session, my dudes.

Monday, January 13, 2020

File This Under Things Literally No One Asked For ...

 . . . And that yet somehow now exist and are being marketed for $75 because . . . Gwyneth Paltrow? Here's how the actor and lifestyle guru's latest gift to female humanity went down:




GWYNETH PALTROW: Here is a $75 candle that smells like my vagina, which I will literally call "This Smells Like My Vagina."

NO ONE: What does your (and by your, we mean "Gwyneth Paltrow's") vagina smell like?

GWYNETH: I'm glad you asked! It's a "“funny, gorgeous, sexy and beautifully unexpected scent”, a mix of “geranium, citrusy bergamot, and cedar absolutes juxtaposed with damask rose and ambrette seed."

SOMEONE: Oh, it's unexpected, alright.

NO ONE, ONCE AGAIN: What does it cost? 

SOMEONE: Please say Nothing.

GWYNETH: Oh, you. No! I'm selling it for $75 on my website.

Not since the jade egg--which is the last thing Gwyneth told us to shove up our coochies and thereby bought herself a hefty legal sum in damages--have I thought about Gwyneth's vagina. Actually, scratch that, I have NEVER thought about Gwyneth's vagina, or imagined what it would smell, look, or--God forbid--taste like.

First off, I don't like vaginas. Not one bit. Vaginas are the one and only reason why I am regrettably 100% heterosexual and also not a midwife, doula, or OBGYN. I have no interest in anyone's vagina--not even my own. I am like the Dr. Seuss/Sam I Am of vaginas. I do not like them in a park, I do not like them in the dark. I do not like them in the rain, I do not like them on a train. I do not like them during childbirth, I do not like a single vagina on earth. 

So why would I buy a wax facsimile of Gwyneth's vadge? Maybe I would, if only to confirm that, as advertised, it is "funny, gorgeous, sexy, and beautifully unexpected" with a "mix of geranium, citrusy bergamot, and cedar absolutes juxtaposed with damask rose and ambrette seed." 

Because let me tell you something: I don't believe it. 

Unless this candle comes with Chris Rock, I promise you it is not funny. It is also not gorgeous or sexy, at least not to me, because as noted above, I find vaginas gross, but also even if I liked vaginas, it is a fucking CANDLE. 

Also, not for one minute do I believe that Gwyneth's vagina or anyone else's smells like geraniums, lemonade, roses, and cedar absolutes. What the fuck is a cedar absolute? Is it different from a cedar uncertain? What is an ambrette seed? And what is bergamot? I don't even know what these things are. I had to Google every single last one of them and you will too. I think you need a total household income of over $500K per year before the Illuminati makes you privy to this kind of information.

Regardless, I don't/won't buy it. At BEST, Gwyneth's vagina smells like soap. At worst, it smells like the crotch of her Lululemon Bikram yoga pants mixed with Chris Martin's junk. But "post-Bikram yoga crotch sweat juxtaposed with that dude from Coldplay's ball sack" just doesn't have the same ring as "ambrette seed" and "cirtrusy bergamot," and I don't think people would spend 75 cents for that, much less $75. Most people could probably accomplish almost the same thing by sticking a Hanukkah candle in their 'na for a minute and sparking it up.

But even if this candle and Gwyneth's vadge both smell as good as advertised, I just think it's a little . . . um . . . weird? To light up a candle like this? Like how is this date going down? "Hang on a second, hand me a lighter . . . let me dim the lights and set the mood here by flooding my apartment with the stench of celebrity poon?"

I don't think so, people. I don't think so. In this case, it is much better to curse the darkness than light a candle.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Once You Go Brand Name Pepper Flakes, You’ll Never...?

You’ll never ... go to an Irish wake? Drink a chocolate milkshake? Nothing quite rolls off the tongue on this one, but still. Come on. We’ve all been there. 

You sit down with a piping hot slice of pizza. You reach for the red pepper flakes, sprinkle them on liberally, take a bite, and BAM. Something’s off. WAY off. It’s the GENERIC red pepper flakes, and you can tell the difference.

That’s why brand name pepper flakes are the only kind of red pepper flakes you can ever consume again. Flatiron, McCormick, whatever. The point is that your pepper flakes shouldn’t be some supermarket off-brand like Frosted Ohs or Froot Hoops. Your delicate palate should not have to endure such a grievous affront.

It’s kind of like salt. You wouldn’t just put any old salt on your food. There’s Pink Himalayan Salt. There’s Black Sea Salt. There’s Tahitian Sea Salt. Hell, there’s probably a Mariana Trench Salt or a Norwegian Fjord Salt for all I know. Point is, you’re not just gonna pick up any old salt shaker and unload. Even that little brat Morton with her yellow raincoat and umbrella is better than THAT. 

Do me a favor. Next time you order pizza take those little red pepper flake packets that sometimes come with it, open them up, and dump them right into your eyeballs as a reminder that you are not so much as to LOOK at a generic red pepper flake again.

Seriously if more people would just put on their big girl/boy/they panties and cross the Rubicon to brand name pepper flakes, we’d probably have cured cancer and solved climate change by now. 

I want you to go home (or if you’re already home stay there) and think long and hard about this because brand name red pepper flakes will change your fucking LIFE.


Saturday, January 4, 2020

Climate Change is Finally Real Because Kim Kardashian Said So ... OR IS IT?!?!

I don’t know you guys. I just don’t know who or what to believe anymore. 

2002 has jumped off to a confusing start after famous-for-indiscernible-reasons Kim Kardashian West tweeted that "climate change is real." Just two days later, however, has-been singer/songwriter Meat Loaf said climate change is a bunch of bollocks and that Greta Thunberg has sadly been brainwashed into thinking otherwise.

That leaves me, stuck in the middle, unsure which of these two eminent authorities on climate science to believe: the aspiring lawyer, ass-exhibitionist, and author of an entire book of selfies, or a 72yo named after Wednesday's school lunch who by his own admission would do "anything" for love except "that."

I mean, y’all can see how fucking real the struggle is here. 

On the one hand, Australia is a blistering inferno to the point that kangaroos are turning into flash-jerky and old ladies are practically diving into the ocean to escape encroaching flames while koala bears roast in the shell of eucalyptus trees like the whole continent is a Coleman BBQ. Alaska has also had its warmest year on record, and sea ice is getting harder to find up here than a boyfriend without a felony.

On the other hand, piles of scientific paper that have been accumulating since the early 1960s and that could at this point reach the rings of Saturn if laid end to end suggest irrefutably that earth is warming at alarming rates and that people are the reason. 

On the third hand—which I don’t have so I’ll just say ass cheek—devastating hurricanes, refugee crises, and octopi washing up in Miami parking structures suggest that Kanye’s boo has the better end of this argument. 

After all, the counterpoint is coming from an okay boomer named Meat, which again science suggests is a little bit of the problem because agriculture and cows burping methane. I guess by “doing anything for love” he actually meant “sliding back into relevance for being a moron.” What “that” is remains a mystery, however, but by deductive reasoning and process of elimination (i.e. science), we can conclude that “that” is NOT “piling on a teenager for trying to ensure her generation still has oxygen by the time they can vote.” 

Ever since Jenny McCarthy told me not to worry about polio because vaccines make autism, and Gwyneth Paltrow said underwire bras start breast cancer and that we should be shoving jade eggs up our vaginas, I’ve taken all my medical advice and scientific information from any celebrity on or above the C-list who opens their mouth. 

If you know what’s good for you, you’ll do the same.

Monday, December 30, 2019

My Actual Favorite Things

Scalding hot showers 
And gin from the bottle 
Good human beings I don’t want to throttle 
Big sturdy vibrators made in Beijing
These are a few of my favorite things
Broiling in sunlight and cookie dough sundaes 
Bong hits and Netflix
And sleeping through Mondays
Wild nights out on the town with drag queens
These are a few of my favorite things
Little black dresses that never get dirty
Instagram filters that make me look 30
Dipshits I dunk on as if I’ve got wings
These are a few of my favorite things
When a troll tweets
When my kids fight
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad

Saturday, December 14, 2019

The Place Where Memory Cannot Reach

The Auntie who raised me from birth while both my parents worked full-time spent the first five years of her life in a concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Romania. She, her mother, and her two older sisters had been transported there, by train, in the dead of night without notice; the soldiers said they were going somewhere safe.

When, five years later, they returned to the home they’d left behind, they found it had been looted and stripped down to the studs. Their Christian neighbors had bet on Fani, Peppi, Betty, and their mom not returning.

But the family beat the odds and reunited with their dad and husband who had been interned in a Russian labor camp, eventually making their way to Israel and then to New York City.

Rain or shine, Fani believed children should be outside every single day and “valk in ze fresh ahyer.” We would frequently make the several mile trek from my family’s apartment in the Bronx to hers in Northern Manhattan, along the way weaving through the multicolored living monuments to immigrant life in 1980s New York: dim Irish pubs here, bustling corner pizza joints there, falafel carts, synagogues, Puerto Rican car washes, Black hair-braiding salons, aromatic Korean fruit stands, fancy Dominican dress shops. I could always talk her into buying me sweets.

We typically walked hand-in-hand and had developed a special signal for “stranger danger.” A disheveled man talking to himself, the smell of marijuana, or a hostile looking commuter would prompt Fani to squeeze my hand hard, wordlessly telling me to keep my wits about me and be ready to flee.

Speaking in a patois of Yiddish, English, and Romanian, she would tell me, her “pitsulah madeleh” (little girl), apocryphal stories of Romanian girls who were snatched off the street and forced to work in the traveling theater; she would read me clippings from the newspaper about some recent kidnapping in Queens or Staten Island, clucking her tongue at these inevitable tragedies.

Despite the fact that New York was a little sketchier then, I never felt the least bit unsafe. The stories Fani told me and her anxieties seemed silly, preoccupied, and overprotective rather than linked to reality. Only in retrospect, as an adult, did I realize that Fani’s vigilance was an artifact of her trauma and that she was always ready to anticipate a threat and escape it. She always believed the other shoe was about to drop and bristled at the sound of German—surely a reflex buried deep in a place within her mind that not even her own memory could reach.

I think that’s why the experience of having my livelihood, along with that of only one other Jewish woman from my office, illegally taken by the State felt different than an ordinary employment dispute. I knew that we had both done an impeccable job representing our clients. I knew we had been fired for exercising our constitutional rights in expressing dismay and fear at the rise of Trumpian loyalist authoritarianism in our own state. And I knew that divesting Jews of their property and livelihood was a tried and true tactic and a bellwether of much worse to come.

I watched in horror as families were separated and actual concentration camps sprang up on the southern border of the United States, and wondered what I could do about it; but not for one second did I feel immune or apart from these things. I knew I was next. I was resigned to Trump until 2024 and beyond. I made sure my family’s passports were up to date. 

I accepted, with a cold resignation, that of course the chief propagandist for the Dunleavy administration would question my ability to parent and threaten to call state OCS and have my children taken away from me, all while calling me paranoid, crazy, angry, unhinged, accusing me of playing "the Jewish card" and hurling every other venomous invective she could conjure simply for pointing out that which is actually happening.

It is impossible to convey to those who have not carried it the weight of epigenetic trauma; the way its tentacles seep like black mold into the interstitial spaces of your consciousness, to the places memory cannot reach.

Anyone whose family has suffered under white supremacy understands this: Black Americans whose families were irreparably shattered by the slave trade; indigenous peoples whose land, language, and way of life were stolen; Jews who have been stripped of their property, the opportunity to use their intellect, their lives; migrant families who, in fleeing gang violence at home, are torn apart by the sadistic maw of Trump’s Big Beautiful Wall.

It is fruitless to engage those without sympathy or understanding and try to make them grasp this type of trauma. The only thing you can do is simply turn away from bullies, sadists, gas-lighters, and those devoid of empathy and wish them well in the healing of their own pain, which is of course what drives their cruelty.

Fani died of breast cancer a couple of years ago. I was glad she got to meet my children—I brought them to her apartment where she made them waffles and played pick-up-sticks with them. We watched the 1/9 elevated subway train rumble back and forth between the Bronx and South Ferry from her 15th floor window. 

I can still feel her squeezing my hand.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Ten Times Alaska Man Kicked Florida Man's Ass

"Florida Man." 

You've probably heard of him. He's the guy who gets arrested at Wal-Mart for punching someone who took too long at the checkout. He's the fella who wears a "fuck the police" shirt to court. And he's the bro who was attacked during a selfie with a squirrel. There are a lot more example of Florida Man doing what Florida Man does, but I won't waste your time with those here because this is an ALAKSA blog--not a FLORIDA blog.

Have you heard of Alaska Man (or woman)? I didn't think so. I'm here to tell you that Alaska Man kicks Florida Man's AAAASSSS. One of my readers called Alaska "Cold Florida," and never has there been a more apt descriptions to describe the shenanigans that transpire up here. Here are at least ten times Alaska Man kicked Florida Man's ass.

1. THE GOAT INTESTINE DRUG MULE: From USA Today: "An Alaska man was arrested last week after allegedly smuggling drugs hidden inside spoiled goat intestines stored in his checked luggage, authorities said. ... He said he packed the goat himself after buying it from a California rancher for $140."

2. THE DENTAL SELF DEFENSE/NOSE BITER: From KFQD News: "An Alaska man used his teeth to defend himself and his property. Anchorage police say the man bit off part of the nose of a suspect who attempted to steal the man’s bicycle . . . Police say he removed a 'large chunk' of the suspects nose."

3. THE HOVERBOARD DENTIST: From Fox News: An Alaska dentist charged with fraud and unnecessarily sedating patients performed a procedure while riding on a hoverboard, authorities said. A former patient testified Wednesday at the trial of Seth Lookhart that an investigator showed her a 2016 video of the dentist riding the motorized, wheeled vehicle while extracting one of her teeth when she was sedated."

4. THE IN-COURT EVIDENCE STEALER: From U.S. News: "An Alaska woman charged with the courthouse theft of a gun that was being used as evidence against her has accepted a plea deal on her original charges . . . Authorities say that during a break in her trial Tuesday she removed the unloaded gun from an evidence box and hid it outside."

5. THE BEAR ASSAULT DEFENSE: From KDOQ News: "A 50-year-old Alaska man suspected of assaulting his mother [because she wanted him to move out of her house] told investigating officers that she had been attacked by a bear . . . Police found no evidence of a bear."

6. THE BB GUN BANDIT: From Fairbanks Daily News Miner: "A 41-year-old Anchorage man faces five felony assault charges for reportedly brandishing a realistic-looking BB gun pistol Wednesday near a west Fairbanks shopping area."

7. EYEBALL TATTOO GUY: From the National Post: "Alaska man with eyeball tattoo pleads guilty to attempted murder, says 'beautiful face' led to crime." Alaska Man's "most striking tattoo is the whites of his right eyeball that have been tattooed black. Eyeball tattooing is a relatively new practice that is done by inserting ink under the surface of the eye. The pigment is then trapped in the sclera, the white of the eye, and the ink then begins to slowly move around to cover the entire eyeball."

8. THE 70K PFD THIEF FROM ALABAMA WITH 149 CHARGES: From Fox News: "A woman suspected of fraudulently applying for $70,000 in Alaska Permanent Fund dividends pleaded not guilty at arraignment. Anchorage television station KTVA reports 44-year-old Sheila McMahon entered the plea Thursday in Anchorage Superior Court. She faces one count of scheming to defraud and 148 counts of unsworn falsification."

9. THE KNOCKOFF ITALIAN FURNITURE SALESMAN: From USDOJ: Alaska Man from Wasilla was sentenced to a year in the federal pen after he "participated in a scheme based on his importation of furniture manufactured in China and then falsely advertising the furniture for sale as having been manufactured in Italy. Specifically, [Alaska Man] purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of wholesale furniture from a manufacturer in China and then re-sold the furniture as “Italian leather furniture” to retail purchasers in Alaska at a significant markup using the Craigslist.com internet marketplace. He fraudulently sold hundreds of these sofa sets to individuals in Alaska, including an undercover Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigator."

10. STOLEN "TEDDY'S TASTY MEATS" TRUCK CRASHES INTO "CHURCH OF LOVE": From KTVA News: "A man is in custody after allegedly stealing a delivery truck, [from TEDDY'S TASTY MEATS!?] ramming it through a patrol car and then crashed the truck into the side of the Church of Love building in the 3500 block of Spenard Road and fled on foot."