Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Things I'm Just Saying the KKK Might Wish to Consider Before Trying to Assert White Supremacy

Yesterday, Politico reported that the Ku Klux Klan, a.k.a. the KKK, a.k.a. Kooks, Krackheads, and Krispy Kleenex (defined by Urban Dictionary as "the morning-after crusty paper tissue evidence left by the bedside after cleaning up ejaculate") is holding a rally on South Carolina Statehouse grounds to protest "the Confederate flag being took [sic] down for all the wrong reasons." The KKK chapter planning the rally has a website that reads: "most groups out there and especially white people are to [sic] cowardly to stand up for their heritage."


I have some thoughts the KKK might wish to consider before trying to assert their racial and cultural supremacy over the rest of us inferior races.

If you're in the market to be the planet's superior anglo race, you might want to start with learning how to speak English. For example, it might behoove you to properly conjugate the verb "to take" if you're going to TAKE over America. 

In a similar vein, you might want TO learn the difference between "to," "too," and "two." After all, you're trying TO take over the country before it's TOO late and TOO many other races pollute the ONE and only supreme bloodline that can only be ONE, and not TWO.

Right off the top of my head I can think of a bunch of Jews, blacks, Catholics, and LGBT people (all of whom you want to see wiped off the planet) who know second grade grammar. So I'm afraid you've got some catching up to do in this area.

Also, as the superior race, now might be a good time to revisit that ghetto-ass ghost uniform, because it looks like something my mom sewed for me on October 30, 1980. What superior race goes around dressed like Casper the Friendly Ghost? This look is SO not runway ready, much less supreme-race-ready.

Finally, now might be the time to reconsider some of your organizational titles. Grand Titans? Imperial Wizards? Grand Dragons? Loyal White Knights? C'mon KKK! This isn't Hogwarts or Game of Fucking Thrones! This is America you're taking over, not Middle Earth!

If you don't address at least some of these issues, you risk living up to your name and looking to the whole entire world like the jizz-encrusted, Krispy Kleenex that you are.

Just saying.

A member of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan waves the Confederate flag during a klan rally on the steps of the Warrick County courthouse in Boonville, Ind., on Saturday, Oct. 17, 1998. (AP Photo/Evansville Press, Jonna Spelbring)

Kat & Mouse

Right after I graduated from college, I lived in a grungy Manhattan apartment with my friend Kat, whom I'd known since junior high. Kat (whose real name is used here with permission mostly for purposes of the title) is a glamorous, dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker who would look right at home on an episode of Sex and the City. (I mean, she shames me for wearing clogs).

But Kat's style and savoir-faire was belied--at least at that time--by our shared tendency toward domestic entropy. And by domestic entropy, I mean we were slobs. Major slobs. On any given day, our abode featured week-old lentils moldering away in an open pot and an assortment of clothing strewn about every surface. Dirty ashtrays, empty wineglasses, stray shoes, used makeup remover pads, and similar detritus of young female urban adulthood littered every surface of the 700 square foot space.

New York City is unforgiving in one notable respect when it comes to slovenly living, and that respect is the presence of vermin. Nowhere do pests flourish like they do in the walls, pipes, sewers, subways, and alleys of a city like New York. Even the cleanest spaces must contend with infestation, so our apartment was far from immune to pestilence. But we remained in denial that we shared our living quarters with mice, and rather than bother to change our habits, we just set out a couple of traps. I wasn't the least bit surprised when Kat called me at work one morning with some urgent news.

I picked up the phone at my shitty, minimum-wage publishing job. "Sub-rights, this is Libby," I quipped cheerfully for what felt like the thousandth time that week. "BLOOP," came a throaty, horrified whisper. I knew it was Kat, using a pet nickname she'd assigned to me in childhood for reasons that now escape me. (Unlike me, Kat managed to put herself together when she went to work in the morning, so she always left the house at least an hour later). "There's MICE on the glue trap. TWO of them! WhaddamI gonna do? Why did we use the glue trap? We shoulda bought the Hav-a-Heart. This is haaaaahhhribllle!!"

Now calm down, I told her. After all, I was great in emergencies. I suggested she turn her head, pick up the glue trap, and throw it down the building's incinerator chute. "But Bloooooooop," she protested. "They're lying there in each othas arms. They're like fuckin' Romeo and Juliet ovah heah!" (When Kat gets exercised, her New York accent really shines).

I asked if the mice were still alive, doing my best impression of a 911 operator from a Lifetime movie. Kat claimed she couldn't tell and didn't want to find out. "I can't do it Bloop. I think you need to come home." Um, I can't do it either, PITA. PITA stood for "Pain in the Ass," a pet name I'd long ago assigned to her and that she sometimes volleyed back at me.

I don't remember how Kat ultimately disposed of the duo, but I'm pretty sure a neighbor was involved. All I know is that when I got home from work, Romeo and Juliet had met their tragic, Shakepearean end. Never again would fair Manhattan know such a pair of star-crossed rodent lovers, who with their death, buried two roomates' strife.

Monday, June 29, 2015

5 Career Options for Donald Trump in the Highly Unlikely Event That He Fails to Become the Next President of the United States

According to today's New York Times, NBC gave Donald Trump his signature "you're fired" for calling Mexican immigrants rapists, drug dealers, and criminals. 

Assuming The Donald loses the lawsuit he plans to file against NBC over this egregious firing, and in the highly unlikely event that he does NOT become the next President of the United States, it'd be prudent for The Donald to ask himself what color his parachute is, and consider some alternative career options. 

Here are five I came up with. You're welcome, Donald! My career coaching invoice is in the mail:

1. Doula: The world needs more male doulas (moulas?) and I think The Donald would make a wonderful doula. Donald the Doula! The Donald is a self-proclaimed pussy hound (those are more or less his words, I'm paraphrasing of course) and is highly attuned to women's issues, since he is irresistible to them. He has also sired multiple babies and grand-babies. So he knows his way around a woman's body, he'll have you know.

2. Spokesperson for the Color Orange: The Board of The Color Orange needs a spokesperson. Given the hue of The Donald's hair, eyebrows, and skin, there is no better representative for Orange than The Donald. Oh, you didn't know colors had boards and spokespeople? Well they don't, but they will once Donald gets into the biz! He's a cutting-edge entrepreneur who can be counted on to commodify anything, even a color.

3. Chair of The NAACP or the Anti-Defamation League: Following in the footsteps of white hot mess Rachel Dolezal, the fluorescent orange Donald would be an ideal chair of the NAACP, especially given his documented sensitivity on race issues, dating back to the 1973 investigation by the U.S. Justice Department into racially discriminatory employment practices in his real estate businesses. He would also make a great board member of the Anti-Defamation league, whose mission is to combat anti-Semitism, as he's allegedly said: "Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day." (Yes, seriously).

4. Chipotle Chip & Dip Sample Distributor: The only fitting response to The Donald's statement on Mexican immigrants is for him to get a job working at Chipotle Mexican Grill as a chip and dip distributor. He could don (no pun intended) one of those sombrero hats with a dip bowl in the middle and chips around the edge, and walk around offering samples to customers on bended knee at the Chipotle franchise off Route 98 in Scranton, PA. A free cheese quesadilla supreme would go to the first person who found one of Donald's combed-over hairs in the salsa verde.

5.Beauty School Head Model: Since The Donald is famous for his controversial coif, it seems only fair that he donate his head to science. If you look at that hairdo and say to yourself, "I'd give anything for 30 seconds with that marmalade coated, cotton candy rat's nest," you can only imagine what aspiring hair colorists and stylists are saying at beauty schools all over the nation. 

Donald Trump March 2015.jpg

Why I Would Make a Really Shitty Doula

We all have our strengths and our weaknesses, and my biggest strength is recognizing my weaknesses. To that end, my last post on how everyone is a doula prompted some self-reflection: Why am I not a doula?  

It didn’t take me long to find the answer. 

I did some research into the role of doulas, and it's now abundantly clear to me that I would BEYOND suck at this job. Here are some questions The American Pregnancy Association suggests you ask a potential doula, and here are my answers:

Question: What training have you had? 

Answer: Duh! None. I’m terrified of and completely disgusted by vaginas, including my own. Please don't make me talk to you about your vagina. And especially don't make me picture anything coming out of your vagina. Wait. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

Question: What services do you provide? 

Answer: I'm a pretty good listener and I can keep a secret. I usually offer to pay for lunch and I'm punctual. I can also maybe help you if you’re having a custody battle with your partner over the baby. That's basically it. Also, at the birth I'll probably scream "HOLY SHIT! WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT??!?!" and/or "CALL 911!! CALL 911!!" a few dozen times. 

Question: What are your fees? 

Answer: Nothing. I'm a firm believer that free advice is worth what you pay for it. Unless you have a baby that I didn't have to help you pull out of your vagina. Then you owe me a million dollars (here's the dotted line). I've always wanted to own a condo on Maui. That's why I do this!

Question: Are you available on my due date? 

Answer: That depends. If you call me after 5:30 p.m. on a weeknight, there's a good chance I'll be too intoxicated to drive anywhere. Same with Saturday night. So as long as you have your baby during the day or on a Sunday, we should be all set. Unless I'm on vacation or there's an Unsealed Alien Files marathon on cable. Then you're shit out of luck.

Question: What is your philosophy regarding childbirth?

Answer: My number one philosophy on childbirth is to never again experience it myself. Other than that, my philosophy is to have a healthy baby using as many drugs and with as little awareness of what's happening as possible. Also, the second the baby comes out, the first thought every mother should have after thanking the universe for the miracle of a breathing infant is "Thank God I'm not pregnant anymore," followed quickly by "I want sushi."

Question: Would you be available to meet with me before the birth to discuss my birth plan?

Answer: Again, that depends. If we can meet at a bar with $13 signature cocktails, then I am totes available.

Question: What happens if for some reason you are not available at the time of my birth?

Answer: You'll have a much better birth.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

But Riiiiick, You Pwomised ...

I've got some troubling news you guys, which I'm particularly chagrined to bring you on the Lord's Day of Rest.

Rick Scarborough---America's favorite demon in God's clothing and Satan's number one boy toy---promised to set himself (including, presumably, his junk?) on fire if SCOTUS let the gays walk down the aisle and kiss their brides.

Well, now Rick is backing down, claiming he does not support "any violence or physical harm." Really? C'mon, Riiiick! Haven't you read the scripture on lying and breaking promises? 

Let's review:

"Do not lie. Do not deceive one another": Leviticus 19:11

"The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful:" Proverbs 12:22

"Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices": Colossians 3:9

"If a man swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth": Numbers 30:2

"A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will not escape": Proverbs 19:5

"I will not violate my covenant or alter the word that went forth from my lips": Psalm 89:34

I could go on and on, Rick. I'm sure you could, too, given your deep familiarity with theology and the bible.

But please don't say you disavow violence and physical harm, since the homophobic lunacy that you peddle and spew for profit and fame does exactly that: promotes and sanctions violence and physical harm to an entire community of fellow human beings.

You're a dangerous, irredeemable bigot and a hypocrite, Rick, but I still think you'd be an absolutely delicious substitute for pulled pork at a pig roast. 

So please. Cowboy up, and do as the bible (and all of our heathen stomachs) command: Keep your word, and self-combust.

Is It Just Me, Or is Everyone a Doula?

Maybe it's just me, but sometime in the last five to ten years, it feels like every woman I know suddenly became a doula. 

You meet someone at a party, and it's like, Oh hi! What do you do? I'm a teacher. And a doula. You strike up a conversation near the monkey bars, and the woman goes, I'm a stay-at-home mom. And also a doula. You go to a conference and sit down for a gross catered lunch of microwaved chicken and limp asparagus and turn to your neighbor. Hey, I'm an engineer from Silver Spring, Maryland. But I'm also a doula. Here's my card.

Doula doula doula doula doula. I'm not knocking it at all. Quite the opposite; I wish I'd had a doula when I had my babies. But frankly, I didn't even know what a doula was then. I hadn't even heard of a doula until I was 4.5 cm dilated, puking into a pink plastic hospital barf tray, and doing my best imitation of those crazy people you see in labor on T.V. But, that's giving birth in 'Murica for ya.

At this point, I'm more just worried that I've missed some professional calling, life path, or memo that literally every other woman I meet seems to have received.

Like somehow, every woman I encounter at one point said to themselves, you know what? I want to crouch over some other woman's crotch and hold her hand while she screams bloody murder and pushes a watermelon out of a hole the size of a raisin breathes meditatively in a warm bathtub surrounded by candles and has a spontaneous orgasm while bringing a new life into the world.*

I mean, I have to wonder: What was I doing the day everyone decided to go to doula school? Or doula class? Or whatever it is you do to become a doula? Was I getting a C+ in Civil Procedure? Was I eating a bagel AND a black and white cookie in rapid succession? Or both? 

Every time someone tells me they're a doula, I get that feeling you get in college where everyone is registering for class across the quad, and you're watching Friends re-runs in your dorm room while getting shut out of the last three credits you need to graduate.

What? You've never had that feeling? Of course you haven't. You're probably a doula.

*Results not typical. Author of description not actually a doula so has no idea what she's talking about.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

I'll Have a 4 Piece McHate Nuggets and a Side of Bigot Balls, Please!

The only thing juicier than the Supreme Court's decision on marriage equality is the bigots' and haters' reactions to it.

For the benefit of my loyal readers, I've mined the interwebs in a VERY fruitful attempt to find the four most succulent hate-nuggets to chew on and regurgitate in a giant, mucous-laden spitball; like a mama bald eagle feeding her chicks after scavenging the garbage dump.


McHate Nugget #1: Clarence Thomas in his dissenting opinion: "Slaves did not lose their dignity because the government allowed them to be enslaved . . . Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity and it cannot take it away."

Wait, what?! Seriously?! What the FUCKOVER Clarence? First of all, your parents named you Clarence, and that HAS to be why you're being such an inconceivably HUGE dick right now. I have exactly one word for the logic that says it's not a breach of human dignity for the government to put your head in a gas chamber, turn you into a lampshade or a bar of soap, buy you for six wooden nickles on an auction block, whip you to death, and/or stop you from marrying the person you love: BWAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHHHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA! 

McHate Nugget #2: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker: "As a result of this decision, the only alternative left for the American people is to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.": Yeah Scott. That's totally going to happen. Congress will take one of the most extraordinary steps in American democracy just so you can sleep easy knowing no one will discover that YOU secretly want a big, hard dick in your ass. Because really, that's what this is all about, isn't it? It has to be. Fortunately, there's a more practical alternative, and here it is: Get the fuck over yourself, rent a gay porno, and just jizz the hate straight out of your nutsack, Scott. NO ONE CARES. We promise.

McHate Nugget #3: Mike Huckabee: "I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British army." Viva La Revolucion, Huckster! An imperial court? The British army? Really? How does a lesbian wedding on Fire Island make Mike Huckabee "acquiesce" to anything? Unless of course HE wants to get gay married? Maybe he does, and again, to that I say, good on ya Huck. 'Cause guess what? Now you can! Maybe go propose to Scott Walker? You guys would look soooooo cute walking down the aisle all dressed up like Paul Revere and Benjamin Franklin.

McHate Nugget #4: Westboro Baptist Church: "The Supreme Court gave the government stamp of approval on an outrageously grotesque sin against God. #doomed." Wow, Satan's biggest and greasiest taint stain has its own Twitter account AND a clever hashtag. Don't forget, this is the same cluster of dipshits who got SCOTUS to say 8-1 that the First Amendment lets them picket outside a dead soldier's funeral and scream "God Hates Fags," and whose website is literally godhatesfags.com. So I guess SCOTUS is doing God's work when it lets them hate-monger in the most heinous and insensitive way possible, but is sinning against God when it approves loving marriages between consenting adults. Please. The only "grotesque sin against God" in this scenario is Westboro Baptist Church. 

Yum. That was a delicious Happy Meal of Hate. I think I need a diet coke.

Friday, June 26, 2015

United States of America: 1; Bigots: 0

I'm speechless. Well, except for the following couple hundred words.

Today, the United States Supreme Court declared game over for homophobes and bigots everywhere. 

Of all the "political" wedge issues that have emerged in my lifetime, gay marriage was always the most perplexing, for it was always completely apolitical as far as I'm concerned. It was--and always has been--a matter of human rights, not politics. 

As Justice Kennedy wrote, the hope of same-sex couples is "not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The constitution grants them that right." (Emphasis mine).

I'm glad SCOTUS cleared up my confusion today by answering the following FAQ, if not in the actual holding, then in dicta:

Why should heterosexual couples care if gay couples get married? They shouldn't.
Does same-sex marriage dilute the institution of heterosexual marriage? No.
Are gay people entitled to equal protection under the law? Yes.
Are gay couples entitled to marry and raise families? Yes.
Can states continue to prohibit same-sex couples from marrying? No. 
Can we still trust our democracy and the United States Supreme Court to function properly every now and then? Yes.
Do we live in a country that is, at least in some contexts, willing to stand up and denounce state-sanctioned bigotry? Yes.
Is the arc of the moral universe long? Yes.
Does it bend toward justice? Yes.
Will some people think the world is ending because same-sex couples can marry? Yes.
Should those people get the fuck over themselves? Yes.
Will the world end? No.
Will the world actually be a much better place? Yes. 

AND, most importantly:

Will Rick Scarborough now set himself on fire? He'd better! Love is love, and a promise is a promise, Rick!

America: 1; Bigots: 0.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Crazy Ass Preacher is Awesomely Setting Himself on Fire if The Supreme Court Says Peeps Can Get Gay Married

Ok. Now this I gotta see. 

Rick Scarborough, a prominent wing-a-ding-a-ling-nut pastor from Texas and most likely John Hagee's number one bottom bitch, is threatening to set himself on fire if SCOTUS rules that gay people can get mawwwieed this summer. "We will burn," were his exact words. He also offered to be "shot" rather than continue to live in a world where more attractive people than him with better clothes and taste in music get to eat a piece of wedding cake.

I have exactly four words for this: Fuck to the YES!

Not to put too fine a point on it: would give ANYTHING to see this stunt queen douse himself with paint thinner from Home Depot, strike a match, and set himself ablaze on The Washington Mall. This has now become the main reason I want SCOTUS to give 18 thumbs up to gay marriage this summer. 

Here are a few more reasons why this would be beyond amaze:

1. Rick Scarborough's loin probably definitely tastes like honey-glazed ham or a juicy tender pork roast, and I think he would be delicious smoked over Applewood chips and served with a spicy pineapple salsa.

2. I love s'mores, and Rick Scarborough's nickname in pastor school was Graham Cracker. I wanna bust out some Hershey's and Marshmallows and roast some s'mores right over Rick Scarborough's flaming, Just-for-Men-home coloring kit touched-up hair.

3. We've got a big renewable resources problem in this country, and the energy generated by Rick Scarborough's self-immolation could fuel at least one gay couple's Toyota Prius for a couple hundred miles. He's really doing a big service to the planet.

4. Scarborough Fair is my favorite Simon and Garfunkle song, and I want to see them sing it at Rick Scarborough's pyre, with a slight adjustment to the lyrics: "Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Tyme for this crazy chicken-fried steak nugget to torch himself up like the opening ceremony at the Beijing Olympics for no apparent reason . . . la la la la la la la la . . . "

5. Since Rick always goes big, we can definitely expect a spectacle from this fuego. Surely there will be fireworks over The Washington Mall sponsored by his alma mater, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and who doesn't love a good fireworks display? The finale will probably be a giant, sparkling set of ass-cheeks set to explode in a suggestive position right over the tippy-top of The Washington Monument.

6. And speaking of Fireworks, I heard on CNN that Katy Perry will perform her hit song "Firework" with hundreds of gay back up dancers in mesh tank tops and neon green banana hammocks humping the air during Rick's combustion.

7. If you think about it, it's actually super Christian of Rick Scarborough to set himself on fire. There are a lot of cold homeless people in the D.C. metro area who would be more than happy to warm their hands by him, I'm sure. What a noble gesture!

Rick Scarborough: Let's do this!

Pastor Rick Scarborough

Ask a 21 Year-Old Wannabe Alaska Bro from the Midwest Working in Denali for the Summer

Heeeeey bro! Whaddya got goin' on this weekend? I'm heading up to the Brooks Range to float a few rivers before guiding season starts 'cause I can't handle the crowds. I got a couple peaks I wanna bag in the Wrangells and some climbs I'm doing over there too with a few buddies of mine from NOLS. 

Yeah, this summer's gonna be fuckin' righteous. 

Hey listen, do you think I could maybe borrow some gear? Like some carabiners and a set of crampons and some skis and skins and a sleeping bag and a tent and a food dehydrator and a water filter and an ice axe and a vacuum sealer and some food and some beers and a big smelly dog named Denali or Kiska? Do you know anyone who has that kinda shit they could loan me for like, a couple days, maybe?  If not don't worry about it, I can just hit up REI. Do you know anyone who can give me a ride to Anchorage? I might just hitchhike out on the Parks though. My car shit the bed like ten miles from Tok. It's cool though, my dad's gonna wire me some cash.

Yeah, the tips out at Kantishna kinda suck and these tourists are sooooo fuckin' lame. You wouldn't believe it. My uncle's cousin's grandma owned a fishing lodge on the Yentna and we'd go up every summer for a week so don't worry, I totally know what I'm doing. Oh and my girlfriend's coming up next week! So psyched. I really miss her. She's fuckin' awesome, dude. She looks just like a younger version of Lindsey Vonn. Wanna see a pic? 

Wait. Let me scroll through these. Haha, dude! Check out this GoPro from my heli-snowboard trip near Boulder last winter break. Can't believe I just found this! That trip was epic. Totally sick. You been out there?

Oh hey one more thing: Do you know where I could like, maybe score some weed and a decent burrito? I'm full-on starving and I hear pot's legal here now. How fuckin' rad is that?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

5 Reasons Why You Need to Watch Dirty Dancing Again for the First Time

Listen up bitches. 

If you haven't dusted off your VHS tape of Dirty Dancing in awhile, I highly recommend that you rewind that shit, put on a pair of leg warmers, microwave some Orville Redenbacher's and torch up a metal bowl full of schwag stems n' seeds for an awesome night in. 

From start to finish, this hot mess of a movie is a tour de force of American cinema, and here are five reasons why you need to watch it again for the first time:

1. Fuel for the Female Wank Tank: C'mon, don't even front. You know Patrick Swayze a.k.a. Johnny Castle's black skintight unitard gives you that tingly feeling way down in the no-nos. And when he starts humping on Jennifer Grey a.k.a. Frances 'Baby' Houseman while balancing on a tree trunk over a creek, well, all I can say is put in for leave at work and buy some extra batteries, because you're gonna need 'em.

2. "Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner": This movie is worth it for that line alone. You can just skip ahead to the scene where Johnny Castle tells Baby's whole family that nobody "puts [her] in a corner" and replay those 5 seconds over and over again. You can also go on YouTube and do the same exact thing, skip all of the other advice in this blog post, and still have the time of your life.

3. The Time of Your Life: Until the theme song from Titantic came along, this was literally the cheesiest and most insidious earworm ever broadcast on public airwaves. Even just saying it now, you know it has burrowed a deep groove into your skull: "I've HAAAAD the time of my LIIIIFE and I owe it all to yoooooooooouuuuuuu!" Boom. Done.

4. A History Lesson in the Catskills: Illegal abortion, class tensions, homely girls with big schnozes punching above their weight, shrill older sisters, benevolent patriarchs, and sleep-away camp for Jewish families in the 1960's. Who needs college? You can seriously learn everything you need to know about American history and popular culture from this film alone.

5. Johnny Castle/Baby Houseman Hate Sex: Part of what makes the relationship between the two protagonists in this movie so good is that they come from opposite sides of the tracks and basically hate each other. If you've ever had sex before, you know it's WAY better when you totally hate the person you're fucking. So watching these two take their hateration straight to the sack is spectacular! (see also #1).

Dirty Dancing.jpg

Social Media to Real Life Translation Tool

Sometimes it's hard to figure out what people's behavior on social media means, and how it would translate in real life. 

That's why I've developed this handy social media to real life translation tool: to help O.H.M. readers figure out what it means when people do certain things on social media, because obviously I am totes an authority on that.

Likes a Facebook page you suggested: Would maybe say hi to you at a party.

Likes a status you’re tagged in: Might buy you a coffee if you happened to run into them at Starbucks.

Likes a status you posted: Is not instinctively annoyed by you in real life or online.

Favorites your tweet: Would give you a thumbs up or high five if you said that thing to them in real life.

Re-tweets your tweet: Thinks the thing you just said is smart and clever.

Follows you on Twitter: (1) Is a robot; or (2) Is superficially interested in what you have to say sometimes.

Unfollows you on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook: (1) Hates you; (2) Loves you; and/or (3) Wants to push you in front of a bus.

Likes a selfie of you on Facebook: Would probably have sex with you under the right circumstances.

Tags you in a post on Facebook: (1) Has hung out with you in real life and might do that again; and/or (2) Wants the world to know they are hanging out with you for some reason.

Shares your Facebook status: (1) Thinks you're smart and clever; or (2) Takes pity on you.

Likes a picture of your kids on Instagram or Facebook: Is not incredibly annoyed by pictures of your kids.

Likes a picture of your cat, feet, or brunch on Instagram: Likes cats, feet, and brunch.

Comments positively on a picture of your cat, feet, or brunch on Instagram: LOVES cats, feet, and brunch.

Comments negatively on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter: Wants to punch you in the throat or the crotch either just that one time or all the time.

Invites you to play Farmville or Candy Crush Saga: (1) Has not seen you in at least ten years; (2) Will never see you again in real life; and/or (3) Is over 55.

Friends you on Facebook: Wants to be your friend on Facebook but probably not in real life.

Ignores your friend request on Facebook: Does not want to be your friend on Facebook or in real life.

Invites you to something in real life through Facebook: Generally doesn't care if you come to that thing or not.

Follows you on Instagram: Wants to see and/or be annoyed by your pictures sometimes.

The Best Worst Poll Ever

If it weren't for The Huffington Post, I don't know how I'd continue to find material for this blog. Oh wait. There's also Yahoo News, Slate, Shit My Friends Send Me, The Endless Supply of Douches in The World, and My Totes Fucked Neurotic Mental State. 

So I guess there's still some unexplored terrain. 

Today's post is a Venn Diagram overlap of The Huffington Post/Shit My Friends Send Me categories of material. APPARENTLY . . . wait for it . . . Derek Jeter and his model girlfriend, Hannah Davis, split a check for pizza in Italy

The Huffington Post wants to know what you think about this. They've got a radio-button poll with four options answering the question "Should Jeter have paid?," (after noting that both people on this date are gazillionaires). Possible answers: (1) Yes; (2) No; (3) Whatever makes Hannah comfortable; and (4) Wow, slow news day?!

As the friend who sent this to me noted: "When HuffPost KNOWS its story and poll is insane and wants you to vote to let it know that you know that it knows, that my friend is blog-post worthy!"

I agree! 

That's why I've devised my OWN best worst poll for readers to answer, which I am titling "O.H.M.'s Best Worst Poll Ever." I started to do this as a real poll on SurveyMonkey, but then I got lazy and gave up. (99% of stories in my life end with that sentence).

1. What is the worst general category of bros?"
(a) Frat bros
(b) Tech bros
(c) Finance bros
(d) Hipster bros

2. What is the worst category of Alaska bros?
(a) Ski-guide bros
(b) Seasonal tourism industry bros
(c) Racing bros
(d) Sledneck bros

3. What is the worst minor physical affliction?
(a) Hangnail
(b) Stubbed toe
(c) Paper cut 
(d) Zit inside nostril

4. What is the worst form of group electronic communication?
(a) Reply-all emails
(b) Group text
(c) Facebook group message
(d) Evite/SurveyMonkey

5. What is the worst way to end a text message convo?
(a)  Silence
(b) "Haha nice"
(c) Any emoji
(d) ;)

6. What is the worst part of the male body to sext to a woman?
(a) Dick
(b) Balls
(c) Taint
(d) Pecs

7. What is the worst common female health annoyance?
(a) Period while on camping/rafting trip
(b) Yeast infection
(c) Urinary tract infection
(d) Ineffective sports bra

8. What is the worst minor annoyance at work?
(a) Reply-all emails
(b) Forced conviviality
(c) Not being able to take a leisurely crap in peace and privacy
(d) Poor indoor climate control

9. What is the best/worst Gwyneth Paltrow death scene in a movie?
(a) Gwyneth Paltrow's head in a box in Seven
(b) Gwyneth Paltrow's convulsive flu-seizure in Contagion
(c) Gwyneth Paltrow's overdose in Country Strong
(d) Gwyneth Paltrow's head in an oven in Sylvia.

10. Who is the best/worst douche on the pop-music scene today?
(a) Adam Levine
(b) Kanye West
(c) John Mayer
(d) Chad Kroeger from Nickelback

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

What's at Stake?

Every story needs something at stake to be compelling. I debated whether to write about this, since so much has been said and I doubt I'll add anything new to the discussion. 

But that's never stopped me before, so here goes.

The Charleston terrorism attack/massacre has prompted a national "debate" over what's at stake in flying the confederate flag over the state capitol in South Carolina, the first state to secede from the union during the Civil War. 

According to the omniscient Wikipedia and my favorite source of all quasi-accurate info on the interwebs, Southern historian Gordon Rhea wrote this in 2011:
It is no accident that Confederate symbols have been the mainstay of white supremacist organizations, from the Ku Klux Klan to the skinheads. They did not appropriate the Confederate battle flag simply because it was pretty. They picked it because it was the flag of a nation dedicated to their ideals: 'that the negro is not equal to the white man'. The Confederate flag, we are told, represents heritage, not hate. But why should we celebrate a heritage grounded in hate, a heritage whose self-avowed reason for existence was the exploitation and debasement of a sizeable segment of its population?
That's an excellent question. 

As a Jewish woman, I definitely view the confederate flag as analogous to the swastika in World War II: A symbol of (now technically) defeated genocide and enslavement. That's exactly why white supremacists love the swastika, almost as much as they love the confederate flag. And it's why you'll often see the two together, sometimes tattooed on the very same skin.

In a region of the country that routinely and jingoistically screams at the rest of the nation to BE MORE PATRIOTIC, is it not at least a little bit ironic that a state law there mandates waving the flag of the defeated first secessionist in America's only civil war? Isn't that at best unpatriotic, and at worst seditious and treasonous?

Yeah yeah. I know I'm a northeast Yankee and waaaaahhhhh waaaahhh waaahhh I don't UNDERSTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND how IMPORRRRRTANT this piece of our HISTORY is to the Land of Dixie and Southern Pride and HERITAGE and some more waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

Come on. 

Everyone knows what the confederate flag is really all about, or has at least come to stand for: White people owning black people. White people lynching black people. White people hating and exterminating Jews. Homophobia. White men raping black women that they owned. In short: colonialism, rape culture, slave culture, murder, genocide, and white supremacy.

To me, a black person living in South Carolina having to look at the confederate flag every day would feel like me and my kids being forced to look at a Nazi flag every day. I can't see a sliver of daylight between the swastika and the confederate flag as those symbols are known and reasonably perceived to the modern eye.

So yeah, it's just a flag. And maybe this issue gets the big "who cares." Maybe "oversensitive" people like me who don't appreciate the rich, nuanced history of the south just don't get it. 

Sure, maybe.

But what's at stake in taking it down? Maybe the public (albeit merely symbolic) disavowal of state-sanctioned bigotry. 

That's a pretty compelling set of stakes in 2015 America, don't you think?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Attention Lazy Parents: Whatever You Do, Don't Let Your Kids "Lose Their Educational Edge" This Summer

According to this educational parenting piece by Dr. Gail Gross in The Huffington Post, you should spend your summer making sure that your kids don't "lose their educational edge," otherwise you're the world's shittiest parent.

Now is not the time for your first grader to wander aimlessly through the woods, picking wildflowers, blowing bubbles, and catching frogs like some hillbilly redneck. These ten weeks are when you must remain vigilant, lest your children fail to reach their full potential as a captain of industry or the next Atul Gawande or Mark Zuckerberg. 

Accordingly, here is O.H.M.'s take on Dr. Gross' 8 ways to ensure your kids stay and/or become child prodigies this summer:

1. Visit your local library. As Dr. Gross says, "A family trip to the library is a wonderful source for many activities." Go to the magazine section and find that one issue of U.S. News and World Report with the college rankings. Make your child read them all to you out loud from top to bottom. Tell them that if they don't get their act together NOW, they're going to end up on acid at Bard, and that in THIS family, we are pre-med at Yale.

2. Encourage your children to connect with other children: Dr. Gross tells you to get your kid a pen pal or a book club as a "fabulous way of engaging your children in reading and writing." Don't expose them to actual living children who could throw them off their game, be a bad influence, or otherwise lead them astray. If you can, find a pen pal in Africa or India so your kid has something profound and cross-cultural to write about on their college admissions essay.

3. Cook with your children: Cooking is a good way to learn about fractions, measurements, and world cuisine. Don't just slap together a plate of nachos for fuck's sake. Take out a Julia Child cookbook and force your kids to make beef bourguignon from scratch. Yell at them and tell them that if they scald the shallots, they'll never eat lunch in Paris again.

4. Get into the act with the whole family: Dr. Gross suggests putting on musicals and family plays. Write a script about what happens to little girls and boys who don't practice their times tables and go skip rocks in a creek instead. The final act should end with your kids behind the bathroom at your local gas station, dispensing blow jobs to support their meth habit as twenty-somethings who failed to listen to their parents.

5. Spell F-U-N with family game nights: Monopoly and Life are great board games for teaching family values like becoming a real estate baron. Mix things up with a round of Hungry Hungry Hippos. When they win, smack them upside the head and tell them that no one likes a pig at a cocktail party.

6. Teach about money, stocks, and bonds: Use the newspaper, says Dr. Gross, as a teaching tool. Get out the business section of the Wall Street Journal. Ask the kids to make a collage of everyone in it and then glue it to their bedroom ceiling. Put glow-in-the-dark stars around the border of the collage so that the eerie glow of Donald Trump's face is the last thing they see when they fall asleep at night.

7. Make the most of family vacations: Dr. Gross wants you to visit places like Valley Forge or the Liberty Bell so that your kids learn about history. Drag your kid on a cross-country tour of every boring historical site you can possibly think of. When they ask to go to Hershey Park instead, grab their arm really hard, squeeze it, and hiss in a rageful whisper that roller coasters are for proletariats.

8. Play tourist in your hometown: And you don't have to travel far or spend a lot of money, says Dr. Gross! Visit the sketchiest trailer park you can find, and drop your kids off there for five hours. If they're still alive after that, tell them that this is where you'll bring them the next time they refuse to do trigonometry problems before bedtime in July.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Short, Eventful Life of Shimmer the Fish

There's a reason I don't own plants or animals, and it's because they all eventually die on me and I can't handle it. That, and I'm allergic to most plants and animals. But even if I weren't, I'm too traumatized by the circle of life--or as I prefer to call it, the spiral of death--to care for any living creature aside from my own children. That's terrifying enough.

So I was none too happy when my kids came home with a tiny fish from the lake, in a green plastic bucket. They had named her "Shimmer" for her silvery scales. I don't know what kind of fish she was. She might have been a guppy or a minnow, but what the hell do I know? I'm a lawyer, not a fisheries biologist for fuck's sake.

Then how did I know it was a she, you ask? Hahaha. I'll tell you how. She was fucking PREGNANT, that's how. Or so said my cousin who was visiting. What? Oh no, he's not an ichthyologist or a fisheries biologist either; but he is a bio-medical engineer, and that's close enough. 

He told me there was a "flap" open under Shimmer's fin where she was crapping out eggs, and that her belly was swollen with little babies. When I challenged his reproductive analysis (I don't think a fish can both lay eggs AND give birth to live young?), he pointed out that if you say something with enough authority, that makes it true. My cousin's girlfriend gave him the major side-eye.

We spent a long time staring at Shimmer's belly and squinting at a few orange coils she had deposited in the corner of the round vase that was her new Mars One life capsule. We went back and forth, trying to figure out if they were eggs or poo. Please be poo. Please be poo. Please be poo, I said silently to myself. Somehow, the thought that I'd consigned an expectant mother to certain death right there on my kitchen island was too much to bear.

About 24 hours after her arrival at our home, Shimmer began to show signs of weakness. She became listless, and clearly wasn't interested in the breadcrumbs or Matzoh meal we had on hand. Naturally, we had not been responsible enough to buy fish food, assuming she would even have eaten that.

It was time to put Shimmer out of her misery.

We prepared the kids for the inevitable. Paige fashioned an ad-hoc gravestone from a clam shell. We sang "This Little Light of Mine" and the whole family assembled to pitch Shimmer and the contents of her bowl over the deck and into the garden box, where she would become a flower--or better yet--a sprig of cilantro for a future delicious batch of guacamole.

Two seconds after we did this, Isaac's face crumpled into a mask of grief and he began weeping. Sensing an opportunity for competition and theatrics, Paige soon joined him. Before I knew it, I was sequestered in my bedroom with two wailing children who refused to come to dinner. They had declared a hunger strike in protest of Shimmer's untimely demise.

I explained that Shimmer was a lake fish and wasn't supposed to live in our house. I told them she was really sick, and it was inhumane to just let her die a slow, painful death in a bowl full of breadcrumbs. Their cousin the scientist assured the kids that Shimmer's lifespan was probably not much shorter here than it would have been in the lake. He said this with authority; again, that made it true.

The kids calmed down and began to acquiesce to the elements of dinner one by one. A bite of steak here, some bread and butter there, and pretty soon principle gave way to their competing desire for a frozen fruit bar.

Geoff insisted that our children's mourning had been exaggerated. Yet despite that, the night ended with Geoff ordering the kids tadpoles online. His exact words were, "Grow-a-frog double tube town? For $29.99? We can't afford NOT to order it!"

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Too Cool for School?

If it's one thing I've never been, it's too cool for school. Believe me, I know what too cool for school is, and I'm not it. 

Too cool for school is the guy with the acoustic guitar and a man-bun at a beach bonfire where everyone is all like, "ooh, play another Van Morrison song!" Too cool for school is the girl who just returned from a back-country heli-skiing trip in Japan and everyone wants to hear how she had to deploy her avalanche inflatable balloon thingie. Too cool for school is the kid who cuts calculus every week to smoke Camels and still gets an A.

That's not me. I have to study hard, which is why I bought this book.

I also bought it because my mom (who is a psychiatrist) said it would make me less crazy. I'm paraphrasing of course, but that's basically the gist of her advice: read this book and you might feel (or be) less crazy. So I ordered it on Amazon and am planning to study it like it was a textbook in a college seminar for four credits. 

But I haven't opened it yet, for three main reasons: (1) I am lazy (in addition to being crazy); (2) I sort of don't want to overcome my destructive feelings, beliefs, and behaviors, because they are familiar psychological crutches that make me who I am; and (3) I already know what this book is going to tell me. On the latter point, I don't even need to read this book to identify my problems and this book's solutions to them.

Here are a few predictive examples:

Problem: The Facebook page of a particular person consistently makes you want to vomit and throws you into a jealous rage and spiraling depression.
Solution: Unfollow that person. Alternatively look at their page and use it as a diet aid.

Problem: Everything on the internet makes you feel crazy and depressed.
Solution: Commit profilo-cide and destroy everything you own that has a screen.

Problem: The thing you most want to do at any given moment on any given day is watch Love Actually alone in your house, while crying and eating Nutella straight from the jar with a serving spoon.
Solution: Cancel your cable subscription and never buy Nutella again.

Problem: Someone is being mean to you or ignoring you.
Solution: Ignore them back.

Problem: Someone is using you like a Black & Decker power drill with 55 interchangeable drill bits and a built-in flashlight.
Solution: Put yourself on a higher shelf in the garage.

See? I can tell from the title of this book that the overall problem here is some version of "You hate yourself" and the solution is some version of "Ignore or destroy the source of the thing that's making you hate yourself."

Easier said than done. Amirite?

Friday, June 19, 2015

Shamefully Misaligned Priorities of Thought

Alaska is in the grip of some of the worst wildfires in years and it's pretty scary. Thousands of acres of forest have burned and people and animals have been displaced from their homes in the Mat-Su Valley and on the Kenai Peninsula. 

So you would think my mind would not immediately turn where it did when I saw the below photos on Facebook. 

Or maybe you would.

A bunch of firefighters are coming from Wyoming to help fight the Alaska wildfires. Here's what I should have thought: That's awesome and amazing. How brave they are and I hope they succeed in putting out the fires safely and quickly with minimal damage to life and/or limb. 

Now I DID ultimately have that thought, but not before I had these thoughts first:

Wow, that is a plane full of the hottest dudes EVER! . . .
If that plane crashes, the sexy quotient in the sky will PLUMMET . . .
Why are you thinking about that at a time like this? . . .
OMG. I wish I was 25 and single so I could go meet these guys in a bar . . .
What makes you think you would have the guts to flirt with them even if you WERE 25 and single? . . .
Don't you remember how much you hated your 20's? . . .
And that you actually weren't even single for most of them?  . . .
What the fuck is wrong with you?  . . .
You're 37 and married with two kids and a mortgage, and thinking about sexy firefighters from Wyoming. Get a grip . . . 
No but seriously, I bet they get beers when they're done fighting fires for the day . . . 
And then SOMEONE has to flirt with them, right? . . .
But you're nowhere near the wildfires . . .
And even if you were you don't go to bars . . .
You're an idiot. They're fighting a WILDFIRE ALL NIGHT AND DAY. They don't have time to drink and flirt with you! . . .
Huh. They all sort of look the same, but also they are all very hot  . . .
I bet every last one of them is fucking dynamite in the sack . . .
Too bad YOU'LL never know . . .
That sunglasses and baseball hat look never gets old . . .
Not even on old dudes really . . . 
Especially with beards . . .
God I love beards . . .
Look, there's that one grizzled guy who looks like he's 55 . . .
Even HE looks hot . . .
Maybe just because they're firefighters and you can't NOT be hot if you're a firefighter? . . .
Especially of FOREST fires . . .
Maybe they make a Wyoming Hotshots beefcake calendar?
OMG you are such a desperate housewife loser . . .
Seriously that's awesome and amazing . . . 
How brave they are and I hope they succeed in putting out the fires safely and quickly with minimal damage to life and/or limb . . .
Wow I wish I had a buzz going now . . .
Time to take care of that . . .
Oh look who had a baby! . . .
Wait. WHAT?! They named her THAT?!
OMG more bad news . . .
The world is so sad . . . 
I hate the Facebook news feed . . .
Righty-O. Time to take care of that buzz.