Friday, September 30, 2016

Pot Officially Meets Kettle

You just have to bask in the rich thread of hypocrisy running through Donald Trump's so-called "candidacy" for President. 

Specifically, the one where he fires off Tweets at 3:00 a.m. calling women "fat," "terrible," and "disgusting."  Trump--clearly no Adonnis himself--has a YOOOGE pair of cojones shading on other people's physical appearances. But they're even yoooger for calling anyone or anything "terrible" or "disgusting," two of his favorite and most frequently-used adjectives.

The pot has officially met the kettle there. Here's what's "terrible" and "disgusting:"

Calling all Mexicans rapists, all black people criminals, and all immigrants terrorists. Comparing refugees to Skittles. Inciting white supremacist race wars online and at in-person rallies. Lying about donating to a veterans charity. Bragging about paying zero taxes. Spreading a bullshit racist conspiracy theory about a sitting President and then denying you started it. Bragging on TV on 9/11--LITERALLY as the twin towers are collapsing--that you now own the tallest building in Manhattan. Putting your name in gold-plated letters on everything you can buy, from water bottles to casinos, with money you didn't earn. Openly creeping on your own daughter. Advocating treating women "like shit." Lurking around beauty pageants. Defrauding poor people with a fake get-rich-quick "university" scheme. Lying about "heel spurs" to avoid the military. Getting into a tweet beef with parents of a fallen soldier. Trying to neuter the First Amendment and silence all of your critics with scorched-earth litigation tactics. 

All of this is more than terrible and disgusting. It is the hallmark of a true sociopath. What will it take for the world to finally realize that Trump is definitively the most "terrible" and "disgusting" person in the room?

You don't want to find out.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Eavesdropping Paradox

I've noticed a certain odd paradox to eavesdropping, and I'm curious whether others have noticed this as well.

Eavesdropping is completely irresistible. Yet no matter what the topic of conversation or who's having it, it always sounds incredibly stupid. 

Next time you're tempted to eavesdrop, test this theory and you'll see it's true. Absent some sort of Nixonian Watergate scandal, eavesdropping yields nothing but boredom and contempt paired with an inability to stop listening to someone else's insipid blathering.

Take this row of bros (brow?) sitting at a hotel bar in Anchorage. An older gentleman from Juneau (who has been cropped from the photograph to protect the innocent), was holding court with these three dudes from Texas about fishing in Alaska. I know the former was from Juneau, not because I recognized him, but because I overheard him say it. I also know one of the other guys lived in Costa Rica for 10 years, also because I overheard him say it. (He lived near the school, which is where all the gringos lived).

All of this while waiting for my $20 chopped Cobb salad to go, which I was planning to (and did) eat in my room while watching the Weather Channel.

And my realization was this: what's good for the goose is good for the gander. It's not like I have incredibly interesting conversations that other people don't feel the same way about overhearing. When people eavesdrop on me, surely they think that whatever I have to say is stupid and meaningless. They're right. And yet, they listen.

Sorry, gotta go. I want to hear more about that middle guy's pontoon boat.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

That Moldy Bath Toys Moment

I'm a firm believer that you can fall in platonic love with your friends, and that you can do so very suddenly, in unexpected and seemingly insignificant ways.

If you reflect back on some of your closest relationships, you'll probably recall at least one experience early on in the friendship when you first realized you were meant to be. 

It might be something big, like somebody stepping up for you (or vice versa) during a crisis. It could be one particularly deep and interesting conversation. But more often, it's something small and ridiculous.

This is what I've come to call the "moldy bath toys moment," and though I've had such moments since childhood, the origins of the name for this phenomenon are more recent.

Paige was around two years old and I was bathing her in a tub with a little boy the same age, whose mom I didn't know very well but liked instinctively. I can't remember what had us in that situation exactly, but somehow we were at this woman's house and both our kids were filthy, so we threw them in the tub together.

The kids began playing with bath toys, and one of them picked up a little rubber duck and squeezed it. A burst of wet, black, flaky, slimy mold spurted out of the little hole on the duck's flat bottom. The other mom started to apologize for her disgusting bath toys, but was stopped by my laughter and assurances that I had 100 moldy plastic bath toys in my bathtub at home with the same problem.

It didn't faze either of us in the least, and we let the kids continue their bath--with the moldy bath toys. Looking back, that was the moment I knew I loved her.

My point is this: when you meet someone who cares about moldy bath toys as little (or even less) than you do, well, you know you've got a friend for life.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Good Omens/Bad Omens

While walking the single block between my office and hotel in deserted downtown Anchorage late this evening, the clickety-clack of my Kate Spade cap toe patent leather wedges (my preferred shoe attire for court) echoed loudly in my ears. 

So too did the words of a spunky former colleague from Brooklyn, with whom I have long since lost touch, but who once broke up a fight between two pit bulls in the street with her bare hands, and called the sound of a woman's high heel shoes hitting the sidewalk "the dinner bell for sex offenders." 

I wasn't afraid though, because I had a good omen today, which was finding a stray, unopened Diet Dr. Pepper in the drawer of my adoptive desk at work. 

It was almost enough to counteract my annoyance at being chastised from beyond the grave by Wally Hickel, former governor of Alaska and noted hotelier, for thinking about stealing his bathrobe which I wasn't going to do, I'll have you know!

He found a nice way of saying this, since if I "wish to take it home with me, the cost ($75) will be charged to your account by notifying the front office clerk." He didn't come right out and say, "if you steal my bathrobe, I'm putting $75 on your credit card," which is what he meant, but whatevs.

Is noticing that the esteemed and legendary Wally Hickel is kind of being a little bit of a posthumous dick a bad omen? 

I don't know. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 26, 2016

8 Things I Would Rather Do Than Hear Trump Say Words

I can't. I just can't do it. 

I'm really glad I have a trial starting tomorrow and missed the "debate." A debate in which (from what I can glean off Twitter and ever-proliferating memes) a belligerent, unhinged lunatic within grasp of what is arguably the most important office in the world blustered predictably at his opponent whose biggest comparative deficit for the job is a vagina. 

What else is new? 

The only thing worse than the "debate" itself is watching a media circus echo chamber of 800 talking heads dissecting every word and gesture, while telling you what to make of it all. 

No thanks. 

Here are 8 things I'd rather do than watch and/or listen to Donald Trump say words, much less participate in a "debate."

1. Get anally probed by aliens.
2. Sit on hold for a week with Apple tech support.
3. Eat glass.
4. Read 1,000 pages of Bates Stamped discovery.
5. See One Direction in concert.
6. Attend a sales pitch for time shares.
7. Blow half the Bundy Militia.
8. Read Kim Kardashian's coffee table book of selfies from cover to cover. TWICE.

I have three words for this "debate": control, alt, delete.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Are Douches a Subset of Assholes, or the Other Way Around?

Are douches a subset of assholes? Or is it the other way around? This was a deep philosophical discussion I was having at dinner with a friend tonight.

The question arose in the context of what we silmutaneously concluded was the douchiest, most assholish sport in the world. 

Both being from the east coast, we shouted "LACROSSE!" in unison, and then high-fived each other amid peals of laughter, knowing in our common upbringing on the I-95 corridor that there is no greater douche than the common lacrosse bro. 

Or is it an asshole? AHA. Therein lies the rub.

Having played women's lacrosse myself (which is mostly full of bitches) and having attended many a collegiate lacrosse game, I feel well equipped to opine that truly, the sport of lacrosse is rife with douches and assholes.

But what's the difference? In lacrosse, or in life more generally? 

We ultimately concluded that all assholes are douches, but not all douches are assholes. That's because the average douche is characterized by a sort of benignly clueless lack of self awareness. One that doesn't necessarily include the nasty, sociopathic mean streak that's the hallmark of a true asshole.

In other words, you can be a douche without being an asshole. Douches can be sort of nice. But you can't be an asshole without also being a douche. A true asshole is really just a mean, nasty douche.

Take the people in this picture. They are quite obviously douches. I don't think that's debatable nor even judgmental. This outfit--if worn nonironically in a group photograph taken on some sort of a yacht--is irrefutable and direct evidence of douchebaggery. 

But you won't know for a fact that these douches are also assholes until you overhear them bragging about their stock portfolios and talking shit about fat chicks and people in the service industry.

And there you have it, folks. The Douche/Asshole Theorem is QED.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Jockey Briefs: The Workhorse of Underwear

Don't let anyone tell you sensible isn't sexy, because it is! This blog post could be an infomercial for Jockey cotton bikini brief underwear, but it's not. It's simply an admission that I am turning 39 in a matter of weeks, and am officially past the point of wearing lace dental floss between my ass cheeks and pretending to be okay with that. Visible Panty Line ("VPL") be damned!

Underwear is like a car in that way. When you're 16, you care about driving or riding in a convertible or a Jeep or whatever. But by the time you're creeping up on 40 it's like, gimme the minivan or a Volvo station wagon. And Jockeys are the minivan of underwear.

My mom wears these, and so do I. Sure, my mom is 71 and is two sizes smaller than me (BITCH!!), but the woman is an M.D. and she is not fucking around with comfort. Yes she is a grandma, and really Jockey underwear are therefore granny panties, but I'm not a grandma, and still I love these.

They're not hot, they're not sexy, they're not getting you laid or acting as the repository for dollah billz, and they almost look weird WITHOUT half a bush coming out both sides of the leg elastic.

But you're old AF, and you don't want to get laid by a man most days anyway. At most, you want to get laid by your vibrator and catch a few reruns of Friends. And you're making most of your bills in direct deposit, as opposed to having them directly deposited into your crotch on a stripper pole.

Jockey bikini briefs: the workhorse of underwear that tells the world--and ESPECIALLY the opposite sex--that you give fewer fucks than you ever have in your life.

Friday, September 23, 2016

If You Have Balls, You Need "Scrotox" Today!

Do you have the balls for "Scrotox?" 

An alert reader sent me this article from Glamour magazine, reporting on the latest trend in testicular fashion, and if you have balls, you need to know about it.

Apparently a "ball lift" is a thing, because no man wants his balls dangling down to his knees as he gets older. And it's also a thing, I'm pleased to report, to inject your scrote with a neurotoxin in order to make your sack appear less wrinkly to all who might gaze upon it. That's why you'll see Fox News print headlines like "Clinics See Increase in Men Requesting Botox in Their Scrotums." (Scrota? Scroti? Fox News was never much for Latin). 

Anyway, for the bargain basement price of $3,100 you can pay a doctor (?) to put you under local anesthesia and cram your nads-bag full of poison for extremely valid cosmetic reasons. 

Unless you're in the adult film industry and your scrotum is a tool of the trade, you might question the utility of Scrotox.  All I can say is that if you're skeptical of Scrotox, you've never felt a nice, smooth nut sack treated with a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum and related species

What's a little (potentially fatal botulism) here and there? Not to mention bleeding, pain, redness, swelling, muscle stiffness, fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, flu symptoms, dizziness, headache, muscle weakness, nausea, diarrhea, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, itching, rash, dry mouth, ringing in your ears, anxiety, difficulty urinating, burning and pain on urination, urinary tract infections, respiratory symptoms, and increased sweating in areas other than the underarms?

It's aaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllll worth it for a pair of wrinkle-free stones.

I kind of want someone to start a direct-marketing line of wrinkle creams for balls and ball sacks, because I'm thinking MOST men don't want to stick a needle in their balls, but nor do they want them to be WRINKLED FFS. DISGUSTING! Still, it's nice to know that Scrotox is there as a last resort to solve the sheer humiliation of a shriveled-up cajones hammock.

Finally it's not just women who have to "rejuvenate" their junk. Now dudes have to do it too! 

Huzzah for Scrotox!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Double Rainbow in Juneau: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!

This morning, Juneauites awoke to a rare-ish double rainbow and an even rarer fluorescent pink sunrise. AT THE SAME TIME. 

And so we had to ask ourselves (as you do) when you see a double rainbow: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?! If by some miracle you don't know what I mean by "WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!," just search "double rainbow" and "WHAT DOES IT MEAN?" on YouTube, and thank me later.

Anyhoo, here was Juneau's double rainbow, and I think it's a good omen. Here are 5 things this double rainbow surely means for Juneau:

1. That whale sculpture's gonna put Juneau on the fuckin' MAP, baby!

2. We'll get 36 inches of fresh pow at Eaglecrest before Christmas.

3. The price of oil will skyrocket to $200 a barrel and we'll all live like Saudi kings!

4. The lawyers suing the city over the cruise ship head tax will get hired away by Donald Trump, and they won't have time to keep trying to bankrupt the CBJ.

5. Juneau buy/sell/trade, Craigslist, etc. shall from this moment forth feature only things like brand new food processors for $15, instead of a shoebox full of crumpled up, "gently used" thong underwear for $30 OBO.

Rainbow photo: Meghan Lindquist, Facebook

Sunrise: O.H.M.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Do Not Let Them Gaslight You

That should be the title of this Shel Silverstein poem, because that's really what it's really saying in simple, straightforward words. It's advice that any child can understand, but that so many adults, myself included, have trouble following.

Technically, gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse in which another person makes you doubt reality and your own sanity. I'm using the term more loosely, to include situations in which you doubt yourself because of the way you feel others are perceiving you, or because you're simply too willing to defer to someone else's judgment or society's expectations. And it makes you feel unmoored and crazy.

Today I had an emotionally draining day for various reasons. I decided to call a friend. One I've known for years and see often, but don't feel like I spend as much time with as I would like. I cried a little bit as I told her how special she was to me. The "voice" told me that it is important, when you have those thoughts, to share them, although we rarely do. Society wants us to wait for weddings and funerals to say how we feel about each other, but really there's never a better time than the moment it occurs to you to tell someone you love them.

The same is true, I think, of drawing boundaries to preserve your own sanity and self-respect. Even at almost 39, I have a hard time doing that. I am often too quick to accept things and situations that feel wrong to me, and then I don't do anything about it until something inside me breaks. I gaslight myself, in a way, by constantly elevating the judgment, actions, and opinions of others, in all kinds of situations, over my own.

Shel Silverstein had a knack for subtle, accessible profundity. This is a great poem that reminds you not to let the world gaslight you, and not to gaslight yourself, either. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

CNN: Constitution Now Optional

Today CNN did what Congress hasn't done for decades: amend the United States Constitution!

And not just ANY amendment either. Nope. CNN just made that whole due process thing a privilege that apparently must be earned, rather than a fundamental precept of our Republic since the 1700s. 

Good for them though. CNN and all its partners in cable news media should be very proud of their journalistic integrity lately, especially the critical role they've played in pimping a megalomaniacal sociopath for ratings.

But who cares, right? 

We're gonna build a wall, turn refugees into Skittles, ban taco trucks, proudly display swastikas on our foreheads, and threaten to kill people who kneel during a song. 

Might as well make the whole Constitution like an "opt-in" sort of a thing. And anyone who criticizes any of it, welp, SEE YOU IN COURT!

What is it With Crazy People and Skittles?

First it was a rent-a-cop murdering a kid for holding a package of Skittles. Now it's our almost-future-maybe-if-God-truly-does-hate-us President invoking the popular candy to his own nefarious ends.

In this Trump campaign ad, which for obvious reasons is currently breaking the Internet, Cheeto Jesus compares Syrian refugees to Skittles. 

Skittles. As in the tiny little hard balls of brightly-colored high fructose corn syrup that make rainbow drool you can dangle over your kid brother's face while pinning him down on the shag carpet.

Apart from the fundamental offensiveness of comparing human beings fleeing a war-torn country to a popular children's confection, this ad is objectionable because of its sloppy metaphor.

So Syria is a bowl, right? ... and the Skittles are the people living in Syria, see? ... and your hand is America, m'kay? ... that reaches into the bowl of Syria and uh... eats? ... a handful of Syrians ... and like most of them make you sick, but taste delicious with little nutritive value ... But three of them are cyanide. You follow? You with me?

Like this literally sounds like a conversation that takes place over an awkward family meal, during which your racist uncle is trying to explain his beef with refugees, despite having never encountered one in person, in terms that make sense only to him.

Forget about racist. This ad is even more offensive because of how straight up stupid it is. 

The true victim in all of this is the Skittles brand, which may never recover from this endorsement. Oh who are we kidding? All publicity is good publicity.

Just look at Trump.

UPDATE: Official response from Skittles: "Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don't feel it's an appropriate analogy. We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing."


Monday, September 19, 2016

On This the Nineteenth Day of the Ninth Month in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Sixteen, My Kids Did the Fucking Dishes


For I say unto you, this day shall be a Holy Day. 

On this, the nineteenth day of the ninth month in the Year of Our Lord two thousand and sixteen, my kids did the fucking dishes.

Unbidden they crept to the sink, the prodigal son and his fair sister, for whom the bonds of consanguinity are no barrier to kicking each other really hard off a loudly-bouncing blue yoga ball for no fucking reason whatsoever.

They who so quickly and rudely leave their rations at the table after having supped, without so much as a word of thanks, owing to their foolish parents who too often yield to their audacity and then spend the next five minutes telling them (in so many words) that they need to develop some fucking manners or they'll die alone.

Tonight, let a choir of angels standing behind the light of a thousand suns sing out with joy never before known to She Who Gave Them Life:


Sit the Fuck DOWN, Bitches! This Mom Wins!

Remember when you lost all your baby weight 8 weeks after your kid was born, bent yourself like a pipe cleaner into impossible yoga poses, stuck a baby on your titty, got someone to photograph you, and then posted it all over Instagram?

What no? I didn't think so, BITCH. That's because you're not Carlee Benear of Texas, who did all of the above! At least four times!! Twice next to a neatly-made bed with a canopy AND a dream catcher!


Whaaaaat?? She's not trying to give new meaning to "flexing for the 'Gram." She's just trying to share her good vibes, excellent body, and superior mothering with the world. 

So all you negative haters can just stop hating and BE HAPPY FOR CARLEE. She can't help it. Remember that old Pantene commercial from the 80s? With Kelly LeBrock? Don't hate her because she's beautiful. Words to live by, so get over your shit, and stop trying. (Yes, yes, Kelly LeBrock washed up on Celebrity Fit Club but whatevs).

There's peace on earth now, 'cause the Mommy Wars are officially over, and Carlee won. Center yourself with mindfulness in breath and the deep, spiritual inner knowing that you're a fucking loser. One who can't touch your toes and feeds your kid Enfamil from a plastic bottle while passing out on a Naugahyde sectional in your living room in the middle of a Bridezillas marathon.

Did I mention this is Carlee's third kid? Oh I didn't? (You would know that if you followed her Insta).


Sunday, September 18, 2016

This Pile of Unfolded Laundry Makes Me Want to Stick My Head in an Oven Or, Alternatively, Walk Into a River With Stones in My Pocket

Two of the most formidable authors in women's literature did this. 

Sylvia Plath left this world by sticking her head in her own oven and breathing in carbon monoxide. Virginia Woolf loaded her petticoats down with rocks and walked into a river in Sussex. Both women suffered from severe, untreated clinical depression, the sources of which were unknown, but most assuredly included the sheer burden of their creative genius and unfolded piles of laundry.

This latter cause is little known--much less discussed--in the canons of English literature. But any scholar would be a fool to discount the role of piles upon bottomless piles of clean laundry awaiting weekly folding in the tragic decisions of these two women to take their own lives.

It isn't funny, and I know it's dark; but it's also the truth. Each week I feel this acutely. 

I look at the piles of mismatched socks and underwear before me, and gaze out at Gastineau Channel cutting a blue-green swath between Juneau proper and Douglas Island. I think about how I don't own petticoats, but could probably rustle up some stones. Still, it would be so fucking cold, I'd surely wuss out before the water even reached my ankles.

My eyes then alight on our electric oven, and I think about how it doesn't run on gas. And how I would really need to lock myself in the garage, with a banana in the tailpipe of my Subaru, to pull off a Sylvia Plath. 

And somehow that's not as romantic and dramatic, not to mention the creative genius part, which would be a hard sell post-mortem.

Back to folding underwear.

Social Media Dictionary of Low Self Esteem

KNOWMO: When you see someone's pics on Facebook of everyone hanging out without you, and you not only fear you're missing out, you know it.

Cleanse Schadenfreude: When someone announces they're "taking an indefinite break from social media" and you see them back on there in three days.

News Hole: When you read about breaking news on Facebook or Twitter and then go down an Internet rabbit hole looking for more detailed information.

Ex-Lurk: When you periodically check up on your exes to see whether they appear to be more miserable than you. (Spoiler alert: they never do).

Instagramsomnia: When you get up to pee, check the time on your phone to see how much longer until the alarm, and then make the mistake of opening Instagram.

Profile Flag-Filter Cynicism: When Facebook encourages you to filter your profile picture with a flag in support of a cause or a tragedy, and you know they're just doing it for marketing data.

KY-Jelly Rage: When you see the sixth ad in as many days for KY-Jelly pop up in your news feed and are forced to wonder what this says about you.

Troll Fatigue: When you're tired of trolls on Twitter and come THIS CLOSE to deleting your account.

Trump Fatigue: When you feel like you'll die if you read one more Tweet about Donald Trump.

Where's Waldo?: When you stare at the background of people's photos for objects they didn't mean to have in there like bongs, packages bearing their home address, and books by Chelsea Handler.

Filter Study: When you squint really hard at someone's pics to try to determine (for future personal use and reference) what filter they used to make themselves and their surroundings look 10x better than they were in real life.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Hush Little Alaska Baby

Hush little baby, don't say a word
Mama's gonna clean up a husky turd
If that husky turd gets smushed
Mama's gonna fly you out to the bush
If the bush gets weathered in
Mama's gonna bear-proof your garbage bin
If that bin rolls in the mud
Mama's gonna buy you some tire studs
If those studs get all worn down
Mama's gonna buy you a Coke and Crown
If that drink makes you go pee
Mama's gonna garnish your PFD
If the PFD goes broke
Mama's gonna buy you a Crown and Coke
If that drink loses its fizz
Mama's gonna buy you a night of bliss
At Ted Sadler's Mattress Ranch
Unless you die in an avalanche 
If that avalanche spares your life 
Mama's gonna buy you an ulu knife
If that ulu knife gets dull
Mama's gonna buy you a big moose bull
If that bull moose charges us
Mama's gonna buy you a cruise ship bus
If that bus goes to find whales
Mama's gonna buy you a berry pail
If your pail gets full of fruit
Mama's gonna buy you a survival suit 
If that suit gets drenched in beer
You'll still be the sweetest little baby up here.

Six Ways to Take Control in the Bedroom

Hey Girlfriend! We ladies are sometimes relegated to sous-chef in the sack, amirite?! Well, don't worry! O.H.M. is here with six fresh, hot new ways to help YOU take back control in the bedroom!

1. Grab the Remote: Taking control in the bedroom is all about communication. Tell your man what you want. Like, if he wants to watch the Jets game and it's a do-or-die Real Housewives of New York marathon, yank that remote out of his hand and change the goddamned channel.

2. Try Some Role Play!: Dress up like Idi Amin or Kim Jong-Il and make your man the dissident subject who won't comply with state propaganda rules. There's nothing sexier than draconian authoritarianism!

3. Crank Up the Thermostat and Close All the Windows:
You'll be in TOTAL control if you dial the heat up to 80 and seal off every source of fresh air in the room. Who's the boss now, bitch!

4. Turn the Bedroom Into a Crime Scene:
Set up a perimeter and refuse to allow your man inside the room until he puts on a Tyvek suit, face mask, and latex gloves. Secure the room with yellow crime scene tape. Then scream at him to "GET OUT OF YOUR CRIME SCENE!"

5. Get in the Driver's Seat!:
Get behind the wheel of your car, and just keep driving and driving, as far away from him as you can possibly get. And when he calls? Straight to voicemail, sister!

6. Three Little Words: Power. Of. Attorney. This will drive your man wild!

My Bathroom is Full of Baskets of Deplorables

You can probably tell from these pictures that I'm a major neat freak who spends all her time cleaning, organizing, and de-cluttering like that Marie Kondo chick who throws anything out that doesn't "spark joy." 

Actually, I'm nothing like Marie Kondo, and my bathroom is blatantly full of baskets of deplorables. At least six of them!

I specifically bought these baskets to make my life and possessions LESS deplorable, and instead, they've only made them more so!

I can't even tell you what's in any of these. In the baskets of deplorables that aren't officially/technically garbage yet, there are, among other things, ace bandages from knee surgery two years ago, an asthma thingie I've never used even once because I am delinquent AF about my asthma, something (?) in an old bag of Seventh Generation diapers (despite the fact that I haven't changed a diaper in years), and stray tampons. 

In the basket of deplorables that is officially/technically garbage, there are empty toilet paper rolls, boxes of Benadryl, crumpled-up tissues, and used dental floss.

Part of me actually wishes one of these super absorbent green Tampax would run for president. It would have more empathy and know more about governance than Trump, and be more charismatic and electable than Hillary.

Friday, September 16, 2016

This is a Great Idea . . .

Hear me out, America.

There's so much to be outraged about these days, amirite??

Big, yooooge, intractable problems. Like the fact that 3% of America has a sixth house on Nantucket and a personal assistant to book their massages while the other 97% is eating ketchup soup for dinner in a double-wide after a 12-hour shift at Denny's.

Major, serious problems. Like soldiers returning from war only to face a Byzantine bureaucracy maintained by the very government that sent them to die in a sand dune, but that can't seem to give them even two minutes of quality mental health treatment such that they're forced to live in a cardboard box in a public park until they die of exposure.

Important things. Like the fact that the only element currently known to support life is drowning the only planet known to support life, thanks to humanity's insatiable need to drive a Ford Explorer to Target to buy ten packages of paper plates and a new garden gnome.

Serious things. Like mothers nursing two month old infants on a toilet at work while they collect two thirds of their colleagues' salaries, and kids being routinely shot to death on the street.

So what to do, America?

The solution to all of this, obviously, is to redirect any outrage we might feel over things that actually matter and affect human life, and pivot it on over to insufficient levels of symbolic reverence for flags and songs.

See, if we just come together as one and pool all of our very legitimate grievances into sanctimonious piety and shocked indignance over the failure of professional athletes to demonstrate proper submission to flags and songs on television, we as a nation can begin to heal.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Did You Know the "Great Boston Molasses Flood" Was a Thing?

Because I didn't. Truly, I had no idea that the "Great Boston Molasses Flood" of 1919 was a thing. Everything I know about Boston comes from periodic visits to my aunt and uncle's apartment in Cambridge and the occasional train or road trip to visit friends in the area. Boston is crisp fall leaves, college kids, Fenway Park, NYC's arch-rival, Paul Revere, and impossible driving.

I only learned about the Molasses Disaster from my third-grader. Paige is into this macabre series of Scholastic books right now called "I Survived," each of which tells "a terrifying and thrilling story from history, through the eyes of a boy who lived to tell the tale." (Why it's only a  boy and never a girl, I couldn't tell you, but I won't get indignant about that now because it's beside the point).

From the destruction of Pompei in 79 AD to Hurricane Katrina, these books satisfy my kids' prurient interest in natural and man-made catastrophes without forcing me to fumble for the answers to awkward questions like, "Why did the Nazis want to kill us?" and "Why did the hijackers fly planes into a building?" 

Now we can just download "Five Epic Disasters" onto a Kindle and boom. The twin birds of reading practice and effortful parenting are killed with a single stone.

Anyway, I figured I would have heard of any "Epic Disaster" that might interest a third grader, but I must admit I literally had not heard of two of them at all (The "Children's Blizzard" of 1888 and The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919), and had barely a passing memory of a third (The Henryville Tornado of 2012). Only the Titanic disaster and the Japanese Tusnami of 2011 were recognizable to me as epic disasters of common knowledge.

But the Great Molasses Flood happened, and to summarize--stop me if you've heard this before--molasses was a cheap sweetener that doubled as WWI war materiel. A shady industrial distilling company slapped together a giant storage tank full of molasses in the middle of a low-income residential neighborhood in Boston, and proceeded to ignore reports from local residents that it was leaking. Then one day in January 1919, the rivets started popping out of the tank's seams like machine gun fire, the whole thing split open, and a wave of molasses 25 feet high poured into the city, trapping everything and everyone in its wake.

I asked my husband if he had ever heard of this. "Of course!," Geoff scoffed incredulously. "The Red Sox, Dropped "R's", and the Great Molasses Flood. EVERYONE knows about it. How can you have been to Boston and NOT know about the Great Molasses Flood?" I asked him if he was serious, and the look on his face told me no. (I've always been gullible. Along with eating Pirate Booty out of a coffee mug in bed, it's one of my more endearing idiosyncracies).

My takeaway from all of this was the following: I know a lot less than I think I do, and I wish Nutella was a key weapon in the War on Terror and that Nutella Global would build a tank in Juneau.

Terrified Fourth Grader Encounters Real-Life Bogeyman in Broad Daylight

With a terrified look in her eye that very clearly says, "Someone--anyone--please help me--the bogeyman just emerged from under my bed and is grabbing my wrist really hard right now," 9 year-old Amariyanna Copeny, also known as "Little Miss Flint," apparently hasn't suffered enough living in a city whose municipal water supply was poisoned with toxic metals thanks to the craven, morally bankrupt adults in charge of such things.

Now, on top of the base indignity of brushing her teeth with 1970's paint chips in 2016 America, Amariyanna is being forced to participate in a photo-op with none other than the real life bogeyman!

The bogeyman "is a common allusion to a mythical creature in many cultures used by adults to frighten children into good behavior. This monster has no specific appearance, and conceptions about it can vary drastically . . . the bogeyman is usually a masculine entity, but can be any gender, or simply be androgynous."

Originally, Amariyanna thought the bogeyman would look sort of like the Beast from Disney's Beauty and the Beast, but now it's clear he more closely resembles an overweight charlatan of a real estate developer from Manhattan. With a whip of banana cotton candy hair, a rusty-orange face that matches the corroded pipes running beneath the sidewalks of her hometown, and a chilling, porcelain rictus grin, this bogeyman is scarier than anything little Amariyanna could ever have imagined at bedtime.

When this photo was taken, the bogeyman was in the process of feeling for a pulse, as he is known to be very curious about animate beings with warm blood flowing through their veins.


5 Hot Beach Looks that Tell the World You're Hiding a Whole Mess of Pubes

Picture it: You're a grown-ass woman who lives in Alaska. It's September, and you've got a raging bush that you pretend you're not dealing with because you're a "feminist." The reality, though, is that you're just too cheap and lazy to wax it more than once a year.

What? Haha! No no no, this isn't ME. But if it sounds like YOU, you're in luck, because O.H.M. has curated 5 sexy swimsuits for your fall trip out of darkness on a PFD special (plus miles) to Kona. And the best part? You can rock all these looks without spending a single dollar or second to de-natch your snatch!

1. Breezy, flirty, and fun, this layered pink swim skirt will tell the whole beach that your pubes stop just above the knee! (Abs, titties, and Adobe Photoshop (TM) sold separately).

2. You don't even have to shave your treasure trail to look bangin' in this sizzling charcoal black two piece. It's the perfect look to advertise to the universe that your lady parts haven't seen the business end of a razor since last July!

3. Those 1930's moms were onto something! This retro vintage classic polka dot bikini is great for hot moms who want to feel on trend, but actually really need that high-waisted, low-lying bottom because they gave birth to two kids and their bush is the fucking Congo right now.

4. If you're brave enough to pull off this look, then everyone deserves to know it! They also deserve to know that you have no interest in pubic area maintenance, and wish to be mistaken for the captain of an Eastern European volleyball team, for some reason.

5. To rock this look, it helps if your body was created in two dimensions, kinda like a cardboard cutout of Jennifer Lopez. But even if it wasn't, you can still totally get away with trimming zero of your trim in this bouncy skirt that announces quite plainly to all who see it that Ferdinand Magellan would get irretrievably lost up in that shit.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Mad Libs: Cranky Alaskan Internet Troll Edition

Here's a Mad Libs for anyone who wants to come for me in the comments in the future. (It's also super useful for commenting in the Alaska Dispatch News and the Juneau Empire, so I've taken the liberty of sharing this with the editors/comment moderators of those publications as well). 

Using this Mad Libs comment form to abuse/troll people online will be waaaaaaaaaaaaaay easier than writing your own, original zero-chill comment. Plus, it will create some sick, paint-by-numbers-type burns from which the recipient/burnee might never recover, stun them into silence with the dope mic-drop (#TrollLifeGoals?), and generally be a lot more fun for all of us!

Wow! You're a real ____(epithet)_____, you know that? I've lived in Alaska for__(number over 20)____ years, and worked on the _____(name of large-scale industrial infrastructure project)___, so I know all about __(noun)____. Why don't you go ___(verb)_______ yourself? You think you're real ___(adjective)____, but your [sic.] just another ___(adjective)______, (misspelled part of female anatomy)__! How about you just go back to__(place other than Alaska)____ and shut the __(expletive)___ up and leave us alone, if you don't ____(verb)_____ it! You probably work for ___(name of government agency or nonprofit)______, so of COURSE you and your fellow ___(adjective)___ (category of people)_________ would say that about __(noun)______. You seem to have a lot of ____(noun)___ on your hands, probably getting all kinds of __(noun)_____ from the government. Also, please refrain from _____(verb ending in -ing)_________. My ___(plural noun)________ read this!

[BOOM! Mic. Dropped.]

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

An Open Letter to Basic Dumbfucks Looking for That Bus from "Into the Wild"

Dear Basic Dumbfucks Looking for That Bus from "Into the Wild,"

Just staaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhp. Seriously. I don't want to sound mean, but by all objective measures, you are dumb AF AF AF AF AF AF AF AF AF AF AF AF AF AF AF! 

Yes, that's at least fifteen AFs, one for every two or three of you who has managed to get lost or die up here since your Wild Potato Jesus took his $100,000 philosophy degree from Emory, hitchhiked to the 'Banks with nothing but a 6 oz. bag of Lays BBQ potato chips and a dream, tromped 28 miles into Denali in a pair of donated Wellingtons, shot a moose, let it rot because he didn't know what the actual fuck he was doing on any level, crawled into his sleeping bag, and starved to death in an abandoned Fairbanks city bus. (Side note: Poison Berries Bro was born in El Segundo, where Q-Tip left his wallet, and where Chris McCandless apparently left his marbles).

And for whatever reason, all y'all basic dumbfucks won't stop trying to replicate this pilgrimage to the Mecca of Moron. I know. Chris McCandless was a Free Spirit and really Knew What Mattered in This Life. John Krakauer said so! He was the Henry David Fucking Thoreau of trust fund hippies, but with an even better beard. He Died Doing What He Loved. He was Free from the Material World. He was a Better Man Than Us All . . .  aaaaaaaaand alsoooooooo as Meghan Trainor might say . . . blah blah blah, I be like nah to the ah to the NO NO NO

Wilderness Schmilderness. You need to quit this shit. You are costing the State of Alaska hella dollars and time it doesn't have, not to mention risking the lives of the competent, charitable strangers who are rescuing your hypothermic asses, and stressing out your friends and relatives. 

Yeah, I'm talking to you, two bros from Atlanta who earlier this summer were the subject of a 20-person manhunt plus one helicopter when you were late returning from good ol' Bus 142. Also that chick from Switzerland who drowned trying to cross the Teklanika River. Sucks that you died, sister; truly, no disrespect. But jumping in the Tek just to snap a selfie in front of a Semi-Famous-Thanks-to-Sean-Penn-and-Emile-Hirsch-Hunk-O'-Rust was not a good look. And I'm talking to you, dude from Mexico, who was recently found alive after a ranger warned you that you were not leaving enough time for your little perambulation into the forest. 

And now what? 

You're a reason for people like me--who won't take out their own garbage because they're scared of bears (and guns), can't even manage to get on a treadmill once a week, and will probably deservedly die of a heart attack caused by pulled pork tacos and bad karma on a paved trail behind their house--to come for you on the internets over how you're a giant pile of derp for letting yourself get fucking owned by Alaska.


If it's one thing I've learned from years of living up here, it's this: I'd rather be a lazy coward Monday morning-quarterbacking your bad decisions and throwing you shade from behind a laptop than a dumb, dead headline myself.


O.H.M. AK.

Monday, September 12, 2016

My Children's Winter Wardrobe Will Not Be Featuring These

An attentive reader and a fellow mom/friend sent me a pic of these "kids' touchscreen gloves and mittens," suggesting they might be good blog fodder. Well, to paraphrase Bob Marley in "Zimbabwe" off the 1979 album, "Survival," "mama you're right you're right you're right you're right you're sooooo right!" 

Granted, Bob Marley was probably singing in support of the Marxist–Leninist and Maoist guerillas fighting against the Rhodesian government in the 1964-1979 civil Bush War, (a.k.a. the Zimbabwe War of Liberation). But his lyrics apply with equal force to how sooooooooooo right my mom friend was that these gloves are blog-worthy.

Let's step back and make the following neutral observation about these gloves/mittens: we have now reached a juncture in the development of human civilization where it is possible/encouraged to purchase, at a large wholesale retailer, winter gloves for your child that are compatible with touchscreens. Now you can say that's a bad thing or you can say it's a good thing, but it's irrefutably a thing.

I'm the last mom to get sanctimonious about screens, mind you. Though we only let our kids have "screen time" on the weekends, at that point they more or less binge on cartoons and video games with impunity. Nine year-old Paige will eventually tire of this activity and move on to Shopkins-sorting or throwing glitter everywhere in the name of "art." However, left to his own devices, six year-old Isaac--overjoyed that his weekend screen time has finally arrived--will park himself on the couch, hunched over an iPad with headphones on his ears and his eyeballs bulging out of his glowing face for hours on end. I call his name, nothing. I ask him to put down the iPad, total fucking meltdown. It's a nightmare, and it's clearly doing terrible things to his brain, yet I lack the wherewithal to nix screens completely from his life. 

Why? Because I am lazy AF, and I want an electronic babysitter sometimes. Yes, I would be a much better mom if I made a pine cone bird house with him of a Sunday morn, instead of sleeping until 9:00 and mumbling at him through my pillow to pour himself a bowl of sugar cereal for breakfast. But I'm not, and to quote Bruce Hornsby (who by all objective measures is infinitely less cool than Bob Marley), that's just the way it is, some things will never change.

Still, I draw the line--I draw the fucking LINE--at these touchscreen compatible gloves. What situation is your child in where they ever really need these? Building a snow man and they need to post it to Instagram that second? Texting mom or dad from the bus stop in February? Okay, fine, but you can't just take off your regular gloves for five seconds to do those things? You need special touchscreen compatible gloves because your fingers cannot be made to stray from the touchscreen of your handheld device long enough to become slightly cold?

HELLS to the nah. These gloves are cray and there's no two ways about it.

A Few Words on Women and Stoicism

Disclaimer: this post is not about politics or whether Hillary Clinton is a hero or a liar. It's about women, sickness, and stoicism.

The world was abuzz this weekend about Hillary fainting during a 9/11 memorial and her general health. Here's my perspective on that, and the whole "dying Hillary" meme.

When my mother was 10, her mother was a widow with three children. She was (truly) dying of breast cancer and went to work every day as an office secretary. She died a year later, and my mom subsequently went to medical school to save the lives of folks like my grandma, whom I never met.

When I was two, my mom suffered a bad episode of clinical depression that lasted nine months. She was physically and mentally ill, but she never missed a day of work. In fact, I cannot remember a single day in my life that my mom has called in sick even once to work. She wouldn't let me stay home from school unless I had a fever of 100 or more, and/or was actively vomiting. That was the rule. She's 71 and working harder than ever.

So my own reaction to Hillary working through pneumonia was "of course." That's what women do; they're accustomed to working while sick. Why? Because they can't afford to be sick. Not financially, not domestically, 
not professionally. They work through severe pain and bleeding with their periods every month until menopause. They work until literally the minute they give birth. They go back to work--as I did--with eight week old infants, because they don't get paid maternity leave in the U.S. I call in sick to work maybe once a year.

Full-time stay at home moms, it should be noted, get zero paid sick days. And women who work outside the home in this country--even in 2016--operate in a man's world, under a male presumption of their perpetual health and stoicism, often with no help available to tend to their illnesses or help them recover. 
Of course, many men are stoical too; the "man cold" is a base stereotype. But men are simply not held to the same standards, expectations, and forced necessity of stoicism. 

Almost no thought is ever given to what that means. It should be.