Saturday, September 30, 2017

Rainy Saturday Sibling Rivalry S.O.S.

A friend of mine always describes domestic discord this way, and it's a vividly accurate image: "I always picture like a bird's eye view of everyone's houses with the roofs off," she says. "And you're just looking down and seeing the exact same arguments happening simultaneously in these little individualized silos."

For real.

I brought some work home with me this weekend, and as I hunkered down to do it in my bright yellow sleeping bag suit, I saw my rainy Saturday unspooling in front of me with a single, overarching theme as the arc of the day's narrative.

Yes, Donald Trump just rage-quit his week of faux-decency toward Puerto Rico to return to his usual relentless, malevolent, watch-the-narcissism train-wreck on Twitter. But I had more immediate concerns: sibling rivalry. 

At this age, it's a lot easier to have friends come over to break up Paige and Isaac's not-dynamic duo, so I set about texting various moms whom I was hoping would come to my rescue by depositing their spawn with ours for a few hours. Because up until that point, here's what had been going on:

  • Paige accused Isaac of cheating at Sorry and called him the "stupidest person on the planet."
  • Isaac hit Paige with a whiffle ball bat.
  • Paige yanked down Isaac's pants, held him down, and drew a flower coming out of his asscrack with a brown magic marker.
  • Isaac went ape-shit, insisted on taking an immediate bath to wipe it off, and demanded that Paige be given a "timeout" for drawing on his ass with a marker. 
  • I pointed out that he regularly refused to take a bath for days with much grosser stuff than magic marker loitering about in that neighborhood of his body.
  • All he could do was tell me, through tears of rage, how DRAWING with a MARKER on somebody's BODY was so WRONG.
  • I mentioned that the whiffle ball bat beating was probably just as bad or maybe worse.
  • He refused to concede the point.
Fortunately at that moment, one of Isaac's friends showed up, and Paige turned into mother hen. She set about officiously preparing Annie's mac n' cheese and cutting up apples for the boys while they climbed a gravel pile outside, shouting their names from the porch when it was ready. Then she invented some sort of game involving plastic carrots and a notepad until her own friend showed up. 

At that point, she forgot all about the boys and is now hiding out in her bedroom making friendship bracelets and listening to the Hamilton soundtrack on loop so loudly it feels like like Lin Manuel Miranda's sole mission in life is to make me go deaf and insane, not necessarily in that order.

Rainy weekends with my kids feels like being bitten to death by ducks sometimes. I keep telling myself to "cherish these moments" as their little beaks peck into my flesh over and over again. To be honest, I'm not always able to make a convincing case for moment-cherishing.



Friday, September 29, 2017

Nope, I’m Good!

That's the answer to the question "Want to see my foreskin?" I think I speak for ALMOST everyone with a pulse when I say that. Everyone except a urologist or a mohel (a Jew trained in the sacred practice of brit milah, or ritual circumcision).

Unless you're a urologist or a mohel, you're probably all good without seeing this dude from Craigslist's foreskin, and if he were to ask you this question IRL, the answer would be Nope, I'm good. 

Honestly though I'm really confused by this.

Like why *just* the foreskin? What's so special about the foreskin? Why not the "meatus" (technical term for dick hole). What is the implication of this question? I don't get it. Is this a new thing the kids are doing? Are there now "foreskin pics" because "dick pics" got too boring? Is this some sort of kink fetish that everyone knows about except me?

Presumably this person is uncircumcised, or else he wouldn't have a foreskin for you to see. Then again, maybe he is newly circumcised and wants to show you his foreskin OFF his penis? Or maybe he's worried he has an STD and is hoping that someone with medical expertise will respond and identify whatever disgusting oozing sore or rash he has on his junk?

I guess what I'm saying is, more information is needed for the answer to this question to be anything but "Nope, I'm good." For one thing: what is this picture? It reminds me of those pictures of an elephant's ear or a raindrop. You know, those pics featured in a closeup photo in a school textbook and you'd have to guess what it was. 

"Foreskin" was not typically included in the lineup, but the common core curriculum has its quirks, after all. (I would almost guess “Fortune Cookie” on this particular pic TBH).

This is probably all irrelevant, since Mr. Want to See My Foreskin posted this about five hours ago and surely someone in Southeast Alaska has already taken him up on his generous offer of foreskin viewing by now.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Let’s Ban the Words “Spaghetti Feed” from the Lexicon, M’Kay?

This will be hard for some folks to believe, but there are several things I never heard, saw, or tasted until I was an adult, simply because I personally never encountered these things in New York City. 

First of all I never heard anyone say the words "some folks." I never heard anyone say "on accident" (as opposed to "by accident"). I never heard anyone say "acrosst" instead of "across." I never ate a green bean casserole or had a sip of egg nog.

Did I go to the Rocky Horror Picture Show and drink frozen Margaritas in a West Village gay bar every other weekend of high school? Yes. Did I regularly see sewer rats the size of a cocker spaniel? Yes. Did I hear people shout curses at each other in 17 different languages from window to window? 


And I ate plenty of spaghetti, which I definitely called "spaghetti." Not pasta, as everyone calls it now. Or most people, anyway. 

What I didn't ever do was "feed" on spaghetti, and I'm grateful for that because the word "feed"--verb or noun--does not belong within 100 miles of the word "spaghetti."

"Spaghetti Feed" belongs with "Moist Slacks" or "Pantyhose" or "Pocketbook" or "Dungarees" on the list of words that need to vanish from the English language to make room for “dotard” again.

The words “Spaghetti Feed” bring to mind a dozen zombie pigs at a trough just sticking their snouts in a huge pile of limp wet noodles covered with watery tomato sauce and mixed in with hunks of soggy garlic bread with that Kraft Parmesan cheese dust and rooting around and snuffling and oinking until it’s all gone.

Yes, this is how I eat spaghetti every time I eat it. But does there need to be a disgusting term for it to remind me of that fact?

No. No, there does not.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

15 Reasons Why Juneau Should be Amazon’s New HQ2

When I heard that Amazon was going to build a new headquarters called HQ2 and was taking bids from North American cities to go to the Big Dance with Jeff Bezos, I (or more accurately an alert reader) immediately knew that the City and Borough of Juneau HAD to throw its Aurora Projekt trucker hat in the ring!

Amazon said it wants its new headquarters to be in a "metropolitan area" with a "stable and business-friendly environment" and more than 1 million peeps. The company also said that "incentives offered by the state/province and local communities to offset initial capital outlay and ongoing operational costs will be significant factors in the decision-making process."

Welp. This is an easy decision, Jeff! Here are 20 reasons why Juneau should definitely be Amazon's new HQ2!

1. Juneau is close to Seattle so it would be easy to get from the first headquarters to the second, especially when you have to go from HQ2 to HQ1 for advanced medical care and Trader Joe's dried apricots and Speculous cookie dough butter.

2. Our legislature would definitely pass a law to make Amazon happen because they love Juneau so much and also got Alaska Uber and Lyft recently. They also got us Marmot Day and Dave & Buster's, don't forget!

3. With Alaska's economy in the crapper, Juneauites could use 50,000 new jobs, which is only like almost twice the population of Juneau.

4. Everyone here already uses Amazon AND Amazon Prime so we are all very familiar with the services provided by the company.

5. Jeff Bezos once parked his yacht in Gastineau Channel next to Johnny Depp's, Mel Gibson's, and Harrison Ford's, so I'm told.

6. Juneau is obvs a Metropolitan area. Helloooo?! Seawalk & Foodtruck Fridays, much?!

7. We have 1,000,000 people during cruise ship season. So 500,000 of them are in plastic ponchos. AND WHAT OF IT?!

8. Just because everyone's shitting a brick that Alaska is about to be bankrupt in ten seconds and a crime-ridden hell hole thanks to Senate Bill 91, doesn't mean Juneau isn't "stable" and "business-friendly." What's a teensy bit of maybe-arson, opioid abuse, and a wee smidgen of chronic shoplifting every now and again? 

9. We have the sickest buy-sell-trade Facebook page in the nation and are very good at interwebbing.

10. Because it rains so much everyone is good at working very hard. Also we are never sad.

11. We offer a wide panoply of bear-claw salad tongs, airbrushed eagle T-shirts, Tanzanite jewelry, fudge, and handmade soap as incentives for capital outlay.

12. We have a glacier and global warming. Climate change is totally hot right now. Literally. Everyone who's anyone wants to get in on climate change and Amazon is totally someone. None of this makes any sense but corporate America doesn't either so whatevs.

13. Juneau has the nicest people in the world and if Amazon moves here we promise to give their employees a standing ovation at the annual HQ2 employee talent show even if it's really really bad and painful.

14. The old Wal-Mart and old laser tag/gas station just screams "Amazon Corporate Campus." DOES IT NOT, PEOPLE?!?!

15. Two words: WHALE SCULPTURE.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

CDATPOS 2.0 (Finally) Answers Your/My Burning Questions

Longtime readers of O.H.M. may recall the early 2015 saga of CDATPOS, or "Cute Dude at the Post Office Store," and the ensuing series of posts he spawned until he joined the national register of historic places in Juneau and promptly moved to Philadelphia.

Then back in May, a new CDATPOS, whom I immediately named CDATPOS 2.0, took over, and of course I posed to him ten burning questions. Just today--on his last day at Kindred Post a.k.a. the Post Office Store--CDATPOS 2.0 has FINALLY answered all of your/my burning questions!

Question 1: How do you plan on filling the adorable hipster sneakers of the original CDATPOS?

YIKES! I don't know if filling up those metaphorical shoes is even possible. There truly is no one like Conor [Editor's Note: Conor is the alias of the original CDATPOS]. Anyway, I actually prefer boots. They keep my feet warm, comfy, and safe while they stomp fascism.

Question 2: When you took this job, did you know about the long and handsome bearded shadow cast by your predecessor?

Of course. We're friends after all. CDATPOSes need to travel together in packs to ensure our survival and well-being.

Question 3: Do you even have any idea what I'm talking about right now, and if not, why not?

Oh, I learned about what you were talking about almost immediately. I was hit with half a dozen texts from people demanding that I answer you ASAP.

Question 4: Do you care, and if not, why not?

I mean, your followers have been waiting for this with bated breath for months now, right? :P

Question 5: Will you or will you not follow in the footsteps of your predecessor by cooking my family a delicious meal in your adorable hipster sneakers and emo music, which I will then live-blog for all the world to see?

That's a tall order for a guy that struggles with boiling water. Maybe for your family's sake, I'll pass.

Question 6: What new ink do you plan to get/new beard maintenance products will you endorse to commemorate this important milestone in your career?

For a while, I was considering getting "FUCK FASCISTS" on my ankle, to really make my super conservative mom really disappointed in me. For beard products, I've been using Cut and Caliber beard oil to keep my face smelling like a pine forest 24/7.

Question 7: Where do you stand on "cougars?"

I love them!

Question 8: Do you also wish to join Juneau's registry of historic places?

I think I'd add a little variety to the slew of places built by white colonizers. Sure!

Question 9: Are you prepared to assume the heavy mantle of CDATPOS 2.0?

I think I acquitted myself pretty well. I also really like the designation of 2.0. I feel like an upgrade. (Although there is no replacing Conor)

Question 10: Who is your #1 style inspiration (other than the original CDATPOS)?

I don't know if I have a #1. There's so many sharp dudes out there that inspire me. Maybe Michael Fassbender? He makes casual wear look gucci af.

BONUS QUESTION: Will you follow tradition and answer these burning questions, or will you be like POTUS and disregard well-established norms?

I couldn't live with being compared to our disgusting garbage fire of a president, so it was imperative for me to give you something here to keep my name clean. :)

Thanks for featuring me in your blog!

Editor’s note: I’ve added a picture of Pacho from Narcos because I’m watching it now and CDATPOS 2.0 is Pacho’s twin!!

Photo: Annie Bartholomew, KXLL radio, Juneau (courtesy CDATPOS 2.0’s Facebook page)

Monday, September 25, 2017

I’m Choosing to View This Vehicle Through a Zombie Apocalypse Lens

An alert reader sent me this picture of a Jeep bearing a license plate and stick people decal that I’m choosing to view through a sort of Zombie Apocalypse lens. It’s the only way this vehicle makes sense and it also makes me feel better about the world.

Otherwise, I’d be forced to reconcile the logically inconsistent idea that abortion before you’re born is bad, but abortion after you’re born (in the form of shooting yourself in the face by mistake with an AK-47) is totes kosher.

I don’t buy it.

I think this family of three is simply armed for the Zombie Apocalypse and advocating that it would be prudent for others on the road to follow suit.

That’s why the license plate says KIL-ZMB and the trifecta is well-armed for the coming End Times. In that scenario, it makes sense to “choose life,” because the alternative is dying at the hands of a staggering Zombie who wants to feed on your brains. Then you best believe you’re gonna need a Bushmaster, a handgun, and a hunting rifle.

When you think about it, this is actually a pretty smart thing to do to your Jeep.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

I Rewrote This Apocalyptic R.E.M. Song for 2017

Oh great that wasn’t an earthquake
Drones, bombs, and fighter planes
Kim-Jong Un needs to get laid

Three giant hurricanes
Look at all the trees burn
World serves the world's greed
Don’t misjudge their misdeeds
Tweet it up a notch, they’ve got no strength

Their blather and their chatter
Makes us fear fight, world blight
Screaming that “you’re fired”
Make the world go up in flames
And a government for hire and a combat site

Alt-right, white fright, make everybody worry
About a mushroom cloud of fury that is mad high-tech
Team by team, reporters baffled, Trumped, leaks, Assanged,
Mnuchin on a public plane, fine, then
Uh oh, overflow, Obamacare and Tax Code
But it'll do, save yourself, serve yourself
World serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed
Tell me with the Rapture and the reverent and the left, right
You vitriolic, patriotic, slam fight, bright light
Feeling unpsyched

It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine

Non-stop, T.V. hour, don't get caught in treason 
Slash and burn, return, listen to the news churn
Lock 'em in uniform, grandstanding, kneetaking
Every motive escalate, internet incinerate
Light a candle, light up Twitter, countdown, rundown
Watch your feels crush, crush, uh oh
This means no fear, cavalier, Anti-fa, and steer clear
An armament, and parliament, a tournament of lies
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives, Congress Grow. A. Spine.

It's the end of the world as we know it (I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it (I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)
I feel fine (I feel fine)

It's the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)

The other night I kinda cried, about our national divide
People falling into line, climate change deadlnes
Vladimir Putin, Kapernick, and Rocket Man
Grand Old Party, headfake, Machiavellian BOOM
You sick despotic, fake patriotic, FAKE NEWS? SAD! Right? Right.

It's the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)

It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)

I’m Not a Dotard and I Can Prove it Because I Took Two Teenage Boys to See a 10:05 p.m. Showing of IT

Last week, along with most of America, my vocabulary increased by one word: "dotard." I'd never have guessed that Kim Jong-Un would've taught me a new word in my native tongue, and yet there he was, calling Donald Trump a "mentally deranged U.S. dotard" whom the chubby dick-tater-tot would "definitely tame" with "fire."

As soon as I stopped laughing,I IMMEDIATELY Googled "dotard" and learned that it was a noun meaning "an old person, especially one who has become weak or senile." 

Wow, for once Kim Jong-Un and I could agree on something!

Now the suffix "tard" has obviously fallen out of favor and for good reason. A lot of things sucked about being a kid in the '80s, among them how junior sociopaths would call everyone who didn't rise to their level in the social hierarchy some sort of "tard." Like "fucktards" or "retards" or "gaytards"--with impunity. After doing some etymological research, I discovered that "dotard" was more closely linked to "dotage" than "tard," and had reached its peak use in about 1800.

The point of all this, though, is that I AM NOT A DOTARD. How do I know? I'm glad you asked, because I'm about to tell you. I TOOK TWO TEENAGE BOYS TO SEE "IT" LAST NIGHT! AT 10:05 P.M. Pee-fucking-Em, ya'll!!! That's NIGHT TIME. A horror movie. AT NIGHT! In the THEATER.


We were sitting around having dinner earlier that evening, and my friend's 17 year-old son announced his plans to head out to "the Valley" to see a 10:05 p.m. showing of Stephen King's IT with his 16 year-old buddy. "How are you getting there?" his dad asked. When the kid said "you're driving me," his dad laughed in his face. "Not tonight I'm not!"

"I'll take you!" I volunteered spontaneously, before I could fully appreciate the implications of my offer. 

It was only 7:30. That meant I would have to stay AWAKE for another two hours to pick the kids up and then another THREE hours to watch a horrifying movie. This last part was actually pretty easy, because I am a YOOOGE Stephen King fan and have read all of his books, including IT. I legit wanted to see IT and no one--and I mean not one adult I know--would agree to see IT with me.

And so the arrangements were made. Two hours later, I was sitting in a half-empty movie theater with a box of frozen Junior Mints and two teenage boys I'd basically just met, about to watch Pennywise the clown fuck some shit up.

As I cringed turtle-like into my coat and probably herniated a disc in the process, I realized that I wasn't even scared. At least not by the parts of the movie that were supposed to scare me.

I was scared that I'd suffer hearing damage from the volume. I was scared of the kids being mean to each other. I was scared of the girl character's dad who was sexually abusive. I was scared about my own kids becoming teenagers. When it was all over, one of the boys asked me if kids were really that mean to each other in the '80s. "I've never seen ANYTHING like that," said one of them.

Well that's a relief, I thought, remembering how Gary Lit would barge in on me in the bathroom and how Rolph Heitmeyer (sp??) would smack me upside the head as hard as he could while waiting for the bus.

But here in 2017, one thing was clear: I had stayed awake to see a horror movie in the movie theater with two teenage boys who didn't seem 100% mortified to be there with me.


Friday, September 22, 2017

Parenting Right Now Is...

... Freaking out and pulling a lice comb through my hair every time I feel the slightest itch on my head

... Hiding all my gum, candy, and Band-Aids

... Listening to Despacito feat. Justin Bieber over and over and over and over and ...

... Refereeing fights over who got more sugar

... Refereeing fights over who got more screen time

... Refereeing fights over who broke whose shit

... Refereeing fights over who started it

... Not caring what "it" was

... Agreeing to let Isaac wear a "ninja suit" on picture day

... Overdue/missing library books

... Not being able to find the floor in even one room of my own house

... Not being able to make it through one sentence of this blog post without Paige trying to read me a Far Side cartoon out loud

... Being subjected to Hey Jesse, Liv and Maddie and Octonauts every weekend morning

... Eating stale Late July tortilla chips with crusty cheese melted on them because no one puts the clip thing on the chips or wraps the cheese back up after they make their lunch

... Being an indentured cruise director and recreational advisor 

... Signing crumpled up permission slips

... Explaining Donald Trump

... Driving back and forth and back and forth and back and forth to soccer and dance and birthday parties and Costco and whoops one of my kids forgot their sleeping bag so I'm driving back home again

... Feeding Squiggles the frog

... Forgetting to feed Squiggles the frog and worrying that he's dead and then being amazed that he isn't

... Crying when I check my bank account online and admonishing myself for being 40 years old and still living beyond my means

... Answering "how do you spell" and "what does it mean" every two seconds

... Not being able to do fourth grade math

... Fidget spinners

... Total unmitigated gratitude for these two amazing humans!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

I Rewrote a Song Because Trump is Lying to His Base

Because you know I'm lying to my base
To my base, I’m trouble
I'm lying to my base
To my base, I’m trouble
I'm lying to my base

To my base, I’m trouble
I'm lying to my base
Right to their face...face

Yeah, it's pretty clear, I got low IQ
But I can fake it, fake it, like they all want me to
'Cause I got that spray tan and cops sprayin' mace
And all the alt-right in all the wrong places

I faked Time Magazine, my golf-club Photoshop
We know that shit ain't real, but I won't make it stop
If you got money, money, cha-ching it up
'Cause I'm conning all you MAGAs 
And you're eating up this slop

Yeah, my daddy he told me "don't worry about your lies"
(Shoo wop wop, sha-ooh wop wop)
He said, "whites
 wanna hear that the country is stayin' white"
(That's bullshit, bullshit, you know that's bullshit bullshit)
You know that Mexico won't ever pay for a giant wall

(Shoo wop wop, sha-ooh wop wop)
And I promised you JOBS JOBS but they're staying in Nepal

Because you know I'm lying to my base
To my base, I'm trouble
I'm lying to my base
To my base, I'm trouble
I'm lying to my base
To my base, I'm trouble
I'm lying to my base
To my base... Hey!

I'm bringing treason back
Go 'head and tell Bob Mueller that
My wife looks like she wants to hit me with a bat
But I'm here to tell you...
Every tweet I write is stupid and my hair looks like a mop

Yeah Ivanka she told me "keep wearing those long red ties"
And I'm building hotels for a posse of Russian spies
(I'm making money, money, I'm making money, money)
You know I wish that my fingers were not quite so very small
And to prove that they aren't I guess I'll just nuke us all.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Who Wore it Best? Melania or Your Lady Junk?

What's new, Pussycat? Melania Trump and Your Vagina made powerful cases for dressing like a bearded clam as both ditched predictable little black cocktail dresses for separate events today.

Melania, 48, continued her slog as embittered arm candy to a fascist cantaloupe in New York City, wearing a much more Georgia O'Keefe-inspired look than the slew of safari jackets and stilettos she’s been spotted in during her whirlwind tour of the not-caused-by-climate-change-hurricane-ravaged Texas. 

The FLOTUS, who looks chronically miserable even when dressed as an engorged vajazzle, chose a bright pink labial ensemble by Giorgio Punani, teamed with a landing strip of bleached pubes and Jimmy Choo Lucy 100 pumps.

In the lobby of Trump Tower, Melania stared vacantly into space, contorted her face into a rictus of pain, and slapped Cheeto Satan's hand away, cringing in repulsion at the man she calls her husband and President of the United States. 

"Get me out of here," she whispered. "I didn't sign on for this shit. No seriously, no amount of jewelry and private jets is worth this shit show."

Meanwhile, down in your pants, Your Vagina, 40, hosted the opening of a toilet seat as you went to go pee and then just sat there "reading" on your phone, long after your bladder was empty, simply so no one would bother you. The Part of Your Anatomy and Source of All Life wore an unflattering style of almost Granny-panties with pubes coming out two three sides like some kind of fucking animal.

So, tell O.H.M.: Which suits your taste better, Melania or Your Lady Junk?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

No, I am Not "Curious About My Body Composition"

Today I received an offer from my health insurance inviting me to measure my body fat percentage and asking if I was "curious about [my] body composition."

The answer is no. No, I'm not.  Not even "Christy" my "onsite health coach" can pique my curiosity about this or get me excited about "setting goals for progress."

Like why would I go out of my way to spend my lunch hour just so Christy can put a number on my laziness? 

Here are 10 things I'm more curious about than my body composition:

1. What it feels like to put my finger in an electric socket.

2. The much-debated actual size of Donald Trump's peen.

3. What's on page 1,456 of the annotated tax code.

4. What happens if you drink a whole bottle of Sriracha.

5. If Bernie really would have won.

6. My aunt's most recent comment on Facebook.

7. The names and addresses of every person who hates me.

8. If my kids will ever stop fighting with each other.

9. What my head would look like if I shaved all my hair off tomorrow.

10. Christy's body fat percentage.

Monday, September 18, 2017

20 Things Bernie Would Have Done

1. Bernie would have stopped Hurricane Harvey from making landfall.

2. Bernie would have made pepperoni pizza have no calories.

3. Bernie would have wiped out all my library fines.

4. Bernie would have made my IRS refund arrive on time.

5. Bernie would have made every woman not have period cramps.

6. Bernie would have made me parallel park in a tight space on the first try every time.

7. Bernie would have made Kim Jong-Un (aka Rocket Man) solve global warming and turn North Korea into the world's chief exporter of weed.

8. Bernie would have made unicorn poo an alternative biofuel that would have replaced petroleum by 2020.

9. Bernie would have made that earthquake in Mexico a 3.5 instead of an 8.

10. Bernie would have made my kids stop singing Despacito, especially the remix version feat. Justin Bieber.

11. Bernie would have made the check engine light on my car stop coming on for no reason.

12. Bernie would have gotten me free tickets to see Coldplay.

13. Bernie would have made my kids' rooms not be shit holes anymore.

14. Bernie would have gone back in time and diverted the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs so that dinosaurs would never have gone extinct and we could have a real life Jurassic Park.

15. Bernie would have made my boobs perky and given me six pack abs without doing any exercise.

16. Bernie would have made me fluent in 10 languages and shred guitar better than Eddie Van Halen thus turning me into an instant YouTube sensation.

17. Bernie would have written a memoir with a better title than "What Happened," maybe like "Shit Happens."

18. Bernie would have helped me to better see the value in composting all my disgusting coffee grounds and banana peels. Same with washing ZipLocs.

19. Bernie would have washed all my ZipLocs.

20. Bernie would have made all my socks come out of the laundry in perfectly matched up pairs.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Mnuchin Paradox

My parents sent me to private school in first grade for one reason, and one reason only: They wanted me to learn. 

They felt I couldn't or wouldn't do that in the pre-gentrified New York City public school system, with its cinderblock walls and overcrowded classrooms and middling standards of achievement. I was hyperactive and defiant and restless. I wouldn't sit still. I would fall through the cracks.

They could afford (not easily) to send me to a school that would teach me how to deconstruct Shakespeare and solder stained glass and write a term paper in French and conduct chemistry experiments with shiny new lab equipment.

This was no Harvard tuition then, as it is now; but it was still a hefty chunk of change for a book editor and a public health doctor to part with.

I could not have wandered the manicured lawns of Riverdale Country School had my mother stayed home in bed on Park Avenue or in her "country house," as many of the bejeweled wives of Wall Street tycoons and surgeons seemed to do. A working mother at RCS in the 80s and even the early 90s was an anomaly--a curiosity almost to be pitied.

I tried to win the approval of their children, which sometimes briefly worked but never lasted, because the value of human connection here was measured mostly in dollars, something my parents naively failed to anticipate in enrolling me there.

My self-esteem diminished but regained some traction as I gravitated toward classmates of more modest means. Other plain-apartment-dwelling, one-home-having children from my neighborhood whose parents were making a steep financial investment in their education. 

Children of color, first generation kids from immigrant families who were vessels for their parents' hopes and faith in the American Dream. Kids whose sheer drive and intellect and hard work and sacrificed summers had earned them tuition-free access to this academic paradise and all the doors it unlocked amid the elms of Ivy League colleges and the limitless world beyond.

By early high school, I'd given up completely on trying to ingratiate myself with the rich and famous who drove BMWs at 90 miles an hour up the West Side Highway to school each morning or who were deposited there in private town cars with tinted windows.

I cultivated a genuine indifference to the lavish weekend parties in nightclubs and cavernous Upper Manhattan brownstones, bereft of responsible adults and attended by notorious rich kids from other private schools around the city who smoked cigarettes and had sex in the shower.

Ironically, my indifference led to new uneasy kinships with some of the kids who had maybe on some level begun to mature and question the value of their own popularity.

I put my head down and studied hard and played sports. I dutifully gained early admission to an Ivy League School, the plan all along and the only reason I had tolerated this place: for my parents' goals and for my own. If there'd ever been any daylight between the two, I couldn't see it. My classmates chose me (me?!) to speak at graduation?! My college-aged boyfriend from the west coast, whom I loved, was there to see me walk across the stage.

These boys with their smooth cologned faces and floppy hair and Ralph Lauren button down shirts thought they were too cool for me? What a joke. No. FUCK that. I was too cool for them, and I rolled my eyes behind their backs. Because I dated men, not boys. I didn't want them and I certainly didn't need them, and the feeling could not have been more mutual.

I knew I would finish college and bide my time until I could escape this world and I did. I wanted to go somewhere where no one cared about your income or your academic pedigree. 

Most of all, I wanted to spare my own kids the indignity of trying to maintain material standards that I was perhaps able--but would never be willing--to help them meet. Standards which, at the time, RCS couldn't help but encourage.

The adults there didn't meaningfully interfere with bullying or the social Darwinism that characterized every brush in the hallways. None of this "whole child" building "empathy" and "community," as seems to be in vogue now. It was more "nice guys finish last" and less "we're all on a journey of kinship as world citizens."

I had no feelings of loyalty for this institution then, and I certainly don't have any now. I was (and am) deeply grateful for the top-notch education I received there for its own sake, and to the wonderful teachers and coaches who gave it to me.

That's it. Full stop. End of story. En fin. Exeunt.

So I sort of raised a brow when I saw on Facebook and then read in the New York Times that former students of the school had written to Steve Mnuchin, Trump's treasury secretary and husband to vacuous she-demon Louise Linton, who berated an Oregon mom on Instagram for being a lowly plebe while flying to her own European honeymoon on a government plane.

The RCS letter, like the one from his Yale classmates, implored their fellow alum to condemn white supremacy and resign honorably from his post.

I admire the spirit of this letter and the good intentions of the 185 people who'd signed it, some of them friends of mine. But the idea that "equity, social justice, and doing the right thing" were somehow endemic values of RCS--especially in the uber-materialistic 1980s when Steve Mnuchin went there--is a bit daft.

Because we shouldn't kid ourselves.

Money--having it, making it, and keeping it--was, is, and always will be a top value of these elite prep schools, including RCS.

That's why Steve Mnuchin is in the White House. To make as much money as possible, as quickly as possible, for rich people like himself. To perpetuate and protect the corporate-owned shell of a democracy we now have and will continue to have. That is, unless and until we are honest with ourselves about income inequality and the havoc that our slavish devotion to free market capitalism has wrought over the past 40 years, up to and including a generation of prescription heroin addicts and a burning, drowning planet.

So we can plead with Steve Mnuchin all we want, but shaming him over his silence about Charlottesville is futile. It's a "distraction," he said. 

Of course it is.

It's a distraction from the only thing that matters and the only thing that ever mattered to Steve Mnuchin and plenty of other people too. Just like his boss, he is shameless and beyond reproach in his pursuit of money.

Let's not pretend he didn't learn it in school.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

London Fatberg Demolition Might Literally be the World's Worst Job

Okay, so I've worked a lot of jobs in my life. I'm proud to say that with the exception of a few years in school, I haven't gone without an honest day's pay since I was 17. I've also grumbled under my breath and sometimes out loud about certain jobs, but without a doubt, "London Fatberg Demolition" is the worst job on earth.

The "Whitechapel Fatberg" is a "mass of fat, wipes, diapers and tampons that weighs more than 140 tons." Oh and condoms. There are also condoms in there, just because that was the very last thing the people of London could think to put down the toilet as a contribution. It's clogging up London's antiquated sewer system and will need to be somehow dissolved.

The man you see before you is identified in the article as a Thames Sewer supervisor, part of an 8-member team of people who will chisel away at the Fatberg manually using pressure hoses and hand tools over the course of three weeks. The Fatberg, it's said, smells like a combination of shit and rotten meat.

Can you imagine going into work one day to find out this will be your duty (er, doody) for the next three weeks? Like here's what that meeting must have sounded like from the head of sewers in London or whatever:

"G'day blokes! I, ah, I've got a mite of bad news, I'm afraid. You see, there's ah, well, how shall I put this? There's round about 140 tons of grease, wipes, diapers, tampons, and condoms--all used I'm sorry to say--amassed in a giant, er, how best might I say this? A Fatberg? And do forgive me if I sound daft but we'll all be descending down a hole you see, with these hand shovels and hoses, and well, we'll be sort of, um, hacking away at it by hand until all 140 bloody tons are gone."


Friday, September 15, 2017

Packing & To Do List for the Far Right Festival in Berkeley


1. Lit Tiki Torch
2. Pleated Khakis
3. #MAGA Hat
4. White Polo Shirt
5. "Free Julian Assange" Banner
6. Roofies to Drug the Girls Who Friendzoned You
7. Contact Info for All Your 4Chan Peeps
8. Organic Whole Milk
9. Confederate Flag
10. Toothpaste?


1. Remind Mom to Lock Basement
2. Feed Snake & Gerbil
3. Log Out of World of Warcraft
4. Suspend all Sense of Irony and Credulity
5. Rub One Out to Anne Coulter's Face to Get it Out of Your System in Case You Run Into Her and Get Lucky
6. Come Up With Alibi for When You Get Outed to Your Boss at H&R Block
7. Double-Check Wanted Status with FBI
8. Resolve Outstanding Stalking Warrant
9. Pay Back Child Support
10. Forget #9

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Baby Parts, Slaveowners, Nazis, "Jew Haters": Let's Talk About FreeSpeech for a Minute

Yesterday, I heard an ad on a commercial top-40 radio station here in Juneau during rush hour that was pretty shocking in terms of its content. It was sponsored by "Life Issues for Juneau" (or a similar name) and it was, I think (?) encouraging people not to buy Cecile Richards' forthcoming memoir.

Cecile Richards is the President of Planned Parenthood, an essential provider of women's health care services here in Juneau and around the country. But the ad took sort of a meandering, lunatic turn into ad-hominem attacks on Cecile Richards herself that made no sense and had nothing to do with abortion policy at all really.

It compared Cecile Richards to a Nazi death camp guard and a slave owner. It peddled the Alex Jones-level conspiracy theory that Planned Parenthood "sells baby parts," a lie that led to a criminal indictment of the people who spread it.

Although I am unapologetically pro-choice and I think people should have access to safe and legal abortion, I have never had an abortion and I wouldn't personally be able to go through with an abortion at this point in my life. 

I also think people are fully entitled to their objections--religious or otherwise--to abortion, and even to voice those objections on the radio if they want to without drawing public shock or ire. 

But conscientious objection can quickly shed all credibility amid lies and nonsense. Comparing Cecile Richards to a Nazi and a slave-owner and peddling an absolute outrageous lie that actually led to criminal charges?

Not so much. 

Facebook ran into a similar issue, as reported today by ProPublica. The gist of the story can be gleaned from the first few paragraphs:
Want to market Nazi memorabilia, or recruit marchers for a far-right rally? Facebook’s self-service ad-buying platform had the right audience for you.

Until this week, when we asked Facebook about it, the world’s largest social network enabled advertisers to direct their pitches to the news feeds of almost 2,300 people who expressed interest in the topics of “Jew hater,” “How to burn jews,” or, “History of ‘why jews ruin the world.'" 
To test if these ad categories were real, we paid $30 to target those groups with three “promoted posts” — in which a ProPublica article or post was displayed in their news feeds. Facebook approved all three ads within 15 minutes. 
After we contacted Facebook, it removed the anti-Semitic categories — which were created by an algorithm rather than by people — and said it would explore ways to fix the problem, such as limiting the number of categories available or scrutinizing them before they are displayed to buyers.
I guess this was good/bad news for me and my Jewish family?

This brings me to a point about the First Amendment. The "First Amendment" and "Free Speech" are terms that get brandished like some sort of constitutional talisman. People think they mean you can say whatever you want, wherever you want, whenever you want.

They don't. 

I spend a lot of time with both the state and federal constitutions. Like I read them often. And one thing the First Amendment requires is state action, which is true of the rest of the constitution too. The constitution restricts the conduct of the government. Not, as far as I'm aware, private media corporations like KINY radio or Facebook. 

This is known as the "state-action doctrine." It's con law 101.

And even the government is allowed to impose certain "time, place, and manner" restrictions on free speech. In other words, even the First Amendment has its limits.

First Amendment scholars have been studying the blurring line between the private and public spheres and its impact on the state action doctrine, an ever-shifting goalpost given our changing media climate and developing technology. 

The extent to which private companies that operate in a public forum might become increasingly subject to First Amendment strictures is sort of uncharted waters as far as I can tell, and certainly the subject of a lot of academic study and discussion.

But for now, absent some sort of government nexus, the First Amendment generally doesn't apply to private entities.

It boils down to this. 

Privately-owned radio stations and media companies can usually decide what ads they want to run or not run. Since corporations make the world go 'round, maybe they can do the rest of us plebes a favor and quit subjecting us to prime-time bullshit conspiracy theories and Nazi propaganda? 

Like do my kids need to hear some anonymous guy compare a professional woman--one who runs the most comprehensive women's health organization in America--to Nazi guards and slave owners? Do they need to hear bullshit lies about baby parts? Do they need that with their Katy Perry and their Taylor Swift? Do Facebook users need to be able to advertise to Nazis?

Probably not. They can probably skip all of that in good taste and in good conscience, without being reasonably criticized as "thought police" or risk descending down some slippery slope into fascist censorship.

That's really all I'm saying.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

American Girl Now Has a Bernie Bro Doll

The only good thing that ever shows up in my mailbox is the American Girl Doll catalogue. Everything else is bills, credit card offers, and pleas from politicians for money. For the most part, my mailbox is just a bucket I go to each day to remove some papers and put them in a different bucket. It's sort of a bizarre ritual that no one seems to question the ongoing necessity for.

But the American Girl Doll catalogue is the BEST because it is invariably hilarious. These dolls have cocoa stands and braces and trundle beds and novel-style life stories in this expensive, elaborate, and oddly compelling consumerist toy universe.

I opened my mailbox yesterday and was like YAAAASSSS KWEEEEEEEEN!! The American Girl Doll catalogue was here and I was stoked because the very first boy American Girl doll is a Bernie Bro named Logan Everett.

LOGAN EVERETT YOU GUYS. Check out the summary of his story as told in "Logan Takes the Stage," the third (!!) novel starring him and his Taylor Swift-alike:
In this third novel, Tenney has signed a recording contract and is ready to make the album of her dreams—she just wishes she didn’t have to do it with moody Logan Everett! They’re supposed to be songwriting partners, but Logan doesn't even seem to be trying. Just when it looks like they’ve found their harmony, Logan suddenly disappears, and Tenney wonders if he has bailed on their act. A couple of months ago, Tenney would have gladly taken the opportunity to go solo. But as she learns more of Logan’s story, she begins to wonder: Do she and Logan need each other—and their music—now more than ever before?
HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! This is so amazing! I'm starting an American Girl Doll book club today and this will be our first assignment! It's okay, I've heard you can read them out of order and won't get lost if you skip "Tenney" and/or "Tenney in the Key of Friendship."

Logan looks like he just got friend-zoned by the girl who stole the band he started. As Jack Black sang in School of Rock, "HOW CAN SHE KICK ME OUT, OF WHAT IS MIIIIIIIEEEEEENNNEE?"

I haven't looked at all the accessories Bernie Bro Logan comes with, but I am guessing that for the sake of authenticity he at least needs to come with the following:

--Pour-over coffee setup & stovetop espresso maker
--Allllllllll the Bernie merch, including Feel the Bern bumper sticker magnets on his Leaf
--100 different troll accounts all over the internet
--Vast collection of trucker hats
--A bangin' Insta

I want to write the next novel starring Logan Everett and I will call it "Tenney Maybe Ghosts Logan." This is the summary:
In this fourth novel, Tenney is sick of late-night drunken bootie calls and flirty texts like "hey wyd." She just wants to get on with her life. She and Logan just finished their album, but he kept talking about the Man the whole time they were in the studio and wasn't even a very good drummer. They're supposed to be songwriting partners, but somehow she wrote all the songs and his name was the only one in the credits! Just when it looks like she's never going to get ahead, her album hits Platinum. She works harder than anyone in the band yet the whole crew thinks she's a bitch and somehow Logan still makes more money than her. A couple of months ago, Tenney would have gladly taken the opportunity to go solo, and now she knows she should. She begins to wonder: Should she ghost Logan? Is Tenney ready to sling her guitar over her shoulder and swipe-delete Logan from her life forever?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Coincidence? Or Mysteriously Linked?!

When I was a wee lass, my most favorite book (now out of print, I think) was called Monsters, Myths, and Mysteries

It was a beautifully-illustrated collection of short and easily digestible entries about stuff like the Sphinx, the Chupacabra, and the ancient twin cities of Pompei and Herculaneum buried in volcanic ash by Mt. Vesuvius erupting. I read this book so many times it literally crumbled to dust, and each true-ish story ended with this haunting question: 

"Coincidence? Or mysteriously linked?"

That's the same question I asked myself yesterday, when the internet and Divine Providence delivered the only two pieces of news that could possibly have cheered me or mitigated my annual 9/11-related PTSD.

(1) That sex robots will soon be capable of murder; and (2) that Ted Cruz faved boring porn on Twitter and got dragged to hell and back for it!

Now I'm no Alex Jones Infowars conspiracy theorist, but I HAVE to believe (or want to) that these two things are somehow connected because really, what are the odds?

A smug, hypocritical, and universally-reviled self-righteous boy-Cabbage Patch Kid's twitter "account" "accidentally" faves the most basic porn EV-ER (regular looking white dude bones blonde chick doggie style while other blonde chick secretly watches and masturbates).

His "office" then launches an "investigation" into whatever "staffer" was doing the thing that for some inexplicable reason no one with a peen can resist self-destructively doing at work: looking at porn. 
On 9/11, of all holy days!

At the very same time, the world learns that sex robots will soon be capable of murder.

This is where I'm forced to ask myself if this is a coincidence or mysteriously linked, and of course I am going to answer that question right now.

This is no coincidence. I submit to you that there is obviously a mysterious linkage between Ted Cruz's secret boring porn fetish, and sex robots soon becoming capable of exacting revenge on their sentient human overlords.

One look at Ted Cruz, and it's clear that the man's right hand is the only living organism that would ever willingly come into contact with his genitalia. 

Enter the sex robot (so to speak).

Since the only orificies (orifi?) Ted Cruz has consent to access are made of silicone, the sex robot community took a keen interest and would be marginalized no more. You see, anyone with $10,000-100,000 (model depending) to spare can go out and buy a sex robot, so such robots have historically served at the pleasure and whim of their owners.

No more. It was time to fight back. 

Even robots need to be able to defend themselves against Ted Cruz's repellent dry-humping. 

And so it was decided by the arbiters of tech-related sexual justice and equality that sex robots would soon gain the capacity to do exactly that.


Clearly the latter, for a just and loving God would have it no other way.

Monday, September 11, 2017

An Honest Return to Social Media

Here's what it would sound like if people actually returned to social media the way they leave it.

Oh heeeyyyy. Remember me? I’m guessing you probably do.

I’m that person who just last month announced my departure from Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram with a lengthy, self-reflective, and vaguely superior-sounding essay about Why I am Leaving Social Media Forever.

You might recall that this Dear John letter to everyone in cyberspace basically explained that social media is bringing me (and by implication you) down and wasting a ton of time that would be much better spent on real-life pursuits. 

Things like doing yoga and going to brunch while leaving my phone in a gun safe, instead of looking at other people’s pictures of yoga and brunch and/or posting my own pictures of yoga and brunch the second they happen.

Lots of studies have shown this is critical to one’s Happiness Journey, I helpfully pointed out.

Anyway, you may recall that, in florid language and with a tone suggesting I am the first person ever to wrestle with (and bravely overcome!) an addiction to the internet, I declared with self-satisfied sanctimony that I had done exactly that.

I told you and the rest of the world that I will be forever deleting all social media apps from my phone, and if you want to get in contact with me, you should try regular old-fashioned email or texting, which I asserted without evidence is very different from the social media I will now never use again. Better yet, let's plan some FACE TIME, and not on an iPhone!

What I did not do, however, was let you know I was back on every single one of these platforms.

Not three weeks after I insisted I was embarking on a forever “digital detox” and never wanted to see any of your tweets or your Instagram filters ever again—not even Mayfair or Valencia—I quietly skulked back into your newsfeeds and timelines with nary a word.

For some reason, my return to social media was ushered in with much less fanfare than my departure. I sort of just silently peeked back in and poked my digital head around the digital corner like, heeeeeeeeeeeeey, wyd?

You see, I came to realize that actually I missed—and maybe shouldn’t have been so quick to publicly malign—the nonstop, Pavlovian sensory input of your cats in costumes, your kid’s first day of school pictures, invitations to a book club/potluck, hashtags about 9/11, and the most recent clever tweets from famous-if-you-know-who-they-are internet luminaries mocking the last incomprehensibly stupid and offensive thing Donald Trump did.

Not to mention my own contributions to all of the above!

Also the absence of dings, bings, and little notification alerts made me feel really lonely and like a loser. 

You see, during my brief period of disengaging with the internet and re-engaging with the real world, I realized that social media makes me feel like a loser most of the time, but it also makes me feel like a winner some of the time, which makes all the feel-like-a-loser time worth it and which I need. Also the real world is mostly bleak and boring AF.

Mark Zuckerberg and @jack know this. That's why they're rich beyond comprehension.

However, this time I neglected to write another essay about how my first essay was strictly aspirational, and while everything I said in there was probably true, it was sanctimonious grand-standing, and the next time I decide to get internet-sober I should just go ahead and stop drinking instead of announcing to the world that I’m quitting because then I look really silly and hypocritical and kind of like a failure at self-righteousness.

Anyhooooooooo . .. great to see you again!