Friday, April 21, 2017

block people and pretend they died.

dearly beloved: we are gathered here today to mourn the loss of that irritating girl you vaguely remember from the art class your mom made you take junior year of high school so your course list would look good to potential colleges. she earnestly shared a lot of FAKE NEWS and poorly designed inspirational infographics, and every time you posted about a tv show you liked she hastily chimed in with "i don't watch that show, but i heard--" oh yeah? you have a casual opinion on a television program i faithfully invested seven actual years of my life into? just shut the fuck up and scroll past. or maybe she's the first person to reply "sorry i don't use [frivolous consumer item you'd trust the internet to suggest]!" to your tweet "hey guys, which is the best [frivolous consumer item you'd trust the internet to suggest]?" maybe she posted the nutritional information for those unicorn frappuccinos trying to food shame people who knew they weren't buying health food in the first place? come on you snotty asshole, let people enjoy their purple calories! or maybe you just remembered that time in third grade she said your pound puppies shirt was ugly. YOU LOVED THAT POUND PUPPIES SHIRT. one time i blocked a dude because every day he would post the grossest looking actual food he was eating, two seconds after another who was always trying to sell me his mixtape in the year of our lord 2017 wow sir no fucking thank you! i could go on and on about her adding you to various lularoe legging groups or spamming your instagram with links for "free iphones!" but listen, you know who i'm talking about. and you shouldn't feel bad for even a second for blocking that hoe and throwing her a funeral in your heart.


every time someone's internet presence feels like a personal attack on my life i first try to have compassionate thoughts like "what if something terrible is happening in her life?" because even though we know it isn't there's still a very slim chance hell is real and i'd like to have a plausible defense of my actions on earth should there be some sort of way to argue my way out of damnation. but then i think, "well if she were actually suffering there's no way she'd be spamming me links to all these pyramid schemes" and my guilt evaporates just long enough for me to click that block button so i can move on with my day. i'm a patient person and hesitant to alienate anyone who might have fifteen dollars lying around to buy my books, but it dawned on me the other day that for me, the internet has to be a meticulously curated digital space in which your uncle's vaguely racist tweets have no place.

i hate fighting. i'm sensitive and no good at it and if the consequence of bickering online means i gotta spend the afternoon feeling bad because a kid i don't remember from high school called me a fatass kelly price over a reductress article please murder me. and if i get on your goddamn nerves: BLOCK ME FIRST. kill me with your powerful brain! there are too many places in real life where blocking is not a viable option to tolerate someone ruining your many secret lives online. you can't block the coworker who won't stop fucking talking while hovering nearby as you're just trying to put half and half in your breakroom coffee, but you can block that friend of a friend who says shit like "i'm not prejudiced, i don't care if a person is purple or green or blue." lol blue people SHUT THE FUCK UP. you can't delete the neighbor whose eyesore of a car is parked on his front lawn whose cat keeps shitting on your deck, but you can delete your cousin who earnestly believes that rap music is reverse racism and vehemently comments as much on every kendrick lamar video you share. no mute button for the woman at the grocery store who won't stop asking where the shampoo is even though you're pushing your own cart while wearing both sunglasses and a coat, but you know who you can mute? everyone you hate on the internet!

PROTECT YOURSELVES. YOU DON'T NEED THIS SHIT. and to prove i'm not the only piece of garbage scrolling through instagram unfollowing people whose gorgeously filtered lives make mine look like trash, i crowdsourced a bunch of actual experiences from my interface friends of their smallest, pettiest, aint-shittiest reasons for hitting a bitch with the mutombo block online:
-checked in at golden corral
-remembered that he told me i looked bad in the sixth grade
-blocked a guy who agreed with me because i didn't like his tone
-my grandmother has been sitting in my requests for three years. (which is a genius method of preemptive blocking that often comes in handy)
-tagged me in pajama christmas dinner picture even tho i said don't tag me in pajama christmas dinner picture
-any post starting with "89% of facebook users wont repost this" gets a HOTTTT block.
-blocked my ex-wife cos she found jesus.
-all their posts have no periods yet all their texts have periods? nah. blocked. way too positive, you love your life that much B, then get off facebook. blocked.
-unfriended and blocked every bitch trying to sell me ugly leggings or fat wraps or supplements.
-made a status saying we should "lead with love" and "try to find what unites us instead of divides."

-COMPLAINING ABOUT CAPS/ASKING "WHY ARE YOU YELLING."
-motherfuckers who bang on about how blessed they are. the more you gush about how great everything is, the more i hope you fall into an open sewer and die.
-i blocked someone who said they liked french toast more than waffles.
-blocked a relative for always posting pics of dead people in their caskets.
-talked shit about eddie vedder.
-for liking "sam's club" not "costco."

-IF I DUMPED YA, YA BLOCKED.
-overuse of "just sayin'."
-i don't like my friend's husband's haircut and their dog is honestly the ugliest thing on p
lanet earth.
-blocked a local lady for creating a fb group dedicated to pictures of her child's lunches.
-one of those facebook game invites. no i don't want to play candy crush but i do want to crush your soul.
-BECAUSE I JUST GOT TIRED OF LOOKING AT HER FACE.

so yeah, even if people are relatively harmless it doesn't mean you have to, like, be assaulted by their terrible memes. you don't owe them shit! they're not your mom! and if they are, you are not obligated to deal with her either! if my mom was alive and on facebook, SHE WOULD BE BLOCKED. i can only imagine how hilarious her timeline would be: her profile picture? definitely a blurry photo-of-a-photo of her circa-1989 face; multiple daily shares of every "iyanla fix my life" clip posted on oprah's fan page; quotes from steve harvey's books, posted in earnest and definitely mentioning how "handsome" he is; blackamericaweb articles about celebrity news she heard about on the tom joyner morning show; and public posts in which she tags me asking how to dvr "the bodyguard" on BET or saying something like I Need @Samantha Irby To Go To Target And Get Some Tide Detergent It's Buy One Get One Half Off Until Tomorrow!! THANKS BABY!!!!!!!!! Love, Mom. how do you expect me to live my carefree, profanity-laced online life with that terrorism happening every day!? i would get one of those kid divorces in a heartbeat.

the most effective strategy i've found for dealing with most relationships that have successfully ground themselves to a halt is to continue living my life as if that other person has died. that way, i can honor the memory of what we had without stressing myself sick over whether or not she's taking someone new to my old favorite bar. and, rather than delicately scrolling through her feed on my phone trying not to accidentally like any of her life achievements while seething in anger over what we used to have, i can instead just not do anything BECAUSE THAT ASSHOLE IS DEAD. anyway sometimes you just gotta help people make their way to the graveyard of your life. especially since he already knows you unfollowed him because you never ever comment on his posts. and you should never ever ever feel bad about it. because even if their rotting corpse rolls the digital stone away and you just happen to run into that twitter zombie at the coffee shop then just signal to the barista that you're gonna need to take that americano to go and give that guy a nod that says "dude, sorry not sorry but i really hated all those buzzfeed tasty videos."

click here for a handy primer on living your best social media life.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

bitches gotta read: a good idea.

birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, and sleeping with the windows open at night means i've got a 2 benadryl 1 zyrtec 3 blasts of flonase a day habit right now: HALLELUJAH, SPRING HAS SPRUNG. fuck winter for real. i used to love the cold but i'm sick of it being dark all the time and the wet chill in the air makes my joints ache and remember when we were young and thought we'd never be the type of people to consider moving to a sanitized bedroom community in new mexico to avoid leaving our brittle bones to chance skating across the grocery store parking lot on sheets of february ice? i do, too. but i get it now. winter is :( and i'm already :( enough on my own without adding cooking dinner in the pitch-dark to the mix, so thank goodness for this sun hanging around at least until survivor comes on to reignite my will to live.

a brief rundown of some good shit i've read recently that doesn't technically qualify for our club because it's not YA:
"startup" by doree shafrir: super fast and engrossing soapy novel about NYC tech people that was insanely compelling considering that you really should hate these people?
"all grown up" by jami attenberg: hilarious vignettes about a 39-year-old named andrea who is kind of terrible and fucks terrible people but seriously there are some of the best sentences i have ever read in this book, omg.
"marlena" by julie buntin: okay so i read this because it's one of those books that's on every single goddamn list and i hate being late on the zeitgeist, and it took me a little while to get into it. but i liked it, i think. i really wanted to like it. actually, i need someone else to read it and talk to me so i can decide if i did.
"the dry" by jane harper: i'm a sucker for mystery books but also deeply filled with shame about it because a lot of them aren't ~literary~ and smart people make fun of me for reading them. but this one is good and juicy and literary, but it's set in australia and i don't have a good mental grasp on australian accents so trying to hear it in my head drove me a little nuts. i just imagined the dude from the fosters commercial narrating it for me.

the rules
1 we are never going to meet in real life. that would require a bra and zippered pants and probably an expensive uber and no one is doing that. you don't have to worry about megan's dairy allergy or that vanessa doesn't like champagne. no cleaning the cat box or vacuuming the drapes or hiding the dirty laundry in the oven so your company doesn't realize what a huge slob you are. just you in your house glasses and gravy pants sobbing into your six pack of beer, the way rainbow rowell intended. getting together with people you don't live next door to is hella stressful. plus, a bunch of old bitches sitting around talking about fictional teenage romance is lame. OR IS IT THO.
2 we are never going to discuss this, ever. i mean seriously. i'm going to derive pleasure from knowing that people i might possibly enjoy spending time with if i ever could bring myself to meet new people and i are falling asleep and drooling on the same book we'll probably never finish. maybe we'll talk about it on twitter or something. but even thinking about organizing that is a daunting task and i'm already exhausted. mariyam suggested making a facebook group, but is that dumb? the internet is so hard sometimes. (ETA: there is a group! it's called bitches gotta read! and it is full of hilarious mostly-women people who aren't irritating! come find us!!) i also have a bunch of friends on goodreads but lesbihonest: i'm not, like, putting all these john grishams i read on there because i don't need you guys clowning me in public.
3 we are never going to shame each other about not reading the fucking book. this is the beauty of never having to meet or talk about it: i ain't gotta come up with "thoughtful questions" and you ain't gotta pretend to remember what happened at the end of chapter seven while a bunch of wine-drunk bitches you don't even like that much wait expectantly for your answer. i'll read the books for sure, but that's only in case i run into one of you at the co-op and you decide to ask how shocked i was by the twist no one saw coming at the end.


brief internet synopsis
Finley and Betty’s close friendship survived Fin’s ninth-grade move from their coastal Maine town to Manhattan. Calls, letters, and summer visits continued to bind them together, and in the fall of their senior year, they both applied to NYU, planning to reunite for good as roommates. Then Betty disappears. Her ex-boyfriend Calder admits to drowning her, but his confession is thrown out, and soon the entire town believes he was coerced and Betty has simply run away. Fin knows the truth, and she returns to Williston for one final summer, determined to get justice for her friend, even if it means putting her loved ones—and herself—at risk. But Williston is a town full of secrets, where a delicate framework holds everything together, and Fin is not the only one with an agenda. How much is she willing to damage to get her revenge and learn the truth about Betty’s disappearance, which is more complicated than she ever imagined—and infinitely more devastating?

i'm embarrassingly passionate about mysteries and thrillers so this one better be good. i should probably be more ashamed than to admit this but i've spent more money on those $5.99 pocket murder novels than is healthy and i 100% got a kindle just so i can hide how much totally predictable and unchallenging garbage i like to read on public transportation. and sure, i read lofty literary works that make me look like an interesting person who cares about smart things (i hope) but i'm also a person who once spent an entire weekend in a denver hotel reading james patterson books because the altitude made me sick and i didn't want to go outside. i contain multitudes.

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

practical uses for drake's new record.

i don't think i'm supposed to publicly admit that i like drake. right? i mean, i'm not sure who's buying the millions of records he's selling because no one i know will admit to their willingness to spend actual money on his music but i love him, like, unabashedly love him. he hits all of my major marks for non-garbagehuman consideration:
-sensitive
-funny
-handsome
-doesn't take himself too seriously
-sculpted facial hair
-maker of mid-tempo jams
-dances kind of weird
i know it's not cool to like him or whatever but you're just gonna have to work with me here. i hope he never stops making adult contemporary raps that are the perfect accompaniment for the kind of activities people of a certain age (37 and 1 month, for example) are into: performing at home "anti-aging" spa treatments; reassuring the directv online specialist who insisted that you communicate over text that, in fact, you have already tried going outside to clear nature's debris from your satellite dish; replaying your many shortcomings and failures while waiting for the occupants of the yukon idling in front of you with the don't tread on me sticker on the back windshield to finish ordering their many complicated drinks at the starbucks drive-thru. and also:

1 filling up your daily pill box.
recommended soundtrack: "passionfruit"
i'm not kidding i wasn't even paying attention to the first two tracks and then this came on and i was like HOLD ON BITCH WE'RE GOING HOME. goddamn, this is a smooth jam. i remember being a kid and rolling my eyes when my mom put betty wright on the record player and swaying in the middle of the living room, eyes closed, cigarette burning between her lips. i only wanted to listen to music that was fast and aggressive, shit that mirrored my internal pre-teen torment. but now that i'm dead i like songs that sound like a nap. okay fine i'll take some bass every now and then but i like jams that feel like putting a sweater on your ears. this is good early morning music, that fuzzy yellow time of day when you've just woken up but haven't yet remembered all the reasons you wish you hadn't. the kind of soothing record that makes the metamucil go down easy.

2 organizing snacks for game night. 
recommended soundtrack: "portland"
cards, checkers, travis scott, tic-tac-toe, 20 questions, a looped recorder, trivia, charades, jenga, quavo. now that i live in a space big enough to hold two couches i enjoy having people over all the time. which is to say that i am uncomfortable outside of my crib and i'd rather slice the tip of my finger off making an instagram-ready charcuterie plate that might fool a normal person into thinking i care enough about them to buy imported salami than dig a pair of shoes that don't slip on out of the back of my closet and go somewhere loud. so instead i tell people to swing by the cottage and before they get here all the chipmunks and birds and dwarves and i throw portland on the hi-fi while we tidy up and make snacks. as soon as i heard that recorder on the track i lost my fucking mind. and i know, his fake patois bothers people, but i like to pretend that maybe he's me after i first heard "flex" and "murder she wrote" and spent all of eighth grade walking around my quaint little suburb pretending i was patra. also how could you hate a song where a dude says "toot" at the beginning what are you a monster.


3 zumba gold.
recommended track: "get it together"
i've dated more DJs than any sane person ever should and i know a goddamn deep house track when i hear one. i had to check my computer to make sure i hadn't accidentally slid a ron trent record into the rotation when this came on. i turned it up and was transported to the darkest, stickiest corner of smart bar on a hot night in 2005, the only person sitting on a folding chair in the middle of a disco, waiting for my boyfriend dj jazzhouse or whatever his professional name was to finish his set so i could drive him and his battered crate of everything but the girl remixes home. i have a shoebox full of mixtapes with titles like "beats 4 my sweets" scribbled on them featuring a bunch of miguel migs tracks and every conceivable remix of "golden." I KNOW A GOSPEL TRACK WITH A HOUSE BEAT WHEN I HEAR ONE.

4 "lovemaking."
recommended soundtrack: "nothings into somethings"
i love a slow cut. i especially love these tracks that sound all hazy and dreamy and listen, if this dude is gonna sing all the time that's fine by me. he has a good voice and, frankly, sung lyrics are just easier to understand than rapped ones. ugh except the lyrics to this one chap my ass because as much as i love relaxing and popping a top i just can't abide by the whole "girl why didn't you wait for me?" narrative, no matter how much i enjoy drake's upper register. because what was she waiting for, young man, for you to fuck people until your dick got tired and you came crawling back to her while she was busy going to college and thriving in other meaningful ways? i'm projecting here, but motherfuckers always wanna hit you with the WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU GOT A WIFE NOW when your last conversation three years ago was about how they wouldn't leave theirs. but anyway um just fuck your new boyfriend to this. *paints fingernails*

5 going to a restaurant in the mid-afternoon when it is not busy and sitting there for three hours.
recommended soundtrack: "sacrifices"
laugh if you want but two in the afternoon is the best time to go to a restaurant. first of all, it's nice to get a buzz on while the sun is still out. being drunk at night makes me feel like i'm about to die. but having a drink with the sun streaming through the brewery windows is exhilarating. no kids to fight with over the one intact connect four on the game shelf, no having to watch boozed-up singles sloppily paw at one another, no just leaving your credit card behind because the bar is too fucking crowded to close your tab and you have to pee and your uber is waiting out front. if you feel awkward doing this by yourself, i like to take a book that i can stare at until the words pleasantly start swimming before my eyes. but i also wear headphones so no one gets the wrong idea and thinks i want to make conversation. my preference for real life is always super-emotional jump off a building music (aimee mann, ry x, sharon van etten, beirut) or surf rock slash dream pop but i also love a downtempo stoner jam and this fits neatly between all the kid cudi and mac miller downloaded on my phone. i know it's cool to shiver in the doorway of the hot new restaurant that can't seat you for two hours, but it's also pretty awesome to watch the receptionist from your dentist's office down an entire beer flight by herself after the lunch rush on a wednesday. i'll save you a seat if you promise not to talk to me.

6 posting CAPS CAPS CAPS nonsensical comments on news articles you don't understand on the internet.
recommended soundtrack: "fake love"
i mean, fake news fake love what's the fucking difference.

7 cooking healthy recipes that use cauliflower instead of rice as if that could ever be an acceptable substitute.
recommended soundtrack: "madiba riddim"
i don't know exactly what it is about turning into a corpse that makes me consider shit like "pretending cauliflower is rice" but lol here we are. my favorite vaguely-mexican version:
1 large head shredded cauliflower
1/2 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 jalapeño or serrano chile, diced
1 tsp salt

1 pulse cauliflower, onion, and garlic in a food processor using the s-blade until finely ground into pieces slightly larger than cooked rice. openly weep at the mere suggestion of a rice-shaped food, and to mourn the loss of your youth.
2 heat a large sauté pan or skillet over medium heat and stir in the tomato paste, chiles, and salt, then cook for a minute or so.
3 increase the heat to high then add the cauliflower, onion, and garlic. stop to wonder if whatever you were hoping to accomplish by eating this way is actually worth it.
4 cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring often, until the moisture is evaporated and the cauliflower is light and fluffy.


8 painting flower still lifes with the girls at one of those wine and painting mom classes.
recommended soundtrack: "blem"
"no one wants that painting of a generic night skyline, judy. but margaret thinks it'll be a fun way for you to get out of the house since you've kind of been in a funk since you and tim got divorced. she and kathy have been meaning to talk to you about how worried they are that you haven't come to silver sneakers cardiofit in weeks, so they thought getting a few of the book club regulars together for happy hour to sloppily write their names on ceramic bowls sounded like fun! you don't have to get dressed up, just put on that shift dress that you got at ann taylor. you know, the blue one you wore to the junior league luncheon last week. we're just going to drink a couple bottles of rosé and gossip about how phyllis can't keep her rose bushes looking nice even though roberta walked in on her feeling up the gardener. let's plan ladies' trip to jamaica this summer. we haven't traveled as a group since pat broke her ankle dancing on the bar in cancun three years ago, and now that tim and his boyfriend moved across town and opened their bed and breakfast maybe it's time for you to get your groove back? just like in that movie! i love the islands, the people are so lively and musical! anyway, we can probably get a good deal on one of those apple vacation packages if we book it soon! anyway, instead of listening to this blem song all day (is that what he's saying?) while crying as you scroll through tim's linkedin you can listen to some actual reggae music in the caribbean on a hot beach with a bottle of rum and maybe try to bang a sexy young porter at the resort. okay hon, i gotta go get through my tennis lesson while trying not to drool too much over bradley's abs. see you tonight, bring percocets!"
good morning, good afternoon, goodnight.

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Friday, March 10, 2017

bitches gotta read: the hate u give.

i'm creeping closer and closer to the beginning of the month with these book selections. and one of these months it's gonna be on the first or maybe even at the end of the month prior and you guys are gonna have a goddamn heart attack. to prove my newfound dedication to this group, i went to my local independent bookseller and purchased seven or eight interesting-looking YA novels so i can get ahead of the curve, even though i had to withstand the irl scrutiny of real human eyes who were definitely thinking "bitch you don't have this many kids." or any, but whatever. maybe it's not even embarrassing to buy YA books anymore?

when i'm not busy giving into the anxiety wrought by my 126 unanswered emails, i read as many book lists as i can remember exist: book riot and vulture and indie bound and ew and bustle and the millions and bust and the times and newsweek and buzzfeed and elle and refinery 29 and nylon and i'm pretty sure i bought everything off the new teen vogue list, and the hate u give was on basically all of them. i get nervous when i see a book everywhere that i actually really want to succeed because man that's got to be a lot of pressure? but also HOORAY FOR ALL THIS PUBLIC PRAISE. expectations are tough. i mean, if mister young adult john green said my young adult novel was "stunning" i'd shit my pants (who are we kidding, i'd probably do that anyway?) and then wait for everyone to tell me that it's actually trash. but i read the first few pages and am already in love so angie girl i hope this sells a million copies and you get enough money to put new tires on your car or whatever your realistic goals are.

the rules
1 we are never going to meet in real life. that would require a bra and zippered pants and probably an expensive uber and no one is doing that. you don't have to worry about megan's dairy allergy or that vanessa doesn't like champagne. no cleaning the cat box or vacuuming the drapes or hiding the dirty laundry in the oven so your company doesn't realize what a huge slob you are. just you in your house glasses and gravy pants sobbing into your six pack of beer, the way rainbow rowell intended. getting together with people you don't live next door to is hella stressful. plus, a bunch of old bitches sitting around talking about fictional teenage romance is lame. OR IS IT THO.
2 we are never going to discuss this, ever. i mean seriously. i'm going to derive pleasure from knowing that people i might possibly enjoy spending time with if i ever could bring myself to meet new people and i are falling asleep and drooling on the same book we'll probably never finish. maybe we'll talk about it on twitter or something. but even thinking about organizing that is a daunting task and i'm already exhausted. mariyam suggested making a facebook group, but is that dumb? the internet is so hard sometimes. (ETA: there is a group! it's called bitches gotta read! and it is full of hilarious mostly-women people who aren't irritating! come find us!!) i also have a bunch of friends on goodreads but lesbihonest: i'm not, like, putting all these john grishams i read on there because i don't need you guys clowning me in public.
3 we are never going to shame each other about not reading the fucking book. this is the beauty of never having to meet or talk about it: i ain't gotta come up with "thoughtful questions" and you ain't gotta pretend to remember what happened at the end of chapter seven while a bunch of wine-drunk bitches you don't even like that much wait expectantly for your answer. i'll read the books for sure, but that's only in case i run into one of you at the co-op and you decide to ask how shocked i was by the twist no one saw coming at the end.

brief internet synopsis
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

SOUNDS DOPE RIGHT. for my real life book club aka a perfectly acceptable reason to buy overpriced dips and snacks from the wine store, we just read that book the vegetarian that garnered tons of accolades and awards last year and ayo: i didn't really get it. like, i knew it was good because a lot of people said it was good but then i read it and was like "WHAT." mavis read it and loved it but that bitch went to grad school. i kept waiting for the part that would show this simpleton why it was good but even on the last page i had to ask myself if i'd accidentally skipped a chapter. then i had to admit to all the people in my living room eating korean catering because WOW O WOW DO I ENJOY A THEME that i don't really get symbolism and nuance. i mean i got the whole becoming a tree thing but i didn't feel moved by it. or excited about it. or whatever response award-winning literature is supposed to elicit from the reader. it helped to have a bunch of smartypants explain things to me while i smiled like it made sense, then as soon as they left i started reading this murder mystery called the dry that had blessedly zero complicated themes or metaphors and it was excellent. shame-filled online reading club 4eva.

click here! read this, too!

Friday, March 3, 2017

viva suburbia!

i drove back to chicago last week to do an interview and goddamn that shit felt weird. not the interview, that was dope, despite the fact that i described my personal style as "fat ninja" and ordered 1/3 of the food i would actually eat in case it's one of those interviews where the writer goes super in-depth into the mannerisms of the subject. you know what i mean? like when you read a vanity fair piece about emma stone and they describe exactly how much almond milk she puts in her extra-hot coffee, like down to the motherfucking ounce. this is not to compare my hulking, mouthbreathing self to emma stone, mind you, it's just that i am an excruciatingly self-conscious person who will die upon reading "irby lumbered slowly into the restaurant, eyes darting nervously behind oversized black sunglasses as she surveyed the space for enemies, then squashed her bulk into a booth to order the first sixteen things on the appetizer menu." LOL FUCK THAT. i can promise you as long as i live that my secret fat shame will stay right where it belongs: hovered over the trash can searching for a food item thrown away in haste that i couldn't stop thinking about for several hours. 

man i hate talking to people in person. first of all: WHAT THE FUCK DO I KNOW. not much! i'm not actually 100% sure about anything! i once did a book talk and this dude i knew i shouldn't have called on stood up and quoted my own words back to me and i was just standing there flummoxed like "wait did i actually write that." i made him pull out his copy of MEATY and hand it to me and then played it off on some "lol if i wrote it i guess i meant it" type shit, why o why am i still interacting with human fucking beings!? but this seemed like a good opportunity to end up in the mailboxes of the childhood homes of all of my friends, so i decided to make a trip of it and rent something called a "compact suv" so i wouldn't risk anyone busting out a window to steal one of the many pairs of crocs i keep in my real car and so i could go 90 on the highway without worrying that the muffler was going to fall off. i haven't rented a car in a while, but apparently at enterprise now they get in the car with you to make sure that everything is to your liking? so this poor fucking kid trevor and i go out to the car lot and he has to sit there while i squint at and fuck with all the knobs and buttons to connect the bluetooth and raise the steering wheel and at one point i raised the seatback from chaise lounge to high chair and he exclaimed "my mom drives just like that!" and if the insurance they made me buy would have covered it i would have murdered him.

first thing on my agenda? the mcdonald's drive-thru. i wasn't even three blocks away from our house before i was like THANK GOD I CAN GET SOME NUGGETS FOR THE CAR. the thing about living with a healthy person is that, even if they never come right out and scold you for your choices, it always feels like there is judgment inherent in theirs. liiiiiiike it is mavis's natural inclination to order an undressed kale salad at lunch and while i support that i will never understand it, especially if there are also chicken wings on the menu. i have never been hungry for a salad. i will eat a salad, especially if that's all there is, but i have never thought to myself "you know what would be fire? chopping up that old radicchio wilting at the bottom of the fridge and throwing some radishes and cold green beans on it then squeezing a lemon wedge over the top and letting that be the only thing i eat for the rest of the night." NO, THANK YOU. as an idea that's fine or whatever but as a person with a yawning emotional void that can only be filled with snacks i'm gonna need that lettuce to have a cheeseburger on top of it.

okay so the weird part: how long does it take for you to feel like a stranger in the place you moved away from? i am neither smart or reflective enough to tackle an in-depth analysis of my own experience, and maybe it's because both the pace and the location of my life have changed, but the second i hit traffic coming off the skyway onto lake shore drive i was like "coming back to this overcrowded, disgusting nightmare was a mistake." i was in detroit a couple weeks ago, and i'm not trying to sound like some wide-eyed brooklyn hipster who moved his artisanal biscuit company to corktown and can't shut up about how he's revitalizing the city or whatever but: detroit is almost as fancy as chicago but with, like, 1/3 the population and cars. which means that you can get all of the tiny overpriced foods the part of you that knows you're into that shit desires, without having to wait in an interminably long line for it after you've circled the block 137 times looking for a parking space.

donald trump says "chicago" and i'm like don't you dare talk about our city! but let's be for real, I'M FROM EVANSTON. and i lived in chicago, i know where not to party and which streets your car will get towed from, but i've been gone for a minute and yooooooo i might not need to ever go back. i can't deal with traffic anymore. or people. or pretty much anything that takes longer than five minutes and doesn't move its mindlessly texting ass out of the way. i thought i was committed to being a city person but i've been in both new york and los angeles for work (LOL) over the past few months and rather than being like "hooray! look at all of the expensive juice options laid before me!" i've instead found myself thinking "shit, have there always been this many people on earth?" i thought moving away for good was gonna be hard but let me tell you something fucking amazing: mavis and i went to a 4:05 showing of get out the other day and we left the crib at 3:50 and didn't miss a single preview. ARE YOU SHITTING ME. i would've left chicago twenty years ago if i'd known that never again would have to hover in the freezing doorway waiting for a dinner reservation.

don't get me wrong, there are things i miss:
-delivery
-all night delivery
-overnight delivery
-laundry delivery
-stan's delivery
-amazon prime delivery
-cat litter delivery
-some of my friends (kind of)
-delivery

i mean chicago is great and there's nowhere in my new home to get a quality hot dog (they don't use celery salt or sport peppers here man what the fuck) but in seven months i've realized that ordering fancy coffee that takes a week to get to my house is better than waiting in line for that same fancy coffee while worrying that someone is gonna snag that table by the window i want as mallory (i think?) lovingly steams some guy's foam for seven real minutes (probably) and the lady next to him tries to decide whether or not to tip because everyone behind her in line can see the total on the ipad she's checking out on. (this is a real thing that happened last monday afternoon at the la colombe in andersonville and i tipped 25% on a latte because everyone was watching me brooke can back me up if you need proof.) anyway my point, if i ever had one, is that my conversion from city mouse to country mouse took approximately three days. i thought i was going to hate it and be crying every day and miss having good stores fifteen minutes away, but girl i'm wearing a gap sweater right now and i got it on the damn internet. same with these headphones. and my shoes. i'm reading the vegetarian (i hate it) for my irl book club downloaded on a kindle. i mean, what do i even really need the city for. WHAT IS EVEN A STORE.
i was almost sad about how absolutely not sad i was to watch the gross, dirty diaper-filled lake get smaller and smaller in my rearview after i filled my rental tank with gas that cost $2.89 a gallon and put on my driving mix (it's basically a bunch of super smooth male r&b like carl thomas interspersed with ~alternative rock~ i listened to in high school) and hit the road with a trunk full of oily bari subs because i haven't yet found an italian delicatessen in michigan with a comparable prosciutto and fresh mozzarella sandwich, but as soon i was going west on the empty highway making a mental note of every single casino concert i would definitely buy tickets to (kem at the four winds with two drinks and a seafood buffet? sign me and your mom the fuck up!) advertised on passing billboards i was like NAH NOT SAD.

i don't miss:
-sitting awake in a frothing rage because the people upstairs won't shut the fuck up
-getting everything delivered to my job because motherfuckers steal
-your racist uncle's unprovoked uber sermons
-conversely: THE TRAIN
-so many other people trying to eat at longman
-honking car horns
-that pile of unidentifiable liquid waste on the bus seat next to mine
-the three week wait to get into the doctor for some shit that's hurting right now
-crowds of people who just walk in front of your car downtown because fuck you
-awkwardly navigating the sidewalk with dudes on skateboards
-nightly news that involves actual crime
-waiting in line for things
-paying rent on a studio apartment that is double my current mortgage
-cubs fans

okay fine, i love complaining about things and pointing out when something is horrifying. so i guess i do kind of miss being mad all the time? but rest assured that eventually the veneer of tolerance i've constructed for all these trees and grass and weather will get chipped away and i'll start rolling my eyes at every chipmunk who has the nerve to scurry across the deck, because home is where the hatred is.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

bitches gotta read: american street.

isn't it technically february 31st? okay fine, there's no such thing as that and i'm hella fucking late with this month's book club pick and it's dumb because i don't really do that much other than cry in my room while listening to drake and make complicated soups. well, that's not entirely true. i flew to new york a few weeks ago to have terror sweats in front of all the nice people at random house who are publishing my new book, and then i spent last week having torrential diarrhea in all of chicago's fanciest toilets. i bought a lot of doughnuts and cabernet sauvignon to apologize to my homies for being a lowkey shitty friend and i threw myself a birthday party where i spent the whole time trying to convince people to have sex with each other, i made katy hang out with me at eight o'clock in the fucking morning then was late because in seven moths i've forgotten what city traffic is actually like, then i snuck out of town like a thief with a trunk full of bari subs because of all the food there is to miss in chicago greasy italian deli sandwiches were the most important for me to bring home. lol "home." what is my home? where do i even live anymore!?

the rules
1 we are never going to meet in real life. that would require a bra and zippered pants and probably an expensive uber and no one is doing that. you don't have to worry about megan's dairy allergy or that vanessa doesn't like champagne. no cleaning the cat box or vacuuming the drapes or hiding the dirty laundry in the oven so your company doesn't realize what a huge slob you are. just you in your house glasses and gravy pants sobbing into your six pack of beer, the way rainbow rowell intended. getting together with people you don't live next door to is hella stressful. plus, a bunch of old bitches sitting around talking about fictional teenage romance is lame. OR IS IT THO.
2 we are never going to discuss this, ever. i mean seriously. i'm going to derive pleasure from knowing that people i might possibly enjoy spending time with if i ever could bring myself to meet new people and i are falling asleep and drooling on the same book we'll probably never finish. maybe we'll talk about it on twitter or something. but even thinking about organizing that is a daunting task and i'm already exhausted. mariyam suggested making a facebook group, but is that dumb? the internet is so hard sometimes. (ETA: there is a group! it's called bitches gotta read! and it is full of hilarious mostly-women people who aren't irritating! come find us!!) i also have a bunch of friends on goodreads but lesbihonest: i'm not, like, putting all these john grishams i read on there because i don't need you guys clowning me in public.
3 we are never going to shame each other about not reading the fucking book. this is the beauty of never having to meet or talk about it: i ain't gotta come up with "thoughtful questions" and you ain't gotta pretend to remember what happened at the end of chapter seven while a bunch of wine-drunk bitches you don't even like that much wait expectantly for your answer. i'll read the books for sure, but that's only in case i run into one of you at the co-op and you decide to ask how shocked i was by the twist no one saw coming at the end.

brief internet synopsis:
On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life. But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own. Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?

SOUNDS GOOD, RIGHT. i've been hanging out in detroit a bit because it's close and i love it there and basically have been obsessed since i read "broken monsters" by lauren beukes, so i'm stoked for this one. can't wait to mispronounce all the french words in my head as i read it.

Monday, February 13, 2017

one year closer to the grave!

ugh today is my 37th motherfucking birthday. WHAT A NIGHTMARE. first of all, what am i supposed to do while people sing happy birthday over the cake i'm about to spit all over trying to blow out the trick candles someone who obviously doesn't know me that well decided to put on the cake i can't eat because i'm trying not to eat sugar. second, after 30 birthdays don't really matter until you get to 40, and even that's mostly boring. then if you can hang on until 50 (ugh why) you get a parade or something. since no one is throwing confetti in my face i'm instead watching old episodes of svu while making a mental list of all the celebrity appearances from when they were less famous. (currently: sara ramirez as the sassy prostitute lisa perez, season 4, episode 1)

some asshole friend of mine thought it would be hilarious to email me an article called something like "5,729 things you should know how to do by age 40" and LOL FOREVER AT LEARNING NEW THINGS. i'm just a moist skin dumpster filled with latent rage and useless night court trivia, and i'm basically the same person i was 37 years ago except with worse credit and a persistent headache. anyway, i couldn't even take that list seriously because the first thing on it was some garbage like "learn how not to embarrass yourself at karaoke" and, like, my mans? that is never going to happen. what 40 year old gives a shit about being embarrassed!? (you thought i was going to say karaoke, and you're right: i was.) 

it's too late for me to go back to college. it makes me uncomfortable to learn new things, mostly because i have no idea where to put anything in my brain anymore. every new thing in pushes an old thing right out, so i can either 1 learn what space weather is and how it might actually affect my life on this planet or 2 remember how to tie my shoes. and i know that positive people are always saying "it's never too late!" about shit like finding out what "dabbing" means and enrolling in a community college you can actually write a check for (because you have a job, duh, AND ACTUAL CHECKS) and i'm proud of you for doing it but that's not gonna be me. young people are very loud, and i was already 20 when some of them were born: as much as i'd like to fold up my walker and squint at the board from the back of a culture studies class i'm just not gonna. but what i can do is rely on internet quizzes and checklists as a barometer for how well i'm doing as i shuffle off this mortal coil. i picked these things off the list at random to examine my emotional preparation as i progress on this endless march toward the grave.

how to make conversation at parties. i'm trash at this and i'll tell you why: too busy hovering near the snacks. just kidding, eating in front of strangers is weird. at parties i like to find one person i know and linger awkwardly near his side until enough time has elapsed that i can leave without insulting whoever spent their afternoon dusting the ceiling fan and arranging pre-cut vegetables. what can you even talk to strangers about anyway? i like to lock eyes with someone as our fingertips brush against each other while digging through the gas station ice cubes in the beer bucket and say, "the 2mg lorazepam is working so much better for me than the 1mg, what do you take?" but most people don't enjoy discussing their anxiety in mixed company as much as i do? but what the fuck else am i gonna say, politics is a minefield of nazi bombs and no one else is as emotionally invested in jane the virgin as i am so what on earth are kevin and i gonna talk about!? i don't know shit about cars and he isn't up to date on the new ben & jerry's flavors coming out so i'll just be in the coat room trying to coax the cat out from under the bed until everyone else goes home and i can eat what's left of the hummus in private.

how to end a friendship. JUST GHOST. i mean, right? i know that's supposed to be some millennial shit but what the fuck are we old people expected to do, handwrite a goddamn breakup letter!? never answering your phone is a lifesaving social tool, and now that technology has given us the blessed ability to block callers you don't even have to suffer through seeing their text messages for however long it takes to "clear all." block a hoe from your facebooks and tweets then create a gmail filter to dump his messages in your virtual trash and POOF, he never existed. i only need, like, three actual friends anyway and maybe it's cowardly but man, so what? "honor" and "bravery" are medieval terms that should not apply to that woman who won't stop trying to facetime you even though you said "i don't think we're gonna work out" after she sex-cried that one time. 


how to look polished. i am lumbering slowly toward the big 4-0 at just the right historical time: "ATHLEISURE" IS THE CURRENT WAY TO PRETEND YOUR DAYTIME PAJAMAS ARE ACTUALLY STYLISH AND EVERYONE IS DOING IT. it's a goddamn miracle, flipping open the latest issue of glamour every month to find top models draped in my old duvet cover and calling it fashion. i've been waiting for a long ass time for the clothing gods to finally catch up with my preferred style of dress and please know that this past saturday when i handed over my secured visa card in exchange for an outdoor robe with a hood and actual pockets a single tear rolled down my cheek just like denzel's. so many soft pants that are made to be worn in public! so much supersoft sweatshirt material fashioned into something you could actually wear to work! i've got so many sporty fucking jackets and i haven't picked up a ball since 1997.

how to let go of anger. don't! hang on to it! let it sit in the pit of your stomach like a cool lake of hatred into which you can take a refreshing dip every time you find yourself smiling at someone's vacation photos or newborn dog! let it keep you warm at night when the absence of joy leaves you cold! TEND TO YOUR LITTLE GARDEN OF HATE UNTIL IT KILLS YOU.


buy this for someone creeping ever closer to middle age.