Tuesday, May 10, 2016

bitches gotta read: we love you, charlie freeman.

look at these stupid kittens mavis brought home from the shelter. i tried to upload a hilarious video of helen fighting the grey one while also lying down on her throne/chair but i don't have patience for figuring out that sort of thing, so please use your imagination. i could watch that shit all day. it's been a minute, guys. i've missed my internet friends. i trust that you are well, still reading books and getting wasted and ignoring your responsibilities and i'm totally with you. in spirit though, because i still haven't turned my book in (WHAT THE FUCK) and i'm working on some other cool stuff for you but mannnnn i got a perfectly lovely email a few weeks ago thanking me for writing the blog yet expressing some sadness that i'm a happy person now and had ended bitchesgottaeat for good and i was like, "omg what am i even doing." because i'm still here, still got a dozen half-written posts just chilling waiting for me to finish them, i'm just tired and busy and lol who cares about these excuses. but soon all these projects will be done (done-ish?) and i can get back to irregularly whining about important stuff like why i switched to unscented deodorant and which lean cuisines taste better when you cook them in the oven. i have been reading a lot, though. so here's the next late as hell installment in our little book club.

the rules
1 we are never going to meet in person. that would require a bra and zippered pants and probably an expensive uber and motherfuck that. you don't have to worry about jamie's gluten allergy or that bridget doesn't like gin. 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 john green 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 rad people who aren't irritating!)
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 them, but that's only in case i run into you at the farmer's market and you decide to pop quiz my ass.

so i picked this book because i read about it on one of those "best books of the spring!" lists and i liked kaitlyn's face so i tweeted her (gross) and then she very graciously wrote me back and thus our tenuous grasp on a digital friendship began. it's not technically YA but it's about young kids and rules are made to be broken. an excerpt from the review of the book in the NEW YORK TIMES, what:

Kaitlyn Greenidge’s terrifically auspicious debut novel, “We Love You, Charlie Freeman,” begins with a deceptively high-concept premise. The four members of the black Freeman family are about to become fish out of water. The year is 1990. They have agreed to move from their home in Dorchester, Mass. — with its predominantly black schools, where the toilet paper is rationed — to a mansion in an all-white part of the Berkshires.

Why? Because Laurel Freeman, the headstrong mother, has agreed to make herself, her husband and their two daughters part of a research project. All they have to do is get used to living with a fifth family member, who happens to be a chimpanzee. (They are well qualified to communicate with the chimp because they are fluent in sign language.) In the book’s first scene, the Freeman daughters, 9-year-old Callie and 14-year-old Charlotte, do a little wailing about this relocation. But Callie draws a greeting card of the newly configured Freeman family that features four humans and one hairy hominid with a tail. “We Love You, Charlie Freeman” takes its title from the wildly optimistic words that go with the picture.

Things get less bubbly in a hurry. The Freemans arrive at their forbidding new home, a large gated pile with a plaque reading “The Toneybee Institute for Ape Research, established 1929.” They quickly realize that all the hostile and creepily solicitous employees of the place are white. (One bald guard has “veins of his scalp glowing through the gloom.”) The kids’ alarm bells go off on the very first night, when their parents go to bed and then turn out to have Charlie sleeping with them. When Charlie swats Callie in the face, her (their?) mother says soothingly: “It’s O.K. You scared him, that’s all.”

And thus the familial and racial nightmares begin for the Freemans, who have never let themselves feel all that black before. Ms. Greenidge has charted an ambitious course for a book that begins so mock-innocently. And she lets the suspicion and outrage mount as the Freemans’ true situation unfolds. This author is also a historian, and she makes the “1929” on Toneybee plaque tell another, equally gripping story that strongly parallels the Freemans’ 1990 experience. A question that hovers over this book is whether the Freemans will learn from past horrors or become so dysfunctional that they merely relive them.

...the absurd detail with which the Freemans are watched can’t help being funny. Callie remarks that her favorite book is The Phantom Tollbooth,” and two researchers nod gravely. Video cameras follow family members relentlessly. Charlie never turns into much of a presence, which is a good thing; Ms. Greenidge isn’t interested in distracting her readers with the personal quirks of a chimp. But he acts like a needy, opinionated animal just often enough to enliven the story. When Charlie takes a bite out of a guest’s sleeve because he likes its smell, she cries, “It’s like he didn’t really care about me at all.”

Sex and comedy combine when Charlotte falls for Adia Breitling, a black student from Courtland who actually cherishes being black. At first Adia, who wears purple feather earrings, purple Dr. Martens and a fade haircut with lightning bolts above her left ear, can’t believe Charlotte’s stick-straight bangs, white sneakers and braids, but she decides to try to help this hopeless specimen. (Beware the word “specimen” in this book. Every black person around a white scientist should.) Adia and her mother seem wonderfully free and open-minded to Charlotte, but there’s one area in which Adia has her own cultural bias. Even when things become physical between the two girls, Adia insists that women need men. “We don’t want to go queer like white girls do.”

The ultimate white girl in this attention-getting novel is its grande dame, the heiress Julia Toneybee-Leroy, who was 18 when the institute was founded. Her portrait hangs prominently there, and the zealous eyes scare Charlotte at first sight. Julia is still alive and well enough to have Thanksgiving dinner with the Freemans, Charlie included, in 1990. And still imperious enough to pre-empt Mrs. Freeman’s attempt to feed the chimp lettuce.

This grand visitation prompts the story of who Julia is and how she got that way. It explains why her portrait features the bones of a beloved chimp with a stick through its skull. And it brings forth a remarkable letter, one of the book’s sardonic highlights, in which Julia purports to apologize to “You, African-Americans” for any grievances that might be held against her. It’s a God-awful apology but a wonderful piece of writing. And it beautifully illustrates the sure-handed way Ms. Greenidge deals with even the most grievous racist stupidity, just as she does when the Freemans are patronizingly told by a white “expert” how black they are. “It’s a descriptor of your family who is participating in this experiment,” says the expert, apparently no grammarian. “Not an identity,” they’re informed.

i know you hoes didn't read all that and fine whatever it's cool. JUST GO GET THIS BOOK. unlike myself, who spent all of her meager royalties on jelly beans and magazines, kaitlyn is trying to buy her mama a house. even though she sent me a copy i downloaded another on my kindle which is obviously gonna make her v rich and successful, duh. i'm already 140 pages in and it is so good and i'm so proud of her. have fun!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

an open letter to my nieces, who are currently fighting over a dude.

you need to give it up, because i've had about enough. okay you little assholes, court is in session. i have reviewed all of the documents submitted into evidence; read all of the texts, carefully studied every screenshot, scrolled past all of the instagrams, and sat through 137 tutorials on how to understand snapchat because listen i don't have room for another fucking thing on my phone what with my heartwise blood pressure tracker and all of my large print books, and i have come to this decision: you guys have to kiss and make up because this is dumb and group texting you is much more convenient for me than trying to maintain two separate conversation threads so please get over this silly nonsense: I'M OLD. *bangs gavel*

i was only 6 when you were born niece 1 and i was incredibly skeptical of the dubious reasons for your existence. they didn't need another baby, i was already alive! and amazing! you grew on me though, like mold on the most exquisite french cheese, and eventually became almost tolerable. by the time niece 2 came along a couple years  later i was a cool and confident miniature adult, fully prepared to take on the responsibilities of irregular feedings and pee-only diaper changes provided that they exclusively occurred during the daytime and when i wasn't 1 halfheartedly doing my homework 2 napping fully clothed in the bathtub to hide from my chores 3 eating little debbie oatmeal pies or 4 reenacting scenes from the television show hunter with my barbies. now that i am 142 i can fully appreciate your collective worth, especially since you're both old enough to do useful things like drive me to the airport and introduce me to drug dealers who might get me some celebrex.

i have never been embroiled in emotional combat with one of my homegirls over a dude because LOL WHAT IS THE PRIZE. have you dated a man before!? that's like arguing over who gets to fistfight a possum inside a dumpster or who gets to sleep with a dude so heartless that he actively pursued two cousins at the same time. what is even the point? THERE CLEARLY IS NO WINNER. besides, you queens are both shining beams of light, women who are bright and capable and have an encyclopedic knowledge of drake's back catalog. you are better than this.

some okay things the niece who bagged ol' boy got from this brief courtship:
1 someone to shower for.
2 lots of time to think about her choices and the consequences of her actions during the hours spent in her car driving back and forth from his house.
3 a perfectly steady instagram-stalking trigger finger.

and some pretty nifty things the other one missed out on:
1 thinking about leg hair.
2 not getting enough sleep and/or keeping a change of clothes on hand at all times.

listen, i don't get disappointed in things because life is trash and happiness is for people with higher credit scores than i have, but i am something resembling disappointed in you both. how are you still not speaking even though that relationship ran its course and homeboy has moved on to the girl he never stopped seeing in the first place!? i know i'm oversimplifying it (um am i really tho) but this cold war has gone on for, like, three months longer than even the most petty among us (ie: me) deem acceptable. which is also three months longer than this courtship even lasted. and fine, one of you got breakfast in bed and the other one didn't but so what? say the word and i'll come over and make you a pancake before ignoring you to play video games in the other room with my friends. see!? it's just like i'm your almost-boyfriend, except you ain't gotta act all weird at the pharmacy when you go in to pick up your plan b after i kick you out. feeling lonely? don't call that dead-behind-the-eyes placeholder with the curly hair! i am always available to red box and chill, if you understand "chill" to mean falling asleep upright at the dinner table and returning the dvd so late it overdrafts your bank account. i'm sorry not sorry that this is over but neither of you was going to marry a dude who spells something "summ'n" anyway.

remember that time i stopped talking to my oldest sister for two years because she made a joke about the back of my black-ass neck and everyone said i was ~immature~ but listen hoe hyperpigmentation is a real thing that is totally not my fault? well this is kind of like that, except i put my foot down and demanded an apology and hey! i eventually got one! and we don't really talk all that much now but at least i can die knowing my refusal to acknowledge her birthdays prompted 160 penitent characters.

SO MAYBE ONE OF YOU COULD JUST APOLOGIZE. can we talk about how lucky we are that neither of you is pregnant? and that you kids these days fight with tweets instead of fists!? one time i kicked jane in the stomach during one of our many inexplicable altercations and she went flying off the bed into a wall, taking down several of my new kids on the block posters with her, then played like she was dead for sixty real seconds and i was too scared to tell mom i'd killed her so i just put on my shoes and walked out the fucking door for two days? BE GLAD FOR A COUPLE SHITTY FACEBOOK MEMES, YOU ANIMALS. back in 1987, omg why am i still alive, this could've been over for you. (also my sister is a demon i mean who tf does that to someone!?)

remember when the three of us used to hang out? that was so much fun! i can picture it like it was yesterday: your eyes dancing mischievously as we accidentally tugged at the same greasy strand of bloomin' onion, steaks as tough as elephant bacon shimmering with gristle on the dishwasher-spotted plates below us, our soundtrack the sweet sweet serenade of several 2007 honda odysseys stuck in traffic on the nearby expressway, their horns a lively staccato tapped out by roadraged north suburban soccer moms. oh, the halcyon days of our fading youth! what i wouldn't give to transport us all back to that place, to that dimly-lit too-small booth at outback steakhouse, where we created so many happy memories. how can i continue living in this misery? without you two i wouldn't know how to hit the dab or correctly use the word "sus" in a sentence. WE COULD CAPTURE THAT MAGIC AGAIN, GUYS. and we should. especially since hanging out with you separately is both time-consuming and incredibly expensive.

if you jerks don't talk soon then the terrorists win. we are for real about to have donald trump as president and you clowns are subtweeting at each other!? WHAT HAPPENS WHEN HE TRIES TO SHIP US BACK TO AFRICA, LADIES. you are going to need every ally you can scrounge up, especially since i know for a fact you bitches can't swim. explain to me why this young man, whom neither of you is with at the moment and never will be again, was worth the loss of your relationship. better yet, please make me understand why despite his noticeable absence you guys still aren't talking. oh, i know: complicated feelings fleek disrespectful low-key turnt selfish lit basic apology squad or however you young people talk to each other. and i get it. KIND OF. but like i said, i've never fought with any of my friends over a boy. and yeah okay they're all pretty and kind and talented and i'm mean and look like someone shoved a bag of wet gym towels in a trash bag so i would never stand a chance anyway, but even if i did i'd never go there bc feminism. anyway let's not stray too far from my point: sisters before misters.

Thursday, February 25, 2016


what are the social obligations related to running into a one night stand in the grocery store?

i would rather be mauled by that revenant bear than stand awkwardly over a grocery cart brimming with little debbie donut sticks, 12 3-for-$10 assorted lean cuisines, two cans of raid, and whatever deodorant is on sale that week while trying to avoid eye contact and make small talk with someone i recently fell asleep under. thank the risen christ that i haven't had to look for anonymous sex during the tinder age because proximity, though super useful when trying to get some balls in your mouth at 2am on a tuesday, can be the death of your everyday routine if you never want to happen upon the proprietor of those balls ordering carnitas and nopales at the only taco spot in your hood that takes debit cards. i would just dip off into the baking aisle and hide because have you ever in your life seen anyone actually purchasing those teeny little bags of slivered almonds!? the only real solution is you gotta hook up with people who live five train stops in either direction away from you, minimum. sure it'll be annoying when you're waiting forever for the red line in the dark and bitter cold with your panties balled up in your coat pocket, but the relief you'll feel knowing you're never going to run into old what's her name in the produce section is worth it. LOL PRODUCE YEAH RIGHT.

why won't my wife have sex with me in the shower?

probably because she values having intact front teeth. if life were a movie you would return home after a grueling day at the office, sexily loosen your tie as you drop your briefcase in the mudroom (being careful not to trip over the assorted wet boots and grimy dog leashes and empty diet coke cans that fell out of the recycling bin scattered across the floor), brush past the towering stack of overdue credit card bills on the kitchen counter to take the stairs two at a time up to the master bedroom where your beloved sits weeping over a "hey just thinking about u" text from that one dude she really thought she was gonna marry back in 2007. ignoring her attempts to hide the phone out of sight you kick a path through piles of soiled laundry to the bathroom you meant to bleach last weekend when your mother-in-law was in town, wait for the water pressure to build, then coax her into joining you in the shower with promises to carefully shave that stubbly bit of her thighback that always gets missed when she bathes in blissful solitude. initiate clumsy, ham-handed lovemaking that is over before it has really even begun then immediately retreating to separate corners of the house; you to indulge in whatever SPORTS!!! happen to be on television for the remainder of the evening while she locks herself in the spare bedroom to text homeboy back.

but life is not a movie. life is an impossibly long and unyielding march to the grave, peppered along the way with myriad disappointments and misfortunes. living is a mistake, which is why shower sex usually winds up with one or more of the naked parties shivering alone at the back of the shower trying not to slip in a viscous glob of body wash while the other gasps and sputters as shampoo burns her sensitive eyes. your wife sounds pretty fucking sensible, man. just leave her the fuck alone already.

my husband and i are dear friends with a younger couple. they both have busy careers and text and e-mail incessantly for work. recently the four of us dined out at a wonderful country inn, and they texted throughout the meal. i care very much about my relationship with them and do not wish to offend them, but this behavior bothered me. how can i nicely ask them to put their smartphones away?

everything is boring. you're boring, there's a 95% chance your husband is pretty boring, and going to a "wonderful country inn" is probably definitely Totally Fucking Boring. i'm hella goddamn boring, too! and this is a thing that i have had to come to terms with as i am now staring forty right in its sensible orthopedic inserts: i have to get over myself and let go of young person shit that is irritating to me. if i'm too old for it, i don't give a shit about it. and that's not to say that it shouldn't exist, which is an old person thing i really don't understand jesus god, the shit kids are into is literally too exhausting to get pissed off about. WHO CARES. mavis and i aren't friends with any young couples because i don't want to have to learn what the fuck "bae" means. i just want to eat my room temperature soup and spend my days listening to jangly guitar music that came out before i graduated high school.

there are two types of awful old people. there's 1 the silently awful who grind their rear molars into stumps and pray for sudden death as some teenager tries to record them for the snapchats or 2 the "put your phone away young lady and pretend to be interested in this new york times article about charter schools i am misquoting" awful. my favorite thing is to spend my old person money on expensive electronics for the babies in my life, because i will actually die if i have to figure out interesting shit to say to a millenial that might make them think i'm not as cool as my tattoos (how do i say that in a cool way, ink? body art!?) would mislead them to believe, and they most certainly don't give two fucks about listening to all my ancient ass shit. wtf do i even talk about all day, 1099s and full-coverage underpants!? LIKE FOR REAL WHO EVEN CARES JUST POINT ME TOWARD THE SUN AND WATER ME OCCASIONALLY. i can't tell you about the first time i thought i was in love (yes i can, it was wil wheaton on star trek: the next generation and it was devastating) but i can tell you each and every time some adult tried to bully me into a conversation about low interest rates or whatever bitches with rain-indicating knees and hip problems talk about while i plucked my eyelashes one by one in despair. i don't wanna sit at the kids table because truth be told i can't sit with my legs at a 90 degree angle for more than forty-five minutes, but if they sit at mine i need to know that 1 these dudes are for sure gonna text the entire time while pretending they care about that foreign film i saw at 1130 sunday morning and 2 whether i like it or not, and despite my having neither a mortgage nor a dedicated gynecologist, i am absolutely paying for that wonderful country meal. 
[insert deal with it gif or relevant tumblr meme or whatever]

what's the best position for a woman to reach orgasm?

ugh god horizontal on some clean sheets with a bag of funyuns balanced precariously atop her boobs.

my boyfriend and i have been together for over two years, but i’ve met his parents only a few times. as he has told me, they have deemed me unworthy due to my age (i’m four years older than he is) and my health (i had a case of sinusitis on one occasion). they do not want me in their house or at any of their social events—even my boyfriend’s birthday dinner. as a result, things are pretty awkward, even though my boyfriend has confronted them about it. what can i do to get them to accept me?

acceptance is overrated! so are: birthday dinners, good health, and, frankly, having parents. i killed mine while i was still a child because i knew that if i hadn't my adult life would be ceaselessly tormented by the insurmountable demands of my overbearing mom and dad, people who couldn't be bothered to teach me how to balance a goddamn checkbook but would nevertheless feel entitled to weigh in on my choice of career and lifemate and internet service provider. neither of those assholes lived long enough to suffer through the indignity of an introductory meal with someone i was sleeping with, and thank fuck for that. my p's have been dead for 18 years and even now my insides churn at the very thought of my father scowling at ____ over his leather-tough tri tip at the sizzler like, "you're a what now? a dj? do you make any money doing that? who's gonna pay for that motherfucking rib eye!?" as i burned with white hot shame while eating directly from the all-you-can-eat salad bar. FUCK THAT SHIT BROHAM, YOU GOTTA DIE. *makes stabbing motions*

back when i had feelings my self-esteem was a toilet, and it caused me actual physical pain to know that someone didn't like me. a handy trick (i'm real good at recycling human trash) is to think long and hard about what the person who hates you would realistically add to your life. most people really do have absolutely nothing to offer you. pull out the abacus and make a pros/cons list if you have to, i'll wait. if you require a push to get started, here's an example from a recent entry in my diary about a bitch i don't miss anymore:
pro once lent me a safety pin when my shirt ripped at the club

okay okay now let's do yours:
pro made a son that you like
con weird about a four year age difference between you and that son i mean come on have they ever seen any celebrities 
con obvs do not understand basic tenets of healthcare and infectious disease
con insist upon hosting "social events" in their home
con RACIST (i mean, that's gotta be it right, who the fuck bugs out over some fucking congestion)

once you make your list, frame it inside your heart and refer back to it every time you hear these motherfuckers are having a backyard luau or whatever kind of garbageparties regular people throw. come on now, do you really want to sit on the edge of a hard-backed chair clutching some costco chardonnay while bob and karen regale you with stories about their alaska cruise last fall? no, you want to be blowing your nose on the sleeve of your sweatshirt and watching billions while you and the cat share a bowl of ice cream. WIN FUCKING WIN.

is sunday brunch a good first date idea?

brunch is such a goddamned nightmare. it's like throwing a wedding for your fucking breakfast and is always such a production that the pancakes never taste worth the effort it took to get them. 
first of all, it's deceptively expensive. if you go out with my stupid fucking friends you better bring your roomiest amex, because these dudes are always like "let's get a bunch of things and share!" WHAT. I AM NOT GOING TO EAT THOSE MINI LOBSTERS OR WHATEVER YOU'RE GETTING, MELISSA. LET ME JUST ORDER THESE CHEAP-ASS GRITS AND SHUT UP. but they get them anyway despite my strained protests and then i'm the bag of shit who is mentally calculating my one waffle and side of vegan bacon (please kill me) while they're trying to equally divide six bottles of rosé between all of the cards we just tossed in the center of the table. i didn't have any of those bloody marys and geno is the only one who ate that overpriced crab but there goes the honorary mathematician of the group, scribbling 72.5/silver card on the back of the check while my insides boil in agony. "sorry i can't pay my rent this month, landlord. i went to sunday brunch."

second, if you live in a bustling hellscape like chicago then you know that unless you meet up at either 7 in the morning or 3 in the goddamned afternoon all of the places cute enough to take someone you're trying to convince to have sex with you are going to have lines wrapped around the block. and please tell me something more awkward and horrible than standing in an interminable line in the cold with someone you barely know waiting for mediocre eggs. i would rather run into a booty call while stocking up on monistat at the fucking shop n' save. the specials? they're gonna be out by the time you get a seat, for sure. bottomless mimosas? sorry dude, we're fresh out of champagne! every time i see jerks huddled together on the curb outside bongo room on my way to subway i die a little from a crushing mix of jealousy and fomo loljk i mean REVEL IN MY INSTANT FOOD. have you ever tried to make sex eyes in a noisy room clattering with silverware and blazing with sunshine while surrounded by screaming babies and hungover bitches wearing inside shades? wow o wow dude just take her to a bar geez.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

bitches gotta read: bone gap.

i have been reading a lot lately. which is cool because WOW LOOK AT ME USING MY BRAIN except i have shit i need to be working on and getting engrossed in other people's books is counterproductive. (my book is due next month wtf am i even doing, man.) i spend a fair amount of time back and forth to michigan on the amtrak, and at first i would spend half the trip fruitlessly trying to connect to the wifi so i could listen to this one dum dum girls song on repeat (idiot) before giving up and spending the second half trying to get my texts to go through (moron). so now i just read the whole time between "please don't let me have to poop before we get back to the city" chants.

the rules
1 we are never going to meet in person. that would require a bra and zippered pants and probably an expensive uber and motherfuck that. you don't have to worry about violet's gluten allergy or that jackie doesn't like gin. 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 john green 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!)
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 them, but that's only in case i run into you at the
farmer's market and you decide to pop quiz my ass.

brief internet synopsis: we start with a boy named finn and his brother, sean. sean is the classic hero: strong, silent, great at everything he does. finn is a pretty boy whose otherworldly goofiness has earned him the nicknames spaceman, sidetrack, and moonface. along comes roza, a beautiful and damaged young woman, fleeing from some unknown evil. when she disappears, only finn witnesses her abduction and he is unable to describe her captor. he is also unsure whether she left by force or choice. in this world, the evidence of one's senses counts for little; appearances, even less. heroism isn't born of muscle, competence, and desire, but of the ability to look beyond the surface and embrace otherworldliness and kindred spirits. sex happens, but almost incidentally. evil happens, embodied in a timeless, nameless horror that survives on the mere idea of beauty. a powerful novel.

whoa this sounds pretty rad. i downloaded it a while ago but then got caught up reading a couple galleys and a bunch of other stuff (including next month's pick, i know i know) but i'ma try to get this one in this weekend. as long as the work i'm actually supposed to be doing doesn't get in the way. or nothing good comes on tv.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

how to trick strangers into believing that an adult lives in your apartment.

this is my stupid kitchen. YES THAT IS AN AUTOGRAPHED PICTURE OF NICK OFFERMAN AS MY HERO RON SWANSON. the inscription reads: sam. tenacity, and meat. swoon city, amirite. what a fucking dreamboat. anyway, my dumb birthday is on saturday. the other day brooke was like "hey for your big day i'm gonna bring snacks over and watch six episodes of the amazing race." *anxiety emoji* and i love brooke and everything but girl you need to understand that "birthday present" means "olive garden giftcard" not "force you to haphazardly disinfect your living space in a single, panicked afternoon while reconsidering those cutesy dishtowels you overpaid for on a whim and grossing yourself out re: tv stand dust and miniblind discoloration." people who actually love you will never ask to see the inside of your house.

friend: sits in the car messing with the radio while waiting for you to get your lipstick right for brunch.
enemy: forces her way inside the door then picks cat hair judgmentally off your bedspread while griping under her breath about how hungry she is.
friend: hollers at the deli with the jammmm chicken noodle soup and arranges for several quarts of it to be delivered by a faceless man on a bicycle to your den of influenza.
enemy: takes the day off work to bitch at you from your own motherfucking kitchen while making her mom's gross soup recipe (WHAT THE FUCK IS A PARSNIP, HOE) and insulting your starter cookware on the sly.
friend: texts you.
enemy: CALLS.

omg the fucking millisecond the state of illinois allowed me to legally get out of foster care forever (and the college grant money i spent on nachos and magazines ran out) i rented an apartment that was way too nice for a person of my limited grown up experience and filled it with everything i could afford: luxurious milk crate end tables, a couch with a rip in it salvaged from an upscale suburban alley, an abandoned laundry basket i stole from the dusty utility room. my pantry was filled with the food of the gods; 10 for $10 lipton rice mixes and store-brand peanut butter and the occasional can of le sueur peas. the only person who got lucky enough to see the beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows i was too poor to hang curtains over was this dude i dated who carried a playstation in his backpack wherever he went. this was 1998, children, the days of old when de la soul cds were a real thing and technology was too big to fit in your jacket pocket. anyway homeboy would carry around the console and controllers and i would watch him play heart of darkness for hours and this is what passed for romance to my newly-emancipated teenage self.

not much has changed since then save the fresh aloe juice and acidophilus tablets sitting unused in my fridge, and i have cable and a way better tv but who even cares because i'm pretty much the only person ever sitting on my one chair watching that new oj murder show. and sure, my place is clean. the laundry is put away, the dishes are stacked neatly in the cabinets, and the hall closet is organized but lesbihonest: i drink wine out of the same crate and barrel stemless glass every night and i rotate the same handful of semi-sheer black t-shirts. when you live like that you can't help but look like a grownup. if i was somehow forced to prepare complicated meals every night or (gasp!) incorporate colors into my clothing this tenuous grip i have on togetherness would evaporate completely. one cup i can routinely wash; add a frying pan to the mix and everything would dissolve into chaos.

ugh if you insist on having people over, you should probably buy a lot of books and stack them artfully around your crib like you just happened to take up residence between the stacks of a super hip indie bookstore like i do. this is why the kindle is kind of a bad move, because you can't impress people who hate you so much they actually crossed the threshold of your apartment to lay eyes on all your shit. and duh, i have one, because the other sweet shit about being an adult is disposable income to waste on whatever you want, but i only use it for embarrassing stuff like the first twelve sweet valley high books (what they were like 20 bucks okay) and jonathan franzen. who even gives a fuck whether or not you've read them, you're trying to impress a hot new piece of trade not make a motherfucking diorama. ps: leave some fresh flowers and/or fruit out if you can afford to. i definitely am about to get scurvy but my houseguests ain't gotta fucking know.

also also you have to get some quality booze so your bootycalls will be impressed by your sophisticated choices while snooping through your shit for reasons to never call you again. just try not to drink all of it while watching a snapped marathon by yourself. motherfuckers will believe you actually care about yourself when they happen upon an unopened bottle of laphroaig just chilling under your kitchen sink. they don't have to see the manifestation of your self-hatred in the form of that of that half-drunk gordon's vodka shoved behind your ice-encrusted healthy choice meals. ask dude at the wine store to show you where the impressive $16 reds are and put them on display while you drink that $2 trader joe shit in bed during judge mathis.

even bad art is hella expensive so fuck that. what tf do i even know about art. i have this poor person laminated print by emily mcdowell that is some of the realest advice i have ever fucking read propped up on a shelf: i will not compare myself to strangers on the internet. and at the risk of sounding like your grandmother, facebook and instagram are such fucking treacherous territory, and i don't even know from snapchat whatever the hell that is, especially for the delicate among us. like me, who sees your new car and fresh haircut as a personal assault. your heartwarming stories and adorable offspring only remind me that i watched a dude piss into the wind on the train platform this morning. and it’s so easy to be dazzled by someone else’s highlight reel when your own backstage footage looks like shit. so it’s good to have a reminder that all the happy people are probably lying, and all the pretty people have access to photoshop.

that print is the extent of my art collection, because if one of my asshole friends sees a framed piece of artwork on my wall he will assume i have money. and then he will ask to borrow some of it. and then OUR FRIENDSHIP HAS TO DIE because let me peep that dude checking in at the aviary or dove's before i get my $40 back, bitch i will get in an uber and carry my ass down there and awkwardly glare at him. protip: never borrow money from black people.

i'm not good at a whole lot of things. word jumbles, picking out eyeglasses, getting a good seat on the amtrak: this is the extent of my talents. but the one household thing i'm bomb at is cleaning the bathroom, especially since it is the place where i text myself jokes and read selections from my one of my many leaning towers of books. before you agree to host that oscar party, a crash course in 15 minute bathroom ablution: 1 squirt some cleaning goo in the toilet (i like kaboom) and shut the lid 2 spray the tub with whatever you like that won't choke you (my fave is better life all purpose) and scrub the shit out of it then rinse clean 3 wipe down the outside of the toilet (cleanwell botanical disinfecting wipes are the jam) 4 scrub the inside real good 5 wipe down the sink and get all that fucking toothpaste off the goddamn mirror (WE CAN SEE IT IN YOUR SELFIES, FAM) and 6 swiffer. put down a fresh bath mat, promise yourself that you are for real going to scrub down the walls and dust the lightbulbs next time, then bathe in the warm glow of your accomplishments.

i'ma be 36 years old in two goddamned days and all i really want is to sleep for a week after watching nine straight hours of eyeliner tutorial videos (i don't wear eyeliner!) on the youtube, but just in case brooke shows up at my door this weekend with a box of frozen pizza rolls and a silly rom-com from the redbox i am going to take this bag of magazines down to the recycling, hide all my prescriptions (you know bitches be sitting on your toilet googling your fucking medications), and arrange all of my fancy skincare items intimidatingly around the bathroom sink. omg i am officially "close to forty." brb buying so many high-waisted elastic pants.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

this is what happens when i stay up 5 hours and 13 minutes past my bedtime.

saturday 2:15p i let myself into my apartment after work, grateful to be the type of trash-ass person who only uses one plate and sleeps on top of a previously made bed in order to keep up the illusion of neatness, then was about to take off my belt and undo all four hooks of my bra until the crushing realization hit me: FUCK ME I MADE PLANS TONIGHT.

2:17p i quickly cycled through all five kubler-ross stages of impending social engagement dismay:
1 denial: "did i really tell bee i would meet her for drinks tonight or is this a dream."
3 bargaining: "if i go to this bar tonight and i tell some jokes and act real sweet i will keep this friendship intact plus i won't have to make up a transparent lie and also i don't ever have to leave my crib ever again."
4 depression: "is there anything worse in life than someone wanting to hang out with you? especially in a fancy bar that serves 'handcrafted' cocktails? maybe i can throw myself off their organic rooftop urban garden and end this miserable charade for good."
5 acceptance: "fine then, i'ma just watch four episodes of SVU and eat saltines with my shoes on until it's time to call a cab."

4:07p (fights off sleep)

5:35p i dragged this old beef carcass to the snooty coffee shop in my hood thinking i might not lapse into a coma if i had a couple shots of espresso. the dude behind the counter was chatting animatedly with this young woman who ordered something called a cortado (what the fuck is that) while she feigned interest (i hope) in the concentrated flavor produced by an arabica bean sourced from an estate at a 6000 foot altitude (are those even words) as homeboy made her drink. i was already sweating in a mild panic, dismayed that the chalkboard menu didn't advertise anything like a birthday cake latte or a double chocolaty chip cinnamon crème mocha javaccino. (that's a real drink, right.) I DON'T KNOW SHIT ABOUT COFFEE, BRUH. mavis is always trying to talk to me about pour overs and nitro brewing and girl: miss me with that boring-ass shit. one morning when i was 27 i woke up and all my adult tastes had developed seemingly overnight. hoppy beers, cauliflower with no cheese on it, anchovies: my bank account was still a toddler but my taste buds had grown the fuck up. EXCEPT FOR COFFEE. unless it tastes like ice cream i hate that fucking shit. when i finally got to the counter i was so full of angst that i bought a seven dollar muffin and rushed out the door burning with shame and still tired.

6:00p "should i take a shower?"

6:15p "i really gotta get a move on if i'm going to both shower and put on clean clothes."

6:50p "i wonder if i lint roller all the cat hair off these pants if anyone will be able to tell i've been wearing them since seven this morning?"

7:42p stood in the lobby of my building scowling at my phone as i watched the uber icon pinwheeling around the map of my neighborhood as the time estimate changed from three minutes to seven minutes to one minute then back to three, mad at myself because i wanted to be ready to go at 7:30 but somehow, inexplicably, i managed to make myself late and now this dude was making me even later. 12 minutes late without 1 taking a shower 2 changing most of my clothes or 3 putting on so much as a swipe of blush, i still had to scramble downstairs in a pigpen-style dirt cloud only to watch my man turn down wrong alleys and roll through the drive-thru (probably) on his way to my casa.

7:48p i tried to surreptitiously take a picture of the cabbie doing a crossword puzzle in the newspaper by the phosphorescent glow of the street lamps at every red light but didn't realize my fucking flash was on so i had to apologize like an asshole while fumbling around with the buttons on my dumb phone fuck i should've just stayed on top of my comforter.

8:02p i was late, but who the fuck cares because no one else was there either. i hate being first when i don't know the plan. should i put my name in for a table? how many people are actually coming!? DO I HAVE TIME TO LEAVE BEFORE EVERYONE ELSE GETS HERE. i surveyed the room and instantly regretted my decision to wear pants that pull all the way up to my chin.

8:20p omg they want to sit at the bar. this is a literal nightmare. i am too motherfucking old to sit at the bar. my legs are not long enough yet somehow also too long to sit at the fucking bar. i feel like a big dumb baby climbing up onto those stupid tall chairs then trying to balance and not knock over my drink while hoping the stranger on my left doesn't notice the precarious grasp my toes have on the rung of his chair. also i put my name in and now i gotta figure out how to text cancel it without looking like a dick. fuck i hate the bar.

8:21p oh wait but the bartender is a friend of theirs so free champagne hook a bitch up.

8:50p "SUCK IN YOUR STOMACH FOR THE GRAM!" *shutter click*

9:30p we'd been drinking for an hour straight and all i had to eat was half of that overpriced muffin and a handful of red vines so i grudgingly decided to break the "it's cool, we're just meeting for drinks" rule and asked the bartender for a dinner menu, right around the time i would ordinarily be getting my ass ready for bed. this does not feel exciting to me as an adult. as a kid, anything i was allowed to eat later than 7pm was cause for celebration. as an adult, eating food late at night feels absolutely fucking terrible. i've read way too many glamour articles about where your latenight calories go, so now i'm about to pay $137 for a bowl of ceviche that's going to go straight to my back fat or wherever.

9:55p uh oh, a half full pint of beer shattered across the bar. first sign that party is starting to head down shitshow boulevard. i felt a familiar tingle as the change commenced; the extra hair sprouting from behind my ears, the lengthening of teeth. i slid my debit card across the bar, palms clammy with impending doom. i needed to get the fuck home.

10:15p watching people flirt makes me nervous. i get too emotionally invested right from the jump, caring way too much about whether or not a love connection is being made, skin crawling with anxiety over whether or not i'm about to suffer vicariously through an awkward rejection. my shoulders knotted up as i observed all of the heads bent together over frothy drinks. i resisted the urge to shout "i hope it works out for you!" at a lesbian couple on an uncomfortable-looking first date. keely texted me to see if i was out and i was faced with an excruciating sophie's choice: lie and say that i was holding in a bunch of tequila vomit on the bus then put my phone away and dip, hoping not to run into her on the street or tell the truth and risk extending my evening by four to six drinks. and while my heart said "IN BED AT THE NURSING HOME" my fingers typed "at a bar in your hood, you down?" she texted back that she would be right over. the beast sharpened its claws.

10:59p this is the point in the evening when the liquor fairy alights gently upon my shoulder and coos sweetly in my ear, "BITCH YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO PARTY LIKE THIS" and the gears in my brain slowly grind into motion, trying to recall exactly how many drinks i've had and how much those drinks cost apiece and whether or not anyone would notice if i tried to wedge myself out of the tiny bathroom window. i don't ever feel stupid until i'm locked in a bathroom stall doing drunk calculus on a paper towel to determine if i can pay both my bar tab and the rent. "three vodkas divided by the light bill times the minimum payment on my amex plus cab fare home shit i gotta go."

11:20p surprised i had not yet turned into a pumpkin, i remembered what a raging headache champagne gives me (especially when mixed with approximately 37 other cocktails) and was halfway through a large glass of water before realizing that i never even ordered a fucking water and was probably definitely drinking the one left behind by the person sitting in this uncomfortable highchair before i nearly threw my back out trying to get onto it. undeterred, i finished the entire thing in one gulp, careful not to let my emerging fangs clink too loudly against the glass.

sunday 12:10a pretty sure the bar closed a while ago, as all of the kitchen staff was glaring at us from the across the room, arms laden with whatever salads and taco scraps they were having for family meal. i muttered "you guys, we should probably bounce," which came out sounding like "grrrr rrrrrrr RRRrrrRrrr grrrrrrRRrRr" and i cleared my throat to cover it up, focusing instead on the tiny ripping sounds coming from my rapidly disappearing shirtsleeves as my hulking biceps started to poke through. i yanked on my coat before anyone noticed the layer of downy fur accumulating on my forearms.

12:45a my words were now slurring out soaked in bourbon and sounding like muffled dog barks so i immediately clamped my hand over my mouth to prevent further embarrassing myself and wished these kids would wrap it up so we could go the fuck home before i accidentally murdered everyone in the fucking building. every cab i saw going past looked like the last boat back to africa. "please don't leave me here," i mouthed silently, a single tear rolling through the weird patch of course hair freshly sprouted from my cheek as each pair of cherry red taillights faded into the night.

1:32a it has become nearly impossible to string a coherent sentence together. why is it that we always attempt to have intellectual conversations when we are physically incapable of doing so? you know what passes for witty discourse in my everyday life? "hey stranger at a party, do you ever feel like your deodorant has stopped working?" all i can talk about when i'm sober is hot dogs and teen mom but get three gins in me and all of a sudden i have opinions about intersectionality and internalized misogyny and academic imperialism. shut the fuck up, samantha.

1:47a TEARS.

2:05a in the car on the way home i looked down to discover that my feet were about to explode out of my shoes, the laces straining against an eruption of claws and hair. i pulled my beanie taut over my pointy ears and tried to send some inappropriate sexts but my claws made it impossible to type and i nearly shredded my coat fumbling around in the dark with that stupid goddamned phone. i killed two rats in the alley behind my building and devoured them whole, then stole a bunch of magazines from the vestibule and tried not to fall asleep in the elevator.

2:13a finally back in my crib and i could literally feel myself dying. everything feels like assault: the harsh lights over the bathroom mirror, the coldness of the water i halfheartedly splashed on my face, the spiked bristles of my toothbrush stabbing angrily at my tender gums. all of my systems were slowly breaking down; prying off the top of a bottle of advil is an insurmountable task i abandon after ten seconds of real effort, lifting my leg to get into the shower an impossible dream. why do i feel hungover when i haven't even been to sleep yet!? my brain throbbing mercilessly, i tore off what remained of my tattered clothing and tucked my tail between my legs before surrendering to sleep. ON TOP OF THE DUVET.

monday 1:19p i am dead. and writing this from hell.

Monday, January 18, 2016

bitches gotta read: shadowshaper.

wellllllllll, i'm kind of slipping with these book club posts. IT'S STILL TECHNICALLY JANUARY THO. my holiday stack of books continues to mock me every time i walk past my book shelf, as i am still trying to slog through fates and furies (am i too dumb to understand why everyone including barack obama went so apeshit over this book? probably) and i realized i never actually finished the painter by peter heller even though i really really like it so now i'm doing that, too. and i had time to read today but i didn't because i 1 had to watch that new show billions because damian lewis is my boyfriend 2 made a casserole because it was for real one degree this morning 3 had to work on my cardi b impression 4 twice attempted to make sense of that sean penn el chapo article and 5 chianti. it's safe to assume that you guys are smarter and more productive than i am (just lie to me, okay) so i will keep posting these even though i am dreadfully behind and according to goodreads am actively reading six other books at the moment. one day i will throw my tv out the window and be smart and read all the time. except broad city and house of cards are about to come back. guess i'm gonna have to give up sleeping.

the rules
1 we are never going to meet in person. that would require a bra and zippered pants and probably an expensive uber and motherfuck that. you don't have to worry about danielle's gluten allergy or that cynthia doesn't like gin. 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 john green 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. (there is a group! it's called bitches gotta read!)
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 them, but that's only in case i run into you at the 
farmer's market and you decide to pop quiz my ass.

brief internet synopsis: sierra santiago planned an easy summer of making art and hanging out with her friends. but then a corpse crashes the first party of the season. her stroke-ridden grandfather starts apologizing over and over. and when the murals in her neighborhood begin to weep real tears...well, something more sinister than the usual brooklyn ruckus is going on. with the help of a fellow artist named robbie, sierra discovers shadowshaping, a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. but someone is killing the shadowshapers one by one, and the killer believes sierra is hiding their greatest secret. now she must unravel her family's past, take down the killer in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for generations to come.

SOUNDS SO GOOD, RITE. i was really into isabel allende and magical realism when i was in high school and this story makes me wistful for steel toe doc martens and ruffled poet blouses and ugly crying along with angela chase. i shaved my head and bought all my clothes at the army/navy surplus and terrified my guidance counselors but i also kept a copy of chronicle of a death foretold in my backpack at all times. what a fucking weirdo.