Wednesday, December 10, 2014

winter beauty tips for the slovenly and unkempt.

head. when i was a kid, my "lipstick" was a reddish-brown eye pencil my mother, who dyed her hair fire engine red every four weeks without fail, used to draw on the eyebrows that had fallen out never to return when she was pregnant. i would trace my lips with the pencil and fill them in as much as i could without wearing it down so much that she would notice, then dab a little vaseline on to make it shiny. i would also pat some of her heavily perfumed oil of olay cream on my cheeks and eyelids because listen, i'm motherfucking luxurious, b.

i'm not going to go into a whole thing about how growing up poor turns you into a ravenous, insatiable hoarder of nice things once you get enough money for an apartment and the occasional double cheeseburger. BUT IT'S TRUE. my very first paycheck was probably 70% rent and 30% mac lipglass. winter is a rough time of year to try and be cute. maybe if you live in malibu it's possible for you? but those of us in the heartland just resign to bundling up and dragging our chapped lips and ashy hands out to olive garden  for some fancy spaghetti every once in a while until the tundra thaws out enough to put an open-toed shoe on. when it's balls cold outside this is how we dress: warm tights, socks, giant boots, pants, base layer shirt, thin sweater over that, gross outside hoodie over that, puffy warm coat that is too hot to even put on in your steamy, radiator-heated apartment, hat, scarf, mitts: it's like wearing a motherfucking space suit in real life. i'm surprised anyone can stand upright while trying to get the bus to work. so i'm not gonna be worried about getting my lipstick right when the avalanche i gotta walk through will just rinse the shit off my face. but i do have to keep a job.

i have Very Specific Hair. which is not to say that my hair is more moody and petulant than anyone else’s, it’s just the kind of hair that when bitches on the train is like, “girl, what do you use!?” i gotta sigh and be all, “HOW MUCH TIME YOU GOT.” so, if you are a yeasty little beast and have gross, scaly seborrhea crawling from under your bangs down into your unruly eyebrows, i rotate jason tea tree shampoo on my barefoot chai recycling plastic bottle days and head and shoulders dry scalp care with almond oil on my mcdonald’s drive thru styrofoam hummer days. and once a week i wide tooth comb some 99 cent suave conditioner through my hair to get the big knots out? ugh i’m lying. once a month, maybe. i have read all of the curly hair blogs about co-washing and sulphate-free shampoos and conditioners and i tried all that shit but i am scaly and itchy and FUCK THAT. last week i did my yearly under the bathroom sink purge, and found no fewer than 827 bottles of styling creams and 592 tubes of various curl-defining gels. and this is the part of caring for natural hair that becomes a giant toilet into which you flush all of your disposable income: THE SEARCH FOR A STYLING PRODUCT THAT IS JUST A TINY BIT BETTER THAN THE ONE YOU'RE ALREADY USING. because even if you've found a good one, and your curls are lengthened yet defined yet supple yet not crunchy, you are never fully convinced that you are using the very best product you could be. it is the curly hair curse, this neverending quest to find the one product that does everything your hair needs just a little bit better than every fucking thing else. the one product i have stayed married to despite several fleeting affairs (miss jessies! mixed chicks! aveda pomade!) is paul mitchell the conditioner. it's frothy blue elixir from the gods, and if you've seen my hair in real life YOU ALREADY KNOW. also, you can use the shit as body lotion. quit playing.

because i'm your elderly abuelita i use pond's cold cream and moisturizer pretty much every goddamned morning in the winter, because they make your skin feel like gorgeous fried chicken. i wipe the cucumber cold cream all over, dangerously shave my lip hairs in the dark, then wipe it all off with a warm washcloth and slather on the moisture. then i dance around for a minute because you for real cannot let your face touch your shirt with that greasy shit on it. but trust me: after you fight through the congested commuter train out into the throng of hot dads in their biker shorts and clicky shoes blocking the condiment island at starbucks before finally stumbling ten minutes late into work your skin will be the goddamned wave. no ashy spots, so bleeding cracks, just glistening, supple babybutt skin.

i'm going to spend as little time as possible dwelling on the sickness i have when it comes to lipsticks and blushes. in my defense, i do not wear: eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, bronzer, highlighter, luminizer, concealer, face powder, primer, false eyelashes, or liquid foundation. so i promise i will not bore you to death with any of those. yes, i probably have $300 in yves saint laurent lip stains but THEY ARE THE BEST AND I NEED THEM. see also: 1 occ matte lip tar. my jam shades: anime, nylon, hoochie, rollergirl; messy as shit but worth it if you like neon pink lips, except you have to use a brush so ugh. 2 bite beauty high pigment pencil. my jam shades: pomegranate, grapevine, violet; super bright and creamy! i like my shit bone dry, though, so i gotta have 2a bite beauty cashmere lip cream. my jam shades: moscato, sancerre, rioja, port; good color payoff, starts out liquid and dries to a powder finish that doesn't move never ever. THE BIG DOGS: i probably have tried every 3 mac matte lipstick ever produced, and they are almost the perfect ratio of vivid to dry. my jam shades: ruby woo, flat out fabulous, all fired up, dangerous. but the best of the best of the best, my #1 lover, is 4 NARS velvet matte lip pencil. it's bright as shit and dry as fuck and if you see me on the street please know that i have more dragon girl pencils on my person than i do dollars and/or credit cards and/or money in general. like i said, it's a sickness. send help.

shoulders. i’m not going to talk to you about drinking water. i fucking hate that shit, when all you wanna do is read about a bitch’s skincare routine and she’s all, “i just drink eight glasses of water a day and sleep eight hours a night and tee hee lots of sunscreen.” FUCK YOU, BITCH. i could drink 37 glasses of water before lunch and still wake up the next morning with cystic period chin and a nose sprinkled liberally with blackheads. to achieve my picture perfect complexion i rely heavily on three crucial elements: 1 daily exfoliation 2 organic coconut oil and 3 motherfucking instagram. and mac studio fix in C6 if i am feeling like a person who tries. i am supremely lazy. and usually i am already in my pajamas with some incense lit and my night wine, ten pages into whatever i most recently added on goodreads before i remember that i wore a pound and a half of blush to work that day. so i keep a pack of alba good and clean towelettes by the bed because i hate ruining my pillowcases and these have a smooth side and a rough, nubbly side because i’m one of those idiots that feels like if it doesn’t sting or scrape or catch fire then it’s not really working. i keep several exfoliating cleansers in the shower: philosophy microdelivery peel, lush dark angels, and my broke shit: st. ives blackhead clearing green tea scrub. yeah i know they never  go the fuck away, and if you are not a sufferer of the blackhead wrath go kiss your mother on the mouth, because this shit is a nightmare. it’s like the curly hair thing: you already know that what you’re already doing is probably as good as it’s going to goddamned get, yet strolling through the aisles at target you can just hear the new products calling out to you from the shelves, all of the pore strips and the clay masques and the extraction tools. and i get it, man. i’ll be all the way in the cheese section and hear that new motions leave-in calling my name and then before you can say "economy sized box of oreos" i am in the hair aisle contemplating spending $137 on the newest pudding/elixir/lotion/creme to turn these dusty slave knots into silky ringlets. and why do we believe them, these disingenuous candy-colored tubs and tubes!? because that's the real american dream, that if you just work hard and pray, someone will invent a non-sticky gel that stretches a curl and doesn't flake by two in the afternoon.

knees. i'm not going to talk to you about eating better, either. the best skin i have ever had was when i was living on a steady diet of half-thawed toaster strudels and packets of lipton rice mix with approximately 4000mg of sodium apiece; i've had three bushels of kale since monday and my shit is as dull and dry as all of these orangey red leaves strewn all over the sidewalk. COME ON, VITAMINS. i don't fuck with body scrubs because i haven't gotten any handicapped bars installed in my shower yet and i haven't yet tried one that doesn't turn my bathtub into an oil slick. but i would take a cheese grater to my backside if i could. IT MAKES ME FEEL SO CLEAN. so, i improvise. i stand on the bath mat and lather up with bliss hot salt scrub and then rinse off my individual parts without playing slip and slide in the goddamn shower. my broke shit: yes to coconut polishing body scrub. smells like you're in hawaii, which is fine because it's the closest i'll ever get to the beach.

have you ever wondered why there are so many goddamned kinds of lotion? i've decided it's because none of them really works. i'm a sucker for scientific drawings of microscopic lotion drops piercing six layers of epidermis as much as the next guy, but i have never been not ashy after using regular-ass jergens in the dead of winter. i switched to oils a couple years ago, and basically i look like a motherfucking ten year old. my friend michelle uses organic coconut oil, so now my ass uses organic coconut oil. i buy big jars of kelapo from amazon (sorry factory workers) and i use it all over. added benefit: if you have a disgusting scalp, coconut oil will hook you up. and i am the fucking grossest, i'm talking flaky eyebrows and a constellation of grody dermatitis stretched along my hairline, and a dab every morning has cured me. i also use neutrogena sesame formula and regular johnson's baby oil. shaving is for jerks but sometimes i do it, and barbasol soothing aloe costs maybe fourteen cents and lasts forever. angie gave me some lush charity pot lotion which i keep on my desk along with a container of their lemony flutter cuticle butter because sometimes i'll be writing and look down at my hands and get grossed the fuck out at my lack of self care.

toes. I FUCKING LOVE INFOMERCIALS. i'm not sure if it's the delirium caused by being awake at two in the morning or if the promise of a product that is too good to be true is just too goddamned hard to resist, but if a man with big white teeth makes me a promise for $29.99 plus shipping who am i not to believe his claim? i've tried: several snuggies, a nutribullet, a pair of pajama jeans, proactiv, oxiclean, and the slap chop. I REGRET NOTHING. my most recent bleary-eyed infomercial purchase? the amope pedi perfect. it's pretty much a rolling scraper with a motor, and it is by far the best beauty tool i have ever purchased. and i bought that cindy crawford skincare! in less than a minute it ground my callouses to dust and left my gross december feet super smooth. i'm going to level with you: come wintertime, i really let a lot of shit go. i'm not peeling off nine layers of waterproof clothing to contort myself in a goddamn pedicure chair for twenty minutes, i'm really not. but if this marg can last until april it will be nice to not rip holes in my socks with my razor sharp heels. it sells itself. ask your mom for one for christmas.

i don't paint my fingers or toes regularly because shiftless, but i do enjoy purchasing nail polish. look, whatever keeps me from walking out into traffic, okay? my fave kinds are marc jacobs and deborah lippman and rescue beauty lounge. i use $5 scented frankincense and musk oils from the african dude on my block (along with clumps of black soap and tubs of raw shea butter), but sometimes i order fancy ones from the long winter soap company to switch it up. perfume makes me sneeze, but beauty is suffering and i keep a bottle of jo malone french lime blossom around anyway and as soon as i get paid i am treating myself to some tom ford black orchid. I'VE BEEN SO GOOD, SANTA. umm i am a certifiable maniac for blush, not kidding, and my absolute favorite is cha cha tint by benefit. i love a bright orange cheek and i wear that shit every fucking day. don't be scared, babies. GIVE IN TO THE MANGO FACE. if i ever go out at night which (come on i am almost thirty-five i don't fucking go anywhere ever) is rare i use mac powder blush. my jam shades: frankly scarlet, modern mandarin, and dollymix. like i said, i don't fuck around. crazy doll cheeks all the goddamn time. try it so we can be on some grey gardens shit together.

so now that you know i basically sit in my apartment writing jokes with lipstick on while watching family feud, holler at me if there's some new shit i need to know about. also: please note that this is why a bitch doesn't have any savings before you yell at me about my fancy taste and irresponsible choices. also also: i don't have life insurance, but i do have a backup plan in case i ever get fired and have to survive on lipstick from the grocery store. best cheap gloss: maybelline color elixir is really so fucking good. best cheap matte: maybelline color sensational creamy matte is almost good enough to compete with my boyfriend nars. best HELLA CHEAP stain: nyx soft matte lip cream is six motherfucking dollars. also also also: i swear to god i am going to open a savings account. i might have a new car's worth of beauty products in my work bag right now. ugh, god. just remember that i used to use a dollar store eye pencil as pretend makeup, okay? i've earned these sumptuous ruby red lips.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

yo i am obsessed with serial.

i am usually approximately three years behind the cultural zeitgeist. i started watching game of thrones in the middle of the third season, i stopped watching mad men when peggy still had a baby (remember that!?), and i have never watched: the wire, true detective, american horror story, homeland, bob's burgers, the walking dead, or breaking bad. that's right, my dude: I HAVE NEVER SEEN A SINGLE EPISODE OF THE BEST SHOW(S) EVER MADE. see also: all star wars, indiana jones, the princess bride, goonies, etc. but since the advent of the twitter machine it's harder and harder to ignore the shit everyone else is into if you want to have any idea what the fuck everyone on your timeline is fucking talking about. which is why i had to spend part of last summer catching up on scandal, because i was sick of spending thursday nights dumbfounded by my goddamned facebook feed. i almost had to quit twitter. i had no idea what the fuck you bitches were talking about. WHAT THE HELL IS A FITZ.

so a few weeks ago mya texted me on some ALL CAPS muy importante shit like, BITCH ARE YOU LISTENING TO SERIAL and (six hours later when i checked my texts) i was like, “wait, what the fuck is that?” as usual, some cultural phenomenon is sweeping the goddamned nation and i’m too busy watching episodes of family feud from 2010 to notice. i'm not too behind in the podcast game, tho. i listen to black girls talking and black girl nerds and basically every other iteration of african-american woman with laptop and/or microphone. my girl and i were headed up to south haven for a super long weekend and i downloaded all seven of the available episodes, because only assholes go to fucking the goddamn beach on a weekend meteorologists have predicted a minimum of 37 inches of motherfucking snow. we obviously weren't leaving the crib and would have plenty of time for eating dinner in bed in our jammies while huddled around the radio.

i was instantly hooked. the kind of hooked that made me fucking crazy because the whole point of the thing is that the story unfolds, week after week, and you don't get to find out what happens until after however many weeks and they decide to tell you what the fuck happens. that shit is maddening. we finished the first seven episodes within the first couple days and i was like, WHAT IS MY LIFE NOW. i immediately looked for other ways to get my fix (without finding out what happens in the end, mind you) and started downloading podcasts about the fucking podcast. serial is obviously my heroin. i was pacing the room scratching at my neck and everything.

okay, so here's the deal for those of you who don't know: it's baltimore, 1999. hae min lee, a popular high-school senior, disappears after school one day. six weeks later detectives arrest her classmate and ex-boyfriend, adnan syed, for her murder. he says he's innocent, though he can't exactly remember what he was doing on that january afternoon. but someone can. a classmate at woodlawn high school says she knows where adnan was. the trouble is, she’s nowhere to be found. TELL ME THAT'S NOT COMPELLING AS FUCK. and the description of episode two is even juicier: their relationship began like a storybook high-school romance: a prom date, love notes, sneaking off to be alone. but unlike other kids at school, they had to keep their dating secret, because their parents disapproved. both of them, but especially adnan, were under special pressure at home, and the stress of that spilled over into their relationship. eventually hae broke up with adnan. and then, depending on who you ask, adnan was either understandably sad and moping around, or full of rage and plotting to kill her.

FUCKING SWOON, MAN. no disrespect, but i wanted nothing more when i was a little bucktoothed kid than to have a licentious secret romance with some unpalatable lothario from the wrong side of the tracks. add to that fantasy the possibility of my demise at some jealous lover's strapping young hands and you'd have the makings of a modern-day romeo and juliet. this was before, of course, i realized that i am the goddamned dirtbag from the wrong side of the tracks, and the likelihood that i'd end up an ihop waitress in some dusty faraway town i'd fled to after shooting my deadbeat husband with a rifle is the fucking opposite of romantic. romeo and juliet aren't real, but adnan and hae are and their story is totally gripping. some observations:

adnan sounds kind of fine. oh man, i am so fucking dumb. because the first thing i thought when i first heard my man on the prison phone pleading his case was THIS DUDE SOUNDS KIND OF FINE. you're lying if you didn't think that shit, too. ugh why do potential murdering sociopaths gotta be so sexy. also striking is his 1 charisma/vocabulary and 2 seeming lack of acid-soaked vitriol. fifteen years is a long fucking time, but i couldn't be in jail for fifteen minutes before i started spitting on the name of everyone i used to love who couldn't save me from the penitentiary. HOW IS MY DUDE SO CALM. and, like, laughing and shit!? if you called me while i was locked away in jail serving a bogus life sentence it would sound like wolverine was on the other end of the goddamned phone, all gnashing teeth and visceral growling. homeboy just sounds so goddamned smooth and relaxed. it makes my heart race. every time he speaks i'm like, "i wonder if his fine ass could use a pen pal?"

my blackness really wants jay to be innocent, tho. but if not adnan, then who? well jay, DUH. but i don't want jay to be guilty. i mean, not more guilty than he's already admitted to being. maybe you have to be black to understand, but every time some fucked up shit happens and one of our own is even peripherally involved the first thing we think is PLEASE DON'T LET IT BE MY COUSIN. because we're all cousins. every time they say jay's name i cringe and say a little prayer that there was a crazy serial killer or something on the loose in 1999 and he was too stupid or too scared to defend himself and copped to it because he didn't watch enough law and order to fucking know better. i'm no lawyer, but even i know not to confess until somebody shows me some mitochondrial DNA. (sounds like i know what i'm talking about, amirite? thought so. come at me, detectives.)

sarah koenig’s voice is hella fucking soothing. the first night we tried to listen to the shit i fell asleep halfway through it. that NPR flow just gets me, bro. that's why i don't know shit about world events, because every time i try to listen to morning edition it knocks me right out. i don't know how you people listen to that shit in your cars. i would drive through the front of a building. hot damn those gentle inside voices are all i need to lapse right into a coma. it took me four tries to get through the first episode. zzZzzZz

podcasts about the podcast. this is how i knew it was a fucking sickness. after a handful of episodes i texted mya BITCH YOU RUINED MY LIFE WITH THIS SHIT and she replied with a link to the slate podcast that is basically a couple nerds sitting around speculating about the serial podcast. WHAT. WHY IS THIS NOT MY LIFE. all i ever want to do now is creepily ask people if they’re listening to serial then ply them for opinions if they are or immediately walk away shoulders slumped under the weight of crushing disappointment if they aren't. some friends of mine throw a weekly party thursday nights during which they eat cereal while discussing serial and that shit is so meta i can't even stand it. i hate leaving my apartment so i can't go to it, but for real if you want to text me at 7am thursday morning to talk about the newest episodes i am 100% down for real.

could i be a murderer!? i don’t know why other people find the shit so compelling, but 99.9% of the reason i am like a basehead about this shit can be explained in the first five minutes of the first episode when sarah asks us, the listeners, can you remember everything you did last wednesday? and of course i paused and was like, "YES I DO. i took the train to work and got a giant starbucks and i was wearing my blue jacket and did i eat breakfast? umm, i dunno. did i notice which barista was working? ehh, maybe the dark haired guy?" so what if, while just living your life, some terrible crime happens and someone points the finger at you and, without the help of cell phone records or facebook posts, you have to reconstruct a day six weeks in your past? i can't stop thinking about that, that a crime could be occurring around me at any time and if you were to ask my whereabouts a month from now i wouldn't even be able to tell you if i fucking ate lunch that day. who the fuck are we kidding, I ALWAYS EAT LUNCH. but not always at the same time! what if the day you get killed i at my sandwich at 2 instead of 1!? then the cops think i did it plus i live alone so no one can account for where the hell i was all night and then BLAMMO. in jail for life on some bullshit. i'm just saying, it could happen. (this show is fucking me up.)

if this shit does not come to some sort of satisfying conclusion i might kill myself. i'm not even kidding, my dude. i'm too chickenshit to look up how many episodes serial is supposed to run, but if at the end of this my complete emotional investment is rewarded with some shrugged shoulders and a "meh, we tried," i am going to cry real tears and bitch all over the internet. I AM NOT PLAYING. if ol' girl doesn't get on the mic and announce that it was professor plum in the kitchen with a lead pipe then i am going to freak the fuck out. i'm not even kidding. i will unravel.

so get into it. i need bitches to talk about serial with who won't judge me for wanting to put some money on adnan's books. also, season two should be an investigation into why my iphone looks like garbage. look at that raggedy fucking shit. shattered like my heart is.

buy my book so i can get a new phone.

Friday, October 3, 2014

how to take a sexy selfie.

i miss my motherfucking flip phone. wasn't life so much goddamned simpler when you only had to worry about 160 probably-misspelled characters and grainy, pixelated barely-recognizable genitalia? keeping up with the new shit on my phone is a full-time fucking job. every time i download a new operating system i'm as helpless as your grandma, pressing every single tiny button while squinting at the screen trying to get one lousy motherfucking call to connect. i spent seven real minutes trying to send a picture of this gross patch of discolored flesh on my side jibs to one of my doctorfriends the other night only to have the shit not go through because some jerkbag i haven't thought about since the bush administration tore himself away from call of duty long enough to try to casually ask me "watz up" accompanied by one of those headless lifting-up-my-undershirt-to-show-you-my-abs-like-a-ginuwine-circa-1999-album-cover photos he'd obviously taken in the locker room at planet fitness. and this is the problem with missing your old nokia and not changing your number every time you end a relationship: ASSHOLES YOU HATE CAN STILL TEXT YOU.

technology is why you either have to move the fuck to china or kill anyone who dumps you, because no one ever just goes the fuck away anymore. remember in the olden days when a bitch would stop calling and your ass just burned her shit in the dumpster behind your house and moved the fuck on? even in these marvelous times if you stop fucking me, I AM UNFOLLOWING YOUR TWITTER, B. we ain't gotta talk, my guy, just throw that travel toothbrush i bought at the gas station at 3am in the trash and delete all those eggplant emojis i sent you then never waste a single one of my anytime minutes ever fucking again.

the best dick shot i've ever received was from a dude who stretched out his flaccid wang while he was taking a dump and took a picture of it then sent it to me at two in the afternoon, totally unsolicited. i was just minding my fucking business checking my phone on the bus when my screen filled with the slick, glistening, taco meat-sprinkled lower quadrant of the belly of a beast so monstrous it was sweating while evacuating its bowels, an uncircumsized penis stretched to an impressive five and three-quarters inches, and the bunched up track pants and athlete's foot covered toes of a man too old to still be wearing adidas shower shoes in real fucking life. romance is alive and well, sweethearts.

so i get a text the other day from a number i'd already deleted that was like, "yo, sam. you been on my bird lately. send me a pic and show me what i've been missing." first of all, kill yourself. second, do you really expect me to push this cat off my lap and empty the crumbs from the trader joe's pastry pups that have settled in my bosom over the trash can and put some lipstick on just to take a picture of the same haggard face you grew tired of looking at five yea--OH OKAY FINE I'M BORED AND THIS EPISODE OF MY CAT FROM HELL IS A RERUN ANYWAY.

here's how i work my selfie magic: first you gotta make everyone at your job think you're just going to take a really huge shit. my apartment is the size of your average prison cell, and standing in my bathtub with one elbow in the toilet bowl and the other on the ceiling fan doesn't really fucking work for me. so now i only take selfies in the spacious handicapped bathroom at work, because there's never any toothpaste on the mirror and the lighting is hella good. seriously, sometimes i ain't even gotta filter the shit out of my pictures. HOORAY FOR RECESSED LIGHTING. but here's the thing: when bitches know you are punched in and they've already looked for your ass hovering anxiously over the coffee pot in the breakroom or making personal calls in your boss's office with the door closed, eventually they're going to wonder who has been running the exhaust fan in the good bathroom for so goddamned long. so to prevent awkwardly stumbling over the asshole in HR you hate as she stands with her ear cupped to the door while your duckface uploads on your slow-ass office wi-fi, just announce as you go in that last night you had indian food and a gallon of coffee so you're just going to read the newspaper on your phone and you'll see them in an hour. hashtag #SUCKERS

second you should probably be wearing your repulsive pajamaclothes, you know, for authenticity. i don't believe in false advertising. if there is a chance a person is actually going to come to my crib to eat an assortment of spoiled mayonnaise-based dips and cheese dogs warmed up in the oven (ie engage in sweet, sweet foreplay) then i'm not pushing my tits up to my tonsils and putting on eye makeup before awkwardly leaning against the bathroom door and taking a picture of my naughty business. i don't just sit around in fifty dollars' worth of reinforced satin on a tuesday night. i put on this fancy bra special for you and the entire intercloud to enjoy, but now i am uncomfortable and this itchy lace is digging into my soft meats so instead i'ma just keep chilling in my gross nightshirt with the hole in the armpit so you know exactly what to expect once you cross my actual threshold. i'm not trying to be like mcdonald's commercials with their plump and juicy trickery, hiding the stretch marks on my national geographic tits and blurring out my abundance of moles; nah fam, you're getting these drab greyish patties and cold, wrinkly fries right out the goddamned gate.

and finally, make sure your face is an accurate reflection of exactly how you are feeling in that moment. nothing is sexiif you are feeling sexxxy, maybe you want to cross your eyes slightly and part your lips a little bit, like you're sucking an invisible straw or maybe a tiny, skinny penis. alternately, if you are feeling like you can't even believe the nerve of this stupid motherfucker texting you after three goddamned years with this old thirts trap bullshit, you probably should look like you want to beat his sweaty pre-corpse to death. seriously though, what is the appropriate selfie face? trying to make a hot cum face while taking sixteen blurry pictures of your boobs because you keep dropping your phone is so fucking embarrassing, ugh. but if you smile or look really cheerful that's the weirdest shit ever. have you ever gotten a super smiley picture from someone!? i'm not going to show you my ass hair and while leering at you like a clown THAT SHIT IS LIKE A HORROR MOVIE, BRO. good luck masturbating to this face.

so i sent this picture to dude and was like, "i'm gay now. delete my shit." at which point i immediately received approximately 137 texts all reading: OH SHIT, SON. WASSUP WIT A 3SOME, DOE? ugh fuck cell phones altogether. hit me on my beeper.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

how i entertained myself in the wilderness last weekend.

well, i'm officially a lesbian. nevermind all of you assholes throwing shade at my silly hair and velcro gym shoes like, "BITCH WE ALREADY KNOW," this past weekend my girl and i spent three days in a cabin in the middle of 67 acres of woods and rolling fields with no tv and no phones eating foods from the earth and getting bit the fuck up by mosquitoes during our quiet reflective time, so i'm one episode of the L word away from taping down my boobs and spelling women with a Y.

i arrived at the car rental place saturday morning with the prerequisite two pieces of identification, phone bill, pint of blood, and first born male child, and after i filled out a mountain of paperwork my effusive salesbro (a human ken doll i am not kidding i was totally fucking mystified) walked me to the adjacent garage. i had requested a full sized luxury sedan because i didn’t want to spend six hours on the highway crammed into a motherfucking ford festiva, and i looked around expectantly for my spacious vehicle. salesbro smiled sheepishly as a young black dude pulled up in a dripping wet black minivan bumping 2 chainz. WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT HERE. my jaw dropped. “dude.”

tyler shrugged and grabbed my travel bag and explained that he was waiting on some cars to come back and he’s really sorry but this is the only thing i have available right now and don’t worry i gave you a break on the price and vacuumed it out real good and honey please pick up my dry cleaning after you get the kids at little league and can we please not have tuna casserole for dinner again. “good thing my underwear comes up to my bra, son. otherwise i might look out of place in this thing.” then i adjusted my lululemon grocery shopping shorts and drove off. “it’s the mercedes benz of minivans!” cody called after me, waving an enthusiastic goodbye in my rearview.

i went to great harvest and foodstuffs and spent approximately $8,673 on scones and gourmet dips and shit to stock the empty cabin then filled the mini v with liquid gold so i wouldn’t splutter to a halt in the middle of fucking nowhere without a fucking cell signal; i'm not trying to get shot on some helpful stranger's porch. HOW DO PEOPLE WITH HOURLY JOBS HAVE CARS. i mean, do you ever eat dinner? go to a movie? spend a weekend in a remote hippie cabin with no phone or television!? if i had to regularly pay for gasoline i wouldn’t have clothes, and that’s real.

i had my sunglasses, my car snacks (a chicken salad sandwich, a half empty coke, a bottle of prescription painkillers), and my roadtrip music (CDs that i bought in high school and the years shortly thereafter because i couldn’t fucking be bothered to go buy an auxiliary cord and i don’t really listen to music produced after 2002 anyway). I WAS READY TO GO TO THE WOODS. i plugged the address into the gps on my phone and waited for the pixels and gigabytes or whatever to plot my route. finally, siri heaved a long, weary sigh. “bitch, are you sure?”
WHAT. i restarted my phone and re-entered the address.
another long pause. “sa-man-tha, there are no black people within a hundred miles of this destination,” bleeped her computerized voice. “would you instead like directions to the essence fest? i think mary j blige is performing.”
“MOTHERFUCKER, THAT WAS LAST WEEK.” i pounded the address into the phone again. “JUST TELL ME HOW TO GET TO THIS COUNTRY SHIT.”
another long pause as she calculated directions. i watched a map slowly appear on the screen, my course charted in blue. “anything in the whole motherfucking town comes up missing over the next three days and your black ass is going to jail,” siri warned nastily and i threw the goddamned phone back to the 33rd row of seats.

three hours on tranquil highways and hilly backroads littered with raccoon and deer carcasses, singing “breakdown” with mariah carey like my life depended on it, trying to eat chicken salad like a civilized person while also dodging families of ducks as they toddled across the unmarked road. i passed dozens of tiny houses set back from the highway with ancient cars and boats rusting under the sun on their front lawns. i could smell the methamphetamines cooking in the air.

i turned the mini v into a thicket of trees then slowly down a gravel path and was greeted by a burly child of the corn leaning on a golf cart from 1937. he looked about 14 years old and introduced himself as nate, the groundskeeper, then directed me to a lot where i was to leave the van during my stay. WHAT THE F YOU MEAN. nate pointed to the woods over his shoulder. “no cars allowed back there. i’m going to take you to your house in the golf cart.” siri burst out laughing in my pocket.

“big family?” nate asked pleasantly as he unloaded my groceries and i tried not to think about beating him to death with a shovel and fleeing back to the city. “lots of kids?” he threw everything into the back of the cart. thunk, clunk.

“why, is it because i smell like a fucking juice box? i’m using this new conditioner and i told that bitch at sephora i don’t want to walk around smelling like goddamn twizzlers.” confused, nate pointed at the van. “oh. right. i don’t have any stupid kids. hey, did you know this is considered the mercedes of minivans?”

he took me on a tour of the grounds as i tried to both appear serene and not fall out of that raggedy fucking cart. he showed me the main house with its laundry facilities and meditation room; the stone chapel meant for quiet meditation and prayer; the mile and a half long labyrinth of problems that, once entered with a conundrum that needs resolution, will relieve you of that burden by the time you exit. “what if my problem is not being able to comfortably walk a mile and a half long maze?” i wanted to ask BUT DID NOT BECAUSE SERENITY. deeper and deeper into the woods he drove, and i felt a hard lump of real panic form in my throat. what if i need an ambulance what if i need an ambulance what if i need--

“no shoes,” he said as we crossed the threshold of the cabin. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME. i kicked out of my sandals and followed him around the cabin: dining space, living room, bedrooms, bathroom, a porch with a rocking chair for quiet reflection, and finally the kitchen. “there’s a full-sized fridge, glasses, plates.” he motioned toward a complicated-looking contraption on the floor. “you pump water from there, recycling goes in here, and your compost goes in this green container.” lolwut.


listen, i fucking know how to have fun. air conditioning, wifi, cable television, 30 minute pizza delivery: THESE ARE ALL FUN THINGS. but i left all that shit behind three hours ago. so i had to come up with some new shit, some games to keep myself from stabbing my eyeballs out with a pinecone, like:

1 search for a cellular signal. first thing i asked: IS THERE A TELEVISION!? nate looked at me as if i'd said, "would you sample this vomit and tell me if it's warm enough?" i checked my phone to see if anyone missed me on facebook yet only to find there were, like, negative four bars. is this the motherfucking hunger games? WHAT IF I MISS SOME GOOD GOSSIP!? i'm not kidding when i tell you i spent 2% of my time working on a new book and 98% of the time wandering around with my arm outstretched trying to get my texts to go through. man, fuck nature.

2 look for african-american hair products in the local shops. i'm 100% sure that every general store within a 20 mile radius would have had at least 637 types of handcrafted artisanal peach thyme marmalade on the shelves, but would i be able to find a single bottle of luster's pink lotion!? um, nawl. 

3 wondering what everyone else is doing. okay fine. for five or six minutes, i could probably meditate. if you understand "meditate" to mean "dream up new flavors of ice cream." after that six minutes? WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING ON TWITTER. 

4 try to not get motherfucking murdered. IT IS THE PLOT OF EVERY HORROR MOVIE YOU'VE EVER GODDAMN SEEN: white person convinces black person to pack up his/her hair grease, wave cap, and reparations money (THANKS OBAMA) in the hopes of spending a long relaxing weekend in [authentic sounding pseudo native american word] [lake/falls/island/coast] doing white people shit like lying in hammocks and eating fresh apricots, BLACK PERSON DIES BEFORE EVEN HALF YOUR POPCORN IS EATEN. i have never in my life been anyplace so dark. we went on a "night walk" (white shit) to "look at the moon and stars" (more white shit) and i couldn't even see my hand in front of my fucking face. the next night homegirl "turned off the air conditioning" (white!) and "opened all the windows" (white! white!) so we could "feel the breeze" (white! white! white!), and i couldn't even relax all the way for fear of slack-jawed yokels salivating outside as we ate the kale and swiss chard she cooked for our dinner. (WHITEST SHIT I EVER WROTE.)

5 counting my various bug bites and stings. nineteen so far. and counting.


buy my book. read it in front of the tv.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

happily never after.

i have a few friends and relatives with gluten intolerance and celiac disease, so when i attend events where one or more of these friends are going to be present, i often contact the host and ask permission to bring a gluten-free dessert. this is usually met with enthusiasm from the hosts, who sometimes have forgotten about it entirely. my question is, which dessert do i then eat? do i eat the one the host provided, or the gluten-free one, which is usually less popular (i’ve been assured it’s not due to subpar baking skills; a lot of people just prefer the regular desserts when available)?

WHAT. when my intestines swelled up and tried to claw their way out of my body in 2005 and my hotsex doctor made me undergo every single excruciating, humiliating exercise a human being has ever subjected herself to in an effort to figure out why she can’t stop shitting her pants, the first test he ordered was to check my autoantibody levels and take a bunch of intestinal biopsies. i had tiny, high-powered microscopes forced down my throat and up my ass for weeks. that shit was totally fucking horrifying. and thank goodness i just have crohn’s disease, so i don’t have to be one of those insufferable assholes who’s all, “DON’T LET THAT DINNER ROLL COME ANYWHERE NEAR MY BOILED LETTUCE AND RECENTLY-SLAUGHTERED MEAT!” in the middle of the goddamned restaurant. here’s the most important question, though: why the fuck would you eat the gluten-free cake if you are not intolerant? have you ever tasted that shit!? those poor fucking people; if i had celiac disease all my cakes would be made from sharp cheddar cheese. man, fuck rice flour. unless that shit makes you lose weight. because most of you liars are just doing that shit to be skinny, right? is it working? because i love bread but i'm also totally lazy. come on, girl. you can tell me. i promise i won’t force any whole wheat on you.

i was planning my girlfriend's bridal shower, and a week ago she informed me that the wedding is off. she has offered to reimburse me for the expense i have incurred thus far for various items, including the printing of invitations. should i accept the reimbursement? i feel she's probably going through enough, having to make the decision to break up with her fiancé and call off the wedding.

pardon me for being a huge piece of shit, but if i buy a fancy gift for your ridiculous wedding and you motherfuckers stay married for fewer than five years i want my tiffany sterling silver cake serving set back, please. (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, BITCH.) if she’s writing you a check you better cash that shit immediately, before the caterer and the event space coordinator and the minister start snatching their non-refundable deposits out of her half of their joint account. you dodged a bullet, sister. nothing is more frustratingly (and inexplicably) expensive than some other bitch’s goddamned wedding. showers and parties and strippers and dresses and shoes and a male escort to go to the damn thing with you ADD THE FUCK UP, GIRL. and for what, so that smug asshole who stopped taking your calls once she got a boyfriend spends six to eight months ruining your life with her debilitating demands? count your blessings, and your money, when that sad bitch pawns her ring to pay you back for those monogrammed custom invites she demanded you spend half a paycheck ordering after you finished the calligraphy course she insisted you enroll in when a facebook event and a couple text messages would have been equally effective. BITCH.

i have been asked by a dear friend to be a bridesmaid in her upcoming wedding. the problem is, i am on a strict budget and i am sure she will select extravagant dresses for us to wear. can i hint that i have a limited income to spend on a dress and shoes? or should i simply turn her down and tell her why?

i don’t know if i will ever get married. 1 i never want anyone else to have my ATM pin, and that’s the marriage thing: that some dude can just, like, legally take my jellybean and concert ticket money  to start his lawnmowing business or whatever and i just have to be cool with that. and 2 i’d be happy about it for the five minutes it takes to tweet that shit and post pictures of my tasteful wedding pantsuit on insta, then i would just grow restless and bored waiting for some asshole whose dick i don’t want to suck anymore to hurry up and die already so i could go to the caribbean with the insurance payout. but let’s say i live in a magical dreamworld where good things happen to me and i tripped over someone RUL interesting and smart tomorrow while tumbling out of the bar and, after the prerequisite eight year courtship and minimum three year engagement period while i skeptically wait for the other shoe to drop and we literally starve to save $50,000 to feed a bunch of people who hate us at a party that only lasts one goddamned day, we are finally married: i will be forty-five motherfucking years old. AND OLD BITCHES AIN’T GOTTA HAVE BRIDESMAIDS. what i look like lining up all my friends’ varicose veins in matching blue taffeta? i just want to wear my talbots mid-calf skirt and shoes with proper arch support and eat overcooked hotel steak while the DJ plays cypress hill because i came of age in the early 90s and b real is my shit.

BUT IF I HAD TO. maybe i don’t know shit about weddings, but aren’t your bridesmaids supposed to be the bitches you know the absolute best? i’ve never seen anyone’s w2, but i know which of my friends can barely afford to go half on a pizza and which ones can spring for a fancy steak dinner downtown. also, it’s hella gross to ask a person, regardless of income, to drop a shit ton of money on a dress she is going to wear one motherfucking time. even when they exclaim, “I TOTALLY PICKED A STYLE YOU COULD TOTALLY WEAR AGAIN!” the truth is NO YOU FUCKING WON’T. unless there is a junior prom in your future. and hinting is bullshit. i would be proactive and call her up. “hey courtney, i’m broke. how about i wear this $13 catsuit i got at forever 21 to your wedding?” yes, she’ll probably kick you out of the wedding party, but that is a goddamned jam! you can come late, leave early, and wear whatever flammable polyester trash you fucking want. MAZEL TOV!

am i expected to give a gift if i'm attending a destination wedding? if so, is it customary to send the present in advance? should i spend the same amount as i would for a couple getting married closer to home?

as much as i want to be like, “FUCK THEM, JAMAICA AIN’T CHEAP,” i think you still should get those jerks a gift. i like having good manners, which really means i hate giving anyone a reason to question my upbringing behind my back, so even if they said not to i would at least get them a little something to prove my limitless wealth and generosity. don't invite me to your destination wedding, tho. it's hard enough to catch a cab in your good clothes to get to a wedding downtown, let alone trying to look good halfway across the globe with only the 1 oz of hair product that survived the trip intact. and i'm not trying to make small talk with your dad while scratching a bunch of weird, oozing insect bites and fighting off some as yet undiscovered tropical disease. but if i were you i would: 1 buy a first class ticket, for sure; 2 invest in a good quality jersey dress because ironing in a hotel is the lamest, you should be drunk; 3 fuck every dude you make eye contact with over that cocktail you're sipping out of a coconut, and 4 get those assholes a giftcard in the checkout line at the grocer. congratulations, guys! please enjoy your dinner at ruby tuesday!

my sister purchased a replica of my engagement ring. what should i do?


i’m getting married in october. my fiancĂ© and i are over 45 and well established in life. both of us have houses and have been married before. we really don’t need standard wedding gifts. is there a way to ask for a gift card or just cash without being rude?

what the fuck does "well established in life" mean? because my interpretation is "please enjoy this top shelf open bar and five star buffet without worrying about buying us a goddamned thing, BECAUSE WE EACH HAVE OUR OWN MOTHERFUCKING HOUSE." why not just charge a cover? because if you don't need this toaster i bought you tj maxx along with a couple pair of new balance with fucked up stitching i purchased for myself, then why i gotta give you my money? this oven toasts four slices at a time, bro. do you know how hard it is to try to put $29.77 in a motherfucking hallmark card!? TAKE THIS GIFT RECEIPT AND SHUT UP.

how do you throw a small wedding without offending your uninvited family members, coworkers, and friends?


my boyfriend of 3½ years recently came home with an invitation to his sister’s wedding that included only his name. no “and guest,” no “my name here.” nope, only his first name. i must also mention this is a formal affair that his parents are paying for. i, of course, was offended. there was not a separate invitation for me, nor was my name mentioned on the internal envelope. he argues that of course i’m invited, and the lack of my name on the envelope means nothing. i, on the other hand, am sure this is a direct way of telling me i’m not invited. what should i do?

this might be a good night to sit home and empty out the DVR with a tube of raw cookie dough and some elastic-waisted pants, girl. i don't know, man. you're pretty fucking salty, and it just feels like really fucking bad karma to go to what is supposed to be a joyous celebration with a puss on. DO THEY HATE YOU. IS YOUR BOYFRIEND BANGING SOMEONE ELSE. ARE YOU SURE YOU'RE A REAL COUPLE. or maybe they're doing you a favor? other people's family shit is the worst. especially for those of us with dead parents. MY DAD IS NEVER GOING TO SHOW YOU HIS DICK AT A FAMILY BARBECUE. seriously, you will never stick to the plastic on my mother's 1974 sofa while choking down some dusty shake and bake pork chops, my dude. so please do me a solid and tell your parents that i am in a coma or something every time they ask when i'm coming over for game night. i would for real get over yourself and get a red box, boo. i ain't gotta shave my legs and get a haircut just to watch your drunk ass mom attempt to line dance seventeen times in one evening!? HALLELUJAH. cha cha now, y'all.

should we put “and guest” on the invitations addressed to our single friends?

man, fuck you and fuck this. YOU CHEAP BASTARDS. of course you should. the only thing worse than being a smug single person at some asshole's stupid wedding is being a smug single person at some asshole's stupid wedding with no one awesome to talk shit about it to. as much as i don't want to burden you with that extra $75 lukewarm chicken breast spent on some dude i found on craigslist, just think of it as an insurance policy that i won't fuck your reception all the way up with my drunk crying and vomit-flavored hiccups. let's be honest with each other: this idea that single people are just living it up at your holiday inn ballroom wedding is just not the goddamned truth. i was a bridesmaid one time, and i attended that wedding with only my sad singlefeelings and champagne to keep me company. i think when bitches are waxing rhapsodic about all of these amazing weddings they've been to they are totally forgetting the worst part of it, that part of the night when you didn't want to leave at old person o'clock but missed the "single and carefree!" window by, like, forty-five minutes and now you're stuck keeping an eye on the kids who've fallen asleep and you are eating all the half-eaten slices of cake left by parents your age who never get a night out and are stoked to hear songs from their high school prom so they never come back to the goddamned table to rescue you because they don't want their dream evening to end and half your spanx is wedged uncomfortably between your cheeks and you drank all of the sangria which was basically hotel grape juice with a granny smith apple floating in it and you didn't even get a buzz. OR MAYBE THAT'S JUST ME. i hope you choke on the rice they throw at you.

perfect wedding gift.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

picking cherries is hard.

chapter one: i fucking hate nature. we have had a contentious relationship since the summer of 1987. i was in some special summer camp for dorks that involved neither 1 athleticism nor 2 outdoor social activity. we sat in a darkened classroom with no air conditioning, learning about fish and whales without ever having to be near any, eating lunch quietly at our desks while reading and going home at 2pm to sit quietly in our bedrooms doing 100% voluntary summer homework.

my grandmother grew kale and collard greens in the garden alongside her house. i didn’t have a plump warm grandmother who smelled like warm chocolate chip cookies and fresh laundry. nope, my gram was skinny and mean and ashed her cigarettes in the pan while frying sardines in it and once killed a rabbit with a slingshot as it was trying to feed itself on her plants. on second thought, that shit wasn’t even a garden as much as it was a “section of the yard where plants kind of grew.” during the summer of 1987 my gram made me eat that kale, tough and flavorless as it was, before sending me off to nerd camp with even more in my lunchbox. i shit my pants that day, viscous dark green goo pooling in my underpants before running down the length of my pants (i am a person who wears pants in the summertime) and exploding onto my shoes because most of the bathrooms were closed during vacation for repair. i had to walk home on a ninety-degree day in sticky corduroys i had to rinse out in a drinking fountain in my goddamned underwear. my gram and her dirty fucking kale are the reason you're going to find me frozen to death in my apartment under the industrial air conditioner some future july. fuck summer.

chapter two: i am a nice friend. cherry picking is not my idea of a fun time. i might cancel on dinner once or twice but if i love you and you need a bitch to help fuck your ex-boyfriend's new car up then yes i will get out of bed and help. i love my goddamned friends and there isn't anything i wouldn't do for one of them. so when kate asked me to get up at dawn on a sunday to drive three hours to michigan and pick fruit on some bonding type shit i angrily said, HOE ARE YOU NUTS WHO THE FUCK WOULD EVER WANT TO DO THAT. and then i felt bad and was like, fine but we are stopping at a motherfucking cracker barrel.

chapter three: the construction on 94 will fuck your whole shit up. i’m not about to go into a whole big thing because it was infuriating and google maps can suck a huge d, but if you are traveling to michigan from chicago there is an unmarked turn to continue going east that if you miss you will be re-routed right back into illinois and you will say dumb shit like, “there are significantly fewer trees than i expected” and “why hasn’t the time changed yet?” before you realize that you are in MOTHERFUCKING AURORA WHERE THERE IS NOT A SINGLE CHERRY TREE TO BE FOUND and then you will resort to asking siri how to get there and then almost wither and die in shame as the first thirty seconds of connecting your GPS is just that insufferable bitch laughing at you.

chapter four: two hours a slave. i could feel the burning stares of slack-jawed rural white people confused by my modern asymmetrical haircut as soon as we got out of the car. “YES, WE ARE BIG CITY LESBIANS,” i announced to all of the jc penney elastic-waisted slacks in berrien county. “WE HAVE COME TO AVAIL OURSELVES TO YOUR MANY QUAINT AND CHARMING LOCAL CUSTOMS.” after registering the car with a charming milkmaid and declining her offer to sign up for the pit-spitting championship, we drove a winding series of dusty gravel roads out to the cherry orchards. “this is just like the grapes of wrath” i said to kate as a man with dusty overalls and a handful of teeth handed us large pails for our cherries. i smiled at him the way you smile at people you feel kind of bad for, and he smiled at me the way you smile when you still call people nigger. WITH THE -ER. 

i should have done some motherfucking research. the easily accessible low-hanging fruit had already been snatched off by children and crafty wildlife, so we basically had to fight through the branches and stand on tiptoe to reach whatever was left. or take our chances with one of the rickety ladders sprinkled across the orchard. but i wasn't trying to be black with a broken fucking neck in michigan backcountry. we dragged ourselves up and down row after row of nearly naked trees under the punishing summer sun, our buckets heavy with tart red cherries, the only ones that survived the harsh winter. which means we couldn't even fucking eat what we picked. erase from your mind the image of us city mice feasting on fat, succulent cherries, our faces and shirts stained with their sweet juice. from tree to tree we soldiered on, for hours, filthy and sweating and bent at the waist from hauling the weight of our inedible spoils. "this feels like slavery," i grumbled to a bee hovering dangerously close as i tried to shake cherries loose from their branches without any white people seeing me. i starting humming "lift every voice and sing" softly under my breath. then that racist asshole bee stung me in the fucking face.

chapter five: i did not get to go to cracker barrel. when i decided i'd had e-goddamned-nough of those fucking cherries we dragged our buckets to the weighing station where i was shocked to learn that the most calories i have burned in a year yielded a little over fourteen pounds of sickly-looking bruised berries. i for real thought dude was going to be like, "thirty-seven pounds!" and we would win a prize or some shit. i couldn't believe that all that hard ass work had barely met the minimum amount you can take home. HELEN WEIGHS MORE THAN FOURTEEN FUCKING POUNDS AND SHE IS A CAT. i almost cried.

we sloshed our cherries around in these huge fucking sinks and picked out all of the leaves and dirt i accidentally got in my bucket because picking cherries is totally fucking harder than you think it is, then watched this teenage girl load them into a giant pitting machine as we stood underneath it trying to catch what came flying out. now is probably a good time to mention that i was wearing flip flops and what i had worn to the club the night before and that all of these items were now freezing and soaking wet. plus the top was sheer so BOOBS. we drove back to the registration building to pay for these cherries we were never going to eat and get me a bottle of fresh apple cider. i also purchased: apple butter, fancy toasted peanuts, sweet cherries we could actually eat in the car, and other assorted bric-a-brac michigan stuff. you know, a live deer and whatnot. 

i had not accounted for the holiday weekend, for all of our fellow illinoisans who would clog the deconstructed highways with their mountain bikes and their jet skis, anxious to get back to chicago before nightfall to get ready for the week ahead. it took us four hours to get home. four motherfucking hours to circle the lake to get back to the good side where there are shiny new hospitals and cafes you can take your dog to. OH AND BLACK PEOPLE. we were not stopping for an honest-to-goodness homecooked country meal. i was robbed. also, july 6 was national fried chicken day and i spent it in a field cutting my fingers and slap boxing pissed off insects to pick food i didn't even want to eat. that is not what rosa parks sat down for.

chapter six: i am never leaving my apartment ever again. i made a cherry crisp with one bee-stung eye swollen shut while maxing a popeyes three-piece mild. SEE YOU IN NOVEMBER.

click here and buy this thing i made and read it inside.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

what i learned about new york on my second ever trip there last thursday.

1 donald rumsfeld doesn't travel with any discernible security. let me tell you what the airport is like when your boarding time is 625 IN THE GODDAMNED MORNING: a wasteland of  cranky travel zombies mindlessly slipping into and out of their comfortable flying shoes, anxious to trade the security line for the one snaking around the corner from starbucks. my flight was delayed, which afforded me just enough time to sleepwalk over to jamba juice, and as i stood there dozing off with a bunch of dudes in bad suits staring at me, too afraid to ask why i was loitering around the first class boarding line. AND THEN DONALD RUMSFELD WALKED BY. and i wish i was cool enough to shout "murderer!" or whatever as he passed by, flanked on either side by elderly gentlemen who looked like they would lose a slap fight with a third grader, but i ain't so i just drank my 400 calorie mashed up juice and told somebody's nosy stepdad to "take a picture it'll last longer, you racist." 

2 bad ass kids fill my heart with explosive joy. chicago sam does not sit outside. new york sam, however, drinks beer on a patio and eats her mister softee on a bench in morningside park. i also: 1 ate a fancy donut at a flea market in green point, 2 stood outside in the rain in harlem without complaining even one time, and 3 ate lamb off a truck at 2am in park slope even though i have an aversion to shit like that for real. VACATION SAM IS SO CAREFREE AND FUN. anyway, vanessa and i were sitting in the park with justin, watching a group of squealing kids splashing around under a sprinkler and pushing each other too hard on the swings. i was tipsy from lunch and feeling a little conflicted about my proximity to impressionable youth, but nevermind that. one kid, a little older than his contemporaries and not as conventionally cute (thick glasses; scrawny bird chest; a grating, high-pitched laugh that threatened to shred my eardrums), tumbled clumsily into my sightline and i was enamored of him immediately. the other children skidded out of the way as he approached, his baby teeth spaced like tombstones in his giant head. he had a plastic bottle that he would fill with water while dancing alone under the sprinkler then he'd race over to the slide, pour the water down it, then hop on and scream all the way to the bottom. he repeated this exercise several times, delighting in his genius. a couple unsuspecting little punks scooted down the slide in their dry clothes only to emerge at the end of the ride irritable and soggy-bottomed. our hero snickered as he watched them ruin their school clothes one by one, then bounded away to fill his bottle anew. one final time he ascended that staircase, his precious chalice held safely above his head, giggling to himself all the while. he sat down on the slide, his grin spreading wider. and then he pushed off, pouring the water down his body while shouting "OH YEAH!" to the heavens. he hit the awaiting pavement with a satisfied thud, laughing and laughing and laughing. BUT WAIT.  a new kid entered stage left: tinier, cuter, and with a head full of bouncing curls that all of the mommies have heretofore been tousling. everyone loves this little guy. and he knows it, batting his eyelashes and blowing kisses to the abuelitas smoking next to the fence. our hero's face darkened a bit as he watched this adorable new nemesis skip over to the slide, his tiny swim trunks dripping wet, crying "watch me! watch me!" with every dainty step. i know what's about to happen, AND SO DOES THIS FUCKING DUDE, because we locked eyes and start cackling at the same goddamned time. FUCK A CUTE KID. he took forever to climb those fucking stairs, while glasses and i watched and waited with bated breath. when he reached the top he turned to make sure everyone was looking at only him, and all the ladies cooed and got their instagram fingers ready. "wait, is that slide wet?" justin asked. "YES," i breathed, barely able to contain my bubbling excitement. that boy shot off the slide like a bullet, landing (SPLAT) shocked and confused in the puddle of water left behind by our hero's underwear/swimming attire. he got up and staggered toward the crowd of women rushing to help, while glasses hid his crooked smile behind his hand. "are you available for adoption?" i called out to him, but he was already running to get some ice cream and fuck if i'ma go to jail for chasing a child in public.

3 kara walker is an exceptional human. kara walker is the most important artist of our time. we stood sweltering under the brooklyn sun in that long ass line outside the domino factory for half a goddamned hour, but it was worth it. i'm not an art person. i write butt jokes on the internet and can't speak intellectually about art in a way that doesn't make me sound like a fucking dummy but sugar baby was incredible so youtube it or read that times piece and pretend those are my words. just add some swears and they can be, shit.
afterward we went to this place called pies and thighs that at first i thought was a strip club but omg they had fried chicken made by white people there. BROOKLYN YOU CRAZY.

4 an aspiring american apparel model will charge you $25 for a 12 oz cup of juice with a STRAIGHT MOTHERFUCKING FACE. coming up out of a new york subway in the summer is like fighting your way out of a dog's mouth only to find yourself clawing your way through a sweaty human greenhouse. i am not immune to shiny toys and pretty things, or the pavlovian pull of an air conditioned sanctuary filled with food blending machines (see item 1), so when i rounded the corner to find a gleaming edifice constructed of sparkling glass and shimmering stainless steel it was futile to resist the urge to find out what was inside.
i should've fucking known when i didn't see a price next to anything.
i should've fucking known that "young thai water" wouldn't be cheap.
i should've fucking known that coconut oil and maca could potentially bankrupt me.
i should've fucking known that bee pollen is for rich kids of instagram only.

i should've fucking known that a cup of mushy juice that took fourteen minutes and three motherfucking people to make was going to literally be the most expensive purchase i made in a single day. AND THIS IS A PLACE THAT CHARGES $7 FOR A BUDWEISER, FAM. i almost choked when the girl at the register gave me my total. i closed my eyes and walked down the chelsea street making believe i was a person who actually had money for this kind of dumb shit, popping my eye out and unhinging my jaw trying to suck two pounds of spirulina and raw kale through a fancy juice straw the circumference of a needle eye. AND THE JAMBA GODS LAUGHED MERRILY.

5 new yorkers will stand idly by while a person appears to be having a complete mental breakdown as they look on. three hours walking around manhattan and my inner thigh meat looked like christmas dinner: HEAT-RADIATING NEON PINK HAMS. vanessa needed benedryl because we'd spent two days fucking with mother nature and that bitch bites back, and i decided it would be a prime opportunity to let some air conditioning caress my soft meats and also buy one of those chafe sticks fat girls need to carry with us at all times in the summer. we were circling around the park, past many tables of knockoff bags and counterfeit jewelry, when we encountered a man completely naked save for an afro and a tiny, dirty speedo. he was shouting the words to "old mcdonald had a farm" and moving his body in such a manic, jerky way that i thought he was either 1 having a seizure or 2 attempting to do the humpty dance. IT LOOKED PAINFUL, MY DUDE. i stopped in my tracks, sure that a police officer or ambulance would be rolling up at any second. not only did this not happen, there were dozens of people just lounging on the steps of union square park casually eating lunch and making phone calls, totally nonplussed by this dude with public testicles screaming ON THAT FARM HE HAD A DOG at the top of his goddamned lungs. i can't send a goddamned text message when it's raining. you dudes are fucking brutal.

6 animals > humans.
so i spent one night with my friend mariyam in brooklyn and my punishment for not paying $572719824 a night for a hotel was a FIFTH FLOOR WALKUP AT TWO IN THE MORNING. or priceless friendship but whatever. here's why chicago is better than new york city: if i tell you that i live on anything higher than the third floor, you can rest assured knowing that you ain't gotta huff and puff your way your way up to my shit. hell, i live on the third floor now and my building has two motherfucking elevators. are they terrifying? YES. will you be out of breath and nursing a side cramp when you step off of one? A RESOUNDING NO. our laziness is written into the building code. after the forty-five minutes it took me to drag my bum leg up the stairs i was greeted by the most adorable kitten ever. "i thought you were fostering two of them?" i asked, as they were the primary reasons i had agreed to stay in her apartment. the black and white one bounced around like a ping pong ball, eating and jumping and sinking her little needle nails into the hem of my asos dress. we found the grey and white one lying hot and limp under the coffee table and my immediate thought was, "FUCK I JUST CLIMBED ALL THOSE MOTHERFUCKING STAIRS." that kitten was basically dying. after frantically cutting air holes in an amazon box and taping her inside i dislocated a hip following mariyam down to the car and we spent two hours in a dark, echoey emergency hospital being lectured at by a russian technician with an awkward sense of humor whose jokes i didn't understand because i had been awake for almost 24 hours. i spent the entirety of the next day falling asleep in the bag of cabs, but that kitten goddamned lived. so i'm basically a hero.

7 THEIR PIZZA REALLY IS KIND OF GROSS. i say this as a person who doesn't really enjoy cheese in a breadbowl chicago pizza knife and fork goo: eating a folded oversized slice of soggy new york pizza is like shoving a used maxi pad into your mouth. and watching people do that open-mouthed licking-the-pointy-end-to-get-it-between-their-teeth-to-take-a-bite thing is motherfucking disgusting. DEAL WITH IT.

and there was still so much goddamned trash on the street. I HEART NY.

click here and buy this thing i made.