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.
“IN A QUARTER MILE, TURN LEFT AT THE COW,” siri cackled viciously. “IN 200 FEET MAKE A SLIGHT RIGHT AT THE HORSE ONTO A DIRT ROAD AND TRY NOT TO GET MAULED BY A BEAR, STUPID.” bitch.

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.

WHAT THE FUCK IS COMPOST, MY GUY.

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.

THEN WE DROVE THE MINI V TO TARGET AND THEN BACK TO CHICAGO TO HOLD HANDS AND WEEP SILENTLY TO OURSELVES AT THE TORI AMOS CONCERT ON TUESDAY. see you at fastpitch practice, womyn.

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?


BEAT THAT TACKY BITCH TO DEATH. 


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?


YOU ELOPE.


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.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

fatfish.

i never saw the movie catfish. it looked like some horrifying blair witch type of shit and i do not have the kind of temperament that can withstand two hours of some dude's clandestine internet romance that ends in the discovery of a hideous monster with large red eyes dripping viscous goo mixed with bloody human flesh from its rotting, yellowed fangs and clutching an iphone with 14 different facebook profiles on it. a lady with a paintbrush and too much time on her hands? FINE. a computer-savvy colossus covered in thick green scales, a mess of tangled limbs and bulbous growths, growling like a demon as it opens its mouth to reveal rows of pincer-like teeth? HEART ATTACK CITY. even when the internet told me that the only thing scary about the film was that some lonely hambeast in michigan had the nerve to pretend to lie about her appearance to win the affection of some dude i still couldn't bring myself to watch it, because somehow that shit seemed even scarier.

i'm not sure why, maybe it's the heartsick romantic lurking deep within me, but i am obsessed with catfish the television show. i missed the first season because i typically spend my tv time watching the same shows your mom does, FAMILY FEUD IS SO GOOD, but last season i got sucked in. BIG TIME. and it became clear after a hadful of episodes that MTV should really consider changing the name of this shit to "surprise! i'm fat!" so many lonely meanies in double-digit jeans preying on these poor, innocent angels with incredible metabolisms. jesus christ, is this the way bitches gotta get laid these days? don't you girls know how to get prison pen pals!? also, if you've spent 1,463 hours confessing your innermost desires to some asshole across the country, does it really matter that she listened to you with one hand in a bucket of chicken? i thought you were "soulmates!?" MY SOUL ISN'T FAT JUST MY ASS IS, YOU HEARTLESS JERK.

my girl jess is equally obsessed. we have been friends since the fifth grade. that's how i know she's real.

jess: I decided to watch the movie first and am making my way through the episodes as my systematic ass does. I think you should watch the movie--yes, the Michigan hambeast was afraid that Nev would be letdown by her appearance, but I think she had much more at stake: she was middle-aged, married to a loyal husband in a normal house, not a dungeon cellar, and she was weaving levels of deceit that most of us cannot comprehend. That's what I'm most interested in about the show: the pathological levels of deceit.

1 in an alternate universe, this shit could maybe happen to me.* thanks to the beauty and ease of the internet i currently have, easily, a dozen people with whom i have regular conversations that i have never met in real life. this is now my preferred method of interpersonal relationship. knowing bitches in real life is exhausting. first of all, there's a lot of talking. then you have to make sure you have cute outfits and your hair is on point and HOLY SHIT I'M TIRED NOW. for the rest of my life, i only ever want to talk to bitches over the computer. i don't need you judging how many tacos are in the greasy paper bag i'm eating them out of. i don't want to put on pants for you. i am over waxing my fucking eyebrows. and i could give a shit about how bad you look, because the only thing that matters to me is that you don't post any of those stupid "keep calm" memes. all i want to know is that you don't post pictures of gross-looking dinners and that your music links aren't shitty bands who suck. i would have no idea that you are faking it, because i don't look shit up because who cares. there are penises in my phone RIGHT NOW who could walk past me on the sidewalk, accompanied by their owners, and i'd have no idea who those gentlemen are. you want to send me fake nudes under a pseudonym? cool, bro. JUST WAIT UNTIL I SHOW THESE SHITS TO NEV.

*the difference, though, is that i would never pay a motherfucker's cell phone bill. you kids have to stop doing that family plan shit. or engaging in any other bamboozling activities. especially sight unseen. i mean seriously, your job at forever 21 got you balling out of control like that? you're eating off the dollar menu in kansas and some dude you never met in new jersey is talking up your anytime minutes!? cut that out forever.

jess: In the mid-00s, I had a livejournal. I wrote about my real life, but under an avatar, and with a small group of readers who were mostly people I didn't know. So livejournal was kind of a nest of ways to deceive yourself and other people. I loved to troll a community on there called fake_lj_deaths (http://fake-lj-deaths.livejournal.com/profile), with all kinds of outing of profiles pretending to be someone else--stories of love, sickness and death, all fake and all bamboozling the "real" online friends who were drawn in by the drama.
Consider this also from the POV of a writer. I think you and I have both had people tell us from when we were younger that we were good at creative writing and should pursue it. I think we've mostly used that power to the good. But, what if we didn't? See, I think a lot of fake bloggers should just publish long Victorian vampire novels direct to Kindle! Or a Game Of Thrones spin off. No one is mad at Danielle Steele for all the trifling bullshit she told us. If some of the catfishes' overactive imaginations had been channeled in a positive way, at least half these fools wouldn't be in the mess they're in!


2 in an alternate alternate universe, I COULD TOTALLY DO THIS SHIT TO SOMEONE ELSE. it wouldn't be intentional, though. i swear. at least not at first. okay so i was a fat little bucktoothed kid and not much has changed now that i am responsible for my own electric bill, and let's just say that i know with excruciating certainty what it feels like to watch some attractive person's face contort uncomfortably as he tries to mask his disappointment at the revelation of your unrequited crush. when i was in middle school i had a crush on this dude john _____. i kept that shit to myself for forever because fat and bad shoes, until finally in a fit of bubbly girlishness i confessed my burning childlove to my friend m. WHO THEN WROTE SAM LOVES JOHN ______ ON MY LOCKER IN PERMANENT MARKER. do you know how long it took to get a locker door replaced in the suburbs in 1992?! three fucking months. i could've died. anyway, when john _____ saw those scarlet letters across the hall from him he was like, "ugh i hate her she's gross." and even though i was hiding in a supply closet across the hall i HEARD HIM and then i DIED INSIDE.

and maybe it's dumb but i still remember everything about that day, like how that bitch asked for a hall pass in science so she could be alone with her betrayal and that i was wearing these threadbare red corduroy pants with iron-on knee patches because my mother obviously HATED MY FUCKING GUTS. which is probably why catfish consistently hurts my feelings, because 7th grade me is watching it every wednesday night from that supply closet, trying not to bump into the disgusting yellow mop bucket so no one knows i'm in here. i've fucked myself with this dumb blog, because when you write about your butthole on the internet and use your real fucking name catfishing some hot, gullible piece of meat is out of the goddamned question. no one other than my family would know what i really fucking look like. for serious, if someone had told me in 2009 that keeping a low profile meant i could have phone sex with out of state lil bow wow lookalikes i'd be working at starbucks right now trying to pay for my boo to get studio time.

3 BUT WHAT ABOUT GOOGLE REVERSE IMAGE SEARCH, DUMMIES. who in the fuck knew this was a thing before we started watching catfish? oh you did, smartypants? well here is a key to the motherfucking internet, because you win everything today. the first time i saw nev drag some struggling video model's headshots into google only to find out that the purported "emily johnson" was really an ex-porn star named "lucy thickthighs" i was fucking flabbergasted. I HAD NO IDEA THE INTERNET COULD DO THAT.

jess: I'm so good at academic research that I've been paid for it--and I'm so good at Facebook sleuthing that I should be ashamed of myself. But it's for those reasons I feel I might have a leg up on a catfish. Years ago I was editing a book and I thought the writer was a total hack and also weirdly familiar--so I googled passages from his manuscript and realized it was almost word for word plagiarism from a variety of online sources. Then, I got to write the book instead! Literary catfishing might be even sadder than being an impostor, because at least impostors use their own words to tell their lies!

sam: this is why it was a bad idea to drop out of college to do drugs and listen to the breeders all day, because yeah i don't have any student loan debt but dude i am vulnerable to SO MUCH internet trickery. it takes me forty-five minutes to send a goddamned tweet, fam. every time facebook updates it takes me three weeks to figure out how to make all my embarrassing shit private again. all this internet shit is confusing and i don't like it. GAH, just tell the fucking truth and show me your real face so i don't have to click the 1,287,432 populated images google provides for my new boyfriend "michael jackson" or whatever.

4 i always root for a happy ending. i am a cynical piece of garbage a lot of times and i love the shit out of some schadenfreude but i swear to horus every time some lovesick twenty-year-old stands trembling on the doorstep of his internet beloved, finger hovering tentatively over the doorbell my stomach is in my throat. or in a knot. or falling out of my butt. i really do want it to work, and i really am crushed like a bug when it doesn't. I AM A PERSON WHO HAS CONSUMED MANY AFTERSCHOOL SPECIALS. i love that ugly duckling shit, and the fruity thirteen year old who lives in my heart is totally crestfallen when the girl who photoshopped sixty pounds off her thighs shows up at the designated Public Meeting Place wearing too much eyeliner and staring bashfully down at her shoes is summarily rejected by some skateboarding dude in skinny jeans who hates fat chicks. i just want to reach through the tv screen, face shiny with tears, and shake some sense into her. "you don't need to do this, amber! just fuck sketchy dudes on craigslist and crop your instagrams like the rest of us who are pretty on the inside!"

and sometimes these people are just, i don't know, so pathetically sweet and emotionally invested that it just cracks my heart if half. i want it to work out for them, so badly. like my man craig. i really, really wanted it to work out for craig. I FUCKING LOVE CRAIG. even with his eyebrow cuts. i think i even cried a little when he broke down in tears. ugh what the fuck is my life.

jess: It is a butt-clenching moment no matter what. The terror of meeting Grace in person was nothing compared to meeting a gentleman from London I've been dating when he came to visit LA last November. We met on OKC and had been talking since August. We video chatted and stuff, but I frequently would say to him, "You better not be a Nigerian bank scam motherfucker." Talking with him feels so natural that I felt I had to raise the possibility, at least to myself, that something could be really off. Waiting for him in the international arrivals part of LAX with a bunch of people waiting for their loved ones from far-flung places in the world was at once romantic and completely nerve-wracking. It is honestly a miracle that I didn't pass out and/or have a massive panic attack. When I saw him, it looked like him, but he still felt like a stranger to me physically, and I needed about 12 hours of adjustment. And then there was LUSTMENT. And it was great. We kept talking (as you know) and I visited him in London last month. When I arrived at Heathrow, the customs agent grilled me. “What are you doing here?”

"Visiting friends and having a vacation." I felt this was all I really needed to say. But he persisted.

'Who are you staying with?”


"A friend."

The agent looked at me for further explanation. “Is this a female, a male?”

"A male."

My answers were clearly not enough. He rolled his eyes. “A boyfriend?”

"Well, I’m not sure. I guess we’ll find out this trip?" The agent’s eyes narrowed. "I mean, we’ve been talking—"

"How long have you been talking?"

"Since last August. And he came to visit me in LA."

"So you’ve met him before."

"Yes." I could see why he might have been concerned about that. 

"How did you meet?"

"On OKCupid, have you heard of it?" I smiled.

"Yes," he said, deadpan. "Isn’t it… kind of a long way?" sweeping his hand out, as if to indicate how vast 5,500 miles really is between two people.

"Well…" I stammered. He did have a point. It is a long way. What the fuck am I doing here? "I guess we really like each other?"

"I guess so," he said, completely nonplussed, and stamped my passport. "Have a nice trip."

HOORAY FOR ROMANCE. *sob*

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

summer is the worst.

if the hotdog-scented thigh meat wafting up from the sun-dappled sidewalks of my fair city are any indication, SUMMERTIME IS FINALLY UPON US. i hate the fucking summer, man. everyone is naked, everyone stinks, and everyone is outside and underfoot no matter the time of day or night, sticky and dripping barbecue sauce or helado mindlessly down their fronts. no bullshit, this winter was really hard for me. and as much as i love piling into bed buoyed by a cloud of pillows and snuggled under a fresh duvet with a stack of books, that polar vortex was NOT PLAYING, BITCH. it wasn't even fun to look out the window from the suffocating warmth of my free radiator-heated apartment; fucking stalagtites tearing up my expensive-ass north face boots. i needed ski poles just to walk to the motherfucking train. arghhhh.

so it's hot out! and everyone is happy again!! because all of our seasonal affective disorder melted away like so many piss-soaked mountains of garbage snow!!! EXCEPT I'M STILL SAD THO. some bitch on rollerblades knocked the reusable shopping bag my white friends guilted me into using out of my hands as i was leaving the market last week and i almost left my seasonal fruits and fresh-picked herbs and other summertime foods (read: expired canned spaghetti-Os and sugary orange soda) right there on the goddamned sidewalk. she spun around breezily to where i crouched over my $7 dinner, shrugging her shoulders as if to say, "lighten up, my pal! it's summer!" as i knelt in a puddle of shamesweat collecting each pistachio as it hurtled rapidly toward the street. "IT'S NOT 1996, YOU ASSHOLE!" i shouted after her ironical kneepads. all i fucking long for is to go back to the simpler days when a bitch screaming down my sidewalk on rollerskates would knock loose every single one of her stupid teeth after hitting a patch of black ice as i looked on, aghast under my eight layers of clothing, anxious to get back inside without fear of castigation from all the "it's too nice to be indoors" crowd. FUCK I HATE HAPPY PEOPLE AND NICE WEATHER.


but this year, instead of murdering innocents like i want to, i’m (maybe) going to try:

1 eating on a goddamn patio. YOU LOVE IT. the smell of exhaust wafting through the surrounding air, the feeling of disease-carrying insects sinking their tiny stingers into your tender flesh and laying microscopic eggs in your hair, the prying eyes of the homeless asking if you’re going to finish that last bite of your $30 arugula salad: grass stains and flip flops and boob sweat, OH MY. i don't understand having the option to eat indoors yet choosing to eat where people could just spit on you or touch your plate with their feces-covered fingers. i am not a shrub, my leaves to not require sunshine for food, they get plenty full on hot cheetos and little debbies. i will give you nerds three less-hot summer days to pick bugs out of my tacos on the big star patio for no more than three hours each time, then we're spending the rest of the summer in the dark at au cheval. fuck fresh air.

2 attending a street festival. nope, i can't. BUT i will try not to roll my eyes too hard when you tell me about the one you're going to. the only better than being repeatedly jabbed in the back of the knees by bugaboo strollers while inching through a mob of sweaty bodies pretending to be interested in artisan crafts while trying to eat a corn on the cob is being repeatedly jabbed in the back of the knees by bugaboo strollers while inching through a mob of sweaty bodies pretending to be interested in artisan crafts while trying to eat a corn on the cob when it's a hundred motherfucking degrees out. WHAT IS THE APPEAL IN THIS. i'm asking for real. what, you hate grilling your own corn? you're really about to hang that amateur watercolor/wear that beaded necklace/put a plant in that lopsided homemade vase? or is drunk dancing in a garbage-strewn street two blocks from your house to the sounds of your uncle's tribute band dread zeppelin or the food fighters as they butcher the most beloved songs of your adolescence really your goddamned jam!? ugh, why. the chances you're going to run into some wingding you hate at your neighborhood carnival are exponentially higher than they are just sitting alone in your apartment watching family feud, especially if you live in the same town in which you attended high school. trust me, bro. I'VE HAD THAT CONVERSATION. bitches with exotic husbands and imaginary jobs pretending to be interested in the mundanity of my having to schedule dental appointments for our 11th grade teacher's dog. that's all these festivals and shit are, breeding grounds for unwanted reunions. THAT IS WHAT I HAVE FACEBOOK FOR. i remember running into this asshole one summer at the custer fair the year after we graduated and watching his eyes widen in disbelief as i explained, "yeah, dude, i really am just selling doughnuts and taking quaaludes with your little brother all day." and i really was. what a shithead.

3 watching an outdoor show. as much as i love watching teenage boys drenched in sweat and marinating in their own piss gyrating awkwardly to this year’s version of grizzly bear on a 137 degree day, NO THANK YOU PITCHFORK. and i’m totally cool pushing these cheeks up on the bulge in your dad’s pleated dockers shorts as we sway offbeat to the muffled strains of an inch tall r. kelly making their way to the edges of grant park (even though we slept outside overnight and paid $9,537,620 for VIP passes), BUT MAYBE NEXT TIME LOLLA. when are we all going to admit that standing tiptoe in dogshit clutching a seventeen dollar beer watching your favorite band in the rain > lying in a dark, air-conditioned room listening to your favorite band while eating chips. you can't hear shit! and, unless you're getting your ribs crushed by the mosh pit at the front of the stage, you can't really see shit! i bought tickets to that mos def show he couldn't get into the country to put on a few weeks ago, and for the first time of many i paid crazy extra for a comfortable chair and an unobstructed sight line. and yes, i was planning to bring my own ottoman. MY ANKLES ARE SWOLLEN AS FUCK IN THIS HEAT.

4 buying plants and not killing them. last friday night i called up your mom and was like, "LET'S PARTY, KAREN" and she and i put on our orthofeet and piled into the dodge grand caravan she used to drive you to karate lessons in and took our sexy asses to home depot. ever since you stopped breaking her heart with your disappointing life choices that bitch has gotten a new lease on life: renovating the breakfast nook, hosting a wine and book club, having an tawdry affair with the young man your dad hired to tend to the yardwork now that his back is ruined from years of hard labor. AND I LOVE HER FOR IT. i bought $75 dollars' worth of succulents that are supposed to be impossible to kill and a hammer in case someone breaks into my crib. i will report on the progress in a few months. i already spilled half the dirt out of one of them. the future looks bleak.

5 participate in some lauded “lakefront” activity. everyone here is always talking about the goddamned lake like it’s not a freezing cold grey diarrhea soup and i’m baffled by that. it’s too cold to go into ten months out of the year and the other two it’s so full of e.coli you can’t dip a toe in it without puking your fucking guts out. the last time i went to the beach i was ten years old. i stood at the edge of the water on a sweltering ninety degree day, one of my father's disintegrating old t-shirts covering my sensible bathing suit to my knees; i stared out at sailboats in the distance as cool water lapped over my toes, the sand soft and slippery beneath my feet. AND THEN I FUCKING LOOKED DOWN. a cluster of tiny yellow bugs skittered across my tiny feet and a dead fish floated ominously by, followed by a soiled diaper packed with human waste and soaked in sludgy lake water and dead smelt runoff or whatever. i have not returned since.

6 cooking and eating fresh summer foods. i cleaned my oven last week. like, really really cleaned it. i sprayed some toxic aerosol shit inside it before i went to the disco, and then when i got home i cut myself out of my party dress and used it to wipe all of the lean cuisine drippings that have collected in a sticky, low-calorie puddle stuck to the bottom of my tiny apartment oven. now i don't want to fucking use it. like, ever again. as much as i would like to make herbed summer squash and peach pie and gazpacho, the only thing i can be bothered to do in my hot ass kitchen is fill the magic bullet with juice and frozen mixed berries and drink it until my shit turns blue. all of that asparagus is terribly exciting standing at attention in the stalls manned by my favorite bearded urban farmers but nah, fam. it's motherfucking hot. the crock pot and i will see you in november. meanwhile, i'ma post up in the air conditioning at chili's with some southwestern eggrolls and a watermelon margarita. THE TANS MIGHT FADE BUT THE MEMORIES WILL LAST FOREVER.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

MY PARTYING DAYS ARE OVER, MOTHERFUCKER.

saturday night i accidentally ended up at the club. so in chicago we have restaurants. lots of restaurants, even famous ones. and a lot of them are so good and so amazing that even if you live in burning springs, kentucky it's possible that you've heard of maybe one or two. and we also have a shit ton of clubs: gay clubs, black clubs, white clubs, douchey clubs, thuggy clubs, the kind of clubs where everybody stands, the kind of clubs where everybody sits, and the kind of clubs where everybody just sort of awkwardly hovers near the bar waiting for somebody else to start dancing. it's all pretty straightforward and easy to navigate. but then there are these confusing-ass hybrids? barstaraunts? restaclubs!? HOW THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHETHER OR NOT TO WEAR MY BOOTY SHORTS TO DINNER.

it would’ve been all good if it had been a motherfucking tuesday. on a tuesday i could’ve gotten a reservation for earlier than nine goddamned thirty and would’ve already been home in bed flossing the cauliflower fritters out of my teeth by the time jimmy fallon came on. god, that is the buttery shit about going out during the week, the fact that you can get a four-top at the most happening shit and still get nine hours of sleep before work. saturdays are for laying around all day texting “brunch?” to every bitch in your phone while reading all the magazines piled next to the toilet in your bathroom. saturdays are for weird shit like cleaning your makeup brushes and buying vegetables at the farmers market that you have no intention of ever cooking. before you had chin hair saturdays were for sleeping until nightfall then dragging your ass to the disco on stilts, but now that you have a savings account you’re all “can’t we just watch this top chef marathon in our pajamas and get a pizza!?” in my obama voice: YES WE CAN.


having bitches visit from out of town is wild stressful. 1 there is an exhaustive list of cool places to eat and drink and take pictures of shit (mostly your food and/or drinks because let’s be serious even though the conservatory is ten minutes away if you’re visiting me we are NOT going to that shit) and as the curator of your coolest most amazing chicago experience i am filled with anxiety about making the exact right choices. i don’t take that shit lightly. it's like making a mixtape for your 9th grade crush; you need the perfect ratio of liz phair to breeders so that he knows that duh you want to go down on him but ALSO YOU'RE A TOTALLY FUCKING SMART AND PUNK ROCK RIOT GRRRL. with a minimum of three R's. and as much as i love the queso at that dirty ass taco spot under the train i'm an asshole if i take you there, and no we are not eating anything off that mango truck parked on my block. vacations are not for drinking out of styrofoam cups. 

and 2 nobody ever wants to see your real fucking life. and you don’t want them to, either. I TAKE 47 NAPS A DAY, SISTER. YOU AIN’T COME HERE TO WATCH THAT DEPRESSING SHIT. if you’re like, “sam, what did you do this weekend?” i’ma give you the highlight reel: coffee at growling rabbit, cocktails at three dots and a dash, maybe a movie at landmark. what i really did: all that shit plus eating too many gummy vitamins because they taste good and a lot of falling asleep at my motherfucking desk. you didn’t get on a plane to see that shit! you came to take instagrams of al pastor tacos and goddamn it if i’m not going to come through for you! i will spare your watching me hold up the bus line as i try to locate my ventra card from the bottom of an overstuffed backpack; we will take cabs, we will pretend we don't have bills, AND WE WILL EAT DINNER LATE AT NIGHT LIKE THE COOL KIDS. my friend mavis came to town last weekend and, after i hyperventilated thinking about the five bags of magazines i had to drag down to the recycling and how much i hate scrubbing the goddamned bathtub and wondering whether or not people notice if your dishtowels match, i was like, "where the fuck are we going to eat!?"

which leads us here, to the bedford, and our 1030pm cheeseburgers. let's be honest, i was dozing off before the waitress even brought the drinks. i'm not sure what time dinner service is over, but the gentle unce-unce-unce of a generic house beat was already pulsing through restaurant just loud enough to warn the old people that it was time to wrap it up and flag their servers down to get the check. as mavis and i dragged our chairs ever closer to hear each other over the cacophony of shrill mating calls rising from the crowd of bachelorette party attendees seated to our right i slid off my orthopedic sandals and took a couple motrin to temper what was sure to be a raging headache the next morning. outside the dining room, i could see through the partition that the party was starting to pick up speed. my eyes burned as men with carefully unbuttoned collars and artfully disheveled hair cruised past our table leaving a cloud of gucci homme in their wake; my head throbbed along with a migos house remix. we motioned for the check, eager to get back in mavis' volvo and listen to this american life podcasts with our seatbelts responsibly fastened, when i saw something that made my heart stop. BITCH, MY FUCKING NEPHEW IS HERE.

i was ten years old when travis was born. i have three older sisters who had until that point produced two female children among them, so when the sonogram showed a tiny little penis about to claw its way out of my sister's butthole my entire family basically lost their collective shit that finally someone was moving into our house who wouldn’t fuck up everyone else’s perfectly synced menstrual cycles. BEHOLD, A PRECIOUS MANCHILD ONTO WHOM WE CAN PROJECT OUR DADDY ISSUES. no just kidding, we treated that little asshole like he was prince akeem or some shit. rose petals in his bathwater, fat dudes singing falsetto about his new wife, arsenio hall playing his best friend until 1996, the works. and he is the goddamn best. he's handsome and he has a business degree and he speaks a little german because he played pro basketball over there for a couple years: HE IS THE PRIDE OF THIS FAMILY. especially since i write dick jokes on the internet. the young man was wearing the kind of crisp extra-medium shirt found snugly-fit on mannequins inside the windows at express men coupled with long, shiny shoes with a square toe. we both laughed awkwardly at having encountered one another in a place other than over a pan of overcooked dressing in my sister's kitchen.

"MY FRIENDS ARE OVER THERE," he shout-talked into my ear, motioning toward a bunch of dudes in the corner i would've been trying to convince to peel off the "shapewear" sweatglued to the underside of my butt meat if i hadn't been changing their diapers 20+ years ago. travis waved them over as i watched their puerile smiles melt into furrowed brows of concern. "THIS IS MY AUNT!" he shout-talked reassuringly. "THIS IS MY AUNT AND SHE JUST WITHDREW HER RAGGEDY 401k TO BUY US SOME SHOTS."

this little cockblocking motherfucker. “aunt” is not a sexword. your AUNT wears knee-high compression stockings and doesn’t pluck the hairs out of her chin. your AUNT has soft, balled-up tissue in the pockets of her cardigan and won’t let you watch the good shit on tv. your AUNT doesn’t have a killer mohawk and a hilarious sexblog, no, your AUNT puts spinach in her smoothies and takes a lot of celebrex for her deteriorated joints and posts a lot of pictures of her cat on instagram and WAIT A MINUTE. (fuck!) he has never called me "aunt samantha" a day in his life, now all of a sudden when i'm out past my bedtime trying to look cool you want to have some deference, bro? do you not understand how many pieces of naked baby blackmail there are in my motherfucking phone!?

"TURN DOWN FOR WHAT," i shouted enthusiastically, trying to sound youthful enough to still have viable hopes and dreams, palm outstretched to this dude i probably could have gestated. he gave me a funny look and clumsily shook my hand. mavis stood next to me smiling the self-conscious smile of a woman with an episiotomy scar wearing comfort insoles in a disco. i thought about the mason jars full of homemade preserves she'd brought with her from michigan as i elbowed a 19-year-old wearing her nighttime bikini (i guess) in the ribs to edge my way closer to the bar. "DO YOU HAVE MILK OF MAGNESIA?" i screamed at the bartender as she overturned a bottle of bourbon into a cluster of awaiting glasses. she smiled vacantly as my joke got swallowed up by the demands of the frat boys on either of my sides and i laughed at this grown man ordering a drink made with apple pucker.

we downed our shots and chased them with pints of allagash and i wondered if it had been a bad idea to take so much gabapentin that morning with my unsweetened shredded wheat (that's what old people eat for breakfast, right). mavis and i bid adieu to my sister's youngest child and i told him to make as many bad decisions as i can afford for my lawyer to get him out of jail for. sunday m and i went to big jones and the sex shop and the lesbian bookstore and several other places on my "HEY LOOK HOW COOL I AM" checklist. in the daytime. fully fucking clothed. like grownups.

buy my book, i need beer money.