Tuesday, November 13, 2018

is lifetime's YOU the best and most romantic show that ever existed?

ummm, the short answer is yes it absolutely is. who the fuck do we know at the emmys?! HOW DO I GET THIS SHOW THE RECOGNITION IT DESERVES. okay so sunday night was the season finale of the juiciest show you probably aren't watching and look i know you're skeptical and i'm not a lawyer but please enjoy the ride as i lay out my extremely compelling case:

exhibit A: hot soulful lone wolf lurking sexily around a bookstore. is it a trope? it's a well-worn trope, right? the moody, sensitive young man who reads? sure it is. but i don't know, man: IT'S FUCKING EFFECTIVE, EVEN THOUGH I LITERALLY KNOW BETTER. don't get me wrong, nothing is worse than a man with too many opinions but a man with too many opinions about books is somewhat tolerable, because at least he's reading, so hopefully he's absorbed some facts.

exhibit B: i would give the entire contents of my bank account to someone who was interested in what i'm reading. you know what i like to read? i mean really like to read, the most? the embarrassing and oft-maligned bastard child of the literary universe: POPULAR FICTION. do i read other shit? oh, for sure. i've struggled through some of the best literary fiction! agonized over a lot of dense prose! fallen asleep on top of many ~important~ works! but you know what i buy with my own money? and move to the top of the pile when a new one comes out?! john grisham's books. fucking jodi picoult. i'm breathlessly waiting for some new gillian flynn. i have a stack of horror books as tall as i am on my desk. plus i read everything oprah and reese witherspoon tell me and your mom to read: murder stories, but gentle; uplifting women who admonish me to be bold and hold space without explaining what that actually how to actually do those things; shit about "the heartland." and, setting aside that this dude is a stalker who projected all sorts of manic pixie dreamgirl fantasies onto a literal walking bowl of oatmeal and that the number of david baldacci books i've read alone would make me fail his literacy test, it was almost sweet that as he harshly judged the reading habits of the very people keeping his dusty little bookstore alive he climbed down off his high horse for five fucking seconds to give the book his future victim chose to purchase his stamp of approval.

exhibit C: that oatmilk drinking benji deserved to die and it was very satisfying to watch when he did. the problem with my watching these kinds of shows where the lonely loser gets revenge on the beautiful, popular people that don't know he's alive is that i too easily identify with said loser and end up rooting for all the wrong shit. so many times during this show i've had to check myself like "wait, am i actually a sociopath?" because something bad has happened to a person who absolutely deserves it and my only response is to shrug it off like BYE BITCH. this is the kind of conflicting show where all the people you're supposed to care about are aggressively unlikable, so then you have no choice but to take the murderer's side. or maybe that's just me, because i'm a bad person!

exhibit D: uncle jesse! JOHN STAMOS LOOKING REAL GOOD, Y'ALL. he's totally unethical (he smokes a joint during his therapy sessions!) and has absolutely zero boundaries (he sleeps with his patients!) and i am certainly not a fan of his professional vest? but hot damn he looks good enough to dip into a bucket of greek yogurt.

exhibit E: beck is a human madewell ad and that is extremely my shit. sidebar: did you know that madewell has fat clothes?! i'm not even sure how i stumbled upon this information but once i did i immediately bought four of something called the kent cardigan made from cozy yarn because honestly 1 i have no impulse control and 2 i'm not trying to be anything but cozy this winter or ever. anyway, i read vulture's tv recaps because i'm a monster who can't just watch a show, i have to watch it and read someone's detailed analysis of the thing i just fucking watched, and jessica goldstein's are the best and when she called beck (the YOU in the YOU of it all, which i almost just referred to as the YOU-niverse but i respect the collective you more than that) a walking madewell outlet store (or something like that?) i screamed. she's like if avocado toast was a person, which would be a hacky fucking joke if the show didn't mention avocado toast multiple times. honestly you should just watch it for all the millennial stereotypes that i hope were satirically inserted by a writers room full of salty fifty-year-olds because if not that's kind of "hashtag depressing."

exhibit F: blythe is the best character on television and deserves her own spinoff immediately. okay so here's the one unintentionally funny part of this shit that i can't stop cackling about: DO WRITERS REALLY ACT LIKE THIS?! in case you couldn't tell by this hastily thrown-together blog, i am a writer. and i have lots of friends who are writers. and i have never talked about "pages" in my life, writing them or reading them or turning them in, and sure it probably sounds foreign to me because i'm a human toilet who writes about cats, but also the way they talk about writing is so funny and weird. i love it so fucking much. everyone is so pretentious and talking about writing colonies and throwing literary-themed parties. all my writer friends are hilarious morons (even the famous ones!) and they write in unmade beds in their underwear while shoveling refined sugar into their faces and crying, not in the sun-dappled corners of their picturesque apartments while sipping coconut milk cortados and tapping earnestly away at a vintage typewriter. anyway blythe is a fellow student in beck's MFA program and she is perfect. everything she says is lowkey mean and snotty and she takes herself so seriously it's comical and if she's not in season 2 lifetime can expect a sternly-worded letter typed on my finest artisanal stationery and sprinkled with crumbs from an organic meatball sub.

exhibit G: ridiculous plot twists! i'm aware i've already spoiled a lot of shit in this show for the uninitiated but let me break something to you: LIFE IS A FUCKING SPOILER ALERT. so much random shit happens from week to week and i know that might be a turnoff for you geniuses but if you shut off the part of your brain that wrote a dissertation on why breaking bad was such revolutionary television and just sink deep into the warm bath of these attractive idiots who don't password protect their electronic devices or hang curtains and have no idea when a stranger has been rooting through all the shit in their one-person apartment (listen i'm not the underwear police but if i was missing some I WOULD KNOW, holy shit!) even when homeboy is hiding in the goddamn shower while they brush their fucking teeth in the same bathroom, i promise you it's worth it. even though it's not the americans or whatever. don't people like fun anymore?!

exhibits H-Z: xoxo gossip girl dan humphrey was the love of my young-ish life. and i'm sure penn badgley has done other worthwhile things with his time (hey i watched that jeff buckley movie!) but here he's channeling that same sad creep energy and i am deeply deeply into it. is he scary? kind of! he stalks the most boring girl on earth and that is very unsettling to me! i deleted my facebook a few weeks ago but if i hadn't then i definitely would consider it after watching this dude piece together the internet life of a random woman who bought a book he respected while not wearing a bra and trying to fit himself into it. OR WOULD I. i don't know if the person swiping my credit card to pay for three different types of doritos i'm going to pair together like a fucking snack food sommelier along with whatever iris johansen paperback is on sale next to the register is secretly in love with me, but i'd probably be into it. i mean they're literally seeing me at my worst, isn't that what romance is actually all about? (it isn't, i know. it's illegal, i get it.) anyway gossip girl's cheekbones remain exquisite, and his voiceover is sexy, and we get to watch him do some PG-13 boning!

closing argument: I'M NOT WRONG. and prestige television is fine but listen, sometimes i don't wanna think that hard. i still don't know what the fuck westworld is about! i'm too dumb for mr. robot! is legion actually good? i don't think i really understand the stranger things universes? sharp objects was confusing to me, and i read the fucking book! anyway i'm here for whatever the opposite of these dense and convoluted shows are. well, at least until fargo and true detective and billions come back.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

summer beauty tips for the damp and profoundly irritated.

i bought all this shit with my own money. money i probably should have invested in an IRA or a piece of property to leave behind for my cats, but my own personal money nonetheless. whenever i take these deep dives into my luxurious tastes inevitably some asshole dusts off her old gateway to fire off a missive to my inbox about overpriced lipsticks and why she would never spend $62 on face spray (aveda botanical toning mist, which i have hyperlinked for your convenience here) or whatever frivolous shit i'm obsessed with. and that's cool, bitch! you do whatever the fuck you want in your house but around here we salve the wounds of our impoverished childhoods with a balm from clĂ© de peau. i have a lot of store brand chapsticks and sally hansen insta dry but if i wanna dump everything in barneys on my secured mastercard for people ~trying to rebuild their credit~ then that’s my fucking journey. this isn’t some orwellian guide for how you absolutely must live your life it’s just my black ass trying to get my goop on OOPS I MEAN MY BLOOP.

a note before i launch into this excavation of my extremely shameful personal indulgences: i don't typically post links because you can look the shit up or screenshot it for later or however you go about purchasing items the internet seduces you into purchasing, and also because none of this shit is sponsored so what the fuck do i care how/where you get it? the minute someone offers to sponsor this dumb blog you better believe i'm changing the name to BITCHES GOTTA LA MER but until then i don't have codes or affiliate links, i have an amex i got on a five hour layover at detroit metro airport that i sometimes buy tom ford soleil blanc with. so if you want to drive around behind the la labo truck waiting for something to fall off it that's cool. i'm not gonna lecture you about amazon, sometimes i want a drone to drop shit off at my door in two days, too! i love convenience!! i'll try to link indie shops where i can just to make sure you're looking at the right shit but otherwise who cares?! life is so hard, man. do whatcha can to feel good.

sun! so i spent the summer working in los angeles and the one thing i learned other than how to play it extremely cool when a bonafide celebrity walks into the restaurant you're actively sweating in (boris kodjoe ate lunch at a table near me and all of my organs liquified at the table oof what a mess) is that LA is a sweltering desert hellscape that will wreak havoc on your gorgeous midwestern skin. i was there for ten minutes before my face turned into a dried-out scrap of imitation leather, and rather than make friends or sightsee i spent the first weekend there at a sephora in pasadena letting the sunday riley rep on duty sell me a fantasy about glowing summer skin while rubbing expensive potions onto my face. i'm an easy mark for a salesperson because 1 i want to Listen Attentively while being a Very Good Girl and 2 i have extreme guilt about wasting people's time (remind me to tell you about the time i almost bought a beat-up kia i didn't actually want because i felt so ashamed for taking a test drive i had been manipulated into) so as he demonstrated the power of the wildly expensive good genes he was delicately swiping across my cheeks and soothingly describing the difference in my face using luna sleeping oil overnight would make i transferred the balance of my 401k into my checking account so i could buy all of it. what am i gonna do, research?! he had an accent! that's literally all the proof i need! i already had the UFO oil and the CEO moisturizer and you might just have to ask someone who's seen me but my skin looks amazing? i use osun face wash made by kissed by a bee (linked here so you don't buy the wrong shit) and occasionally i'll use a toner (the kiehl's cucumber one is my current jam) and i can't do ten skincare steps but i can do these. okay, i can do these once a day on most days. but never at night, unless i leave some philosophy purity wipes and a tube of first aid beauty ultra repair cream by the bed.

most of the soaps and shampoos i've been using lately are extremely boring and not worth telling you about because you could just close your eyes and grab something off the shelf at the grocery store and that's probably what i used this morning. i am definitely not a practical person, but it does nick little pieces off my soul every time i rinse an expensive soap down the drain. where is the fun in that?! i don't shave and i prefer to remain fully clothed no matter the season so it's just dove bars + head and shoulders in my shower. i'm in a "has hair" phase this summer because i didn't want to cheat on dre, my barber, while i was in LA, and my long-tormented scalp is as fussy and difficult as ever! this is my current regimen, which may or may not be in the rotation next week, as everyone knows the only point of dealing with natural hair is fucking around with all the new shit that comes out to put on it: 1 i clean my scalp every time i'm in the shower, and i know i'm not supposed to but my scalp is a horrorshow sorry! 2 then i spritz earth's nectar green olive and lavender scalp oil sporadically on my scalp and rub it in before 3 i finally put some sort of styling cream on it, either paul mitchell the conditioner or lush r&b, which smells like an all-white day party ie the entire cast of insecure. 

moon! 
so during my neverending biblical period i got thrush from being wet all the time and my body turned into a literal ball of yeast and fire, and in a fit of desperation i sought every natural remedy i could get my hands on to keep from taking a fork to all of my damp itchy parts. nothing actually worked because nature is a scam, but i did effectively make the switch to natural deodorant with fairly decent results because the yeast in my armpits was particularly fussy about the real stuff. the first thing i had to come to terms with is "bitch you are just going to be sweaty." there's no escaping it. if you switch to natural deodorant and get out of bed and walk around know that you will do so with full swamp ass. it's just a thing you have to come to terms with. honestly, it's made me an early person who beats everyone else to the restaurant because i have to wring out whatever i'm wearing before they get there. "oh no i'm not naturally prompt, i got to this meeting twenty minutes early so i could sit on the toilet in the air conditioning with my dress off before you got here." and it's fine it's just...an adjustment. i had a "let's just get drinks!" situation right before i left town and the entire time i was literally gulping my beer to fend off heat stroke my boobs were sitting in my bralette like two recently-birthed puppies, just hot and slimy and smelling like dog food. the silver lining is that most of these natural deos come in scents that blend well with natural human musk, so it's not like when your body is clashing with "peony petals" or whatever the fuck conventional shit smells like. it's already, like, slightly funky? so when you start to turn sour around 4pm it all just kind of goes together. my go-to jams during these dog days of summer: aesop deodorant roll-on, which aminatou sow shamed me into buying; tom's long lasting deodorant in maine woodspice, which already is halfway to stinky so it won't depress you as much when the real you breaks through; and the greeench powder from lush which is surprisingly effective for some shit you are definitely gonna shake all over your outfit and shoes and probably accidentally ingest.

this is also a story about how i threw all my foundations in the garbage, too, because no matter how opulent or expensive your base is when you move through the world slick as a dolphin because you no longer wear antiperspirant every single thing you slather on your face will turn to paste. and what's to conceal when your face looks like a tacky impressionist painting that hasn't dried yet?! so the only things i am willing to tolerate on my moist i mean ~dewy~ face in the summertime are: 1 sunscreen, but lesbihonest i don't always remember because i'm never really outside and 2 liquid/cream blush, my absolute favorite holy grail desert island makeup product. sunscreens are too specific to reliably recommend to another person but i like the supergoop everyday one because it has an SPF of 50 (actually i don't care about that?) and it smells great (this is the real reason duh). glossier cloud paint is the absolute fucking best because you only need a tiny amount so that little tube is gonna last a minute, and you can just dab dab dab it on your cheeks and the upper bridge of your nose (LIFE HACK) and go from looking like a haggard corpse bride to a person who actually eats vegetables in a matter of seconds. 

stars! i always like to trick myself into believing that i can be the kind of person who wears eye makeup but you know what? i can't! my eyes just get so gooey and sticky and i can't help but blindly poke my fingers into them and make mascara soup on my face. but that doesn't stop me from occasionally trying. i got the glossier lash slick because i am susceptible to their advertisements despite the fact that they make me feel like a withered old crone, and i'm sure it's fine but i sneezed within five minutes of putting it on and gave myself a slick black eye. i also always have a tube of clinique natural and glossy because i came of age in the 90s and clinique will forever hold a place in my black honey heart. i stopped doing any eyebrow maintenance years ago because it just felt like too much work, then thicc brows came back and i could pretend to be on trend rather than just lazy. so now i get the anastasia beverly hills brow definer and kind of color in the sparse parts then use the spoolie end to brush it but honestly i'm not sure how much it does or doesn't do because i have three different colors and it makes zero difference which one i use? i'm sure the problem is my application and not the product and who knows if i have chocolate brows or dark brown brows but it does pull whatever color they are together nicely. i have a few marc jacobs eyeliner pencils that are smooth and pigmented and beautiful but the last time i wore one this dude asked if i had an eye infection and that was the end of that.


i am a veritable connoisseur of lip products. and i have been on tour twice now and the question people ask most, after "do you still talk to fred?" (i do!), is "how come you're not wearing lipstick?!" the truth is: it's hot and i'm a gross child. next time i go read to an audience about my vagina it's gonna have to be deep into november, when i can dazzle you with my impressive collection of cat hair-covered sweaters and serve a flawless matte burgundy lip. 
before it was 90 fucking degrees outside every day i could get away with pat mcgrath elson lips or keep my stila beso intact but when it's the time of year that matte lips fight a losing battle with salty sweat and unquenchable thirst i resort to my new wave: burt's bees tinted lip balms. though i'm willing to remain parched and dehydrated through the winter months for the sake of beauty i just can't get away with it in the summertime, and i get grossed out by a sticky lip print on my glass (or worse, whatever reusable bottle type thing i'm pretending to care about using), so tinted balms are a way to have some color on my lips without leaving color all over everything i come into contact with. i'm also really trying to pretend to be a casual, easygoing person by dabbling in lip stains? but both the clarins water lip stain and the urban decay lo-fi lip mousse i've been trying just make me look like i applied a real lipstick incorrectly right before eating a whole pizza. and i'm not saying that would never happen, it just didn't happen today.

quasars! i have been a fragrance person all my life. from the first bottle of sand and sable i shoplifted from the walgreens on green bay road when i was in high school to this bottle of diptyque fleur de peau i just cracked open in a vain attempt to hurry autumn along i don't care if i gotta buy stock in zyrtec you will never catch me walking around without perfume dabbed on the sweaty grime behind my ears. my old summer faves are jo malone french lime blossom and annick goutal eau d'hadrien but i mostly want to smell like a dirty old hippie so i typically mix bad witch and poppet oils from whisper sisters (two dope witches in detroit that make scented oils you can purchase here) OR dark wave and lightning paw from olo in portland, a company my girl melanie hipped me to that makes the best stuff (okay fine, CLICK HERE). i also only wanna live/work in a space that smells good? which is a fucking cop out because i could sit inside a garbage can with my laptop and write jokes, but it gives me an excuse to pretend that i have depth slash enjoy working by candlelight. i really don't! i do my best writing at 230 in the afternoon!! anyway, i like to set a ~vibe~ with: ds and durga's tomb of the eagles (honestly idk, the description says it smells like "bones and the sea" but i would describe it as "nice flowers"); byredo's peyote poem (again, the website says "spicy ode to juniper berries" and i would say "pleasant trees" but that's why their copywriters make the big bucks i guess); and boy smells' kush (them: "green, bright, and a wisp of delicate floral," me: "not really like weed!").


pooping in the summertime can be the ninth circle of hell, especially if there's insufficient bathroom air conditioning and you're just sitting in a steamy closet with the smell of microwaved shit closing in around you. is there anything worse than sweating while painfully expelling all of that grilled sweet summer corn you enthusiastically consumed at the neighbor's barbecue? haha no! except maybe when those ribs you wolfed down come sliding through? i love a good nag champa incense cone from the beauty supply when i'm in the bathroom, especially because the slow burn gives me an excuse to sit in there for a long time while avoiding human interaction. but those aren't practical for everyday life, so i keep a bottle of aesop post poo drops around because they are fancy and smell great and look like a scientist made them. it comes in an amber bottle with a dropper and you just drip a little in the bowl and it smells like you gave birth to a lemon grove instead of a greasy ball of half-digested chipotle. i'm not an expert on many things but poop is high on the list of jeopardy categories i could do well in, so please listen to me when i tell you that idk what the fuck magic poo-pourri is made of but how did any of us shit in public before now?! i'm telling you, as a person with crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis who did a cross-country tour and shit in every airport from logan to lax, that i do not go ANYWHERE without a bottle of poo-pourri in my bag. i have extolled its virtues to the many TSA agents who dumped out my belongings before giving me a deep and thorough gynecological exam to make sure i wasn't hiding a mini gun in my labia. if you see me anywhere, at any time, there is a bottle of poo-pourri somewhere on my person. don't be shy. ask to use some.

ugh god we have another, what, six weeks until humidifier season? until then i'll be over here sitting directly in front of the window unit airing out my gross armpits, gazing longingly at all the turtlenecks hanging neatly in my closet jk jk shoved recklessly into a hamper. see you in a few months with my yearly rundown of which body oils are worth absolutely destroying your nicest fall outfits.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

hot pocket.

hello, i got my uterus microwaved. anyone who has ever read a women's magazine while praying for death in a stalled grocery line can tell you that march is the perfect time for spring cleaning, and i decided that rather than trying to figure out how to "spark joy" or accidentally pass out from oven cleaner fumes i would instead check myself into the hospital and have my uterine walls scraped clean and then set on fire so that it might sit dormant and useless inside me, like my appendix or my soul. my period has been weird from the minute it showed up, rude and temperamental and inconsistent, same as every single boyfriend i had between 2004 and that 2-year period of celibacy during which i always made sure to thoroughly chew my food lest i choke on a discounted slab of salisbury steak i'd only partially defrosted for my evening meal. i'm not even gonna sugarcoat it: throughout much of the last decade i have been so preoccupied with whatever is going on with my back butt that i have only paid fleeting attention to what is going on with the front one. and fuck calling the doctor, whose prescription of TRY TO BE LESS STRESSED is not a real thing that i can actually be, okay?! i have long suffered the anxiety-ridden latenight google searches of the woman burdened with an irregular menstrual cycle:
"can i get pregnant?"
"am i actually pregnant?"
"where has my period been for the last three months?"
"can that flowers in the attic thing actually happen to me?"
"are white culottes a mistake?"
"do you need to have a period to stay alive?"

for the most part, my period has never really interfered with my daily activities, which is 100% the only reason i ever try to solve any of my problems. has it smelled weird? okay sure, but that's totally normal, at least according to my doctor the health and fitness page in cosmopolitan magazine. has it gone missing for months at a time? yes to that, too, but it's not like i ever really missed it. and it's just so easy to keep spending all my tampon money on manicures and not think about sending a search party into my cervix to see what the fuck is going on in there when month after month of fearlessly wearing light-colored pants just slips on by. if this gross collection of mucus and nitrogen wants me to acknowledge its existence, then it's gonna need to erupt like a geyser on an amtrak train. otherwise, SORRY BUT I HAVE SHOWS TO WATCH.

and then five months ago, after some months of semi-regularity i can only attribute to eating more vegetables and not talking to any men, the dam broke. i was dirtying up a fancy hotel in oppressively-hot austin just minding my business and trying not to spontaneously combust on a 90 degree day in "autumn," when i woke up in a pool of my own sticky, clotting sloughed-off endometrial cells and vaginal secretions. when i first reluctantly pried my eyes open and registered the cold, soiled diaper feeling happening below the waistband of my stegosaurus pajama bottoms i thought, with a cheerfulness that is quite foreign to me, "wow my butt sweats a lot!" it was definitely not sweat. and i don't know what's on your list of nightmare situations that you pray never happen to you (number one on my list? ever witnessing any sort of crime), but please slide UNWITTINGLY DESTROYING A HOTEL BED to the top if it isn't there already. 

i oozed out of bed, trying not to further damage any blindingly white property i will never be able to afford to replace, and calculated how best to remove my clothes without turning the room into something from the shining. and then, once they were off, how could i clean them? what was i supposed to do with the carnage that had occurred between the bleached sheets? does the intercontinental ever allow people to shame wash their own soiled bedding?! i texted amelia, the only adult in my phone who knows how to capably handle a sensitive etiquette situation, and she told me to pull everything off the bed and roll it into a tight ball (because this signifies to the staff that something horrible happened in there and under no circumstances should they hazard a glance) and put everything on the floor, then leave all the cash i had in my wallet on the bed and find someplace air conditioned to bleed all day so i wouldn't have to make awkward, apologetic small talk with the person tasked with sorting the blood-splattered towels of a person whose period tracker just reads ??? every month. is this what it's like to be drake? i wondered aloud to myself, picturing him singing softly as he neatly rolled sheets soaked in expensive champagne and various bodily fluids into a tight cylinder, kicking aside discarded louboutins and candy wrappers. no, he definitely has an assistant for that.

i never stopped bleeding! the next day, i bled on delta flight 1822 from austin to detroit. i bled all through friendsgiving dinner two weeks later, during which i sat in a diaper on a dark-colored towel and refused the cranberry sauce because it looked too much like my period. i bled in my reindeer pjs on christmas eve, hoping santa would leave me an industrial pack of depends under the tree. i bled through the new year. i was still bleeding on valentine's day.

i just spent the past two harried months squinting at flight information displays in DC and san francisco and omaha airports while lugging twenty pounds of leggings i tried not to spill anything on during my book tour, and i knew there was no way on earth i was going to be able to do that while also worrying that my personal red wedding could strike, in public, at any moment. so i called my new doctor, one i found who i knew wouldn't prescribe deep breathing and essential oils to not fix my out of whack hormones, and asked for a hysterectomy. which i thought would be easy, like ordering a pizza or getting an uber. i thought i had at least most of the necessary pieces of the hysterectomy jigsaw puzzle: an aversion to inexplicably bleeding like a wounded animal for weeks at a time, being old enough to remember watching gimme a break while sitting cross legged on an unironic shag carpet, a wife. 

but did you know that 38 is still "young?" and that queers can have babies?! (jk jk every gay couple i know has, like, nine kids.) anyway my dude was like "lol yeah right we're leaving it in you don't have fibroids" even as i was actively bleeding through my underwear and pants, gooey red jelly seeping onto that noisy white crinkle paper they line the exam table with. but he did offer to do a hysteroscopy (a thin, lighted tube is inserted into the uterus so the doctor can read whatever ancient hieroglyphics have been written on its walls; i imagine there was some hastily written "daniel was here, bitch" graffiti on the closest wall of the cave); a D and C (dilation and curettage, where they scrape the uterine lining off with a soup spoon); and an endometrial ablation (i think there are multiple delicious options on the ablation menu, but pretty sure mine was burned off with a microwave wand, which will never not be cool to me). a veritable smorgasbord of gynecological delights.

i have not been penetrated that deeply in a very long time and it's a bummer that i had to sleep through it, although the fentanyl they pumped into my veins afterward was as good as any dick i've ever had. i'd never been under general anesthesia before, and the experience wasn't like grey's anatomy at all? there was no sabotage being plotted in any supply closets, no gunman busting in and taking us hostage even though i desperately need the kidney they're about to implant in me and if i don't get it i will die, no McDreamy gazing dreamily down at me while sensually telling me to count backwards from ten as i lust over each individual coarse bit of stubble in his smoldering five o'clock shadow. oh no, in outpatient operating room number three McTired barked "YOU'RE GONNA FEEL SOME HEAT" in my general direction then my brain caught fire for two seconds and i disappeared from earth, only to regain consciousness in a room full of very nice nurses who brought me cold drinks that i struggled not to throw up. and then they gave me a bag of disposable underwear to leak into and sent me home where i could whine to my heart's content, like the baby i would no longer be capable of giving birth to.

it's two months later and i feel as good as a person with untreated anxiety can allow herself to feel, which is to say that i am cautiously optimistic because i haven't seen aunt flo in a while but also battling the sinking feeling of dread that has formed in the pit of my stomach because i just used the term aunt flo. do people even say that anymore? am i even funny? is this totally dumb?! now that i don't have to think about accidentally staining my chair at olive garden i have so much more bandwidth to worry about other inconsequential shit! bring on the unflattering and seasonally inappropriate white pants!!1!!11!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

on the road again.

i'm going on tour, again. this time, to support the re-release of my first book, meaty. i cannot wait to lug my computer from state to state pretending i'm gonna get some work done and pack a bunch of back-breaking hardcover books that i'm definitely gonna bail on in favor of whatever john cena film is available on the plane. that's right i'm abandoning my many cats and inside pants to travel across the country with a knot of anxiety in my stomach as i anticipate stammering over words i actually wrote as people record my foibles on their phones and then tag me in the uploads so i can relive the humiliation ad infinitum. also it's a rough time for me to be away from home, as i just got caught up on the voice and i'm still trying to wrap my head around what the fuck the deal is with here and now plus billions is coming back this weekend! does the best western milwaukee offer showtime as part of their basic package!? 

one of the things you should understand, as you scroll through this list and feel your blood boiling with rage as you realize that where you live isn't anywhere close to where i'm going, is that i don't make this schedule. no one calls me and says "hey sam, tell me in which direction to point the magic carpet!" i get an email with a list of dates and places and times and then i email back "okay looks good" without really registering what it says while wondering who i know that will buy me a beer in [your city here]. if the shit were up to me my tour would be 1 evanston, illinois and 2 the flying j truck stop between where i live and evanston, illinois. flying across the country to get flop sweat all over a bunch of people who will inevitably be disappointed that they've chosen to leave the house after 6pm on a weeknight is a petrifying idea, and figuring out how many unflattering cat sweaters to try and sneak past the TSA is even worse.

okay so here's the list. i'm pretty sure it's accurate. generally, they all start in the 7-730p range, except omaha which i noted below. some of these things are ticketed. some of these things are not. none of these things is my responsibility! don't text me! i have a list of the places i'm staying written on the back of a napkin that i stuck in my wallet and a bunch of printed-out emails of all my flights that have changed a dozen times, i don't know shit about the parking options at a bookstore in the middle of minneapolis! DO YOUR GOOGLES.

tuesday april 3
brookline booksmith
brookline, MA
link!

friday april 6
books are magic
in conversation with abbi jacobson
brooklyn, NY
link!

tuesday april 10
politics & prose
washington DC
link!

wednesday april 11
town hall
in conversation with lindy west
seattle, WA
link!

friday april 13
powell's burnside
portland, OR
link!

monday april 16
the booksmith
san francisco, CA
link!

tuesday april 17
book soup
los angeles, CA
link!

wednesday april 25
bookbug/this is a bookstore
kalamazoo, MI
link!

thursday may 3
women and children first (wilson abbey)
chicago, IL
link!

tuesday may 8
moon palace
minneapolis, MN
link!

wednesday may 9
brooklyn park library
minneapolis, MN
link!

thursday may 10
boswell book company
milwaukee, WI
link!

friday may 11
city opera house
traverse city, MI
link!

saturday may 19
the bookworm 1pm start time!!
in conversation with rainbow rowell
omaha, NE
link!

if you already bought meaty, first of all? i don't believe you! but, just in case you have and need to be convinced to get the update, allow me to enumerate the reasons you should buy this new version:
1 there's a hedgehog on it. i'm not sure how scowling baby animals became my brand but i'm into it. i apologize in advance to those of you whose small children try to select it for their bedtime story based on the cover alone.
2 it's full of CAPS CAPS CAPS and the word "motherfucker" is in it approximately 4000 times. i recorded the audiobook a month ago and i should get a fucking prize for surviving that humbling experience. my editor wanted to keep the book as close to its original form as possible. so i wrote some new stuff and added it to the mix but i didn't get to erase everything that now sounds stupid to my wizened 38-year-old ears. i flinched through the entire thing like "wow i can't believe i wrote that i don't even talk like that anymore."
3 bitch it's like the cost of a fancy latte come on now. far be it from me to count your money for you but listen there's a reason i only make paperbacks. hardcover books cost, what, thirty bucks? YEAH RIGHT, HOE. i mean i'll buy that shit but i'm definitely gonna resent you the whole time! but you don't even have to waste your hate energy on me because it's cheap, it tucks into a handbag, and it's only 280+ pages so it's not that huge of a commitment. and even those are mostly recipes and tons of curse words strung together. it'll fly by!

if i'm coming to your town and you happen to be free and don't mind keeping your pants on for an extra hour after you get done with work come check me out. please don't make me read about buttholes to an empty room. i promise that i am very charming and polite; i won't even break your balls after you make the 137th iteration of the "we're actually meeting in real life!!11!1!!!" joke of the evening.
ps, i've stopped wearing deodorant. see you soon!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

swipe left!

my okcupid screen name was fartthrob. i can't remember exactly what i wrote in my ~extremely earnest~ profile, but i know that it was probably full of awkward attempts at humor while also apologizing in advance to anyone who dared to meet me in real life. my shit had paragraphs, okay? i was really trying to distill the best parts of myself into an appealing internet soundbite that was impressive yet also sincere. i never pledged allegiance to obscure bands i couldn't quote off the top of my head, never pretended to be really into coffee or sushi or anything that could be disproven within five minutes of making my acquaintance. there's always some wiseguy who'll show up at the restaurant like "oh hey aren't you really into albino caviar?" and then you gotta smile and choke that slimy shit down or admit that you're a lying asshole. i can't deal with that kind of pressure. honestly my headline should have been: LIKES MCDONALDS, ON MEDS.

two of my actual friends who live in totally different parts of the country have recently found themselves scrolling through tinder and/or okcupid, presumably looking for handsome and wildly successful strangers to save them from the doldrums of dating and transport them to their amazing new futures as women who use hashtags like #lovehim and #heputaringonit, and within the last few weeks both of these jerks texted me screenshots of profiles either featuring pictures of my book's cover or featuring quotes like "just started reading samantha irby's book" and LOLWAT. first of all, does that actually work?! living is a mistake! fuck i couldn't get fucking laid fucking being samantha irby so is my perimenopausal book that is 70% about shitting in the street really getting brian in new york city some unenthusiastic sex?!

first of all, i'm not humblebragging. i'm genuinely mystified! THAT BOOK IS ABOUT A HOUSECAT AND MY DEAD DAD WHAT THE FUCK. if i picked any of those essays and read it to you you'd put me in therapy, not offer to finger me! what have i been doing wrong?! i'm fucking salty. anyhow, gentlemen: thank you i guess. i (ahem, the multi-tentacled publishing conglomerate that allowed me to write at length about my asshole on a national stage) appreciate your sixteen dollars. writing a book is hard! i mean, not ~brain surgery~ hard? but harder than, say, crying alone in a dark room while listening to foreign fields, which is what i would much rather have spent a whole year doing rather than entertaining men with dogs as their profile picture with my pain. and i'm married to your mom's crafty sister, so it's not like i could run out and expose myself to a bunch of people's pheromones to celebrate my crowning achievement; the day my fucking book came out i had a sensible, nutritionally balanced meal at three in the afternoon and fell asleep with my clothes on and modern family reruns muted on the tv. i'm not a jealous person but i do hate a lot of things, and knowing that quoting me is more lucrative than actually being me? i hate that a lot!

so this is how your courtship gotta go if you use my stupid cat book to try to fuck people on the internet, because fuck you:

1 you gotta pay. no matter where you fall on the gender spectrum, if you pretend that you read what i write then you have to know that i want the inviter to foot the bill, not only because i have a deep and abiding respect for manners but also because nothing is more excruciating than that awkward moment the bill comes and everyone at the table does the herky-jerky wallet dance. and that bill can't be for a date that involves "chilling at my place" or "a coffee at that spot down the street from my job." i'm not so out of it and naive that i think you're on bumble to buy a stranger a five course meal but i also don't think you should get your salad tossed for the price of a latte.

2 you gotta have a sex playlist full of the saddest songs ever recorded. I DON'T BELIEVE IN ROMANTIC MUSIC. music is for weeping softly into a pilled sweater with holes in it that the cat barfed on that you haven't sufficiently cleaned, not for sex! but if you insist, let's bang to radiohead b-sides or some shit then lie next to each other and have nightmares. don't embarrass me by making me take my shirt off to whatever you think 
how long does sex take? thirteen minutes? anyway, here's five songs that have made me cry in the last seven days to dry hump to:
"after slice" ivory waves
"silver soul" beach house
"death of a star" james tillman
"la lune" king krule
"live well" palace
i would not ~make love~ to these songs, i would read a little life by candlelight to these songs, but you do you.

3 you gotta have a three towels minimum and two-ply toilet paper. i'm not even sure how often i have had to use a towel in someone else's house but i want the fucking option, okay? i just want to know that if i suddenly get a nosebleed or accidentally find that spongy spot buried deep within my vaginal wall that i've read about dozens of times in cosmo that unlocks my secret squirting powers that i won't have to mop up the wreckage with a bunch of ketchup-sticky burger king napkins. those are for when company comes over. ugh and they even manufacture one-ply toilet paper for home use is beyond me, but if you are a human person who can find people six blocks away to fuck on your handy pocket computer, you can reach on past that scott's megaroll (it balls up in your ass hairs, come on fam!) and grab that cushy charmin extra strong.

4 you gotta have a stack of books somewhere. i don't even feel like this is that much of a stretch if the bait you used to lure some unsuspecting catfish was a picture of my goddamn book. but maybe you borrowed it for instagram purposes, which i understand believe me, but i hope you at least skimmed the first couple of pages. even if you didn't, grab some books it looks like you might convincingly sit down to read, and display them in clear view from the bed. don't be like me that time this dude i was IN LOVE WITH asked what i thought of the stranger, a copy of which i had casually tossed on the coffee table he would have to walk past after learning of its existence a mere two weeks prior on his black planet profile. it was the "excuse me, what?" heard round the world. learn from my mistakes, children. leave out a book you read junior year.

5 you gotta have a tv. i know i'm showing every single one of my 137 years here but listen: i hate watching shit on the goddamn computer. i do it sometimes, because of airport layovers and writing procrastination, but i don't like it. i think this might be a holdover fear from my impoverished youth, but i'm terrified of falling asleep with my computer on the bed and shorting the fucking keyboard out because i drooled on it or whatever. and this shit cost over a thousand motherfucking dollars, which is more than i paid for an actual car once and yes i was too embarrassed to valet it and once parked it six blocks away from the club so no one i was eventually gonna hit on would see me getting out of that raggedy shit but that is beside the point. THESE MACHINES ARE EXPENSIVE. also, it's literally impossible for two people to comfortably watch a laptop and both enjoy the show don't @ me.

apparently amanda swiped right on the most recent self-proclaimed fan of my work, and i told her that if they hang she has to facetime me during the sex so i can tell him whether or not i'm a big fan of his, too.



if you're in the market for romance and need some bait, get my old book: here
and you can pre-order my new-ish book: here for after you guys break up!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

what the fuck is "art."

art is boring! i do not understand surrealism, performance art makes me uncomfortable, and nuance is lost on me. what is a triptych? abstract art mostly doesn't make sense? when was the neoclassical period? are these things it might actually benefit my life to know!? probably not! i mean, ART is for pretentious assholes. but listen, i also used to call a quiche a kweesh so who the fuck even cares what i have to say about a painting.

when i was pretending to be a cool twentysomething in the city i used to lie to people i was interested in having sex with and say i was curious about art, but that's an easy thing to say that is nearly impossible to disprove. if you say you know about art and then someone asks you a serious question about it and all you can do in response is stammer, "um, duh, frida kahlo?" then THAT SUCKS. but if you claim to be "curious" the very definition of that shit is literally "idk but i might want to?" i mean i'm curious about a lot of things:
-lion cubs
-bolivia
-heart surgery
but that doesn't mean i could carry on an intelligent conversation about any of those subjects. (and if i'm being honest i don't care enough about any of them to do more than skim an article or two.) here's the thing: i don't know anything. okay that's not true, i know a handful of super specific things that i will likely never be tested on, plus if there ever was an impromptu general knowledge exam i could probably fake my way through at least 3/4 of it, but i don't really know anything i could ever speak confidently about to anyone else, especially if they are more than nine years old. people are always asking me to speak at things where audience members will have clipboards and recording devices hoping to use whatever i'm saying practically in their own lives and my response every time is ARE YOU KIDDING ME. listen, i would love to speak at your university's gastrointestinal conference, sir in my inbox, but i don't even know which one my pancreas is. call up someone who actually knows what bile does.

when the producer of this podcast "a piece of work" that was in development and emailed to ask if i would be interested in going to a museum in new york and looking at art with my pal abbi i was like "haha yeah right girl what is a podcast." every week i listen to the read while cleaning the bathroom but other than that i can't be bothered. and okay, i listened to serial the first time around and became heavily invested in adnan's fate and when i remember it exists i can sometimes find this american life on public radio in the car but seriously podcasts are overwhelming to me so i mostly just steer clear of them. 1 there are a lot of them, and i don't know how to decide which one to listen to, and even if i could narrow them all down to just a couple is it fair to start with the most recent or do i have to go all the way back to the beginning and if the shit's been on since 2013 how am i ever gonna catch up? that's a lot of pressure! 2 also how do you listen to a podcast while doing anything else, please tell me. i have to sit still and focus like i'm in a classroom, with absolutely zero distractions in my line of vision, otherwise ten minutes into it i have no idea what the fuck i just heard. i tried to listen to dirty john a few weeks ago during a road trip and i missed the directions because siri sort of sounds like debra and i wasn't paying attention and long story short i still have no idea how it ends. 3 i listened to a joel osteen podcast ONE LOUSY TIME and now every time i check my podcasts there are his crinkly eyes asking "are you living a life of peace?" and you know what i don't need that kind of inquisition, reverend.

i took an art history class the one semester i paid attention in my scattered college career twenty years ago and honestly the only thing i remember was that the dude who always just happened to find the seat in front of mine in the middle of a crowded fucking auditorium would fall into a deep, comfortable sleep as soon as the professor dimmed the lights and i marveled that a person could relax that much anywhere, let alone in an auditorium full of rowdy nineteen-year-olds. i'm pretty sure i got a good grade in the class and i could not tell you how, because i have retained precisely 0% of all of the information i learned from those endless slideshows. but i agreed to do it despite my raging impostor syndrome and i went to new york and met abbi at the MoMA PS1 in queens, mostly because i had no idea when in the history of earth my name would be listed in the same sentence with rupaul or questlove ever the fuck again and turning down this opportunity felt ridiculous even for me. after i climbed to the top of the fucking building (why nyc just why) abbi greeted me in some fashion clothes with fashion hair and fashion electric blue eyeliner and let me tell you what it's like to have exactly one super-famous friend: on the one hand you'll be wide-eyed and mystified by their doing some dumb regular-ass shit like "whoa girl, you use the same stupid fucking google i use?!??!!!?!" and then on the other you'll meet up with them on a random thursday afternoon and they're still in makeup from being shot for THE COVER OF A FUCKING MAGAZINE. i was trying to discreetly wring out my soaking wet foundation garments because no matter what new york is always hot and you always have to scale the face of a mountain to get wherever you're trying to go while this bitch breezed in looking like a spring day on some "oh hey, i'm a model today." lol just fucking murder me already.

first they showed us this piece of text art (is that even a thing) that i looked at and, for the life of me, was rendered speechless because it just looked like a bunch of messy words that i could have made with five minutes and an inkpad but that is such a ridiculous thing to think and i was embarrassed because WHAT IF THESE PEOPLE CAN READ MY MIND and they know that in my head i am downplaying what is surely an impressive artwork too great for my tiny little cat brain to understand?! i was staring at it waiting for something brilliant to come out of my mouth but all i could formulate was "how much did this dude get paid to make this?" and listen i know the answer is either "one million dollars" or "they paid him in soup" because art is a mystery but i honestly wanted to know. what if i am wasting my time stringing my own words together and hoping they are funny and make sense when the real money is in quoting someone else's words and making them look cool on a canvas?

see, don't take me anywhere nice! or show me anything good! i'm the guy who puts ketchup on the steak like "durrr what's the big deal?" and you should absolutely know better than to take me to a place with cloth napkins! abbi was super cool about it and said "dude this is the reaction we want" and rachel the producer was laughing in a way that was definitely with me and not at me but all i could imagine was hannibal burress having some secret knowledge of color theory and scale while i was embarrassing myself slack-jawed in front of these paintings like "WOW, PRETTY."

next we went into a special room to look at a light installation, and all of the words that follow this sentence have been lifted verbatim from MoMA's description of the piece because my brain is literally a cake that fell in: one of artist james turrell’s celebrated skyspaces, meeting is a site-specific installation that invites viewers to gaze upwards toward an unobstructed view of the sky. a key representative of the “light and space” movement centered in los angeles during the 1960s, james turrell creates works of art that consist primarily of light, exploring fundamental questions about the nature of human perception by rendering tangible the act of vision. SOUNDS FUCKING DOPE, RIGHT. so the deal is you have to view the installation at sunset, and the best way to view it is to lie down on the floor in this room and stare at this hole that has been cut into the ceiling while a series of colored lights manipulates what you think you're seeing. so we (me, abbi, the sound guy who was very nice despite having to contort into many uncomfortable-looking yoga positions to record two idiots lying on their backs on the floor) all got down on the floor (i'm pretty sure i haven't been on a floor since my early 20s before all this joint disease started ruining my life and it definitely was a three-step process) and into prime viewing position (my left boob immediately rolled into my armpit and have you ever been in a super serious situation, like a thing you really can't afford to mess up, and right in the middle of it you feel a fart coming and you have to shift all of your attention to your butthole? because yes you need to nail this job interview but there's no way to do that if you release rotten broccoli wind in to your potential new boss's cramped office?) then the lightshow started as the sun began its descent (one half of my brain froze, existing only to monitor the incremental movements of whatever was happening on my chest while also tracking the various cell phone cameras circling the room, and the other tried to make the word "magenta" sound natural while coming out of my mouth and wondering just how goddamn long it takes the sun to go all the way the fuck down) and granted i grew up poor and didn't leave the midwest until my friends moved out of state and their parents flew me out to see them but wow it was the most amazing thing i've ever seen. i don't even know what i said to describe the optical illusion i was looking at but i do know now that test driving a bra you bought off the internet in front of people you want to impress is a horrible fucking idea. 

it was the most breathtakingly beautiful thing i have ever seen and i really did almost cry but also halfway through i was like "is my foot asleep?" and i couldn't stop thinking about what a terrible choice wearing a loose garbage bag dress had been. anyway if you like podcasts, or you are willing to suffer through some because you want to hear what i sound like lying on a carpet sounding like i'm buzzed on shrooms while dying internally of humiliation and trying to think of synonyms for the word "awesome" that sound convincingly like i'd say them, you can find all of the episodes of abbi's podcast "a piece of work" here. you'll like it even if you don't give a shit about art. at the very least, you can talk to someone you might want to have sex with about it.


click here and buy this thing i made!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

bitches gotta read: i am not your perfect mexican daughter.

happy belated thanksgiving, i guess. you know what i'm thankful for? the dubious, ever-shifting number of days during which we have to fumble around wishing people various forms of holiday cheer while squirming on the inside because whatever people's plans are they are definitely more exciting than yours and all you wanted to do was run into target for some sale-priced cake mix and whoops that dude you hate from high school just happens to be contemplating frosting choices and you didn't bother to put on a decent bra because who can even tell you have a body under the pile of gas station rags you fashioned into a winter coat this year but he is clearly staring at where your nipples are grazing the drawstring holding your gravy pants up while pretending he doesn't notice the pillowcase creases in your cheek.
him: "hey sam! you look great! got any big plans for christmas this year?!"
me, a collection of random dead body parts frankensteined together with ultra-absorbent maxi pads and old cheese: "i was just planning to build a shrine to my dead cat and mail something under $15 to a stranger from my internet gift exchange. and you, person who never had an ugly phase and hasn't aged a day (specifically to spite me)?"
him: "wow! that sounds interesting! i somehow can afford to fly twenty of my closest friends to aspen even though we're the exact same age and you have just enough cash to pay for that one box of brownie mix i can't believe you got a cart to push around!"
end scene.

so i have this new gig writing book recommendations for marie claire (GET A DAMN SUBSCRIPTION ALREADY) which is fun and weird because i am not very good at brevity and summing up a whole ass book in 75 words that both accurately detail the plot while also  explain why you should read it is really fucking hard. have you ever tried to convince someone to read your favorite book and ended up sounding like a total asshole? every month i'm like "i liked this book but how do i make other people like what i like without being irritating or boring them to death." i read little fires everywhere and i loved it so much and i wrote this passionate and funny recommendation that i thought perfectly encapsulated it and then i did a count and had to trim 212 words to 75 and all i ever wanted as a kid was super short assignments and now that i've got them i can't stop having diarrhea all over my keyboard. anyway all my beloved thrillers and YA novels are piling up because 1 i love tv and 2 no one is paying me to read them, but don't worry i'm getting my shit back together slowly but surely for this book club.

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


brief internet synopsis:
Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family. But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role. Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed. But it’s not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first kiss, first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister’s story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal?

i got an early copy of this book before it came out and i tore through it in a day. first of all, it's set in chicago but, more important than that, it features a character from evanston. i.e. the place where both lena waithe and i went to high school. the book is so funny and so great and i met erika a few weeks ago at the texas book festival and she is a total joy and let me awkwardly hug her even though it was 90 actual degrees outside and everyone was damp to the touch. since i'm playing catch up and haven't given you a list of shit to read in a minute, here are some books i've read in real life on my own dime from other people i got to press my sweaty flesh against in the oppressive austin heat:
made for love by alissa nutting, a genius.
the floating world by morgan bapst, a champion.
eat only when you're hungry by lindsay hunter, a sorceror. (and my homie from way back)
all grown up by jami attenberg, a virtuoso.
goodbye, vitamin by rachel khong, a wizard.
okay whew now my guilt is assuaged for dropping the ball, especially since i went to the trouble to hyperlink all of this shit which i never ever fucking do. these should keep you occupied, depending on your reading speed and/or your penchant for cheesy hallmark holiday movies, for at least a few weeks of hiding from all the people who bought you hanukkah socks or whatever other garbage you didn't ask for.


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