Thursday, April 2, 2015

i'm taking my dead dad on vacation.

this is my dad. well not really, because my dad was this little chubby guy with a weird sense of humor who smelled like murray's pomade and wore paisley polyester shirts with exaggerated collars. this is a box containing his incinerated cremains, and they have sat in a bag in my closet for the last six years while i have avoided the subject of figuring out what the fuck to do with them. it took eleven years after he died for me to even summon the courage to pick them up from the funeral home, and even then i made my sister do it because i was too chickenshit. i was 18 when he died and 29 when my sister came to my job carrying a blue shopping bag with this dusty fake wood box in it and the first thing i thought after peeking inside was, "BITCH HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO TAKE THIS HOME ON THE MOTHERFUCKING TRAIN." she couldn't just swing by the crib? i gotta drag this heavy box of dust around yawning brooks brothers suits and teenagers twerking for change on the red line!?

when i die i want to be cremated and sprinkled on the breakfasts of my enemies. or whatever works for whoever is around. last thing i ever want to do is stress my homies out from the grave. i don't know whether or not SB had a death plan, but if he did he didn't tell that shit to me. the last time i spoke to him i was in my dorm room at northern illinois and he had just suffered a brain-frying stroke and was describing to me these hallucinations he was having that he truly believed were real. i'm not even sure he knew who he was talking to as he described riding a bicycle through the morgue to check on the dead bodies. LOLWUT. his funeral was heavily attended by evanston's finest assortment of drunks and degenerates, his closest friends, which means there were actual men in salvation army suits circa 1973 smoking kools and tipping out brown-bagged fifths of cheap vodka in remembrance of their fallen comrade onto the street in front of the funeral home minutes before his homegoing service. it was kind of exciting.

our family tree is so goddamn sparse that if you shake it you'd probably start a fire. my dad is from mississippi but spent his formative years in memphis where he fathered two sons before promptly abandoning them to move to chicago and eventually meet my mother, who already had three young girl children of her own. they were black people married for eleven years before finally deciding to do it the white way, and they celebrated by deciding to create a new human life using a dusty old egg and a doggy paddling fifty year old sperm. in case you can't really put together what that means today let me lay it out for you like this: ALL OF MY SIBLINGS ARE NEARING SIXTY AND EVERYONE ELSE IS DEAD. my sisters are going through motherfucking menopause. think about that next time yours is bugging you for twenty bucks or your netflix password or whatever.

i haven't seen or spoken to either of my brothers since they attended my mom's funeral in june of 1998. that's part of the reason i've never done anything with our old man, because it's just my luck that the minute i decide to dump this asshole in a barbecue grill or sprinkle him outside the shady men's hotel he lived in for a while one of them will turn up and be upset that i hadn't included him in the decision. my sisters don't give a shit; he was the kind of jerk stepfather who yelled a lot about nothing and nailed the windows shut after they'd snuck out of them at night to go meet their boyfriends. hell, he punched me in the face when i was in high school over a frying pan. he wasn't always the nicest person. carmen has our mother because she's the oldest and super responsible and she knew her the longest so cool. i ended up with SB on a technicality. the thought of transferring them to a nice container grosses me out, plus i ain't got no fireplace. where is he supposed to go? should i, like, display him? NOT DOING THAT. but isn't it wild disrespectful to just, um, throw him away? is there no discreet disposal service i could use? WHY DID THEY MAKE ME HIS GUARDIAN I HATE BEING IN CHARGE OF THINGS. i've had a million opportunities to do something with him, but if andre or cedric wanted to take part in getting covered in microscopic bits of our dead father as an inevitable breeze blows him back in our stupid faces who am i to deny them that experience?

THE PROBLEM THO: i can't fucking find them. these are not men who "facebook." once every couple of years i do some google sleuthing and call the first handful of phone numbers i come across, but so far they have all been dead ends. i have a couple addresses? but who the fuck knows if they live there anymore. the last time i was in memphis i was 15 and spent the entire time taking pictures of women in blue eyeshadow sobbing at graceland. i'm not sentimental; i don't save birthday cards or baby pictures or newspaper clippings, i have no real traditions, i throw everything away the minute it stops being shiny and new. this dusty box that's full of my dad's ground up bones and brain has been sitting in my coat closet between the cat carrier and a bag of hats + mittens for seven years and i am not moving it to another apartment ever again. it's time for this dude to get free, ie stop creeping me the fuck out every time i need a goddamn jacket.

so today mavis and i are renting a car and driving to tennessee where i am going to engage in two potentially dangerous things: 1 trying nashville hot chicken for the first time and 2 knocking on the doors of some unsuspecting strangers who probably wear gun holsters to ask if the residents within know either of my brothers. it'll be just like that book "are you my mommy?" with fewer teeth and more n-words. basically what i'm trying to say is that i'm probably about to get murdered. helen is enjoying a spa week at the kennel, i cleaned the stove and mopped the kitchen because that seems like a smart thing to do before leaving town, i made the craziest playlist ever in the hopes of staying awake on the road, yet i still have not: packed my clothes, gathered all of my medications, decided whether or not to take a full bottle of good shampoo or travel size bottles of a mediocre one, purchased road snacks, or PICKED A PLACE TO DUMP THESE STUPID ASHES. some ideas:

1 liquor store. we had those 12 step books all over our goddamned house. i'm not sure why, because even though he drained the family savings on three separate attempts at inpatient rehab, that dude just loved to drink. E&J, grain alcohol, nyquil: you name it, he drank it. most of the people in his professional life had no idea; he saved the shoe polish drinking for those of us he loved the absolute most. try as he might he could not shake that demon. i am a tenderheart when it comes to addiction. life is fucking terrible, and if you reach for a bottle of pinot gris or a cheeseburger when you feel bad i get it. shit, i am it. i don't judge, because you can look at my body and see just how awful times in my life have been. look, i'm happy for those of you who have no emotional attachment to food or booze or pills but fuck you if you can't cut the rest of us a fucking break. drink your water and eat your carrots and have some goddamn empathy.

2 someplace that sells lottery tickets. every christmas i would get a fistful of scratch off tickets. my dad would play $50-60 a day: 3-digit, 4-digit, dollar straight, dollar box. does anyone under the age of thirty know what the fuck those words even mean? he used to hang out at this place called ramy's and every fucking day would exchange thick wads of cash for a handful of flimsy tickets. and that motherfucker couldn't catch a cold. he never won shit. yet every day he dutifully played his numbers, a grown man whose wife had put him out and was so broke that he was living in a rooming house with a communal fucking bathroom at 60+ years old still found fifty bucks a day to spend on his birthday, my birthday, his anniversary, our old address, the last four digits of his first phone number, and so on.

3 a restaurant with pig feet on the menu. my dad ate, like, six things. TOTAL. kidney beans, potted meat, hot water cornbread, pigs feet, fried chicken wings, and black walnut ice cream. i lived with him my junior year of high school and i am not kidding, he never deviated from that super-nutritious diet. i would go to the store with him and gaze wistfully at all of the fresh vegetables and cheese while he loaded up our cart with vienna sausages and cornmeal, longing for the day he would let me at least smell the warm bread in the bakery. "but you live in the north now!" i would plead, shaking a box of tuna helper under his disapproving nose. "we like pizza here!" occasionally he would go to KFC and i could get some goddamn cole slaw and corn, but if i ate a vegetable in 1996 that motherfucker came from 1 school or 2 your mom's house.

4 at a dice game. once my father hit a dude in the head with a hammer on our front porch because, as legend has it, that gentleman tried to cheat the old man during a vicious game of click clack. A REAL HAMMER. can you believe that old country ass shit? how much could a bunch of broke motherfuckers possibly bet on craps that justifies a goddamn brain injury?! (ps, my dad was the best.) SB was also incredibly proficient at bid whist, a partnership trick-taking game that is very popular among african-americans. i told you this dude loved gambling more than he loved his children and/or pets, and one time he let me sit in on a spades hand and we got set because i overbid and he for real would not feed me dinner that night. I WAS NINE, FAM. he was for real, like, "goodnight, samantha" at four in the afternoon. i have little joker nightmares to this very day.

5 outside of al green's church. SB was not religious, but come on. how cool would that be!? i know the words to "my god is real!" that whole "livin' for you" album is a jam. that's how it works, right? instead of preaching he just sings a medley of his greatest god-related hits? my body is ready.

so i'ma try not to fall asleep on the road and order hella room service in this swanky hotel for a week and listen to some country music and work on my book which is due in two months holy fucking shit and maybe reunite with my brothers and watch that show nashville on hulu to be ironical and instagram some obnoxious meals and see dave chappelle at the ryman and probably drop SB in a river or something. and pour a little out for my homie.

Friday, March 20, 2015

the seven types of bitches you run into at the club.

1 the bitch whose feet are fucking killing her. THANK YOU, BASED GOD, FOR OLD NAVY ACTIVE COMPRESSION PANTS. i decided a long time ago that i would just patiently wait for high-waisted underpants and threadbare cardigans to come in style, and until they do i'm not really gonna try that goddamn hard. i never want to go anywhere or do anything, but it's kind of hard to be a person if you don't. i just want to eat ribs in my jammies and text my vote for that one girl on the voice 137 times, not spend my rent money on tequila and cabs while wearing uncomfortable shoes and pants that dig into my soft meat. which is why i fucking don't anymore. i went to the club this past weekend and, you know what? SHIT AIN'T CHANGED. dudes will still elbow you in the jaw to beat you to the 1/2 inch of empty space at the bar into which they must wedge themselves to order a drink, and ladies are still tiptoeing through the used condoms and discarded needles in too-small fake louboutins. not me, though. fuck a stiletto. i wear crocs and compression stockings because i'm one of those people who is good at learning from the mistakes of others. that's why i wear my pajamas to the disco, because i like to let my shit hang. my discomfort has never been appropriately rewarded. every fish i've ever dragged out of the sea was caught tangled up in a pair of support hose, because my ankles are swollen. BUT MY FEET FEEL FUCKING AMAZING.

2 the bitch who really did come for the food. this is me, at your company party: hovering suspiciously close to the crab dip with my belt unbuckled, nibbling directly from the assorted snack trays while trying to avoid getting locked into an excruciating conversation with someone boring. the nightlife landscape is changing: no longer are you forced to leave the party spot to hit up the tamale cart or dank shawarma hole to soak up all those appletinis you let someone's recently-widowed dad buy for you! never again will you have to eat a bowl of rice, six fig newtons, and half a peanut butter sandwich while doing your makeup trying to fill up your stomach before pouring a bunch of overpriced beers into it! i don't know how it is where you live, but chicago is fucking full of these places all of a sudden, and it's the goddamn best. especially if you're one of those people who like to look occupied so no one in the bar will suspect how lonely and terrible she is in real life. CAN'T TELL THAT THESE FEELINGS ARE SAD IF I'M BUSY EATING THEM CAN YOU, BRO. um, what. anyway, food is good. shit what am i even talking about anymore.


4 the zooey deschanel bitch. i do not believe in whimsical humans. bjork? whimsical human. amelie? whimsical fictional human. YOU in a too-small cupcake printed modcloth dress and messy pigtails turning cartwheels in the middle of a disco? ANNOYING REGULAR PERSON WHO HAS WATCHED 500 DAYS OF SUMMER TOO MANY GODDAMN TIMES. you've seen her: the bitch with a live bird in her purse who skips through restaurants and signs for the fed ex delivery with a teeny little adorable heart. or the one with an entire potted plant in her hair doing public cartwheels with her shoes off while hurling confetti at passing cars. the baby voices and the ladybug cupcakes and the getting glitter all over the place: EXHAUSTING. and they're everywhere. k and i were at 3 dots a few months ago and, after approximately 37 banana daiquiris and a bunch of shrimp, i decided i had to pee aka vomit. and the one thing standing between me and the safety and comfort of a tiki-themed bathroom was an asshole with pastel fairy wings affixed to her back. and she was doing this arm-waving dance with her eyes closed that made it nearly impossible to get around her without accidentally getting an eye clawed out. she was whirling and swirling to a beat i couldn't hear; when i went left she swerved left, and when i tried right she pirouetted right. listen, i don't give a fuck if you want to wear pinafores with puppies printed on them. i really don't. but i for real peed a little bit in my one good pair of outside pants because a chick with white people dreads was pretending to be some sort of wood nymph in the middle of a goddamn disco. and i'm mad about it. everything is goddamned terrible.

5 the bitch who throws up. speaking of, i have vomited in so many amazing places! this is the unfortunate byproduct of all of those newfangled hotspots what with all of their complicated craft cocktails and elaborately-styled appetizers: hey bro, how the fuck am i supposed to resist both and plate of deviled eggs and a drink with no fewer than seventeen handpicked, locally sourced ingredients!? I AM ONLY HUMAN, OKAY. so let me get that venison hot dog with the asian pickled slaw on top and three, no i mean four, roman holidays. and yes i will take that shot of patron greg just bought for the table, thank you very much. what was that? you want me to dance real fucking hard and potentially dislocate a hip because this bearded hipster DJ in a librarian sweater just put "murder she wrote" on to be ironical? DON'T MIND IF I DO. nah, i don't need a water, just hand me that half-empty champagne flute i'm not really sure belongs to me. hold up they have ice cream brownie m&m caramel doughnut profiterole snickers cake here!? JAM.

6 the bitch who is spoiling for a fight. i have been in two bar fights in my life. #1 like the champion i am, i ripped my shirt off hulk hogan style over my rippling chest and muscular abs before proceeding to break the jaws of every single motherfucker in the room without so much as smudging my eyeliner. #2 SEE NUMBER ONE.
just kidding, my dude. the first time i wanted to show how tough i was by breaking a bottle of corona on the edge of the bar and threatening to stab this bitch who had just rudely yanked my friend from the adjacent barstool by her ponytail with the jagged remains, but what really happened was i busted that shit, sprayed my friend and only ally in the face with flying shrapnel and lukewarm beer, then opened my bloody hand to find a giant shard of glass embedded squarely in the middle of my palm. horrified by the sight of my life line cut neatly in half and the alcohol-thinned blood pooling rapidly around the wound, i put my head down on the bar while my girl tried to use her car key to dislodge it. the second attempt my homie and i were executing a perfectly synchronized reenactment of the kid and play dance from the first house party movie and i'm not even really sure how things devolved, but one of us might have ended the night trying to catch a cab with a black eye and someone else's shirt on. ahem.

7 the bitch who gave birth to you. hells yeah, baby: KAREN FINALLY GOT A MOTHERFUCKING DIVORCE.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

how to survive the death of a friendship.

it's like taking a motherfucking bullet. worse than the cancellation of your favorite tv show, worse than a heart-shattering romantical breakup, kicking your icecreamcryingpajamafriend to the curb (or finding yourself choking on gutter water because she's sick of you and your shit) is the most painful thing a girl could ever go through, and i'm an orphan who has tried to remove her own skin tags with dental floss. i know from severe emotional and physical pain. and i know what you're thinking, "WHO WOULD EVER WANT TO STOP BEING YOUR FRIEND, SAM" and the answer is: three or four dummies i had to search through my gmail contacts to delete because i got hacked and the thought of spamming that one jerkface with phony weight loss URLs and uncashed nigerian royalty checks was motherfucking excruciating. i couldn't let her know that my password choice was weak, I AM TRYING TO BE THE WINNER OF THIS BREAKUP. because i'm petty.

i'm not even really sure that "getting over it" is something i'm even good at yet. my friendships are too goddamn important for me to just shrug and walk away and erase them from my mind forever. i'm proud to say that despite my shitty disposition i haven't lost very many friends, so i haven't had a lot of practice going through these motions and turning up cured and happy on the other side. frankly, i might be kind of crappy at this. and i don't know whether or not it's healthy to be good at it? i've gotten over romantic relationships in the time it takes to get that tricky plastic ring off the lid of a pint of ben and jerry's, but i still wake up in the middle of the night haunted by that one person who doesn't speak to me any more because of the thing i didn't mean to do but couldn't convince him of otherwise. I AM STILL VERY SORRY, STEVE.

a couple days ago i was scrolling through the cemetery that is my linkedin profile when a skeleton clawed its way out of the shallow grave i'd buried it in and was like, "CONGRATULATE ME ON MY PROMOTION, YOU BITCH." first of all, what is linkedin really for. i've been at the same job for almost thirteen years and all my motherfucking endorsements are the same as your 8th grade sister's: "good at social media!" "knows how to make columns in microsoft excel!!" (kind of) "can make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich while texting!!!" i only have that shit so i can look at all the lies bitches i went to high school with are telling. anyway, i was surprised that the skeleton hadn't wiped me clean from all of her internet platforms. that asshole must really want me to know that red lobster has no glass ceiling. "good for you, whore," i mumbled to myself as my mouse hovered over the remove connection button. and then i felt sad.

sometimes the shit is a relief, like when those convenience friendships you make on the job where you hope that bitch quits or gets fired before you have to figure out how to tactfully leave her off the invite list for your baby shower dissipate when she suddenly has to move out of state. and other times it feels fucking amazing, like when you get to charge a particularly egregious bitch to the game in a spectacular goddamned way after she's wronged you. but mostly it's just HELLA AWKWARD, like when you ghost after an unresolved text fight or block a bitch on facebook while hoping that she knows you get custody of that brunch spot with those bourbon drinks.

you could think about apologizing, but i don't. because forgiveness is a slippery slope into indentured servitude and man fuck that. if you fucked up, say sorry like you mean it and hope for the best. just be ready for her to tell you to hit the goddamn bricks. and if she does? pack your shit and get the fuck out. but if she toys with you and makes you beg while she "thinks about it" and you dangle at the end of her rope you gotta bail on that, too. remember that one dude you took back after he fucked your sister and stole thirty bucks out of your pants in the middle of the night? for the next [insert laughably short amount of time here] it took him to fuck up again, i know what you did: BROUGHT THAT SHIT UP EVERY CHANCE YOU GODDAMN GOT. that's what i would do.
bruh: "i can't pay for dinner."
sam: "but remember that time you cheated?"
bruh: "i'm too tired to bang you." 
sam: "but remember that time you cheated?"
bruh: "i'll take the garbage out tomorrow." 
sam: "but remember that time you cheated?"
bruh: "i'm sorry, boo. i cheated again." 

not me, homie. i refuse to spend friendship 2.0 curtsying and paying for all the snacks. either we retreat to our respective corners to lick our wounds for a week then forget all about it, or we set it on fire and move on. i'm for real trying to have my life be like steel magnolias, but people are shit and life is terrible and sometimes it just doesn't work out the way i want it to. here's how i cope:

1 you get one day to be the heidi montag to her lauren conrad. this is hard with ladyfriends since, because they aren't shitty, emotionally reckless dudes, i tend to be more generous with the benefit of the doubt when they do some greasy shit to me. i'm more likely to torment myself for hours on end wondering what i did wrong and how i could've made it better. when i get dumped by a dude it's like, "okay: small dick, didn't go to high school, one of his car doors is a different color than the others, made fun of me for trying to get into green juice, couldn't pronounce nuclear, always snickered when he referred to wednesday as 'humpday,' balding." but with my homies it's like, "um...enviable lipstick collection, killer taste in music, always knows the best happy hour on any given night, SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT I DID TO FUCK THIS RELATIONSHIP UP." 

usually it's nothing. you've grown apart, you're making different choices, you're team adam and she's team christina, WHATEVER. even if you did something horrible and malicious how long do you have to beat yourself up for? i say one goddamned day. then you gotta let it go. she's 50 cent, you're young buck, life goes on.

2 don't talk public shit about her to your mutual friends. your tried and true soldiers? BY ALL MEANS, especially if you can devise some sort of litmus test to ensure that they are actually on your side. you don't need any double agents snitching on your hurt feelings. you're trying to look like a g. that one bitch you know just asked you to lunch to try to get you to skulldrag your old roommate so she could post everything you say on twitter? you better stop by the corner store on your way to brunch and grab a new york times or something. you are going to need some current events, sister. you gotta have those cat reflexes ready to deflect even the most innocent-seeming name drop or personal inquiry. it's a trap, b. DO NOT ENGAGE.
her: "hey, did you hear [evil bitchface from hell] got engaged to that ugly guy?"
your ass: "hey, did you hear what benjamin netanyahu said yesterday?"
AWKWARD PAUSE. then start digging in your salad like there's buried treasure at the bottom of it because you don't know shit about world politics. but that bitch doesn't read! eventually she'll get the hint and bring the conversation back around gel manicures or bruno mars or whatever it is young people talk about and then you dudes are all good.

3 unfollow her insta. in twenty years i'ma read this old shit and be like, "unfollow her what the what!?" while adjusting my moon goggles, but until then SORRY BITCH BUT I MUST REMOVE YOU FROM MY NEWSFEED. here are two things that you won't anticipate happening but totally will: 1 the sight of her face is going to make you want to throw up every fucking time you see it and 2 even the smallest of her life's accomplishments will mock you endlessly until some dummy you went to high school with starts reposting that privacy warning that rears its ugly head and clogs up the newsfeed every few months. just block her already. her poorly-lit selfies are of no interest to you anymore.

4 call that one broad you've been meaning to chill with. i am not an "other fish in the sea" type of person. like, if your romantical partner tells you to kick rocks in a real bogus way, i'm the one you want to call to 1 wingman a bad choice for your vagina down at the local watering hole or 2 strip the gears on that motherfucker's car and put dog shit in his mailbox. want a pep talk about how your soulmate is still out there? you probably have a mom for that. need help faking a pregnancy and tricking dude out of a few bucks? i'm already in an uber, sister. BE THERE IN TEN. so i'm not going to lie to you and tell you there's another rainbow out there with with your next best friend sitting underneath it. because there probably isn't. plus you're feeling all touchy and betrayed anyway, and who needs empty platitudes when there are skinny girl pina coladas to be consumed? which is why you should holler at that one broad who keeps instant messaging you on facebook to make plans. stop ignoring her, she could be just the distraction you need. ol' girl was pretty cool in high school, right? from what you can remember!? she never hit on your boyfriend and she let you cheat off her biology final in sophomore year, why not buy her a beer and project all of your newfound rage and insecurity onto her! relationships have been built on less, trust me.

5 juice that lemon. the beautifullest thing about friendships past is that you know all about how silly motherfuckers are in real life, and those are stories you can use to entertain yourself once they've shown you the goddamned door and you're alone in your crib crocheting an afghan out of cat hair while watching every episode of girlfriends you can find on netflix. the hardest thing about being a good friend, for me, is biting my tongue while my friends do and say the stupidest shit ever. have you ever had to keep a straight face while pretending the woman across the table from you is a smart, rational human being as she describes why the items she found while digging through her boyfriend's trash have led her to believe he's cheating on her with a co-worker? no!? WELL I FUCKING HAVE. i basically had to superglue my eyes to keep them from rolling into the back of my head. i've also sat in a car outside an empty apartment building with binoculars trying to catch a friend's cheating lover, because it's what one does when one is a good friend. (turns out we were on the wrong street but whatever.) everyone is dumb and terrible. what was desperate and sad a few years ago is now a hilarious story to tell at cocktail parties. thank you, ex-BFF! at the time i didn't judge that gay man you were talking about getting engaged to, madam, but now that you've dismissed me and i'm the life of the party BAHAHAHAHAHAHA THAT DUDE HAD A BOYFRIEND.

6 be cute at all times and never go to any places you might run into that bitch. a dude is not going to notice your recent experimentation with turquoise eyeliner and harem pants, friend. but you know who will? the one woman in town who has seen your natural hair color. and, unfortunately for you, YOU GUYS AREN'T SPEAKING ANYMORE. remember what i said about custody of brunch? unless you can be sure she will never crave that brisket hash ever again, find a new goddamn spot. 99% of the time i'm sure that your cruel god hates my guts, except for that 1% of the time little baby jesus spends protecting me from running into any of my enemies in awkward public spaces. even though chicago is the largest incestuous small town on the map, i have been fortunate to never have been stuck on a subway car or at a sporting event with anyone i had to pretend not to notice. that shit is exhausting. which is why this frienddeath is the perfect opportunity for you to get out and see some new shit. take that new haircut to a neighborhood you know that bitch would never go to. oh, you're into orange lipstick now? GOOD, why not show it off at the cupcake emporium (that's a thing, right young people?) or at the reggae spot? take this opportunity to explore new surroundings and play with your look and maybe even reinvent your goddamned self, all while trolling for a new best friend who accepts your newfound interest in art and won't remind you every five minutes of that time you peed yourself in the fourth grade.

7 it's okay to be sad sometimes. even years later. a song will come on the radio or something hilarious will happen and you're going to pause mid-text and feel like shit for thirty seconds. it sucks, man. thank god you now have cool hair.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

easy human meals to make in your tiny joke kitchen.

yesterday morning i had a lunchable for breakfast. don’t worry, it was the bologna and cheese kind so it was v v healthy. here’s the thing, though: I REALLY LIKE TO COOK. the problem is that 1 cooking for myself is kind of boring and 2 it kind of sucks when you threaten to knock mixing bowls and shit off the counters of your miniscule galley kitchen every time you turn a goddamned hip. i used to housesit all the time for wealthy people and their snooty purebred dogs and the best part of that life, hands down, was spending a week or two in a big ass top chef kitchen. i’m talking: gleaming pasta makers, towering walk-in pantries, every tool to be found in the sur la table catalog. it was like living in a tv show, but without a red-faced british dude yelling about what a donkey i am because i accidentally double-dipped my tasting spoon. (lol "accidentally.") THIS IS MY WEALTH OF COUNTER SPACE, Y'ALL. well, half of it. the other half is across from it and has a dish drain and all my tax documents and shit i gotta return to zappos and boxes from nutrisystem piled on top of it. i don't have room to make a goddamned thing. except for a mess.

i keep trying, though. ugh it’s still kind of the beginning of a new year, which means we all gotta pretend we care about ourselves until it’s warm enough to wear a bathing suit in public then realize it’s not worth it anyway and go back to eating cheetos for dinner because fuck it. and nothing goes with a brand new maybe this is the year i get skinny gym membership like trying to cook your own balanced meals. at the end of every december i start feeling bad about having spent the eleven months prior getting 99% of my calories from carbohydrates, and this guilt propels me into relatively-healthy eating for at least the first three months of the year. but 1 i'm kind of lazy 2 i hate grocery shopping and 3 i work all the goddamn time and just want to watch tv with my water-logged ankles propped up on a wedge pillow when i get home, not burn calories chopping vegetables for a wholesome dinner. but in case i drop dead i want whoever finds my body to know that sometimes i go to whole foods. i mean, they'll have to kick a lot of dusty slim-fast boxes out of the way first, but once they do? EXEMPLAR OF HEALTH.

so every now and again some humorless drone is all WHY YOU AIN'T GOT NO FOOD ON A BLOG ABOUT BITCHES EATING and i'm like, uh well i sometimes do? but it's more about the jokes and stuff? and then we stand around awkwardly shifting feet without making eye contact while trying to figure out a way to gracefully end this painful interaction, after which i go crawl into a guilty little hole to rethink my life choices. so this is a post about food. all made in my tiny-ass kitchen while i texted fools and kept leaving the room to watch tv.

nutritious, grownup ramen-type bowl.

cooking oriental foods is always terrifying to me because, other than a couple raggedy old packets of soy sauce left over from delicious takeout meals, i don't keep a lot of asian spices and shit around the casa. occasionally i'll buy calrose rice in case i throw together a ghetto stir fry or whatever, but i don't regularly have turmeric or kaffir leaves just lying around in case i all of a sudden become inspired. i have a general idea of how much basil is too much basil or when to lay off the cumin, but i don't really know shit about star anise. (wtf is that even.) this noodle pot is an easy way to feel learned and cultured without the danger of seriously fucking your tastebuds up if you measure incorrectly or fall asleep while the shit is cooking.

you need:
miso paste
tom yum paste
chili paste
solid chicken bouillon paste
soy sauce
noodles of your choosing (i use medium-sized flat noodles)
assorted vegetables (i used pre-cut trader joe’s broccoli carrot slaw and pea shoots because i’m fucking careless and don't want shaved-off bits of my fingertips in my broth. you could also use shelled edamame, napa cabbage, baby corn, spinach, or whatever you have the patience for.)
tiny frozen shrimp (or: cooked shredded chicken, cooked sliced sausage, fried tofu, whatevs)

here's what to do with it:

bring some water to a boil in a both a saucepan and a kettle.
while you wait, scoop a teaspoon of each of the pastes+bouillon+soy sauce+sriracha into a little bowl, add a splash of hot water and mix it together with a little whisk.
the pot noodles i use cook in two minutes, so i drop them into the water once it's boiling, hover impatiently while shifting anxiously from foot to foot, then dump them out under cold water and drain them. once they're mostly dry i put the noodles in a mason jar BECAUSE I AM ADORABLE, add my defrosted shrimp (to defrost: rinse under cold water until rubbery then pat dry), pour over the paste/soy sauce mix, and top with vegetables. then i pour water from the kettle i set to boil at the beginning of this whole thing (remember that?) over all of it, stir a couple times, then let it sit for a few minutes with the lid on before maxing all the noodles and meat then getting mad at myself when all i have left is salty broth and bits of cabbage.

egg muffins.

i don't always love eggs? but they're cheap and they last for-fucking-ever and you can't make cookie dough to eat straight from the mixing bowl without them, so i always have a couple hanging out in the back of my refrigerator. breakfast for me is always the hardest because i need to leave my crib at 645, IN THE FUCKING MORNING, and i can barely get a stretch and a shower in between the alarm clock and the train which means i definitely am not cooking shit before work. i envy you coffee and newspaper in the comfort of your own home people. the last time i ate breakfast in my own crib was never. when i still had the taurus i was that bitch trying to smash a bowl of milk and cereal at every red light, but now with no ride i have to, like, be prepared. or spend $17 every day at starbucks.

so these aren't really muffins as much as they are portable egg clumps with cheese and shit in them, but they are easy and delicious and you make them in a muffin tin so whatever. i just throw in whatever old meats, cheeses, and vegetables i have dying a slow death in my produce drawer, then bake and freeze them. and since you make a bunch in advance you have ready to go breakfast options all week.

you need:

assorted chopped vegetables. i am partial to: spinach, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini, corn, green onions, and broccoli. but for real you can use whatever tastes good to you.
chopped tomatoes
grated or crumbled cheese, whatever you got
green chilies or jalapenos
fresh coriander, whatever herbal shit you're into
you can add chicken or other lean meats or tofu
6 eggs beaten with 2 tbsp milk, black pepper to taste

here's what to do with it:

preheat the oven to 400 and grease your goddamned muffin tin. (i use pam, the coconut oil kind) add vegetables of your choice along with cheese (if you choose, and why wouldn't you?) to each cup, then pour the beaten egg mixture into each cup.

place the muffin pan on the center rack of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until muffins are light brown, puffy, and the eggs are set. let those bitches cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan. loosen gently with a butter knife if they seem to be sticking. eat immediately or let cool completely before storing them in plastic bag in refrigerator or freezer. they can be reheated in the oven or microwave and eaten in the shower while trying to catch another depressing weather report on the morning news. or so i've heard.

curried tofu.
i adapted this one from the homie martha stewart. i don't like to cook a lot of meat at home because it's messy and a ton of work, also because achieving the perfect sear on an expensive cut of grass-fed beef is not what i want to come home and do on a random fucking wednesday. there are basically fifty-eight minutes between the time i peel off my eight layers of winter outwear and the time empire starts, and i refuse to spend a single one of them tying up a fucking chicken.

you need:
1 container (14 ounces) firm or extra-firm tofu, drained
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon curry powder
coarse salt and ground pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
1 box (10 ounces) frozen green beans, defrosted
4 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (3 cups)
cooked calrose rice, for serving (optional)

here's what to do with it:
halve tofu horizontally; then crosswise. (GOD I HATE GEOMETRY; also, you should have 4 equal squares). cut each square diagonally into 2 triangles. arrange tofu in one layer on a baking sheet lined with 3 layers of paper towels; cover with three more layers. place another baking sheet and a bottle of wine or something heavy on top. let tofu drain until towels are soaked, about 20 minutes. so this part is kind of irritating on paper but it really isn't as hard as it looks. you can slice your onions and mince your garlic while the tofu is draining to save time.

heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. add tofu and cook, turning once, until golden-brown, maybe 10 minutes. remove from pan to a plate then reduce heat to medium. add remaining tablespoon oil, onion, and curry powder. season generously with salt and pepper. cook, stirring frequently, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. add garlic; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

reduce heat to medium-low. add coconut milk and 1/2 cup water; bring to a gentle simmer. return tofu to skillet. add green beans and tomatoes, cover, and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. serve over rice if desired. (true story: i always desire the rice.)

sausage and kale stew.
soup is kind of depressing to me. like if i order a cheeseburger at a restaurant and my companion across the table orders a bowl of soup for dinner it's like, "bro...? are you sick or something? should we leave? why aren't you getting any goddamned food!?" and then you gotta sit there and watch that motherfucker eat SOUP, one of the least appealing to foods to watch being consumed. insult to injury: pretending that that gross, wet slurping isn't killing you a little bit on the inside. especially since most soups taste like the flu. but at home you can make stew, which is the perfect remedy to both bullshit ass weather and the gaping hole of starvation left in your gut when you try to pass off soup as a real goddamned meal.

you need:
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 12-ounce package fully cooked chicken sausage links, sliced 
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 
1 19-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed 
1 box of low-sodium chicken broth 
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes 
1 bunch kale leaves, torn into 2-inch pieces 
kosher salt and black pepper

here's what you do with it:
heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. add the sausage and cook, stirring once, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. stir in the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. try not to eat handfuls of sausage directly from the pot.

add the beans, broth, and tomatoes (including the liquid) and bring to a boil. then lower the heat and add the kale and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. simmer, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. THEN IT'S DONE. super quick, right? i like to eat mine in a bowl the size of a cauldron with a heap of shaved parmesan on top, but i am a human with minimal self-control. seriously, every time i make this i can barely get it all cooked before i start "tasting" the hell out of it. eat yours how you see fit. i wouldn't judge you if you just got in bed with the pot.

i get rul tired of people talking to me about water. snoozapalooza. it's boring and it tastes like crushed dreams, but bitches is always trying to tell me about their supple, luminous skin and hydrated muscles and healthy kidneys. YAWN. but i will drink it if there's vegetables and fancy grass floating in the shit. bottle of evian? no thank you. glass of filthy tap water with a withered sprig of mint and half of a decrepit old lime? JESUS GOD MORE PLEASE. every time i take a sip of water my dry ass hair whispers "thank you" while praying for rain, yet i only drink it because michelle obama told me to. and even then there better be some dandelions floating in it.

here are some delicious flavor combinations you can try, according to people who get paid to think about that kind of thing:
strawberry, basil, and lemon.
blackberry and sage.
pineapple orange and mint.
grapefruit and rosemary.
pear and ginger.

i am on day three of the 96oz of water a day challenge. i cannot stop peeing. my skin looks the goddamned same.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

bitches need romance.

i need somebody to make me a mixtape. i might even be willing to tell you exactly what to put on it to achieve maximum giggling heartswooning meltiness, but you gotta find a boombox and some blank cassettes and lock yourself in your room figuring out which songs to put in what order. i used to really, i mean really really, get into my mixtapes. i would try to time the songs so that nothing got cut off and make these painstaking inserts with all of the artists and titles neatly printed within, then listen to each one on my drugstore walkman to make sure that it flowed the way i wanted it to. you know, because i had messages to convey. deep, lusty messages simmering with hormones. LIKE THOSE FOUND IN UNREQUITED CRUSHES. man i miss those days, when you could pour out all your soppy little tender lovefeelings onto a memorex cassette and if the object of your affections was grossed out by them you could save face by claiming you just wanted him to notice how amazing those chord progressions were. i mean, duh.

a sampling of my teenage angst:
ben harper "forever."
juliana hatfield "congratulations."
they might be giants "women and men."
faith no more "land of sunshine."
tribe called quest "jazz (we've got)."
fiona apple "carrion."
cranberries "i still do."
smashing pumpkins "soma."
the roots "i remain calm."
pj harvey "fountain."
hole "softer, softest."
phish "talk."
ben folds five "missing the war."
the breeders "mad lucas."
eels "flower."
k's choice "not an addict."
sinead o'connor "gloomy sunday."
ida "little things."
pearl jam "off he goes."
tori amos "the wrong band."
ani difranco "hour follows hour."
90s era sam was emo as fuck.

YESTERDAY WAS MY GODDAMN BIRTHDAY. i know you don't give a fuck because today is valentine's day and that imaginary boyfriend you've been lying to your friends about either needs to materialize bearing an armload of expensive flowers or be killed by some wild shit like a bear or an army of weaponized bees. as much as i despise heart-shaped cakes and unimaginative glittery red cards, my birthday has long provided a welcome distraction from all of the anxious hand-wringing inspired by cupid and his satchel full of arrows. thank horus for getting older.

valentine's day really stresses you regular people out. i feel kind of bad for humans not born on february 13 with those of us who get to ride a sugary birthday wave until we crash against the shore somewhere around the middle of next week. single people: chins up. nobody has a good valentine's day. if you're with someone, guaranteed that asshole is going to do something irritating to ruin what was supposed to be your perfect day. it's inevitable. the more you hype a thing, the higher the likelihood that it gets ruined. when i was a kid my mom made a super fucking huge deal about picture day. hot combs, bobby pins, straighteners, rollers: THE WORKS. she would walk me to school bound in a straight jacket, threatening my premature death at her hand the entire way if my pictures didn't reflect the concerted effort she'd put into my appearance that morning. and every year i failed, playing as hard as i could all day before tumbling into the makeshift lifetouch photo studio at two o'clock covered in scrapes and dirt and pieces of lunch. that's what valentine's day is like: paying fifty bucks for a picture of a dirty six-year-old who never picks up her toys and feeds her vegetables to the dog.

and if you're not with someone: MORE PANTS OFF DANCE-OFFS ALONE IN YOUR APARTMENT. it's just you and hulu and the delivery dude from that filipino place you love so much, and that motherfucker is only going to be around for 45 seconds max. the problem with this stupid day, obviously, is that romance is dead and everyone is an idiot. plus our expectations are too goddamned high. i'm not saying you have to lower your standards in order to better enjoy the feast of saint valentine (YES I AM), i'm just saying that olive garden is delicious and affordable and unlimited breadsticks > a teddy bear from walgreens any day. don't be let down today by this garbage holiday because no one proposed to you with a blood diamond so expensive it's going to get him evicted, just remember that almost everyone you know is sad and poor and of limited imagination. in the meantime: ROMANTIC SHIT WE NEED TO BRING THE FUCK BACK.

1 lovemaking. maybe i'm old. scratch that, i'm probably old. I AM THIRTY-MOTHERFUCKING-FIVE TODAY. and you know what i wanna do on a friday night? let me set the scene: i wanna drag my tired ass home after a grueling week of making the white man money, swap my pajama-style work clothes for my work-style pajama clothes, order $37 in takeout from grubhub, SOB THROUGH AN EPISODE OF SHARK TANK, fall asleep while waiting for my dinner, sleep-eat on the toilet, drink half a bottle of wine standing over the kitchen sink, then pass out awkwardly in my desk chair. what i don't wanna do? get fucked. ever again. you don't have to interlock my fingers or stare meaningfully into my eyes, but i can't have bitches climbing on me like a goddamn jungle gym. I'M KIND OF OLD, OKAY. and so are the rest of you. now get down off that chandelier in your fancy lingerie and ask that dude to make gentle love to those swollen ankles.

2 breakfast in bed. okay, i'm definitely old. i want to eat my frittata like i'm in a fucking hospital bed, propped up on four ice-cold pillows with a catheter of saline dripping at a steady clip into my thirsty veins. i can't get enough goddamned rest. i had to go into the hospital for a sleep study last week because for the past eight months i've been hitting my head and burning myself on the radiator while sleepwalking, and every time my alarm goes off it feels like the beginning of a bad dream. i'm tired of new shit happening to my body. every time i look in the mirror new moles and skin tags are waving back at me like, "HAY GIRL HAY!" when do we get a break!? all of a sudden half my hair is gray and i'm allergic to a bunch of shit i wasn't two weeks ago. IS THERE TRULY NO REST FOR THE WICKED. i don't need a wilting rose, just put the toaster on the right setting and hand that shit to me without blocking the tv for too many seconds. viva la romance!

3 handwritten letters. pictures of boobs are okay and everything, but they're just, you know, hanging there. or propped up on a clavicle. or rolling into a stubbled armpit. i like tits in my phone, for sure, but what i really like is handwritten proof of undying devotion. the next time you drop your phone in the toilet without having uploaded your most recent cache of sexts to the cloud you're gonna wish a bitch sent you a couple hallmark cards. it is the very best feeling. 

4 know what kind of shampoo i use. the honeymoon period only lasts so long, my dudes. there are only so many months i can keep my toenails clipped reasonably short while simultaneously remembering to take all my trash out every week and maintain my image as the shea buttered, poreless clean freak you encountered the very first time you entered my apartment. i can keep that up for two maybe three visits and then SORRY HO, THERE'S A RING AROUND MY TUB. i'm a real person. but the nicest thing someone can do for you is make life easier, and if you're at target and buy me a tube of eucerin sensitive skin cream i will wash your feet with my hair. who needs a horse-drawn carriage when you bring home a bacon egg and cheese biscuit with a coke (extra ice) because you know that shit's my jam!? NO ONE, THAT'S WHO. swoon city.

good luck, everybody. i hope you know how much i love you.
valentine mixtape, what.

Friday, January 30, 2015

revenge of the nerd.

ay i'm about to fucking kill somebody. a few months ago i was sitting at home, changing my sheets while listening to rachel maddow recount the highlights of the some senate committee meeting, when i heard the worst sound i have ever heard in my life except for that one time a dude audibly cried while i was generously giving him a blowjob: the sound of my kitchen ceiling splitting painfully in half, followed by a deluge of water crashing thunderously to the counter, sink, and floor below. before i could even grasp what was happening, before i could even unfold the useless martha stewart for target dishtowel i would attempt to throw helplessly atop the tide pool, i heard the pitter patter of raindrops echoing from the adjacent bedroom i'd just left. horrified, i rounded the corner to see water streaming down the same wall this motherfucker upstairs ruined the last time he nonchalantly decided to ruin my goddamned life. two seconds later it was raining in my bedroom, too. WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS, A PLAGUE. helen, who keeps a packed suitcase by the door at all times in case i act up, was like, "bitch, i'm going to laura's."

i know you don't get to decide how the people around you live. i have had my own place since i was 18, and i figured out early on that i had absolutely zero say in the choices my building's cohabitants made, despite how counterintuitive they might appear to me and my own life decisions. for instance, the gentleman who rented the apartment next to mine on ravenswood who would string his sopping wet laundry from our "porch." which, if you've ever been to chicago, you understand to mean "square foot section of threadbare plywood threatening to plummet you to your death if you so much as drink a beer while standing on it." the back of our building overlooked a paved alley littered with abandoned car parts, jagged rocks, and shards of broken glass. fighting my way through the tangle of dishwater grey underpants that smelled like burnt fish grease and car exhaust was the worst part of of my day, but unless i married that dude i couldn't say shit about it. and maybe he didn't like the way i spent every evening quietly sobbing to stereolab records while eating hundreds of calories' worth of my feelings, but oh yeah it never affected him because i didn't hang my snot rags and cheese-eating pants outside where he might trip over them on his way out with the trash.

i wouldn't want anyone to dictate my goddamned choices, which is why i refuse to ever buy a condo. (see also: extreme poverty.) the idea of regular-ass people fine tooth combing over my credit history while i shift awkwardly in a puddle of sweat as they decide whether or not my criminal record is white collar enough for me to move my collection of old sassy magazines into the square foot windowless box next to the one the live in. you can't tell at a glance that the woman across the hall will regularly f                                                     ight with her boyfriend and force him to sleep in the hallway outside your door, and the first morning i discovered him i was like, "FUCK I JUST SIGNED THIS GODDAMNED LEASE." then i learned that if you run a cool-mist humidifier on the highest setting 24 hours a day and blast kanye's "graduation" through your noise-canceling headphones not only will you feel like you live inside a fancy spa but you will also drown out 98% of the arguments wrought between furious macy and her ever-penitential kevin. my nasal passages have never been so clear!

so the kid upstairs. when it happened the first time he bravely came bounding down the stairs and knocked on my door, wagging his tail while offering to "help with a mop" as my mattress and my macbook pro floated past us down the hallway. i even felt kind of bad for him? BECAUSE HE'S OBVIOUSLY NOT VERY SMART. but then it happened again, a deluge of swamp water streaming horror movie-style down the new walls that had just begun to dry from the last motherfucking time, followed over the course of the next several weeks by some missing package deliveries and his newfound interest in a muffled cacophony that can only be described as "making shitty hip hop beats." i'm done with this fool. it's time to get his ass back.

first i was thinking i might release a bag of spiders under his door. bugs don't gross me out or scare me. did you know that there are millions of microscopic bugs living in your eyebrows and shit? EIGHT-LEGGED DEMODEX MONSTERS. face mites are real and spend their entire life cycles tucked away inside our hair follicles, plotting evil from within. that means everything they do: mating, laying eggs, eating oil and dead skin cells, happens in your goddamned face. so i'ma be worried about a bag full of crickets strategically placed outside his crib? NAH, BRO. there are tiny arachnids shitting and fucking in my hair follicles. are bed bugs commercially available? i know they could potentially ruin my life as much if not more than his, but that's a risk i'm willing to take. do i know any roach dealers? IF SO, GET AT ME.

or maybe i could just buy a barking dog cd and play that shit on repeat? i would be risking eviction as ours is a cat-only residence, but it might kind of totally be worth it. a few years ago one of my friends moved to this pretty sweet studio in logan whose only drawback was a dog across the courtyard with an untreated case of separation anxiety that resulted in obnoxious barking from eight in the morning until whenever its owner arrived home in the evening. reason 5,874,239 i will never own a dog: that asshole could get me kicked out of my goddamn house due to an imaginary joke disease that i would have to become a recluse to cure. the only thing more eardrum-shredding than a crying baby is a barking dog, especially one not close enough to throw your shoe at. (oh settle down, i would never throw a shoe at someone's dog.)

ooh! what if i stopped his mail!? i'm pretty sure that he signed for the giant box of topricin cream and joint supplements ups delivered to my building the other day, but i can't be totally sure because THAT SHIT NEVER MADE IT TO MY MOTHERFUCKING DOOR. what kind of asswipe steals someone's arthritis medicine? especially the topical kind!? i mean, come the hell on. pills i can understand, but unscented homeopathic mobility cream? shame on you, my dude. fucking with the mail is a felony blah blah blah but listen, there are only so many joke pizzas i can send to this dude's crib. he probably wouldn't even be mad, as every time we have awkwardly shared an elevator ride his eyelids have been at half mast. that'll teach him, all his comic books and shit sent to some unsuspecting jerk on the other side of town. except who the fuck even gets mail anymore? i'm the only asshole rushing straight home from work to check for the latest issue of glamour in the post. it would probably be a relief for homeboy's electric bill to end up somewhere in minnesota. meanwhile money i owe from ten years ago has followed me to four consecutive apartments. just my fucking luck. 

here's a thought: i could start a motherfucking heavy metal band. but a kind of moist one since i can only play the fruity piano and the clarinet. anyone wanna start a liturgical quartet!? i guess my only recourse is to move into the apartment above his and do work. somebody bring over a goddamn bassoon. TURN DOWN FOR WHAT.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

forest whitaker, perfect human.

dear forest whitaker, aka the love of my (sort of) young life, on the eve of your breakout performance in the third and final installment of the taken trilogy aka the greatest cinematic achievement of the 21st century: i'm not 100% sure when the spark of my undying love for you was lit, but i'm pretty confident it was about 2/3 of the way through the movie "panic room," which i saw in the goddamned theater even though my boyfriend at the time had a bootleg copy fourteen motherfucking dollars you're welcome, during the scene in the kitchen when it becomes clear that burnham isn't really a bad guy, he's just there to steal that money so he can buy baby diapers. or medicine for his grandma. i had seen you in movies before, of course, but nothing ignited my passion like watching your tortured soul balance the instinct to protect that little sassy-mouthed diabetic kristen stewart against jared leto's promise of a fortune hidden beneath that metal floor. oh, the gut-clenching drama. my heart was beating in my throat the entire time and when you made it out of the house alive (SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAPPEN TO STILL BE LIVING IN 2002) it was rock solid proof that you are a good person, because i don't understand how to distinguish an actor from the character he plays on television or in a movie. i cried, my dude. then walked home from the movies listening to poe on a motherfucking walkman. fuck youth. AND TECHNOLOGY.

how do i love thee? let me count the ways.

listen, i saw fast times. but that movie is for white people and i was probably too young to understand half the shit that was going on. but i for sure watched you as herman in the "bully for arnold" episode of diff'rent strokes. am i the only one who had a serious thing for willis? oh i know, CRACKHEAD. but for real, in the early 80s there were very few young black men available for schoolgirl crushes so willis was goddamned it. 1986 platoon and 1987 good morning, vietnam. i am generally uninterested in war movies for two reasons: 1 there's too much shit happening and too many people dressed in the same goddamn clothes for me to figure out exactly what the fuck is going on and 2 NO MOTHERFUCKING LOVE STORY. i'ma need to see some dudes kissing if i am going to give up 2+ hours to a bunch of brain-rattling gunfire and indistinguishable shouting. but i watched them, despite myself, for you.

i didn't see bird until a couple months ago? but HOLY SHIT, DUDE. fucking amazing. downtown is the most hilarious buddy cop movie not named turner and hooch, which reminds me that i need to put it in my queue so i can steal the shit from netflix. i missed a lot of your movies in the 90s, probably because i had a lot of homework to do. also i spent a shitload of time reading sassy and YM and, correct me if i'm wrong, they didn't really do a whole lot of features on dudes like you. ugh i went through this gross matt dillon phase after he was in seventeen and if i could have those hours of my life back i could probably have a fucking PhD, shit. back on the horse with ghost dog, though. and then light it up because omg rosario. which really means BECAUSE OMG USHER. but also you! because you're perfect!

if i ever get to awkwardly corner you at a party the first thing i'm going to do after i recover from hyperventilating and stop myself from gently stroking your face while i openly weep, i am going to get my shit together and talk to you about what a jam waiting to exhale was. i was definitely too young to understand the intricacies of what i was watching, but angela bassett torching that convertible full of [mr. darnell from lean on me]'s possessions made my heart soar. YOU ARE AN ANGEL.

omg here is a list of bullshit movies i paid actual money to see just because you were in them:
phone booth.
the air i breathe.
the great debaters.
vantage point. (which was so awful, come on!)
street kings. yes it was kind of dumb but common + keanu + samantha irby at 28 years old = OF COURSE I SAW THIS IN T HE THEATER, MY DUDE.
repo men.
our family wedding.
black nativity.
out of the furnace.
and i even saw the goddamn butler, even though my blackness does not like it when i watch slave shit or servant shit. i risked pissing off my ancestors to watch terrence howard simulate sex with oprah. that's gotta mean something, b.

we almost met once! a few years ago i put on my party clothes because i somehow wrangled a ticket to gaze upon that sweet, sweet face when you won some fancy chicago award that of course i don't fucking remember. i'll tell you what i do remember: 1 i wore a dress from bloomingdale's that was lovely but had this itchy net overlay so i basically stood at the back of the cocktail reception eating mini crab cakes and scratching my butt the whole time 2 you were so gentle and soft-spoken and i just wanted to shove you in my bra and nuzzle you like a tiny kitten 3 the asshole seated in front of me during the Q&A portion of the ceremony kept baller blocking my attempts to ask for your hand in marriage and by the time i thought to reach down and pull his underwear up from the back of his pants robin robinson, the lovely host and living chicago legend, had already moved on the supercut video of your most riveting performances 4 i brought a sign that i spent all afternoon making that read "hey forest, i'm into buttsex" that i decorated with glitter and puff paint but at the last second got too chickenshit to bring it in because i didn't realize it was gonna be some bougie black shit where everyone was wearing shiny nude pumps and talking about the white party last night at ______.

here are some facts i learned from the internet that make me want to wash your feet with my hair. you went to college on a sports scholarship. you are a big man, both in height and width, and it takes little to imagine you terrorizing opponents on a football field. *bites lip* you speak so serenely and calmly that it's no surprise to learn that you came to film through music: you played the trumpet and trombone before singing in musicals at high school. plus you have good politics. i think? i mean, i guess so!? what the fuck do i know, i only went to high school. ANYWAY HERE IS A QUOTE: "i'm now on the president's committee for arts and humanities. i'm not policy making, but i'm interested in political engagement. i have a foundation called PeaceEarth and we are currently working in the sudan, where we are training youths in conflict resolution and peace. we are about to start work in mexico."

singing and tromboning and international peace-making are all panty-dampening activities, but i don't even want to be gross like that with you. seriously, that bashful thing you do in your interviews is intoxicating and if you wanted to i would probably let you walk me like a dog on a leash, but you're so nice that you probably wouldn't even fucking want to. i'm sure of it. and even though your smile makes me glad i'm trying out those new always super-absorbent pantiliners at work today, i'm not even gonna come at you all disrespectful and shit. i'm not going to tell you that there's a 76% chance i would shave my armpits for the first time in four years if you texted me on the bootycall side of 11pm, but that is for real a possible thing. probably not because it would take fucking forever BUT i would put lotion on my heels and that's real. do you really have barack obama's phone number? it would be so sexy if you did. but like i was saying i'ma keep this strictly profesh.

listen, i'm not sure how things are going with you and keisha but i assume they're good. you guys aren't the type to be throwing hot chicken grease on each other in the middle of the street. and i'm here for black love, i really am. but if you ever get tired of looking at her pantyhose hanging over the shower rod or whatever other boring shit bores married couples into the arms of their internet stalkers, feel free to email me and see if i'm still a lesbian. you can come over and i'll put on the otis redding pandora station and cook the kind of meal that sticks to your ribs. you look like a motherfucker i gotta make greens for. in the meantime i already fandango'd my tickets to see TAK3N several times this weekend, even though this dude at the laundromat offered to sell me a chinese copy for three dollars and a pair of my unwashed panties. THAT'S LOVE, OKAY. and deserving of at least five minutes of you making out with liam neeson in a prison cell. fingers crossed!

yours forever and ever,