Wednesday, December 12, 2012

how to survive the goddamned holidays.

i only check my mail once every four to five days because i like feeling sought-after and important. i came home yesterday after having spent a week at cara's to find my box stuffed like the stocking of a child whose family could afford to do shit like "have a fireplace" and "fill novelty stockings with presents." annoyed, i flipped past the crate and barrel catalogs (buy one offset spatula in 2009, get catalogs full of bullshit IN PERPETUITY) and a bunch of coupons from all of the takeout places that know my voice by heart (the dude at apart pizza answers the phone, "hey sweetheart, 14-inch capriciosa and a tirolese?" every motherfucking time, god bless his soul) to find the first of many christmas cards to come this season. i ripped it open, expecting to find a glossy picture of my adorable friend and her marginally attractive husband and recently-adopted dog that i would stare at for the next hour while holding back tears and guzzling champagne straight from the bottle on the toilet, but instead found one of those "family holiday update" letters. BARF. her card was mucho boring, so i made one of my own madlibs-style using hers as a template.

dear friends,
happy holidays! what an amazing year this has been! i hope this
dumb ass blog finds you happy and healthy! this has been an incredible time for the still lonely and unmarried samantha irby family! first, we relocated to still living in the same junior one bedroom apartment in the ghetto, which was daunting and exciting all at once! then helen started his new job at unemployed housecat where he very much enjoys shitting in the laundry basket like a cunt and working on mergers while sleeping on top of my motherfucking air conditioner. we are so proud of him! and although i was ill during the first part of my pregnancy and had to quit my job, i discovered i can shit and vomit at the same fucking time in the shower because i am determined and that shit happened to my drunk ass at 3am last thursday. what an asshole! the baby will be here any day now, and we would love for you to visit us after please don't ever come to my goddamned house and everyone is settled in. our door is always open to seriously, i hate cleaning up and your family! merry christmas!
with hate and vitriol, sam and helen keller.

man, fuck that bitch.
i had one good christmas, in 1986. i was obsessed with barbie and the rockers, and the "hot rockin' van" was gigantic and pink and amazing and I HAD TO HAVE IT. i wrote santa 2,763 letters begging for that shit, pleading with him to ignore all of the times i'd fed my vegetables to the dog and lied about having brushed my teeth. that van was my 80s dream realized: the interior was neon turquoise, it was furnished with a sink and four-burner range (you know, for whipping up gourmet meals on the road) and there were bunk beds in the rear (for passionless groupie sex, duh), there was a storage closet for the band's many electric guitars. most importantly, it came with a little cassette deck on the roof into which one chubby little girl with no front teeth could insert the accompanying microphone and earnestly wail "on my own" by patti labelle with her eyes closed. no second grader should be screaming "this wasn't how it was supposed to end! i wish that we could do it all again!" at the top of her lungs alone in her bedroom. but my mom was old, man. you were dancing to madonna, i was weeping along with anita baker. anyway, i got it. and i filled that bad girl with barbie and dee dee and diva and i drove the shit out of that van, all while singing greatest love of all into that microphone and wearing a jem puffy paint sweatshirt and orange legwarmers on my arms. haven't had a worthwhile christmas since.

there are plenty of articles in real simple and good housekeeping for those of you who need to know last-minute christmas decorating ideas and perfect holiday playlists for children. i've seen them, i swear. "guilt-free christmas cookies!" and "should i give my gardeners and pool boy a christmas bonus?" and "how to save time wrapping a station wagon full of giant-ass toys!" so if you need that, go holler at them. this shit is for those of us grinches guaranteed to get stockings full of coal from the neighbors who can't hear the television over our audible fucking sobs.


1 eat whatever the fuck you want. get off that diet for a couple weeks, sister. i don't know about you, but my perfect christmas miracle involves a big pile of fluffy down comforters and a room-temperature gyro. january 1 you can run that shit off, but if you plan to weather four solid weeks of having every single one of your senses assaulted by christmas happiness and cheer, YOU ARE GOING TO NEED A WHOLE PIE. i don't have a loving mother and father to bake me gingerbread cookies and glare at my life choices disapprovingly while basting a neon pink ham on christmas morning. and most of the time, my dead parents are a reminder of why my life is pretty awesome. i can do what i want and not listen to any shit about it from people who keep their "you are a crushing disappointment" face at the ready every time i cross the threshold of my childhood home. the downside? ALL THOSE FAMILY CHRISTMAS COMMERCIALS. *welp*

i'm not saying you should eat yourself into a coma every december, but you most certainly should try. food is love, hooker. pick some easy things that aren't going to take all day and then get in your pajamas and pour some eggnog out for little baby jesus. here's what i'm making this year, courtesy of the homie martha stewart:

ginger cheesecake bars, WHAT.
first get this: 
vegetable-oil cooking spray
12 ounces store-bought gingersnaps (about 45 cookies)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3 tablespoons sour cream
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger

then do this:
1st preheat oven to 350 degrees. coat a 9-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside. place gingersnaps in a food processor; pulse to a powder. transfer to a small bowl, and stir in butter until well combined. press gingersnap mixture evenly into bottom of prepared baking sheet. bake crust until firm, about 12 minutes. let cool completely. (sam note: you can use your loneliness to pulverize those cookies to death if you ain't got no cuisinart.)

2nd meanwhile, put cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until softened. mix in sugar, egg, egg yolk, sour cream, and vanilla until well combined. mix in crystallized ginger. (sam note: you can use your sadness to beat the cream cheese soft if you ain't got no kitchenaid.)

3rd pour the cream cheese mixture onto crust, and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until filling has puffed and feels slightly firm to the touch (do not let brown), 20 to 25 minutes. let cool completely on a wire rack. refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, until set, about 1 hour. to serve, cut into bars. (sam note: to serve, eat lukewarm straight from the pan if you ain't got time to waste letting delicious treats cool completely and shit. ps, stop pretending you made this for other people.)

i also enjoy a good warm dip, because i hate chewing unnecessarily and also it is pretty cold outside. so i'm going to make myself some hot crab dip like a boss. i'll just wait over here while you make the obligatory HOT CRABS joke.
first get this: 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 medium shallots, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon old bay seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
3/4 cup half-and-half
8 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces
4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 3/4 cups)
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
10 ounces lump crabmeat, picked over for cartilage (what?!)
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon paprika
toast points, for serving (*snort*)

then do this:

1st preheat oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the center. melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. add shallots and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. add 1 tablespoon water and simmer for 30 seconds. stir in the cayenne, old bay, and dry mustard until well combined. pour half-and-half into saucepan and bring to a simmer. slowly whisk in the cream cheese, a few pieces at a time. when the cream cheese is fully incorporated, whisk in the cheddar cheese, a handful at a time. stir the mixture for 2 minutes. remove from heat. add lemon juice and worcestershire sauce; stir to combine. stir in crabmeat and half of the parsley.

2nd transfer mixture to an ovenproof baking dish and sprinkle with bread pieces. dot top of bread pieces with remaining tablespoons butter; sprinkle with paprika. bake until bread pieces are golden and dip is hot, 18 to 22 minutes. garnish with remaining 1/4 cup parsley and serve with toast points.

toast points are for people who use a knife and fork to eat chicken wings. the rest of us will just scoop this up with some stale fritos or slop it onto that old garlic pita we just remembered has been in the freezer since last june.

2 don't ruin happy motherfuckers' holiday parties. i know, you selfish asshole: FUCK THE CHRISTMAS PARTY. i hate it, too! and i love ruining shit! especially since getting dressed for some fancy soiree in the middle of the fucking winter is the worst, because sequins and velvet are not flattering to anyone ever! but don't be a dick and drag your mean ass to the office holiday party just to shit all over everyone who had the GODDAMNED AUDACITY to cheerfully participate in the ugly holiday sweater contest. leave them alone! you could've stayed home with some hot crab dip and a skyfall bootleg. if you're going to go, be sparkly and nice and drink your mulled wine and shut the fuck up merry christmas high five.

3 buy yourself some fly shit. if wasting a little fun money isn't going to get your broke ass evicted, spend all your grocery money on some dumb shit that makes you feel good. most real people are too poor to buy you a good gift yet totally fucking weird about buying you something practical and useful. would it be so bad to drop a bag of feline pine at my doorstep? to send over a case of charmin extra strong? trust me, i am going to throw that novelty picture frame you got at the dollar store right in the trash. so don't waste your time embarrassing us both with your shitty, disposable present. just clap me on the back and bring some good tidings to me and my kin and get the fuck on. let me get myself something rad, and maybe i'll pretend you gave it to me for five minutes. on my list this year: an iphone, a bottle of diptyque do son, some high-waisted opaque spanx tights, and a piano. so go get something nice and stare at it and think about how you don't have to put a bunch of toys on layaway for six months leaving $15 and a starbucks gift card from your boss for you to enjoy. get a massage from a prostitute or something. TREAT YO SELF.

4 buy some dope shit for someone else. I AM THE BEST GIFT GIVER THAT EVER LIVED. here is the key to giving good gifts: pick 1-3 people you might want to bang someday and buy them something ridiculously awesome, then make them open that shit in front of you and let their smiling lit-up faces be your oxygen. it really does make you feel good. you know what else gives you the warm tinglies? give some money to goddamned charity. all year long i donate money to animal shelters and rescue groups and diarrhea organizations, and every year the postcards they send out serve as a reminder that despite my current mid-december miserableness i am a kind and benevolent person made of sunshine who took five minutes to give some money to a worthwhile cause over the internet. pay some shit forward. if there's a heaven, you need to have something wholesome to show saint peter because he totally knows about that sketchy guy you fucked and stole twenty dollars from that one time.

5 hug your motherfucking teddy bear and cry it out over a heartwarming television movie. here is what i did last weekend: sat on cara's couch in a black jumpsuit and puffy quilted slipper boots washing down saltines with the cheapest bourbon i could find at walgreens and sobbing over a christmas movie on lifetime vaginavision starring hilary duff's sister and a mannequin that came to life who time traveled to fall in love with a murderer. or something like that. listen, it was a marathon, and i was drunk, and all that shit starts to run together on you after a while. i think we spend a lot of time trying to avoid being sad, but that shit is inevitable. so just wallow in it for five minutes. cry and cry and think about everyone who shit on your heart over the past twelve months and forgive them and let it go. THIS SADNESS CANNOT BE AVOIDED. embrace the hell out of it. afterward you will probably feel tired, so go lie down for a minute. when you get up you will feel better.

6 get the fuck off facebook. everyone i know is fucking married and having babies and basically living a life that reminds me how my own is totally full of so much fail, so until they get divorced and their children get kicked out of public school or wind up cracked out on the news imma take a little hiatus from everyone's bright and shiny instagrammed joy for a couple weeks. you should, too. unless you're a masochist, in which case get your torture on.

7 have a plan. christmas day i am going to:
-sing that christmas song by alvin and the chimpmunks really fucking loud.
-get lit at brunch at a hotel downtown with some jewish girlz.
-roll my eyes at all those people who send mass texts who think i don't know what they're up to.
-take myself to the theater to watch the bloodiest guns and violence movie i can find.
bah humbug.

ps, santa claus is a judgmental asshole. i asked for the barbie and the rockers hot rockin' stage, too, and i didn't get that shit due to "too much smart-mouthed backtalk," according to the card he attached to the van. SONOFABITCH.