Saturday, December 24, 2016

christmas is trash.

this raggedy half-tree is the perfect metaphor for everything that has ever happened in my miserable, godforsaken life. last weekend i woke up to the sound of these kittens who live here that i most certainly do not like playing thunderdome in the hall outside the bedroom, then was informed that i needed to hurry up and get some pants on because we needed to hurry up and get to the tree farm (what) so we could "cut down our own christmas tree." IS THAT EVEN A REAL SENTENCE. there are a lot of things i don't miss about the former casa sam: the ceiling that fell in twice in two different locations, the gentleman in the apartment next door who routinely fell asleep on the threadbare strip of carpeting in the narrow hallway between our doors, chicago's brazen-ass rats; but what i do miss is never having to do anything domestic because i'm dead inside and don't give a shit about joy. i've never had a box marked "halloween window clings" or "grandma's keepsake ornaments" tucked away in my closet and that's fine. but now i live in a whimsical holiday placemat house so i'm forced to care about shit like handmade valentines and picking out a goddamned tree.

we rolled up to the tree farm bright and early, the faded obama sticker on the back of the car twinkling under the cold winter sun. i scanned the lot for other faces of color and, upon encountering none, announced that i was going to remain in the car. lumberjacks carrying all manner of ax and saw milled past us, peeking curiously in the windows at the fish out of water gasping for air as mavis informed me that not only was i expected to carry the tree but i also had to help cut the fucking thing down. "ARE THESE MEN JUST HERE FOR DECORATION?" i demanded, gesturing toward a young gentleman dusted liberally with wood chips and pine needles. apparently yes. i'll spare you the horrifying details, save this one: if you inadvertently select a hybrid freak of a tree that has two trunks and fail to notice this as you are lying on the frozen ground sweating to death while attempting to cut it down with a dull, child-sized saw, you are still financially responsible for that tree even if it is missing its entire back half. so we bagged up this skinny little charlie brown looking motherfucker, knocked off a third of its remaining branches going through the drive thru at culver's, and now it's sitting in a corner of the living room molting and making a mockery of us all. ho ho horrible!

holidays are the pits. there's no better way to feel unloved and misunderstood than to open unfunny gifts you'll never use that have nothing to do with your actual likes or personality while someone you don't like very much waits expectantly for a heartfelt thank you. for example, this writer has a lot of journals. a whole bunch of them. like, the kind you write in with a pen whose stiff, unyielding spines make it nearly impossible to write legibly at the end of any sentence on a left side page. those things are both useless and impractical, but they seem like a good gift to someone who doesn't understand that i don't have any deep, introspective thoughts worthy of being written out longhand. this time of year is so painful, ugh. i'm 137 years old and earnest holiday television programming is embarrassing to me while toy commercials serve no purpose other than reminding me that i didn't get a skip-it until two weeks after christmas was already over because my father was the actual grinch. i don't know how to knit stockings or bring tidings and eggnog gives me diarrhea. WHY CAN'T IT JUST BE JANUARY 15.
anyway, a holiday survival guide:

cook some things.
winter is a good time for us to get comfortable in our disgusting bodies and make tons of excuses for why it's too cold to work out. i know you're about to double-tap a bunch of thinspiration infographics come january 2, but how about until then you and your cheese pants eat a lot of trash and make yourself feel better by 1 i don't know, pretending you care by buying organic? and 2 making that trash with your own two hands. when i'm home i do a lot of the food preparation around because LOL MY JOB IS WRITING IS THAT A JOKE, and my favorite thing to do is take an inordinate amount of time cutting up vegetables while watching old seasons of top chef. i'm eating meat again because of my bleeding nightmare, but because you're not really living unless you are depriving yourself of something delicious i am trying to take it easy on carbs. i have a lot of cookbooks, even ones that have the audacity to expect someone who didn't go to culinary school to attempt sous vide prime rib on an average tuesday night, but i wish i could find one that was hella basic. like "this is the way you make perfect rice in a regular-ass pot you bought at target" basic. i mean, i know that you should toast the rice in a little bit of clear oil before adding the water but shouldn't someone put that shit in a book!?  
how to cook a pack of chicken, by sam.
1 pack of bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, on sale
a lemon

preheat the oven to 425.
2 go to the bathroom and grab that coconut oil you keep next to the shower for moisturizing your twist out.
3 season both sides of each thigh with: granulated garlic, lemon pepper, black pepper, and lawry's. these are things you should have in your house at all times so hopefully you don't need to run back out to the store.
4 heat a tablespoon (maybe two?) of oil in a deep pan, then add the chicken.
5 cook for five minutes without touching them, then flip them over and cook for five more minutes. guard your forearms against unsightly grease burns.
6 squeeze the lemon over the chicken, then cut it into thin slices and put them into a large tumbler filled with vodka and ice.
7 put the chicken in the oven for half an hour, during which you can drink your vodka and watch clips of gordon ramsey's fine ass on your phone while you wait. then eat your dinner in your pajamas while filling out the application to be on masterchef because you're so good at cooking duh.

buy your own gifts.
exchanging presents is so goddamn embarrassing. and fuck that "it's the thought that counts" shaming of my very reasonable disappointment at having been presented with some cheap piece of garbage i don't want that i can't use and am now forced to sheepishly foist on some other unsuspecting secret santa victim next year. because i'm not a monster, it fucking feels bad to throw a useless yet new item in relatively undamaged packaging out with the coffee grounds and egg shells. WHY HAVE YOU PUT ME IN THIS AWKWARD AND UNNECESSARY POSITION, PERSON I THOUGHT WAS MY FRIEND. i don't want this beatles lego set: i am an adult. i also will have no use for this ariana grande perfume and powder puff set, and there's no good place to display that snow globe with a cat in it. was there not a single bottle of prosecco between wherever you came from and wherever i'm at!? why does anyone buy anything that isn't on a registered list of items the recipient might actually want to receive? who perpetuated this myth that one must appear grateful for a literal piece of trash purchased on a whim at the grocery store and presented with the expectation of adulation and praise!? SOME ASSHOLE WHO BUYS SHITTY GIFTS, THAT'S WHO. every december i find myself struggling to find words as i poke holes in the plastic bag used to wrap a bottle of UTI-scented bubble bath someone decided to unload on me and it's wholly unnecessary because i never wanted to be caught between this chia pet and a hard place to begin with.

and it's not just the gift, it's the "who do i give a gift to and if someone who hasn't yet achieved gift status in my life gets me something am i an asshole for not giving something back or is it worse because his gift is gonna be late and he'll know he wasn't on my original nice list and got him a pity present or whatever." i had to take an ativan just to write that. i am not built for this, the parsing of relationships to determine whom to purchase an inoffensive yet vaguely meaningful under $25 gift for. if we're gonna play this game, i'd rather you tell me what you need so i can just get it and we can both die happy. WHAT IS WORSE THAN BLINDLY PICKING OUT A GIFT FOR SOMEONE: NOTHING. your humidifier is broken? you ran out of nail polish remover? you've been dying for an earwax removal kit!? great!! amazon has that and there will be a box in the lobby of your building in two days. guessing games are the worst please don't make me do it. i will pay for a laundry service or hire a dog walker or stand in line to get your plan B, just for the love of eight-pound baby jesus tell me that's what you want. i buy my own presents because i don't need to hear any plebeian editorializing about my expensive taste, but if someone asks what i want i tell them "unscented dove deodorant. multivitamins. AA batteries. those long lighters that you use for candles. a lip balm for the pockets of each of my jackets." because then they can feel good with minimal money and effort, and i get a year's supply of vitamin C and chapstick.

skip the holiday party.

hey dude, forced merriment in the company of people who question your decisions and undermine your authority five days a week for 50+ weeks a year should qualify as a hate crime. i mean, okay sure: "thank you boss for buying well drinks and room-temperature snacks for everyone but if i gotta eat them in the party room of the only bar still taking reservations when you finally got around to it on december 21 while overhearing a third-tier assistant prattling on about what hair dryer she should ask santa for i'm going to kill myself." and if your neighbors invite you over to theirs? YOU AIN'T GOTTA GO TO THAT, EITHER. one of these days i really am going to write a whole list of the dozens of ways living in a charming old farmhouse is worse than living in a glamorous shoebox (what is installation? oh wait, it's "insulation?" why do i have an attic? and why the fuck does it need that!?) but let's start here: 1 even if you put the car in the goddamned garage and turn off the porch light, people always know when your ass is at home. someone knocks on our door every single fucking day. milkman, mailman, dog catcher, mister rogers, big bird: every day i die a little while one of these well-meaning neighbors rings the doorbell no fewer than three times as i hold my breath in the bathroom waiting for them to go away. then i have to tiptoe around making sure that no one spots me through one of our many windows. it's exhausting. so order your pizza before the party starts just in case their awkward, loner son is watching your house, gather all the provisions you need for the evening while it's still light out, then bathe in the blue light of the tv until you pass out surrounded by beer cans and a half-eaten fruitcake. 

go see a movie.
you already know i don't care about things like "leaving the house," especially when i might accidentally overhear conversations between regular people talking about things that are interesting to them, but i do make a weekly exception to go to the movie theater. i love going to the fucking movies. and i'm the perfect moviegoer: i never make noise or get out my phone, i never move unless i am in danger of a pants-pooping emergency, and i never see the twist coming and therefore respond to every single one with a childlike sense of awe and wonder. i was the only asshole in the theater who didn't realize that bruce willis was dead in the sixth sense according to the informal poll i conducted in the lobby after the movie. i never know who the murderer is, or what the aliens want. i also love a movie full of loud shooting and good punching but if there are a lot of bad guys or the plot involves complicated military tactics or complex mathematical strategery then i tap right out. i mean i'm not dumb, but i saw arrival twice and next time you see me if you want a laugh please ask me to explain "non-linear time." 
samantha irby's top four shooting, kicking, and punching movies of 2016
the accountant
hell or high water
this small town robbed me of seeing both lion and miss sloane, but i did get to helplessly cry through moonlight so that's something. and sure, you could just wait two months and watch all this shit on the couch on your pajamas, but microwave popcorn < movie theater popcorn. less likely to murder your heart, for sure, but also way less delicious.

these are tough days for a lot of people. don't feel bad if you can't suck it up and put a smile on to make other people feel better at that ugly sweater party you didn't even want to go to. it is perfectly acceptable to sit in bed watching hulu on your laptop enjoying an extra day off work rather than putting real pants on to fake holiday cheer at your aunt's house or wherever. not everyone is a goddamned teacher, sometimes that one precious day off from retail misery is the only light at the end of the year tunnel. IF YOU DON'T WANT TO RUIN THAT SPECIAL DAY LISTENING TO YOUR BOYFRIEND'S PARENTS ARGUING THAT IS OKAY. and don't let anyone tell you that hanging colored lights from your coatrack isn't as good as the real fucking thing. it's yours, goddammit. and at least you didn't have to cut it down yourself while hillbillies gawked and pointed at you. bah humbug.

click here to preorder next year's hottest stocking stuffer.

Friday, December 9, 2016

winter beauty tips for the salty and willfully shut-in.

here is my average tuesday morning: 
830a wake up and think about going to walgreens.
840a try to convince myself that if i go to the gym for 40 minutes going to walgreens can be my reward.
845a debate wearing pajamas to the gym, realize these are the pajamas i wore to the gym yesterday so who cares.
850a plan what one item i am going to purchase at walgreens so i have a reason to go back tomorrow.
851a fruitlessly search for socks and shoes appropriate for moderate exercise in public surrounded by strangers.
853a remember sensible skechers are downstairs by the door where i kicked them off yesterday in an endorphin-fueled post-exercise wave of rage and disappointment.
854a consider going downstairs.
901a fuck working out and fuck walgreens, too.

i don't have anywhere important to go these days, so i don't really have a reason to have clear skin. i hated customer service for the many, many years i was doing it but at least the thought of arguing with some idiot as they stared in abject horror at my blackheads was motivation to occasionally use one of those congestion-clearing masks. the daikon farmer at the night market doesn't give a shit about my oxygenated pores, and neither does the lady sweating next to me in cardio hip hop groove oldies party or whatever it's called. does the guy at the starbucks drive thru who insists on putting one of those open whipped cream lids on my unsweetened iced tea care that i used a smoothing primer? how about the UPS woman, do you think she can tell the difference between the peachy nude lipstick i was wearing yesterday and the pinky nude i put on for no reason today!?

the answer is no. no one gives a shit about my hyperpigmentation or whether or not i'm using a brow pomade. and sure, maybe definitely no one cared about my liquid blush before? but at least i had half an hour on the train every morning to show off its perfect application to uninterested commuters who wished i would just die so they could take my fucking seat. i have a lot of time on my hands right now and sure i could be using it to read to old people or pack boxed lunches for veterans or some other useful thing, but until someone tells me where to go to do those things i am instead going to read excruciatingly detailed descriptions of beauty products on my computer then order them and pay for expedited shipping so that i can put them on my face in the vain hope that the bored teenager at the bagel shop will look up from his cream cheese long enough to ask, "wow, is that mac mineralize skinfinish!?"

head. i have written extensively and in disgusting detail about the raging monstrosity that is my scalp, and i recently tried a bunch of new shit because i don't go anywhere anyway so it doesn't really matter if i break out in a huge, nasty rash all down the sides of my face. first i tried lush superbalm. it's pretty easy to use on a shaved head, but i don't know if i'd have the patience otherwise. it's a paste that you smear on your gross parts, then you let it sit for 20 minutes before washing it out. i didn't love it, but a tiny tin cost $22 so i'll holler back in three years when i finish it. my barber sold me a bottle of kérastase bain exfoliant hydratant months ago but i just got around to using it and meh. on one of my daily trips to walgreens i gazed wistfully at all of the jewel-toned, tropical-scented bottles of shampoo for people who aren't total garbagemonsters to the unsexy shelves teeming with medical shampoo and got myself a bottle of nizoral, and that shit is a miracle.

shoulders. i'm 36 years old and my skin is changing. i always thought that "change your skin routine as you get older!" was a myth perpetrated by the beauty industry to get regular people to care about shit like "serums" and "night cream" but i am living proof that time turns your skin into an unpredictable asshole. in 1998 i could put anything on my face; now i get worried that if i get rained on i'm going to be an itchy, miserable mess for a week. i am the idiot who buys the overpriced new cleanser that is supposed to do a new fake thing for your face even though she still has a half-full bottle of an overpriced old cleanser that is currently pretending to do an old fake thing chilling on the edge of the sink. i am the gullible moron that commercials are made for, especially the ones with british-sounding voiceovers. (see: my many jaguars.) but i can't play the game anymore because my face stays on injured reserve, so i can't just go slopping creams on it on a whim. back when i was mainlining pizzas every day i could put all kinds of trash on my face but now that all i do is drink water, eat roasted quash, and listen to music i obsessed over in middle school i've switched from 137 assorted toners and lotions to one tube of first aid beauty cleanser and one tub of first aid beauty ultra repair cream because they are gentle and fragrance-free and don't make me break out in burning, welt-y hives.

i mostly bought these $80 sunday riley face oils because i was bored and my cool friend brenda likes them and i wanted the top of my super cool, modern dresser to look like it belongs to the kind of instagram girl who goes to brunch on weekdays and ferments her own beer. the bottles are gorgeous but the product smells like the healthy kind of salad and you have to be the kind of person who doesn't just throw herself in the general direction of the bed around two am if you want to use them properly; these shits are for people who are intentional, people who carefully wash their faces before dabbing on oil and then have the self-control to sit awake as they sink in so their pillowcases won't get ruined. i used these bad girls a couple of times and ruined an entire set of bedding before deciding that fussing with a glass bottle and a slippery dropper required more work and coordination than i was ever going to regularly achieve, plus i got a huge bottle of life-flo liquid cocoa butter at the health food store for $14 and it makes my face v soft and glowy but when people ask how it looks so good i lie and say it's due to "getting a good night's sleep." (wow o wow do i hate the liars who perpetuate this myth i could sleep for ten uninterrupted days and still wake up looking like someone took a cheese grater to my forehead.)

knees. i wish magazines wrote articles about, i don't know, unseemly beauty products. like, what is the most effective disposable razor for if you just have to take care of a couple chin whiskers that started popping up after you got off birth control a few years ago? or which is the best deodorant for unshaved armpits that are prone to dermatitis? if i wake up too late to both shower AND make it to where i need to be on time, which body powder can i sprinkle in my underpants so dogs don't follow me down the street all goddamn day!? this is why i couldn't work in advertising, because i'd want to write real life ad copy. (also why: i barely graduated high school.) for instance, my nars audacious lipstick ad would read: it was 32 real american dollars and sank into all my lip cracks in an unattractive way, thank goodness i bought it with a gift card. or for that too faced cocoa powder foundation picture above? idk if it works but it smells like dusting a swiss miss cocoa packet across my cheeks so i wiped it off after five minutes.

i am 36 years old and all of a sudden i am SO VERY SENSITIVE to everything beautiful and worth living for and it's bumming me out. i had to stop wearing perfume a few years ago, and it tore out what was left of my heart to pack up my jo malone french lime blossom and tom ford black orchid and give them to people whose sinuses don't catch fire the minute the perfume cap comes off. i haven't been able to wear mascara since i was 25 without risking my eyes tracking blackened sludge down my burning cheeks. i started using gel blushes and cheek stains because no matter how much benadryl i take at night coupled with zyrtec during the day i am itchy and sneezy and every other gross dwarf tasked with helping snow white get her man. other than some exceptionally good lipsticks i'm not having any fun at all. deodorant: dove unscented. body wash: aveeno fragrance free skin relief. body moisturizer: eucerin calming cream. HAVE YOU KILLED YOURSELF YET OR SHOULD I CONTINUE. 

what. is even. the point. of trying to stay alive to see my 37th year if this is how i gotta do it!? no creamy clouds of scented foam to lather up with in the shower, no sumptuous lotions heavily-fragranced with some scientist's interpretation of "freesia fields" or "pomegranate passion," no dabbing a little cologne behind my ears to impress upon a roomful of strangers that i care about myself enough to buy designer perfume. is this what it feels like to be a man, the utilitarian scrubbing of parts before inserting one's body into clothes that have been put through a cycle of tide free & gentle and tumbled without dryer sheets before walking outside with no vaguely skin-colored spackling paste to cover your inflamed, textured cheeks and unlined runny allergy eyes!? BUT EVEN DUDES HAVE HAIR POMADES AND OLD SPICE NOW. 

toes. so i'm trying to temper my addiction. first of all, shit is expensive. i had stockpiled a bunch of gift cards and coupon codes but the last place i had an in-person conversation was the quaint, adorable post office in which i tried to mail a package yet inadvertently ended up starring in a horror movie called "chatty small town postal worker," so what is even the point!? i guess i could get up in the morning and put lipstick on in the unlikely case i decide to ever open the door again when someone knocks on it after those two young mormons tricked me a couple weeks ago. i had no idea that this was even a real thing, young men in v-neck sweaters and black ties going from door to door asking people whether or not they feel connected to a higher power. i only opened the door because they waved at me through the window, and i was expecting to politely decline their offer of gallon-sized drums of novelty popcorn or let these adorable, clean-shaven teenagers use our phone to call their parents, not for the brown-haired one to ask whether or not i have a relationship with jesus. 

i almost burst out laughing i was so caught off guard. with who now!? idc what anyone does or believes in but you gotta try and keep it up off my porch, brethren. when i tried to excuse myself elder brad launched into a passionate defense of faith in the modern world (LOL WHY) while the black dude stood there mute, smiling. "blink twice if he kidnapped you," i whispered to elder demetrius and he shook his head in the negative. mavis was bustling around in the bowels of the house behind me, and this same bitch who won't even let me enjoy a secret spotify playlist without asking a hundred times what's on it (ain't nobody gotta know how many post malone songs i've downloaded) all of a sudden has no goddamn interest in who i'm talking to at the door for seven real minutes!? THIS IS WHAT IT MEANS TO SHOW UP FOR YOUR PERSON, OKAY. i don't need you to pay my phone bill, i need you to fucking shout "omg the [something flammable yet not  actually life-threatening] caught fire!" so i can shrug at these dudes and not feel guilty for slamming the door in their faces and run to throw an imaginary towel over hypothetical flames. i'm polite, though, so i patiently listened to them like i might actually be considering joining an organization that actually requires i KNOCK ON STRANGERS' DOORS ON A SATURDAY AFTERNOON IN MY GOOD CLOTHES before telling them that they were at a lesbian house where women kiss each other on the lips and have earnest conversations about new yorker articles.

i don't read that boring-ass shit but anyway tarte's tarteist creamy matte lip paints are the absolute best and maybe the reason that, even after my refusal to join their happiness love cult, they offered to help bring the firewood stacked next to the door into the house is because i was wearing one at the time. or maybe they wanted to murder me, idk.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

bitches gotta read: girls like me.

so how is everybody feeling? quivering in despair and actively avoiding the news!? great!!! my answer to that question for the next four years is gonna be "married to a lady in a red state." everything is trash, the earth is hurtling recklessly toward the sun, and everyone i like keeps getting kicked off project runway so what even is there to keep living for. BOOKS, I GUESS. if i was more organized i would have a ranked and compartmentalized list of everything i read this year from "worth incurring the overdue library fines for the time it will take you to finish" to "only to be read during desperate trips to the toilet" but, alas, i am not. also i'm not even sure how many books i read this year even came out this year? i'm really good at scouring all the lists and reading all the descriptions then spending an afternoon lovingly picking up and putting down hundreds of books in the bookstore like i'm not gonna buy them all anyway, only to stack them in towering piles around the crib just so i can admire their beautiful, glistening spines. days/weeks/months pass, during which i don't read anything longer than an email, and then suddenly it's december and the new end of the year booklists come out and i'm like, "wait, what did i read again!?"  anyway here are a few i actually finished and loved in the year of our lord 2016:
"shrill" by lindy west.
"the mothers" by brit bennett.
"problems by jade sharma.
"the association of small bombs" by karan nahajan.
"all the birds in the sky" by charlie jane anders.
"a hundred thousand worlds" by bob proehl.
"we love you, charlie freeman" by kaitlyn greenidge.
"girls on fire" by robin wasserman.
"so sad today" by melissa broder.
i know i read a lot more than this but i'm lazy and you don't care that much. i also bought piles of books that i'm stoked to read but unless i throw my tv in the trash and disconnect the internet how on earth am i ever going to have time to read!? not to mention my healthy appetite for gripping courtroom dramas i'm too ashamed to add to my goodreads and the dozens of YA books i download and immediately forget about!? in addition to my food journal (LOL) and my daily exercise log (BAHAHAHAHA) maybe i should set a timer and force myself to keep track of how many minutes i devote each day. i already know that i'm never going to do that but it feels good to pretend that i might?

i have a confession to make: i started a humans-actually-sitting-in-my-living-room-eating-snacks book club. we put together fancy cheese trays and there was a chopped up log of spicy sopressata and a bunch of vegetables (eyeroll) and pie, and a lovely group of women came over on the friday after thanksgiving to eat our overpriced port salut while silently judging our interior design. oh and also we talked about "the mothers," which some of these broads didn't like as much as i did, causing me to get irrationally defensive and throw each and every one of them out of my caucasian home while hurling cats at their heads like that lady on the simpsons. no i didn't but it was like they were criticizing my child or something, which is why i should only ever do things by myself, in a dark room with the blinds closed, where no one can see or talk to me. can't wait to do it again in a few weeks! we're reading "long division" by kiese laymon who i am actually in love with so i'm super excited to die from a heart attack if someone isn't feeling it!!!

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 tasha's dairy allergy or that rebecca 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 john green 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 rad people who aren't irritating! come find us!)
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 much the ending moved me.

brief internet synopsis:
Fifteen-year-old Shay Summers is trying to cope with the death of her father, being overweight, and threats from a girl bully in school. When she falls in love with Blake, a mysterious boy online, insecure Shay doesn't want to tell him who she is. But with the help of her two best friends, as well as an assist by Kermit and Miss Piggy, ultimately Shay and Blake’s love prevails. Girls Like Me is a fun and fresh poetic take on teen angst, social media and online anonymity, and high school romance.

idk if this is gonna be good but the protagonist is a fat girl and the author is a black girl so when my homie emailed asking if i'd read it i was like SIGN ME UP, BRUH. it's written like poetry and god knows i am too dumb to understand real poems, but i'm going to try to read it anyway. right after i finish all this other shit. cross your fingers that i don't catch wind of any csi: miami marathons. *cue the who*

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

trick or treated.

i stood in the doorway and adjusted my shiny witch hat as i watched him approaching. dressed as, shit i don't know, a mummy? maybe a tampon!? his confident gait belied his young age. i shifted the large metal bowl i once ate an entire box of dry quaker oat squares out of against my hip, arranging its contents so that the most delectable candies were prominently displayed on top. i went to target last week, before all the good shit was sold out and i was stuck giving out smarties and circus peanuts, and i spent thirty motherfucking dollars on good shit. not candy corn, no good and plentys, and none of those shriveled little tootsie roll turds: there would be no retaliatory egging at this scary old witch's house. scattered throughout the packs of skittles and starburst were brightly colored rubber spiders and glossy vampire fangs. you know, because this is the cool house.

without so much as a "trick or treat!" he bounded up our stairs and accosted me on the porch, tailed closely by a handful of friends all dressed as satan or maybe drake but what the fuck do i know about what kids are into, breathless and vibrating with the kind of energy i can only assume accompanies being allowed to use one's pillowcase outside of the house. "ugh, what are these teeth for?" amenhotep sighed in disgust, plucking a neon pink pair from where it had been nestled between a full-sized reese's cup and the good kind of m+ms to hold in front of my face for review, as if he'd found a used condom or a bottle of xanax in the bowl.

"oh, um...?" i stammered. i hadn't gotten a chance to rehearse before dusk had fallen and screaming batmen and runny-nosed pikachus had come stampeding up the stairs before i'd memorized all my lines. i had only prepared to: 1 exclaim "happy halloween!" with something resembling enthusiasm while waiting interminably long for kindergartners to make the agonizing decision between a snickers and a milky way 2 glare menacingly at the greedy monsters attempting to take more than one candy bar at a time and 3 quickly dip back inside the foyer to grab an unwieldy snack sized bag of unsweetend diet popcorn should some pale, bubble-wrapped child require one due to his allergies. "they're just fun halloween teeth? you know, for fun!?" i groaned internally and silently wished for a meteor to strike the house.

apparently satisfied with that answer, i leaned against the door frame for support as ramses inspected nearly every piece of name brand, expensive candy i had to offer, longing for a simpler time, the olden days of nightclubs circa 2002: wedged in a corner away from the bar between a sexy cat and a sexy burn victim, my "costume" little more than a pair of devil horns worn with my regular clothes, drinking too many corpse revivers and el diablos way too quickly. it's not even eleven o'clock and already two (!!!) hilarious geniuses have asked if i'm benny the bull and since the knives in here are too dull to effectively cut my wrists open the long way i am choosing instead to attempt suicide the old fashioned way: listening to a hot dude who doesn't want to fuck me ask a bunch of questions about the friend i came here with.

after what felt like an eternity tutankhamun finally settled on a hershey bar, just as my arm started to go numb from the effort of patiently holding ten pounds of free candy aloft for a child i had never met to choose from. he reconsidered the teeth and reached in the bowl to snatch them back. i ushered him away from my goddamned house and noticed the candy line had stretched down the block. "all that time for a fucking hershey bar!?" i grumbled under my breath, seething in the direction of his hastily wrapped bandages as he trampled the flowers in the front yard. the teenage mutant ninja turtle next in line widened his eyes in a combination of awe and horror at hearing the f-word out of the mouth of a responsible adult. "sorry about that kid, he's picky," donatello (is that the orange one?) apologized on behalf of his friend xerxes. "and this isn't exactly the best candy." he shrugged before depositing three individual twix and a nestle crunch into his mother's reusable grocery sack. i was gobsmacked.

michelangelo (raphael?) wished me a perfunctory "happy halloween" as he hustled down the steps to meet up with the rest of his crew. imhotep turned to thank me for my disappointing offerings to the gods of all hallows eve and pointed to the jack o'lanterns rotting on the ledge in front of the house. "those are gross!" he called, waving festively, off to feast on the insecurities of the sensible mom handing out raisins and toothpaste and bibles next door. i dumped the candy out on the driveway then slammed the door in the crying face of a tiny little doc mcstuffins before shutting the blinds, turning off every light in the house, then dousing it in gasoline burning the whole thing to a smoldering ash. i sat in my good chair the dining room, face pressed to the window as the flames licked at my skin through my cheap, flammable clothing, scowling as 47-year-old trick or treaters fought with squirrels and raccoons over discounted novelty chocolate, their greedy eyes flashing in the towering firelight. 

living is a mistake, and so is buying a house. not having to think about halloween is one of the many primo benefits of living in an apartment. no having to fix my own toilet, and no having to rake myself over the emotional coals trying to figure out which bag of assorted candy i am too sophisticated to eat will be the most pleasing to the carloads of other people's goddamn kids banging on my fucking door begging for food to prevent them from throwing dog shit at my car. next year this crazy cat lady who never leaves the house is giving out apples. with razor blades.

Friday, October 14, 2016

i have a chinese symbol tattooed on my neck that doesn't mean what i thought it did.

look dude, i had no idea in 1998 that to give off some semblance of cool as an adult i would need to get a cubist rose tattooed on my barely discernible ribcage. in 1998 i had two pagers and one of those clear house phones that allowed you to see all the pink and red and blue wiring within. in 1998 i drove a maroon ford escort hatchback that i crashed in front of a strip mall while distractedly turning up the radio to better hear "the boy is mine." i knew in 1998 that pacey was the only reason on earth to ever watch dawson's creek, on regular CRT tv with an actual antenna. i had only tried three different types of cheese before 1998. in 1998 i didn't have a goddamned email address. so when, in 1998, i turned 18 years old and it officially became legal to carve intricate, lacy floral patterns and the names of my literary heroes into my supple young skin? i raced to the nearest tattoo parlor clutching my poetry journal to my bosom, ready to spend all $217 in my possession to have something deep and meaningful permanently inscribed into my flesh. JK I GOT A BUNCH OF TRIBAL TATTOOS AND SHIT LOL FUCK YOU.

i was in chicago last weekend for a book thing. and when i wasn't in my beautiful hotel room intermittently sobbing into the crisp white towels over how many delicious varieties of fried chicken were available within any one mile radius at virtually any time day or night, i was unfortunately outside of that hotel room being assaulted by other people's inane conversations. one night i was standing on the corner of halsted and randolph laughing at the idea that anyone would actually wait 2+ hours to eat a cheeseburger at au cheval when a handsome young man with two vibrant and colorful full sleeves adorning his pale, slender arms stumbled out of the restaurant, insulted that he was on the wait-for-a-text-list, griped "we can't get a seat at the bar but that guy with the cubs tattoo has a table!? let's go back to logan square, bro." (i might have taken some creative license with the last part of that sentence but whatever you know it's true.)

i could feel all the hair on my unironic mickey mouse/tweety bird/tazmanian devil tattoo stand on end. (i don't have any of those, but i know some bitches who do, and this is about solidarity.) everyone is a dumbass at 18. some people are still dumbasses at 32. it can't be helped. and sure, maybe i should've known that one day the olde english lettering spelling out ONE IRON DUKE on my right forearm would cause me deep and powerful shame at the hands of a style blogger with access to an american express card, but i fucking didn't. there were no smartphones back then, i couldn't just whip out my iphone and bring up the 10,000,000 pictures of the chinese symbol for "mother" available to me so that i wouldn't end up with the word "vagina" TATTOOED ON THE SIDE OF MY MOTHERFUCKING NECK FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. so give us a goddamned break, kids. back then we still had to fucking use encyclopedias.

so this one's for all the homies getting tattooed in the early aughts who had neither access to 2500 real american dollars to get inked from shoulder to wrist with something cool enough to impress our future roller derby teammates nor the foresight to realize that tattooing "i want no one else to succeed" on her breastplate would force her to engage with so many hideous, mouthbreathing strangers. ugh my life is neverending misery. i should either wear a turtleneck every day or get cards made up that say "please don't make me take my headphones off, it's a quote from there will be blood, okay!?"

i'm here for all you girls with butterflies flapping gently above your ass cracks and what you were misled to believe are the japanese letters for "love" and "destiny" peeking out from under the hems of your jeans; and the bros with barbed wire circling biceps that no longer flex as hard as they used to and faded orange koi gasping for air atop flabby pectoral muscles that strain a little tighter against your old abercrombie polo shirts. yes, i have an inky black tribal "sun" tattooed over the ill-conceived initials on my inner left wrist of a grown man who put ketchup on a steak at ruth's chris one time before leaving a 10% tip and I WILL NO LONGER BE ASHAMED, friends. did that dude and i end up happily ever after? no! but at the time did my then-25 year old brain think that a person who made me a copy of his house key should be honored in return with a corner of real estate on my body!? you bet that ladybug tattoo on your ass i did.

i'm not hiding anymore, fam. some asshole at a reading a couple years ago was like, "lol japanese wave tattoo!?" and for a split second i felt stupid and almost apologetic but wait: HELLO, SON. I AM OLD. and while i hope that tiny hipster mustache etched permanently into the side of your finger remains au courant forever, i'm smart enough to know it won't and that you better start thinking up the cutesy story to explain it away at parties now. because in ten years when 3D face tattoos are the wave and the girls you're trying to bone are all, "ew...mustache?" you're going to feel this exact same shame and hopefully by that point my aquarius constellation tattoo and i will be cackling up at you from the ninth circle of hell.

a semi-exhaustive list of all my trash tattoos, which hopefully will make you feel marginally better about your own life choices:

1 my first ever tattoo was this garbage i got, inspired by my 1998 hero ani difranco, in the dead center of my chest. i had the cover of her spin magazine tacked to a square of cardboard hanging on my dorm room wall, and that tattoo seemed as fitting a tribute as any to let everyone know that i spent a lot of time in high school crying along to "not a pretty girl."

2 giant tribal flame on top of right forearm.

3 tribal flower with nearly illegible name of dead mother scribbled beneath, top of left forearm.

4 below that, some other tribal thing that this dude at jade dragon kept calling a spider as he was tattooing it on me. i'm not really that into bugs and twenty years later it lives on my arm and still creeps me the fuck out.

5 "one iron duke," in honor of dead father, in that running from your wrist to your elbow style that eminem has wow o wow is this humiliating.


7 "shut up" on right upper arm.

8 ugh my sister and i got these matching butterfly tattoos? which is weird because i don't think we even like each other enough to do that kind of thing, and i'm going to go on record and say that i had chosen mine first and was in the chair with my shirt off when she got hers. 

9 oh man i was deeply in love and got the initials of a non-fictional person on the inside of my wrist and totally didn't think it was a mistake.

9a happiness is a lie and love is fleeting as fuck. cover ups to the rescue.

10 i was never one to instill a whole lot of meaning into my tattoo choices (and i definitely did not give them a whole lot of thought?) but i couldn't resist getting a little something when i went with a friend and got that there will be blood quote written on my left boob in this font that looks like a child's handwriting. i think this is officially when i was like "let's just cover this bag of rotting meat with whatever who cares."

11 case in point: i got really, really into sons of anarchy and decided that i was going to get a bunch of biker tattoos? okay so the first is this black and white shaded reaper surrounded by smoke and waves, angrily wielding a sickle with blood oozing from it; 12 the second one is a freehand skull done with only shading needles. he's surrounded by stars and roses and has a serpent coiled throughout, with its tail coming out of the skull's mouth and its head slithering out of where his missing brain would be; and finally, 13 a screaming reaper with terrifying sharp teeth who is brandishing an incredibly detailed smoking pistol. these are all on my right arm, and i still stand by this decision. man, i love that show.

14 slowing down in my old age, i got the aquarius constellation because if you pretend you believe in astrology people tend to be less irritated by your idiotic decision-making. 

15 when i went to dump my dad's ashes i got a tattoo of the state of tennessee, mostly to remind myself that i drove from chicago to nashville in a rented camry in seven hours fueled only by lukewarm diet coke and the kind of adult contemporary playlist that would melt your mom's panties right off.

16 cursed, on my wrist. because duh.

i wish i was cool, man. but i feel like that ship sailed as soon as i decided to pick my first handful of tattoos from the drunk rugby player's handbook circa 1997. there's freedom in covering your body with nonsense, though. once you get one dumb piece of garbage, you can just do whatever the fuck you want! aim low! get all of the cartoon characters and insipid motivational quotes your body can handle! ALL TATTOOS ARE TRASH. "dream as if you'll live forever." *cluster of birds trailing over mole-speckled right shoulder*

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

bitches gotta read: the mothers.

this is such a good fall for books and i'm salty that this is such a good fall for tv too because how the fuck am i going to get it all consumed while also roasting squash for soup!? let's start with my boyfriend the tv: we're working on our problems and as part of our couples' therapy i had to finally learn how to work the DVR (i don't have a tivo anymore, you dicks who made fun of me for having a tivo last year) because 1 there are so many things on at the same time that i can't keep up with what i'm supposed to watch and when and 2 LIVING ON EAST COAST TIME IS THE GODDAMN WORST. listen dude, i like to go to bed at 9 o'clock. doing things when it's dark out makes me feel like i'm actually going to die. black-ish comes on 930 here are you kidding me. that feels like midnight to my old ass. and forget about the handful of shows i'd want to watch if i could maintain consciousness at 10. is that new kiefer sutherland show designated survivor any good? I'LL NEVER FUCKING KNOW. at least not in real time, unless i develop a coke habit. also, there's all this like, queen sugar and atlanta come on at the same fucking time: whose fault is that? who can we prosecute!? and let me disabuse you of the notion that i only watch quality television. i also have to find time for: the voice (i'm still catching up on the blind auditions), project runway, survivor (i am neither gen x nor millennial so i'm for real having a hard time picking a side based on age because everyone is terrible), every trash show that comes on bravo, and love and hip hop duh. wait but omg ALSO insecure and shark tank and secrets and lies (maybe?) and westworld and holy shit the affair is coming back next month and that is my favorite show goddamn i am having real anxiety over this.

how am i supposed to have time to read!? especially when instead of slicing vegetables for dinner prep i spend two hours watching episodes of america's next top model circa 2004? (toccara i love you) i'm too busy re-watching old shit to catch up on new shit and in the meantime my stack of reading material looms menacingly in the background. and then more good books keep coming out. i'm currently reading mr. splitfoot by samantha hunt, and it's good as hell and i really wanna savor it but then this beauty showed up on my doorstep and i was like BYE. except not really, because i'm trying to break the habit of kinda sorta reading six books at a time. then i read this article and then this other one and thought, "well, maybe...?" i mean, it's not like the other book is going anywhere, right!?

the rules
1 we are never going to meet in person. 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 gwen's dairy allergy or that janice 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 john green 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 rad people who aren't irritating! come find us!)
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 bagel shop and you decide to ask how much the ending moved me.

brief internet synopsis:
It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother's recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor's son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it's not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt.

what is the official day when we can stop being expected to go outside? because listen, if it were up to me i would never be able to tell you what fresh air or sunshine feel like on my skin. but it isn't up to me, and mavis will come in from outside smelling like ethically-sourced, locally-grown produce to find me huddled in a dark room shrouded in sweaters (this hooded one from the gap is a particular fave) and sweetly ask, "hey! wanna get some air!?" to which i respond by hissing and retreating deeper into my corner, batting away the cobwebs i will eventually use as bookmarks. i'm not immune to the allure of a tree-lined stroll though, and occasionally i'll get tricked into believing that the sun can actually cheer me up, but then i remember happiness is a lie and this feeling is what antidepressants are made for and go back to peeking out the window once every couple of days just to make sure no one's stolen the propane grill off the deck. i need for it to hurry up and get cold so no one will look at me funny for being all pale and weak. i need get through this huge pile of books. and get those potatoes out of the oven.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

popular menstrual products: ranked.

i have been bleeding since april. HOW AM I EVEN STILL ALIVE. i don't ovulate normally and my periods have always been fairly irregular, so when she showed up at my door with a couple of suitcases instead of her typical weekend bag i didn't think too much of it. she'd paid me extensive visits before. "staying awhile?" i asked as she painfully dragged her heavy samsonite luggage over my endometrium. she kicked my left ovary in response, grunting as she shrugged out of her dark red coat. 

i went to LA in may and saw jon hamm eating toast on the sidewalk on my period. i got married on a lovely afternoon in the middle of june in a black dress, because i had my period. i packed my entire apartment and moved with my period, i fought that snake who lunged at me from under the garbage can on my period, I AM WRITING THIS BLOG RIGHT NOW ON MY FUCKING PERIOD.

i looked up my symptoms on the internet and decided that i definitely had endometrial cancer, and i made an appointment to have my gp do a pap smear before i left chicago and had to take my chances with a michigan farm veterinarian slash ladyparts doctor who would schedule my hysterectomy between a bovine c-section and an afternoon tractor pull. the pap came back normal and she suggested i get a bladder and transvaginal ultrasound, which consisted of a pleasant young woman making awkward small talk in a darkened room while sawing in and out of my uterus with what felt like a smooth, slim baseball bat. the verdict? basically normal. but the storm raged on, so i went to see a specialist. she took a bunch of biopsies that came back as an unspecified terminal illness that is in no way a result of improper care of this rotting meat carcass LOL JK THE BIOPSIES WERE NORMAL, TOO. wtf, uterus!?

the thing about never wanting to have a baby is that when my period was weird i was just like "meh" and didn't spend a whole lot of time thinking about it. i could have unprotected sex with dudes and never have to worry about fighting over the exorbitant cost of infant yoga class or the appropriate age at which the child was allowed to cook his own breakfast because mommy was "sleeping." (duh the answer is three, maybe two and a half if he was gifted.) 

i tried to get spayed before i left my old job but jim was adamant that my employee benefits didn't cover routine human health maintenance, so after i moved i found a doctor here with a brightly-lit office in a hospital and sterilized medical equipment. i had 1 a urine test whose official results were: VODKA, MOSTLY; 2 a vaginal culture, which didn't feel like much and was pretty useless but i got good pain meds afterward so fine; 3 yet another pelvic exam which consisted of much rearranging of my internal organs by a small gloved hand inserted deep inside my birth canal; and 4 yesterday, another incredibly thorough transvaginal ultrasound! and the bleeding continues. i'm currently doing a chemical d&c, which is exactly as horrifying as it sounds.

the diva cup $39.99, for one. listen dude, i have a subscription to bust. i own a lot of faded grey t-shirts with trees on them; a drawer full of threadbare cardigans that i bought new that intentionally look old and smell like the essential oils i insist upon moisturizing with; and a tiny collection of random, pointless vinyl records by twee singer-songwriter dudes like hayden: THE DIVA CUP WORKS WITH MY AESTHETIC, OKAY. mavis uses one and probably fertilizes the lawn with its contents every night while howling at the moon, so during the first couple weeks of my torrential internal downpour i thought, "yo, why not me?" HERE'S WHY NOT: after struggling for seven real minutes to make sure it was safely in, i spent the next hour and a half baby-stepping through my errands gripped with fear that it was going to shake loose and embarrass me in the middle of the goddamned grocery store. when i finally got home to check on it it was lodged sort of sideways and leaking into the backup pad i was smart enough to know i'd need. i'm using mine as a shot glass now.

seventh generation free and clear maxi pads with purefit flexible protection, $5.01 for 24. i'm trying to fit in here, i really am. i rinse all of the chemicals out of my diet coke cans before putting them in the recycling bin with the empty containers of chia seeds, i walk around smelling like an ox because everyone here makes their own food grade deodorant that smells like medicine and doesn't actually work, and the other night i tiptoed past the snakes and shit in the yard out to the garden behind our actual house and yanked some actual basil out of the actual dirt and used it in a homemade sauce that i was too exhausted to even eat after all that tromping around and digging. so i got some whole foods pads mostly to convince the woman at the checkout that i care about the planet despite not having brought a reusable cloth bag, and i learned the hard way that you should never give a shit about the environment if later that day you're going to be a passenger in a car with a beige interior.

always maxi overnight pads with 10 hour leakguard protection without wings, $5.47 for 28. ten hours is a long time, man. and i know that to be an accurate judge i should've tried to ride out a full season of house of cards with only a half-inch thick strip of weaponized cotton balls or whatever scientific shit they stuff these pads with between me and the couch, but that's gross. also i could practically wring one out after an hour, which is why my doctor wrote me an rx for ferralet and recommended i kill a cow on the way home from the ER and eat it raw because i was so anemic. come to think of it i might actually be dying.

poise ultimate absorbency overnight pads with odor neutralizer, $18.99 for 45. have you ever gone to costco and bought the, like, 700 pack of toilet paper? like, the biggest, unwieldiest package they sell? the size you have to use carabiners to tie to the roof of your car!? THAT IS WHAT THESE PADS ARE LIKE. the package is so large you have to bear hug it up to the register at the pharmacy. as if this nightmare life isn't terrible enough, you have to both deal with incontinence and have no discretion about it!? they make those cute little black boxes of tiny tampons for bitches with adorable menstrual cycles, but no such luck when blood is literally raining from your vagina. i'm the asshole that had to get a cart in the kind of store where people glare at you for having a cart because i needed to buy more than this one thing. i didn't even have a place to put them, i was up half the night googling "small space storage solutions" trying to figure out where to put my wee wee pads other than putting a lamp and all the books i'm pretending to read on it and tossing out my nightstand. i don't want to make you throw up (yes i do), so i'ma just say that these really are just meant for you to tinkle a little bit on. NOT GIVE BIRTH.

bounty duratowel cloth-like paper towels, $12.49 for 8 and a single calvin klein hand towel that i got at marshalls a few years ago, surprisingly cheap because the stitching is all messed up. prostrate atop a crimson tide and having left a damp circle of rust on every absorbent surface between chicago and detroit over the past few months, i found myself alone in the house with no car and not a single sanitary napkin. not even the emergency ones i stuffed in my backpack after i was sure the radiologist had dislodged my fallopian tube with her ultrasound probe. i first grabbed approximately 42 sheets of bounty, the quicker picker-upper, but because i didn't want to walk the store with my ass looking like a crime scene i decided to donate one of the hand towels that i've never used because i don't ever invite anyone over and folded it in the crotch of my underpants, then i used the paper towels to pad both the front and the rear in case there was any leakage from that garbage towel. i put on my sunglasses and bravely walked in that walgreens with my head held high, my sumo-sized midsection crunching and rustling with every step. it worked like a charm! i stood in the pantiliner aisle inconspicuously dabbing at my backside (on camera, in full view of all of the mirrors) and my hand came away clean every time! unfortunately, i've lived in a "we could just dry that out and use it again" house too long, and i would feel incredibly guilty wasting this much paper on something as small as my dignity. so i bought as many of the always as they had in stock and dragged them home in a wagon, stopping every few minutes to stuff some leaves down the back of my pants so i wouldn't ruin my shirt.

the bleeding has let up, thanks to some new drugs. plus i've stopped eating sugar and carbohydrates in an effort to fix my hormones, and you know what? i feel like i would rather just be dead! anyway, i can still have one ounce of steak a week. and dogs have finally stopped following me around the park when i go outside to "exercise."

Saturday, September 3, 2016

bitches gotta read: georgia peaches and other forbidden fruit.

i've read a lot of books this summer. although you wouldn't know it from the infrequency of my book club selections, because i am either 1 reading trash i don't want anyone to know about or 2 see previous answer. kids are going back to school so i figure this is as good a time as any to get back into reading the books frustrated teachers are going to take away from them in class when they should be focused on learning the constitution. (do they even still teach that!?)

the rules
1 we are never going to meet in person. that would require a bra and zippered pants and probably an expensive uber and no one is doing that that. you don't have to worry about monica's dairy allergy or that gladys doesn't like malbec. 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 john green 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 rad people who aren't irritating! come find us!)
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 bagel shop and you decide to ask how much the ending moved me.

brief internet synopsis:
Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees. Although it is (mostly) much easier for Jo to fit in as a straight girl, things get complicated when she meets Mary Carlson, the oh-so-tempting sister of her new friend at school. But Jo couldn’t possibly think of breaking her promise to her dad. Even if she’s starting to fall for the girl. Even if there’s a chance Mary Carlson might be interested in her, too. Right?

i'm supposed to be finishing some essays for my new book and working on a thing for tv (!!!) but all these IF YOU DON'T READ THESE NEW FALL BOOKS YOU WILL DIE lists are coming out and there are so many i'm looking forward to (brit bennett! zadie smith!) that my procrastination and i can hardly contain ourselves. i just read dark matter by blake crouch and it was a jam, even though i don't know shit about physics and don't usually read sci fi. full disclosure: i subscribe to book of the month and i never remember to select which book i want from the monthly list and i usually end up with something i never would have picked. so far being a forgetful jackass has been a 10/10 strategy and i've read some really good shit, maybe it will start to work magic in other parts of my life. like catching up on my book pile by accidentally not remembering to do some other important thing. 
on deck:
problems by jade sharma.
homegoing by yaa gyasi.
mr. splitfoot by samantha hunt.
you will know me by megan abbott.
underground railroad by colson whitehead.
against the country by ben metcalf.
heroes of the frontier by dave eggers.
the nix by nathan hill.
behold the dreamers by imbolo mbue.
my armpits are sweaty just thinking about getting through all these before other good stuff starts rolling out at the end of the month, especially since my boyfriend, television, asked if we could get back together after the summer break we took to "discover ourselves." and i know it's wrong, i know he's done me dirty before, but how can i resist him? especially since our eight-week fling during the night of was so hot!? i know he's garbage but he promised to be better to me this time, he's even giving me donald glover in atlanta to prove it. brb deleting all the wesley crusher-centric episodes of star trek: tng off my dvr to make room.