Monday, February 13, 2017

one year closer to the grave!

ugh today is my 37th motherfucking birthday. WHAT A NIGHTMARE. first of all, what am i supposed to do while people sing happy birthday over the cake i'm about to spit all over trying to blow out the trick candles someone who obviously doesn't know me that well decided to put on the cake i can't eat because i'm trying not to eat sugar. second, after 30 birthdays don't really matter until you get to 40, and even that's mostly boring. then if you can hang on until 50 (ugh why) you get a parade or something. since no one is throwing confetti in my face i'm instead watching old episodes of svu while making a mental list of all the celebrity appearances from when they were less famous. (currently: sara ramirez as the sassy prostitute lisa perez, season 4, episode 1)

some asshole friend of mine thought it would be hilarious to email me an article called something like "5,729 things you should know how to do by age 40" and LOL FOREVER AT LEARNING NEW THINGS. i'm just a moist skin dumpster filled with latent rage and useless night court trivia, and i'm basically the same person i was 37 years ago except with worse credit and a persistent headache. anyway, i couldn't even take that list seriously because the first thing on it was some garbage like "learn how not to embarrass yourself at karaoke" and, like, my mans? that is never going to happen. what 40 year old gives a shit about being embarrassed!? (you thought i was going to say karaoke, and you're right: i was.) 

it's too late for me to go back to college. it makes me uncomfortable to learn new things, mostly because i have no idea where to put anything in my brain anymore. every new thing in pushes an old thing right out, so i can either 1 learn what space weather is and how it might actually affect my life on this planet or 2 remember how to tie my shoes. and i know that positive people are always saying "it's never too late!" about shit like finding out what "dabbing" means and enrolling in a community college you can actually write a check for (because you have a job, duh, AND ACTUAL CHECKS) and i'm proud of you for doing it but that's not gonna be me. young people are very loud, and i was already 20 when some of them were born: as much as i'd like to fold up my walker and squint at the board from the back of a culture studies class i'm just not gonna. but what i can do is rely on internet quizzes and checklists as a barometer for how well i'm doing as i shuffle off this mortal coil. i picked these things off the list at random to examine my emotional preparation as i progress on this endless march toward the grave.

how to make conversation at parties. i'm trash at this and i'll tell you why: too busy hovering near the snacks. just kidding, eating in front of strangers is weird. at parties i like to find one person i know and linger awkwardly near his side until enough time has elapsed that i can leave without insulting whoever spent their afternoon dusting the ceiling fan and arranging pre-cut vegetables. what can you even talk to strangers about anyway? i like to lock eyes with someone as our fingertips brush against each other while digging through the gas station ice cubes in the beer bucket and say, "the 2mg lorazepam is working so much better for me than the 1mg, what do you take?" but most people don't enjoy discussing their anxiety in mixed company as much as i do? but what the fuck else am i gonna say, politics is a minefield of nazi bombs and no one else is as emotionally invested in jane the virgin as i am so what on earth are kevin and i gonna talk about!? i don't know shit about cars and he isn't up to date on the new ben & jerry's flavors coming out so i'll just be in the coat room trying to coax the cat out from under the bed until everyone else goes home and i can eat what's left of the hummus in private.

how to end a friendship. JUST GHOST. i mean, right? i know that's supposed to be some millennial shit but what the fuck are we old people expected to do, handwrite a goddamn breakup letter!? never answering your phone is a lifesaving social tool, and now that technology has given us the blessed ability to block callers you don't even have to suffer through seeing their text messages for however long it takes to "clear all." block a hoe from your facebooks and tweets then create a gmail filter to dump his messages in your virtual trash and POOF, he never existed. i only need, like, three actual friends anyway and maybe it's cowardly but man, so what? "honor" and "bravery" are medieval terms that should not apply to that woman who won't stop trying to facetime you even though you said "i don't think we're gonna work out" after she sex-cried that one time. 

how to look polished. i am lumbering slowly toward the big 4-0 at just the right historical time: "ATHLEISURE" IS THE CURRENT WAY TO PRETEND YOUR DAYTIME PAJAMAS ARE ACTUALLY STYLISH AND EVERYONE IS DOING IT. it's a goddamn miracle, flipping open the latest issue of glamour every month to find top models draped in my old duvet cover and calling it fashion. i've been waiting for a long ass time for the clothing gods to finally catch up with my preferred style of dress and please know that this past saturday when i handed over my secured visa card in exchange for an outdoor robe with a hood and actual pockets a single tear rolled down my cheek just like denzel's. so many soft pants that are made to be worn in public! so much supersoft sweatshirt material fashioned into something you could actually wear to work! i've got so many sporty fucking jackets and i haven't picked up a ball since 1997.

how to let go of anger. don't! hang on to it! let it sit in the pit of your stomach like a cool lake of hatred into which you can take a refreshing dip every time you find yourself smiling at someone's vacation photos or newborn dog! let it keep you warm at night when the absence of joy leaves you cold! TEND TO YOUR LITTLE GARDEN OF HATE UNTIL IT KILLS YOU.

buy this for someone creeping ever closer to middle age.

Friday, February 10, 2017

how i distract myself from all this wild ass shit on the news.

if this is the end of days then fuck it that's fine. what are you trying to stay alive for anyway, the last installment of game of thrones? hamilton tickets to become affordable? to see whether or not that smug bitch you hate at work really sticks with whole 30 this time!? well not me. bring on the meteor or the horsemen or whatever it is that signifies this civilization's bitter end. i was in an airport bathroom the other day trying to hit on a congressman and i overheard this woman detailing her elaborate plans to outlive this administration and i was like LOLWHY. okay sure, i wanna read the new saunders novel and hide behind my scarf for 3/4 of the movie "get out" too, but not badly enough to try to brave this oncoming civil war. i've done as much cool shit as a person could reasonably hope to do, right? i just want to lie down in the street and give up, right after i finish watching that OJ american crime story bc it just came out on netflix and it looks good as hell.

everything is just so fucking embarrassing. and i am just one regular-ass, didn't pay enough attention in us history-ass, powerless-ass human too terrified of her own shadow to be outside for any given length of time, so how can i possibly be of use in a way that helps somebody? i could write postcards and send hate mail to congress but come on now, WHO THE FUCK HAS A FAX MACHINE ANYMORE. so i got bored with the idea of being helpful and busied myself with fortifying our panic room for when they kick down the door to take us to the gay camps. but mavis grew up in a two parent caucasian home with people who instilled in her this need to, um, "give back" or whatever they call it? so my pleas of "i grew up on section eight, so do i really gotta help?" were answered with a resounding "YES YOU DO" and we went through background checks and financial audits and cervical exams (i mean, basically?) so we could invite refugee families into our home and feed them our bland, uninteresting american cuisine. it's the least we can do.

have you ever tried to explain american food to a person who isn't used to eating it without sounding like a bumbling moron? these poor people didn't escape a brutal dictatorship followed by two years of extreme vetting to get all the way to america and listen to me try to talk about the paleo diet while sounding like a total fucking asshole. i'm over here handing homeboy a glass of crystal light like "how do you say powdered sugar-free diet iced tea substitute in arabic, qasim?" while each of us simultaneously dies inside from humiliation. but this is a thing i can do, a thing that feels good in our increasingly nightmarish reality. i can buy shopping bags full of school supplies for detroit children, i can drive 20 cases of clean water to give to babies in flint, and i can grind what's left of my teeth into shame stumps trying to explain why we're serving a young man who just wanted to come here to get a math degree spiralized zucchini "pasta."

the hardest thing about the country being so fucked up is that i didn't understand half the shit that was happening even when it was goddamn regular. to this day, i still can't tell you what exactly "benghazi" is. idk what mitch mcconnell does, i'm not a hundred percent sure how a bill becomes a law, and i couldn't even begin to tell you what an interest rate is and whether or not it can affect me. sure i guess i'm ignorant? but i'm also part of that class of people who just throws up their hands like "no matter what the fuck happens, bitch, i'ma have to get up and go to work anyway." i did not stay in college long enough for it to get expensive, and while it's amazing not to be digging myself out from under the crushing weight of student loans, it also kind of means that i don't read much beyond the first couple pages of the newspaper. i don't got no kids, so i don't know shit about the school board. mavis tried to explain gerrymandering to me and ten minutes later i was like "wait what now?" i like to watch political shows because i enjoy looking at men in suits and chris hayes is very reassuring to me, but yeah i either 1 hang my head in shame because have no idea what "mandate" means or 2 cower in fear behind the stockpile of emergency birth control i have stashed in the attic.

all of my feeds are full of my very smart and talented friends detailing the myriad number of ways this government is actively trying to destroy us and fam: i can't deal with it. for me there's a razor thin line between wanting to stay informed and daily fantasizing about jumping off a building, and i crossed it right around the time kanye had that photo op in the lobby of trump tower. i hate myself very much thank you but even i was like, "welp, i think i'm done fucking with this 24 hour news cycle." okay not exactly, because i watched the sessions confirmation hearing in real time and i might be the last black person on earth still regularly tuning in on friday night to bill maher, but i am too blessed to be stressed so i went ahead and added "president," "america," "twitter," "congress," "federal," and "la la land" to my block list. (i mean i liked the movie and everything, but yooooooo the stinkpieces about it were out of control.) here's what i do now when i'm not wishing i was dead:

1 intricate, tedious grooming projects. i don't give a shit about exfoliating my legs, but if spending 37 minutes trying not to split my head open in the shower slipping around in oily sand equals 37 minutes i'm not sobbing in front of a continuous msnbc loop then fuck man i'm doing it. since the election i have: deep-conditioned my scalp with coconut oil that was too cold to properly melt; done a parrafin wax treatment on my feet that made me feel like i was walking around in pudding for a week; fucked up the good blender by mixing a little cold cream, yogurt, honey, aloe vera gel, and avocado to make a hydrating facial mask; fell asleep with a bag of de-puffing frozen peas on my eyes for so long that the shit melted and ruined my pillow; tried to make a coffee scrub out of some old grounds i had to dig out of the actual garbage; and steamed my vagina clean with some suspicious "yoni herbs" i bought on the internet. i am as scaly and haggard as i've ever been, but my heels are noticeably smoother.

2 tending to my mtv the challenge fantasy team roster. tv is more important to me than every single one of my friends, especially since my preferred television programming is either 1 SPORTZ or 2 TRASH. i like to start the morning with a little skip and shannon on FS1, watch the previous night's episode of desus and mero on the dvr bc fuck if i'm gonna stay awake until 11 at night, then segue into some SVU and/or NCIS and/or CSI (warrick episodes only). i watch basketball on monday and thursday nights, i bingewatch huge swaths of vanderpump rules and love & hip hop when there's a marathon on because i can never remember when they come on for real, and black-ish on wednesdays because it's the best show on tv. but then the television gods smiled on me and sent me another season of the challenge, and yes i'm gonna be 37 on monday but so what!? CT IS BACK AND HE'S A DAD NOW. i can't, like, not watch. plus laurel is back this year and i might have just spent an inordinate amount of time rewatching the season when she hooked up with jordan and he let his ego get him disqualified. anyway, this is the shit that i'm choosing to devote my time to, and all of my money is on johnny bananas. man, he's such a snake.

3 cooking complicated recipes that take a long fucking time and involve arduous prep work. my friend lauren is baking her way through our current political crisis because it's cheaper than going to a psychiatrist, but we're still trying not to eat sugar and carbs over here (what's the point of being healthy why not just eat trash and speed up the onset of death) so i'm chopping off tiny bits of my fingers practicing vegetable knife work and trying to figure out how to sous vide cheap cuts of meat so i can #resist turning on CNN. even when it doesn't, cooking takes a long time. ugh it took me half an hour to "throw a salad together" the other night now that i do stuff like "make my own vinaigrette" and "eat radishes." make all of your food take a million hours to prepare to stave off thinking about how in a few months you're gonna die from a paper cut because you can't see a fucking doctor. like, i don't just eat a pear, i get out a paring knife and dissect the pear then spend the afternoon thoroughly chewing all the little pieces while fondly remembering the olden days when you could get amoxicillin for ten bucks.

4 using duolingo to practice my faltering spanish. according to the little test i took when i downloaded the app i'm 42% fluent, which means that if i make it to mexico before the wall goes up and traps me here with your racist uncles and shit i can probably carve out a pretty decent life for myself within a few months of popping up in guadalajara.

5 watching youtube videos to learn how to do useful household things like making a bed with military corners and folding fitted sheets. my childhood was basura and because of that i have spent the bulk of my adult life trying to figure out how to do shit someone who cared about my wellbeing should have taught me when i was ten. i'm not good at it yet but have you ever watched the sorcery that is neatly folding a fitted sheet? i used to employ this sort of roll-and-smash technique before frustratedly jamming it into the linen closet, but now i can kind of do the tuck-and-fold thing i've watched martha stewart do a dozen times and feel like an accomplish adult-type person. wtf did people do before youtube!? so far i've watched tutorials on: achieving the perfect winged liner, consolidating open containers in the pantry, how to re-program a kindle, and the best way to clean stainless steel. i now contain a wealth of personal wellness and household information. did you know that tying a ziploc filled with vinegar around your shower head will get rid of built up residue!? NOW YOU FUCKING DO.

6 curating very specific spotify playlists. the majority of them death-themed.

7 asking a lot of dumb ass questions at the wine store. so if, like, we're all going to become messy alcoholics over the next four years i might as well get some culture and education while doing it, right? i'm never going to understand wine, because i just can't don't value it. if you want to spend more than nine dollars on wine, good for you. i want you to. BUT I SIMPLY CANNOT. i was in new york city a week ago and wore orthopedic shoes to a very fancy new york city restaurant, and when the sommelier came over to the table in her very official-looking jacket and glasses to talk about pairing our meal choices i was like "this is the greatest hustle of all time." i'm sure she went to grape school in france and works real hard at her job and probably has her taste buds insured, and is there such a thing as a soda sommelier because YO SIGN ME UP. i'm an expert in pairing diet faygo cream soda with ice cream and sadness, this could be a lucrative job prospect for me! anyway, i drank half a glass of the barbera d'asti she suggested to perfectly balance our cheese course (jerking off motion) and then was immediately like, "CAN I GET A COKE, PLEASE." wine just does not taste very good to me, and i prefer the warm, soothing embrace of benzodiazepines to the headachy vomit feeling left behind by too many glasses of expensive chardonnay. there are certain things i just don't understand the price of. wine, cat food, disposable razors: WHAT EXACTLY ARE WE PAYING FOR, MY GUY. yesterday i went to the wine shop to get some impressive cheese because we're having people over tonight (just murder me already) and this helpful dude was trying to talk to me about fruity notes in white wines and even though i fell asleep while standing up i can at least tell you that if you're serving blueberry chevre to people pretending not to notice the dust on your ceiling fan that you should pair it with a chilled young, unoaked white.

i imagine you'll nudge me awake if someone declares war on us, in the meantime i'll be over here listening to morrissey and watching a lady scrubbing tarnish off her spoons. ps click here and pre-order a copy of this for your mom.