Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year’s Eve

My “top” New Year’s Eves:
  • 1970-something: Mom and dad went to some party at the Holiday Inn—the motel where mom waited tables—and left me at home with my two older brothers. My Mrs. Beasley doll was decapitated that night, a harbinger of the tragic NYEs that were to come.
  • 1987: Me, Lois, and Chris in Chris’s basement drinking Jager and playing euchre while wearing U-M boxer shorts. This would have been fine except for my inability to hold my hooch. I think I hurled around the time Weird Al was explaining his secret hangover recipe to Joe Piscopo on MTV. Poor timing, indeed.
  • 1989: I was freshly heartbroken and covering the Rose Bowl for the yearbook, so I was in L.A. with the staff photographer. We wound up at a giant alumni party in the Valley on New Year's Eve, where I ran into my ex-boyfriend with his new girlfriend. I spent the night walking around the party with a 12-pack, dispensing beers to people who had a reason to live. I then sped back to the hotel on one of the freeways in a fugue state, stayed up all night, and then downed gallons of black coffee in the Rose Bowl press box…where I was seated next to my ex-boyfriend, a sports editor for the Michigan Daily. Oh, and Michigan lost that year.
  • 1994: Me, my boyfriend, and a giant party at the Washington Hilton—the hotel where Reagan was plugged—with a few thousand of our closest strangers. We left in short order. The highlight of the night was getting a lift from one of the idling limos, which were acting as gypsy cabs while waiting for clients.
  • 2004: Got stoned with my best friend while teaching her to knit and watching Gigli. This officially marked my march into spinsterdom.
  • 2008: Me, a sorta boyfriend (who drank too much and eventually passed out), and two gay bears sat on the couch and watched Mythbusters. Holla. Oh yeah, he broke things off the next week via IM. This really set the tone for the massive suck that has been 2009.
  • Tie for first/worst: 1990 & 2003: 1990 found me in Detroit, partying it up with my college friends at a party at the top of the RenCen. I wish I could say I was drunk, but I was just dumb-ass stupid. I went up a down elevator…or tried to. After a scary ambulance ride to Detroit Receiving with a driver who resembled Large Marge, I spent five hours getting my Frankenknee stitched up while hiking up my Ann Taylor skirt to avoid bloodshed and eyeballing the motley crew around me. One poor woman sat in a chair, holding her face because her boyfriend hit her with a bat. A dude in red briefs was shot in the thigh at a nightclub and bloody rags surrounded his gurney. And a guy was chained to his bed because he was caught stealing a Rolex; his head was swathed in bandages like he was a Dickens’ character with a really bad toothache. He didn’t have a toothache; the po po beat him. I couldn’t bend my knee for two weeks, which made driving a bit of a challenge. Fast forward a decade and change, and you’d find me at Bob & Barbara’s, a dope dive bar in Philly, watching my boyfriend kiss a guy in front of me. I walked out and left him behind. I wish I had the sense to ditch New Year’s Eve as well.
I've wised up and punched this holiday in its festive fucking façade. Should New Year’s Eve be forgot and never brought to mind? Hells, yeah. If I want to stay alive, I’m now finally ignoring this most ignoble of days.

What was your worst NYE experience?


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Blabbing on red-eyes

You’ve made your connection, and he’s in the aisle seat. It’s like some sort of dreamy Sofia Coppola movie and you’re the romantic lead. You’re enjoying pillow talk with a sexy stranger who may be your true love, or at least your ticket into the mile-high club. Sorry to interrupt, but can you do me a favor?

Shut. The. Fuck. UP.

I don’t care what time zone we are currently flying over—my internal clock and my wristwatch say it’s 3:30 in the morning. I took this flight and an Ambien because I’m good at sleeping on planes. I have my rituals: I don’t drink caffeine, I listen to Joni Mitchell laced with Sufjan Stevens, I wrap myself in my giant knitted shawl.

All I ask is that a bratty toddler not kick my seat and that you Shut. The. Fuck. UP.

Even with headphones on, I can hear you yammering away with your life story and relationship history (which, from the sounds of it, you might want to keep to yourself until the third date; just a thought).

When I ask if you could lower your voices because every other single person on the plane is trying to sleep (as evidenced by the pitch-black cabin and profusion of navy blankets, sleep masks, and earbuds), you stare at me as if I just killed your dog. I explain that of course you have the right to talk but that I’m just asking for some courtesy of your fellow travelers. Bring the volume down or I’m going to descend into madness and punch you in the face. Forget about true love’s kiss from Prince Charming in 18C. Your kiss is on my fist when they turn out the lights.

What passengers have you wanted to kick the crap out of during a flight?


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pajamas as outerwear

While I’d like to think of life as one big pillow fight, it’s not. It’s not a slumber party, and the frozen food section is not Maria Greene’s basement, as much as I sometimes wish it were. So why are you wearing pajamas and slippers as you’re reaching for those Totino’s Pizza Rolls? Put them back and put some clothes on. I think you can find some in aisle 10.

Dressing has become more and more casual as we slip on flip-flops and pull on fleece hoodies for all sorts of occasions. But nightgowns, flannel PJs, and bathrobes cross the Casual Friday line and step into crazy, depressed, or another state of mind that might demand medication or, at the very least, light therapy.

Admit it: you’ve thrown in the towel. You might as well just curl up in the fetal position under a Snuggie and give up. I won’t kick you while you’re down but do me a favor and keep your crazy behind closed (perhaps locked) doors. If you don’t, I’m going to surprise you in the bedding aisle and whack you with a big-ass pillow until you wake the fuck up and change out of your crib clothes.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Erotic asphyxiation

I don’t know about you, but I want to be conscious when something feels gasp-out-loud good. Like many mountain climbers, I don’t want to be oxygen-deprived during life's seminal moments. I saw Rising Sun and took it as a cautionary tale. Don’t have sex on the boardroom table during an office party (that’s what supply closets are for, natch) and don’t allow yourself to be choked during the act. (And don't ever question Sean Connery when he's sporting a beard, but that's another story.)

Even if you don’t die, you could lose consciousness and then be susceptible to death or other indignities. Do you really want to go out as Gasper the Friendly Ghost or a Darwin Award nominee? While they left behind impressive bodies of work, the late David Carradine and Michael Hutchence will always have the taint of autoerotic asphyxiation hanging over their heads.

Honestly, isn’t a cock ring or a playful slap-and-tickle enough? If you keep experimenting with ropes, shoelaces, and such, I’m going to have to punch you in the neck. I can help you lose consciousness, and it will be anything but erotic.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I like to think that some things are greater than the sum of their parts. For instance, each TIWTPITF post is pretty rad in and of itself. But when seen in total, it’s mind-blowingly awesome. But then there are mash-ups, video, literary, and musical medleys that are pretty much pastiches of crap. Crap + crap = huge steaming pile of crap.

I never really like medleys at awards shows. They always seem disjointed and rarely flow from one song to another with any finesse. But musical mashups actually are released as singles, as though they are a new, interesting creation.

Guess what? They’re not.

Then there is the current literary trend toward mashups. Take Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, for example. I had an open mind, and not the kind that gives zombies access to my brains. But this new interpretation of one of my most beloved books is a monstrosity, and not in a good way. The co-“author” just took Jane Austen’s public domain text and sprinkled zombie shenanigans around key scenes. As I read it, I just kept thinking that the zombie text was getting in the way of Austen’s elegant, biting prose. I wanted to get back to the meat of the story, which has nothing to do with the undead or Charlotte Lucas’s increasingly gray pallor. The concept was admittedly genius (I love me some Quirk Books) but I want substance with my style, not a hackneyed attempt to ride on the coattails of a literary giant like Jane Austen.

If you uninspired leeches continue to co-opt legitimate works of art and bleed them of their brilliance, I’m going to have to bring about some bloodshed of my own. And no, it doesn’t involve snacking on the undeveloped right side of your cerebrum.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Shoeless households

Increasingly, when I enter someone's home, I’m shoehorned into a foyer lined with shoes and instructed to add mine to the pile.

Um, I came for a party, not for a pedicure.

I get that folks don’t want their hardwoods scratched and scuffed by my stilettos. I understand that paranoid parents are afraid of the germs that I’m tracking in on the soles of my shoes.

Call me a heel, but I don’t want to walk around in my socks or bare feet. My shoes deserve to be seen as God and Manolo Blahnik intended: on my foot. And without the boost of the heel I am never without, my jeans sweep the floor. From my POV, this has only one bright side: My friends’ floors never need to be mopped. My pant legs and socks do it for them.

If people keep demanding that I kick off rather than kick up my heels, I am going to kick them in the face—right after I shuffle around their house with 80-grade sandpaper taped to my feet.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Katie Couric’s eyelashes

If eyes are the window to the soul, then Katie’s eyelashes are big-ass vertical blinds. She has so much mascara gooped on them that it looks as if she has three black-brown spikes over each eye, which makes it impossible for Sarah Palin or anyone else to see eye-to-eye with this anc-her.

Comb your hair, please, even if it’s the sparse ones over your peepers. Those clumps make me want to lash out, and perhaps give you another kind of black eye. I like you, Katie, I really do, but your eyelashes, which were once a Today No, are now a CBMess.

Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Ghost Whisperer fake lashes are on deck.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Group e-mail forwards

Tis the season…to forward e-mails. Therefore, it’s also the season that makes me want to punch my computer screen in the face.

Apparently I belong to a lot of folks’ e-mail groups. And apparently those folks suck, because they hex me with chain letters I don’t forward to 10 people (I actually like my friends), clog my in-box with e-mails that dance and twinkle with snowman and heavenly images of Christ our lord and savior, push their political agendas, and otherwise shower me with cyber presents I have no interest in regifting.

I’m as hopeful as the next person but please don’t send me an e-mail telling me that I’ll win a Macy’s gift card or an iPod by filling out a survey. I’m pretty confident I’ll see a unicorn before I see one of these mythical gifts. The best gift you could give me would be to remove me from all e-mail groups. Like Groucho Marx said, “I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member."

What's the most irksome e-mail forward you've received lately?


Friday, December 4, 2009

Paper cuts

Matt Damon did some damage with a magazine in one of those Bourne movies. No shit. Paper can kill, yo, or at least slice through your fingers. Seemingly innocuous, this sneaky pulp affliction is evil. Much like Ray Romano, come to think of it. It sneaks into your house and then lies in wait for a chance to strike. Unlike Ray Romano, you can’t kick paper out of the house by simply turning off the TV. It’s everywhere.

And it’s out to get us.

Call me crazy but I think the move to a paperless society is seriously pissing it off. The ream of paper on my shelf is giving me stinkeye and my new roll of wrapping paper is spoiling for a fight and looking for a reason to slice my index finger. I think a certain brown paper grocery bag might try to go for the jugular.

The best thing to do is make paper feel wanted, necessary in this crazy, mixed-up world. I know what you’re thinking—paper needs to grow a pair and suck it up. It’s not like paper is the only thing out of a job these days. You may be right. Nevertheless, let’s try to show a little compassion during this holiday season. A little ego stroking goes a long way. Just make sure to avoid the edges.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Kids’ songs

“Baaaaackpack, backpack!”

“Hot dog! I’ve got the rhythm in my head.” 

“There were ten in the bed and the little one said, ‘Roll over, roll over.’”

Clearly, there are many problems with the above scenario (TEN in the bed? Are we in a Dickens’ novel?); however, the biggest beef I have is that I can’t get the mother-lovin’ song out of my head.

As much as I tried to sing “Doncha wish your baby was hot like me?” to my goddaughter, it’s the wheels on the bus that go round and round in my head. A friend once instructed me to hum the Entertainment Tonight theme whenever I got stuck in an endless loop of song suckage. Happily, this worked for wrong songs from Sisqó, the Baha Men, and a musician ex-boyfriend, but kids’ songs are more insidious. They appear innocent on the surface, which makes them all the more sinister (think of what happened to baby-faced Anakin Skywalker if you need a cautionary tale).

This will not do.

Since shouting some 2 Live Crew or other material offensive to Tipper Gore’s ears might stunt a toddler’s growth, I propose that for every one Wiggles or Little Einstein song we have to jazz hands our way through, they get to suffer the decidedly non-hummable sounds of early American Idol auditions. That’s some aural poop that will never get stuck in anyone’s cerebral sandbox.