Friday, December 31, 2010

Baby New Year

Picking on Baby New Year is like shooting a guppy in a barrel. Three words have never been combined to such ridiculous effect (well, except maybe for Jar Jar Binks). A diapered baby with a pageant sash is the best we can come up for a spokesman at midnight on December 31? Baby should be snoozing in his crib, not hoovering Asti and twirling a noisemaker.

And don’t even get me started on Father Fucking Time. It’s past your bedtime, too, ding-dong. Drink some warm milk, wrap your beard around you like a wiry blanket, clap off the light, and call it a year.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year's Eve

My friends keep circling me, poking me to make a decision about New Year's Eve. I patiently, dare I say lovingly, explain that I don't do NYE. I threw in that bar towel several years ago.

What a well-meaning friend says: "Oh, we can do something low key, stay in the neighborhood and drink at a bar."

What I think:
I'd rather claw my face off. Better yet, I'd rather beat that drunk on the bar with a noise-maker until he squeals.

What I say: "Thanks but, um, no. I'm treating it like it's just another night."

What a soulful, enlightened friend suggests: "Come over to my house and we'll have a burning ceremony and set intentions for the new year."

What I think:
While that sounds magical, waving around a sage stick still marks this as a special day, which, in my date book, it's not.

What I say: "Honey, I love you but I think I'll spend the evening journaling by myself. Maybe I'll even create a vision board for 2011."

Why do I want to punch December 31 right in the Dom-soaked digits? Read my post from last year. I'm THIS close to losing an eye from a champagne cork so NYE, you win the end-of-year cage fight. I'm tapping out.


Friday, December 24, 2010


My laundry list of holiday gripes is long and storied. Santa hats, lawn inflatables, poinsettas, theme sweaters, mall parking lots, antlers and shiz on the front of gas-sucking SUVs, year-round Christmas shoppes, year-round Christmas decorations, Wal-Mart…

However, I love Christmas. I love any opportunity to give and get a gift. I love bubble lights on a fresh tree and the looks of sugared-up delight on the faces of kids in pajamas with feet. I love Midnight Mass. I love the spirit of love and generosity that wells up within me when I’m surrounded by my closest friends during magical December dinner parties. I love the free-flowing booze that comes with any holiday party worth its salted rims. I love hot roast beast and cold rum cake.

So suck on it, you bah humbuggin’ Scrooges. You get back what you put out, so if you’re navigating the holidays with a stone-cold heart, you’re going to get a lump of coal in your stocking and a lump on your face from the Ghost of Christmas Present, which is what I’m calling my mittened right fist.

God bless us all, everyone.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

And the winner is…Sevara!

With an embarrassment of riches, the likes of which have not been seen since Gywneth Paltrow’s guest spot on Glee, your entries made it almost impossible to pick a winner in the TIWTPITF festival of frights. From limp lawn inflatables and parking lot asswipes to forced office gift-giving, the holidays do indeed offer up a host of new things that deserve to be punched until they beg for fruitcake. Oh, I’ve got a gift for all these things and it’s called my left fist. And I have a gift for Sevara, who gets a copy of Beyond the Family Tree for her short list of TIWTPITF. Her first point made me laugh out loud, no small feat during December. Sevara, shoot me an e-mail here with your address and I’ll send out your copy in short order, hopefully in time to use it during your family gathering.

Thanks again everyone; your snark keeps me warm on cold nights.

Sevara said…

  1. Yearly family card. Yes, I really wanted to know that your Johnny is making $100,000 a month, and that daughter Jenny just gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl. First of, fuck off. Don't tell me about your perfect family, because we all know that Johnny is an asshole, your family is in debt because you guys are keeping up with the Joneses, and your beautiful, smart, "cough" slut "cough" Jenny got knocked up by some idiot, who was obligated to marry her. Thanks for that fake pose you sent me and Merry Christmas to the Assholes.
  2. Musux. It's the most annoying time of the year! I hate Rudolf, Santa, chestnuts, and all of the other X-mas music. And they start it in-mid October!
  3. Gifts. Okay, I love giving gifts to people I love and enjoy spending time with, like, my family and friends. But other "friends" that believe they are the best people out there, and we are all are "so close". NOT! That is why I never return your calls, emails, texts—because I don't want to talk to you. And I don't want to get you a gift, either. I don't want to spend my money on you. I'd rather burn ten bucks in my fireplace than buy you shit from the dollar store.
Honorable mentions

Marissa said...

SECRET SANTA at work. I'm forced to spend forty hours of my life with people that, quite frankly, are not my cup of tea. The only reason I grace them with my presence is because some faceless dude is PAYING me to do so. That being said, why the hell would I go out of my way to do something special for the woman who is the very bane of my existence? Or the guy who not so quietly brags about his sexual conquests after a night of binge drinking? HUH? Why would I spend the money I'm being paid to share air space with these goons on gifts for them when I have a perfectly good box of used cat litter ready and available? Secret Santas in the workplace need a firm blow to the face with a yule log.

Shieldmaiden96 said...
Christmas letters (in cute fonts, on theme-appropriate laser printer paper) tucked in cards. We have one friend who writes a seven-paragraph Christmas letter every year. It's mostly to make sure we all know how fabulous, unusually advanced, and super-duper creative each and every one of his kids has become, and just how fan-diddly-tastic life is in their household. I hate his kids and I've never even met them.

KeriCan said...
Obligatory Christmas cards. Seriously, if you think your relationship with my family is close enough to warrant buying a card, locating our address after the umpteenth move, forking over for stamps, and hauling your ass to the post office, the least you could do is write a little message in the card. Just signing your name, or much worse, stamping your name, only makes me want to smack you the next time I see you. I don't give a crap about the cute illustration you picked out for this year; I'd rather get a little note, even typed if you must, about your life. Better yet, give up that glittery mess of a card and just call so we can have a meaningful conversation.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Post your own holiday PITF and win!

As my gift to you, my beloved malcontents, I'll be giving away a signed copy of my new book, Beyond the Family Tree: A 21st-Century Guide to Exploring Your Roots and Creating Connections (which, believe you me, will come in handy around the dinner table). To win this decidedly un-TIWTPITF prize, simply draft a post of the thing that drives you batshit crazy around the holidays. Be it fruitcake, wreaths attached to car grilles, shoppers wearing santa hats or Quacker Factory holiday sweaters, let it rip. Post your rant in the comments section of this post. I'll pick a winner next week! Merry effin' Christmas!

Christmas muzak

Grandma may have gotten run over by a reindeer, but I want to run the song over with a 3-ton truck. And don’t even get me started about that fucking drummer boy kid. “Pa rum pum pum pum”, really? Did an 18-month-old write this song?

Let’s face it: most Christmas songs blow dead reindeer. And the ones that are tolerable—preferably sung by Bing Crosby or Elvis—are so overplayed that I want to hang myself with my Christmas lights Hark, the herald angels suck.

Silent night? If only.


Monday, December 6, 2010

The holidays?

I don't need to tell you: The holidays offer all sorts of new opportunities to be monumentally annoyed. As wondrous as they can be, they can also fuckin' suck. Fellow shoppers, drunk relatives, escalating credit card bills, shipping charges, broken heirloom ornaments, pine needles on your carpet…

So, in the spirit of the season, I'm offering some ways to navigate the holidays without killing someone with a fruitcake. Check out my other blog, word., for ideas for gifts and gathering in a way that won't break the bank or your spirit. And if you need any no-brainer gifts, look no further than one of my humorous, heartfelt, or how-to books.

And if you need a laugh, a few classics:

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lactose intolerants in denial

This anything-but-cheesey post comes from my brilliant and hilarious friend Karrie Kohlhaas (she's the force behind ThoughShot Consulting, in case you need any small-business consulting). I love it almost as much as I love cheese. Urp.

Your dairy air is dangerous. I know, you loooove ice cream and cottage cheese, but lactose transforms your insides into a Dr. Seussian smell factory. It's time to get real about your digestion, honey. Can't you feel the pressure against your abdominal wall as gasses mushroom and multiply within the twisting tubes of your inner world?

Don't you wonder why people steer clear of you?

Here's a clue: It's awkward to feel compelled to casually cover one's nose and mouth with the top of one's shirt when sharing a seat on the bus or standing behind you in line at the grocery store. This is not a personal health issue; you are an environmental hazard. Enzymes: get some, before the EPA classifies you as a SuperFund Project.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Books as décor

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go." Dr. Seuss

You are what you read.

At least that’s what I hoped, when I was rocking Dr. Seuss as a five-year-old or Jane Austen as a 30-something lady.

But some folks don’t care what they read. They use books as props, buy or rent them by the foot from various companies, who will select them by color, style, or subject for you. I’ve even seen a company that sells you blocks of books that have been glued together, apparently to make it easier to move when dusting. And heck, they’ll always be lined up perfectly.

I just threw up a little in my mind.

My bookshelves offer a snapshot into my history, my interests, my (now vomit-covered) brain. They reflect my intellectual DNA (yes, even the Betty & Veronica collection) and it’s hard to imagine viewing my books only as squares and rectangles of color to accent my home. I’ve even seen books arranged spine IN, to create a swath of white along the shelves. I was confused. How are you supposed to figure out what book to read? Oh, right. They aren’t there to be read. They’re there for me to knock some Sense and Sensibility into your head.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Crunchy hair

We always want what we don’t have. Curly-haired vixens always want to kick their corkscrews to the curb in favor of stick-straight hair, while those of us with only a hint of a limp wave want undulating, Keri Russell-like locks of love.

We spray, rub, and massage curl-enhancing unguents into our manes. We scrunch. We dry with a diffuser. And voilà! We achieve the follicular stuff of which pre-Raphaelite dreams are made. One problem: we could blind a passerby with our crunchy curls. More post- than pre-Perseus Medusa, our hair is a mass of stone-cold locks.

Put down the can, jar, and bottle and learn to love yourself, limp hair and all. You could poke an eye out.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Katherine Heigl's roles

Film, television, literature, and theater have long relied on stereotypes. And so does Katherine Heigl, who continually is cast as the gorge but constipated pill of a control freak.

Whether she’s wearing scrubs or her 27th bridesmaid’s mess, The Ugly Truth is that she’s still a drag on my movie ticket. For the love of all that is good and holy, get this girl a three-dimensional role where she’s not sleeping with her Blackberry and jumbo bottle of Purell, with only a trainwreck of a man-baby possessing the ability to thaw her bland/blond sang-froid.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Salon smocks

A spa or salon is generally supposed to make you feel serene, zen, pampered, beautiful.

At least I expect this every time I walk through the doors, and then it quickly goes to shit. I become agitated and feel like a tub o’ lady lard.

The problem? The chintzy, flimsy smock I’m invariably expected to wear. While I’m a busty gal and currently a few pounds over my fighting weight, I always hope that the salon's robe is going to cover my ass, not to mention my glorious ta-tas.

Not so much. I’m expected to cloak myself in a black or iridescent flame-retarDONT kimono-type dealio, “cinched” with a thin fabric tie. Aside from being wildly unflattering (and yes, cold), the robe gapes before I even leave the dressing room, causing me to clutch at my chest in hopes of avoiding a Janet Jackson moment.

Add some snaps and buy a few bigger robes, you cheap fucks, before I flash my fist at you and smack your smock back to Asia, from where I'm sure you ordered it. Namaste.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Curling iron burns

I’ve always wanted what I can’t have, and this certainly applies to my hair texture.

It started when I was 13. After an unfortunate attempt to rock a Dorothy Hamill wedge, I turned to the perm. In a word, oy. To amp up the foxy, I got a barrel curling iron to roll my bangs into a totally rad forehead awning…which I needed to cover up the burns I got every month or so from standing too close to the fire.

I eventually turned away from the 80s and curly hair and longed for stick-straight hair.

Enter the flat iron. Now, I smooth my locks and tamp down my cowlicks. In the process, I manage to regularly sear my skin, branding myself a dumbass. I currently have a mark on my neck that looks like Bill Compton has been snacking on my carotid artery. Call me crazy, but grown-ass women shouldn’t have vampire hickeys. Since I’m not going to embrace my natural beauty any time soon, Conair needs to invent an iron that doesn’t leave a mark of lame. In the meantime, I'm growing my hair out so I should be able to cover my cattle brand.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

White guys with dreadlocks

Hey you! Yeah, you with the dreadlock fountain sprouting from your head. Guess what, Medusa? You’re not cool or interesting or indie. You’re dirty. With dreads, you look like Sideshow Bob, not Bob Marley. Cut that shit off and stop co-opting someone else’s heritage and style.

Note: While I’m not crazy about dreads on any Caucasian, it’s the dudes I am most annoyed at.


Thursday, October 21, 2010


In general, I like to know where I’m going, be it a drive, a project, or a piece of music. Jazz fills me with agita. I don’t know when it’s going to end, I don’t know what the squirrelly fucker is going to pull next.

I have to say, I’m kind of blue about this. Unlike PT Cruisers and mimes, I want to like jazz. I want to don a beret and sit in a dark club, nodding my head and saying things like, “Yeah, man” and “Dig that smooth groove.” I used to think I wasn’t smart enough to get jazz. Now I feel as if all the cool kids know the secret Herbie Hand(cock)shake and left me out of the Felonious Monk Memorial Clubhouse.

This only fuels my anger, which is swelling to the point where I want to give the David Brubeck Quartet a serious time out and inflict some damage on David Sanborn’s reed. Scat needs to scram. You dig, Dizzy?


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Handlebar moustaches

Back in the days of Victorian gents and Wild West outlaws, dudes waxed the ends of their bushy moustaches until they could poke a cowpoke in the eye. While an excellent way to mask a questionable cold sore, these crumb-catchers and coat-hangers have no place in modern society. We now have ample access to napkins, so I have to deduce that you’re trying to make a follicular style statement.

You are definitely making a statement, Wyatt Twerp, and it doesn’t say “steampunk.” It says, “steaming pile of oh HELL no.” Trim that fucker down into a lustrous Magnum, PI or I'm going to go Sweeney Todd with a straightedge. Now, that's steampunk.

And don't think you're off the hair hook, mutton chop sideburns, I'm coming for you next.


Friday, October 15, 2010

TIWTPITF: The Indian version

TIWTPITF goes international today. My friends Kathy and Dustin have been traveling through India and have compiled the following list of things they want to punch in the bindi. Namaste.

1. Indian light switches. You have to press them in a counter-intuitive way to turn them on, they're not marked so half of them do nothing, and there are a million switches on one plate. Well, maybe 8. But we counted 38 switches just in our room. You can't just plug something into an outlet. You have turn the switch to the outlet on. Otherwise, you'll be charging your camera battery for 8 hours and it won't do a damn thing.

2. Amul Butter. This is a popular company (and probably a monopoly). The butter comes in little single serving packages—you know, like at the pancake house. They're on the table for breakfast. The only thing is you can never open the fucking things. Wouldn't you think that the design to open them would be a no brainer? Usually one of the servers comes over and opens it for me. The helpless American.

3. Car horns. Obviously there is no regulation. They all sound differently: duck quacks, farts, musical, and screeching. It's the last that is the most horrible, especially when you're riding in an open tuk tuk and the horn blowing maniac is right next to you. They show no restraint or control.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Face tattoos

I have nothing against tattoos or the people who have them. Really. But I do have to question someone’s intellect or blood alcohol content when they put their face under the needle (and I’m not talking about Botox).

A face tattoo doesn’t read “cool,” “edgy,” or “intimidating.” Nope. You know an inked-up face is really saying? “Unemployable.” Unless you’re a Maori warrior or Mike Tyson (who can pretty much do whatever he wants to his mug), a facial tat indicates that you’re independently wealthy and don’t need a job…or that you really, really, really like checkers.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Regional stereotypes

I once had a friend—a bright guy with a phD—who tried to school me on Middle America. The problem was that he was also an East Coast snot who had never been to the Midwest and maybe not even a red state, unless you want to count a connecting flight through ATL.

I’m from the Midwest and those were my people about whom he was pontificating and, let’s be honest, judging. He needed to put a cork in it, stop thinking he knows it all because he reads the fivethirtyeight blog, and actually book at flight to somewhere that doesn’t come with a coastline.

If I bought into the gross regional stereotypes that abound, I’d believe that:

  • San Francisco is only populated with sex-crazed homosexuals in leather chaps and hippies who smell like 1969.
  • New Jersey residents are tanning-bed orange goombahs with mob ties.
  • The blindingly Caucasian Pac Northwest hugs trees while drinking coffee and wearing Birkenstocks.
  • Midwesterners love Jesus, potlucks, and red meat, not necessarily in that order.
  • New Englanders are frosty, repressed folks who never met a Polo shirt they didn’t like.
  • And, oh yeah, everyone from Texas is a gay-bashing redneck in an F150.

For every yahoo who fits neatly into a stereotype box, there’s another person standing by to debunk the myth. As much as Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives would have us believe that people are cardboard cartoon cutouts, most of us are a lot more interesting and multi-layered than that. I like potlucks AND I hug trees AND I’m curiously drawn to pickup trucks and anything Lacoste. I don’t have leather chaps, but I sure wish I did. The next time you want to judge someone because of where they’re from, just remember: Snookis are people, too (at least I think they are). Don’t hate The Situation for being from Jersey. Hate him for his atrocious performance on Dancing with the Stars, or because he's banking $5 million this year.

What misconceptions do people make about you?


Monday, October 4, 2010

Convertible pants

These days, versatility is key. I know this. I am on board, at least in theory. But you know what? When I buy something that does double or triple duty, like, say, a lipstick that doubles as a blush or a coffee table book that turns into a coffee table, I always end up using it in just one way. Take fug convertible pants, for instance.

Weekend warriors who spring for a pair of pants that convert to shorts by unzipping the legs always end up wearing the half-assed pants around town. This is gear, not clothing. If you’re living out of a backpack, throw those fuckers on. If you’re going to the farmer’s market or out to dinner, put something on that’s not in the middle of an identity crisis.

Neither stylish nor complementary, convertible pants are an example of least-common-denominator design. They are designed to be functional for everyone but universally unflattering. When wearing the pants, the zipper seams cut you off at the knees—if you’re lucky; more likely, they encircle your thigh—surely the feature we all long to showcase—at the widest point. If you do actually step out in the shorts, you’re likely to be asked to give a wildlife tour around the neighborhood, since you’ll be masquerading as a park ranger.

Stow these REI-sores in your 70 pack and instead pull out a pant or short that suits you. Just keep away from the Utilikilt.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Adult acne

I gotta level with you: puberty was fucking rough. I was taller than the boys in my fifth-grade class, my boobs reached double-D status around the same time, and my piss-poor eyesight resulted in Coke-bottle-thick glasses that made my eyes look like tiny green specks somewhere back there.

But the gods showed mercy. I didn’t have to deal with acne. Occasionally I had a zit that I dotted with Clearasil, but for the most part, my skin was my best feature, creamy and smooth like my favorite ice cream.

Then I grew up and the universe decided to royally fuck me over. I take care of my skin better than ever. I pamper it, I eat well, I stay out of the sun. Washing my face is my favorite part of the day, sad as that sounds.

But regardless of my tender loving care, zits seem to pop up all over my face like a hormonal round of Whac-a-Mole. As soon as I hit one, another crops up on the other side of my nose, giving new meaning to “turn the other cheek.”

I’d lay waste to my epidermis with a Silkwood-grade spray of benzoyl peroxide but I’m pretty sure it would exacerbate the problem. So I’ll keep spackling away and trying not to look at the Fresnel lens on my forehead. Thankfully, my eyesight is holding steady at –11.5.

(And by the way, Proactiv is really, really bad for your skin.)


Friday, September 17, 2010

Proctor & Gamble

Okay, it’s a toss-up with CBS. I’m pissed at them both. I love me some Tide and CSI, but my affection is seriously dulled by this bastardly duo, who have pulled the plug on As the World Turns today.


The 12th-longest-running show on TV, ATWT goes softly into that TV goodnight after 54 years. I have been watching for a good 30 of those. I escaped to Oakdale in my teens, picking up romantic allusions while my dance card remained empty. In my twenties, I went from watching alongside football players in my dorm lounge to roping my housemates into watching a taped episode after work. When I’ve gone through rough times, the show usually had a similar storyline going on to comfort me. If not, I would get caught up with the on/off/way off/coma/consciousness/back on relationships, villains who kept coming back from the dead (I'm talking about you, James Stenbeck), and wacky tacky fashions that Barbara and Carly kept turning out.

I’ve taped, DVRed, or watched the show in real time on and off for the past decade. As a freelance writer working for myself, I have often taken my lunch break and used the show as a palate cleanser in between writing jags.

So P&G, CBS, y’all can KMA. And if that’s not clear enough, GFY. RIP, my sweet soap.

For more on my love of ATWT and the lessons I’ve learned from the residents of Oakdale, check out my posts on the Huffington Post and Salon.

What long-running show have you watched over the years?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dangerously polite motorists

Scene: An outrageously hip woman (i.e. me) is waiting to cross the street mid-block. She’s waiting patiently, scouting out traffic to her left and right. She sees an opening after the next two cars to her left. Suddenly, the first car on her left brakes and motions for her to cross the street.

Guess what the pedestrian does?

She ducks for cover! Because the driver behind that braking car slams on HIS brakes and narrowly avoids rear-ending the polite bonehead. Plus, she’s slightly chagrined to be drawing all this vehicular attention when she was perfectly happy to wait until the traffic cleared.


I’ve wanted to punch these menaces to motorized society for a long time. Dumbasses are so busy looking forward through their windshield that they fail to look in their rear-view mirror at the pile-up they could potentially be creating. I’m not in any hurry. I’m not jogging in place or fidgeting. I’m clearly lazy; otherwise, I’d be trotting to the corner and jaywalking against the light within the white lines of the crosswalk.

When these Fail Earnharts slow for me, I want to reach through the open driver’s side window, grab the back of their head, and slam it against the dashboard, replicating the impact they’ll feel if the motorist behind them isn’t paying attention and rams into their mookmobile. That’s what I call driver’s ed.

What seemingly polite gesture do you want to smack the shit out of?


Monday, September 13, 2010

Malapropisms and mispronunciations

I’ve been a stickler for language since I was in 7th grade, which means I’ve one persnickety fuck for decades. I try to tamp down my know-it-all-ness when a friend or relative mangles the mother tongue (luckily I surround myself with really smart people) but nevertheless, I internally cringe when someone busts out a malaprop or mispronounces a word.

There are words and phrase that have been around since the dawn of the OED, or at least since we’ve been alive. It’s harder to forgive the repeated slip of the tongue. That makes me think you just don’t give a rat’s ass.

In junior high, I did a paper on anorexia. I love my mother but to this day, she refers to it as “anorexis nervosis.” I can’t fix this, or her repeated use of “reinerate” (vs. reiterate) and “bookoo bucks." I still haven’t figured out what the eff she means when she breaks out “coup ferré.”

To me, the most oft-misused and ear-bleeding offense is “irregardless.” When I worked at a publishing company, the editors would roll our internal eyes every time the owner threw that out in a meeting. Let me reiterate: I worked at a PUBLISHING company. Dude should have known better. Better yet, dude should have been punched in the face.

And if I hear someone bust out "nuculur," I'm going to mushroom cloud all over them, regardless of whether they were once president.

What language offense most gripes your ass?


Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I used to think Birkenstocks were bad.

Then I got a load of Crocs. Shaped like a pair of kitchen or gardening clogs, or maybe a bludgeon (these clown shoes give new meaning to the term “clubbed foot”), Crocs have spread like a rubber foot fungus around the world. I suppose the holes in the Croslite upper are designed to help sweaty feet breathe, but I think they act as an odor diffuser.

Crocophiles also cry comfort about these eye blisters. I’m not buying it. There are thousands of footwear brands that are comfortable and don’t look like Fred Flintstone made them on his lunch break. The Dutch used to wear wooden boats on their feet because they didn’t have any other choice in material. What’s your excuse? Do you also wear your pajamas to do your grocery shopping?

The footwear equivalent of a white flag, Crocs pretty much announce that you’ve given up. So unless you want to stand trial for a serious fashion crime, you’d best beg for mercy and get yourself a pair of cute Earth Shoes.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Teddy bear sweatshirts

There are times when I miss my stuffed animals, sure. Usually, it’s when I’m sad and there’s no one with a heartbeat around to hug or punch in the face.

I’m sure as fuck sad when I spot one of these tragedies offending my sightline. Teddy bear and other novelty sweatshirts aren't adorable, they're unbearable. What possesses a grown-up to cling to a plush toy, let alone wear it proudly across her ta-tas? That’s what the fetal position is for, obvs.

The upshot? The only accessory you need is a thumb to suck.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cheap incense

I was walking down the street, minding my own business, when WHAM! I was hit upside the nose with a brick wall of incense. It was streaming out of a new age shop like it was late for prayer circle.

Certain places, I've come to realize, all have the same Eau de NO: head shops, belly dancing boutiques, new age bookstores, a free outdoor concert. Whether in stick or cone form, cheap incense smells like a love child sired by a hippie’s VW van and someone who’s all up in Bikram yoga’s grill.

Incense is used for meditation or ritual. Fine. I grew up with heavy incense being swung around in church, but at least it had a lot of room to dissipate. But when you are lighting up sandalpoop and franknoncense in your chockablock shop, I'm not feeling any closer to the Divine. I am, however, edging closer to unconsciousness.

Please stop buying your incense in bulk, else I might have to beat you with a bundle of joss sticks, all the while breathing through my mouth, of course.

And I'm not just blowing smoke.

Related posts: patchouli and namaste.

(For lovely, subtle Japanese incense, try Asakichi in San Francisco's Japantown. They wrap even the smallest bundle—I like their cedar incense—in beautiful paper.)


Monday, August 23, 2010

Vera Bradley bags

You wouldn’t think that Vera Bradley would scream “An American in Paris,” but when I was strolling the cobbled streets of the City of Lights, I was continually blinded by American tourists tricked out with Vera Bradley’s treacly quilted backpacks, suitcases, and totes who were looking for the nearest Starbucks.

It was at this point I adopted a Canadian accent when ordering up a café au lait.

Don’t get me wrong. J'adore quilts. But I like them on my bed, not on my shoulder or the overhead compartment. The accessory equivalent of a Beanie Baby, Vera Bradley bags are a paisley pastiche of granny not-so-chic, a five-year-old’s pajamas, and the clearance aisle at Linens N Things, with a bit of QVC's Quaker Factory thrown in.

If I had a fat quarter for every time I wanted to punch a Vera Bradley purse in the face, I’d have a queen-sized quilt.