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.)

(photo: acneknower.com)

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?

(photo: kentuckyaccidentnews.com)

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?

(photo: comiccoverage.typepad.com)

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.

(photo: melbourne.metblogs.com)