Sunday, April 17, 2016

"Buy Nothing" pleas

I love free stuff. I brake for broken chairs abandoned on corners. I am first in line for a clothing swap. I enter every online sweepstakes that crosses my path.

Which brings me to the Buy Nothing Project. I loved this movement committed to gifting unwanted items within your community. I'm not the only one keen on this concept—there are more than 280,000 members in 18 countries participating on 1,300 Facebook groups.

I'm in one of those groups. Last summer, when I moved in with my boyfriend, my couch simply had no place in our home. I had special ordered that sofa from Dania, picking out a custom nubby tweed upholstery. I loved that thing but it didn't fit in the house—literally—so while lounging on it on the porch, I posted it on my local Buy Nothing page and got rid of it in under five minutes.

I gave it to the first person who responded.

Come to find out, it's not always that easy.

Buy Nothing giveaways are constantly being posted, catching my eye throughout the day. I'm not usually the first one to respond, so I think I'm out of the running. But hold the phone.

It's not always first-come, first-regifted.

The comment thread is chockablock with pleas and pitches. Sob stories, requests worthy of Mother Teresa, personal connections that can only mean that the Keurig/framed poster/lawn gnome/size 8 Mossimo dress and its suitor belong together.

When faced with "I'll use your grandmother's jewelry to make new pieces for a battered women's shelter" or "This will remind me every day of my dead cat" or "We lost all our plants in a fire,"
how's a greedy girl to compete?

I don't. I throw in the towel, look at my many belongings, and try to remember that Marie Kondo stuff about "sparking joy."

Please consider.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Books on sale now!

Get yours today from your favorite indie bookseller or online retailer! At $11.95, it makes the perfect gift for anyone. It's a conversation starter and will make even the most earnest, humorless person laugh.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Get ready for another round of Punch Parties!

The revised edition of Things I Want to Punch in the Face is hitting stores soon and so too will I, hosting punch parties and readings. Here’s where you can find me (stay tuned, as I'll be adding more dates as they are booked):

September 21, 7pm | Village Books
Bellingham, WA
I'm honored to be part of the rich tradition of author events at this storied Fairhaven bookstore. Bellinghamsters are invited to bring their own punches to share!

September 24, 7–8:30pm
| Queen Anne Book Company
Seattle, WA
Join me for what is sure to be an evening of hilarity! Bring your own “punches” to share!

October 5, 7–8pm
| Park Road Books
Charlotte, NC
I’m taking the show on the road and I can’t wait to visit Charlotte’s favorite bookstore for a lively evening of PITF readings!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Revised edition now available for preorder!

Ancient grains, mixologists, and yoga pants, oh my! All your current peeves have been rounded up in this revised edition of Things I Want to Punch in the Face. I've updated classic entries, cut dated material, and added a slew of the most annoying people, places and things in the zeitgeist today.

Pre-order up this revised edition today and chuckle as lumbersexuals and their beard oil finally get what's coming to them!

Order from your favorite indie bookstore via Indiebound here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Polar bear plunges

I love the water. I hate the cold. But in the Rochambeau of my preferences, cold trumps water by a nautical mile because I can’t wrap my mind around polar bear clubs, those collections of brave souls who drop trou and run into the water to celebrate New Year’s Day or some such bullshit holiday. Dudes, that’s what drinking champagne and bungling the lyrics to “Auld Lang Syne” is for.

I can’t bring myself to jump in and out of a plunge pool after a sauna or hot tub. I can only walk into an alpine lake up to my ankles, no matter how sweaty the hike that preceded it. And it takes me a long while to ease into the ocean, even if it’s Florida in August. A polar bear swim isn’t on this girl’s bucket list.

If the folly of diving into icy waters isn’t enough—isn’t the Titanic survival rate cautionary tale enough?—there are the naked polar bear plunges, often for men who haven't seen this side of sixty for many, many years. I don’t want to see that when you’re warm and erect. I certainly don’t want to see your twigs and berries shriveled or hiding between your legs like the latest winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race. That’s a cold-blooded chiller.

I can do things that are good for my health that don’t require the bracing winter waters of a northern lake, sea, or ocean, such as nutritional supplements, Pilates, kale salad, cardio. The only way I want to experience an icy liquid is in a rocks glass. 


Tuesday, March 24, 2015


I’m going to make a bold statement: Evites are the downfall of manners and etiquette. 

Evite burst onto the scene in 1998 and quickly became part of the fabric of our lives, hooking us with its ease of use and transparency.'

And once the site reeled us in with cutesy-wootesy birthday and cocktail party templates, we got lazy.

Too lazy to send proper invites. I just heard today about an evite that was sent out for a small memorial service for a classy, elegant woman. She deserved better. She deserved hand-written invitations on 100-pound cardstock. If you’re having a housewarming party for everyone you know, pick a festive design and evite the shit out of your shindig. If you are having an intimate get-together to mark a significant event, care enough to send the very best. Get thee to a Hallmark, y’all.

Too lazy to explore other options for gorgeous, functional online invitation tools that aren’t littered with ads and a slow user interface. I only find out about sites like Paperless Posts when friends more adventurous than me invite me to something.

Too lazy to RSVP properly or at all. Evite notifies guests on the invite list by sending e-mails but it doesn’t include the event details. So people often don’t even bother to click through to the actual information, let alone reply. And if they do reply, they get a chance to sit on the fence with a “Maybe.” In my day, you either responded with a “Yes” or “No,” not a “I’ll try to come but I might be on a deadline.” I call bullshit.

And yet, I can’t bring myself to just say “No.” The allure of being able to peruse a guest list is irresistible. Is my frenemy going to be there? Is my former lover planning on coming with a +1? Are my favorite people opting out, leaving me to make stilted chitchat with that horribly dull man who never ever asks me a question about myself? Is that fashion plate coming? If so, that means I have to step up my sartorial game for the night. Evite allows us to make quasi-informed decisions regarding attendance without peppering the host with inappropriate questions.

So am I going to finally kick evites to the curb? “Maybe.” But I’m also indulging my love of stationery and loading up on some letterpressed invitations for my next soirée.

Monday, March 23, 2015


If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. 

That adage works for things like your favorite lasagna recipe, but does it really work for an online transactional site like PayPal? I want their engineering team to be constantly upgrading security measures and improving their user interface so they never are in a position to fix anything. 

I will admit that PayPal did finally—after decades of a crappy site that looked like something designed for $500 by a self-taught web designer—retool the site. So there’s that. 


As a seller, it’s still a pain in the ass to navigate your way to saved buy buttons or to create new buttons for products or services. For providing this service, PayPal takes 3 percent for every online payment. I saw Office Space; those pennies add up every time PayPal transfers money from someone’s bank to yours. 

But the real reason to punch PayPal in the face is, as a buyer, I could be providing detailed financial information to a hacker in a remote North Korean village. Like He-Man, PayPal has the power. And they often wield it indiscriminately, locking accounts for no reason and providing terrible to nonexistent customer service. 

Do I really want to trust my checking account or credit card info to the likes of PayPal? No, but the real burn is that I have no choice in the matter. PayPal is the only game in cybertown and I have to PayPal to play.