Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Blank Christmas cards

Blank Christmas cards are like supermodels: beautiful but empty.

This post may mark me as an Ebenezer and ensure that my mailbox remains empty come next December (providing that the world doesn't end on 12/21/12). 

This saddens me, as I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE getting mail. Opening my mailbox is one of life's simple pleasures. It's usually bills and weekly circulars, but the possibility of spotting a handwritten envelope or a familiar return address keeps the hope alive. 

It stokes my holiday fire. 

Receiving a postmarked holiday card can be a magical experience filled with sentiment. What's not so hot is opening the envelope and finding a lush gilded or letterpressed card with no personal message, just a scrawled signature. The letdown is acute. Instead of feeling connected and valued, I feel managed, a task you checked off your list three days ago.

While I appreciate making the cut, your blank card sends another message: "I care enough to send the very least." It drives home the point that in the Venn diagram of your social circle, I'm sitting in a circle on the fringe of your life.

The card becomes about you, instead of a gift to me. I get to admire your exquisite taste in artwork or your graphic design skills or how photogenic your children are (and yes, they really are adorable and growing so fast!). I'm happy to coo and ooh and ah, but I'd like to ask that you include a personal sentence or two that pertains to our relationship. Mention that it was good to see me last July or that you are glad we've been able to spend more time together or that you're looking forward to eating more pulled pork out of my Crock Pot in the new year (not a euphemism).

I gave up sending Christmas cards years ago because I wasn't able to sustain writing out 80 cards (more on that here). It began to feel like a chore, which wasn't what I was going for. While I'm not sending out a mass mailing, know that I love you, think your kids are really quite cute no matter what anyone says, and that I hope we find time in 2013 to eat a lot of braised meat together. And oh yeah, if you ever get a card from me in the mail, it will include a healthy sampling of my horrible handwriting.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Claire's Haiku Deck

Check out Claire's awesome Haiku Deck entry. She punches many things I've already punched and a few I'm itching to hit.

Haiku Deck is the best application for creating presentations on iPad

Create your own Punch in the Face Haiku Deck, send it to me by December 21, and win a free copy of TIWTPITF! More details can be found here.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Fuck Middle Earth.

There, I said it.

I have serious hobbit fatigue. I thought we were done with dwarves, goblins, trolls, and the Bilbo Douchebaggins of the Tolkien world so I could get back to the business of hating on Steampunk and Ren Faires

Damn you, Peter Jackson.
The Hobbit is a children's book, which makes sense because so many Hobbiterations suffer from acute arrested development. Tolkien's books attract Wizards of the Coast-playing, Utilikilt-wearing, shaggy Peter Pans who live in their parents' basement and whack off while fantasizing about feeling up Galadriel.

Now the tale of Bilbo Baggins et al is about to be a big-screen trilogy and nerds everywhere can rejoice once again. Here's the thing, geeks—you aren't fringe clusters of bespectacled virgins playing Halo and talking about prime numbers. You and your culture have taken over. You have a place as a programmer waiting for you at Microsoft. You don't need a waistcoat and hairy prosthetic feet to feel like you're part of a quirky band of brothers. You may not be the 99 percent, but you are the 3.14159 percent.

Back away from the shire and the cosplay before I lead you to the Misty Mountains and leave you there. Let's see how you like being barefoot then.

* While I adore Martin Freeman—I am crushing wildly on his Dr. Watson in Sherlock—when he dons Bilbo's ears and feet, I lose my she-rection.

(Photo: gearsofhalo.com)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Create Your Own PITF Haiku Deck & Win a Free Copy of TIWTPITF!

Haiku Deck is the best application for creating presentations on iPad

Things I Want to Punch in the Face and Haiku Deck are like peanut butter and chocolate. In other words, the perfect combination. A new app for iPad, Haiku Deck allows you to create powerful presentations, using royalty-free images and bold graphics (check out the original PITF Haiku Deck here; it's hilar). I love a good contest so in conjunction with Haiku Deck, we are asking you to create your own personal Things I Want to Punch in the Face Haiku Deck for a chance to win a copy of Things I Want to Punch in the Face.

Here's how it works: 
  1. Download the Haiku Deck iPad app here.
  2. Between now and December 21, think of at least five things you are itching to punch in the face this holiday season. Hate your mother-in-law, your neighbor's outdoor Christmas decorations, crappy regifts? Detail it all through words and images. Using your iPad, type in what you want to punch and then access Haiku Deck's image database to find a good fit for your fury.
  3. Once you've completed your deck, send me the link at jen@jenniferworick.com (include your name and e-mail) and I'll post the deck on the blog, using your first name only.
  4. After December 21, I'll select a winner and announce it on the blog. You'll win a free copy of Things I Want to Punch in the Face, just in time for Christmas!

Cold bathrooms after hot showers

I come from the land of cold, the kind of cold that turns nipples into deadly weapons. Seriously, I could cut you.
Growing up in Southwestern Michigan, we got bitter winds, huge drifts, and bitter, ugly, raw-knuckled cold, thanks to something charmingly referred to as the Lake Effect. In the morning before school, my mom would turn the oven on and we'd all gather around the open door as we woofed down our Quaker oatmeal packets. After school, I'd hang out with my grandma, sitting over the register doing crossword puzzles on a tv tray while the coal heat warmed my feet. At night, the hot-water heater never managed to provide enough steamy water to keep the tub warm for very long. So mom would heat up water on the stove and pour boiling water into my tepid bath so I could stay in a bit longer. 

That is love.
I moved away from sub-zero temperatures to the temperate climate of Seattle. My hot-water heater lets me top off my tub when it starts to cool down. The scalding water never runs out when I am in the shower. Heaven.
What's not exactly sent from above is the feeling I get when I step out of a hot shower. I may not live in the Midwest but no matter how much I close off the doors and windows to trap the steam in the bathroom, it's still a figurative cold bucket of water on my shower bliss when my pink heated skin meets the cold air. Even with my towel and robe draped nearby, the rosy glow of the shower fades as my aforementioned nipples become menacing and I get figuratively if not literally steamed. My fogged-up bathroom may not be as cold as a witch's tit (an oft-used phrase by my colorful stepfather), but it's decidedly cooler than the hot spray I was just under. Since I don't presently have radiant floors, a heated towel rack or a man to drape around my shoulders, I linger in the shower, making up new excuses to never get out. "My legs could probably use to be shaved twice," "Now that my muscles are heated, I should really do some stretches in here," "Is there such a thing as too much exfoliation?" "It's okay to be a little late to work today." The list goes on, as does my shower. The alternative leaves me cold.

(Photo: mcincshopcom.ipage.com)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

J. Gilbert private shopping event this Sunday!

Shopping during December does not exactly put me in the holiday spirit. Between parking sharks, crowds, the clanging of the Salvation Army bell, that certain shopgirl who keeps trying to convince me that a stainless steel water bottle works for everyone on your list, I'm left exhausted.

J. Gilbert Footwear is different. The welcoming Belltown shop is magical. Pop in and you'll find yourself lingering for hours, trying everything on and making friends with sales staff and commenting on how fabulous a jacket looks on another customer. 


That's why I'm so jazzed to be participating in another event at J. Gilbert Footwear this Sunday. From 12-4pm, stop by for a private shopping event. Everything in the store will be 15-percent off, and there will be champagne and hors d'oeuvres. There will be a trunk show with Spark Designs jewelry by Kathy Sparkman and I'll be signing copies of TIWTPITF, a perfect stocking stuffer as you know. You can't beat that with a stick.

Stop by or RSVP here.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Body after baby

Poor curvy Jessica Simpson. Come to find out, she's a normal person. Seven months after giving birth, she still looks Rubensque as she strollers around in tunics and hooker platforms. Happy, healthy, and maybe pregnant, I can't help but wonder if she got knocked up again so quickly just so she can bounce on her Weight Watchers deal.

I realize that not everyone's created equal. Gisele, Heidi, Miranda—these freaks of nature were bouncing their newborns off their taut tummies within the first two weeks. Kate Hudson's post-baby abs should get their own credit on Glee.

Bitches all.

I've never given birth but I feel for moms, or any woman for that matter. How are we supposed to explain our pooch—be it from a burrito baby or actual infant—when there are assholes out there showing off their six-pack with their six week old on their hip? Not cool. When celebrimoms grace the cover of US Weekly, claiming their speedy weight loss is due to breast feeding or a high metabolism or good genes, we know you're lying like a rug. You have Jillian Michaels, a nanny, a food delivery service, an impressive collection of Spanx, and possibly a wet nurse tucked away somewhere.

Please, give us a break and give us a chance. Step away from the Pilates Reformer, enjoy your baby, and let us have a moment in the spotlight with our Miraclesuits and jaunty scarves that draw the eye up.

Fuck you, Kristin Cavallari.

(photo: Jessica Alba, four months after giving birth; www.nydailynews.com)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving control freaks

Folks love Thanksgiving for a buttload of reasons: family, football, food. I love Thanksgiving because I like to eat myself sick. But as I get older, I realize that for many, it's not about food, it's about control, and not in an awesome Janet Jackson way. Let me explain.
I traveled with my pal to her parents' home for Thanksgiving a few years back. Cousins, siblings, parents, and friends gathered around a perfectly appointed table for a perfectly planned-out meal. This was the kind of house that had enough matching chairs and china for a party of 12.

It was a little schmancy for me but I wasn't going to complain because, hey, stuffing! And I was too busy trying to figure out which fork to use for the mâche with satsuma and crystallized pansies. I helped serve the turkey, which had been carved offsite in the kitchen, and was gently admonished to serve from each person's left.

Well, at least I hadn't spilled anything…yet.

All this was fine, as my discomfort was about to be alleviated by dessert. One of the cousins brought a scrumptious apple pie and I couldn't wait to tuck into it, perhaps with a cup of coffee. 

Then time stopped.

The lovely, albeit tightly-wound, hostess appeared in the doorway holding a Le Creuset casserole dish. Poached. Pears. In. Port.

It was at this moment that I climbed back down the social ladder and stepped onto the firm ground of the lower middle class. I may not have money, but I do have taste. Thanksgiving dessert should involve pie, cake, crisp, cobbler, cookies, mousse, brûlée, ice cream, or some combination thereof. It should never ever consist solely of baked fruit in fortified wine. There were children at the table, for the love of Myles Standish.

Where was the pie, you ask?

Good question. I found it later, squirreled away on top of the fridge. My only saving grace is that it tasted amazing at 11pm with a cold glass of milk under the cover of darkness. This Thanksgiving, I'm grateful that while I veer into the land of the obsessive-compulsive, I'm generous enough to allow other people to bring things to the table, be it a talent, an idea, or a pie. If someone asks if they can bring something to dinner, say yes. While Thanksgiving often means cock-blocking the kitchen for many hosts and hostesses, it should be about abundance and generosity. Sure, that shot-in-the-ass green bean casserole might not pair well with your sav blanc, but someone made it out of tradition and/or love so pass the dish to your neighbor and reach for your ramekin of emmentaler gratin instead.

For the record, this year I'm making salted caramel pie and a fruit crisp. In recent years, I've made this sweet potato cheesecake from Kingfish Cafe, which is always a big hit. 

(photo: taylor.pt) 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Unrealistic holiday gift guides

My last name is Worick, not Warbucks.

With that in mind, I'm exasperated each holiday season when the gift guides start appearing in magazines, catalogs and websites. I love the concept of a guide of the season's best picks for everyone on your list (I've even written a few myself). Thing is, my list doesn't include Kate Middleton or Oprah. Throughout the recession, I've expected to see dialed-down gift ideas, presents you can buy on the cheap or even make. Instead, we get suggestions like this, featured in the November issue of Lucky: "Brit designer Charlotte Olympia's cheeky little cat flats strike the perfect balance between playful and posh."

These shoes retail for $895.

Call me catty, but who is buying these shoes, for themselves or as gifts? When a gift guide recommends keeping bottles of Dom or a case of $60 Diptyque candles on hand to give to a hostess or letter carrier, I wonder who gifted the editor with a box of delusion?

Then there's the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book. For a cool $250,000, you can buy a dinner party for ten prepared by Chefs Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, Jerome Bocuse, and Richard Rosendale. What's a quarter of a mill for an unforgettable evening and a Christmas gift a loved one is sure to appreciate? I mean, who needs to retire, really? Tap that 401K and get your Bocuse d'Or on.

When I read these far-fetched gift guides, I'm constantly reminded of my anemic bank account and what a loser I clearly am (always an awesome attitude with which to enter suicide season, fa la la). I may be delusional myself, but I don't think most families are rocking a five- or six-figure budget for their Christmas list.

Until there are more articles like Real Simple's "50 Gifts Under $50," I'm going to scare up a French Laundry Cookbook or make salted caramels for the lucky ones on my list. Let's hope they appreciate the sentiment, if not the cents, behind the gift.

(photo: Neiman Marcus Christmas Book)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Powell's Punch Party tomorrow night!

I'm headed south tomorrow, hitting the seriously awesome Powell's City of Books for a Punch Party. I'll be at the Beaverton store (which is at Cedar Hills Crossing) at 7pm and will be talking about the book, reading favorite entries, hopefully laughing my arse off at others' rants, and hosting a spirited game of Punch in the Face vs Make Out With. It's the last official Punch Party of the fall and I hope to see all of my PDX peeps. As I've said before, something magical happens around this book. People open up and connect as they share common gripes. Like this blog and the book, it makes me seriously happy. 

This is a book that brings people together. Come together tomorrow night!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Blow Pops

Rifling through my Halloween candy got me to thinking about what sweet treats have been a party in my mouth and what candy needs to be kicked to the curb.
I'll always break for the 100 Grand Bar, Milk Duds, a Tootsie Pop, M&Ms, and an Almond Joy.

But I have no patience for the wastes of space that are Jujubes, Dum Dums, Three Musketeers, Skittles and the aptly named Blow Pop.

Much like cross-pollinated food, Blow Pops are the Frankenstein of candy and decidedly NOT greater than the sum of its parts.

Back in the day, I couldn't wait to go to my brothers' Little League games. The concessions table fucking rocked. Pixy Stix, candy bars, Double Bubble, suckers. With all these choices, I reached for a Blow Pop. In its festive wrapper and promise of two candies in one, my 7-year-old self was powerless to resist.

As I popped it into my mouth, everything was initially a-okay. But as I wore away the candy shell, it collapsed into the bubble gum center.

Blow me.

While I always enjoyed peanut butter in my chocolate, I didn't like shards of hard candy comingling with my gum. The two textures were confusing to my young palate and left me wishing my lollipop would pick a lane. A Blow Pop is my personal cautionary tale to dial back the greedy. I mean, look what happened to all those grubby-fingered little punks who visited Willy Wonka's factory.

Less is more.

(photo: stanton-grade-three.blogspot.com)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sexy Halloween costumes

Sexy is going down today, and not in a good way. 

When did every woman's Halloween costume get preceded by the adjective "sexy?" The Wicked Witch of the West's hemline has traveled well north of her green knees, and Halloween parties are now littered with sexy kittens, sexy devils, sexy nurses, and any profession or animal that can be tramped up. I've even seen sexy Bert & Ernie costumes, for the love of Sesame Street.

Until I see a whole gaggle of Magic Mikes shivering in their cock socks and bow ties, I'm sticking with my pregnant nun getup. Stop looking like you're turning tricks when you're trick or treating, baby doll, or I'm going to have to tighten your kittycat corset until you toss your candy corn. Meow.

(photo: completelybonkers.co.uk)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hurricane names

Chris, Debby, Florence, Patty, Nadine…

I don't know about you but hurricane names sound more like what you'd find on nametags at a PTA potluck, rather than a vicious tropical cyclone. They don't exactly put the fear of 80-mile winds in you, do they?

Hurricane Sandy isn't a cause for a state of emergency, it's cause for a makeover, preferably by Rizzo. If Hurricane Rizzo hit the East Coast, you'd better believe that I'd run for fucking cover.

The World Meteorological Organization and National Hurricane Center need to get some new baby books, preferably ones with badass names like Spike, Rocco, JR, T-Bone. Better get, I propose that we substitute roller-derby names for these milquetoast monikers. Helen Wheels, Dora the Destroyer, Naomi Cannibal—shutters would be nailed down and the coastline would be evacuated in record time.

(photo: geology.com)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Unsalted nuts

Auntie Mame wisely observed that “Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!” Well, I’d amend that to say that, in 2012, life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are eating unsalted nuts on their way to their CrossFit class.

Like a dinner roll, nuts are a vehicle for something else. Rolls need to be buttered and my nuts need to be salted. Come to think of it, my buttered rolls need to be salted, too.

These days, many diets sing the praises of nuts, saying they are great sources of protein and energy. So I snack. Trader Joe’s trail mixes, almonds, pistachios—these all have a place in my laptop or workout bag.

But whether or not I’m sweating out the sodium and electrolytes, I need salty nuts. Yes, I meant to say that. Salt in any form is necessary to enjoy a handful of toasted pecans or a schmear of almond butter.

Eschew the raw cashew and unsalted pistachio. They may provide fuel but so do packets of GU energy gel and you don’t see me squeezing that stuff into my gob, do you? I want to enjoy every single thing I put into my mouth, not munch on boring, flavorless nuts in the name of health. I may be fit, but unsalted nuts make me sick. I’m bringing some flavor back into my life, one honey-roasted peanut at a time.

(photo: ifyouwriteit.com)

Monday, October 22, 2012

The SoCal Punch Party post-mortem

Awesome things I’ve heard this weekend during the SoCal Punch Parties that others want to punch in the face:
  • Drum solos (particularly while trying to talk post-Punch Party over dinner. The irony that a jazz combo followed the Punch Party is not lost on me)
  • The marketing campaign for the Hollywood Bowl: There’s a story in every seat. Um, that’s probably not all that’s in that seat.
  • The hope industry: that weekend screenwriting seminar by that dude with zero credits on IMDB is probably not going to net you a development deal.
  • Microsoft Tech Support
  • The trendiness of “toxins”
  • The treacly names of political memoirs
  • The amateur peleton. You don’t need to draft behind each other to bike to the office
  • Cyclists who wear their ridiculous jerseys and neon spandex shorts everywhere and clack into Peet’s with their clip-ins like those raptors in Jurassic Park
  • People who bring all the ingredients to a potluck and start making their dish from scratch
  • People who ask you to bring the main dish to the potluck because you’re such a good cook (when they only bring leftover brownies)
  • Food restrictions. Gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free = taste-free
  • Unsalted nuts. Fuck that shit
The list goes on and on, but sadly, my memory doesn’t. Thanks everyone for coming out and sharing your wit and wisdom!

(photo: flickriver.com)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Big wheels keep on turning...

It's been a, ahem, full few weeks promoting TIWTPITF. And we're far from done! In Seattle, we've hosted two amazing Punch Parties with loads of talented people showing up to read their own rants and play a saucy game of "Punch in the Face or Make Out With." Last night, as part of Seattle's Lit Crawl, I was on a Funny Ladies panel reading a Seattle-specific Punch in the Face rant. Needless to say, it was high-larious (as were all of the other talented women on the panel).

But wait, there's more!

I'm now in Southern California for a weekend of punch-drunk love. Bring a rant to tomorrow's Punch Party at Vidiots Annex or Sunday's Punch Party at The York in Highland Park. Things get under way at both venues at 6pm. Bring a friend, bring a diatribe, bring yourself! If you're interested in coming out and punching something, here's the deal:
  • I'll introduce you briefly (let me know if there's anything I should mention; I'm all for promoting your stuff too!)
  • You'll read your own PITF (loudly, with feeling and hopefully with wild gesticulations)
  • Your PITF should be a couple of paragraphs or about 200 words, so we can make sure everyone who wants to share has time (if you really need to get something off your chest and take 10 minutes, so be it; I won't bring out the hook)
  • I don't need to see your PITF in advance
  • It will be fun! 
And if you're in Seattle or Portland, never fear. Punch Parties are coming your way on October 26 (Queen Anne Books in Seattle) and November 9 (Powells at Cedar Hills Crossing, Beaverton). 

With the holidays breathing down our necks, now is the time to ease the pain by picking up signed copies of TIWTPITF for your stocking stuffers, hostess gifts and Secret Santa presents. It really does have something for everyone.

Check out all my upcoming events here.

(photos: At the U Bookstore Punch Party; My publisher Colleen Dunn Bates and I checking out the book at Urban Outfitters)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Giving Tree

I can't decide who's the bigger asshole: The tree or the kid.

In thinking about this since my childhood (I wanted to punch Shel Silverstein's classic in the face even then), I have never figured out what all the precious fuss was about.

While some claim this book is about unconditional love, to me it smacks of a cautionary tale heard over and over again in twelve-step programs. In addition to being a playmate (branches to swing on), a protector (shielding the kid from harmful rays), a provider (offering up its fruit for food, branches for a house, and trunk for a boat), and a stool (finally a stump), The Giving Tree is a sap.

Plus, the tree is female, which makes her continual sacrifice to this knob even more annoying and questionable.

Might I suggest that this parable serve as a lesson to all the other anthropomorphic trees and shrubs out there. Set some boundaries, learn to say no, and get your Serenity Prayer on. Accept that you can't change greedy, thoughtless little shits, muster up some courage to change your behavior and drop an apple on his head, and get wise to his ways. That's the path to happy, joyous, and tree.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Another goodreads giveaway!

Goodreads is giving away another 5 copies of Things I Want to Punch in the Face! Enter by Oct. 21 for a chance to win a copy and cross another person off your holiday list! Get on it!

Non sequitur nicknames

Hey Dick! Where’d you get such an unfortunate name? Apparently, they were pretty bored in the Middle Ages and sat around rhyming names. Richard was shortened to Rick, which rhymes with works like Hick and Dick.


I guess we should be thankful that the Richards of today aren’t answering to “Prick,” unless you're Dick Cheney.

Dick, Meg, Ike, Bitsy, Chuck, Madge, Harry, Jack, Bob, Bill… All these names—aside from seeming wildly Caucasian, or Cauk, which rhymes with Hawk, which would be a totally rad name—derive from a moniker that bears little resemblance to the nickname. And some aren’t even shorter. John is a four-letter, one-syllable word to begin with. Whyyagottabe changing it to Jack?

A lot of parents are cutting to the chase and bypassing potential disparities between Christian names and sobriquets. They are just putting Bob on the birth certificate and calling it a day, which rhymes with Dr. Dre, which I can get behind, because it’s short for Andre, which totally makes sense.

Unlike Dick, which is just plain wrong and happens to rhyme with dong.

(photo: ericgarland.co)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Punch Party: Secret Garden Books

The Punch Party train pulled into Secret Garden Books last Friday and a great time was had by all. Who knew punching could be so much fun?


Yep, just as the blog struck a chord when I started it, so too has the book found its audience. I read a few of  my favorite posts from the book and then invited friends to share their own prepared or impromptu rants. Michaela talked about Seattle’s perpetual “let’s get together,” Janice bitched out the mood lighting in restaurant bathrooms, Kerry punched the whole “body after baby” tabloid stories (“that asshole Giselle” is still making me giggle), and Kathy went off on the invasive insects in Africa who raid her panty drawer. See, the things to punch in the face are as deep and wide as ever.

We then picked three contestants to play a fun round of “Punch in the Face or Make Out With,” with Laurel taking home the prize.

It really was a magical evening and because I like pushing my luck, I’m doing it again and again. You can join the Punch Party this Thursday night at 7pm at U Bookstore and on Oct. 26 at 6:30 at Queen Anne Books. I hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Come share your rant tomorrow!

We're just one day away from our first Punch Party in Seattle. It's all going down Friday at 7pm at Secret Garden Books in Ballard. We'll have punch to drink and punches to deliver. I'll read a few favorites and friends will share the Things They Want to Punch in the Face. If you have something that's getting your goat, bring it and bring it on.

But that's not all! In the spirit of Andy Cohen's creative games on Watch What Happens Live, we have a really fun game that you can play for prizes! Stop by, say hi, start and finish your Christmas shopping, and join the PITF tribe. 

And if you can't make it, I promise not to punch you. You can come to another Punch Party in Seattle. They are scheduled at University Bookstore on October 11 and Queen Anne Books on October 26. 

And if you happen to like shoes and The Simpsons, I'll be at J Gilbert Footwear in Belltown this Saturday from 12-4. Yeardley Smith, the voice of Lisa Simpson, is also an amazing footwear designer. She'll be in the store previewing her new collection. Buy a pair of her Marchez Vous shoes (or any other purchase of $200) and get a free copy of TIWTPITF. Win-win.

See all of my events in Seattle, Los Angeles, and Portland here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Guys who wear sunglasses on their forehead

If you' haven't figured it out by now, I'm pretty fucking picky.

I make no apologies.

Admittedly, this may have something to do with the fact that I'm single, but I stand by my gripes.

And one said gripe is dudes who wear their sunglasses on their forehead. Not the top of their head, mind you, but just above their eyebrows. 

When I see this optical billboard advertising a blue-collar, blue-blocking frat boy, I can't see straight. I should turn a blind eye to such a small thing, but it drives me bananas. 

Are you too lazy to hinge your shades to the top of your head? Have you converted your Cro-Magnon brow ridge into a portable ledge for your Ray-Bans? Are you trying to shield your five-fingered forehead or receding hairline from harmful rays?

My only hope is that you wind up with an awesome tan line.

Equally as bad: Oakleys hanging off the nape of your neck.

(photo: marxists.org)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Unctuous questions at author readings

It’s not quite right that I’m punching this in the face, because while I love book signings and author readings more than anything, I adore loathing the bespectacled sycophants who amble up to the mic or wave their hands wildly during the Q&A portion of the evening so that the celebrity author has no choice but to hear what they have to say…and say…and say. 

See, before the question comes the preamble.

I was just at a magical evening with the sexy, brilliant Junot Diaz and I wanted to rip his or my clothes off. But first, I wanted to rip these interlocutors a new one.

“I love your new book and am struck by how much you revisit the themes of love and loss in your work. For instance, your short story XX features the character XX, who once again experiences love, loss, and even cheating. On page 53, for example, he says…”

Translation: I am SO smart. My thorough homework and obnoxious eyeglass frames prove this. And, oh yeah, I worship Terry Gross.

“As a longtime educator in the public school system who teaches your books in my class, I couldn’t help but wonder…”

Translation: I'm credible. I'm a teacher. Admire me.

“My mother lives in the Netherlands and reads every word you’ve written. Then she shares it with her friends. Then she books a flight to Boston and stalks you as you walk to class at MIT. Did I say that out loud? Anyway…”

Translation: I am your biggest fan. Well, okay, my mom is but I like you too, so I get extra credit.

Let me translate something else: You are a suck up. The 499 other people in the audience don’t need or want to hear you spam yourself all over the author. Send Junot a note, sign your panties, or wait in line and ask him to inscribe your hardcover or your breasts.  Whatever the case, cut to the chase and ask your fucking question and stop holding us hostage with your simpering need for validation.

All this said, I can't wait to hear any questions you have during my Punch Parties this fall!

(photo: jacket2.org)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Overhead Lighting

I can’t believe it’s taken me nigh on 400 posts to punch in the face something that’s been staring me in the face, clear as day. It’s high time, friends, to shine a light on overhead lighting.

You might think that, as a woman of a certain age, I might eschew bright overhead light because it’s harsh on the skin, makes me look haggard, and accentuates every line and crease.

Well, duh. I’m as vain as the next woman. But there’s more, so much more that I loathe about light from above.

I hate a Patty-Hearst-swinging-in-a-closet bare bulb. I avert my eyes at grandiose chandeliers. Fluorescent lights makes me angry with the white hot heat of the sun. I don’t want to be interrogated; I just want to read a book.

Overhead lighting hurts my eyes and it hurts my sensibility. Granted, it’s workmanlike, but it’s far from sexy, welcoming, happy, or even all that effective. The ophthalmologist turns down the light when I’m reading an eye chart. When people use light therapy for their Seasonal Affective Disorder, it’s probably not pulsing down from the ceiling, as much as they might want to replicate natural sunlight. That might only exacerbate their inner gloom. I think postal workers flip out, not because of the stress, but because of the hideous lighting casting a pall over those big sorting facilities.

Flip off the light fixture and turn on a 60w desk lamp. Overhead lighting should only come from the sun and street lamps.

(photo: picable.com)