My favorite teacup, the Tiffany-box-blue one, has a chip in its lip. The saucer is, in fact, not in tact. I’ve come to terms with the Twister cups that I once thought were tacky and outdated (I think they’re rather retro-chic) Over those tacky teacups, sob stories as sticky as honey, romances as sweet as honey, laughter as thick as honey.
What can be learned in a year? Sip slowly. Take the higher ground. Take lots of pictures. Take your vitamins. Wear a helmet. Wear socks. Don’t leave pomegranates on top of your fridge in excess of a month. Lock your door, and turn out the lights when you’re not there.
I learned to appreciate you and me, and tea for two. I learned that it’s not the time in between us, but the time when we’re together, and the time you’re on my mind. I learned to send letters when email isn’t fast enough. I adjusted my camera’s view.
"The richest person is not the person who has the most, but who needs the least"- Grandma
You teach me now how cruel you've been - cruel and false. Why did you despise me? Why did you betray your own heart, Cathy? I have not one word of comfort. You deserve this. You have killed yourself. Yes, you may kiss me, and cry; and wring out my kisses and tears: they'll blight you - they'll damn you. You loved me - then what right had you to leave me? What right - answer me - for the poor fancy you felt for Linton? Because misery and degradation, and death, and nothing that God or Satan could inflict would have parted us, you, of your own will, did it. I have not broken your heart - you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine. So much the worse for me that I am strong. Do I want to live? What kind of living will it be when you - oh, God! would you like to live with your soul in the grave?'
'Let me alone. Let me alone,' sobbed Catherine. 'If I've done wrong, I'm dying for it. It is enough! You left me too: but I won't upbraid you! I forgive you. Forgive me!'
'It is hard to forgive, and to look at those eyes, and feel those wasted hands,' he answered. 'Kiss me again; and don't let me see your eyes! I forgive what you have done to me. I love my murderer - but yours! How can I?'
Surely no one has ever burned in moon rays, and waves and women aren't pulled into rhythm by the sun. By its very nature, the sun's face must be ever changing, what with all those violent flares. But the moon has always looked upon us the same, though its face is ugly and crater-pocked. They tell me that the sun is getting bigger, that it'll swallow up planets, that it’ll swallow up us. I believe it- not because science tells me so, but because I’ve felt myself burn when it looked too hard upon me.
- visit this market Phil speaks of in DC
- get to the beach at least once
- make frozen lemon whips with blueberry-basil topping
- have a picnic near the Lincoln Memorial
- submit Fulbright application to Malta
- see the leaves change in New England
- finish reading Anna Karenina by Tolstoy
- get whisk tattoo
- complete the 500 piece puzzle on my shelf
- read Ahab’s Wife by Sena Naslund
- present Allie’s baby with a 9’ paper-mache Mexican devil
- paint the “Shitwhore Series,” an acrylic ode
- make zucchini tarts with butternut squash soup
- attend Cherry Blossom Festival
- have an actual birthday celebration, for once
- jump out of a plane
- go camping with the people I love
- read Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
- finish MBA, acquire job
Bullfrogs guttural love song, mating gurgle that sounds melodious in summer heat thick enough to wear like a sweater. Chime in, cicada shiver cymbals.
The neighbors dance on the patio.
Peeled back bathing suit and hair combed from our faces, we’re placed to bed with wet sun-bleached heads. Our fingers still sticky from watermelon drips.
Tip-toed and bath-robed, Grandma comes to set free the stars from their mason jar. Morning came and we all believed that they indeed did disappear.
Face sweaty, half hung in a toilet bowl, with alcohol-laced perspiration beaded in top lip whiskers- What do you need?
“Time,” he said. “I just need TIME”
Time that tells and has 20-20 vision retrospect? Time like money that pays the piper? Let me tell you about time, I thought. Time knocks over pillars and dirties knees. Time whispers in my ear that your old analogies really didn’t make sense at all. Time is a rotation of the earth that clouds eyes like cataracts, or clears them.
Last year, around this time I commenced the first annual Summer of Celibacy Abstinence Challenge. (I didn’t mean this to be annual but what the hay) It started off as a 40 day emo protest and I was thankfully relieved 120+ days later. Because it was funny and it gave me something to talk about when meeting new people, I’m giving it another go. The boo will be road tripping for about a month and I’m going to wait it out. Any support you can send my way will be greatly appreciated.
Perhaps I’ll also start a cleanse diet too. Anyone want to be miserable-but-empowered with me?
(written for Creative Nonfiction course)
Two gardening hats hung on a hook by the back door. Outside, a wire basket with green plastic handles hung from a rusty nail under our deck, next to a yellow water can with a long thin spout. In the shed that smelled like mothballs, on a shelf, there were two pairs of gloves stiff with dirt and two shovels, one larger than the other.
Our backyard had a big pool, framed in by a vine-covered fence, and matted by Astroturf. Along one side there were trees that dropped mini pinecones that cracked and popped when thrown in the fireplace. Along the other side there were bright Forsythia bushes that hid us from our peeping neighbor, Dave. In the far corner there was a compost pile, where all our dinner scraps and coffee grounds ended up, and a giant pine tree whose base was a pile of rocks. We had a clothesline that we used for bathing suits in the summer; in the winter, we hung a small wire cage of sinew scraps for the birds. The best part of our yard was the vegetable garden, a rectangular chicken wire enclosed oasis. These are the stories of one garden summer.
Beets are the one vegetable that grew in our garden whenever it wasn’t snowing. This is mostly because beets are roots, not vegetables, and therefore largely protected from bitter frosts. By April, the shaggy beet leaves fountained from the far end of the garden, the stems closest to the earth turned a rich crimson magenta.
Picking beets took a great amount of care because if you tugged too hard on the leaves, they would just rip right off, sending you backwards. And then you would have to dig up the bulb with your hands, and get dirt under your nails, which you had to thoroughly clean before school the next day.
Beets are terribly creepy fresh from the winter ground. They have long tapering rat tails and straggly roots growing from their bulbous cores. They smell like bicycle grease, and sometimes the tails would slip through the wire basket and tickle your legs while you walked.
After you cut off the leaves and tails, you have to scrub them really hard with a bristle brush under the hose before bringing them in the house. Then you boil them until you can push a fork into them, about 20-25 minutes. Run under cold water (this make peeling easy). After thoroughly cooled, use a fork or fingers to push the skin off. Slice and serve plain or with fresh goat cheese on bread rounds.
The leftover water in the saucepan will turn dark reddish purple, like the inside of a beet. Boil this down for an additional ten minutes and use for dying Easter eggs, or as a paint for arts and crafts.
This is the first real spring vegetable to sprout in our garden. At first the little green sprouts are unimpressive, especially when, as a ten year old, you were expecting the sunburst of daffodils, their trumpets heralding spring. They grow quickly, straight up in neat rows, before they meet their fate with gardening shears.
"A hand and a half tall."
(Well, one and a half Grandma-hand measures. Two of mine) That's how tall each stalk should be when you cut them down and place them gently in the wire basket. When we take them in, each stalk is thoroughly rinsed with cold water, rolled in olive oil, sprinkled with just salt and pepper, and layered single-file in a baking dish. Roast at 400 degrees for approximately 10 minutes or until tender. Serve plain or with grated parmesan cheese.
June is the sweetest month of all, finally freed from cramped classrooms and stiff uniforms. Strawberries and wild blackberries grew at the edge of the yard, away from the neat fenced in vegetable garden. We don't use the wire basket for strawberries, because the smallest ones slip through the wire. For berries, we use the berry bag, which is also in the mothball laden shed. This is the one thing in the shed that Little Brother and I could retrieve without supervision. Because it's near the front of the shed, we don't have to step around the steel teeth of the snow blower, the sharp picks of hoes, the razorblades at the end of the rakes, the sharpened beak of the bush shears.
The berry bag is made of a single square of canvas, whip-stitched along the sides with two lengths of rope used as handles. It's stained blue and red and black all over. We romp over to the edge of the yard, near the compost pile, and begin plucking at the most engorged orbs. Patience is paramount in plucking berries. Time will yield darker berries, and the darker the berry, the sweeter the juice. By the end of June, in one trip, Little Brother and I could fill the canvas, requiring each of us to grab a handle to walk it back to the house.
Upon showing our plunder to Grandma, she inspects each one under the running faucet, praising the color, the shape, our berry-finding skills. Each strawberry is halved and plopped into a medium sauce pan with 1/4 cup of orange juice and 1/2 cup sugar. Over medium heat, stir until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a rolling boil and cook until strawberries soften. Take off heat and serve over vanilla icecream, waffles or cheesecake.
Cucumbers didn’t take up that much room in the garden (because they grow up a fence), but even a couple plants produced way more cucumbers than we could possibly eat. Every other day I could fill the wire basket, carefully brushing off the prickles that you don’t see on supermarket cucumbers. Four would go to Grandma, and the rest would go to our neighbors. We had an abundance of cucumbers in July, the Coxes an abundance of plum tomatoes in June, the Wilsons too many apples in the fall, and basil by the bushels came from the Russes.
Nearly every other day Grandma made cucumber salad for dinner. Four cucumbers were cut in rounds, then quartered. Toss with 2 tbsp mayonnaise, and a small amount of diced onion. Add salt and pepper to taste, and a handful of diced cilantro. Serve cold.
Blackbirds are the bane of our existence. They chase the gold finches from the feeder and squawk at the squirrels, but why we detest them the most is because they pick at the corn. Raccoons ruin a fair amount of our garden's yield too, but it's impossible to detest an animal so closely resembling the Hamburgler. Besides, the chicken wire does a decent job of keeping small animals out.
Corn takes up nearly a third of our garden and is visually stunning. There are green stalks so much taller than I am, and not all its ears are reachable. The ears shoot off the main stalk and have Repunzel silk strands spouting from the ends. It's hard to tell when corn is sweetest and ready to be picked, so this is a chore when Pop comes with us. Checking the undressed gold and white flecked kernels, Pop snaps the ears off and places them in the wire basket. We only take as many as we need for dinner, since corner hardly ever over-ripens.
From the garden, Little Brother and I move to the garage, sit on small folding chairs with a bucket between us. Little Brother is brutishly strong for an eight year old and is good at pulling back the green husks. I'm more attentive, even at ten, so I'm good at plucking off all the silk strands, placing them gently back in the wire basket.
From the basket, they go to the grill for 5-7 minutes. After lightly charring, let cool. Remove kernels from the cob and toss with 2tbsp olive oil, juice of 1 lime, 1-4 oz. queso fresco, 1 bunch of green onions (thinly sliced), ¾ c. chopped cilantro, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of pepper.
There is a great debate over watermelon: to sprinkle with salt or sugar. At our house, we ate it plain after dinner while sitting on the deck waiting for the fireflies to come out. Whatever sticky dribbles landed on our legs or chins could be rinsed in the pool, but only if we were out of the water by dark and if we waited 20 minutes after eating.
It took nearly three years to grow our first watermelon. It would have been much sooner if Dad hadn’t run over the vines, twice, with the lawn mower. Watermelon’s curly cues do look like weedy vines, so it’s a common mistake if you don’t first see the yellow blossoms. For Little Sister’s birthday, Grandma spent the entire afternoon cutting watermelon slices an inch thick. It took me half an hour to use cookie cutters to cut stars and hearts. A healthy, but sweet, alternative to cupcakes.
No child likes spinach, and to make sure it didn’t land on our dinner plates often, Little Brother and I would pull the bushes out when not supervised and hide the leaves in the compost pile. We blamed the rabbits.
Spinach used to smell funny fresh from the ground- it smelled musky and mushy, if mushy had a smell. When Grandma got to the garden first to salvage what we had not destroyed, it was chopped roughly and tossed in a medium skillet with two cloves of chopped garlic until wilted. In the meantime, roast one handful of pine nuts at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes or until golden brown and nutty smelling. Toss pine nuts with spinach and top with enough grated parmesan cheese to make appealing to children.
By November the weather turns brisk, which means preparing the garden for winter. We pulled up flower bulbs, and turned the compost. We took stock of canned spaghetti sauce using the plum tomatoes from our neighbors. Apple pies, homemade, with lattice tops were frozen in the big freezer downstairs. The bushels of basil were made into pesto and stored in gallon-sized bags. Quince, pears and cranberries were turned into preserves and canned in small jars that we gave to our friends throughout the winter, so they could taste summer, spread on fresh bread.
I read once that dirt, good dirt, contains bacteria called Mycobacterium vaccae. Exposure to these bacteria in humans boosts serotonin in the brain, the neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of serenity and joy and peace. It is these feelings that flood back when I think of summers and springs working barefoot in the garden with my grandparents and my younger brother. It is that feeling I still get when I pluck the fruits that blossom in my modest urban garden, and when those fruits find their way to my kitchen table to fill the bellies of people I love.
What I learned from that 10' x 14' garden was intimacy- with the smells. touches and colors of food; with stove top and kitchen table; with earth and with my family. When I miss these memories most, I take off my shoes and stand in dirt.
An underground gondola ride in a cavern, NY. Sleeping on a lake in the Adirondacks. Ben & Jerry Factory, VT, ice cream for free! Sleeping in Waterbury woods. A desert in Maine. Sleeping and eating in a bed & breakfast, compliments of Momma and Poppa. Stroll streets like JFK. Getting lost near Salem, seeing seven gables. Petting alpacas. Eating lobsters on crates for cheap. Ferrying to Block Island to throw rocks at the Atlantic. Sleeping in a landmark, with an ocean view of nude beaches.
I bought a white floppy hat. I’m wearing only sundresses.
The first half of the day was dandy: my fabulous gay friend (not my gay husband or gay mistress), my deceptively innocent friend and I laid out by the volleyball courts and watched half naked sweaty men roll in the sand while we soaked up some sun. And that was lovely. Afterwards, as practice for traveling abroad, I took a siesta, spent some time with the boy when he got home from teaching, got pretty.
I went for a girls night organized by someone who I suspect is very much me on 90% of levels. We went for hibachi, which was good. A girl there just got engaged, which is cute, but my mind automatically shuts off if the story includes the words “candles,” “beach” or “Mexico.” So I continued to look in her general direction, but right over her head at the Playoffs game. [can you believe the Sixers ebbed out another close win?!?]
After hibachi we went to Capogiro, which is in my top 5 favorite places in the city. Flavor selection was at an all time high: cucumber, thai iced tea, champagne mango, dark and stormy, rosemary honey goat milk, single malt scotch, sea salt, AND orange and cardamom?? Half the ladies had to leave and the other hung out on the street corner watching a couple across the street play an accordion and a ukulele.
[[THIS IS WHERE THE NORMAL EVENING ENDED.]]
We crossed the street to hear better, and a man in a top hat, vest and old fashioned goggles herded us to the upstairs of a used book store for “the show.” Now, not knowing what kind of show this is, minds went reeling. Maybe it’s a Vanilla Sky-esque masked swingers club. Or maybe it’s storytelling or a sacrificial hog offering. There were a couple general misfits in folding chairs, but a stage with some familiar instruments likely ruled out anything with nudity. Damn.
Then a very creepy man in a purple and yellow swirled overcoat with not a hair on his head offered us absinthe and heroin. We took the absinthe, and got silly in our seats listening to the accordion and ukulele. By the end of their set, four white college girls and eight members of the societal fringe engaged in an enthusiastic sing-a-long rendition of Edith Pilaf’s “La Vie en Rose,” enhanced by the inability of everyone to clap to a beat.
This is where we bounced.
Outside, I handed off one friend to a gentleman waiting and two other girls and I headed to the
subway so I could go to the Drexel Sierra Club Drinks Day, which is just a way of saying that the head hippies are having a party. I was heckled the entire three blocks from 40th St. Station to my friends place. A fine young gentleman and his clique told me I was a turkey, which I looked up this morning on urbandictionary. Neither option is flattering but I think he meant this definition:
turkey (noun): The opposite of virgin for a girl, because they have "received a stuffing"
and probably not these definitions:
(noun) a loser; an uncoordinated, inept, clumsy fool
(noun) a tool; a person who is not in with current culture and slang or is just generally uncool.
This slang usage of the word "turkey" was mostly used during the late 60's and 70's by urban-dwelling blacks.
(noun) a country that's incredibly fun to be in because it's not quite European, but not quite Asian either.
So whatever. I get there. I have a Lionshead, sing a little happy birthday to our gracious host. Then shots ring out, which shots are wont to do in West Philadelphia. Within five minutes of my arrival, there are helicopters with search lights scanning the area and the sirens of cop cars are so loud, I can’t hear the person next to me. Yet beer pong continues.
Looking through the rickety fence that encloses the tiny backyard, that gives a false sense of security, we see hundreds of people pour into the streets. Four kids sprint past. The man next door leans his head out the window and tells us that someone has been shot. People yell. Glass shatters. Car horns are going off everywhere.
We watch from the roof as cop cars try to herd people away. Sunshiny Hippy and I make the poor decision to go outside to see what’s going on. [I know as soon as the boy reads this, I will get a talkin to] So after asking “hey, what’s going on?” and getting “Imma tryna get cho numba is whats goin on” as an answer, a classy broad of perhaps nineteen tells me what happened.
(Translated) Two high school kids got in a fight, one pulled out a piece and fatally shot the other, and then the cops came and beat people up, thusly prompting the crowds.
Plans for walking back with a couple of the other ladies and risking harassment, kidnapping, rape, gun wounds, knife wounds, etc. were quickly reevaluated. I could wait for someone to sober, but that would take time and really, game over, I just want to go back to my white bread dorm room and finish off the Yuengling in my fridge and watch “Tough Love.”
The boy, bless his soul, was quite concerned and came and picked me up. Traffic, of course, wasn’t moving, but he persisted while I perspired. Meanwhile, the party people were doing “shots for shots,” which means they are significantly more badass than me. I just talk a good game.
When back to my comfortable existence, I curled up on the boy’s bed, ate a pb+j with gourmet blueberry jelly and watched as Aviola took the hot seat because she didn’t take the “Cute or Crazy” game show well.
Also, during this debacle I was utilizing the popular micro-publishing site, Twitter. Within ten seconds of posting that shots were fired, I got four texts asking me if I was okay. This tells me that if I happened to be kidnapped and I could make one phone call, I’m texting Twitter.
Then I heard someone tapped into the US electrical grid and installed software. I don’t even know how this happens, logistically.
And now, I’ve read that Phil Spector has been convicted of murder after over 30 hours of deliberation. This man has been dead for what looks like a decade.
I’m on a helicopter with 8 glittery-titted sluts. Seth Rogan is flying, which would be terrifying if this were real life, and the challenge is to jump from the helicopter onto a yacht, sponsored by Tresseme Professional Hair Care Products. After the jump, we swim to the yacht and get our next challenge. And remember- tonight is elimination!
So in walks our Ray J/Bret Michaels/Bachelor, Marc Jacobs, who I have never even seen a picture of, but in this dream, he is strikingly handsome and wearing a kilt (since that’s springs must-have piece for men). Seth Rogan stays on as his Brandy who will obviously hand out passes or something tonight at elimination.
In the library (as if my competition could read), we are presented our challenge: to pretend we’re schoolgirls and present our best argument to get out of detention. Of course, we all interpret ‘schoolgirl’ as if it’s Halloween. And while other girls writhe on the floor sans panties in a puddle of bisexual tequila, I try to impress Marc Jacobs by balancing a stack of books on my head and reciting the Obama inaugural address. I feel this is a better strategy than trashing my competitors because Becky “Buckwild” has already shanked two other chicks and I may be next.
We don’t find out who won the challenge yet, because there needs to be the prerequisite solo date. On our date, Marc Jacobs and I sit in a hot tub surrounded by tubs of cool whip, which Seth Rogan is somewhere salivating over. Marc told me that he thought my ass looked immaculate in my skirt, and I look at him quite plainly and say, “aren’t you gay?”
He replies, “uh, I’m an American fashion legend. Of course, I’m gay. I’m fucking fabulous.”
And then we make out, I wake up, and eat copious amounts of candy in celebration of the resurrection of Christ.
1. Dating is hard.
Using my collegiate career in marketing and studies by Reinartz and Kumar, I have learned that it is less strenuous to retain a significant other than it is to prospect for new ones. When my immediate networks were getting a little threadbare in the attractive mate section, I played with okcupid for a tiddle and found that to be a momentous disaster, fraught with Jeff Goldblum lookalikes and not-really-lesbian lesbians. And then when you find someone who you’re initially attracted to, you have the awkward task of figuring out what’s wrong with them.
2. Dating is expensive.
Date Night, 6 mo.
Bottle of wine…. $11
Indian Takeout… $30
HGTV marathon… FREE
Date Night, first week
Glass of wine x 4…$32
New Date Outfit…$60
3. Long-term means low maintenance.
I remember the first time my magnificent other told me I had a visible booger, and then got it for me. There’s a lot less self-consciousness as time goes on. You learn to pee with the door open. Drama is significantly reduced and less brain space can be devoted fretting on where he is at any given second.
4. It keeps bad guys at bay.
Having a steady beau means never having to make excuses for not spending time with other guys you have no desire to see. For instance, I have a gentleman in my life that has requested to be first on the list when I’m single. If I’m not ever single, then I won’t have to be straightforward and say “actually, I’m not interested in you outside of bubble tea and literary discussions.” In the meantime, we can have a lovely time discussing Salinger, during the daytime, in public.
5. I have a surplus of cotton undies.
Personally, I think plain white cotton undies are pretty sexy in an understated way, but I understand that many men would disagree. I would estimate that 90% of my underwear collection is cotton-based, meaning my limited arsenal of pretty, lacy, frilly, impractical underwear largely inhibits frequent flings. Because the opposite is true of my little sister’s panty assemblage, I can deduce that more than one young lad has seen her britches in the last couple of months.
6. It feels fuzzy.
Best friend you can make out with? Awesome.
I brought in the year with a bang, glass table. Plucked paper lemon trees, duct taped, extras cut and added when the weather warms. Del wrapped me sunshine in a solar paneled mason jar for when it gets dark and I want to seem candle-lit. (Girls peek confident when candle-lit, keeps bad guys at bay). Mideast feast munchies, yes please.
Heppy Bersday sung by three Japanese sushi-rice-smiling waitresses, in blue, with little sister. I blew out one previously used glittery pink candle atop a scoop of green tea ice cream, forgot to make a wish.
Daddy passed high school sweetheart class rings, inscribed, to the eldest, saying “she should have been your mother, the one who got away.”
Thanks all who shared my birthday with me! xo
This morning, you dressed yourself in plaid not stripes, and the choice you made was right. Every daring confession and dinosaur dream mumbled in vulnerable unconsciousness was said just in time and with poignant purpose. You choose one city of elaborate architecture over another and immediately you are where you belong.
The world spins, supposedly, with gravitational, tidal and convectional intention to keep our feet on earth. Have faith that Newtonian apples fallen were meant to cause revelation. Let the exclusion of stripes strip the reservation from plaid. Forget buyer’s remorse.
And I know well enough that you measure jumps with yard sticks, calculating distances, parabolas, on Excel spreadsheets, risk versus reward- graphed in pies and lines, tabulated. But sometimes when you’re too high to see the paths below splitting with just an inkling of where you should land, you should just maybe hold your breath and jump. Land infallibly- you always do.
You know that Mac app where you can distort your face all crazy? What. the. fuck. The other night me and the boy sat in front of his computer, his lap numb from me parking my fat ass on it, making the most absurd faces at his computer. We made aliens, and camels, and today he showed me the birth scene he made after I went to bed. And we did this happily for the greater part of an hour.
If I weren’t doing it in good company, I would totally petition to get back that hour of my life. But I had a brilliant idea today when I was working -- how funny would it be if you could webcam your friends’ faces as they played with that stupid app? They would be so embarrassed. And being a good friend, you would conveniently send them the youtube link where you’ve already uploaded this hilarity for the larger online community. Try explaining that video to your parents who still aren’t sure how to program numbers into their cellular telephones.
And can we talk about some of the options? Yay! you no longer need any photoshop skills to make yourself into a comic book character, or put yourself in an aquarium scene, or my personal favorite, pop “art” of yourself. (Warhol would have loved this) Can you imagine the first people that invented the computer, the kind that took up entire rooms, and have to explain to them?
Just judging by the stupid shit I did to make that camel face, I can imagine how creative some people get. (Confession: I smooshed my boobs together using the fish eye lens to see what it would look like if I got fake titties. (and I hate that MSWord tells me that ‘titties’ is spelled wrong, because I’m 100% sure it’s not))
Why hasn’t someone been punk’d by this yet?
DISCLAIMER: the male figure in these pictures is fictional representation. Any resemblance to any person living or dead is coincidental. This person is definitely not running for public office in the future. So forget you saw it here.
I had the pleasure of working the front desk Saturday morning, and at 9am I bid farewell to a harem of girls dressed in green terrycloth dresses and green eyeliner shamrock tattoos. They looked beautiful, and I’m glad they didn’t wear coats so that I could see more of their outfits. They were home and passed out by 3. lightweights.
My favorite Erin Express memory this year (which I’ll cherish because so many will not have any memory of this day), was when I was walking to the library around 2pm. A girl was crying because she had peed on her own Uggs while a Public Safety officer tried to pull her out of a bush, in front of the library’s giant glass windows, which face Market Street.
Like maybe I’m a dowdy old hag who would rather work on her research papers than rehash stout and scrambled eggs, but isn’t this holiday a wee bit silly?
(Get it? Wee?)
Erin Express is kinda cheap and trashy if done right, but if you’re looking for something for uncool people- you’ll find me doing $5 carbombs at J.L. Sullivan’s this Tuesday after work, in my sensible heels and slacks.
About a month ago, I was standing on campus handing out condoms with labels that read “Save the Wood.” It was my ever-clever membership campaign for Sierra Club. A fine gentleman came up to me and handed a couple condoms back to me and told me he didn’t need them- which was quite brazen, I thought.
“Don’t you think you’re encouraging pre-martial sex?”
And this is how I met John. He asked me a couple questions about my religious beliefs as I continued to hand out rubbers to strangers. He seemed particularly concerned that I did not believe in heaven or hell, and my ideas about premarital sex were quite liberal. After 10 minutes, he left and said he would check out Sierra Club. Yeah, right, dude.
But he did. And afterwards we had a long conversation about our individual beliefs. He’s an evangelical christian, which I nearly had a “virtual baby” over. According to John, if you get a hard-on, you’ve had sex, and thusly have sinned. Additionally, very few people get into heaven because we’re all filthy adulterous sinning thieves. And if he had to console a woman who had just had an abortion he would simply say, “It’s not the first time you’ve killed someone” because technically she (and everyone else) has killed Christ too.
In short, we have very few things in common, except that we both find the Flying Spaghetti Monster hilarious. (personally, I think it’s the creation of pretentious atheists who love picking on scrawny christians. So dick.)
Because John came and checked out my tree-hugging crew, I was obligated to check out his bible-thumping crew: Campus Crusade for Christ. As soon as I walked into the meeting, there was a huge banner and those flags you see at used car dealerships. It was a Christ Carnival. Walking towards the front of the room, I was greeted by literally every person I passed. At last I found John and he told me that I could sit next to Holly. Well I sat down, and within five minutes, Holly moved her shit to another seat. She could smell my heathenism, and it smelled like Origins’ ginger perfume, burrito, and pheromones.
The meeting started off with everyone standing (now I remember why I disliked church: you just can’t casually sit and bear it. There’s all sorts of sitting-standing-kneeling-standing involved). So the Crusaders have their own house band, and John’s the drummer. Everyone sang along to a couple songs about loving Jesus, the guitarist frequently interjecting things like “All together now! Jesus we love you!”and “We are not worthy!”
Then my favorite part: Prayer Points!
And this is not something you cut off your Jesus Wheaties box and mail in for a free t-shirt. Prayer points were things you should pray for, in groups. So I found three random dudes to pray with. One guy introduced himself as “JC” and I couldn’t help but say “Oh! Like Jesus Christ!” He didn’t seem to get it. When JC suggested that I take the “help sinners bear fruit in Christ” bullet point, I politely asked the skinniest christian to do it for me, being that I was new and all. Pretty much this is the script for prayer points:
“Dear Lord, I just want to thank you for your grace, and bringing me to you, Father. I want to pray for ___(Insert Prayer Point)____. Father,_____________. Dear Lord, we are nothing in your glory, Father,” etc. etc.
After prayer points, there was a speaker on how to live an evangelical lifestyle and how to convince unbelievers to come to the christian community. He gave an outline of questions to use to engage unbelievers, and god damn it, it was the same script John used to get me there in the first place! So much for going as the open-minded atheist. I was duked.
After the speaker, there were some more prayer points. And more singing.
Now it’s two hours later, and really, I’ve had all the Christ I can take for one evening, so I tell John politely that I have to leave. Later he would email me to thank me for coming out and to invite me and a guest to “35,” one of the Crusade houses for a potluck dinner. I plan on asking my atheist other if he would like to go to the epicenter of organized evangelical Christianity, a plate of vegan tacos in hand.
This past weekend I was in Washington DC for PowerShift 2009. IT WAS FUCKING AWESOME.
“Civil Rights, Hip Hop and the New Eco-Equity Movement” was by far the best workshop. Reverend Lennox Yearwood put some fire in our bellies (at 9am) and I’m furthermore convinced that I want to drop out of college, move to Oakland, and sell my soul to Van Jones.
But after three days in our national’s capitol, I have come to another important realization, one that has implications for my own personal life: Washington has no soul. Cool people who go to Washington DC will inevitably be drained of whatever made them unique and special in the first place.
See, the boy has been accepted at Georgetown Law, and at first I was super stoked because Washington seemed like a cool town that I’d like to visit. Plus I guess it’s a pretty good school or something.
But then I had to pay $10 for a Cosi salad, which angered me some. And then I realized that everyone is a sad walking Brooks Brothers suit, aged 30-50 years. Even at a café called “Bus Boys and Poets,” the people were dreadfully one-dimensional. Also, the White House is not so cool, which is kinda surprising.
I think much of this stems from the fact that Washington is a city carried by diplomats, while Philly is rooted by immigrants. There is no cheesesteak equivalent in DC. It’s a third of the size of Philadelphia, and there’s no “cool” part of town. A block of Chinatown was kinda groovy- you can even get duck blood with scallion and ginger there. Oh la la.
So I know this post is fraught with self-serving intentions (DON’T GO! GEORGETOWN, BAD), but seriously, Washington DC is not that cool when Reverend isn’t there. Not even Obama can make it look less… pasty.
Likely, you are reading this because:
- I sent you the link
- a friend sent you the link
- it was featured somewhere and you randomly checked it out amidst thousands of other blogs
- you’re a lesbian who’s into social networking
If you fit into the above criteria and you dig me, I dig you. Welcome to the Yukon Tickertape. If you do not fit into these criteria, you are source for suspect. Tread carefully.
This is kinda feels like that time when a past love got really upset because I casually mentioned on this blog that I found a complete stranger attractive. Well, he was good looking. I can say such things without prosecution- online or off. And similarly, six months ago, I realized this other person was totally not for me for a variety of reasons that I outlined quite comically. (or at least I thought so)
The fact of the matter is that I speak truths, son. I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings. I know your outlook towards the opposite sex is already iffy. Girls are mean, even the nice ones. It’s a good thing that you learn this now while you’re young.
p.s. stop texting me, please.
p.p.s. my man doesn't apprec
This was humor. And the thought of my aging grandparents, laughing together in a bed they’ve shared for fifty years, well, that was love.
I let my robe drop. I wasn’t sure when to stop the faucet, not knowing how much water my body would displace. I took inventory: my legs to the knee are quite long- 2.5 hand spans’ worth, but not very wide (four gallons displaced maybe?), a stomach full of wine (nearly a bottle’s worth), hips and thighs (a quite meaty section)… better stop the water now. The water was hot enough to scald feathers off. I laid out the towels, the bubble bath, some candles, a cup of tea with an exorbitant amount of honey- like this was some ritualistic baptism. I had to break the surface slowly, already my feet were pink.
Submerged to the neck, I read some heroin-Dexedrine-Methedrine-influenced Ginsberg (as if there were any other kind), but I put it down after I finished “Howl.” I know some chick with “Howl” tattooed across her wrist. I wonder if this is where it’s from. Probably.
Dexedrine. Methedrine. Heroin. Soup.
Dexedrine. Methedrine. Heroin. Soup.
Dexedrine. Methedrine. Heroin. Soup.
In researching for my thesis on the publishing history of On the Road for my out of control English class, I’ve falling truly, madly, deeply in love with Jack Kerouac. I’ve always been pretty convinced that I was supposed to exist during the fifties as a housewife with a wild side, but I’m more convinced than ever that I’m a reincarnation of one of his muses—I think maybe Edie Parker.
So I’m doing all this research on Jack, reading 1957 New York Times reviews, navigating the original scroll, planning my own roadtrip, when I get to a blurb about the Shepherd. The Shepherd was a bar I frequented in high school with my then musician boyfriend. I really dug it then- it’s a dive with a huge bookshelf, and an owner who (when you’re really trashed and feeling intellectual) will read you passages from his book on the duality of man. It turns out, however, that the Shepherd is an official shrine to Kerouac. Also, it’s right next to Paterson, where Kerouac started his On the Road trip. This clearly is a sign that our love was meant to be.
Prerequisite: Have a valentine. Generally people who don’t have a valentine on Valentine’s Day are bitter.
Step 1: Make your valentine a valentine. And write something witty and meaningful on it. This is what I wrote on mine:
Now daddy comin' home
And I'm lookin' for a little bit of action
I be comin' through wanna do that thang
Let me bless you with thug passion
Step 2: Cover your valentine’s door in those little word candy hearts, but don’t forget to eat all the ones that say stuff about love and getting married.
Step 3: Get sexy. Wear a dress that other bitches will hate you for. Wear minimal underwear. Repaint your nails. Spend an extra minute on your eye makeup.
Step 4: Go to Red Lobster for dinner. You may be surprised at this one, but there are several reasons why this is a good idea:
a.You’ll generally look better than 90% of the other chicks there
b. You can watch the dunk contest on ESPN while you sip the house red (which is, like, $4/glass)
Step 5: Have another glass (or three) of wine when you get home while watching Talk Soup. Joel Hale is hilarious, but do not be intimidated by all the big-breasted skanks of VH1/MTV reality television.
Step 6: get some.
Step 7: Retire early, and make sure you snag your favorite pillows. This is the only day of the year where you are allowed to take all the good pillows for yourself without your valentine complaining.
Step 8: Supposedly talk about how you “want to go see the dinosaurs in 3-D” in your sleep.
Step 9: Make eggs over easy with the leftover Red Lobster biscuits that you stole the night before. Daddy told you to bring the big bag, and now you know why. [Oven at 350 for 5-8 minutes]
NOTE: Only call your valentine ‘Daddy’ if you’re not really serious and because it’s funny in an Alabama kind of way.
Today Darwin celebrates his 200th birthday. I was absolutely horrified to read today that about half of Americans believe that humans were created by God in their present form. (Does this correspond to the approximately 45% of Americans that voted McCain?)
I was thinking today about survival of the fittest. And although I would totally buy my man, Chuck Darwin, a beer, I have a bit of a qualm. I don't think "survival of the fittest" is accurate. It should be something more like “survival of the most willing to spread their legs.” Let’s face it, those willing to spread their legs are spreading their seed, and you know who’s not spreading? Apparently people like me.
That doesn’t mean that I’m not ya know-ing (Valentine’s Day is also right around the bend), but my Grandmother made a point a couple years ago to formally request that I have children—for society. Half of her reasoning was because “the Blacks” and “the Hispa…latinos or whatever” are populating a lot faster than white people. (please forgive her non-PC-ness. She's old) The other half of her reason was that typically the more successful a person is, the less likely they are to have children, or to postpone having children until their lazy dusty eggs are defunct and they’re forced to an Angelina-Jolie-esque adoption spree.
I took this as a compliment and foresight of my incredible future success. (thanks, Grandmama!)
Or if not “survival of the most willing to spread their legs,” then definitely at least “survival of the prettiest.” Being completely realistic, which of the following classic stereotypes is more likely to get their swerve on: the frumpy, super-smart girl or the is-chicken-of-the-sea-chicken? hot idiot.
Idiot, exactly. And this isn’t just limited to humans. The often plainly colored females (birds, fish, bugs) look for the most brightly colored males to sperm her eggs. Is he smarter? Who knows, who cares, he’ll make cute babies. And how often have I heard this in real life?
You’d be surprised. As a woman, I have heard my fellow birthers express this exact sentiment. I mean, why would I water down my hot genes with a stupid law degree?? I don’t want your ugly nerd baby.
We can’t force the sterilization of idiots because that would be unethical, and we’d lose a lot of biodiversity. Though on the bright side, Darwin has explained why as a society we’ve gotten increasingly sexier. And this is true if you happen to get your hands on a yearbook from as early as 1950.
By far this was my favorite:
My mom is dating Barack Obama. For publicity purposes, she and I have to spend lots of time together and act as if we’re each other’s best friends. (In real life, I haven’t spoken to my mother for nearly six years). So they’re planning their wedding, buying a house, and dragging me along. I’m obviously not thrilled.
We’re having dinner at TGIFridays, which is weird when you consider Obama’s the president and all, and Friday’s is kinda gross. All the attention he gets is annoying. Fucking Tracy Morgan comes right over to our table.
“Yo Obama! Yo I love you Obama, man. I donated, like, five dollaz to your campaign. Come to my show sometime, man”
(and this is exactly how Tracy Morgan talks)
Tracy Morgan leaves, finally, and Obama gets up to go to the bathroom. Since he’s going to be my stepfather, I ask my mother what I should be calling him. I’m certainly not going to call Barack Obama 'Daddy' (ya know, because he is kinda handsome and I want to outwardly avoid mixing kink and our President... publicly) And “hey, Barack, can I borrow ten bucks to go to the movies” sounds weird.
“Like what am I supposed to call him?” I ask.
My mother replies, “You can just call him Ricky”
And this sounds like a perfectly acceptable answer to me.
Don’t get me wrong, I am super stoked for him, but this whole ‘wow you’re like the cat’s meow’ is making me feel inadequate, like perhaps he (gasp) ‘settled.’ But I am far from an underachiever! My GPA is near perfect, I’m the officer of three student organizations, I work 15 hours a week for an economic development firm, I volunteer and recycle, and I’m a nice person who regularly bakes goodies for her small and accommodating circle of friends.
Kat von D tried this cleanse on her show so I think it’s okay. She passed out, but whatever. I think I’m more hardcore than some chick that has a gold tooth and not a square inch of untatted hide. Totally, man.
If I don’t continue to at least semi-regularly update, there’s a good chance I passed out in the shower and drown. Wish me luck.
What is your life vision?
Really?? After several hundred false attempts, this is what I have. This is my life's vision:
We live our lives by our own philosophies, benchmarking against own expectations, deciding when the box is fit to be checked. And what’s the big deal about D anyway? Is D the goal? Is Z? Or is it simply to learn the alphabet? At what point are you satisfied enough to fly your ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner?
It would be nice to leave accredited from this institution of higher learning, would be nice to go on to get shinier degrees with more elaborate frames, would be nice to make six, seven, eight figures, but my vision is not to be student, nor planet-saver, nor wife to bear beautiful children. My vision is rather simple: to be 20/20. My vision is to live stories worth re-telling.
How do you justify 13,000 feet of falling, holding the hands of someone you hardly know; swimming in the Atlantic, in January, twice; or sleeping on the plastic-lined couches of strangers. What rationale do you use to explain biking across the state with nothing but a twenty, a jar of peanut butter and a bouquet of flowers; eating a box of clementines waiting for the sun to rise, with sand in hair. They were stories to share and things I saw when I remembered to not blink too much.
If these pressing economic times persist, I’ll still have a pocketful of gems for the willing ear, which may be more than your eight-figure job and your hand-carved frames. Really, it’s all about ROI.
We are so often told to look to the future, to the horizon, to beyond. We are recommended to plan, often meticulously, the highways which will assumingly eventually lead us to a goal, or to the end of a continent. In such a case, I can only recommend a swim.
A new study by UK’s leading sociologists have concluded that if you want to find happiness in later life, it is best to avoid puppy love altogether.
I don’t usually like to include characters from my own personal love life as examples (unless you’re this guy… or this guy), mostly because I promised them I wouldn’t, and it’s tacky. But I will say that those Brits are onto something. I may or may not have been with someone in the maybe not so distant past, in which there may have been a hypothetical relationship largely based on butterflies, of the intestinal sort.
In the end, it was him, not me, and maybe we loved, but weren’t in love. (or something like that)
I can’t say that my current relationship is in any way shadowed by the shallow affections and junior highness of that former flame, but I’ve learned that puppy love is a lot of work, and a lot of compromise, and prime brain real estate, and a lot of undeserved fawning.
Puppy love is fucking stressful, and let’s face it, nothing good ever comes of it. I’m ready for relationships based on, I dunno, maturity, respect, realistic expectations, communication and all those other things Cosmo says. Also, I’m ready to trade in hallway notes for other fun presents. I’m the farthest thing from a needy girlfriend, but sometimes girls like presents. And like L’Oreal, I’m worth it.
To quote one of my dearest friends: Imma get mine, in ’09. amen.
Praise be to Jesus, this is my last term of a full workload. After signing up for three marketing classes and "Competive Advantage and Strategic Management," I thought I'd use one of my electives on something that would be fun, relatively easy, interesting... English "The Beat Fifties."
Sounds groovy, right? I have the fondest memories sitting in Ms. Rosalind Jones' AP English class in the spring, with the windows open, the urge for munchies just subsiding- discussing metaphor in Siddharta. Oh, it was beautiful! Nine beautiful nerds sitting in a circle trying to get in Hesse's head, and seven out of nine of those beautiful nerds received the highest score on the AP exam. Those other two degenerates got 4/5.
Fast forward to this morning's class, a veritable collection of barely-there potheads, embittered chicks in combat boots, and a guy who shows up half an hour late to a 50-minute class and probably hasn’t bathed in recent history. Whatever, dude, they're artists. Now the professor goes on her anti-organized religious rant, and something about "making dirty sex to the dark woman."
Chick in the front row, can you tell us the setting of this novel?
"It's just... it's just fuckin hell. Everyone is so pretty and clean with their polo shirts and white picket fences. It's fuckin miserable. Everyone is just pretending they're happy, but deep down, they fuckin hate themselves and everything they're pretending to be. So fake."
Yeah, thanks Chick-in-the-Front-Row. 'Westport, CT' would have been an acceptable answer too.
And why are you so damn bitter, Chick-in-the-Front-Row!? Your major simply requires you to lie in bed and read. Also, it’s not like the books have gotten progressively more difficult as you’ve gone through college. If you are literate, I think you’re going to be okay. And paying 40k a year to read poems at a well-respected engineering school? Well, maybe you should be the one taking a couple business courses…
Here, I wrote you a haiku:
Why are you so damn loathsome?
Reading isn’t hard.
Author’s Note: I don’t hate on all English majors. Just the self-righteous, bitter ones who aren’t honest with themselves.