Tuesday, October 5, 2010


This December, my parents will have been married fifty years. I took this picture on my trip home last month. My mom is now rarely conscious for long. Every day, my dad drives about 20 miles round trip just to visit her for an hour. What a gift to know I never have to question whether I've seen and known love.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Today's Observation

Seeing an elderly homeless man asleep on a park bench, who happens to look like latter years Chet Baker, is triple the sad.

And since I already brought down the mood, enjoy some Chet Baker.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Once More With Feeling

I can't think of any surer argument for the existence of past lives than the deep soul-weariness you can sometimes just make out in the eyes of children when confronted with stupid rules. It's as if the very soul itself is asking, "Again with this bullshit?"

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Simple Point

One of the things I love about being a Lady and that I love, in general, about other Ladies is that you can totally tell at a a glance how pretty we feel to be wearing fall clothes. Gentleman, note our strut. We have boots and we are happy about them. There is a good chance there is a Story behind our outfit in the fall. Whether that story is I-think-I look-charmingly-jejune-and-Parisian-in-this-striped-boatneck-shirt or simply 'I am happy to wear things that cover my arms' this narrative is fucking palpable.

So rich in narrative and fecund in potential is the fall season, often the fervor will spill over into a hoarding of new office supplies, about which don't get me started. Don't even get me started.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Things For Which My Dad and I Have Very Disparate Levels of Tolerance

The proximity of fly swatters to where we're eating

Highway driving speeds

Fox News

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Oh, Let's Dance Slow


People who choose to stay home on a Saturday night watching Jules and Jim deserve all the melancholy that's coming to them.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Compliments I've Received At My Job

Best Compliment: "You look like a regular person Angelina Jolie." -12 year old girl

Worst Compliment: "Wow, you sure can lift heavy things! You'd be just the kind of sturdy woman that would be great at missionary work." - Middle aged man

Ickey Shuffle: A Critical Response

I'm revving up to go home and I thought I should do some research. It's been awhile. Maybe things have changed, you know? I watched this video in preparation over seven times in toto and I have some thoughts.

1. If your intention is to start a dance craze, at some point (and probably early on), you should demonstrate the dance. People like to participate.

2. Lightning Effect should be used sparingly.

3.The guy in the white is a better rapper than the main guy. Don't get excited. That's a relative compliment. It's like comparing two grocery carts. I mean, I'm not really excited about either one, but I'll take the one without the bad wheel.

4.The white lady making duck face and throwing deuces should be used sparingly. Even more so than Lightning Effect. This is important.

5. The best part of this video is the little girl that dances into the frame around the minute thirty mark.

6. The worst part of this video is every other moment.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Editorial Hairshirt

I just realized I've had a word misspelled on the homepage of this blog for over a year. I hate myself a little. I'm sorry to all my readers if my mistake caused you in any way to doubt this blog's editorial integrity. Just kidding. There's actually very little integrity. Mea culpa, dudes.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Shouts, Murmurs, Side Eyes

Nobody makes more compelling cultural observations than children. Having spent 8 weeks with 80+ kids every moment of my work day (and actually eating lunch with one arm protectively draped over my food, the little thieves), I say you can keep your Dick Gregory, because nobody keeps it honest or chock full of potentially offensive non-sequiturs like them. Here's some of the choicer samples:

Scene: Two bi-racial children talking to one another quietly about being bi-racial.
Boy: "You know what's weird?"

Girl: "What?"
Boy: "That your mom's black."
Girl: "Wait....why is that weird?"
Boy: "Seriously?"

Little boy:"Sam.....Sam....Sam....Sam"
Me: "Yep?"
LB: "Do you want me to teach you how to say 'I love you' in Filipino?"
Me: "Shoot"
LB: "Te amo mucho."
Me: "....um....I'm not sure tha-...ok, cool!"
LB: "Do you wanna learn the word for food?"
Me: "Very much."
LB: "Chicken Adobo"
Me: ".........okay, thanks."

Next day:
LB: "Sam! I got it wrong! The word for 'love' is 'mahal'!"
Me: "Sweet! Thanks for letting me know."
LB: "Do you want to know who mahals you?"
Me: "......you?"
LB: "No! I don't love you!!!!!JEEEEEEEEEESUS! It's Jesus that loves you!"
Me: "My bad."

Scene: Little boy wearing his t-shirt over his face and hiding in a corner.
Me: "What are you doing, man?"
Boy: "Hiding from Nick."
Me: "Why, sweetie?"
Boy: "Because I'm a NINJA!"
Me: "Ok, well that makes sense."
Boy: "And because Nick's Mexican!"
Me: "Wait, back it up. What?"
Boy: "Only Mexicans can detect ninjaaaaaaas!"
Nick (from around the corner): "It's true."
Me: "OK, sounds good."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


At the American Amusement Machine Association's International Bowl Expo 2010, this happened.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The One Where I Just Lift an Exchange Directly from Facebook and I Wasn't Even the One Saying the Funniest Stuff

I think your New Yorker Rejection Robot story should be disseminated more widely. The world needs to know.

I know--we'll send the New Yorker Rejection Robot story TO THE NEW YORKER
The Rejection Robot will short-circuit, it is not programmed to handle so much Meta

The imagery of the t-rex. Priceless.

I debated putting that in there, I thought "What if the New Yorker finds it"

The New Yorker isn't looking. Reader's Digest is watching us all, but not the New Yorker.

The New Yorker doesn't know about the internet yet, thank God; imagine the porn it would be looking at

All James Thurber fucking Roz Chast on the back of a horse, all Woody Allen pouring milk on his face, all Malcom Gladwell tasting a mushroom

All David Mamet rimming Steve Martin's banjo.


Ooo good one

All Jonathan Safran Foer jerking off onto a rose--through the miracle of time-lapse he climaxes just at the moment the rose opens

Ha! All John Edgar Wideman sexing the 'O' of the University of Iowa campus sign.

All Wallace Shawn/William Shawn incest scenarios

God this is endlessly generative

May the riffing never end

Jack I know you're up for this, it's the reason you were born

Seriously. Don't make us do all the work. Like Robert Pinksky directing a dwarf snuff film. 'Anybody Can Die.....'

All Updike/Cheever boiler room caresses

Yeah! Rim shots all around!

I can't even tell you how much the Devil wants me to post this conversation

I should be so lucky.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

If You're Sexy and You Know It

I feel like there's too many songs with special instructions just for sexy people. There's a lot of dangerous subjectivity that's possible with that.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Nothing to add here .

Thursday, June 17, 2010

On the Alleged Unattractiveness of Pau Gasol

Here's the thing: It's all about context. On the court, yes, he is profoundly unattractive; defiantly so. However,you get a few drinks in you (and by 'you,' I mean me), you're on vacation in Spain, a lanky man in maybe like a J Crew heather grey rollneck sweater smiles impishly at you from behind a foreign newspaper at a corner brasserie (maybe it's the South of France, I don't know), you're going to think he's attractive.

And, come on, he used to wear braces.

Textual Feeling

So for some time, my friend Jack and I have been on a quest to think of the most irritating and/or passive aggressive thing one can say to another person during an argument. We believe we may have a winner, but I'll save that for later.

In the meantime, I just want to reflect on yesterday's personal confusion as to how to respond in a situation wherein you try to give back a jacket to someone who loaned you one awhile back and they respond by saying, "Oh, that's way too big for me now. You should keep it!" Really? Is that how this is going to go down?

But back to the topic at hand.With some input from our friend Kiley, here is the list of what Jack and I deem the most irritating things one can say to another person during the course of a disagreement.

Text: "I just don't think you're ready to talk about this."
Subtext: "The problem is you. You are the problem here."

Text: "I guess I've just outgrown it" (said in response to something you still like or do and which is seen as frivolous or juvenile by another party, e.g. seeing live music or still wanting to fly home for major holidays.
Subtext: "Really, I'm pretty lofty."

Text: "I'm sorry you think you feel that way."
Subtext: "I'm not really sorry and furthermore, disavow your right to even own your own emotions, you total jagweed."

So there it is. If you can think of any others, I would love to hear them. I promise, I'll never outgrow this.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Wherein Kmart is Discussed in My Blog a Second Time

So, here's what I saw in the ten minutes I was inside a Kmart today:

1. A child with one arm, who was (astoundingly) not the child with one arm who lives across the street from me and sometimes jumps out in front of my car as a particularly Lynchian prank as I'm backing up.I'm really not trying to make fun, but I've only seen two kids with only one arm in my 32 years and both in my neighborhood within the last month. HOW?

2. A lady was standing off to the side of the customer service counter in such a way that conveyed she has already been helped. I made the "Are you next?" gesture, which she shrugged off. A full 3-5 minutes pass. Right before I get to the front of the line and (2.A) right after the guy in front of me yelled at the clerk in what I believe was Vietnamese and then stormed off, the staring lady says, very quietly "I would like someone to please call 911 for me" at exactly the same time I say "I need a key made." Then, I think the clerk did what we would all do in that situation, he turns to the lady and says "Why? What's the problem?" I mean, isn't that what you would do, act bitchy and incredulous and kind of put out? He then (!) instructs me they can make a key for me at register 11, to which I reply "Um. Are you going to help her?" He then grudgingly (double !!) hands her the phone to call herowndamnself.

3. A different clerk, while making my key: "I hate this place."

Ten minutes, people. Ten minutes.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

You Tell Him I'm Coming

When watching this scene from one of my favorite movies, The Limey, it's important to remember Terence Stamp is avenging his daughter's death. And that the terrible acting of those guys who throw him on the ground isn't really so terrible when one considers how many people like that one has probably actually met in one's life (especially if one is from Ohio).

I'd like to think I'm a kind person and I try hard to treat everyone well, but not a week goes by that I don't imagine myself screaming "Tell him I'm coming. Tell him I'm fucking comiiiiiiiiing!" at someone in my head.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Nota Bene

Have I ever mentioned I legitimately invented a sandwich? I used to work with this guy that deep fried PB&J's on plain old Wonderbread and I suggested that instead, he should use sourdough, Nutella, banana slices and shredded coconut, with a sprinkling of powdered sugar on top. He now sells those at state fairs and makes more money than I do. If I never accomplish anything else in my life (and that is increasingly likely), I want you to put this shit in my obituary.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Allow me to use this public forum to admit that not only have I considered, but also researched, the kinds of panic disorders and associated symptoms one would need to present to a physician in order to qualify for a service dog I could take with me everywhere and against whom no landlord could legally discriminate. My dogschmerz is so piqued these days.

Don't even start. I know.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Funniest Conversation I've Ever Overheard Teenage Boys Having About Me At My Job

Boy #1: That girl is bad.
Boy #2 (misunderstanding): No, she's not, she's white.
Boy #1: I didn't call her black, fool. I said she was bad.
Boy #2: Who, Sam? That's disgusting, man.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hero of the Week

Recently, one of the local high schools has instituted a new punitive homework policy, which basically amounts to a lunchroom detention with a snazzy new acronym: Z.A.P. I don't know what it stands for and we all know it doesn't matter.

So, one of my students, a 10th grader I've known since she was in middle school recently lost her mom after a long illness. Very recently. She's dealing with it, but isn't it hard to ever take high school seriously much less after undergoing something as painful as that? I was talking with her yesterday and she told me how she got into some trouble this week for the following exchange as she was walking to lunch:

Administrator: "Did you do your homework? Don't get ZAPPED!"
Student, scowling: "Oh, go to hell."

Student, I salute you.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

There's Such a Thing As Laughing Too Much

I'm starting a new regular blog feature wherein I extract snippets of offensive Yahoo Relationships articles that greet me each morning. It's great because they're nearly all offensive but with the added bonus of essentially being found art. Plus, I probably don't even have to change the title. Yahoo Relationships is wholly sufficient:

It's no shocker that
Women are known
For judging others

But did you ever think men
Might be guilty
Of it too?
If your friends aren’t

On the same
Win-him-over page
As you are, head to your own
Of the bar.
There’s such a thing
As laughing too much.

Very Continental

The continental breakfast seems to be one of those concepts far, far removed from its original source. I've done some research on this topic tonight and made a great deal of headway, thanks to WikiAnswers:

"Question: How did the continental breakfast get its name?
Answer: Because it was continental"

Ah so!

So, assuming the root of this means "from the Continent" and assuming further that, Edith Wharton-style, that equals Europe, it would be a pretty European breakfast, right? So what part of that involves hunching bleary-eyed over a waffle maker, dispensing runny orange juice into a thimble-sized tumbler and reading USA Today with a room full of strangers? I've never been to the continent of Europe, but it sounds kind of stupid to me.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Random Memory, Pt. 3

Once, when I worked at a bookstore, a male co-worker of mine had a crush on my then boyfriend. It was actually less a crush than an unsettling infatuation. It was actually less an unsettling infatuation than a constant and ever-radiating Nordic sun of awkwardness, beaming disconcertingly from the guy all the time. Soon, the boyfriend, and object of his misguided affection, decided to move to Germany and leave us all behind. This was(and this can't be overstated) best for everyone involved.

But before this could happen, the infatuated co-worker wanted to talk to me. Privately.He took me aside to a corner of the store (between gay erotica and Joseph Campbell)to tell me he would like to perform a special ceremony for the boyfriend before he left. And he would like to perform the ceremony for me to make sure I was comfortable with it.He lit a candle and read me the letter he wrote to my boyfriend about how much he loved him. And we are still there, mid-shift and wedged between Iron John and Tom of Finland and I don't know what to say. He has tears in his eyes.

"I think I have to go back to work," I say, because I'm just not sure what else there is to say.