celebrity, Humor, music, pop culture, social media

THE RETURN OF SNAKELOR SWIFT

Taylor Swift is serving the world Ouroboros realness.


ALERT: AS I WAS UPLOADING THIS, TAYLOR HAS ANNOUNCED HER NEW ALBUM, “REPUTATION” OUT NOV. 10 AND THE FIRST SINGLE WILL BE OUT ON FRIDAY. THIS IS CRAZY.


If you DID have friends in middle school and DID NOT take up reading Greek mythology because you were gay, un-athletic and (for some reason) deeply embarrassed to talk to girls, then you might be unaware of the Ouroboros.

Originating in Egyptian mythology before being adapted and adopted into antiquity lore, the Ouroboros is an image of a snake eating its own tail (ourá = “tail,” bóros = “devouring”). It’s meant to symbolize introspection, infinite rebirth, or (in blunter terms) constant cycles of destruction and life.

Continue reading

Standard
Humor, Politics, pop culture

JARED KUSHNER’S CLOSED-SESSION MEETING WITH SENATE INTELLIGENCE

Jared Kushner, senior adviser to the president, has stated, after his closed-session meeting with Senate intelligence staffers, “I did not collude with Russia.”


Photo source: Bravo via Jezebel


Do you remember when you were a little kid, and you did something wrong (broke a fancy glass; accidentally deleted a work file off your parents’ computer; failed a math test) and you had the rest of the afternoon to figure out a good-enough lie to tell to your parents when they got home?

And when they got home, you totally blew the secret because you told the lie in its shiny, well-packaged entirety before your parents even had a chance to discover what you had accidentally done. “And that’s why I failed that test,” you said, vibrating with your lie.

Your parents gave you a long, measured look before calling you on your shit. And even as you were telling it, you knew that they wouldn’t buy it. The truth is weird and messy and doesn’t make sense. Lies, especially lies that you’ve had enough time to concoct, are too clean.

Continue reading

Standard
Humor, LGBTQ, Pride 2017

THE DEFINITIVE RANKING OF EVERY ICE CREAM BRAND’S SEXUALITY

~Quality Content~

If you’ve ever wondered if anyone else ranks the various sexualities of ice creams (and/or gelatos, frozen yogurts), then you’re in luck. Because I’m here now. And no, I’m not doing this because I couldn’t think of anything else to write and it’s 4:24. 4:25.

Continue reading

Standard
Essay, Humor

A TALE OF TOO SWEATY

Alternately titled “Gland to Meet You” and “Sweaty Pie”


I don’t sweat like a whore in church, I sweat like a brothel in a clown car on the sun.

Over the Easter break, my mother stuffed an Old Navy gift card in my Easter basket. I don’t eat chocolate bars (or bunnies) and I don’t eat jelly beans, so besides Peeps, gift cards are the safest bet. You could argue that I’m too old for Easter baskets, but my response is *plugs ears* “LALACAN’THEARYOU!”

Old Navy holds a special place in my family’s collective heart (we share one, like the Three Fates in Hercules, and pass it around—my turn is next Saturday). Apparently a few years ago they switched designers and that, coupled with the cheap prices and frequent sales, means that in our thrifty household, an Old Navy gift card is Gospel. My mother’s favorite activity is to pick at something you’re wearing and say, “What is this? Where is this from?”

So from Old Navy, I got three shirts. One was simple striped—boring—one was a Golden Girls homage—I’m wearing it right now and I look like the gay Mount Rushmore—and one was a black t-shirt with a Reptar patch stitched above the meat cavity where a heart usually is.

I wore the black shirt twice in one week—I washed it in between, you Judgy Judies—once to a magazine launch party and then to a bar, and once party-hopping in Allston. It’s beyond cute and tres simplistic, but with a touch of early 2000s whimsy (very much my brand right now).

Paired with nondescript chino shorts (Old Navy and J.Crew respectively on the two different nights—yes, I own J.Crew. Intimidated?), Adidas Superstars (now perfectly beaten up, but not too beaten up) and a denim jacket (Amazon), the shirt was great for going out. Simple enough to work, dark enough to be appropriate for nighttime, and an injection of fun to keep it from being monotonous. I put as much thought into my outfits as I do my political coverage—scary.

I figured the black would be perfect because dark colors are generally more forgiving of excessive sweating. This is no secret, I’ve talked about it before, but I sweat more than the average human. I don’t know what dire climate and situation my body thinks I’m in, but there really is no physiological stimulus that requires such a response. I have a theory that because I work out (is it drafty in here from the door I opened to do that backdoor brag?) a lot, my body has assumed that any situation I’m in requires a waterfall to keep me cool. I appreciate that my body is looking out for me, but it’s also kind of ruining my life.

giphy

Source: Giphy

My sweating itself doesn’t bother me that much—it’s like, babe, we all do it—but anticipating the reaction from others about my sweating sends me into…a cold sweat. Then it becomes a vicious cycle until I pass out from dehydration. It began one day in church, when I shook hands to pass along “peace” to my sister, when she recoiled and hissed “Sweaty” in an accusation.

Whether it was the thinness (and breathability) of the cotton, or the particular shade of the black (a subtle charcoal), whether it was just a particular sweaty day for me, the individual reasons don’t matter. What matters was, on both occasions of me wearing the shirt, my body sweat began darkening the fabric, turning that charcoal-black into the black of the unforgivable void, of blackholes. Really sweaty people know that it’s not just the armpits you have to worry about, or the small of your back—that’s amateur hour. Real sweaters have the conspicuous dotting over your chest and stomach, where sweat rolls down slick skin and catches against your skin despite your best efforts to hunch your back and add negative space between your front and the shirt. To no avail.

Even after the sweatiness of Thursday, I wore the shirt Saturday because I’m optimistic and just a little bit stupid. I thought that I could scooch past my destiny, even when the omens had already appeared in my lap. And my back. And my chest. But, I’m being unfair to my own body. Sweating isn’t all bad.

But like I said, I actually don’t care about my sweating that much, besides the mild discomfort of it all. And after a few drinks and some vigorous jumping jacks, I can play it off quite nicely. Sweating? Who me? Oh I guess it’s because I just did some push-ups. You can always pass off sweat as a funky tie-dye pattern. It won’t work, but if sweating has taught me anything, it’s that you don’t quit.

 Sweating is also great for breaking the ice, and that’s not just because salt is corrosive to frozen water.

I’d like to think it’s my good looks, or my height, or my wit, but I’m intimidating to people. So being a sweaty betty is my version of a mole (a la Cindy Crawford) or eyebrows (a la Cara Delevingne) or gap tooth (a la idk various British models)—the slight imperfection that humanizes someone otherwise inhuman. When I crack jokes about being too sweaty, other (less attractive) people find that we have something in common and that I’m relatable. Sweating also keeps me humble, and if you pause at this point and say, “Hey, you’re actually not humble,” then imagine how bad I would be if I had inactive sweat glands. I would be a monster.

So that stupid Reptar shirt actually taught me a lot. It taught me that appearances don’t always matter, that illustrated depictions of prehistoric giant lizards are fraught with misrepresentations, and that charcoal black is not as forgiving as one might assume. It also saved me from embarrassing myself when the party I went to was revealed to have a (previously unknown) theme of “early 2000s”. Luckily I dress in early 2000s wherever I go. Thanks, Reptar!

Side bar: This post is going to be over 1000 words, which I was easily able to crank out about the topic of sweating, but took me several hours to reach when I was profiling a comedy website. Why am I like this?

Standard
Essay, Humor

I LOOKED INTO THE VOID AND THE VOID LOOKED BACK: “Buffalo Exchange Amnesia”

A.k.a. I didn’t recognize somebody; Alternative titles included “I Don’t Know Her: The Danny McCarthy Story,” “Goodall for Nothing: Can’t Recognize Faces” and “Face It”.


I ran into a situation where I was greeted by someone whom I didn’t remember, and my level of unrecognition was so deep that I felt that not only had I never seen this face before, I had never seen any human face before.

Let me back up.

I was going into Allston—think Brooklyn with less gentrification and more rats—to meet up with a friend at Buffalo Exchange and get light-wash shorteralls (a decision that has garnered me much derision).

Buffalo Exchange is a slightly more-curated, one-tier-up version of Goodwill. Hipsters go there to get cheap clothing when they can’t hit the free shipping minimum for Urban Outfitters. So instead of buying some shorteralls online, and not knowing the fit or how much of a blue jean lima bean I would look like—

Side bar: If I ever make a country album, it’ll be called Blue Jean Lima Bean and I’ll have a wheat straw clenched in my teeth.

—I decided to be economically savvy. I would go to Buffalo Exchange and see if they had any shorteralls or overalls (or as I call them ‘pre-shorteralls’). I wanted a kind of folksy, “makes my own soap” Bushwick-Coachella-Rumspringa summer look. Essentially, I aspire to look as Amish as possible at all times.

And in Buffalo Exchange I had my Fifty First Dates-level of amnesia.

Buffalo was packed to the gills. A line of people looking to drop off clothing (for store credit or cash) snaked through the men’s section. After picking up several “Can’t Decide If They’re Ugly or Hip” button-downs, I shifted to the t-shirt rack. As I was figuring out if I hated myself to subject myself to this torture, someone tapped me on the shoulder, the one opposite to the line of people.

I turned towards an older man in a fedora and—I might be exaggerating but I don’t think so—a full three-piece suit. “Izeverthin here a dowla?” he asked.

I literally stared at him. “Um…”

“Izeverythin here a dowla?” he asked again, and I realized he was asking, “Is everything here a dollar?” in a thick Boston accent.

Being rude, I assumed that he didn’t get Buffalo Exchange like I got Buffalo Exchange, so with one hand—my other hand was holding several ugly button-downs—I thumbed the price tag out of the t-shirt he was looking at. “That’s the price–$9.40,” I smiled at him. But he was not satiated.

“No, the sign says a dowla,” he shook his head and pointed over his shoulder at a sign on the wall. I squinted at it: “Earth Day, Everything A Dollar.” But I still didn’t know what to say, so I made a silent “help me” plea to the line behind me of people waiting to drop off clothes.

“Everything in one section was a dollar before 3 p.m.,” a girl—dark hair, olive skin and startlingly light eyes lined in glittery eyeshadow—answered, pulling me out of my misery.

“And it’s,” I said, pulling out my phone, “3:40.”

“One dollar, that’s a good deal,” I remarked to her before turning back to the man. “Sorry.” He grumbled something about “a dowla” again before turning back into his own shopping. “Thanks,” I said to the girl.

“No problem,” she answered brightly before adding, “And by the way, nice to see you again!” and squeezing me genially on the shoulder.

aHhH!” I squeaked at her open, friendly eyes—eyes that I had never, in my entire life, ever seen before. She smiled as I managed to croak out, “You too!!”

Now, I’m very good at faces. It probably comes from being an unathletic gay kid in a Catholic grammar school, but because I didn’t have a lot of friends, I spent a lot of time observing people. And because of that, I’m generally pretty good at remembering faces, even if I’m not that good at remembering names. I’m great at remembering bizarre details—I won’t know your name, but I’ll remember that you hate avocadoes.

The reason I’m bad at names but good at faces is because whenever you’re introducing yourself to me, my mind is going rapid-fire, “I hope my palms aren’t sweaty; don’t squeeze too hard; say your name, you idiot” on and on. But the entire time, I’m staring at your face.

So as I was staring into this black hole of her face—a face I was sure I had never seen before—my mind was frantically pinballing around my recent memory to no avail. Afraid she would try to continue the conversation, I shyly shifted away to another side of the t-shirt rack and studiously avoided her glance.

The reason I was so shaken is because not only was this a face I had no memory of, but clearly she had a very strong memory of me. And since I pride myself on good facial recognition, I suddenly felt as if I wouldn’t be able to recognize any faces ever. I furtively looked around, hoping that I didn’t run into anyone else that I didn’t remember. How deep does this go? I wondered. Who do I recognize?

As I stumbled around the store looking for my friend—Would I even know her when I saw her?—I felt as if I were in a TV show where the protagonists realizes that they haven’t been remembering anything. It was Jason Bourne meets Before I Go to Sleep with a dash of Jane Goodall to taste.

Eventually I found my friend—screaming someone’s name over and over in a small store with strangers is generally a good way of finding people—and told her what had happened. All the while I looked around to make sure that the girl wasn’t within earshot. Although, admittedly, there was no way for me to know if she was or not. And if I ever ran into that girl again, I probably wouldn’t remember her face because the last time I saw her face I was in a noiseless scream. The cycle is wont to happen again so I’ll probably never know this girl.

And at the end of the day, I guess the moral of the story is that I ended up buying a pair of ripped-up $20 Levis.

 

Standard
Humor, pop culture, television

PRUSTEN (N. A NON-THREATENING VOCALIZATION) AND VANDERPUMP RULES

There’s a product on Amazon called the Baby Shusher. It’s roughly the shape of a bowling pin, bright orange and white, and—when twisting the top half—emits a loud shushing noise that’s supposed to calm down a crying baby. The loud rush of white noise counteracts their own crying and comforts them. The shushing is supposed to mimic the sound in-utero—the rushing blood of the mother’s body makes a sound louder than a vacuum cleaner—which babies have grown accustomed to in the womb.

 

Beyond the baby, various noises go so far back into the psyche that they provide instant comfort. Content tigers make the vocalization Prusten, otherwise known as chuffing, a staccato expulsion of hot air. The noise is used by mothers to calm their young, by two cats greeting each other, or in courting rituals. Trainers have found that mimicking Prusten keeps the tigers relaxed, and tigers often respond with chuffs when they see their human keepers.

For me, reality television is my Baby Shusher. It’s what I entertained myself with this past snow day. I can put on the sounds of relatively wealthy white women fighting and my anxiety goes from a boil to a simmer, my dopamine levels spike, and I become as docile as the doped-up kid from that YouTube video going, “Is this real life?”

You might think that someone with anxiety and depression would respond poorly to the sounds of people fighting. And largely, that’s true—in real life. But there’s something so deeply ingrained in my soul that reacts to people fighting that when I hear it through the computer screen, it sinks into the core of my bones like a warm bath. Likes call to likes, and external anxiety only serves to relax my internal anxiety.

 

I’ve started watching Vanderpump Rules this season. I’m a Real Housewives devotee, but Pump seemed too messy—too much drama and not even wealth—for me to engage in. And that’s true: two of the cast members live in an apartment where you can’t have the air conditioning on at the same time as the microwave because the power will go out. One person regularly has his credit card declined—though he had enough money to pay for plastic surgery to get rid of the lumps in his over-pumped pecs from “taking too many supplements” (wink, wink).

But strangely, once you get past the fact that none of them are likeable—even remotely likeable—which I previously thought was a must for watching reality television, I was irrevocably hooked. And now, I would go so far as to even say that Vanderpump Rules is possibly the greatest reality TV show…ever.

It’s six-to-eight servers (SURvers) at a popular West Hollywood bar who are all aspiring “models” or “actors” or “singers” but they’re in their mid-thirties. They get drunk and fight; get coked out and fight; fuck each other’s sig-others and fight; get engaged and fight; go to charity events and fight. And yet, they’re tied together in a Rat King-like tangle of limbs. Extricate one and they all die.

 

The editing, the tacit conversation between the producers and the audience, as we both watch these dicks drown in their own incompetence, proves more comedic than any Comedy Central special and more masterful than any Oscar nominee.

Usually there’s a Point of No Return for reality television where it gets so dark that it’s not even funny anymore. One example might be Teresa Giudice going to jail for her husband’s tax evasion. Or Kim Richards getting arrested for shoplifting at Target. These are moments so dark that they pull at the internal meat of our hearts—going beyond pathos or empathy and turning into complete, heart-rending disgust and sorrow.

But for some reason, because you start out hating every single character on Vanderpump Rules, there is no moment too dark to take pleasure in. It’s Schadenfreude at its finest. Not when Scheana is talking about how she and her husband went to couples’ therapy once and didn’t need it ever again—knowing that months later, he would clear out her bank account and go Zero Dark Thirty on her, ending in a nasty divorce. Not when Toms Sandoval and Schwartz are literally sobbing—in full drag—at Schwartz’s New Orleans bachelor party because he hates his fiancée so vehemently. Not when Stassi gets turned off by a guy because while he’s not “murder-y,” he’s not “manslaughter-y” enough for her.

I watch these people go from bad to worse—furthering down the path of irredeemable-ness—and instead of being turned off, it soothes me in such a deep way it’s scary. It’s the reflection and fulfillment of your own oilslick soul playing out in (relative) real time, while you can nestle into your comforter and just watch the trainwreck smolder. The sounds of their fighting—over boys and money and liquor bottles at clubs—unlocks my rigid spine and ungirds my muscles until I’m a dazed, big-eyed mess.

giphy

Source: Giphy//Note, this is the MOST normal cast member.

Standard
Humor, Love & Romance

ALL TINDER, NO FLAME

I hate when my throwaway tweets get as much traction as the tweets I carefully crafted and sent out, hair slicked and cheeks rosy, like orderly schoolchildren. I also hate how I “carefully crafted” tweets about me being hot like a model or me making a Matthew McConaughey pun. Which is a lot harder than it looks, because I had to look up how to spell “McConaughey.” Those kinds of things don’t just come naturally, you know.

For the last day, I’ve been messaging some guy on Tinder. I don’t know if he’s trying to act chill, or is just super against punctuation, but it turns me into a crazy person. In the span of a few messages where he, apathetically, asked me what I was doing, I recommended that he check out “Einstein’s gravitational waves theory that was proven right this year” (I accidentally lied, it was 2015 I think). I spun out of control, and I spun out of control hard. This was just after he said he was bored and I offered up that I read the Wikipedia pages for food when I’m bored, like “sandwiches and stuff.” And stuff?

I don’t think it’s a love connection, but there’s something about horrifyingly bland conversations that I can’t ever step away from. Like, I need to talk to them. And if they don’t use punctuations and don’t ask me any questions—oh my god, that’s so hot. He, like, doesn’t care about me at all. Such a turn-on.

Actually, I’m re-reading our conversation for this article and I’m…a lot. But he’s, like, nothing so maybe I’m overcompensating. I mean, I’m writing an entire blog about it, so I’m definitely overcompensating.

But what, I wonder, was the outcome he was thinking? Like will we tell the children of our adopted/surrogated children how their boring grandfather charmed their hot, former-model grandfather by giving one-word responses?

“It was 12:19 am, and I was listening to a podcast and trying to quiet the voices in my head enough to sleep,” I’ll say, my face creepily ageless from years of black-market dermabrasions. I’m dressed in all cashmere because I got all my sweat glands Botoxed away. “Your grandfather texted ‘Hey.’”

I’ll look at my husband of 70 years (we’re 90s+ in this scenario, but I look amazing, you guys), who will be sitting in the chair next to me, staring at me with thinly veiled contempt.

“He said he was ‘doing alright just bored,’ and I knew that he was the guy for me,” I’ll continue, shaking off the slow-burning acidic gaze of my husband.

“I suggested he look into Einstein’s gravitational wave theory,”—all my grandchildren nod because we’re all smart as fuck—“which has some interesting revelations on relativity and spacetime,”—probably irrelevant at this point in time, since we’re all living in a wormhole near Saturn’s outermost ring—“and he said, and I’ll never forget this children, ‘Yea I’d be too confused’.” I’ll grab my husband’s hand, just tight enough that he can’t easily slip away.

We don’t have a lot in common since he told me his interests were “Beer and hiking; lacrosse, reading; just chilling,” and I listed mine as “drinking, tweeting” and then lied and said, “I like hiking” too. That was a boldfaced lie, because hiking is just glorified harder walking, and walking is the worst.

After our grandchildren go back to their respective spacepods via teleportation, I’ll start cleaning our champagne glasses (I refuse to make tea) and clearing away the remnants of our caviar. He’ll be sitting, staring at me over the lip of a can of beer. The silence will be thick and heavy, hanging between us like sodden clothes caught in a rainstorm.

But then he’ll use one little phrase to crack open the mustiness of a 70-year-marriage. My iCranium will flash behind my eyes with a new message. From him.

I’ll open it.

“Wyd ;p”

LOVE IS REAL. TINDER WORKS.

Standard