Wtf is up with heated towel racks? I know that it seems like a good idea in the beginning, and trust me if you had talked to me about this two weeks ago, I would have sung the praises of the heated towel rack to the heavens. Now I’m convinced they’re a gateway to Hell.

Let me back up.

Two weeks ago

It’s freezing in the office, and because we’re in a ballroom technically, the heat rises to the ceiling and hovers there like a tauntingly warm stratosphere, while I’m shivering like an Olsen twin in my winter coat and scarf, typing away at my laptop. For a break from the monotony, I decide to go to the bathroom.


After tensely opening the door—I live in perpetual fear of walking in on someone in situ (more like “in shitu”)—I go in and stand there, lips pursed and fixing my hair in the mirror. Suddenly I realize that my bones have stopped quaking and my teeth are not clattering against each other like Mancala marbles. It is blushingly warm in the small bathroom, and the heat is radiating off the gleaming silver heated towel rack.

I stand in front of the heater like a caveman discovering fire, and stretch my hands to the top bar. “Ouch!” The bar is scalding, but in an endearing way, like when a toddler curses or when a puppy bites you. It’s charming, and I excuse away the pain.

After standing in the bathroom for a long time, exceeding the “Is he peeing” limit and teetering dangerously into the “Is he shitting” red zone, I fix my hair once more and exit my newfound sanctuary.

I can’t focus on my work, and notice that I have started shivering again, in a sickening blend of cold and withdrawal from my heated heroin. I drink an entire bottle of water and then go back into the bathroom, pee, wash my hands, and just stand there for a moment. The warmth rolls over my bones, and I try to store it like a camel for later.

“I think I’m gonna start working from the bathroom,” I tell my coworker Amanda. “It’s warm, it’s cozy. I think I’ll do it.”

She assumes I’m kidding so she laughs. I wasn’t kidding, but I laugh too. Better to appear eccentric rather than crazy, and I’m saving my crazy for when I’m famous and can get away with it.


Back in my room, I’m on my stomach against the cold, more-dirty-than-I-would-like-to-admit tiles, iPhone open to a YouTube video in one hand and the other gripping a knob at the base of my bathroom’s towel rack. For ten weeks, it has taunted me with its chilled metal skeleton. There was no obvious button or switch to turn it on, so I obviously avoided it. But, inspired and driven by my new addiction to warmth in my overcast English existence, I was a new man. Finally, after ten minutes of attempting to turn one knob, I realized that I was turning the wrong knob and that that knob was static and would never be turned. However, once I turned the correct knob in the correct direction, the radiator purred to life.

For a while, the heat was temperate, and the effect was sensational. Warm hand towels that were practically dry-cleaned and ironed into position. A toasty tile floor and bosomy heat. Suddenly, the early-morning pee was a delight, and everything was all right in the world. That was the honeymoon phase.

Then, I was getting up from watching Vines on the toilet when I turned and brushed the bare skin of my calf—okay, my upper thigh—against the towel rack. For a second, there was a deadly equilibrium, a bated breath, and then the downward arc of a hammer of pain. It was a heat so hot that it was cold, and burned against me.


Aghhchhh!” I shrieked and scrabbled away from the heat. I looked at the heater with reproach, but the gentle chastisement of a mother who doesn’t want to admit her child is a dick.

But soon, it started happening more often. I would be slipping on a pair of boxers, and back up into the heater and get a branding on my ass. I would reach down to grab a cleanser from the shower stall—I do my facial routine mostly in the shower, but sometimes I like a little freshness midday—and my arm would get scalded.

Quickly, the relationship turned from blinded-by-love Mrs. Dursley to full-blown Mommy Dearest. I hated that radiator, but I wasn’t about to give it up. I have begun to watch my movements in our tiny bathroom, keeping a solid lock on my knees and arms at all times. I’m a whole lot of arms and legs—I’m not so much “lanky” as I am “statuesque”—so this is essentially a fulltime job.


But, despite our tribulations, I refuse to turn off the radiator. Why? Because, I’ll tell you exactly why, addictions aren’t easy to get rid of. I refuse to go back to my frigid past. Much like a climber on Mount Everest, or Mario in one of those pipes in Mario Kart, there’s no way to go but up (in temperature). I would rather be hot and miserable than cold and happy, which I’m pretty sure are mutually exclusive anyway.

I’ve been burned before, but I think I’ve learned my lesson. And frankly, I’ll probably be burned again, because I’m a lot of person and only a little bit of spatial awareness. But I’m too stubborn to be defeated by a radiator, and I’m too stupid to know what’s best for me. So I’ll be mildly uncomfortable with a bunch of superficial burns.




tumblr_inline_mgjksxNh4I1rvw81kDo you ever have one of those days where your head is in a fog and you can’t seem to step above it? That’s me. I woke up with a clogged, runny nose and a cottony head. I decided to wear a cute gray, distressed sweatshirt and jeans to work because I wanted to be as close to pajamas as possible, but I put a button-down underneath the sweater to take it to workplace appropriate. No one noticed. No one cared.

The first thing I think of when I have a head cold is a story a teacher told me in high school. He had a penchant for tangents, and this particular one was about as tangential as you could get. He told us about—decades earlier—when his wife was pregnant and had a head cold, they went to this Eastern European holistic doctor. The doctor swirled a Q-tip in cocaine—I might be remembering this wrong—and swished it around the wife’s nostrils. Then, he took a metal rod, shoved it up her nostril, and cracked it against the top of her nose. I guess the mucus collects there in a head cold, and that got rid of it. I have literally no idea if this story happened, or if I’m even telling this story correctly.


Side bar: this teacher had a hot son who went to school with us. That’s not really necessary, but I wanted you all to know.

So armed with that tertiary knowledge, I…I didn’t really change any of my habits. I didn’t snort cocaine or shove things up my nose except vast amounts of toilet paper because I’m too poor for Kleenex. And I popped a decongestant, a painkiller, and a mucus thinner in a Holy Trinity Hail Mary in order to knock this bitch out of my system.


I’ve been ill more times in the span of three months in England then I’ve been in two years in America. I’m not saying that England is making me ill. I’m just saying England is slowly killing me by mucus overload.


I bought Adele’s new album. First, I was disappointed that it wasn’t on Spotify. Second, I decided I would download it illegally. Then I decided to support my R&B pop goddess and I bought the album. Rather, I bought the album with my mom’s credit card. But still, I supported the artist. And 25 will be my theme-music for the fake television show in my head for approximately the next week. All I need is an Adele Christmas album to really make 2015 end in a win. We could call it Jingle Adeles or We Wish You Adele-y Christmas.


I watched The Way We Were because I’ve been watching Sex and the City and the season two finale ends in essentially an homage to The Way We Were. And I really enjoyed it, and not just in a “I have to enjoy this because it’s a cinematic classic” way, like the way I liked Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Omg, Breakfast at Tiffany’s stans, you better not come for me. But The Way We Were was great because a) Barbra Streisand’s nails are fabulous and her acting is superb, b) Robert Redford is a total babe, and c) it doesn’t end in necessarily the contrived “boy and girl end up together happily ever after” way. It ends beautifully and more realistically, and it also allows for a female lead to not have her ending dependent on happiness with a male lead.


Alright, I think I’m gonna go make tea and watch more Sex and the City. I don’t even really enjoy it that much. I don’t know why I can’t stop watching it. What’s happening? Is this Stockholm syndrome? Am I okay? Send help if I don’t Tweet within 12 hours.