THE FAB DISASTER

just another hot mess trying to make it in the city


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Rambling about Rambling

mariah overthinking

You know what I kinda miss, just a little? I miss 2010 when I first started this blog as a Tumblr, posting for my 3 consistent readers about the dumb shit I did that past weekend. I don’t think I even promoted the posts. It was mostly a cathartic experience for me, where, after having a run-in with the cops, or hooking up with some now has-been/possibly never-was DJ on a tour bus, I’d work through the anxiety of my hangover by turning all the stupid things I did into jokes. If I had embarrassed myself, I figured people would talk about it. So I wanted to be the first one to get the story out, in my own words.

Looking back, I must have known that no one was really going to talk shit about the time I drank so much I peed on Alex’s borrowed couch, or the time I got yelled at by my boss at the diner for showing up to work with whiskey breath. We were all garbage in college. Every person worth a damn, at least at my university, was deeply tormented during those years, making mistakes like it was their job and underachieving their potential. Probably had something to do with the cocktail of post-adolescent malaise plus a newfound freedom mixed with the giant QUESTION MARK a good liberal arts education will cause you to place on society. It was hard to believe in anything except how fabulous we’d be in the future, and how fun the next party would be.

So if I was making fun of myself to silence any critics, the only critic I can think of is me. Forget the collective critic of the Normal Majority–they didn’t know who I was to begin with. It was all in my head. “You fucked up again. You slept too late again. You’re hungover again. You acted a fool. You’re not taking care of your mental or physical health. But if you’re going to have fun, you might as well back yourself up.” So I did, and it always made me feel better. Plus, it was fun. And then a few people, just a few, started paying attention. So I kept doing it because I like entertaining people. But over time I started to think more about who was reading, which made me overthink what I would put out there. I wanted my stuff to be a little more polished, shareable, all the annoying things they tell you your content should be if you want to get people to notice you.

That mindset, of course, got me just the opposite. Now I’m overthinking it. I’m not just opening my computer and letting it flow like I did back then. Okay, part of that might have to do with the fact that I don’t really party anymore, that my laptop is as old as this blog, or that I have a full-time job and “several other projects.” But the biggest factor that keeps me from writing is pressure. Pressure to have 3,000 words every time I sit down. Or shit, even know what the fuck I’m going to say when I sit down. I have posts that I outlined and worked on over the course of weeks, only to end up publishing them well after the event they were referring to. Not a total waste of time, no, but if I’d chilled out a little bit I could have so much more fun.

I always say I don’t have enough time, and yeah, I work hard. I’m doing a lot of things. But I want to get back in that mindset of freely telling stories, not thinking about the outcome, just messing around. That’s what the writing was supposed to be for in the first place. I just need to get out of my own way.

I don’t miss being a hot-ass mess, but I do miss not giving a fuck.


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100 Things White, Straight Men Can Do With Their Time Instead of Starting Ignorant Arguments

Spaghetti Man

Hey there white, straight male. Things are getting pretty crazy for you these days, huh? It seems like everywhere you turn people are mad at your kind for something. Sometimes it’s for raping women and getting away with it, sometimes it’s for killing innocent black people and getting away with it, sometimes it’s for upholding the system that allows for everyone but those like you to have their lives as they know it taken from them. I mean, where will it end?

I get it. You didn’t create the world we live in. Must be tough for you to just sit back and listen to all these people express their outrage at the Straight White Man for killing their black brothers and sisters, for putting guns in the hands of homophobes, for telling women what they can and can’t do with their bodies, raping them, and then doing nothing when they come forward. I mean, they’re talking about you, right? And they don’t even know you. That must be why you’re so upset.

Maybe you’re upset because you voted for Bernie and you hate that people don’t see you as “one of the good guys.” Maybe you want to learn more about inequality but instead of educating yourself you see that as the burden of the oppressed. Maybe you’re so blinded by your own privilege that you can’t help but give the benefit of the doubt to a system that is so far beyond it. Or maybe you really are, deep down, so rooted in your own weakness and hatred that you don’t even believe in the right for black people, queer people, women and those that intersect to be as free, as alive as you.

I don’t know. I don’t know what it is exactly that fuels you to be so loud, so indignant, such horrible listeners when shit hits the fan. I imagine one might be a devil’s advocate if they were the child of the devil himself. But I really don’t know. I tend to keep my distance from those of you who refuse to stop talking, refuse to stop inserting your feelings where they don’t belong. I block you from my social media and from my life. But sadly, I see people I care about having to engage with you every day. I feel for them, because we shouldn’t have to shield ourselves from your ignorance, your hatred, your entitlement, your ego that compels you to share your opinion like it’s some heroic act when literally no one even asked you. You should just know when to stop talking.

The thing that baffles me most about all of this is you are the most privileged group of people on the planet. If you don’t want to help our causes, there are so many other things you could do with your day besides clog up our timelines with bullshit. All I can deduce here is that you just can’t think of any. So, I’ve decided to help you.

100 Things White, Straight Men Can Do With Their Time Instead of Starting Ignorant Arguments

  1. Shave your face
  2. Play ultimate frisbee
  3. Watch an action movie! I think a new Independence Day just came out or something but I really…I really don’t know.  
  4. Take yourself out to a nice dinner for one, or bring a date. Or bring a friend. No homo!
  5. Go to a strip club
  6. Work on your physique. For all the time you spend criticizing women’s bodies, you should all be in perfect shape.
  7. Travel to another country. Literally any country. Even North Korea! Just don’t steal a poster.
  8. Sleep for 10 hours a night and show up late to work without getting fired
  9. In fact, go job hunting for any of the thousands of opportunities out there for you to work with other people just like you turning money into more money
  10. Go actual hunting
  11. Smoke marijuana in the comfort of your own home
  12. Smoke marijuana on the street where it isn’t legal and get a slap on the wrist
  13. Adopt a dog
  14. Go to the beach
  15. Enjoy a leisurely bike ride
  16. Enjoy a Coca Cola
  17. Have someone take a picture of you in hiking gear standing in front of a mountain
  18. Binge-watch something. I can recommend so many things. Have you ever seen House of Cards? Have you ever seen The Sopranos? Have you ever seen Mad Men? They’re all wonderfully written shows about white men abusing their power that I think you’d find very relatable.
  19. Get on ancestry.com and find out which European countries your great great grandparents are from!!!!!
  20. Buy a plant
  21. Call your mother
  22. Hydrate
  23. Take your vitamins
  24. Barbecue something
  25. Watch Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (it actually is a great show)
  26. Get a journal. I find it really helps me when I’m feeling like an anxious entitled baby to write my thoughts somewhere no one will ever see them.
  27. Pumice your calluses
  28. Go condom shopping. There’s no excuse for running out of condoms.
  29. Skiing
  30. Water skiing
  31. Jet skiing
  32. Wakeboarding
  33. Surfing
  34. Fishing
  35. Sailing
  36. Powerboating
  37. Get really drunk and fight another annoying white guy
  38. Attempt to flirt with a girl without harassing her. This is a tough challenge for you but I just know you can do it.
  39. Shop for clothes. J. Crew is having a sale, probably. If that’s not your thing, try REI. Target always has great prices. And you can usually find old “No Fear” t-shirts in the bins at Goodwill.
  40. Walk around your neighborhood at night wearing a hoodie.
  41. Buy cigarettes
  42. Just get a hot tub for like, no reason
  43. Have children!
  44. Adopt children!
  45. Get a vasectomy!
  46. Get tested for STDs
  47. Shoplift something
  48. Stroll confidently down a dark alley
  49. Go to a brewery, or a beer hall, or a gastropub. I don’t know the difference between these things.
  50. Learn a new language
  51. Apply for a loan
  52. Have a house party
  53. Get an adult coloring book. No one has to know.
  54. Have a game night with your girlfriend and her best friend and her boyfriend and play Cards Against Humanity and giggle your hearts out at offensive things that people would otherwise find extremely problematic
  55. Clean out your closet
  56. Clip your fingernails
  57. Get a massage
  58. Enjoy different ethnic foods and over-congratulate yourself when you pronounce a menu item correctly
  59. Gentrify something
  60. Change your hair. The man-bun’s getting kind of old.
  61. Watch a historical film that takes place in an African country but stars people who look like you so you feel more comfortable
  62. Masturbate
  63. Have consensual sex
  64. Have a consensual threesome!
  65. Have a consensual orgy!!!
  66. Try some butt stuff, on your end this time. You know you’ve been wanting to do it and there are plenty of women out there who would love to touch your butthole. Really.
  67. Drive around with a broken taillight
  68. Change lanes without signaling
  69. Get wild and grab a cop’s gun. He’ll safely disarm you and you’ll spend a couple nights in jail but everyone will know you as a badass from then on.
  70. Get really into graffiti
  71. Hitchhike across the country
  72. Play that game where you try to name all the states and their capitals
  73. Hit up the 7/11 for a Coors tallboy and just spend the afternoon playin video games
  74. Golf
  75. Bowling
  76. Watch sports on the tube
  77. Play fantasy sports with your bros
  78. Obsess over male athlete’s physical characteristics without even noticing how homoerotic it is
  79. Learn to skateboard. If you already know how, skateboard.
  80. Swipe on Tinder for hours and hours and hours until you can’t remember what your standards are or why you thought you ever wanted to date in the first place
  81. Call a phone sex line
  82. Monster Truck Rally
  83. Look at old pictures and get really nostalgic for the Good Times aka Undergrad With The Bros
  84. Go be the weird lonely guy at a bar
  85. Get really into your dental hygiene. You really can never be too into dental hygiene.
  86. Hit up the aquarium
  87. Stare at a wall
  88. Check your horoscope
  89. Meditate
  90. If you pray, pray
  91. If you don’t pray, try praying. Hey, it’s worth a shot.
  92. Go for a run
  93. Cook a meal for someone you care about
  94. Sing a song
  95. Learn an instrument
  96. Read. Read the news. Read a novel. Read a memoir. Read a comic book. Read the white privilege knapsack.
  97. Call that one black friend or that gay cousin you keep bringing up and ask them how they’ve been feeling lately. Then just listen.
  98. Look inward. Dare to be critical of your role in the world. Dare to be critical of the hand that feeds.
  99. Be still.
  100. And if and when you’re ready to contribute something productive, speak up.


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The Pains and Pleasures of Moving, Moving On

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The day my two and half year long relationship ended I also happened to have an improv show. It was my 401 class show at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Chelsea, and it was a semi-big deal, if only to me and my classmates. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to perform. I had, after all, just had the proverbial rug ripped out from under life as I knew it. It was the lump-in-throat stage of being dumped, and I was feeling a different emotion about it every moment: anger, frustration, that thing where you go “pfft” and roll your eyes that’s supposed to make you seem flippant but is really an obvious trick for holding back tears. Could I really make someone laugh right now? Please.

I considered bailing for about a minute before I got real with myself. I knew there was no way this would help my situation. I would stay home wallowing in my tiny apartment, OUR tiny apartment, and then afterwards I’d kick myself eternally for wimping out and being a fucking quitter. Yeah, the show was going to be really hard and possibly humiliating, but so had every single day since I started doing comedy. I decided to face it and step up 2 the streets. At least then I wouldn’t have let myself down.

Much to my surprise and delight, not only did I not burst into tears or throw up on stage, I may have had my best show to date. I got laughs. REAL, non-pity laughs, I think! An achievement that left me with such an inflated, manic high that immediately afterwards I had 4 drinks and proceeded to hit on someone I decided on a whim to have a crush on. For no reason whatsoever. Just to prove to myself I had the balls, I guess.

I spent the next few weeks on that exact vibe, a combination of intense flirtiness and creative energy. I was enrolled in the final core sketch course at UCB at the same time, and my indie improv team Hot Cheese was just getting on its feet. Alex and I were putting finishing touches on a script we’d been working on for months. And all this was on the side as I maintained my day-gig managing a rapidly expanding design studio. Between that and the impending drama of my lease (too expensive for one) ending on April 30, there was no time to really feel sorry for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly spent a few of those cold, not-spring-at-all days in April standing under an umbrella listening to “Same Ol’ Mistakes” off Rihanna’s Anti and its Tame Impala counterpart on repeat, nursing my moody energy. But almost instantly after my breakup–and I mean this–the feeling of what it meant to be ME and only ME, pre-relationship, rushed back and filled me with motivation. Not to return to the person I’d been before, but to remember her, and fuse her essence with my new, positive transformations to form one mega bad bitch.

“You’re taking it so well,” everyone kept saying. And yeah, I guess I was. In fact, I was a little concerned about it. Shouldn’t I have been more devastated? I had certainly relied on my ex for support through the stress of the day-to-day, and now I was alone. Why wasn’t I feeling the void? The truth is, I was. But with the void, other things opened up, too. I got my alone time back. I could be more impulsive. There was one less person expecting things of me, and while those expectations were welcomed when we were in love, a part of me felt free. I could focus on myself and transform into whatever person I am destined to become without the fear of derailing a relationship I depended on. The decision to be alone was made for me, but I already knew it was the right one.

I took myself out to lunches, read fashion magazines, listened to new music — things that please me and make me happy that I had just stopped doing in the past. No one can really say why I’d stopped. I wasn’t feeling inspired, I guess, but now I was back. I felt energy and motivation and success on the horizon. There were still nights that I felt lonely and desperate and totally lost, but I knew the feeling was temporary. I kept thinking, what would I tell another girl going through this same thing? I wrote little mantras on post-its and put them by my mirrors in the house. I was absolutely dedicated to staying strong and focused. And I knew I would be okay.

It was time for some self care. Some radical catharsis. I had to clean up my life as I moved forward.

The first step was to watch all the shows on my DVR that my ex didn’t like, such as episodes of the smash hit Oxygen reality show Funny Girls from last spring (a heavily produced show that takes awesome female comedians and pits them against each other making them seem petty and ridiculous. Extremely relatable content.) One of the stars, Stephanie Simbari, is a favorite of mine for obvious reasons (vocal fry, tattoos, phone by her toilet) and through googling her I found her wellness podcast That’s So Retrograde, which takes every new age trend and philosophy you can think of and white-girls the shit out of them. Right up my alley since I’d been DIYing my self help lately and could use a little more mindfulness in my life. After all, 5 planets were about to be retrograde and I could only take so much emotional scrambling. Hey, nothing a bag of crystals and a turmeric shot can’t fix!

Truthfully, I’m not one to take any of that stuff too literally. But what I could get behind was a good old fashioned form of emotional cleansing: getting rid of shit.

After neatly folding all of my ex’s forgotten items and placing them in a trash bag for his friend to retrieve, the next step was to tackle all the physical baggage in my apartment I’d been hoarding for the past several months. Perhaps I’ve mentioned before that our apartment was tiny. Like, sailboat cabin tiny. Janitor’s closet tiny. Litter box tiny. So last summer my friend Hannah helped me go through all my things and weed out the stuff I didn’t want or need that was taking up too much space in my life. We put them in bags and labeled them “donate” or “sell.” I’d been collecting vintage clothes for over a decade, and those that I didn’t lose in my 2009 house fire or pass along to better homes were either valued items I wore constantly or, I thought, possibly worth a little bit of money. Like, for example, this super soft Bill Blass maroon denim jacket straight out of the early 90s that I never wore because maroon just SO isn’t my color. It brings out all these red tones in my skin, you know?

The thing was, I never did make it to Goodwill with the donate bag or start my own vintage denim Etsy site that year. What a surprise! Instead, all that crap remained in bags, stuffed below the clothing racks I was using as a makeshift closet. Collecting dust and so, so much cat hair.

I truly am lucky to have a friend like Hannah, because her idea of a HELLA LIT weekend is helping me finally get rid of all my baggage. We dragged suitcases of dusty clothes to Beacon’s Closet, where to my surprise I made about $80 selling about 1% of my crap. And while some of it was undoubtedly undervalued, I felt a huge weight lift as I got rid of all that clutter almost effortlessly. I felt so light! So free! So free, in fact, that I decided to spend those 80 dollars right away at the club.

When you finally remember dick exists after going through a breakup, it hits you like a fucking freight train. There is no feeling like it.  And that weekend my thirst level was worse than the time I mixed ecstasy, coke and vodka at an LA warehouse party, stayed out til lunch the next day and walked back to the hotel in 90 degree heat. And that was pretty bad.

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“I just want to FUUUUCK” I remember yelling at the top of my lungs from Moe and Emma’s couch that weekend.

“So get a Tinder.”

Oh yeaaaah, Tinder! I hadn’t used it since it first became popular in 2013 and not long after that I was in a relationship. I’d done such a good job of stuffing any sexual desire for another person so far in the back of my mind that I had forgotten how easy it is to get laid in this city!

…or maybe not.

Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. God, all these guys were such Barneys. Ooh – a match! Hmm, I’ll keep swiping. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.

That night we went out to a club that shall not be named, not just because it fucking sucks, but because I am about to put one of their employees on blast.

I’m really not opposed to going out to shitty clubs when I’m tryna fuck. I figure the douchiest bars are often where you find the Young, Dumb & Hung boys, who have enough money to pay for the uber to their place and then your uber home. But I was having no such luck. All the guys at this particular locale were kinda short, and if I’m being honest, seemed like the breed of “bro” that’s hiding in the closet behind Carolina Basketball tshirts posting headless photos on Grindr with the caption “Masc for Masc.”

“DOES ANYONE HERE ACTUALLY HAVE SEX WITH FEMALES??”

And then I spotted him. A bartender, 6’3 with tattoos and a babyface. I gave Reid, my wingman for the evening, a mischievous grin.

“It’s on.”

I went up and ordered a drink and our eyes locked immediately. And for the next hour and a half we chatted it up, made each other laugh, flirted shamelessly, blushed and made plans for when he got off work.

Then the bar got busy, so I hung to the side and gossiped with Reid, peering at this cutie from the corner of my eye. He returned carrying shots for both of us.

“I have a confession to make,” he said, smirking guiltily.  “I can’t come home with you tonight.”

“And why is that?” I asked, thinking he must be messing with me.

“Because…I’m married.”

DA FUUUK? I’m pretty sure the Mr. Krabs meme was invented specifically for situations like these. I was so annoyed! I spent two hours talking to this bozo! That’s two hours of flirting time I will never get back. And now it was late and I was going to have to have sex with one of these gay guys. God damn it!

I spent the rest of the evening throwing myself at a muscular dude who “had to work in the morning” but still offered to give me a ride home. I mean, I accepted, of course.

I figured it was time to start setting up some Tinder dates. The first one was with a drummer who wanted to take me to a comedy show. When we got there, although he was nice, it was abundantly clear that our personalities were incompatible. Coincidentally, another one of my Tinder matches was on a date two seats down from us. I tried my best to hide my face and get through the show, which by the way was really good. So good, actually, that I wanted to stay and talk to the comics when it was over. Just not with my date. I walked him home and said goodnight, then walked back to the club to see what was up. They were all gone, so I went to the bar across the street for a drink and ended up hooking up with the incredibly short stranger next to me who was surprisingly very well-endowed.

My next Tinder date was with a guy who became attached very quickly and yelled at me for not deleting the app after our first hookup.

My Tinder date after that was as a guest on a podcast. I literally went to this dude’s studio (his apartment), met him for the first time, and within minutes was doing a live show and first date simultaneously. It was definitely an interesting experience, but didn’t work out romantically whatsoever.

Listen to the trainwreck here!

Somehow, between all these dates with randos, I managed to squeeze in some apartment hunting. Although, as I’m sure you know, finding an apartment in New York is less like a hunt and more like a wild friggin’ goose chase. Just like every other time I’ve moved in this city, I had about 6 different apps and 20 email tabs open at once for the first two weeks of April, using everything I could to find a one-bedroom in my budget in North Brooklyn. Fat fuckin’ chance. The only places I found that could afford near me were a totally run down shack of an apartment that looked like my Great Grandaddy’s garage (complete with a large, paint-splattered basin in the “kitchen” that served as bathroom sink as well) and an attic apartment with a ceiling that slanted so low I could only stand up in half the unit. I thought I had a lead on a converted loft above a funeral home in Ridgewood. That’s right, above a real life funeral home, where they literally take dead humans and pump them with formaldehyde and place their bodies in wooden boxes for people to cry over them. It turned out I couldn’t afford it.

Finally (by the suggestion of one of my Tinder dates, actually), I decided to check out Crown Heights. I had been avoiding moving south in Brooklyn since I’d always lived off the L train, and I wanted to be a short distance to my brother who does as well. But I had a few friends in the Crown and had spent a little time there, so I figured it was worth a shot. I set up a few showings.

The morning of my Crown Heights viewings began with a 1 BR on Utica that, upon arriving by uber, I was able to identify via the man emptying his bladder on the front step. Once inside, I was met with other horrors. The smell of natural gas in the hallway, cracking brown tile floors, an tiny, crusty bathroom easily 3 decades old. How was this a mere $100/month below the TOP of my budget, which I believed to be very reasonable? What part of Crown Heights was I even in? New York real estate had officially lost its mind. As I was leaving that showing feeling very down, I received a text from a strange number. I was used to this as I’d been harassed these past few weeks, not by brokers with apartments for ME, but those trying to rent out my current place. I must have scowled at 50 Nooklyn agents that month as they invaded my space day after day. This time, though, the text was from a broker I’d reached out to about a cute little studio in Bed Stuy. I had scheduled a viewing with her for right after this one, and was very excited to check it out.

“Sry. Landlord has keys and won’t be back til 4pm. Can u meet then?”

It was 10:30.

I did want to go back home to Greenpoint, a good 40 minute ride on the B43 or $20 uber away, so I walked over to Brad and Monday’s to mope and scroll through Craigslist.

AS FATE WOULD HAVE IT, an ad was posted while I was sitting on their couch for a large studio with high ceilings and exposed brick walls, just at the top of my budget not 15 minutes walking distance from Brad’s place. I called the broker and screamed that I wanted to meet him ASAP. Of course, just as I was about to head out, it started pouring down rain. I didn’t care. I grabbed a broken umbrella from behind their couch and marched my way to this gorgeous mini-loft.

When I arrived, I couldn’t believe how nice it was compared to the utter shitholes I’d seen for this same amount. Was I being played? No time to find out — I was so excited and relieved to find something actually livable that I immediately signed my life away on a rental application. I waited for the B43 in the freezing cold rain with my broken umbrella, smiling.

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That was in early April, so it wasn’t time to worry about the moving process just yet. The weather was about to get nice, I could feel it, so I attempted to put my worries aside and have a good time for a few days. Sarah visited from Asheville and I spent some time with her being at least somewhat carefree, taking tequila shots and eating all the food. I continued going on dates, random hookups with cute strangers I never wanted to see again, and even catchup hangs with some boys I knew pre-relationship. It was an interesting feeling, all this freedom and fun flooding my life again after my domestic lull these past 2 years.

Then Lemonade came out. The beginning of the end of my recovery after breaking up. I had wanted to see it air for the first time on HBO, initially because I was excited for the bangers. What I didn’t expect was something so moving, so important, so visually captivating. How it allowed me to express the emotions I felt like I was supposed to feel after breaking up, but that I hadn’t let myself experience. Insecurity, demanding to be respected, not giving a fuck, being free, working hard, moving forward, but still being in love with love at the end of the day. Ugh, it was life changing. And beyond my own experience, beyond how it related to me specifically, Lemonade is such an important work socially and politically that the world desperately needed. I mean, it’s just…everything.

I finally had a reason to stop listening to Anti.

The next week, I packed up all my things, hired movers and settled in my new spot. I was so happy that it felt wrong. I was comfortable in my own home, not even scared to live alone in an unfamiliar neighborhood like I thought I’d be. I felt liberated, or as liberated as you can be with half your income tied up in the place you reside.

That’s when, out of nowhere, my body alerted me of its needs. In the rain of the first week of May, I slipped on the subway steps on the way into work. Nothing major. I caught myself on the railing. But when I moved my arm to do so, I somehow threw out my entire neck and completely lost all range of movement. Strange – I hadn’t felt any tension in my back recently even though I’m used to having bunch of gnarly knots. I guess there was some tension after all, and I’d been holding it in, not noticing.

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I spent that day on the couch at work with ice on my back, and for the next week I couldn’t turn my head or look down or bend over. Cleaning the litter box was a very profane affair. I was a robot at Reid’s birthday party and during Hot Cheese’s first official improv show. Sleeping was even worse. I decided to try acupuncture, which was very zen or whatever but did not completely solve my issue. I tried muscle relaxers, which only made me loopy and confused enough to give my number to someone who hit on me in a Duane Reade. I was useless and smelled like Icy Hot for ten days.

It’s funny how that happens. You get so busy with life, chasing dreams, fulfilling obligations and stuffing fun experiences into every free moment leftover, that you don’t even realize what you’re putting yourself through. I thought my mind was okay, but my body hated me.

Once I got back into working order, I decided to pump the brakes. What I really needed to do was sit down, have some chill, and watch a Kardashian marathon on my brand new cable box. I needed to love myself, take things slow, be patient and enjoy the long awaited warm weather.

So I stopped for a moment, took a good look at my life and all the things I’ve accomplished. And I realized I was no longer in pain, physically or emotionally.

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“Island Time” or “The Calm Before The Shitstorm”

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Having a blog where you talk about getting drunk and being bad at your job is one of the hardest things a person can do.

Ugh ok fine shut up. I know. I need to stop waiting so long between posts. Literally dozens (less than one dozen) of people have been urging me to post a story lately, and I’ve wanted to, but the longer I wait, the more things pile up and change and I don’t know where to begin.

And girl. When I say things have changed…woo. Have they changed.

My last post was all about self-love, and growing up, and trying to focus on doing great work. I talk about that stuff a lot. And I don’t have any less to say about those topics than I always do, but I do want to save the nitty gritty of my life as it is now — a beautiful disgusting mess, like a perfect sandcastle that some little kid took a runny diarrhea on — for another time. All I’ll say for now is that I am no longer the Settled-Down-Soccer-Mom-In-Training-Ass-Bitch I was a few months ago, and I’m back on the scene, so watch the fuck all the way out. That is all I will say. Plus, I told all the guys I’ve been hooking up with recently that I wouldn’t blog about them. Ha ha ha ha.

Instead, I’d like to take you back with me to a trip I took before things went awry, to an island on a different side of the world, called FUCKING MAUI YEAH THAT’S RIGHT I WENT TO MAUI AGAIN THIS PAST FEBRUARY. LITERALLY WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT?

Let’s begin.

Oh wait, one more thing – I’m writing this on my phone right now because I don’t have wifi yet in my new apartment (sometimes when you break up with the person you’re living with you have to get one of those) so shut the heck up about my typos.

Ahem. Anywho.

It all started when — fuck, how did it start? I think it was, as it always is, with my brother Nate planting the seed over text that he’d soon be traveling somewhere exotic:

“Available Feb 20-27?”

It’s always that simple. And my response is usually “Um, working? And being so busy raising these two cats, and practicing comedy in a room full of strangers, and ignoring the fuck out of my blog. Like, do I look like a person who has free time? My life is fully booked and I am not okay.”

To which he usually responds “I have miles.”

So, I took an entire week off work in February (can’t complain about that PTO) and spent the weeks leading up to my trip slathering myself in tanning lotion and trying on bathing suits in my bathroom at 1AM. I was concerned because I had eaten nothing but Chick Fil A for the past two months, and I wanted to look sexy on a resort that I knew was just going to be filled with retirees and honeymooners. What I’m saying is, I wanted to look sexy for instagram.

I don’t think I have Seasonal Affective Disorder. I think I’m just always affected, and cold weather is an extra annoyance. Either way, I cannot tell you how excited I was to pack my duffle with bras and coochie-cutters and take a flight to Someplace, Arkansas, then LAX, then Maui, while FaceTiming my fake-ass drunk-ass jealous friends at every layover with a shit-eating grin on my face. I didn’t even mind how uncomfortable my back gets on long flights in “the back of the plane,” as Nate always refers to coach. Or how expensive the airport margaritas are that I always insist on drinking. I was living, I was looking cute, I didn’t have a coat on, and most importantly I was not checking my email.

Arriving in Maui is always fun. The airports are open air which never fails to blow my mind, and then I get to take a taxi — or this time, a shuttle — to the hotel with some very talkative driver who is originally from Milwaukee but has lived on the island for 35 years and since lost the ability to read human facial cues. It was clear as day in this particular driver’s rearview that I was not in the mood to chat about his childhood after my 24 hours of travel time, but was instead more concerned about why he’d made four wrong turns and couldn’t stop swerving onto the shoulder of this mountainside highway. But I survived.

I made it to the Marriott Ocean Club (which everyone kept pronouncing like it rhymed with Harriet. What the fuck is that about?) on Ka’anapli beach which is where Nate’s conference was. Yes, he was there for a conference. Yes, he was able to expense all of this. And no, I would not take his job if you offered me a lifetime of luxury because what he does for a living is outside of my realm of comprehension not to mention my ability to remain sane (anesthesia).

One thing my brother and I do have in common, though, is a strong affinity for alcohol. So the first thing we did that night was find the nearest bar/restaurant open at midnight – a feat more difficult than you’d imagine considering I thought the whole point of Maui was to get wasted and eat all the foods and stay up late partying. Turns out it’s mostly old people.

You know who does party? The wait staff after a long day of serving tourists. And when we arrived at a nearby beach bar that’s exactly what was going down. We rolled into this unusually lit locale, past the 4×4 pickups in the parking lot, to find sunburned brahs throwing back shots and heckling the bartender, a petite surfer girl with long mermaid hair who appeared to be training on her first day. She also appeared pretty drunk herself. We sat back and enjoyed our beers, along with the view of the hazing session, and I updated Nate on the happenings of my millennial New York life.

Then the crowd starting getting a little too drunk for my taste. I know that sounds fake coming from me, but seriously – looking around I would swear every guy in that bar had dateraped someone at least once. This was further proven when they screamed at the bartender to the point that she had a breakdown and walked out (a little dramatic, though, I will say) and then again when one of them tried and failed to hit on me.

“Hey, you’re cute. Let me buy you a drink.”

*pointing to my brother* “I’m here with someone.”

“Fuck you, bitch. You’re not that hot anyway.”

The verbiage of rape culture at its finest, no?

So we left, and tucked ourselves in to the sounds of the ocean. Overall, not a bad start to the vacay.

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To say that a lot happened over the next couple of days wouldn’t be entirely accurate. Instead, it was mostly nothing: $5 mimosas all morning, poolside maitais and cranberry cocktails, hammocks and sushi, noodles, Hawaiian box lunches. That sort of thing. A tropical penguin sanctuary here, a whale watching boat trip there. And when Nate’s friend Mel arrived, we met her at the grocery store where she greeted us with a handle of Titos under each arm. We’d been gloriously unproductive. I had sand in my hair and salt on my skin.

Although I’d taken a week off work, this was still a short trip due to all the travel time. I only had 3 full days on the island. And by the third, I was determined to hike the famous 13 Crossings trail Nate and I tried to complete on our last trip, but failed for various reasons. We just had to revisit it, Nate because he’s a perfectionist, and me because I’ve never swam in a fucking tropical waterfall before and there was one at the end of this hike.

So we strapped our backpacks on, decided to leave before sunset and not get wasted this time, and after a couple hours we finally made it. The water was freezing but it was completely worth it. I’m not even that mad that Mel’s photos of us are just mediocre.

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So here’s where it starts getting complicated. As we came up on the last 24 hours of my time there, I just started stuffing every delicious food and drink items in my mouth that I could. First, I washed down some of that stream water I swallowed with fish tacos, rice, beans and guac, 2 beers and 3 vodka cranberries. Then the next morning I thought I’d have a delicious Hawaiian breakfast of, like, rice with meat, gravy and avocado on top. I don’t really know what that was called, but it sure was danky kang. Then, since my flight was at 6pm that night, it seemed like the smartest thing would be to finish off the vodka, then buy more, and finish that off too.

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So we did. And I packed up my stuff, got in the rental car around 3:45, and headed for the airport where I was to be dropped off so Mel and Nate could finish their vacation in peace. But there was SO much traffic. Way more than we’d anticipated. If I hadn’t been so fucked up and singing Mariah at the top of my lungs with my hands out the window, I would have been really nervous about missing my flight. But I figured, fuck it. I just have to get through security and run to the gate. I’ll probably make it with just 5 minutes to spare, but what are they gonna do? Leave me in Maui? Pfft.

So anyway, they left me in Maui. And because I was a really drunk white girl who had never missed a flight before, I started to cry.

“But it’s right there! I can see the plane! Please!”

“I’m sorry but they’ve already pulled back from the gate. We can get you on another flight that departs in 5 hours, connects in Dallas and arrives in Newark.”

“Newark??!!??!”

I begrudgingly took my boarding pass they were so gracious to give me for the flight I didn’t even deserve, and walked over to a corner to whine. I called Nate –

“Aw sorry boo, but it doesn’t really make sense for us to come get you. You’ll just have to wait there.”

What a fuckin fail. I was wasted. My stomach was all bubbly from the food I ate or the alcohol or the giardia I contracted in the waterfall. I was in Maui but I wasn’t in Maui. I was in tropical limbo with a bunch of tourists from the Midwest, only to return to a winter wasteland back in New York. My serotonin was at dangerously low levels, my blood-alcohol at the opposite, and all I wanted was to be in my bed with my two cats and my boyfriend who I missed so freakin much.

So I slept. I slept on the floor of a major airport walkway. I slept across chairs between jabbering family members. I slept with my mouth open, heart racing, sucking in oxygen with a strain that rivaled even the most withered of surrounding geriatrics.

And then I needed nachos. I had a bit of money left, so I dragged myself across the carpet to the nearest Airport Restaurant Bar and Grill to order some.

Waitress: “Just so you know, the cheese on these is Velveeta.”

God bless this woman for trying to warn me. But she didn’t understand how hungover, and still drunk, and far too depressed I was to truly hear her.

“Bring it on.”

Now, when I tell you this was some of the most vile shit I have consumed in my entire life, please know there’s not a lie to be found. However, not only did I finish it – oh no – I licked the plate clean, in what will probably be one of the saddest scenes ever witnessed by anyone on that high school volleyball team two tables over.

I never said I make good decisions. I would never lie like that.

It should come as no surprise to you, then, that about 30 minutes later I found myself running to the bathroom at full speed with all of my luggage to spew yellow liquid into the toilet. I was surprised, though. For some reason I hadn’t seen this coming. I suppose alcohol and sun exposure give me rose-colored glasses. But, you know, the kind of rose-colored glasses that make you think to yourself “You’re gonna die anyway, you idiot. Who gives a shit? Eat the Velveeta Puke Chips.” And you know, there was once a time, just a few years ago, where I could eat weird nachos and not immediately become a weapon of mass destruction. Not anymore.

I got out as much as I could, but the saliva in my throat and the rumbling in my belly told me I was still experiencing something digestively volcanic.

“This is the final boarding call for American Airlines flight to Dallas Fort Worth.”

Fuck. Once again, I dragged my bags down the carpeted walkway to the gate and joined the queue to board, with a very suspicious look on my face as I tried not to faint or shit on anyone.

Once I got to my seat, I thought things might calm down. I tried putting my head between my legs, I tried sleeping — no chance. As the lights dimmed and our in-flight presentation of The Peanuts Movie began, my body realized she’d had it. The color drained from my face and my vision started to go white, so I folded forward out of my chair and booked it to the lavatory.

So.

Ever had diarrhea on an airplane before? Yeah. It really sucks.

But I bet you haven’t had diarrhea on an airplane while SIMULTANEOUSLY projectile vomiting into the tiny sink next to you with no signs of stopping. I honestly thought I was going to die in that tiny, plastic, stinky room as I writhed, choked, barfed and gasped for what must have been…could it have been hours? Days even.

Somehow, though, I survived. I slept the rest of the way, and when I got to Dallas I spent what remained of my travel money on pepto bismol and Dramamine, and flopped on the floor next to the phone charging station to text my boo and eat airport mac n cheese. Again, I don’t make the best decisions. You guys know this by now.

So that was that. A wonderful trip that ended poorly and probably could have been planned better.

Sometimes things go wrong in paradise, but I’d do it all again.

When I landed back in New York, James and I were so excited to see each other. And then a few days after that, things fell apart. I hadn’t seen it coming. It was no one’s fault, it just happened. One minute we were together, and the next we weren’t.

You know, breaking up is a lot like trying to sleep in a busy airport. It’s lonely, it’s isolating, you’re stuck biding time. Everyone around you is making noise and you’re too exhausted to move.

But when you open your eyes, if you’re brave enough, you can go anywhere you want.

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New Year, Same Me Because I’m Actually Pretty Great Already

 


Ok here we go. This is my first post of the year. And even though it’s the end of January, this makes it okay for me to still talk about things like My Plans To Instantly Become a Better Person Now That It’s 2016!

As last year came to a close, I got to thinking about New Year’s resolutions and why nobody ever keeps them. According to a 2-year-old article on Details.com (the premier source out there for sociological data/just about as far as I was willing to google) 1 in 3 people who make resolutions will give up on them by the end of January. That’s pretty depressing, since it seems to me nobody would bother to make a resolution in the first place if it wasn’t something they really wanted to do. I mean, people are really out here evaluating themselves and their lives, saying things like “you know what, I really need to get healthier,” and “this is the year I find the perfect job for me,” and “alcohol is destroying my life,” mentally committing to a change, and then four weeks later they’re hungover and eating an Egg McMuffin again on the way to their job at Stop n’ Shop.

On the one hand, this makes total sense to me. I get it – alcohol is amazing and hard to turn down, junk food is the best thing out there, and the Stop n’ Shop has surprisingly good benefits which is nothing to sneeze at, even if Donna from the bakery department is super rude to you in the break room, like, every day. And of course, there are plenty of limitations that make it harder for people to just manifest their mothafuckin’ dreams. Unhealthy food is often the cheapest, tastiest, and easiest to obtain, addictions are very real, and habits in general are difficult to just change willy nilly when you’re bogged down with So Much Life Shit. Most people can’t just quit their dumb jobs and pursue their passion of knitting cat sweaters full-time, unless they’ve somehow already tapped into the extremely niche market of people who own cats that will actually wear sweaters AND they have enough savings to sustain themselves while they crank out inventory.

Don’t even get me started on exercise. Who has $100 a month to spend on a Classpass? (And I’m not just saying this because they turned me down for a job one time – even though I don’t forgive them, and I still think I would have made a delightful customer service representative.) $100 a month for one of those passes would seriously cut into my meatball sub budget.

Sigh. Just like my fantasy Valentine’s Day vacation at an all-inclusive resort in the Cayman Islands to which I arrive by private helicopter, I guess “manifesting” is a privilege reserved for the rich.

So fine, there are obvious practical reasons why we’re not all skinny, sober Instagram fitness models who are also self-made artistic entrepreneurs with six figure incomes. But what about the emotional reasons? Many of us do have the tools to make positive changes, we’re just too lazy and mentally blocked to try. The “easiest” thing isn’t always the most practical, right?

For example, the majority of my spending money is wasted on overpriced food that is terrible for me. Name a kind of meat and I’ve probably eaten it in the last 30 days. Am I rich? Nope. It’s just a dumb thing I’ve been doing because it makes me feel good. Also, I have a gym in my building. It’s free, and I still don’t really go that often. My boyfriend pays for a gym membership even though we have one here, just to create a feeling of guilt that forces him to work out. I know lots of people who do this, actually. And it really works. The brain is on some other shit.

So when it came time to make resolutions for myself, I didn’t really want to do it. I was worried that, like most people, I’d bite off more than I could chew and eventually I’d just give up.

Still, I had things I wanted to do. Eat better, get in shape, write more, save money, film a web series, form an improv team, maybe even make some money from my writing? These things aren’t all that complicated, they just require focus, dedication, drive, guts…which, paradoxically, are really hard to constantly maintain when you’re tired from working and hungry from dieting. I could create a rigid meal plan and a schedule for my writing, but it’s not going to make it any more emotionally appealing after a hard day at my office job where I was literally thinking about eggplant parmesan for 8 straight hours.

That’s when I realized I was forgetting something crucial…I never congratulated myself for my successes in 2015! How can I be expected to be motivated to improve if all I’m doing is critiquing myself? If you’re trying to teach a dog to roll over, for example, and all you do is yell at him when he doesn’t roll over, he’s not going to learn the trick. He’ll just be afraid of you, and thinking “Man, where the heck are the Beggin’ Strips? This dude is a major A-hole, and my feelings are hurt.”

I recently watched the documentary Trophy Kids, about parents who push their kids to be the best at sports to the point of emotionally abusing them. All of these kids were ranked highly in their respective sports, but the parents would always find something to yell at them about. And the kids ended up resenting them for it – go figure! I don’t exactly know what this is like, because my parents are ridiculously supportive of me even though I’ve nearly always been a piece of shit. But I’m hard on myself, which most of the time just makes things worse. My dad has been trying to get me out of my own head since I was a kid. He tried everything from introducing me to meditation to playing “Don’t Worry Be Happy” on the way to my school in the morning. But I would still beat myself up over every mistake and inadequacy, and to this day I find it hard to shake off that mentality.

It’s a misconception that perfectionists and self-critical people are always overachieving. I can say from my own experience that fear of failure has, in some way, slowed me in pursuing nearly every goal I’ve ever had. Sometimes it would prevent me from turning papers in on time. Sometimes it stops me from initiating improv scenes. Currently, it’s holding me back from pursuing a full-time writing career. To get somewhere, you have to encourage yourself. Doubt and negativity are the enemies of success. It’s corny, but it makes sense. Why else would there be so many internet trolls?


Source: Singapore2003

Fighting your fears is a lifelong process. I’m never going to wake up one day and be afraid of absolutely nothing. Or maybe I will when I’m 150, and that will be the day I die. That would be a sick way to go out. #deathgoals. But I’ve realized that if I don’t take the time to recognize my successes, appreciate them, and congratulate myself for them, I’m never going to be truly motivated to be even better at life. After all, if I can’t be proud of myself, what is the point of any of this? Will anything ever make me happy? Where the F*CK are the Beggin’ Strips??!

So, this is just a reminder as you navigate the rest of this year to be kind to yourself. You’ve done great so far. Take a minute to look at yourself from the eyes of a younger you. I bet the 14 year old version of yourself would be beyond impressed by where you are today. And if not, you can at least be glad that you’re alive and breathing, and you’ve got time to turn things around. If you get your headspace right, then you can focus on the work. And that’s when the change will come.

And I should know. I’ve been to rock bottom. I have a timeshare there.

To get us started, here is my favorite song about self love from the past year 💖💖 Enjoy!

Mom Blogger Pie


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Disaster Chef: If I Made A Damn Pumpkin Pie Then You Definitely Can Too

Mom Blogger Pie

As some of you know, I low-key aspire to be a Mom Blogger and frequently exhibit traits of this particular breed of human (besides, you know, having human kids)  – sometimes ironically, sometimes not.

After spending the years from 2006 to 2013 drinking my weight in malt liquor, missing my alarm in the morning, ignoring my goals, messing around with drugs, encouraging my own body dysmorphia, smoking, willfully participating in shitty relationships, and eating beans out of cans, I DISCOVERED, as it turns out, that I actually need, enjoy, and thrive on the following things:

  • A clean home with some nice items in it
  • Food that doesn’t come from the bodega
  • A full time job with benefits
  • A solid relationship with a person who also has a good job and a very minimal set of issues
  • Getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night
  • Doing things that are healthy for my spirit, such as ignoring the haters, having a positive body image, focusing on my dreams & using my time wisely.
  • Enjoying substantial quantities of top to second-from-top shelf vodka only one or two days a week.

Now, I am not saying I regret the past, nor am I trying to tell anyone how to live. I am a sex-positive person who respects personal choice and unique lifestyles and bucking the status quo when you feel like it. I’ve definitely made some questionable decisions in the name of exploring myself, my needs, and this crazy-ass world we live in. I encourage anyone to do the same.

That being said, I also feel like much of my early twenties were spent saying to myself “Why am I putting myself in these situations? How do I stop feeling this way? Poor me, and also, I am the worst,” when what I really should have done was break up with whoever-the-fuck, get off the internet, and get a damn job.

I think some people were surprised when I started adjusting my priorities. Maybe it was a letdown, because I wasn’t going out and peeing between parked cars with them every night. But there were a few things motivating me. The first is, I had found a respectful, funny, trustworthyunaggressive, and down-to-earth man who loved me. And after dating every make and model of loser imaginable, I was not about to fuck that up with bad decisions. The second is that I was getting older, and past a certain age it’s hard to make messy look cute. I’ve talked about this before. I never was the kind of person who could stay out until 4am, still make it to work the next day and NOT want to throw myself out of a ten-story window. I was just like, “I want to be happy and stop feeling guilty all the time for being fucking irresponsible.” So I’ve been working on this for the last year or so.

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The start of every Childless Mom Lifestyle: getting your first pair of Uggs

This is one of the reasons I love being a domestic goddess from time to time. Just like in high school when that girl Rebecca told people she was shocked we got into the same college because she thought I was dumb (don’t think I forgot), I take pleasure in doing things well that are not expected of me, or that I don’t expect of myself. A self-fulfilling prophecy will get you every time. I also like providing nourishment for others and cultivating a comfortable environment for the people I love, having grown to understand the significance of those things in my own life.

So that’s where the pie comes in.

You see, I’ve been in the dating game for about ten years, and out of all twenty of my boyfriends I think maybe three of their moms have actually liked me. It’s just always been this way. I guess I took a couple virginities when I was younger and I was never churchy or blonde, but I wasn’t a bad person, so I don’t know what their damage was specifically. But they sure had damage. In tenth grade one mother actually referred to me as “the spawn of Satan.” I was fifteen – I hadn’t even done anything awesome yet! High school was rough for me.

Given my past experience, when my adorable current boyfriend invited me to his parents’ house for Thanksgiving I was pretty nervous. I’ve never been to a guy’s family home for a major holiday before, and I wanted to make a good impression. A GREAT impression. The kind of impression that makes them happy that I live with their son. I’m not a master chef, but I do have some basic skills and the even the ability to improvise from time to time. Last year around Christmas I brought over a card and some homemade body scrub (which was kind of a flop but they were nice about it) and these Oreo cheesecake cookies I made from a recipe I found on Pinterest. Those were divine (I’m the kind of person who says divine now) so I decided to go back to the source.

If you haven’t accepted it already, Pinterest is the shit. It just is. It’s my guidebook for cleaning my act up. Even though they DO have some heinous DIY shabby chic country sorority bullshit on there, I also feel like I’m in control over my home, my body and my mind when I’m on that app. It makes adult life possible for a ne’er do well, and you can imagine how useful that is for me.

Follow me on Pinterest here! Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 12.42.04 PM

So naturally, I turned to Pinterest when it came time to prep for Thanksgiving. I knew I wanted to make a pumpkin pie, because it’s not Thanksgiving without one. And I’m all about doing holidays right. Plus, it’s a southern staple, so I figured it would be a nice addition to their Long Island spread.

I’m not sure why I decided I needed to make the pie “from scratch,” since I’ve never done that before in my life. I was raised in a household where store-bought pie crust and filling from a can is quite fancy enough. Hell, a pre-made pie would be just fine. And James’ parents aren’t snooty either. I guess it was just one of those situations where I was being a teacher’s pet (his mom is a teacher, no pun intended though) doing extra credit even when I already had an easy A. Plus, holidays are just ridiculously important to me. I’m the girl you’ll find frantically buying packs of hot dogs on the 4th of July, dragging my friends to Central Park on a cloudy Memorial Day or flipping out about a serious lack of margarita mix on Cinco de Mayo. To put it simply, I need to chill.

Regardless, there I was in the Union Square Whole Foods two days before Thanksgiving, zigzagging between rich hipsters and trying to find nutmeg. Of course there was none, presumably because every damn Thanksgiving recipe calls for it, so I settled for this thing called “Pumpkin Pie Spice,” a combination of nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and allspice. I picked up a pie pumpkin, threw it in my tote and prayed that that day was not the day that I finally get pushed down the stairs boarding the L train, because it would have been a shame to squash that gourd (do you even see what I did there?)

I had already made a crust the night before. It was a graham cracker crust, so not made from “scratch” per se, however, it did not start out as a crust and then it became one, so I happily gave myself credit.

Making a graham cracker crust is super easy. You take 10 graham crackers (usually how many they include in a pack), crush them up, and mix it with 6 tablespoons of melted butter and 1/3 cup of sugar.

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Since I don’t have a food processor, I tried to use a regular blender to crush the crackers, which didn’t work very well. When the machine starting smelling like smoke (wtf?) I stopped and crushed the rest with a potato masher. Then I mixed in the butter and sugar (I used brown sugar because it’s what I had and it seemed just as good if not better) and pressed it into the pie plate. You can use something flat like a measuring cup to press down the center, and use your fingers around the sides.
It ended up cute and tasty looking, and I was impressed with myself. Find the full recipe for a graham cracker crust here.
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HOW CUTE, right?
Since I was going to bake the pie anyway, I didn’t need to pre-bake the crust. I just put it in the fridge overnight and came back to it the next day.
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Having made it home alive after my Whole Foods excursion, I was ready to make my pie goo. Everyone kept telling me this was the most annoying part, the most delicate process and the main reason why nobody likes making pumpkin pies from scratch. But I thought it was pretty straightforward and fun.

I got the full recipe from here. Y’all, I cannot stress the beautiful and sometimes frightening normalcy I am able to witness on these Pinterest-ass blogs. I adore them.

Essentially, you cut the pumpkin in half, and scoop out the seeds and the stringy stuff. Then you place each half on a cookie sheet “flesh-side down,” which I figured out means “round side up” even though I thought flesh and skin were the same thing and that the skin was on the outside…but ANYway…

Then you roast that shit at 325 for an hour. Once it’s done, you’re able to to pull the skin off the outside and just have the pumpkin mush, which you have to mash up really well. This is where I had a problem, because my blender was smelling like smoke, I don’t own a standing mixer or a food processor, soooo I just used a whisk. I whisked so hard n fast, and of course, no matter what it was still a little chunky. But I was like, “Whatever. It’s 10PM and I need to go to bed soon.”

I dumped in the rest of the ingredients, (eggs, milk, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice) and made the gorgeous barf-colored mixture pictured below.

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mmmm

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Above is what it looked like in the crust before I baked it. A little chunky, sure, but I was already like 80% done making my first pie ever, and it actually looked like a real pie!

So obviously I patted myself on the back way too early, failing to realize that one of the easiest ways to fuck up a baked good as an amateur is by burning it. I put the assembled pie in the oven at 325 and was planning to leave it in for another hour. But somewhere around 45 minutes I started smelling burning crust.

See, this is what I can’t deal with when it comes to ovens. They’re all different and confusing and none of the knobs make any damn sense, and you need to buy a fancy thermometer to actually know what the hell is going on in there. Plus, I’m always just afraid I’m going to fall in and permanently disfigure my face.

You’d think I’d be way too simple and anxious to even survive in a kitchen, but again, there I was, creatively navigating this potential disaster in my own stupid way. I unbent a paperclip to do the “toothpick trick” to figure out if the center of the pie was done. I moved it from bottom rack to top rack to bottom again. I changed the oven temperature. And eventually I just took it out, let it cool and hoped the damn thing would stop jiggling.

The next day, I carried the pie to work on the L train, placed it in the fridge with a big DO NOT EAT sign, then cradled it in my lap on the LIRR (with a can of whipped cream in my purse, of course.)

As it turns out,  James’ mother doesn’t even like pumpkin pie! This was awesome news! But it was a hit with the men of the household, and I fuckin’ loved it too, so that was enough for me. Plus, I think I mentioned once or twice that I MADE IT FROM SCRATCH, so I’m pretty sure I get some points for that with the whole fam.

The next week, as I was roasting the leftover pumpkin seeds, I started imagining myself as a mother, hosting my own family gatherings and feeding pie to my little babies. I had fantasized for about a minute when I smelled the pumpkin seeds starting to burn.

“Yeah,” I thought. “One thing at a time.” And I poured a glass of vodka.

IMG_8372

PS – This is the appropriate pie-to-whipped-cream ratio. Thanks.

 

 

jeansshopping


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Stream of Consciousness of a Woman While Jeans Shopping

jeansshopping
I am a 26 year old woman. The following is a complete account of my thought process before, during and after I recently purchased two pairs of jeans.

At home

Shit. I really need new jeans. Ok, yes, I have a drawer full of them already. But what’s even in here? A pair of H&M low risers I bought a couple years ago that don’t fit anymore – they say they’re a size 28 but that’s a damn lie if I’ve ever heard one. Two pairs of momjeans that I made the mistake of getting tailored BEFORE Thanksgiving last year. Needless to say my butt has swollen a little since then. They still look good, don’t get me wrong, but it wouldn’t exactly be work appropriate to wear something with this much of a risk for camel toe. Another pair of H&M jeans, with the back pockets I studded in 2012 before I lost those ten pounds, stopped wearing them, and then gained the ten pounds back. I used to wear these when I worked in the dairy section of Whole Foods. They actually don’t look so bad, except that some of the studs have fallen off. I’ve been saying I’ll remove them for months now, but instead I just wear them to work with long shirts and sweaters. Why am I so lazy? I don’t even like studs anymore.

What else? The mid-rise jeans I got from the gap – now, these are a true size 28. I say that because they actually fit. Just the right amount of stretch, too. But I wear them almost every day, and they’re not exactly sexy, just average. So I only wear them to work. And every time I wash them, the little pre-distressed hole in the leg gets bigger and bigger. Soon I won’t be able to wear them anywhere.

Ok, these pants are yellow so they don’t count. And these…sigh. My American Apparel easy jeans. With the waist right up to the belly button, super stretchy…they make my butt look great. But they’re so flimsy. The fabric has worn thin and faded substantially. There’s little knick marks from where the cats have pawed at my legs. And then, oh no… There are all these little holes near the crotch where my inner thighs have rubbed together.  How have I never noticed these before? Ok, I really have to throw these away. I mean, they were 70 dollars, 70 dollars for essentially jeggings, but I’ve probably worn them a good 300 times in the last two years. Shit, maybe more. Regardless, should a pair of jeans really fall apart like that? That’s never happened to me before. Have my thighs really gotten that big, or are the pants just cheaply made? I mean, just because American Apparel is sweatshop free doesn’t mean it’s worth the money. Too bad they’re the only store I know of that actually makes jeans for my buttshape. Large and in charge. With a high enough waist that my legs don’t look too short, which they are. Ugh, I really don’t want to go jeans shopping.

At work

I wonder if people can notice that I wore these jeans yesterday. It was probably a mistake to throw out the American Apparel ones. Okay, no it wasn’t. I have a full time job. I don’t make a lot by any means, but I certainly make enough to not wear clothes with holes in them. I need to get it together. I got paid today. I’ll just look online and get a sense of my options. Okay, what’s a nice, affordable place for a girl my age to shop? Besides American Apparel. Zara? Ugh I hate Zara. Zara is the place ex-sorority girls shop when they want to look like hipsters. Where’s the place ex-party girls shop when they decide to become young professionals? Cause that’s what I need. Fine, I’ll look at Zara.

Wow! These jeans are surprisingly affordable. Stretchy looking, high-waisted. And for only 40 dollars? Maybe I shouldn’t have been so harsh. Ok, I like these; and these…but I shouldn’t buy them online. I can almost guarantee they’re gonna be sized weird. I wish they said what size the models were wearing. I could just upsize by three, okay four, and that would probably be my size. Who am I kidding, I’ve played this game before and lost every time. I’ll just go to the store this weekend.

Shopping

Ugh, my boyfriend is late to meet me at lunch, which never happens because I’m always the late one. Can’t reach him, must be a problem with the trains. This could take a while. Hmm…how close is Zara? Oh, there’s one only six blocks down Fifth Avenue! I’ll just tell him to meet me there. This way I’ll know I have a deadline and I can’t spend forever trying on  a bunch of crap. Gotta be decisive.

Damn, it’s windy today. Should have worn a scarf. Why is it taking so long to walk only six blocks? Damn tourists. Wait, is that an American Apparel? Yep. God, they’re everywhere. I am really cold. Fuck it, I’ll just go here.

No. No. No. Too expensive, too light of a wash, too similar to something I already have. Oh snap, a sale section? Let me check this shit out. 30% off? Seems like a pretty good deal. Let’s see if they have anything my size. If I remember correctly, the last time I tried on a size 28 at American Apparel I couldn’t even get them above my hips. Let’s try and avoid that trauma. Okay, dark wash jeans. 30% off. Size 29, this looks promising. They’re 90 dollars before the discount so they’ll be within my price range. That is, if they even fit.

Fitting room

Ok, moment of truth. No matter what happens, I’m not gonna hate myself. It’s not me, it’s the store. They run small. The sizing is wrong, and that’s why they’re on sale. Yeah, I can always go with that if I need to. Oh my god, they’re going over my hips! I was not expecting this! The fabric isn’t even stretchy! Ok let’s see if I can button them. I’ll suck in a bit and – nice! A little tight, a little mom-jeanish, but definitely fashionable enough to wear to work and casual occasions. Plus, when I start working out, they’ll fit perfectly. I hope these aren’t cheaply made, cause they’re final sale, and it wouldn’t be the first time my butt burst a seam. Dear god, that was mortifying. Please don’t let that happen to me again.

The party

Jesus fucking Christ I am an idiot. Why on earth did I wear my most painful heels when I CAN’T SIT DOWN IN THESE NEW JEANS? That was not a smart move. Oh look, tiny sandwiches. I wonder how many of those I can suck down before my super-high waistband snaps in half, sending the button flying through the air and into someone’s eye? I’m not even going to risk it. I don’t have insurance for that shit. Now I see why women were so skinny in the corset-wearing age. What age was that again? Maybe I should get a waist trainer. They make cute ones, I’ve seen them on Instagram. But are you supposed to wear them all day or just when you work out? Fuck it, it sounds terrible either way.

Ok, I have to leave this party, get out of these shoes, and put on sweatpants immediately.

At work

God I feel amazing today. Good thing I wore these leggings. Or I guess they are technically jeggings because they look like pants but are secretly way more awesome. You know, I really hate the word “jeggings.” Whatever happened to the term “stretch pants?” I used that word all the time in the nineties. I fuckin’ crushed stretch pants. These stretch pants I have on right now are particularly awesome because they have back pockets and a FAKE BUTTON in the front that does absolutely nothing except trick people. Plus, they’re gingham. Super cute, and work appropriate.

I honestly can’t believe it’s ok for me to wear something so comfortable. Jesus, that’s like, some internalized sexism right there. I doubt any man has ever said, “wow it’s crazy that I’m even allowed to wear this item of clothing because it doesn’t hurt, or leave a mark, or constrict my body parts or bunch up into my asscrack at ALL.” Not to mention that feeling of true SHOCK we women feel when our pants have pockets that are actually functional. A REAL woman should be physically encumbered at all times. Lol, kill me. I wish I owned cargo pants.

Hmm, if I remember correctly, Uniqlo had these STRETCH PANTS in several other sizes and colors. Perhaps a dark denim? Sounds good to me. I’d be perfectly happy never wearing a pair of real jeans again for the rest of my life. Real jeans don’t allow for the number of times my butt changes size in a given year. More importantly, real jeans don’t feel like pajamas and leave me with a pleasant surprise every time I finish peeing and realize I don’t have to zip or button anything. Real jeans are not for the busy modern woman. This is what I’ll tell myself.

In fact, I’m gonna walk to Uniqlo right frickin’ now and buy some more fake jeans.

Shopping

Okay, I don’t have much time. Break is only supposed to last an hour and I just had to walk three whole blocks down Broadway. Fucking tourists, I swear to god. Still, it’ll be good to be hurried, that way I won’t have time to talk myself out of buying more pants I really didn’t budget for.

So where are the stretch pants? This store has really rearranged a lot since the last time I was here. I bet these sales associates work their asses off. Fuckin’ retail, man. God this place is huge. I’ll probably work off a pants size trying to find a pair. Ooh, look at this fuzzy sweater! God damn it, Kat, FOCUS.

Okay! Found the motherlode. These are the exact pants I was looking for. But oh, what about these?! Actual jeans, stretchy, super dark wash, mid-rise, and $39.99? OK, I’m trying these on, too. I know I said I only wanted to wear leggings but I think these might actually make me look like I spent some money on my appearance. At 26, you have to actually fake it ’til you make it. How am I doing on time…? Oof, not so good. To the fitting room!

Fitting room

I promise no matter what happens I will not beat myself up about the shape of my thighs. Or my ass. Or the place in between I used to call my “second butt” but I realize now is just called “saddlebags.” If neither of these pairs fit, I will not stomp out of this fitting room and walk directly into the Broadway traffic, screaming. Conversely, I will also not resign myself to becoming obese and immediately pick up a burger with a side of mac n cheese and proceed to eat my feelings. Well, I might do that, but I promise to not do it because of this.

Alright, alright, the stretch pants are a good look. I think I can get away with these, maybe, after a few squats. They just make my butt look so HUGE. I’ve really got to stop tying my self worth to the shapeliness of my rear end. Really. Like, by the end of the year. This is unacceptable and it WILL NOT STAND. Ok, next pair.

I…I just…Wow. Just, wow. These are amazing. I look great. I look responsible. I look like a person who has a full-time job and used the money from that job to buy smart jeans that young professionals buy. Wait, let me cuff the bottom. YES now we’re talking. All of my wardrobe problems are solved. It’ll be so easy to get ready in the morning with these as my go-to. People will probably even respect me more! They look so much more expensive than they actually are. This is fabulous. I’m buying these right away. Wow, what a find. Go me!

At home

I literally. Have nothing. To wear.

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