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.

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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.

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

 

 

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Fake Housewife in New Jersey (and, ultimately, Queens)

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Last we spoke I was near-homeless and knee-deep in the bullshit of finding a new apartment. In the past six weeks, while lying to you about possible blog updates (I prefer to think of it as “teasing”) I managed to snag a place, find a roommate, and embark upon the treacherous journey that is Moving and Decorating in New York. But first, I partied.

After dying my hair black and appropriately deciding to fill in my eyebrows the same color every day, it was only natural that I release my inner Italian Housewife (I’m 0% Italian, but who’s counting) and give in to that overwhelming urge to visit New Jersey that I’ve been suppressing all my life. That’s right–I’d been living in Brooklyn for almost two years and had not yet set foot in the state too good to pump its own gas. By now, it was eating away at my soul. If I didn’t get to Jersey soon I was sure I’d be consumed by a FOMO so strong it would make even the toughest steroid-free Guido shed a tear.

Truthfully I had never considered going to Jersey because I never had a good reason, until my good friend Steph invited me to her old stomping grounds, Morristown, to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Even though I should have been looking for apartments and preparing to move out in 14 days it felt like I didn’t have that good of a reason to say no, so I agreed to venture west (east? south? Where TF is Jersey anyway?) on the NJ transit with a backpack full of bronzer, body glitter and a green feather boa that kept getting stuck in the zipper.

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New Jersey! It’s just like us! I went to college in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a small town with cute little main streets sprinkled with bars that on holidays become infested with hoards of inebriated youths. To really make it feel like an authentic college experience, the first bouncer I encountered declared my out of state ID a fake and threatened to take it and call the cops. At first I thought he was flattering me–didn’t he notice that faint wrinkle between my 24-year-old eyebrows that I’ve been hallucinating lately? But alas, we were forced to cut our losses and walk 12 whole feet to enter an identical establishment across the street.

Three beers, two jello shots, a series of Fireball shots and a lethal amount of EDM later, I found myself wandering the streets of Morristown alone. At one point I climbed a fire escape and was escorted down by the cops (luckily they were everywhere that night to protect me from myself). Steph found me in a Blimpie, some blocks away from our original location, shamelessly eating a footlong around 2 AM. The next morning we had burgers and disco fries for breakfast and Cold Stone for lunch. I decided New Jersey agrees with me, as does any place that encourages mass consumption of junk food and alcohol. America: I like it.

When I returned to the city it was back to my search for a hidden paradise in a sea of shitass craigslist posts. I was sifting through ads during down time at work when my old roommate, Natalia, sent me a link to a 2BR apartment in Ridgewood, newly renovated, with a backyard and everything. The price was right, the location was right, the size was right…all I had to do was sign a lease and find a roommate. That night I visited two apartments: one, for the same price, was in Bushwick proper and about the size of a shoebox. The other is the one I now call home. I signed an application in the rain outside of a Chase bank at 10 PM, and went home to “celebrate,” that is, eat a burrito in bed.

With the move-in date looming and one empty room to fill, I continued to pour my desperate heart out on facebook and craigslist, imploring people to give me their money, live with my cats and stay out of my face. At the last possible second, the time it seems everything tends to happen in New York whether it be finding a job, a place or a will to live, I received a craigslist email from the perfect candidate: a wine retailer from, of all places, Chapel fucking Hill.

Then came the challenge of decorating. Since my friends Beth and Megan’s housewarming party in their adorable, gigantic, affordable Bushwick 2BR where I overheard every guest whispering plans to murder them both and steal their digs, it has become my mission to adorn my dwelling in such a way that not only pleases me aesthetically but also fills my loved ones with such jealousy that they must fight the urge to end my life then methodically dispose of my body and take my place.

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April has come and gone, spring is technically here, and so far I have done my best to settle in. Between an endless series of nightmare-inducing phone calls to various utility companies (seriously, endless. I have to call Verizon again tomorrow), my improv classes at Upright Citizens Brigade (I started again!), and my actual job, I’ve managed to paint two rooms, get furniture, electricity and wifi in all of them, gas on my stove, hot water in my shower, holes filled in my floors, a freakin television with actual surround sound (!!!), and a few shreds of my sanity back one day at a time. And I could never have done it alone. From Winston and Reid helping me load and unload a Uhaul in the rain and record time, to Hannah teaching me in the middle of the night how to paint a room, to my dad driving a trailer full of furniture all the way up the east coast with his brand new puppy in tow, not to mention Natalia finding this apartment online in the first place…this was not a feat I recommend for those with shallow pockets who walk alone.

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To find out who your real fans are, see how many of them still read your blog after you don’t post for six weeks. To find out who your real friends are, move.

 

Frankenshit


Now usually I don’t do this but uh…(smoke inside, that is. but everyone else does it here and it’s THE WEEKEND and I’m by myself on my computer so…party. Also I spent the whole day doing yoga and looking at recipes on Pinterest I AM A DUAL PERSONALITY)

It’s been so long since I’ve been up front about my antics with you guys. As in, so long that I am about to tell you stories from October while currently planning my XXXmas party. Maybe I was sleeping on them because, well, October wasn’t the cutest of months and I am only now recovering. But I think…I think I’m ready.

It was the week of October Something, and Moe and Bradford, being the ONLY MEMBERS OF TEAM BIG THINGS THAT CARE ENOUGH, came up to visit me on their fall break. We kicked off the celebration by going to Wreck Room, a divey, Carrboro-esque bar with car seats as booths and graffiti scribbles everywhere and regular live noise-pop.
Reuniting feelz so good, y’all. Pretty sure this was a “pinkies out for Bernie Mac” moment. 
Of course I started the night a little overconfident and splashed a 4 dollar beer in my eye right of the bat. 
No night is complete without some casual adult breast feeding and a little street-anal.
The next day is when things started to get a little strange. By this point in the month I had somewhat successfully balanced my new job at the salon with drinking 40s at Winston’s and hosting visitors from home. I’d had the job for about two weeks, and although the ins and outs were still a little confusing I was getting the hang of it. I had almost forgotten that a few weeks before, in a frenzy to find fast cash, I answered a craigslist ad to be a bodypainted server/model at giant a masquerade Halloween warehouse party. I had sent them my picture because I thought it would be somewhat funny, and they were offering $1000 for one night of “work” which, let’s be honest, I’ve kind of done for free on multiple occasions. I’d be kidding myself to think I was above it, right?

By now they’d gotten back to me, “they” being this dude’s assistant (the guy owns a hotel or something and has had some small hollywood roles). They asked me to come by for an interview, which I had scheduled right after my interview at the hair salon (it ended up working out great because I wore a slutty black dress for “versatility” and it may have been the only reason I got the job at the salon. My boss is a straight man). The interview consisted of me waiting around for 20 minutes and then going up to the empty penthouse of this dude’s hotel and talking to him for five minutes about the size of my breasts and my level of comfort with toplessness. I thought it so was bizarre at the time, sitting on the patio of the 11th floor with the Empire State Building looming behind me and interviewing to be a go-go dancer. But I thought, “there’s a first time for everything” and “yolo” and “$$$$” and “who cares?” The man offered me drinks and food about 50 times to my decline. He told me about the different positions, one as a cocktail waitress that gets paid $500, and one as a “party masseuse,” which is a girl that walks around the party body-painted (with panties on!) and massaging people on ecstasy. Those are the girls that get paid $1000. That’s the one I said I wanted.

“We’re going to need a few photos of you,” he said. He meant topless photos. I gave him a nervous look at first and then shrugged. “I understand if you’re not comfortable,” he said. “But don’t worry, these pictures aren’t going anywhere. I have thousands of naked pictures on my laptop.” “So do I,” I said. What’s another person with a topless photo of me at this point? He departed and went downstairs, leaving me in the room with his assistant. She told me to strip down to my underwear, which was just a thong. I took my dress off while she checked her blackberry. Then, on the back of my application she wrote the number 27 in permanent marker. 27, my same number from the Miss National Pre-teen of North Carolina pageant I did when I was 11, where I won first place in sportswear modeling but fifth overall due to my “age inappropriate” glamour shot photos (I sat in fake sand with my legs open. I was wearing makeup and knee length shorts. I was 10. It shocked the southern masses). Having been made to feel like a slut for the last 12 years of my life, damned if I’m ever going to be ashamed of my body at this point. I held my number and did a series of poses for the assistant, slipped my dress back on and skipped out.

Now it was the “callback,” and I went back to the hotel to find the other girls, none of whom looked older than 19, waiting nervously by the elevator. I immediately became Stripper Mommy and tried to engage everyone in conversation to pump them up. “I heard there’s going to be an open bar!” It sort of worked. I made friends with a girl from the Philippines who didn’t speak much English which seems to be a running trend lately. Slowly more and more girls arrived, and before I knew it at least 100 of us were standing in a line, signing waivers and being forced to give up our cell phones. Here we go.

Once we got up to the penthouse we were all supposed to take off everything but our thongs to be bodypainted. All the girls were fun and hilarious, and most of them were comfortable with the idea. We undressed on the patio and went back to the main room where there was a DJ and the open bar I had hoped for. There were only four bodypainters and about a million of us, so for the first hour everyone was just standing around semi-awkwardly, chugging champagne and looking at each other’s tits. I was making jokes left and right and befriending this baby hippie who was telling me about her latest dubstep festival. I couldn’t stop laughing and staring at everything. It was the weirdest thing I had ever seen, by far. Sponsors from somewhere were walking around scouting who they wanted to represent their brands at the party. The owner of the hotel was walking around with his two tiny dogs and all white ensemble as if he does this every week, which he might. Photographers were snapping photos and one woman was making a video of the charade. A funky girl that looked like a thuggish Tila Tequila was getting a ravey blue Tarzan tanktop painted onto her perfect body by this sexy new-age black man with gauges. I never once saw the bottom of my glass.

As the girls and myself started getting drunker and drunker I started having more fun. I was surrounded by 100 friendly, super confident babes that loved their bodies. This never happens, and it was not what I had expected at all. The DJ was playing all the songs drunk girls love, from “Ur Luv is My Drug” to “Call Me Maybe.” Before I knew it all the ratchet girls had formed a giant krump circle, their asses never more than 6 inches off the ground at any given time. When “Single Ladies” came on, Baby Dubstep Hippie shocked everyone by jumping in the circle and doing the entire choreo start to finish. I have never seen a room full of women this excited in my life.

Finally I got painted, a bikini top in the shape of apples even though I never liked red on me much. We took group photos and I smoked cigarettes while looking around cautiously as the owner started taking girls aside to chat with them privately. “I’m not here to be anybody’s girlfriend,” I thought, and said, multiple times that night. I put my name on the list for the highest paying position and left. It was midnight on a Thursday and my friends were in town…hello…I’m going out.

Before I left I took a picture of my apple tits and instagrammed it. I won’t post the picture here. I like that it’s ungooglable for now and it’s a great reason for you to follow me @catdookie.

When I left the hotel I went to meet Bradford, Moe, Emma and Lamonday who were out for CMJ. I am lazy and bad at finding stuff like this to do because I don’t care enough, but when Moe’s in town I am always on the list for something. Tonight it was the Spin party, with AraabMuzik, Chromeo and MNDR, which, whatever. There was another open bar, which always earns points, and the douchey crowd made it easy for me to skip the line for the bathroom by showing them my apples. I won’t say this was a low point for me, because I’ve been really low before. It certainly wasn’t the best party either, but I was having a good time. Just your average night, I suppose.
Just to give you an idea of how thrilled I was by the atmosphere of this event. They were handing out promotional trucker hats made of paper.

Obviously I ended up having some fun that night.
The next day Hotel Dude’s assistant called me and told me I had to come for my second callback that night if I wanted the job. She told me the other girls and I would meet Dude at the hotel bar at 10 and then go to “the loft space,” which I thought meant the eventual location of the party. I said yes even though I had work the next morning at 9:30, because it sounded like this was “my only chance” and she said it would only take until 1 am. When I showed up at the hotel there was only one other girl waiting, an adorable Brooklyn native that barely grazed 5 ft. Dude was overseeing a nightclub act and had his bartender serve us unlimited beverages. I told myself I’d only have a few drinks, but we were waiting for a while and the drinks kept coming one after the other. The girl and I talked about our brothers and she showed me pictures on her blackberry of the food she’d eaten recently. I asked her how she found out about this job and what she thought the “second audition” was going to be like. She wasn’t sure, and we both started feeling a little off about the whole thing. Where were the other girls? Why were they taking us to a second location? Where even was this second location? We established our limits (no bottomless, no touching) and decided to ask Dude to his face what he had planned for us. He very candidly explained that the “audition” would consist of us going to go to his apartment, getting naked, and “massaging” him. Girl and I looked at each other. I’m no hooker, and if I was do you REALLY think I’d work for free? Heeeeeell nah. We walked.

I felt a little sordid for what was really the first time in this whole process. Partly because I was out 1000 bucks and the whole world had already pretty much seen me naked. But mostly because I was bummed that what I had approached as a fun, sexually freeing experience rejecting the stigma of nudity had ultimately turned into the run-of-the-mill exploitation anyone else would have assumed. I got free drinks out of it and had a lot of fun, so I don’t feel like I lost much. Hey, I’ll try almost anything once, but I drawing the line at prostitution. And, like, crystal meth.

“Come with me,” the girl said as she grabbed my hand and dragged me out of the hotel lounge. “I know some people.” Before I knew it, it was the hour I’d planned to go home and I was walking clear across town with a girl I’d just met to a club I’d just heard of for the first time. Maybe you know of Club Amnesia. It’s like the Pacha of hip hop, I guess, although I’ve obviously never been to Pacha. We get to the door at the front of a line that wraps around the block. My tiny friend gives the doorman a kiss on the cheek and we cross the velvet rope. Girl is actually Latina, but I could feel the piercing group side-eye at what must have looked like two little white girls cutting in line. “Miguel is supposed to be here tonight,” she says to me while the security guards search through our bags. I’m already wasted at this point, wide eyed and freaked out as a man twice my size metal detects between my legs.

My new best friend told me we were only drinking Hennessey and cranberry that night, and I was happy to oblige as I was not yet used to getting paid every week and temporarily thought I was rich. Because I’m a complete idiot I offered to buy the drinks. She gave me some money for tip, but I ended up spending $80 on four drinks. I was having fun for a few minutes, maybe even hours, and then everything went sour. I realized I had work in 6 hours at my brand new job and I was wasted and getting dry-raped in this intense-ass club. I think I tried to make out with Girl which was a no-go. Miguel very well could have been performing and I would not have realized. I was gone. I waved goodbye to my friend and darted out the front door, towards the street and into the back of a cab.

The thing is, when you catch a cab in Manhattan and tell them you live in Bushwick you ALWAYS need to be giving specific directions to the driver. CASE IN POINT my ass was so drunk that night I told homie to take the Williamsburg bridge, rattled off some cross streets and pretty much lost consciousness until I was in a part of Brooklyn I had never ever seen before and the driver was yelling at me to get out. Next thing I knew I was crying on a street corner at 4 am, drunk and exhausted, hooded strangers walking right by me without a glance. When I first moved to New York I thought it was only a “certain class of people” that you’d find rambling to themselves in a ball on the sidewalk. I quickly realized everyone that lives here takes turns playing the part of the destitute and clinically insane. That night it was me, and not for the first or last time.

The night ended with a kind stranger driving by and offering me a ride, the sort of thing any intelligent or non-desperate person would have turned down. But at this point I would have accepted anything, and having gained a little more control over my senses I was able to direct him to my apartment using the map on my phone. I was no less than a 15 minute drive away. He dropped me off and I thanked him sincerely without ever getting his name.

That night I slept for 3 hours before getting up for work, where I was to spill an entire large coffee all over myself and get called out by a coworker for smelling like alcohol. Luckily at the salon we just spritz each other with perfume and go about our day like nothing is wrong even when it really, really is.

The next week was Halloween Friday, the first in what was to be several consecutive celebrations of the same holiday. After work, Hannah and I went to Ricky’s to snag some children’s costumes and fake blood for our half-baked zombie hospital theme: “We’ll be the surgeons and Winston can be our escaped patient! We obviously need cleavers.” If you have “the body” for it, I highly HIGHLY suggest buying children’s costumes for your next Halloween extravaganza. They are usually pretty expandable, if the arms and legs are a little short, and you save like 50 bucks. I dressed my brother in our Great Grandmother’s old nightgown which I may or may not have ruined with fake blood that may or may not be machine washable. All in all I think we came out great.
That night we met up with two aliens, a dead fox and Tony and went to one of the infamous Bushwick mansion parties. I don’t remember much besides Tony spending 20 minutes pouring Joose into my face and getting chased for trying to steal the lightup statue.

And then Sandy happened. I don’t pay attention to the weather ever, but my parents started frantically texting me something the media dramatically named a “FRANKENSTORM.” I rolled my eyes at the phone all like, “Remember the Derecho last July? When everyone freaked out and the only thing that happened was a few cool instagrams of clouds? We’re gonna be fine.” Just in case, I bought some rad candles and an ample supply of Cap’n Crunch.

Natural disasters are about sharing! Sharing cereal with your cat, or a bottle of Jim Beam with that guy you always wanted to sleep with, or you know, electricity and hot water with your friends from Lower Manhattan.

So I was kind of wrong, but not quite. Much of New York, as you know, was super fucked by Sandy. But my neighborhood, being as far inland in Brooklyn as physically poss, was largely unaffected. The worst that happened to Bushwick was that the trains were shut down for like a week, and all the white kids with internships and retail jobs in Manhattan had to celebrate Halloween together five fucking days in a row.

That Tuesday I went to Tandem, probably my favorite bar in Bushwick as it is mostly queer and generally pretty dancey and fun. I wore a pair of fairy wings and did that thing I always do where I get drunk and come out as a full-on lesbian. The jury will always be out on my sexuality, though, as it fucking should be. Unsurprisingly, I saw a Sarah Cousler imposter. If you look hard enough you can find them in every cool city in the country, maybe even the world. They try their best, but they will never be quite as good.
By the time actual Halloween rolled around, I was almost completely over it.
Almost. I sent this picture to all my best friends as a kind of holiday ecard. 

Instead of going out again, I smoked two joints with Hannah and Winston and made them watch This Is It with me while I cried.

Tell me you can watch this with dry eyes.


That weekend we went back to the mansion and I spent most of the night doing mutual manual with some dude in the closet while trying not to vomit on him.


Someone at the party gave me this mixtape, pretty much making all the weirdness worthwhile. 

When October FINALLY ended, election day was upon us. A few days earlier I had mailed my absentee ballot into North Carolina like a GOOD CITIZEN. The state went red but I still felt actualized enough by the outcome of the election, and the fact that I got to take this instagram

On the night of the election I watched the returns at Winston’s with two forties of Ballantine and a box of off brand mac and cheese. As soon as Ohio went blue I was sucked into a vortex of mania that led me to watching the Crazytown “Butterfly” video 3 times, convincing everyone to huff dishwasher detergent and I think eating a little bit of old spice.
I helped pick your president!!!

Since then I’ve been living the broke life as usual and trying to get used to New York’s schizophrenic weather patterns. HURRICANE! SNOW! 65 AND SUNNY! I’ve been buying lots of clothes and household items I can’t afford. I’ve been staying out a lot and working a lot, all while planning my upcoming celebrations of DANKSGIVING and XXXMAS. Every week is another fucking holiday. With my personality and New York’s relentlessness, I’ll be lucky if I ever get the chance to have a normal life.

…why do I even have a Pinterest?

Do y’all ever feel like a plastic bag?

It was well into the evening on Monday when I finally set foot outside, confronting the strangeness of waking up after sleeping for 24 hours; after spending the twelve hours before that squeezing every last drop of serotonin from my brain; after spouting every last detail of my life story to a group of attentive, similarly altered listeners; after drink after drink after drink….

Everything seemed completely brand new, and not in the best of ways. Patrick had left the city the previous day while I was wallowing in my wreck of a room trying to invent a home remedy for insomnia. I didn’t know if it was the fact that summer had started to slip away, but the air smelled completely different. It smelled kinda like…fucks.

Oh, blah blah blah. We’ve all been here before, right? In that place where the party lasted too long (or ended too soon), the period of recovery has long outstayed its welcome and you’re still sitting there, a self-indulgent lame duck. But this, sans tea or shade, isn’t “Amphetamine Logic.” I don’t find these feelings remotely glamorous. I see no reason to give in to the bullshit of ~taking life seriously~,  mistaking the emotional repercussions of a long night for some epiphany on the ultimate truth of loneliness and failure. Ya just did too much drugs.

The thoughts of a fucked up person always sound so true and interesting because they’re always face to face with their mortality. Or maybe they think they are? Something about a death instinct and weakening life instincts which you can read about in superstar drug blogger Cat Marnell’s articles here, or here, or everywhere.

BUT if you, like me, have the luxury of not being a total addict and just want to have some fun, try to remember you ARE NOT GOING TO DIE AND/OR FAIL AT LIFE AND/OR WASTE AWAY WITH NO TRUE FRIENDS THAT REALLY GET U

You are young, you are not dead, everything is going to be fine.

Here are all the things you need to successfully cure a really shitty comedown. 

Water: You forget you need this, but you do. Like, really do. Imagine running a marathon and then guzzling a big ole jug of ocean water. That’s what partying does to your body. You might not feel like it and it might really suck but it’s AMAZING what throwing back three or four tall glasses of water can do to your morale. Helpful tip, if you have a headache or stomachache or just don’t feel thirsty, water at room temperature is a lot easier to drink than the cold stuff. Camelbacks are also good because by this time you will have regressed to a child-like state and won’t mind sucking a nipple.

Vitamins: There’s this crazy shit you can buy at the drug store called 5HTP that helps replenish some of the great stuff that great drugs suck out of your brain and body (like our beloved serotonin). It also makes you sleepy, which is going to be really helpful in your shitty state. But without getting into a bunch of science or whatever, there are other super normal things you can take like vitamin C and B complex (I actually read somewhere that if you take B12 the night you go out drinking it keeps you from having a hangover. But I’m not a doctor or anything). I have been known to take like 4 packs of Emergen-C which has a whole bunch of different shit in it and is also a good way to convince myself to drink water.

Marijuana: I don’t remember the last time I bought weed which is totally shameful. I actually spent most of the summer so un-stoned that I’d forgotten how great of a remedy it can be for most things.

Sleep: You will not feel normal again until you do this. In my case I had to take a promethazine and do it for about a day. Actually I’ve come to realize that most of my problems, party-related or not, have to do with being tired. Tiredness just makes you so annoyingly serious and who has time for that?

Get OUT of the house: Go for a walk. Get your blood flowing. Maybe even  get some food. See something other than the room where up until five minutes ago you were sure you were going to die.

Exercise, even if slightly: Stretching is a good way to cheat on this one. Stretching is the bomb.

Socialize: This one is about getting over yourself and realizing your problems are not that serious. Having a chat with someone other than your cat will make you feel less crazy and help you gain perspective. You’ll remember who you used to be before this nightmare.

and last but not least, Create limits for yourself: You need to know when enough is enough (in my experience this is somewhere between slightly more than enough and not quite too much). Nobody wants to come visit you in a hospital or look at your broken capillaries or have you ruin everything by dying. Let’s not lose any more good people. Things you will never see me do include crack, heroin, meth, and PCP (sorry Cat, u do u). I am also not super “into pills” or what have you because that just seems so ’08, and you should NEVER exchange sex for drugs (or vice versa, you creep). I’m not going to wag my finger at you if you flirt with guys so they buy you drinks. Who doesn’t do that? (Well, I don’t usually because I have a very narrow, almost invisible window between wanting to stab a guy in the face and actually liking them. By the time I figure out which one, the ‘pretending’ ship has sailed far, far away). I’m JUST saying that if you want your morning-afters to get any easier, think about the things you felt guilty about last time. Maybe you feel like an idiot for letting that guy suck your tit in exchange for a bump of coke because you were kind of being a huge idiot. But don’t be too hard on yourself. Some things, like bouncing around scantily clad and talking incessant nonsense to a group of ogling guys for four hours, should be met with a quick self deprecating eye-roll. If you do find yourself sitting around biting your nails trying to remember all the ridiculous things you said and thinking “they probably thought I was so stupid and selfish and slutty!” just remember that,

-If they did, so what?

-They were really fucked up too and probably more focused on trying to sleep with you.

-Stupid, selfish and slutty might be the look.

nuttin but a hairflip.
xx,
Kat

oh, sweet deuces

My personal assistant sucks. I leave for my new residence in Brooklyn in 2 days and she has barely even started packing up my shit. The sink is full of dishes, my inbox is full of unanswered emails, the litter box is overflowing with poop and tiny pieces of clay. How am I supposed to be ready to move by Sunday if I’m out being ratchet every night and she’s sitting on her ass watching Gossip Girl or whatever?

If my assistant were real, I would probably fire her ass.

Instead the responsibility is 100% on me to not be a failure and literally get my shit together, and I’ve fallen significantly behind. Something happens when it hits you that your entire life is about to change, including your relationships with everyone in it. For some, that something is a state of panic setting in, sending them into a packing and planning frenzy (think Jennifer Hudson’s character in the first Sex and the City movie but on PCP). I’m taking the more lackadaisical approach of half-packing one or two boxes a day, considering that an accomplishment and spending the rest of each evening on a mini-bender. Remember those last few weeks of summer before going away to college? This is just like that, only with much less of an excuse for acting like a 17-year-old.

In the meantime, I have completed some of the items on my Triangle Tribute list. Since I am single again (I think you’re all pretty sure how this works by now) I’ve been looking for ways to stay busy that are simultaneously fulfilling and unproductive. Mostly this means going to Raleigh a lot to Sass, Justin and Katy’s house. Nestled in the promised land just above the fast-food strip of Western Boulevard, I’ve been “pre-gaming” with them (do adults call it pre-gaming? can I even call it that if I’ve never drank and watched a game in my entire life?) and then hitting the town, as it were. I thought completing this list was going to bathe me in nostalgia and I’d find closure with my birthplace then spread my wings and fly and shit. Instead, it just reminded me that I’ve spent the last 8 years doing the same thing every weekend and I could really use a change. That being said, I respect the Triangle and the Triangle knows. It’s an unpretentious place, it has some decent stuff to offer, and the people who love it here really love it. Just as with my recent ex-boyfriend, the Triangle and I are parting ways amicably. But not without a fight.

It all started when Reid returned from London and we decided to celebrate with my very first and very last experience at Top of the Hill. After forgetting my ID, faking an accent and telling a trillion lies to the bouncer for no reason at all, I was allowed to enter “the club.” It was pretty unimpressive as I could have expected, but my level of intoxication overrode any inhibition I may have had and I spent a good two hours dancing on a chair to every Rihanna single ever. My neck was only sore for the next four days so I must have done something right.

I can’t remember if it was the next night or not because my days have started to run together, but I decided to hit up First Friday with my Ralz crew a few weekends ago. If you didn’t know, “hit up First Friday” means drink at home until at least 12:30 am and then try to find something to do downtown. After heading to Dirty Mega and standing outside refusing to pay for it because we missed Chocolate Rice, we relocated to Neptune’s, what at times feels like Raleigh’s only bar. I quickly realized, I don’t feel that bad leaving a town where the main attraction is waiting in line for 20 minutes to get into a bar where the guys are all wearing flip-flops. Sorry Raleigh, I love you, we’re just not compatible.

After I’d had a string of bad days last week, I decided to make myself feel better the only way I know how: impromptu bargain wig shopping. It worked smashingly! Mindy, Lauren and Derick joined Katy, Sass, Justin and I in a three-hour boy band sing sesh during which we each consumed a bottle of something. Then we each bought more bottles of something and brought them to the rose garden. There were two or three other groups of wayward mid-week partiers with whom we made friends and by whom we were almost murdered. That was fun. The next day I drowned all my sorrows in Cheerwine and pink hair dye to repair the damage.

In other news, I finished my last day at Whole Foods on Sunday and found someone beautiful and perfect enough to sublet my Carrboro room. I think I’ve decided which clothes I want to bring with me to NY (I can only bring 6 suitcases so I’m freaking out). Clearly I’m in a little bit of denial that this is the end, but I’m just gonna put on these shades I found under my dresser and look toward the future.

RALEIGH I’M LEAVING AND THIS IS THE HARDEST THING I’VE EVER HAD TO DO, BUT I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU. Cause that’s the kind of bitch I am.

New York City, or, How Am I Not Dead Yet


Greetings fellow disasters! It looks like Mother Nature reads my blog and decided to bump up our medium-shitty weather to nearly 70 degrees and sunny as hell. My life is taking a similar turn; I got a job offer this morning, I lost five pounds, and things may or may not be improving in my relationship department (details to be divulged at a later date). Since I’ve spent the last four weeks feeling sorry for myself that none of these things had happened yet, I let one of the most fabulously disastrous times of my life go undocumented.

Team Big Things Does NYC (Dec 28-Jan 2).

It began as a simple road trip with a few broke friends; Bradford, Austin, Bill, Patrick and myself all crammed in a Jeep, with five cans of beans, three handles of liquor and about 50 packets of Ramen. I spent most of the ride up stoned and praying we didn’t flip over speeding through toll booths at 90 mph. When we finally arrived in Williamsburg to stay with our ever-so-generous hosts and cohorts Beth and Linnea, I was apparently overcome with exhaustion and/or narcolepsy; after a brief stint taking pictures of ourselves at Metropolitan (a location where I spent 20 minutes looking for my lost jacket that I never even wore), I was dragged by my cunt-ourage to…somewhere. It may have been a fabulous party at a fabulous gay bar with fabulous DJs. However, I was able to have just about this much fun:

So there’s that.

Now, normally I would give an account of what happened in the daytime at any point during this trip. And I promise, I was awake for some of those hours. But somehow my memory refuses to serve, probably given the central line of cheap liquor and THC I received during the trip, and all the time that has passed since. Suffice it to say that I was probably hungover and yelling at people on the street, singing Azaelia Banks a cappella or stealing hats from Topshop. Whatever. Moving on.

As far as I can recall, the next night was spent in the basement of Santos Party House, trying to pretend we weren’t the most amazing people in the room and that the drinks weren’t thirteen dollars. This proved to be very difficult, but after a certain number of cocktails I was able to twirl regardless. Later that night, Patrick met up with someone from Grindr at some random corner on Lafayette, only to approach with our entire crew and reject him on the spot. This was one of the weirder, more anti-climactic nights of the trip. I fell asleep with these 80/20 shoes on.

On night #3, Moe (my publicist and an all-around great guy) surprised everyone with a cameo appearance, bringing only his weekender and a sequined bow tie. We somehow managed to work our 9-person, almost entirely male crew into Le Bain, and even though I was wearing my velvet bustier and was too drunk to spell my name, my flirtatious advances somehow got rejected by the bartender. Feeling sad for about 0.0o1 minutes (I really wanted a free drink), I proceeded to assist Patrick in making out with a straight guy and spent 20 minutes searching for my lost phone. I ended up finding it in my boobs later on, but in all the bustle Moe and I made our way to security and they gave us some garlic knots. Worth it? I think so. The rest of the night was spent eating pizza in alleyways and consorting with the beautiful people at Brooklyn’s Sugarland.

 

And then came the big night.

New Year’s Eve in the city is always, of course, a huge deal and despite my millions of visits I had somehow never experienced it. No one I knew was super interested in Dick Clark’s Smeagol impersonation (god bless him), so our plan was to hit up the annual throwdown at the  Schinasi Mansion on the Upper West Side. This classy joint is one of the few and well respected free-standing mansions in NYC, flips for about 15 mil, and looks a little something like this on a good day.

 

After spending the entirety of December 31st drinking the cheapest handle one can locate in the 212 (Bacardi Coconut, it’s fucking good), and assembling head-to-toe metallic ensembles for the evening, our crowd (which now included my younger sister Kedrin, her two beautiful friends, and the adorably tux-clad Connor and Matt) rocked a subway car back and forth at 11:30 pm screaming “NINETEEN NINETY TWELVE!” into the faces of unassuming, innocent strangers who were headed for third shift.

5…4…3…2…1

I blacked out shortly thereafter.

Apparently, this is what the Schinasi Mansion looked like on New Year’s Eve.

  

According to what is now urban legend regarding that night, someone fell and broke their neck down those stairs just before we arrived in the wake of the ambulance. I took *something* that did not sit well with my stomach and spent the next few hours throwing up for the first time since 2010. In the middle of a crowd of girls who could only have hailed from Hamilton House itself, Moe fell asleep on someone, Austin danced in the streets for passing cab drivers, and Bradford took a bite out of a martini glass.

Beth, bless her heart, took care of us all.

Sure, I was kicked out of the party between five and ten times. Yes, I couldn’t walk down steps for a week because of the bruises on my legs. Okay, fine, I went a too far yet again and publicly humiliated myself like I always do. But I’d say the evening went almost exactly as planned (with the exception of falling asleep in the back of a cab and never making it to the party at Verboten I had deeply desired to attend).

For a split second, we were lost in the chaos of the capital of the world, turning everything we touched into a pile of feathers, glitter and blood.

And a split second later, as if nothing had happened, we were gone.

That Awkward Moment Where You Lived with Your Parents

While being back home may be a temporary stint for me, living with your parents for any period of time as an adult can make your daily life more obnoxious in an infinite number of ways. The simple tasks you had performed so easily during college (or that time you were a drug dealer in the years after high school) can be extremely difficult to execute within those disturbingly familiar walls. A quick look at some of the things that have become nearly impossible to carry out since I returned to the nest:

1. Speaking like I normally would. I’m not sure why, but in the years that I was away for college, my vocabulary went from “saying shit and fuck a healthy, normal, enormous amount of times per day,” to “I actually have a case of verbal Tourrette’s that cannot be contained whatsoever. SHIT-BALLS I FUCKING STUBBED MY FUCKING TOE.” This, of course, always shocks my mother, who to this day (god love her) is still convinced that eventually all her teaching will pay off and I’ll miraculously have one or more manners.

2. Sleeping in. The other day at around 11:30 AM while smothering a headache underneath the pillows of my ever-so-classy bunk bed, my mother came in, shook me awake and told me to look for jobs. “It’s AFTER ELEVEN,” she urged. Personally, I would have felt perfectly justified and morally sound in sleeping for another two hours or so, but “Mom, I’m hungover because my friend from high school came over last night after you fell asleep and we drank a handle of Bacardi that we found in her trunk,” doesn’t really roll off the tongue so well on a Tuesday morning.

3. The actual process of getting drunk. Actually, before I had the “legal trouble” I recently acquired, it was pretty easy to share a few bottles of wine and champagne with my mother while watching three-hour Barbara Streisand movies. Now that she realizes I’m no longer the innocent little girl she mistakenly believes I once was, I’m afraid she’ll think I’m a free-loading alcoholic for drinking a Corona with dinner. Usually I can wait until they go to sleep. Inevitably, though, the concept of drinking alone at my parents house is just too depressing to bear, and I never make it past the first beer.

4. Buying Marijuana. If I had a car this would be much easier, or if we didn’t live in a suburban monstrosity of a house in the heart of America’s safest, most tree-free town. But that’s just not the case. Of course I wish I didn’t have to meet a dealer in the bathroom of a Bennigan’s while out to dinner with my family, but after all that stress of trying to find someone who will actually deliver you weed, you kinda need it.

5. Smoking Marijuana. Or anything for that matter. We have a screened-in porch on my deck (because what are we, poor?) which makes for a delightful smoking area during the evening hours. But even after jumping through flaming hoops to find the smallest amount of bud, it seems like things just continue to go wrong. Of course tonight is the night that my parents’ insomnia kicks into gear, welding them to re-runs of Two and a Half Men until the witching hour. Also, where the fuck is one single lighter in this house? Is it sketchy for me to be rifling through all the kitchen drawers at 11 pm? I find a grill torch in the cabinet and decide to smoke in the crawl space of my sister’s closet.

6. Finding one single vegetarian thing to eat. Oh look, about 50 bags of frozen Tyson’s chicken nuggets, leftover beef stew, some Chef Boyardee, chicken flavored Ramen noodles, and six packs of hotdogs. GUESS I’LL BE EATING THIS CAN OF GREAT NORTHERN BEANS.

7. Watching TV and getting on Tumblr all day long. “Honey, shouldn’t you be applying for jobs? Can you fold the laundry? You should clean your room it looks HORRIFYING. Look at this shitty job posting I found you that you would never want to apply for in a million years! Did you see it? I know it says ‘Janitor at local TV station’ but that could look good on your resume! Are you depressed?” No, mom. No, to all of this. Now go away so I can reblog pictures of naked people.

8. Avoiding “family outings.” Contrary to what you might think, I don’t actually go to Irish chain restaurants with my sister and parents because I love being surrounded by drunk people in their 50s while silently stuffing my face with spinach-artichoke dip. As thrilling as that is, I’d much rather be eating an entire pizza alone in my room with my cat. But what am I going to say? “No, I’d rather be pathetic,” and proceed spend 20 dollars on my own meal? Please.

9. Entertaining suitors. The other day when I was casually hanging out with someone I would casually like to bone, I thought I would try to sneak him up to my bedroom for for the ol’ quick-and-risky after he drove me home. I barely made it through the door of my garage before hearing my mother’s voice calling my name from the next room. Of course, my perfect gentleman scuffled into the night before having to drunkenly introduce himself at four the morning. I went to bed feeling grossly unsatisfied and didn’t hear from the guy for days.

And last but not least,

10. Masturbating. Am I right?