Friday, August 28, 2015

5 Fandom Friday: Geek Role Models

Geeks...among us.  They're out there.  Real-life geeks who are changing the world and making it an amazing place for us all.  Today, we salute you.  We praise you for paving the way for us to crawl out of our Netflix bunkers and wave our freak flags proudly!

1.  Neil deGrasse Tyson  I was floored by the new Cosmos series when it aired, and a lot of that had to do with *ThiS GuY!*  His super cool melodramatic acting, his matter-of-fact calm reassurance, he was the perfect narrator to lead you through all of space and time...and introduce you to the tardigrade!  And I loved all the times he squee'd over meeting Carl Sagan when he was younger.  That is adorable.  That is true hardcore geekiness, guys, and it is inspiring.

2.  Neil Patrick Harris
  is a fan of magic, can juggle, played Hedwig, and just seems like an all-around AWESOME guy.  When he's in a movie you're like, OH, this is going to be GOOD.  Because he's MAGICALLLL!  That above shot is from Starship Troopers, the film version of Robert A Heinlein's book (see I told you he's awesome) and you're welcome for those nightmares!  To make it up to you, here's him juggling with Marcus Monroe, it's cute, no bugs, I promise:

3. & 4.  The Nerdy Girlie & Super Space Chick  gotta give it up for the gals who started this all!  What bwings us togethah, today!  Megan's blog is the absolute bomb and she even spoke on a panel at SDCC!  Kristin has the most enviable Instagram feed and is a super reader, I don't even know how she does it!  Major major props to both of these ladies who I sigh and pine over and wish I was half as cool as them!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Leggings Are My Kryptonite

One of my pet goals is to try to be a "better" feminist.  I want to set a good example by my own actions, refusing to participate in girl hate, eschewing judgement, and supporting each other in our choices, whatever they may be. 

But there's one choice.  One choice.  One I cannot get behind.

Because it's weird.  Because they're not pants.  Because leggings...wait for it...are underwear.

Fancy Batman Black Milk leggings model wears leggings UNDER long shirt...
...BECAUSE THEY'RE UNDERWEAR and she knows it!!!

Irrefutable logic in 3...2...1...

But, Meghan, you want to say, superheroes wear leggings. To this I say, yes they do.  But let's examine WHY, okay? 

CLARK KENT wears a suit on top of HIS leggings on the off chance he needs to fight crime, he can just tear off that Daily Planet drab in a phone booth and go leap tall buildings in a single bound. 

When PETER PARKER hears someone scream for help, he just slips easily out of his jeans into his LEGGINGS, shoots web out of his wrists and swings into action.

HOW ARE THEY ABLE TO TRANSITION SO EASILY INTO ACTION MODE?  Is it the radioactive spider sense?  Is it the laser vision?  NO, obviously.  IT'S THE UNDERWEAR!!!  Leggings fit nicely under your everyday attire because THEY'RE UNDERWEAR!  THEY'RE MEANT TO BE WORN, UNDER! 

Deadpool leggings from Super Hero Stuff.
Don't be caught "dead" in just your underwear...
...or do.  It's your choice.  RAH RAH FEMINISM!


As a feminist, I *totally support* your deliberate choice to wear your underwear publicly and proudly.  Ladies, that is your choice, and I support it.  Wear your underwear proudly!  Or wear NO underwear!  Or wear underwear UNDER your underwear, like a proud female Tobias Funke!  But...don't wear leggings and tell me they're not underwear. 

Because they are.  Even Clark Kent knows this, and he's from another planet.  ANOTHER.  PLANET. 

Harley Quinn leggings from Hot Topic.  Hey - some men just want to watch the world burn.
And some women want to wear underwear in public.  We're all a little crazy, eh, Dr. Quinzel?

Leggings are garments you wear UNDER other garments.  They're underwear.  And if you're cool with that, I'm cool with that.  But don't tell me they're pants.  THEY.  ARE.  NOT.  PANTS.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Starship Troopers

This is arguably the most famous of Heinlein's novels and I would venture to say it is probably the least typical Heinlein novel.  The humour is sparse, there's almost no sexual encounters, and the female characters can be counted on one hand.  While I always enjoy The Dean's writing, I found this one to be more of an obligation than a book I genuinely enjoyed:  It's on the required reading list! 

If you, or anyone you know, has read Starship Troopers and is judging all of Heinlein's works based off this one book, I implore you!  Please read The Door Into Summer!  Read Stranger in a Strange Land!  Read Job:  A Comedy of Justice! 

Look, it's not that I didn't like this book - I wouldn't have finished it if that were the case (looking at you, The Number of the Beast) because life is too short to read books you don't like.  I just didn't love this book quite as much as I was hoping to.  Luckily for me, there's still much more Heinlein to discover!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday Stealing: Birds Are Chirping Meme

The time has come! 
Tomorrow evening, my boyfriend and I fly out to Reno for preparations.  This time next week, I'll be waving a tearful goodbye to indoor plumbing (might actually cry) and loading up into a car to drive to the desert for the week at Burning Man!  What awaits me there?  NO IDEA.  But I am thrilled by the advance pictures of artwork on the playa, reports that the bug infestation has mostly abated, and the fact that I managed to cram this brand-new Jessica McClintock prom dress I bought for $18 this spring into my suitcase to wear EVERY DAMN NIGHT BECAUSE I CAN:

Enough of the bragging!  I gotta get this Stealing in while I can!  I'm going to miss the next two coming up!  I look forward to these every week, I can't wait to share my crazy pictures and tell how I survived the Port-A-Potty-pocalyse when I get back!

Name a product you buy mostly because it has a cool package.
    I wouldn't say "mostly," because I truly do enjoy Alstertor Dusseldorf-style mustard

I put it in my salad dressing to make it rich and tangy, and the container it comes in makes a cute glass for wine because it's not too big to accidentally get you mad drunk.

What flavour cake do you like for your birthday?    
I always want a different cake, but not eating gluten makes it kind of hard so I'll take any cake that won't make me sick!  I do love lemon cake in the summer, though, when my birthday happens. 

Have you ever been in love with someone much older or younger than you?
    Define "much."  Never more than four years' difference?  Not that "much," so, no. 

Have you ever had a job you loved?
    YES I LOVE MY JOB!  I get to give ghost tours, and perform, and even just last night I felt I gave a spectacular show and I was so proud of myself I could burst!

Have you ever been in a building that was on fire?
    Nope, but I've been in college theatre rehearsals where the person who installed the smoke machine did so directly under the smoke detector, so we were forced into the snow in bare feet in February while things got checked out and we hated that guy until the day we graduated. 

Are you in an argument with anyone right now?    
No, I'm typing right now!  But I don't really consider "debate" to be "arguing."  Because I'm always right in a debate, you see.   

Would you change your hair colour to something outrageous if you would get paid to?
    My hair is already outrageous, are there actually people who pay you for this??  PLEASE TELL THEM TO CALL ME.  The only thing keeping my hair from being MORE outrageous is the worry I'll never find a steady job, aka someone to pay me.  THIS SOLVES ALL MY PROBLEMS.  Also, maintenance.  It's hard to keep unnatural colours looking good. 

Have you ever written a poem for someone?
    I've written so many poems for Mother's Day and Father's Day.   

What is a place you’ve vacationed at and would like to go back to?
    Paris.  London.  Amsterdam.  Disney World.  Not necessarily in that order. 

Do you eat samples at the grocery store?
    I would honestly love to.  I can't eat gluten, and I don't eat meat by choice, so the samples are often little white cups of Ipecac to me.  I've had to stop eating samples even at my beloved Trader Joe's:  I once tried a caramel truffle that I didn't know contained wheat until I felt sick on the train ride home and yup, sure enough, full of wheat.  I had to work that night, too, and it was really awful trying not to puke every time I opened my mouth - I did it, though, and now when I feel sick on the day of a tour I think of how I managed to give a tour while on Vomit Watch.  Seriously, my boyfriend followed the tour around to make sure I wouldn't die.  He's the best human being. 

What do you absolutely have to have to make your birthday feel special?
    My rule used to be, "Champage and escargot" but these days I'm just happy to have the day off to chill out.  This year I had a bit of a cold, but still had some wine, and a boat ride, and it was glorious.  Happy birthday indeed! 

What’s the last tourist area you visited?    
Last week I gave my first new Hell's Kitchen tour, which brought me into dangerously close proximity to TIMES SQUARE!!!  Ugh.  I went to the Sephora while I was up there and had such a mixed experience.  The walk there was TERRIBLE, the tourists in the shop were SO IDIOTIC, but the staff at the store was helpful, funny, and patient.  They must hired literal angels to make up for the festering cesspool of tourist traps they're located in. 

Where do you go out to eat for a special occasion?
    Let's get this right out of the way:  every time I go out to eat is a special occasion.  It's so rare and wonderful to be able to go out and eat amazing food and drink and I am so grateful for it and feel genuinely spoiled.  I've never had the kind of lifestyle that could afford to just go to a restaurant whenever I feel like it.  I stand in awe every time my boyfriend treats me to dinner or brunch and I have to really say THANK YOU.  Eating out is something I think gets taken for granted in New York City, but to me, it is always a luxury that is so out of my reach it's almost embarrassing to me to be able to experience it as a gift, or a treat.  It's like getting a gift of food, which I LOVE FOOD, and I never take for granted.  Phew!  

When was the last time you went to a post office?
    Like, June, maybe?  When I first moved to Greenpoint?  The Greenpoint post office, BTW, DEFIES all you know about NYC Post Offices.  It is quiet, clean, and efficient.  Which is the opposite of every post office in Manhattan!

Is there an item you are saving up to buy right now?    

Are you psychic in any way?    
No, but I like to pretend I'm psychic when I'm checking in guests for my ghost tour!  I have a roster of the names and group size, and I can usually guess fairly well...unless it's a night where it's all pairs of ladies.  Then I think it's fun to try to match people up with their names.  But I don't take it too seriously...unless I'm getting them ALL RIGHT!! 

Do you prefer a laptop or desktop? Which are you on now?    
I'm on a laptop with my feet on the coffee table and it's glorious.  Not the best for my posture, I'm SURE, but I'd never go back to desktop (unless I actually needed to get work done). 

Have you ever received a gift and truly did not know what it was?    
No, I cannot say that I have. 

What’s your homepage?    
Ugh, embarrassing!  It's the Mozilla "you didn't shut down your browser last time you shut your computer off, should we reload your open tabs from that session?" page.  YES.  Reload my tabs.  Keep them all right where I like them.  It's like we've never said goodbye.

Is there a thing you enjoy doing, but quit because you are not good at it?    
I love to perform.  I love giving my ghost tours, yes, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE pulling up a character - any kind of character - and diving in deep and losing myself to the seemingly-sweet sinister stranger, or the bubbly ditz, or the menacing madwoman.  There is such freedom for me in acting because it's heightened reality, so whatever you do, you do to the extreme.  I feel most alive when I'm pouring out LIFE from all points and I've never found a better outlet for that than on the stage.  Specifically in the classics.  I have a running fantasy of playing Shakespeare, I would do anything to play Lady Macbeth one day!  As long as I'm confessing, I have like frequent daydreams about it.  And revisiting past roles.  But I gave it up because I seldom got the chance to do those things, I was just auditioning over and over for stuff that all felt boring, mundane, the same.  And not even getting a call back.  I promised myself years before that if my theatre career ever ended, I would get a bunch of tattoos, which everyone knows is the kiss of death to an actor.  I think I called it well.  I'm happy with my choices.  I'm getting some auditions these days, but nothing like what I'd love to do, that deeply passionate and intense acting.  I've got my glory days to look back on, but I can't imagine never doing it again.

So, not to end on a down note, I'm excited to be going but I'll miss this Stealing tradition!  Everyone be well and I'll see you on the other side!

Friday, August 21, 2015

5 Fandom Friday: Cross My Heart

Oh my clever title...this week's topic is "Crossovers that would cause my heart to explode" (get it?)  and while I've never been one for the crossovers (Why does Angel gotta come back to Buffy?  LEAVE LEAVE LEAVE NOW), I can think of a couple that might be fun to watch...

1.  Sailor Moon / Buffy the Vampire Slayer 
I confess, this one actually came to me in a dream.  How amazing would it be for these two characters to have met in high school?  Boy-crazy, sometimes klutzy, just trying to be normal teenagers but saddled with the responsibility of saving the world?  It's too easy, dude.  This would be a smash of a mashup.

2.  The Simpsons / Harry Potter  "Yer a wizard, Lisa!"  Oh my gawdness can you imagine Lisa Simpson at Hogwarts?  The whole backstory is obviously she's half-blood, Marge being a witch (and Patty and Selma, I mean, COME ON) and Homer being a Muggle.  She would totally charm people with her saxophone and have a cat as a familiar!  How amazing would this be, you guys?!

3. Paula Deen & Sandra Lee  it's semi-homemade cocktail hour, y'all!  Let's put aside all the negativity towards this scandalized Food Network pair and just enjoy what an absolute mess of crazytown this would be.  It would be like watching the most amazing trainwreck ever, with butter.  LOTS of butter.  Ding!  Cocktail time!

4.  Britney & Kevin: Chaotic / Newlyweds:  Nick & Jessica  as much as I turned up my nose at the predictable pop churned out by these musical talents in their heyday, I could not get enough of watching their reality shows.  Picture this:  after their respective weddings, they find themselves all honeymooning at the same, super-secluded, ultra-high end tropical resort!  It becomes a Fantasy Island of farcical misunderstandings, including but not strictly limited to the all-important question, "Is this chicken or fish?"

5.  Peep Show / The IT Crowd  Anglophiles, holla at yo gurl!  I've watched both of these serieses like, nine times apiece?  And really, doesn't the BBC just shuffle people around like musical chairs?  But imagine the first-person-camera self-narrating inside Moss's head.  Can we make this happen?  Even for five minutes on YouTube?  Please?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Gentleman's Guide to Street Harassment

What's up, Ladies?  Being a woman, as statistically most of you are, you've been street harassed, and you probably didn't like it.  But this is Major News to the minority 49% of the population of the world (also known as "that guy who shouted that inappropriate thing at me"), so do me a favour.  Find a guy.  Any cisgendered straight white male will do.  Bonus points if he's just walked uncomfortably close to you to belch  "BeAuTiFuL" in your ear.  And hand this to him.

And now I'm talking to the guys - HI GUYS!  Though you may not in fact be shouting something creepily invasive under a thin veneer of compliment at a woman this very minute, we understand you have a hard time believing us when we tell you that this actually happens...  so we brought hidden camera evidence!!!

CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT!  Men hitting on other people's girlfriends!  Don't they realize those women are already the property of some other man?!  How rude!  Honestly!  That is so their boyfriends! 

But, you ask, what about women who don't have boyfriends?  Can we harass them?  And for a while we thought, Yeah, of course, sure, why not?  It's not like any man gives a crap who harasses a single lady...

Oh damn!  Those walking objects you just can't help but comment on as they enter your field of vision have fathers!  Almost like a human person!  Fathers who, as we see in the video, will kick yer ass if you cross the line with their daughters!  Whoops!  That's out!

But with all these restrictions on who you can and cannot harass, who's left?  Surely there must be someone out there who we can hurl body policing in the guise of compliments at with reckless abandon?

YESSS.  Hey Red, love those curls.  Nice dog!  Where ya goin?  Don't walk away from me!  I'll show you some Hard Knock, huh huh!  You just gonna ignore me, Red?  Well, you're gonna die, bitch, all alone, just like you were born, cuz I don't see a ring on that finger and your parents are dead!  So, can I get your number?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Cylons At Home

I don't actually know how I feel about this, but my house is wired.  Networked.  Vulnerable to Cylon attack.  I live with intelligent computers who secretly hate me.  Okay, that's a little dramatic.  Maybe they just don't like me.

This has been a scorching summer, one for the record books.  The first thing we set up in our new apartment in June was the air conditioners:  one in the kitchen, one in the bedroom.  Then my boyfriend got fancy:  he installed some dangly doo-hickey that makes it so you can control the air conditioners not only by remote control, but with your phone. 

This is the dangly doo-hickey.  It's actually cute, I must admit.  Reminds me of a computer mouse from the Good Olde Days.

, we can turn the air conditioners on and off, from anywhere in the world, through an app he MADE me put on my phone.  Ha ha just kidding I love you!  But I'm a little terrified of the technology.

See, they're set to go on a schedule, so any time I'm sitting alone in my quiet home and SUDDENLY the a/c flips on WAHT TEH F---  it's just the hyper-intelligent cooling device.  Smug.  Look at you, doing your job.  Jealous?  Maybe I am.  I don't 100% trust the machines to control the temperature of my little corner of the Skynet (ooooooh Terminators).  We've traded control for convenience!  Isn't this certainly the beginning of the end?

Call me a Luddite, but I don't know about these networked, app-controlled intelligent machines yet.  I'll be doing it the old-fashioned way...

The REMOTE CONTROL!  What, you think I'd get up off the couch to press the button?  Come on!  Get with the times!!!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Night Terrors: Sex, Dating, Puberty, and Other Alarming Things by Ashley Cardiff

Last month, I was fortunate enough to be stuck on a train for ten hours (ten hours just read that sentence will you!) to devour this entire book in a single sitting.

Ashley Cardiff's collection of essays all revolve around the subject of sex.  Because she is openly talking about sex, her narrative voice takes on the air of authority and dare I say innate coolness because she is brave enough to talk about sex.  While many of her experiences are relate-able (the boyfriend whose parents don't think you're good enough for him?  Being hit on in a bar by a pompous ass who talks down to you in hopes that you'll go home with him?), she is on a pedestal:  like the cool, older babysitter in an 80's movie.  Ashley Cardiff is cool as hell.

And then, there are the less-relate-able stories she shares:  these were by far my favourite, as the awkwardness and horror made me laugh and groan out loud on that damn train, so I'm sure the other passengers were probably not enjoying my book as much as I was.  I don't want to spoil any of the juicy details of the book, so I'll let the back cover do it for me:

This is a collection that is not to be missed.  Oh, I can go glassy-eyed and wax poetic about the importance of female humorists telling their own stories in a genre dominated by men, or you can just read this book and experience for yourself the riveting, uproarious masterpiece that it is!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sunday Stealing: I Want You To Be Free From Me Meme

Hey hey hey it's SUNDAY!  I'm feeling very much like celebrating because yesterday, I pulled it off.  I had to learn a new tour this summer for my job and last night I DID IT!  That was weeks of preparing, intense rehearsals, and endless thanks owed to my boyfriend for being my "test audience" multiple times!  Now I have the WHOLE WEEKEND FREE to celebrate and what do I do?  Take a three-hour nap and miss most of my Saturday!  Ain't complainin', that was a deeeeelightful nap, and now, I feel ready for some Sunday Stealing!

Are your nails painted a dark or light colour?     Interesting question, hard to answer.  They're dark blue with a light pearly topcoat that makes them look light from some angles, dark from others.  I brought my nail art this week because I was inspired by Doctor Who that I've been (re)re-watching and wanted something celestial.  Didn't quite turn out as I was expecting, but it's pretty so I'm going with it.

Have you ever order pizza online?    
Not online, but over the phone, yeah!  I have ordered a great many foods online in the past... many in the past week!  But none of those have been pizza...but we can always change that. 

What colour was the last candle you lit?    
Red, it was an apple cinnamon scent.  I'm a fall scent person.  I wish I liked summer scents, but I don't.  My home smells homiest when it smells of cinnamon and pine.

Is there something written on your shirt right now?
    Oooooh hey Internet, I'm not even wearing a shirt right now!  I'm wearing a dress.  And it doesn't have words on it.  Has cool roses on it, though! 

Is there a bookshelf in your room?
    NO.  And there isn't even a bookshelf in this apartment yet.  That is a problem we will solve after we get back from Burning Man. 

Do you own a treadmill?
    No, and the closest I've ever come is one time my dad bought an elliptical machine?  Thing?  Ish? 

Have you ever signed up for a gym membership?
    Nope.  It's like, expensive, isn't it?  That's the whole deal with gym memberships, you pay money you don't have to get exercise you could easily get on your own?  Isn't that the old joke? 

Is there a garbage can in your room? What colour is it?    
There was a garbage can in this apartment when we moved in.  It's blue and has a bumper sticker on it that says "COD BLESS AMERICA."  As cod is my witness, I will try to put a photo of it here for you:

Have you ever read in the bathtub?    
No because the book will get wet?  I assume you're asking if I read in a full bathtub?  Not just like, do I ever feel like climbing into my cold, porcelain tub for the sole purpose of escaping the rest of the apartment to steal a few hours of me-time with a novel?  Because I don't know who would do that?   

Have you ever had to wear a hairnet?
    No, thank COD, although technically I maybe was supposed to back when I worked at the school and helped out serving lunches but by the time I put it on, lunch would be over, so it seemed pointless. 

Do you know how many pages the last book you read had?
    Nah, dude, quantity does not equal quality.  I remember I enjoyed it very much. 

What day of the week does the laundry usually get done?
    I don't think I have a consistent "day," now that I'm not working every day.  I do it when it gets ridiculous.  

Do you use the Facebook chat often?
    I don't think I've ever used it - at least, not on purpose. 

Do you have any baby pictures of yourself on your computer?    
Nope!  I have a picture of myself at 14, though, holding the late Charlie the great.  

Do you eat onion rings?    
No, because they're usually breaded.  It's the breaded part I object to.  Oh, if you could make gluten-free onion rings, I would eat ALL OF THOSE.  If they exist out there, would you tell me please?  My freezer is currently mostly tater tots and taquitos.  Gotta love the snack foods. 

What flavour of tea did you last have?    
I haven't had tea in a while - I drink loads of tea when the weather is cold, but not as much in the summertime.  I'm kind of looking forward to tea weather again!

Do you own a bathrobe?     Yup!  I have a big gray men's bathrobe from Target that I've had for ages.  It's enormous and basically like wearing a throw blanket.   

Did you/will you have coffee or some other form of caffeine today?
    I did have coffee this morning and - I'm ashamed to say - I used the last of the Half 'n Half.  I was intending to go get more before my better Half woke up, but he woke up early and had to drink black coffee and I'm rather ashamed of my selfishness.   

Do you have a mailbox or do you collect your mail from the post office?
    I have a mailbox, and packages either get delivered just inside our door, or to the bar next door.  It's - and I swear I'm not exaggerating - THE BEST MAIL DELIVERY ARRANGEMENT I HAVE EVER HAD IN THIS CITY. 

What was the last animal you saw, and was it a pet?    
After brunch, we went to Crest Hardware in Williamsburg for some paint supplies, work gloves, and drawer pulls and said hello to FRANKLIN!  She was kind of annoyed at the heat and didn't move much except to snort and roll over.  Can't blame her!  

What was the last documentary you watched focusing on?    
It was called "Supermensch" and it was about Alice Cooper's music manager.  I really enjoyed it. 

Is there anything you need to remember to do before the day ends?    
We bought more Half 'n Half.  I'm good.  Nothing to take care of!

Is your car messy, or do you like to keep it clean?    
I don't have a car!  Haw haw!  City dweller! 

Are you the type to wake up before the sun has even risen?    
I used to like to wake up early, but I feel like I'm still recovering from school, and having to wake up at that hour.  Now I'd rather sleep until the sun is fully risen.

Do you get uncomfortable when people stare at you?     Well, here they don't just stare at you, they yell out whatever they're thinking.  I've had people scream "You're gonna die, bitch!" at me because I didn't stop in the middle of working and thank them for telling me they liked my hair.  Yep.  That's the culture we live in.  And yes, it makes me VERY uncomfortable.  I yearn for days of yore when I just walked down the streets and turned heads.  Now I feel like if I don't oblige every passing quip that's tossed out at me, someone is going to get violent and angry.  Sigh.

Have you ever been admitted to the hospital for a long period of time?
     NOPE!  Last time I was in a hospital (to my knowledge) was when I was BORN.

Friday, August 14, 2015

5 Fandom Friday: You Said It

This week's 5 Fandom Friday is inspired by la langue de geek, it's those geeky phrases by which we all identify each other and converse by droppin catchphrases yo!

1.  "It's in the frackin' ship!"
  oh man, this more than probably any is my favourite to whip out during parties.  Squint one eye shut, grasp an imaginary drink in one hand and bust out your best Saul Tigh growl and you, too, can be the hit of the party!

2.  "Make it so"  sadly, I've never really delved into Star Trek - it seems very daunting!  But this phrase, uttered somberly, seems to spur people into action.

3.  "I, like, totally paused."
  this gem from the 90's classic Clueless often goes unnoticed as I use it as a retort when accused of jaywalking.  Granted, in NYC, pedestrians have the right-of-way (NOT BICYCLES, YOU JERKS), so can jaywalking even be considered a thing?  Nevertheless, this reassures people that I did see that cab coming, and I'll never stop loving Paul Rudd.

4.  "You were fantastic...and so was I!"
  oh, Eccleston!  We hardly knew ye!  Seriously.  If you ever want to exude fake-humble, it's with this memorable "last words" line!  Makes me want to re-watch the reboot RIGHT NOW!

5.  "Don't F*** it up."
  you have to be in the right place, with the right audience (HINT:  not yo gramma) to drop this helpful hint into conversation, but when placed just right, everyone will know that you chant it right along with RuPaul as you feverishly devour each new episode of RuPaul's Drag Race, aka the show that launched a thousand catchphrases!  Picking just one was SO HARD:  "Shade!" "Byeeeeee"  "Flahsaydah"  "WERK!"  and "if you can't love yourself, how in the HELL you gonna love somebody else!" 

I LOVED this week's prompt, and I can't wait to see what other nerdy catchphrases you all werk into your conversations - can I get an A-MEN???  Now LET THE MUSIC PLAY!

SPECIAL UPDATE:  Oh my Flying Spaghetti Monster, I can't believe I forgot all the Charlie Brown specials. 
"I got a rock," "You didn't tell me you were going to kill it!" and "REAL ESTATE!"  Once the holidays kick into gear, you cannot get me to STOP quoting the Peanuts gang.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Don't Let Them See You Wash Your Face

Everyone, everywhere has an opinion about what you should not do in the presence of your SigOth (that's SIGnificant OTHer, for the uninitiated). 

Most people agree it's best not to pick your nose in front of your partner, and "pooping" seems to be there across the board as well, but there's one horrific sight that seems to be noticeably absent from these posts:


Have you ever really, really, watched someone wash their face?  Outside of the highly staged, perfectly backlit Clean & Clear commercials?  Because that is not the reality of washing one's face. 

The reality?  Your daily face is melting off (yes, with water, not with the Ark of the Covenant, but it's essentially the same thing).  Eyeliner and mascara rolling down your cheeks in streaky gray blobs like a watercolour gone wrong, globs of oily foundation resisting the water and caking up.  It's horrifying.

Here's an experiment:  find a mirror, and go wash your face.  Look at what your face is doing.  Does your face look relaxed and glamorous, Clean and Clear and under control?  No.  No it does not.

You're squinting your eyes shut because you live in fear of accidentally getting a St. Ives apricot sty again like that one time in 2011 when you thought you might be blinded for life.  You're puffing your cheeks out and jutting your chin up and ugh.  Nobody wants to see that.  Nobody can love that.  You'd best keep that shit far, far away from your SigOth, that's for damn sure.

Honey, you look like you're trying to drown yourself, only you're really bad at it.  Virginia Woolf called.  She has a suggestion:

The next time you're taking a risky but casual dump with the door ajar, be sure to close that sucker tightly and check the lock twice before washing your face.  It just might save your relationship.  You're welcome.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Spitting Distance

New York!  You can live here for years, and still have no idea what's happening.  It's been almost seven years for me, and I can't begin to tell you why it's so weird.

Take yesterday night in SoHo, for instance.  I was all dressed up to go to a gallery (yeah!  New York life!) and walking down Spring Street when out of nowhere, I hear someone hock a loogie - a huge, deep, wet and juicy loogie - and spit one foot behind me.

DID I JUST GET SPAT ON?  My mind raced.  I wheeled around to confront the culprit, to find the only person near enough to me on the sidewalk was a short-statured, meticulously-dressed young man about my age.  He wore a blue button-down shirt tucked neatly into khakis, leather messenger bag/briefcase and his hair was gelled neatly into place.

I affixed him with a glare of disgust, then turned back to my walk.  Not five seconds later, he had sped his gait to match mine, and we were walking side-by-side.

"Uh, know any good bars in the area?"  Louie Loogie drawled.

Without even looking in his direction, I summoned up an icy tone to chill the August smolder:


"Okay," and The Loogmeister sped up and away and was gone down the street to peer in the window of a closed lampshade store. 

HELP ME.  What just happened there?  Was this guy drunk?  Was he trying to pick me up?  I should add that my boyfriend, who has been here 15 years, also had no idea what was going on there. 

New York, sometimes your surprises are horrible.  And sometimes, they can be amazing:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I Was Told There'd Be Cake, by Sloane Crosley

As soon as I finished the first chapter of I Was Told There'd Be Cake, I realized something:  Sloane Crosley was the friend from Long Island I never had in college.

Her humorous essays are very conversational, relateable, and then...they take a turn for the absurd.  I found myself smacking my forehead at her ditching the ponies, and groaning with recognition at her horrible boss. 

Picking up I Was Told There'd Be Cake is like having a blind-friend-date with someone you feel like you might strike up a conversation with on the subway home...if people actually DID that sort of thing.  (NOTE:  do not attempt to do that sort of thing.

I definitely enjoyed reading this collection of funny essays and want to pick up more!  Any good recommendations?

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sunday Stealing: Crazy Random 20 Meme

This week has flown by while I'm frantically studying for the new tour and working the old ones.  My brain is so full!  I've been having a great time with my audiences, though.  It feels surreal to be in August!  Burning Man is SO SOON!  And when I leave for my tours at the end of the night, and the cool breezes cut the summer heat, I get so excited for Brooklyn in autumn.  I still want one last picnic, one last ferry ride, one last sweaty tour of the neighbourhood before it starts to snow!  No delay, on with the Stealing!

Have you ever demolished a wall or building?     I've built so many sets for community theatre, and then torn them down.  I think that counts!

If you and a friend both wanted the same thing would you let the friend get it first?      Why shouldn't we have the same thing?  Then we could match!  It would be cute!  Except with food.  I firmly believe you shouldn't order the same thing as the person you're out eating with.  Then you can share tastes of the meals, experience something new, and trade plates if you wanna!

Have you ever argued over who should pay for something?    Yep!  Normally so that I can gift or treat someone something.  But I don't make a big deal out of it because arguing about money seems unclassy to me, and I hate when people talk about money all the time.  The refrain, "I'm so broke!" is uttered by New Yorkers of my generation far too often.  After a while it's annoying, Yeah, of course you're broke, we ALL are, don't make a scene like a toddler, either pay for it or go home."  It's part of being an adult.  Think of it like a Monopoly game:  if you show everyone all your pastel bills and whine every time you have to pay to get out of jail, people aren't going to stop charging you for landing on their hotel.  You're just going to lose the game, and nobody will want to play Monopoly with you ever again - or trust you to be the banker.

Do you have any family heirlooms?     I have a few pieces of jewelry that were handed down to me and are very special.  I love them but I'm afraid if I wear them around more often, as I'd like to, they'd get lost.  That has NEVER happened to me to any piece of jewelry, but those are the ones I won't take the risk with.

Are you related or distantly related to anyone famous?     Not that I know of.  Keep at that, Dad!

What's your favourite ocean?     I'm judging this question.  But I'll say the Pacific, because I loved running into it in California.  All four times I've flown across the Atlantic in the past, I've hated it.  And those are the only two oceans I've ever personally experienced.

Do you correct peoples mistakes?     In my head, sure.  Out loud, HEY, this is New York, I don't want to get punched.

Have you ever helped out an injured animal?     Ennnnhhhhh no.  I would be worried I'd hurt it worse.

Do you throw bread for the ducks?     Same as above.  I've heard this is bad for the ecosystem.  Besides, what if the ducks are gluten-free, like me?

Do you think babies are little bundles of joy or smelly noisy things?     Aren't they really both?  Can we agree that they're adorable, stinky, amusing, scary, exhausting, marvellous and a huge responsibility?  Can I say I love being around the babies of the people I like because they're darling but any baby that starts crying on the train is going to get the death glare?  That's enough.

Do you give money to buskers?     If I have cash on hand and they're REALLY good.  I almost gave money to these guys last night who had set up like a jug band on the corner of Bedford and N. 7th outside the deli.  They were adorable and had quite the jive going but it felt a little too twee, and in the darkness I couldn't see if they'd set out a hat or if they were just heavily-tattooed backwoods musicians who found each other miraculously in Williamsburg on at Saturday night and happened to bring their instruments and felt moved to take a knee with the ol' banjo and strike up that Appalachian folk tune they all somehow knew.  Key of G, and-a-one, and-a-two...!

Do you ever forward or reply to chain mails?     No - Facebook has become a chain mails message board for us.  Someone posts a picture, and we "share" it and we're basically passing around chain mails.  It's my least favourite part of facebook.  I think the "share" aspect has ruined it as a social network and turned it into a more annoying Pinterest.  SERIOUSLY!  JUST GO TO PINTEREST!  Pin and repin Minions dressed in silly costumes complaining about Mondays to your hearts' content.  I want to see actual pictures of people I give a damn about, not lemon-flavoured Tic-Tacs dressed as Dorothy Gale professing everlasting sisterly love for their friends.  WHAT.

Do you often have a tune in your head you can't name?      Naw, I'm really good at Name That Tune.  I can identify "Sir Duke" played by solo saxophone in the park after four notes.

Has anyone ever approached you thinking you were someone else?     No, but I often smile and wave at people I think are people but turn out to just be strangers.  At worst, I've made the world a little more friendly!

Have you ever starred in an amateur or professional video?     I've done commercials for company websites, one Stop DWI commercial that ran on local cable channels, and countless student and art films.  I don't really like film, though.  It's really claustrophobic.

Have you ever been in a position of authority?      On my tours, I'm totally in charge.

If you were ruler of your own country what would you call it?      Ugh I don't want that responsibility!!!  I wouldn't want to be in any club that would have ME as a ruler!

And what title would you give yourself?      Uh, I would secretly run shit from behind the scenes.  Like, pulling the puppet strings of a supposed "democracy."  I would wag the dog.  No formal title.  Don't need one.  Less easy for the assassins to find me that way.  Money under the table, keep me off the payroll.

If you invented a monster what would you call it?     Yeesh.  It would be a human.  He would be The Nameless.

And what features would it have?    
Definitely claws.  "Nice guy."  Aren't they all, at first?

Friday, August 7, 2015

5 Fandom Friday: Other People's Puppies

Rules were made to be broken, nerds!  Since I missed last week because I was, you know, up at a cabin in the middle of nowhere, turning 31, I decided to backtrack this week and cover last week's topic.  And do it a little differently.  Basically, today I'm going to tell you about my favourite dogs I follow on Instagram.  Because I'm down with OPP - Other People's Puppies, of course!  And you will be too, after today!

1.  Pirate Pug Jack  @piratepugjack  he is a one-eyed pug I've been Insta-stalking since I got an iPhone in 2012 - in dog years, that's like 21 Instagram stalking years!  Don't you just want to nuzzle that squishy face??

2.  Waffles  @_wafflesthesheltie  loves to swim and I love the swimming pictures!  He's always caught looking totally handsome, or beyond goofy.  Guess which one I like best.  FALSE!  I love them both!!!

3.  Hugo  @my_pug_hugo  has THE ACTUAL DEFINITION of sad puppy eyes.  His very existence gives meaning to "Awwwwwww!"  Admit it!  You want to cradle him like a baby until he's not sad-eyed anymore!  You can't deny it!  It's too powerful!!

4.  Marnie  @marniethedog  is a senior dog and her Instagram account of her adventures is totally hilarious.  She's basically the Betty White of dogs with Instagram accounts.  I love her "voice" and her videos are hilarious and I just want to follow her around while she "takes selfies" in a mirror all day!!

5.  Franklin  @franklinthepig
  lives down the road from me so I can see him whenever I want!  That's right!  Move aside, Babe, Pig in the City, Franklin is a Brooklyn pig and a celebrity in his own right!  No brunch outing to Williamsburg is complete without a stop to Crest Hardware to pet this city slickin' snout!

Okay, so I broke the rules of the game.  But hopefully, after cruising the 'grams of these adorables pups (and pig!) you'll forgive me!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Currently... in August

  You know what?  Summer vacation has been everything I dreamed of.  I am so grateful for this time to relax and focus on one job at a time!  I feel like my life is not a crisis anymore.

  For the first time in months, I have the time and energy to finish an entire movie in one sitting!  It's the greatest!  I've been catching up on documentaries like there's no tomorrow, and Netflix has plenty of good offerings.  Start with Teenage, a cool romp through the history of adolescents in the early 20th Century.  Then to darken the mood, you must-watch Blackfish, even though it is depressing as hell!  Finally, lighten the mood with Tabloid, an Errol Morris (The Thin Blue Line) to make you laugh it up again!

LISTENING TO:  I've been really enjoying dancing while cooking to Motown, or 70's singer-songwriter tunes.  And despite being not the biggest fan of audiobooks, I started listening to The Martian by Andy Weir on the car ride to camp and we've kept it up because we're caught up in the story!!  

READING:  I have been interested in reading female essayists because I love reading that on the internet, so I picked up I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley and Night Terrors:  Sex, Dating, Puberty, and Other Alarming Things by Ashley Cardiff.  The latter had me laughing out loud on the train up to visit my grandmother!!!  I loved reading these books felt like having a great chat with a new friend.

WORKING ON:  Learning a whole new tour!  I'm so excited to be adding a new tour with all new stories to my route.  And even though Midtown is kind of awful, truth be told, I have kind of missed Times Square a little bit...but I adore my job and I'm so excited to be able to smash a new debut out of the park.  I already figured out the joke I'm going to say at the end after it goes brilliantly!!! 

THINKING ABOUT:  Burning Man, mostly.  It's a lot.  What to do after the summer ends.  And trying to memorize this new tour!!!

EATING:  Tacos are my whole existence lately.  Trader Joe's Soy Chorizo is everything, and I feel like I'm cooking when I put forth the absolute minimal effort to compose a taco.

I am simultaneously both excited and terrified of Burning Man.  Largely because it will be dirty.  Secondarily because it involves flying.  Lastly because of the massive amount of strangers.  I am stoked for parties, camping, costumes, and an adult-sized ball pit.  There had damn well better be a ball pit!  So even though I'm petrified, why am I still going?  TRUST, babies!  Boyfriend says this is a life-changing experience and is totally worth it, and he has NEVER steered me wrong in the past.  Even those bugs were pretty tasty.  Take it with a grain of salt, though, cuz he's also the type of guy who thinks it's fun to jump out of a helicopter to ski down a mountain with a staph infection, so....

MAKING ME HAPPY:  Halloween is coming!  I can't wait for my busy tour season!  I'm also loving the Brooklyn life.  My apartment is so perfect and happy I pinch myself all the time because I can't believe this is my life!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Greetings and Salutations

The first step to meeting new people is saying hello. 

This is also the most dangerous step! 

There are so many ways to greet and be greeted and, if you're awkward and terrified like me, these are fraught with peril. 

A simple, "Hello, nice to meet you," can appear cold and frigid.  People often want more.  They want bodily contact.  Skin against skin, the warmth of human flesh!  Already!  And we've only just met!

The quickest and least committal way of appeasing this desire for fleshy contact is the handshake.  Pressing of palms!  This comes across as business-like and professional, but can also be read as cold and distant.  This leads us to the dreaded full-frontal...

That's right, hugging.  Pressing the front of your body against the front of another person's body.  A strangers' secondary sex organs rubbing against yours, through your respective clothing.  A person you have, by definition, just met.  How do you guard against this awkward hugging scenario?

First, there's the defense.  Hold something in your left arm that is large and important enough not to be put down, such as a large purse, infant human child, or pricey cocktail.  That way, when someone comes in for a hug, you can turn your body away to protect whatever object or tiny dog is in your left hand.  Sorry!  My arms are full!  Can't hug!  Best just shake my right hand, then.

They always say "the best defense is a good offence" so here's where you take the most risk.  Upon meeting someone for the first time, when they come in for the hug, grab them by the cheeks and kiss them firmly on the mouth. 


The ball is in your court!  And after seeing this, chances are, nobody else will get close enough to make the mistake of attempting to hug you again.

Good luck meeting new people!  With these helpful hints, you'll be making new friends in no time!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Sunday Social: Shout Out the Answer Meme

  1. I'm behind AGAIN with the Stealing because I've been travelling - AGAIN!  Last weekend was both mine + my boyfriend's birthdays (one day and three years apart!) so we took a trip upstate with a bunch of friends and got terribly sick with summer colds.  No photos of the weekend, sadly, but while I'm sniffling and recovering, let's do some stealing!

    Do you shout out the answers at the TV while watching quiz shows?      
    Uh, YEAH, that is the whole point, isn't it?!  Even if I'm not sure, I like to guess, because if you guess RIGHT, then you WIN! 

  2. Do you get over-involved with TV or movie plots at times?      Yes!  Movies, especially documentaries, can totally suck me in and make me feel the feelies.  I just recently watched Blackfish, and left feeling so sad and scared and helpless, I couldn't shake it.  I strongly recommend it, but be ready.  I had no idea what I was getting into.

  3. What's the highest hill or mountain you've ever climbed?      I do not think I have ever, intentionally, climbed something.  I have always lived in walk-ups, however.  Often on the fourth floor.  My current third-floor residence feels damn luxurious, as a result.

  4. Do you have a piggy bank?      In a sense, I suppose I do!  I keep a deposit of cash here at home from tips from my tours, not that I'd tell the Internet where!!!

  5. What's the fastest you've ever travelled in a car?      I feel like Coach Bus drivers used to routinely go over 100 MPH - I get very uncomfortable at speeds like that.  I would always try to sleep on the bus, but the zooming, alarming speed of the thing would startle me awake and I would be gripped with terror of getting in an accident and unable to sleep.  So now I ride with Greyhound.  They seem safer, by and large.

  6. Could you ever hand milk a cow?      Probably.  Given instruction, I hope.

  7. Which was your favourite science? Biology, Physics or Chemistry?      Biology for sure.  I think it's so cool how "life" works.  I was really into Anatomy and Physiology when I was in school!

  8. Have you ever had a surprise party? (that was an actual surprise)      No, but I've been very surprised before!!

  9. Have you ever worn clothing with the labels/tags still attached?      Tags are my enemy.  I will remove all possible tags before wearing clothes because they're so itchy!!!

  10. Have you ever slipped on a banana skin?     No, but I've come close, and find it humorous when I do!

  11. Are you scared of the dark?      ONLY when I'm home alone!  Okay, that feels legitimate.  Shadows out of the corner of your eye and spooky noises...

  12. Do you have a lawyer?      Not officially but I know a great many so BEWARE!!

  13. If you had a paid year off, what would you want to do?     Pretty much what I'm not getting paid to do now?  But I would want to travel more.  I know I have said I do not like to travel, but I feel like I want to revisit the places I've been in Europe for what felt like not long enough.  And visit my friends and loved ones.  There's never enough time to do that!

  14. How long did you last phone call last?     8 seconds, according to my phone log.  It was the food delivery man telling me he was downstairs.  We need to get a remote doorbell!

  15. Have you ever helped someone across the road?      No.  In New York, the traffic signals do that for themselves. 

  16. Have you ever been wolf whistled in public?     Yes, and it actually totally sucks.  It feels predatory and annoying and body-policing.  That's like, all that happens in New York City if you leave the house alone and female.  Men walk really close to you so they can drop "compliments" on you but it's totally creepy and feels stalkerish.

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