Showing posts with label humor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label humor. Show all posts

house grief

When your dog dies, you will find yourself hating your home. There is nothing emptier than a house that has lost a dog. Nothing in the world as quiet, as lacking in joy. You won't want to be anywhere near it. You certainly won't want to be alone with it.

But if you can, spare a thought for that house. You think you miss your dog? How do you think the house feels? At least you get to leave each morning, be out and about in the world. Your poor house just has to sit there by itself, having lost the best friend it has ever known, wondering if it will ever have another.

Spare a thought for the walls, which kept him safe while every day he waited for you.
Spare a thought for the floor, warmed by his body and tickled by his fur.
Spare a thought for the fridge, and all the mischief the two of them caused.
Spare a thought for the bed, cold now, and entirely too clean.
Spare a thought for the bath, and all it endured for the sake of the house.
Spare a thought for the table, who taught your dog to sit as much as you did.
Spare a thought for the yard, the grass and trees and flowers who've lost a playmate.

Spare a thought for the vacuum, who probably feels really fucking shitty right about now.

hey all you foxy young things, this is what's coming down the pipe

Apparently, forty is the age at which men start describing you as "vibrant."

Vibrant. Dear god.

I try to take it as a compliment, but I can't help feeling that's it's a kind way of saying, "You clearly used to be hot. And still are, sort of, in a way. Just not, you know, young-hot."

I remind myself of all the lovely things that are regularly described as vibrant. Sunsets. Flowers. Casino hotel carpeting. And I'm sure I'll get used to it. Hell, in five or ten years I'll probably be ecstatic if someone calls me vibrant. But right now? Ugh.

Forty is also the age when you can justifiably start filling in the sentence, "The central problem of my life is ____." Not that you should. That's probably a sentence better left unfinished, unless it's being co-authored by a good therapist. But it doesn't sound so ridiculous anymore, is the point.

I'm really selling this forty thing, I know.


These are trying times we live in. Economic uncertainty, terrors domestic and foreign, and the unwanted, unaccountable, and severely disappointing replacement of the original J. Crew Cece Ballet Flat.

Just listen to heartbroken Cece loyalists such as "YYCC", who writes: I agree with the other reviewers who put low stars on this version of the Cece ballet flat. They definitely are NOT the same as the previous version...I called Customer Service... I can't walk around the city carefully goose-stepping to make sure I don't roll an ankle from my heel slipping in and out of the shoe. Bring back the original Italian makers!

Low stars indeed! To be clear, then, that's Italian = good; goose-stepping = bad.

But YYCC's disappointment is nothing compared to the crushing blow received by "blondewanderlust" when her mail arrived (assuming she wasn't off wanderlusting at the time): I was SO EXCITED to see the CeCe's back in stock on the site. I shrieked my happiness from every social media platform I am privy to; however, I giggled and danced too soon, as these re-released CeCe's are Wrong, Wrong, Wrong! They don't feel even half as nice as the other 6 pairs I own in leather or suede.

Did you hear that J. Crew? Wrong, wrong, wrong! And blondewanderlust should know, being as she is on her sixth pair. I guess when you're privy to a generous shoe budget--

Wait--hang on a moment--"Letdown" in Colorado has something to say: I've had 8 or 9 pairs of the original Italian CeCe's and they fit like gloves...These new "imported" ones have a rounded toe, instead of the original almond...Adding insult to injury? These remain the same price as the originals, but without any of the value. I was so disappointed...I'm so sorry that J. Crew has started to cut corners on their flats...I'm always willing to spend a fortune in exchange for quality!!

Um. Hm. Eight or nine pairs, you say? Ladies, this isn't a competition. I'm sure you've all had many lovely pairs of Cece flats--

I have 5 pairs of the old Cece ballerina flat... - "animus"
I have two pairs of the original Cece flats... - "msandow"
I own 3 pairs... - "Britain"
If I weren't planning on returning, this would've been my 6th pair of the Cece Ballet Flat - "AnnB"
I have these flats in just about every color, suede and leather... - "Sammie"

OKAY, OKAY, WE GET IT. You bitches collect Cece flats the way I hoard chili oil packets from the Chinese takeout place. And the updated version is causing you so much distress you've put manicured fingers to Macbook keyboards to complain about it.

127 of you have done so, in fact. One hundred and twenty-seven of the most unintentionally hilarious reviews I've ever had an hour to waste on reading. A few more favorites:

The stiching on the Emma flat also makes them look much more casual in comparison to the Cece flat...Audrey Hepburn would wear Cece flats, not Emma flats. - "Petra"

Ed note: Right you are, Petra! Hepburn's abhorrence of visible stitching is well known, and documented with a dedicated chapter in each of her biographies. Also a main point in Roger Moore's eulogy, if I'm not mistaken.

I was very disappointed to receive these flats. I already own a pair and LOVED them so I thought I would order 2 more. When I received them I noticed they are no longer made in Italy. The new Cece flats are made in Romania... - "Mickey"

Ed note: Romania? FUCKING EW.

I don't understand why the only positive review on this page is in regards to the old Cece...seems sketchy... - "ELB2"

This new version is not made in Italy and has a much cheaper look, feel and fit. If someone told me they came from a dude also displaying knock-off bags on a grubby blanket under a bridge in Hong Kong I would totally understand their origin... - "Picnic Jones"

Ed note: Oh adorable. A girl calling herself Picnic has a problem with grubby blankets.


Happy belated holidays, I guess? Fighting my way back to regular posting soon I hope!

lovin' it

her: Are you going to watch a movie?

him: I think so. What are you gonna do?

her: Lay on the bed and think suicidal thoughts.

him: What if we watch a movie about suicide? Then you wouldn't have to do that.

her: Okay but what if it's like how watching Super Size Me just made me want to eat McDonald's?

him: Eating McDonald's is a form of suicide.

her: You got me there.

open letter to my would-be identity thief

To Whom I Should Be Concerned About,

Thank you for your recent interest in assuming my identity. As by now you're probably aware, my financial institution has unfortunately decided to reject your offer of anonymous proxy. I say "unfortunately" since, not having met you, I can't comment on whether this was a wise choice. Fact is, most days I rather suck at being me. You might very well have been better at it. Hurt fewer people, be more productive, cook more interesting meals - that sort of thing. Now we'll never know.

That is of course unless you decide to reapply, say, after a respectable interim? I can assure you that my bank is quite inept as a rule, and I expect any additional attempts at grift to slide by unnoticed. Indeed I remain shocked this one even caught their eye.

However, should you wish to take another stab at defrauding me, might I make one small suggestion? Sign me up for better websites. I understand you must be terribly busy, but I cannot emphasize enough the importance of getting to know your intended victim. And I, dear sir or madam, am no Christian. In fact there are few places online that hold less interest for me than For future reference, I've taken the liberty of compiling a short list of sites I'm more likely to be found browsing:, the web's premier destination for brachiovaginal-curious singles, containing a comprehensive photo archive of ancient Colosseum bloodsporting events, where Crispin Glover fans can connect over their love of this multi-talented actor, director, recording artist, publisher, and author!, fundraising home of presidential hopeful Chris Christie's fecal conservative supporters

Thanks again for taking the time to briefly, if unsuccessfully, impersonate me online. As a blogger, I sustain myself emotionally on the supposition that everyone wants to be me. I appreciate you confirming my suspicion!

Until next time,



Area Couple Disagree About Best Place To Abandon Used Blender

PORTLAND, OR - Citing safety concerns, Chaplin Lofts resident Carey Marvin dryly suggested to longtime boyfriend Trent Colson that perhaps the formerly functional pile of junk with which the two once made smoothies should be placed on the trash room floor beside the recycling bin, rather than on top of it. "It's glass, " she sighed, her head tilted at an angle evoking long-suffering resignation. "It could fall and break. And those blades are sharp? Someone might cut themselves?"

Trent, however, felt confident in his initial decision to precariously perch the appliance atop the large, rolling blue bin with slightly convex lid. "No one will see it on the ground," he argued with the same conviction he'd once felt about his ability to fit an oversized carry-on into the overhead luggage compartment of a budget airline. "Somebody's gonna grab it right away, anyway. A good blender like this? They'll be thrilled!"

When asked whether the couple intended to include the instruction manual alongside their neighborly offering, Marvin rolled her eyes aggressively and muttered, "Oh yeah, like he kept that."


Really not much I can say about the attack in Paris that hasn't been said already. And anyway once I start talking about religion I don't shut up until I've pissed off at least a few dozen people, so. 

Instead, enjoy this amazing visual:

(edited out is the bit where I said I'd doodle something myself if I wasn't such an awful artist)

For reference:

from the mind of the inimitable Allie Brosh, Hyperbole and a Half

wok this way

Last night on my run I encountered a real life word problem. I wish I could tell my eighth grade math teacher about it, but I didn't even pay enough attention in that class to remember his name, so I'll tell you instead. Here's what happened:

A couple of months ago I came to the realization that my body doesn't care whether I run for an hour or I run for half an hour. After HardSummer I was so burned out on working out that I decided to take two weeks off. Well, two weeks turned into two months and I hadn't moved a muscle. But even though I was less toned from not lifting weights and my goofy faux-pilates exercises, I didn't weigh any more. Whether this is a function of my wonky thyroid or just aging, I don't know. And I don't care. Fine by me.

Anyway, I ixnayed on the onglay unrays, and cut it down to 30 minutes with a break at the halfway point to do some stair lunges.

The place where I do lunges is just past the freeway, in a semi-sketchy area that's not particularly well lit. Most nights I point my phone's flashlight at the steps lest I trip on a discarded fast food container or syringe or a napping rat. Last night it was especially dark - no moon that I could see, and foggy. So I didn't notice the two people huddled together at the bottom of the first of three flights until I was upon them. Oh, hai.

I didn't want to be annoying by going back and forth right next to them, so I figured I'd double up on the bottom stairs instead. Only, I forgot how to math, because I couldn't determine how many times I needed to take that first flight in order to make up for skipping the upper two. Trying to factor in that I'd traverse the top flights when I left anyway caused my brain to make belabored whirring noises and smoke to issue from my ears (hopefully it blended in with the fog). That's when I realized that a) I am an idiot and b) I was in a real life word problem!

Ellie the Insomniac likes to climb a three-flight set of stairs twice before heading home to pen rabid screeds on her blog. If, in her efforts to compare favorably with a Paper Magazine cover model, she is thwarted by a canoodling couple 1/3 of the way down, how many times must she climb the bottom flight in order to reach her goal?

I did three sets on the first flight and called it a day, stepping carefully around the canoodlers on my way back up. Then I came home to scrawl about it, because therapy, and because I have a standing challenge from Terence to do more doodles, even though I am an alarmingly bad artist. (He says I should stretch myself creatively and that the message and intent matter more than the execution. IF ONLY.)


1. That is actually last night's correct moon phase. I looked it up. This is the kind of commitment to accuracy you'll find here on Elliequent, folks.

2. No I do not run with an upside down wok on my head. That's a ponytail. (See baby? I told you they'd laugh at me.)

3. Not to scale. But this is! (And much, much more beautiful.)

sawtooth is the new chevron

Ladies! Would you like a casual shoe that says "I'm the kind of gal who can coach cheerleading, helm a Palm Springs bowling league, and bring sexy back to those Daughters of the American Revolution flag dedication ceremonies!" all while subtly hinting at your love of Scandinavian design? When you accidentally step on an Amazonian-sized insect, do you prefer it to survive the encounter unscathed?

Then have I found the kicks for you!

$1,080.00, plus tax and shipping, minus an irretrievable chunk of your dignity. 


For the record, I'm no Stella McCartney hater. In fact I stumbled across these while engaging in one of my twice-monthly pining sessions for the Falabella Cross Body Bag, wherein I stare longingly at my computer screen and try to calculate what I could forego long enough to afford it (cold-pressed cashew milk, yes; Spotify subscription, hell no; sushi, yes; health insurance premium, need to check horoscope - etc.). But good grief.

kinda though

A Pair Of Gross Oversimplifications 
(each containing a grain of truth)

1. Being stylish requires little more than having the patience to endlessly chase denim hemlines up and down, in and out, all while scrambling to pair them with "on-trend" shoes of the appropriate fucking heel height.

2. Everything I need to know about you, I know from how comfortable your dog's collar is. If you put your pet in a stiff, heavy leather collar because you think it looks better than something soft and pliable (such as nylon) - you are a terrible human being. 

in which some fucks, admittedly, were given


Why does your blogmistress insist on showcasing the contents of her nostrils in photographs? 

a) The nostrils are the windows to the soul, everyone NOSE that haw haw noses are funnnnnny! Ewwww boogers and snot is it almost time for recess?? I want my juice box!

b) She figured out she looks at least six months younger from that angle. Seven when flash is used.

c) Ellie is actually a soothsayer named Nostrildamus. Her predictions for the future are tattooed on the inside of her septum. (Control+ to zoom.)

d) She's trying to put the coke rumors to rest. 

e) Honestly I'm just glad she's wearing some fucking clothes, okay?? 

f) She found some great quotes on a Pinterest board and really took them to nose heart:

And then a couple that seem pretty good as they are...

Sorry for the massive triple by-post in your inbox, subscribers. I guess I'm uncorked.


(quotes all pulled from here and here)

quick and dirty, day two

On a scale of one to wrecked, day two left me for scrap by the side of the road. I'm a mess. I've got a strained left thigh muscle and a wonky left foot, probably from pulling some sort of Rumpelstiltskin skank-style dance move on the uneven ground. I ate very little and barely slept all weekend, so I'm nauseous and exhausted. There's an itchy insect bite on one of my palms and my jaw feels like it's been moonlighting as a wood chipper. Chaucer keeps pacing around me like one of those grim reaper cats in a nursing home so who knows. Today might be the day. If so, all I ask is that no one look at my browser history.

More thoughts on HardSummer and the inaugural round of Ellie's Festival Bingo below. But first, some people someplace, doing some stuff!

I had my doubts beforehand, but Whittier Narrows turned out to be an excellent new home for HardSummer. One of the best things about the park is how the layout and landscaping allow for lots of "dance pockets" as I like to pretend I've named them. Small clearings perfect for those more interested in having room to move than in Instagramming the DJ's nostrils.

We spent more time chilling at this fest than I have at any other. My usual MUST SEE MUST DANCE MUST GO NOWWWW impatience was gone. The sound was flawless all around the grounds, so we were able to just sit on the grass, cuddle, talk, and enjoy the music.

Clockwork whipped the crowd into a frenzy, and the crowd danced the dust up into a haze to be re-experienced later as the dreaded black "festival snot." That's right my pretties. It's not all daisy chains and sunlit tresses.

The bigger the pocket, the bigger the moves.

Behold this contraband-wielding criminal! No, not what you think. It's the capped water bottle that's verboten. Crazy, right? Hello, massive dehydration risk. But full, capped bottles make for dangerous missiles - that's the justification for selling them without the caps, anyway. And tripping on a full bottle could Jack U up. (He tipped the girl who sold him this bottle, and we assume that's why she left the cap on.)

It was a quick and dirty two-dayer close to home, but satisfying and crazy fun in its own way. In fact, a talk Terence and I had Sunday regarding differences between attendees got me thinking about some of the commonalities of my own festival experiences so far. Thus was born this unholy graphic, stamped to reflect my HardSummer 2014 results:

This was such an interesting exercise, and not just because it made me reflect on where I've been; it's also a great reminder of where I want to go. If you're a fester yourself, it's fun even to just think about what you'd put on your card. (Am happy to share the blank unstamped version with anyone who wants it.)

Notes for public consumption on this round...

Admittedly I left my comfort zone in a pretty superficial way - with my clothing choices. But those choices ended up winning me an embarrassing moment stamp, too, so I think that counts for a little more.

My random act of kindness was just a simple one that was shown to me once: seeing someone obviously overheated and possibly overstimulated, and offering them some of my water.

Dillon Francis played nearly the exact same set as the one he'd played at Ultra earlier this year. And while it's an incredible set, it's one I'd been listening to for weeks on SoundCloud. I knew almost every bit of it. So my favesie DillDill wasn't quite as much fun as he could have been. My bad, and lesson learned (no shaking the presents before Christmas morning!).

I know I learned something. I'm sure of it. I can't be in Terence's company for that long without learning a shit ton about music alone. But I can't remember anything specifically, because I have the retention of a goldfish. (What I taught is some random trivia headed for a future post.)

Surprising musical discoveries for the win! Breach rocked our wooooorld. We couldn't tear ourselves away, and while I'm too lazy to look up what headliner we skipped to stay put, we agreed it was a no regrets situation. Five stars. Much delicious. Would definitely return.

The warm twilight rain reflecting on lasers during Jack U looked like gold glitter falling from the sky. I'd never seen anything like it. So beautiful, so lush and refreshing.

 --- FYF Fest and TBD Fest are still on deck, so I've got a couple more shots at bingo this year. I for one have got my sights set on that bottom right corner square. Oh yes. I do.


There is a thing in life I love so much that I am willing to abide certain Challenging Elements in order to enjoy it every so often. The thing is live electronic music, and the Challenging Elements are my age, the egos of many DJs, and the existence of butts better than my own.

I'll work backwards.

I spent yesterday in the company of lots and lots of nearly naked female butts. These butts, on average, were a good fifteen years my junior. They belonged to the thousands of women alongside whom I attended HardSummer music festival. They all seemed, to my surely unwelcome gaze, to be in top form, no matter the size or shape - if only because they were so damn young. It's hard for me to find fault with any young butt these days, now that mine is flirting with forty. Oh, youth. You are so fucking wasted on the--wait, no, never mind. I'm not actually sure you are.

I've been to enough festivals that I am relatively unfazed by the dearth of clothing on these whippersnappettes. It's probably good for me, anyway. A semi-annual, bracing ego check and a reminder that we all pass the beauty baton eventually - what matters is what remains when we do. Brains. Heart. Spirit. Humor. Grace. A personal blog littered with incriminating anecdotes.

Anyway, despite being mostly inured to the sight of twenty-something ass, I am still occasionally struck breathless by an especially exquisite specimen. It's moments like these that my fandom is truly tested. How much do I love this stuff? Enough to spend the weekend with my (also upper thirties) boyfriend, bobbing like castaways in a sea of nubile collegiate flesh?

Good news, electronic musicians! The answers are still "a lot" and "yes". You win, for now. And you win despite being some of the most douchetastic, arrogant idiots ever to take to social media. Because I believe that being a fan of any artist means fanning the art itself, not the flawed human behind it (an idea I want to explore in another post). So yeah, brag about your sports cars and complain about the lack of Skittles in your private jet; I'll still buy your albums and come to your shows.

And then there's the last of the Challenging Elements: my age. The happy fact is that I'm rarely aware of all thirty-nine of my years - or at least, rarely uncomfortable with them. And my list of age-determinate Won't Dos and Can't Wears is still triumphantly (foolishly?) short. But every year I do become a teensy bit more self-conscious in the festival scene, and a teensy bit more relieved when I catch sight of someone even older. I'll keep going, though. Because if fun has an expiration date, I'd rather dodge an entire stadium full of festival butts than read that fine print.

Even older, she wrote, and then stared at that phrase incredulously. Who am I and what have I done with myself? Did I not rock a spirit hood yesterday, just for the joy of dancing in a bear snow leopard albino raccoon an unidentified animal head? Did I not have an unbelievable time? Am I not ready to do it all over again today? Will I not be itching to do it all over again in another few months?

Yeah. I did. I am. I will.

White tiger? Fennec fox? Your guess is as good as mine.
They moved the festival from downtown LA to Whittier Narrows and WOW what an excellent change. Trees! Grass! Plus there's great flow and plenty of room to stretch out and adjust that tanga.
LOL sober people
The sun setting over the Porta Potties is always one of the most romantic moments of any festival.
Sound was fantastic on all the stages, but the nuclear blast during Axwell's set seemed a bit excessive. 
Okay well it looked cooler in my phone (and in person). Here it just looks like a sweaty gymnasium. Wev.
The best part of me insisting on taking these blurry night shots is I've forgotten who was on stage by the next day. 
I asked Terence how old he thought that other festival-goers would guess we were. "They probably think we just turned thirty," he said. I have no idea how he came up with that, but anyway, Christ do I love this man for indulging my Peter Pan complex. Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning, baby.

So far the tops we've seen (day two starts in a few hours!) are Oliver, Alex Metric, and The Martinez Brothers. I found Axwell to be a bit meh (overly long buildups), the Goldroom DJ set to be lovely, and Jack U to be a weaksauce imitation of Dillon Francis. Go back to your roots, Skrilly, and leave the moombahton to Dilly.

And that will conclude the esoteric EDM snobbery portion of today's post.

Also that will conclude the post itself.

silk road

For every time that I actually purchase something from Pinkman, we tend to have about half a dozen failed attempts at successfully planning and executing a rendezvous. Despite my slyly casual questioning (I'm intensely curious - blame Breaking Bad and Freakanomics), I know very little about his role in the operation, and how he comes into possession of salable inventory. I only know that I'm 100% at his mercy; when he stocks up, I either have to jump on it immediately or miss out and wait for the next shipment.

I don't mind being ready on a moment's notice. I just think of it like an extremely exclusive Gilt Groupe sale. She who hesitates parties sober. The problem is that communicating with Pinkman is a bit like talking to a tenth grader who forgot to take his Adderall. I can't screenshot our texts because I need to edit out (the more) incriminating details, but here's a typical month spread:

Him: Super party favors for the weekend!

Me: Yeah? What've you got?

Him: Mush, white, malls

Me: Def interested, can you meet tonight?

Him: How much

Me: {redacted}

....half an hour later....

Me: So should I come by?

Him: Wait a little I'll let you know

Me: Okay


Him: Yo

Me: Hey!


Him: Two kinds. One is lighter than the other.

Me: ...k? What exactly, and how much?


Him: Sup

Me: Hi! I'm actually near your place, heading to a show at {redacted}.  Are you around?

Him: Can you pay for an Uber to come get me? I'll take it off the total.

Me: Ummm where are you?

Him: My boys place

Me: Where's that?


Him: I work for {redacted} Eyewear now. Let me know if you or your friends need any sort of luxury eyewear for half off or more of retail!!

Me: .....


Him: Today

Me: Yeah? No prob, I can come right now...

Him What

Me: I can come today.


Him: Hey hey

Me: Hey there. 

Him: Got what you want

Me: Awesome, when and where?

Him: Can you come to my gf's house

Me: Maybe. Where is it?

Him: Glendale

You get the idea. He'll ping me, I'll answer - and then he'll just disappear. Poof. Gone. I don't know why, or what happens, and I don't want to annoy him by asking. I really like his featured designers, and I don't want to get cut out of the mailing list.

Incidentally, his girlfriend? She's a geologist, currently backpacking her way across Asia. Graduated in three years, bragged Pinkman, from an extremely reputable private university. I ended up meeting her that night, and she does seem very bright. I worry about them both, because to be honest, despite the flakiness and random, spammy sales pitches, Pinkman's really sweet, too. A few days ago he told me that his higher up was recently busted in a pretty big sting. I found this out when I asked what his Independence Day plans were; he told me that he and "some of the guys" were holding a fundraiser for the higher up's legal fees. I won't lie: I was impressed to hear of such solidarity.

I asked Pinkman whether this makes him nervous, whether it feels like the cops are closing in on him. But he says that since he only sells to me and a couple of good friends, he isn't really concerned. I don't know why I got grandfathered in before he quit selling large-scale, and I'm not going to ask. I try to curb my curiosity about Pinkman and Co., because I've found that the less I say, the less stupid I seem. Case in point, a snippet of our conversation last week:

Him: You're really lucky. This shit is the bomb. Straight from Amsterdam.

Me: Yeah? 

Him: Yeah. You know Silk Road?

Me:, the ancient trade route through China..?

Him: No, the website. 

Me: (bluffing) Oh! Right! Yeah, yeah. Silk Road dot com. 

Him: Well this is the last of what my boy got through it, before they shut it down.

We had this conversation in the subway, by the way. I'd gone to meet him at our usual place in Hollywood, but we had to hop back on the train to go a few stops down to his new source. I was none too thrilled about that, but like I say, Pinkman's merchandise is nonpareil, even if Pinkman himself is sometimes more Pink Panther than Pablo Escabar. (When he purchased a TAP card for the metro fare, he was so high on weed he accidentally bought a monthly pass.) 

Something tells me the geologist girlfriend knows more about both Silk Roads than me. I just hope Pinkman answers her texts a little more promptly than he answers mine.   

a simple formula for determining the age-appropriateness of any outfit


= your age

H = hem length, in inches

h = heel height, in inches

= amount of cleavage showing, in cleavots*

s = slutshine**

b = no. of children (your own, birthed or adopted)

k = no. of children (attending the event in question)

f = no. of fucks given


= 3 or less: Even your mother-in-law would approve. 
A = 4-7: It's iffy, but what the fuck. YOLO or something. Just don't Instagram it.
A = 10 or greater: Time to go shopping!


* 1 cleavot = 1 square inch of skin

** slutshine factor may be determined by the glare intensity of any given fabric and is based on a scale of 1-10 (for reference, sateen = 2; charmeuse = 5; sequins = 9)

the last thing to go

A few minutes ago, I carried an industrial-sized bucket full of sopping wet towels and clothing two flights of stairs up to my building's laundry room, since this morning, my Eurotrash combination washer/dryer choked on the nickel I accidentally left in the pocket of my jeans, flooding half my apartment. It was a 3/10 on the scale of Things That Suck, a notable improvement over the 6/10 I'd been engaged in a few minutes prior: sitting on the couch, crying, and missing my parents.

Today wasn't horrible by any stretch. Worse things. There are always worse things. It was just one of those days when a few key details go wrong, and you're too tired to shake it off like a normal adult does, and instead you slowly give in to inertia and self-pity, until eventually you find yourself in a mental fetal position where all you want to hear is the uniquely comforting sound of your mom or your dad saying simply, sympathetically, Oh, sweetie.

Some days you just need an Oh, sweetie. And the fact that you can't have one becomes this deliciously self-indulgent shroud of melancholia with which to wrap up and keep warm. So picture me in one of those right now. It looks like a Snuggie, but less dignified.

My friend Tricia, who has experienced grief both of a kind I can understand and that which I never will, once gave me some great advice about how to handle losing my dad. Keep him alive, she said, in the details. The sensory impressions. Butter melting on bagels. The smell of a Sharpie. What made him him.

No butter or Sharpies today. Instead, a dose of my dad's uniquely dry, pragmatic humor. Not for the faint of heart, probably, but what the fuck. I'll keep him around any way I can.


When my dad got sick, everything happened mercifully quickly. He lost basic functionality over a matter of days. And wow was that a fun sentence to write, as if he was a fucking toaster, but I don't know how else to put it. First he had trouble walking. Then he had difficulty even balancing himself while sitting. Then he lost speech…and other powers. After that, I assume he started slipping into a state of total disorientation. I assume, that is, because he couldn't tell us. But the way he looked around in bewilderment and fear suggested as much.

Are we having fun yet? Excellent. It gets better.

By the time A., my boyfriend at the time, jumped on a plane to come help out, my dad was still able to speak, still had mental clarity - but bodily, he was falling apart. Those were some of the worst days for me, since, lacking the physical strength to support him, the helplessness I felt was infuriating. He hated using the walker I'd gotten him, even after, desperate to make the house safer and more navigable, I had a late night Craiglist furniture fire sale, just to get some of his bookcases out of the fucking way. He was restless and scared, and kept himself distracted from what was happening by moving around constantly. He'd sit in one chair for ten minutes before insisting I help him move to another. I was always terrified one or both of us would go down as we shuffled along, inch by inch, on the cold Spanish tile. I'm sure he was, too.

The day A. arrived was especially bad for my dad. He was more or less bound to the hospital bed hospice had set up in the middle of the living room, because there hadn't been time to disassemble his own bed yet. He could no longer get up without help, and, due to his size and lack of balance, it became a massive ordeal for him just to go to the bathroom. And on this particular day, whether due to exhaustion or apathy, my dad decided to forgo the hassle and formality of pants.

Honestly, who the fuck could blame him?

Two things happened within seconds of one another: A. pulled up in a taxi, armed with his indefatigable grin and a battery-operated, barking toy dog on the box of which he'd written Chaucer - and my dad realized he needed to use the bathroom.

My dad had never met A. Never lain eyes on him or spoken to him. Knew him only by my description, and barely at that, since we hadn't been dating long. For his part, A. had just stepped off a trans-continental flight minutes before. We barely had a chance to greet one another on the driveway before I heard my dad calling for me from inside.

A. didn't blink, when he saw what was happening. In an instant, he was at my dad's side, helping me help him stand - discombobulated, weak, needing to pee. And completely naked from the waist down. Really, if you want to see what your boyfriend is made of, throw your pantless, dying father at him and see how he fares.

But this isn't A.'s story. It's my dad's. And do you know what the first words out of my father's mouth were, to his adult daughter's new beau? The very first words he uttered, standing there shakily between us, clutching both of our arms, and in the sort of exposed, heartbreakingly vulnerable state that nightmares are made of?

"Welcome to Apollo Beach."

Because what else was there to say? Manners are manners, whether your guest is living or Death or both, and my dad was fucked if cancer was going to touch his sense of humor just yet. So help him god, that would be the last thing to go.

too long; didn't need

Time of death: 12:50 AM, February 3, 2013
Cause: Unnatural (amount of words)

Next of kin can be reached here.

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Terence, bless his coeur, swears he likes to speak French with me in spite of how badly I consistently butcher it. He tends to speak so quickly that I freeze, too flustered to keep up. (College was a loooong time ago.) But I know it means a lot to him that I try. I imagine that since it's his first language (and the one he still speaks with his dad), it activates a part of his identity that he doesn't get to dial into much otherwise. And I want to be able to give him that, if only in my very limited way.

So I've been brushing up, using iPad apps I already had, plus one I've recently downloaded: Duolingo. I'm barely into the lower levels, but I love it. It's much more interactive and fun than the other apps, and structured with goals and prizes (you can cash in points for things like new outfits for your "coach", a whistle-wearing, pep-talking owl). I do wish there were more vocal exercises, but you can get around that by just reading aloud all of the written ones. The best part is how weird and random some of the sentences are. Le requin est rouge. Ses jupes ont des poches grandes. Also, the section on alcohol is a hoot. Nous boivent beaucoup de vin rouge. Yes. Yes we do.

If you're learning a language or want to bone up on one, I def suggest checking it out - as does Slate! It's the number one recommended app for annoying your loved ones with random foreign language ejaculations.