Scenes From A Relationship: Part Eight


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Due to a variety of factors (see entries for: Allergies, I hates them and My life, fuck it) I’ve been on a elimination diet for the past week and change. This elimination diet essentially means I can’t eat… well, anything fun. Basically, if you’ve ever craved it, I can’t eat it.*

This has, actually, been going well. Except for a few moments of hallucinating that R was turning into a walking, talking slice of pepperoni pizza** a la a Bugs Bunny cartoon, I’ve managed to keep the cravings at bay.*** However, I will still, on occasion, bitch to R via text when I feel like I’m going to lose my damn fool mind if I don’t have a giant chunk of lasagna right fucking now. Hence the following text exchange:

M: I would kill someone, anyone, for a taste of cheddar right now.
R: I think that’s an Ol’ Dirty Bastard line.

Well played, R. Well played.

* I almost wish there were a god so I could thank him, her or it for the fact that gin does not contain the allergens I am supposed to avoid. It’s ambrosia with a dash of lime right now.
** Roasted chicken is one of the few foods I can eat, which means I don’t have to be a dry-docked version of the cartoon-guy-starving-in-a-life-raft cliche.
*** I will fully admit that on my calendar Friday, September 28th (the day I can introduce my first food of choice and see if I react) does actually have “Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese!” written on it, though. God damn I miss dairy.

I Think I’d Need To Put A Plastic Bag Over The Seat, At The Very Least


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Last night I heard cheering from outside, left my house, walked a few blocks, and saw several thousand stark-naked people riding bicycles down the street with a police escort. I’ve learned two things from this experience:

1) Any sort of event revolving around naked people is going to feature a whole hell of a lot of penis.

2) While crashing your bike and eating it on the pavement is horribly embarrassing (been there, unfortunately), it’s got to be a thousand times worse if you do it bare-assed.

I’m just glad no one had to stop to change a flat in my line of sight, because holy hell would that ever qualify as Bad Naked.

… Oh Hi.


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I’ve been absent from the internet for a while, as I am 100% sure you all noticed. I could explain, but a) that’s weak and b) it would result in a wall of text that not even my own mother would care about. Basically I can sum it up with: I’m lazy, my work schedule has been strange, and I have basically been holed up for the past month doing jack shit, so there’s been little amusing stuff happening. However, as you could probably tell from my last post I have been watching that new HBO show Girls and I’m kind of on the fence about it. By “on the fence” I mean I can’t tell if I think it’s interesting or if I’m simply hate-watching it.* Naturally, this means I’m going to deconstruct it here.

The major sticking point is this: I’m really really sick of hearing people talk about how “realistic” this show is. Girls is about as real as the tits in Playboy. Why? We’re hitting on every standard female stereotype in television. Marnie is totally the attractive, bitchy den-mother who has little else going on. It’s been seven episodes, and all we know about her is 1) she’s a bitch, 2) she’s uptight and 3) no, seriously, she’s really uptight. She nags every other character in the show about everything, from moving on to fast to sleeping with that guy to being too easygoing. This woman will grow up to be a sitcom wife, and we’ll still not actually know a damned thing about what she thinks other than everyone else is doing it wrong. Jessa is so stereotypically Euro and bohemian and free that it’s practically gag-inducing. And, of course, because she’s okay with bringing home some strange she’s a man-eater who doesn’t respect boundaries and just about every man she hits on is totally down with banging her. Totally not stereotypical for a woman who likes sex, right? I mean, I’ve never seen a character portrayed like that before. Shoshanna (did I even spell that right?) is the twee, straight-laced girl with a heart of gold, which means she’s also got to be the sheltered, annoying one who all the other girls continually roll their eyes at because god, a virgin and oh, so sheltered.** Hannah. Oh Christ, can we please play up the unique, writer, hipster girl stereotype any more?

I mean, I know almost everyone has good and bad traits in real life, but those combos are so played out it’s ridiculous. I’ve known plenty of women who were sweet, kind and straight-laced who were also nigh-on unshockable because not doing drugs much or having crazy sex doesn’t mean you’re not aware other people do. I’ve also known plenty of single women who loved sex and had a lot of it with a lot of different men but still managed to treated men like people, women who were full of advice and mature beyond their years who didn’t lord it over people, and women who wanted to be writers, actors, or whatever creative type you want to pick without being covered in shitty tattoos and struggling to mask their atrocious lack of confidence. Basically I’ve never, ever met a woman who even remotely resembles one of those previously-mentioned stereotypes even if you boiled her personality down to the three most obvious characteristics the way you sort of have to with television characters. There’s always something else there. This isn’t realism, it’s the same shit that’s always been done.

I really think I keep watching it because I’m intrigued by all the hype, do not get it at all, and I’m trying to sort it out. I’m coming to the conclusion that the only reasons people are talking about it so much is that 1) Lena Dunham (spelling, again?) is all of 24 (I think) and has a show on HBO*** and 2) the characters tend to have sex and not need some sort of pearl-clutching conversation with their friends the next day to reassure them that the guy wanting to do something crazy like leave the lights on this time is, like, totally normal and doesn’t make you weird in bed or something, so of course we all need to analyze the hell out of the show because Western Civilization as we know it would come crashing down around our ears if women didn’t worry incessantly about whether they’re sluts for enjoying what is, typically, an enjoyable way to spend anywhere from five minutes to an entire goddamned afternoon, depending on the length of your relationship and your personal ability to withstand chafing.****

I figure I’ll give it till the end of the season, and if I haven’t found something redeeming in it I’ll have to write it off.

* I’m convinced hate-watching is the only reason most MTV and VH1 reality programming exists.
** Because there are, really, only two types of women: those who are sweet and easily shocked, and those who are extraordinarily annoyed by those who are sweet and easily shocked. God, I should totally draw up an Annoying Tropes And Stereotypes in Girls drinking game.
*** Which is legitimately awesome, so I can’t argue with that.
**** Holy run-on sentence, Batman!

Scenes From A Relationship, Part 7


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M: The only big problem I have with that new HBO show Girls is that the dude who plays Adam is fucking gross.
R: Gross? Seriously? I have to see a picture of this guy.
M: Okay, here.
R: That guy is gross?
M: Correction: that guy is nasty.
R: Nasty? He looks pretty average.
M: Nasty. Eight out of ten Helens agree.
R: Okay. So, just for comparisons’ sake, if you had to choose – like, gun to your head – would you rather have sex with that dude or the dude who plays Theon on Game of Thrones?
M: Alfie Allen? Fuck. Do I have to look at him?
R: No, you can face away.
M: Ugh. No. I’ll take death rather than those two.
R: For real? Okay, okay. Who’s old? I’ve got it: Adam from Girls or Sean Connery?
M: Hell, no matter how old and crusty Sean Connery gets I’d probably go with him just for the story. ‘Cause it would be an insane and awesome story. Pointless question.
R: Damn, you’re right. What the hell was I thinking? I mean, I’d probably do Sean Connery just for the story.
M: Wait – are we assuming Mr. Connery is wearing a condom?
R: An important consideration.
M: Because neither of us should risk getting herpes just for a story.

An Open Letter To My Mother


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Dear Mom:

For Mother’s Day this year, I got you a card and accidentally mailed it to myself.

I just want you to know that this moment of total idiocy in no way reflects the quality of your parenting. Instead, think of it as solid proof that IQ tests are a very poor reflection of actual, functional intelligence. I’ll call you later, after I manage to burn the house down making tea.



Except for the Whole Donny Part, It Was a Good Experience


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I recently attended a showing of The Big Lebowski at my local beer-and-movie theater, which led me to the following conclusions:

1. The Pacific Northwest is ground zero for reasonably accurate Dude lookalikes.
2. After spending three hours sitting next to a guy dressed like the Nihilist from the dream sequence (complete with giant scissors!) I can safely say a red jumpsuit looks good on no one.
3. Drunk and watching Lebowski in a crowded theater?



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1) I have a sneaking suspicion that one day, while removing the excessive amount of packaging* from a new shipment of the tiny plastic animals we keep in bins throughout the store, I’m going to pull on the plastic wrap too hard and send a ballistic three-inch-tall alpaca directly into some kid’s eye by accident. I just wanted the fact that this would be totally unintentional recorded here for posterity, so I can use it for evidence when I’m charged with Assault with a Deadly Akhal-Teke Stallion.
2) When checking in said animals, I always get a little annoyed when I see the “Red Tailed Deer, Cow”** line on the packing slip because I’m convinced there’s an implied “You” in there.
3) Dear small plastic animal manufacturers: That is not a crocodile. It is an alligator. Just trust me on this one, I know the difference.

*Hundreds of tiny animals individually wrapped in plastic and cardboard? Are you shitting me? Why is this necessary, they are solid fucking plastic.
** German company, so all lines on the shipping list are translated. I’d like to assume they meant to write “Red Tailed Deer, Doe” as all other female deer are correctly identified as does, but I really consider it further proof that they’re trying to insult me, personally, with that “misprint.”



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I just watched an entire episode of Game of Thrones and not one single character got sexually assaulted.

Ed Note: I haven’t gotten any comments or, really, any hits since posting this but I thought I should clarify that I don’t find this funny (as I typically write humor, I can see how someone would assume that) but rather surprising in a good way. The producers have been leaning on sexual assault for too many characterizations of late, and while I do think it’s an effective if disturbing way of showing that women in the society portrayed are basically property I’m glad they chose not to depict sexual assault in this episode because it’s getting to be gratuitous rather than illustrative.

“And a 22-Inch Waist”



The internets have been crazy the past few days, which has meant my blogging time has turned into my frantically-pressing-the-F4-key-and-laughing time, but I did want to share a link that I found through Yes and Yes. I like listening to people talk about the creative process,* and I like John Cleese, so this was great:

John Cleese on creativity, via Brainpickings

(As someone who appreciates humor, I especially like his point about the difference between serious and solemn during the last few minutes of the video.)

*Allows me to procrastinate on my own, but comes across as “research.” Net win.

I’m Eternally Grateful We Don’t Carry Barbies, Because They’d Be Way Worse


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I’ve mentioned it in the past, but just in case anyone new is around I’ll state it again: I work at a toy store.*

I’ll pause so you can stop sniggering.

Okay, done? Good. Anyway, as anyone who works retail is aware, there are busy days and dead days in any store. It doesn’t matter how well-staffed you are, or how well the schedules are created (ours are fine), but you’re going to have some periods of mind-numbing boredom. Unfortunately, I happen to work a lot of the dead days. While, for me, there are upsides to working in retail – flexible working days,** four-day weeks, and not having as much stress come home with me every damned day, unlike the office jobs I’ve had – one of the major downsides of it is the dead days. Few customers means little to do and no distractions (like the internet, hello office jobs***), and, well, I can only organize the stuffed animals by size and animal type so many times before I want to put a bullet between my eyes. So I’ve had to find entertainment for myself for those slow-as-hell-days. Enter the game I play with myself in moments of extreme boredom, which I like to call “What If It Were Alive?

As you may have inferred from the name, the premise is to imagine what various toys would be like if they were, in fact, alive. Lame, I understand. Maybe I watched Toy Story one too many times as a wee thing, but whatever, it passes the time. Most of the toys we have in the store are pretty cute (don’t let the creepy doll on the homepage fool you, every single North American Bear Company toy would just be like a small, fuzzy, cuddly pet if it were animate, especially the cozies) so the game can be pleasant. However, there are some toys I imagine as incredibly horrible if able to walk and talk. Exhibit A is the Groovy Girls line of dolls. Seriously, those things make me think of the early-teen bitch queens from middle school. All smiles, but they’re totally talking about you behind your back. The idea of either PlanCity people or PlayMobil people coming to life is also strangely disconcerting, because I imagine them to be a mute, unstoppable force of tiny-infrastructure-building. Kind of like army ants, only instead of eating you alive their primary objective would be to build tiny little roads that lead nowhere all over your house, and then drive little wooden cars down them at breakneck speed.**** However distasteful any of those ideas may be, they are absolutely nothing compared to the horror and revulsion I’ve experienced imagining living, moving Calico Critters toys.

If you’re not  five year old or familiar with the Sylvianian Family/Calico Critters toys and cartoons from the ’80s, you may have missed these things. Be glad you did, because even without imagining them able to move on their own these things are fucking creepy. They’re a bunch of three-inch high faux-cutesy animals with the most dead, glossless black eyes I have ever seen on a toy. Take, for example, the Furbanks Squirrel Family (no, I am not making that name up):*****

Son of a bitch, they're watching us.

Creepy, am I right? As if the fucking scary little eyes and the sensation that they’re just waiting for you to turn your back on them isn’t bad enough, the entire line has uncomfortably Republican undertones: all the Families are nuclear, every “playset” is geared towards stay-at-home-mom activities like playdates and grocery shopping (seriously), and everything looks like it came out of an era comprised of various aesthetics from white, middle-class America in the ’40s and ’50s. I mean, look at the mom squirrel. You didn’t have to wonder which one I was talking about, did you? No, because even though all of the look exactly the same, you can easily identify the mom by the frilly dress and fucking apron. Christ. The only non-Norman-Rockwell part of all of this is that they sell sets of twins and triplets on their own, but some of the creatures the multiples are based on don’t have a corresponding nuclear family playset you can purchase. Apparently they sprang from nowhere which makes me suspect there’s an argument for creationism buried in the dead eyes and frilly dresses, but I’ve admittedly spent too much time in the Bible Belt than is healthy and, in any case, I’m really getting off the rails here. The point is, most of these are horrible when inanimate. They’re terrifying when you imagine them living, like little zombie Stepford Animals. I didn’t think they could get worse, but then our store got a new line of Calico Critters: the Meerkat Spotter Triplets.

I know, I know. Meerkats automatically ratchet up the cuteness and tolerability of anything tenfold. In fact, if you were sitting in front of me right now, you’d probably say, “but MJ, meerkats are super cute!” And you know what, you’re right, they are. Fucking adorable, in fact, what with the little paws and the popping up out of holes in the ground. So now you’d be saying, “well, super cute animals are hard to fuck up,” and you are, generally speaking, correct. I’m with you so far. But then, then you would get all confident and say: “but you can’t even succeed in making a meerkat un-cute even in terrifying three-inch-tall format, correct?” And there’s where you are so, so staggeringly wrong. Hold on to your butts, people, because I have proof that the meerkat’s cuteness can be harnessed for pure unadulterated evil:

Kill it, kill it now.

As you may have noticed, I’m a wordy person. I could write paragraphs about how terrifying these things are. Really, I could. But instead, I will present you with this scenario: imagine waking up one night at three a.m., walking into your kitchen for a glass of water, and turning on the light only to see a pack of these monsters slowly look up from the breadcrumbs they’re eating off your kitchen counter to just stare at you.

Extermination wouldn’t be enough, I’d need to fucking move.

All images from Calico Critters’ online store. I imagine they’re copyrighted by Calico Critters.

* Yes, my boss does know “what I’m like,” thanks.
** This is unusual in retail, but my boss does not care if we swap shifts around so it’s super flexible. Thank god, because it’s awesome.
*** How many of you read this from work? Be honest.
**** Both are German companies, so in my mind they must drive excessively fast. I know, I know, stereotyping.
***** An interesting sidenote on the Calico Critters is that they seem to be prejudiced against dogs. All the other families have wholesome, punny, or just plain cutesy little names, like the Furbanks Squirrels or the Elwood Elephants, but the dogs are all descriptive. The Beagle Dog Family. The Dalmatian Dog Family. Come on, Calico Critters, where’s the love for man’s best friend?