Monthly Archives: March 2013

Fans of Easter vs Not fans of Easter

Easter-fans

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Easter-not fans

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The Five Stages of Haircut Grief

I got bangs.

Granted, I realize this is probably not earth-shattering news to you.

But on a personal level, this is A VERY BIG DEAL for me. And not just because I now look like Zooey Deschanel’s less attractive second cousin.

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No, this is A BIG DEAL because I haven’t changed my hair in years.

YEARS.

And overall, I’m highly pleased with new bangs. Save for one part.

See, that above photo is a bit of a lie. I took that after the hairstylist was done professionally taming my belligerent hair. But ever since that day, my hair has looked nothing like that. No matter how much I blowdry it, gel it, brush it, apply various irons heated to an almost illegal degree to it, I can’t get it to look like that.

And I think I know why. Just like when humans lose something, hair goes through similar stages of grief when it gets cut. For example, here is what my hair has been going through this past week–

STAGE ONE: DENIAL

Grief-Denial

STAGE TWO: ANGER

Grief-Anger

STAGE THREE: BARGAINING

Grief-Bargaining

STAGE FOUR: DEPRESSION

Grief-Depression

STAGE FIVE: ACCEPTANCE

Grief-Acceptance

As you can see, the above cartoon is blank. This is because my hair has yet to reach acceptance, so naturally, I don’t know what this stage looks like. And I have no idea when it will, if ever, happen.

But here’s to hoping it’s soon. Because I don’t know how many more people I can take asking me why I got into a fight with a weed whacker.

Liar, Liar, Big Girl Pants on Fire

Now that it’s getting warmer (and then colder…and then warmer again…and then snowing…and then slightly warmer again before a cold front comes in around 3 p.m. and makes it hail), all our collective thoughts are slowly turning toward spring. And as such, all the things we’ll finally be able to do again now that winter is over (like the ability to go outside without looking like the little brother from “A Christmas Story”).

In general, this is good news. Save for one small, minor detail.

As we shed those bulky coats, our true form will emerge for all to see, much like a butterfly from its cocoon. Only our post-winter butterfly body is blindingly pale, semi-gelatinous and 10 pounds heavier than we remember after spending the past four mouths hibernating on the couch under our Snuggie.

Or maybe not for you. Maybe you’re one of those jerks who actually jogs all year round and doesn’t use Christmas as an excuse to eat your own weight in mashed potatoes. Which, if that’s the case, good for you. Also, I hate you.

As for the rest of us, we are starting to hit panic mode. And as such this is the time of year I fondly like to refer to as New Year Resolution 2.0, when we all suddenly remember we were supposed to lose weight and NOT eat Peeps and leftover Valentine’s Day chocolate for breakfast anymore. Followed by mentally beating ourselves up because we realize if we had started in January, we would have hit our goal by now.

But instead we are clinging to our old college sweatshirt like it’s the last lifeboat on the Titanic as we obsessively check the weather forecast for the day it finally is too warm and we’re forced to take it off, revealing the horrid neglect we’ve done to our body as young children run away screaming from us in our stretched-out tank top.

Now, I was determined this year not to stress out about losing weight. Or even getting into shape. Or doing pretty much anything that required me to feel bad about sitting in bed eating Fluffernutters. In fact, I didn’t even make a New Year’s resolution. I finally felt I was mature enough to accept my body as it is, flaws and all.

And that was actually quite easy to do when I was wearing my husband’s giant flannel pajama pants and three layers of thermal shirts.

But then I made the mistake of going shopping and trying on a summer dress. Now, I’ve never actually seen sausage being made, but I’m assuming it’s somewhat similar to the experience I had trying to get that dress on in that dressing room.

So, a few weeks ago, I downloaded a weight loss app to my phone, where I can input how much I want to lose and by when. And then every day it tells me how much I can eat and how much I need to exercise and in return I tell it just how much I did eat and how much I did exercise.

Only it hasn’t been working. And I think I figured out why.

I keep lying to it.

Of course, it didn’t start out that way. I was very honest at first, even adjusting my numbers for how much wine I drank since my standard glass of wine is not apparently the industry standard (the industry standard, of course, being quite quaint…if we weren’t supposed to fill our wine glass to the very top, why did they make the wine glass that big, am I right? ).

But then week after week, the app kept showing me an angry red bar graph of how many calories I was over each day on the “Your Progress” tab. It got quite depressing after awhile.

So, I would just toss in some little white lies at first. That 150 calorie Cadbury Creme Egg? Oh, I totally burned that off by typing. No need to add it then. That fourth piece of bacon I had? It was pretty small. Smaller than your average piece of bacon, at the very least. No need to mention it. That last cocktail? It was mostly ice. And vodka. Both practically calorie-less. Obviously, it doesn’t really count then.

But then it started to escalate. I fudged the numbers of my portion sizes and exaggerated my fitness regime (counting the trip there AND back, I’d say it’s at least a half-mile walk to the mailbox).

And then it became full-blown lies. I filed my Sour Apple Martini under “apple.” My latte under “black coffee.” Those three pieces of pizza under “yogurt.”

It eventually got so ridiculous, I just stopped using it altogether. I just couldn’t bear looking at its innocent little interface anymore, that cursor blinking so trustingly at me and knowing that I was betraying it.

But that doesn’t mean I’ve given up on getting into shape and getting healthy. Oh no.

I just downloaded a new app this morning that has no idea of my devious ways.

One and A Half Shades of Gray

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The politics of cooking

Judging by the title of this post alone, I know what you’re probably thinking: “Oh god, is she going to get all preachy on us about only eating local, sustainable, vegan crap?” And the answer, of course, is hell no. I don’t give two pieces of tofu about that stuff (although if you do, good for you…thanks for trying to save the planet while selfish buttheads like me continue to try to destroy it).

I’m talking about the sexual politics of cooking. And yes, again I know what you’re thinking: “Oh god, is she going to get all freaky-deaky on us about using various phallic-shaped foods to spice up your sex life?” And the answer, naturally, is eww. What the hell is wrong with you guys? Remind me not to bring cucumbers to YOUR next potluck dinner.

No, I mean the incredibly sexist aspect of cooking that still exists today. And since spring is right around the corner (if you can see past all the sleet, hail, snow and rare glimpses of the sun), I thought this was the perfect time to bring it up.

But rather than just give one long (yet HILARIOUS) monologue on the subject, instead I’ve written a little play based on a true story for you to enjoy. A little play I like to call…

YOU GOTTA FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO BARBECUE

A PLAY IN ONE ACT

Characters:

Aprill: A sorta-hot-in-that-nerdy-kind-of-way college senior who is usually drunk

Bobby Funtime*: Aprill’s good friend and a frat guy who is also usually drunk

*Name has been changed to protect the not-so-innocent

Setting:

Outside a typical barely-fit-for-human-occupancy college house. Beer cans litter the ground and off to the side is a so-old-it’s-probably-dangerous barbecue grill.

Time:

Late spring/early summer afternoon in 2004

SCENE ONE

(Aprill and Bobby Funtime enter through a side screen door that is only hanging on by one hinge, both carrying plates full of uncooked meat in one hand and a can of crappy cheap beer in the other)

BOBBY FUNTIME

Wow, it sure is a beautiful day today. Which is great because we are just about to graduate college and as such are having a party this afternoon to celebrate. Complete with barbecued food, which we are about to make.

APRILL

Why are you talking like that?

BOBBY FUNTIME

Like what? Also, I feel I should mention that I’m so glad we are friends, even though we constantly butt heads since you are a feminist and I am a typical college frat guy.

APRILL

Are you OK? Are you having a stroke or something?

BOBBY FUNTIME

Haha! Oh, Aprill…you and your funny non-exposition way of talking.

APRILL

Alright…whatever. Here. Hold my beer while I fire up this grill.

BOBBY FUNTIME

Excuse me?

APRILL

Hold. My. Beer.

BOBBY FUNTIME

I thought I was cooking these hamburgers.

APRILL

Well, you thought wrong.

BOBBY FUNTIME

But…um…I’m not sure…do you really think you can handle that?

APRILL

Handle cooking raw meat over a flame, that same thing that even cavemen figured out and small-to-medium-sized children on a campout can do? Yeah…no, I think I got this.

BOBBY FUNTIME

Why don’t you just let me do it?

APRILL

Um…no.

(Aprill fires up the ancient grill, which makes a series of disturbing noises, and Bobby Funtime backs away as a giant mushroom cloud bursts out with a giant WOOSH sound. Aprill waits for the smoke to clear and places the hamburgers on the grill)

BOBBY FUNTIME

Hmm…maybe dragging a grill home from the dump wasn’t such a great idea.

APRILL

No worries. My eyebrows will probably grow back. Although maybe that family of racoons living in there did more damage than we thought.

BOBBY FUNTIME

(hovering behind Aprill who is standing at the grill)

So…when you gonna flip them?

APRILL

When I feel they need to be flipped.

BOBBY FUNTIME

Cause you know I can take over if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

APRILL

I got it, dude.

BOBBY FUNTIME

(now hovering even closer)

Maybe you should flip them now.

APRILL

If you flip them too often, they can lose their juiciness.

BOBBY FUNTIME

(who has now climbed onto Aprill’s back)

Now?…How about now?…Or now?…NOW!?!

(Aprill flips the burgers, Bobby Funtime gives a sigh of relief)

APRILL

Feel better?

BOBBY FUNTIME

Yes…so…when you gonna put cheese on them? …Now?

END SCENE

So ladies, with barbecue season upon us, just remember: Even though we’ve come a long way, baby, no one…and I mean NO ONE…puts our grilled baby back ribs in the corner. Always, ALWAYS, fight for your right to barbecue.

How Americans really feel about Daylight Savings Time

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Maybe it’s lupus

So, I’ve been sick the past few days. Or at least, I think I have. It could be that I’m dying. To tell the truth, even though I’ve “technically” never died before, it feels pretty similar to what I imagine dying is like. The only thing missing is a tunnel, a bright light and the ability to legally obtain morphine.

Yes, now that I’ve entered my 30’s, getting sick is a whole new ball game. A horrible, horrible new ball game composed of hulked up germs on steroids that get their kicks by beating the crap out of your feeble and decrepit immune system.

Germ

It’s a pity too. I used to love getting sick when I was young. Sure, you felt like crap. But the benefits far outweighed the downsides. You got to stay home from school, were completely coddled all day by your mom and were allowed to eat ice cream for breakfast to soothe your sore throat.

But by FAR the greatest part of being sick when you were young is that you could almost immediately identify your malady. Or someone else could, like your mom or your doctor. And even if they couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it was, it generally fell under a term like “the crud” or “that thing that’s been going around,” and it didn’t matter anyway because the treatment was pretty much the same: Sipping flat 7-UP all day with a side of toast and the occasional dose of over-the-counter medicine (that, judging strictly by its taste, is composed of pure evil) and then dozing on and off on the couch to cartoons.

And then BOOM. In a few days, you’re all better. No worse for the wear.

But as you age, things become infinitely more complicated. Suddenly, at the first sign of a sniffle, you have to become Dr. House, trying to identify what possible illness or disease could cause the never-ending parade of random symptoms that are wreaking havoc on your body and may or may not be related.

Is this just a cold or is it lupus?

Is this cough related to this random goiter I just developed?

Is this just a headache, or the beginning of a migraine, or the first warning signs of an aneurysm?

Is this pneumonia or the first stages of cancer? And is it related to the reason that half my face has just swelled up to almost double its normal size?

Is this indigestion or gout with a touch of E-coli? And is it related to this random rash on two-thirds of my body?

And if that wasn’t bad enough, you also have to become a detective, retracing your steps the day or two before, since your body can no longer handle the seemingly harmless activities it used to enjoy.

Is this the flu or am I just hungover?

Is this a heart attack or just acid reflux from dinner?

Is this the plague or am I just hungover?

Is this irritable bowel syndrome or simply too much MSG in the 12 pounds of Chinese food I just scarfed down?

Is this what death feels like or am I just hungover?

Is this leprosy or did I just forget to put on makeup this morning?

So, best guess as to what I came down with? Scurvy with a side of malaria. Or perhaps mad cow disease with an underlying fever caused by drinking too much last Tuesday. Or maybe I’ve developed a gluten allergy.

Germs-self-portrait

I don’t know.

But I feel horrible.

And so, I’m going to lay in bed all day with my ice cream (which I had to spoon out into the bowl MYSELF since no one is here to coddle me) until I either get better or I do die. And, to be honest,  if I don’t start feeling better soon, I’m going to start rooting for death.