Dear Woman Snotting it Up Next to Me at this Cafe

Dear Woman Snotting it Up Next to Me at this Cafe,

Hey there. I happened to notice you have a runny nose. How can I tell? You keep sucking your snot back like it’s not the most disgusting thing I’ve been forced to deal with so far today. You have headphones on so maybe you don’t hear yourself. But rest assured we all do. EVERY SINGLE PERSON HERE is aware that your nose is running and it’s gushing like a gd hot spring. I get it: we’re in January, the cold, sick phase of 2016’s short, sweet life.

But I think there are a couple of things you could do, ya know, for your physical health and the mental health of the people around you. For example, how about blowing your nose? Have you thought of that? I noticed you haven’t tried since you’ve been here (exactly 37 minutes) and I’m wondering: why? Also why’d you get the bagel (with jalapeno cream cheese!)? I never want to talk about what a woman is eating UNLESS it’s some spicy, dairy thing and she is also SIMULTANEOUSLY snotting it up all over town. Which is what you’re doing. In this coffee shop and on my morning.

Ya know, I’ve been watching you, actually. You came in yesterday, ordered a coffee to go, and lit a cigarette when you left this dumb place. I didn’t think anything of it then, but now I’m wondering, why are you smoking when you’re sick, girl? I’m worried about you. With a snotty nose like that, eating dairy and smoking? Come on now. There’s no way you don’t know better. No how.

You know what, though: I love smoking. I do. I think it’s one of God’s few gifts to his dirty lil’ children. I ALSO love dairy, so I see how you could have a hard time abstaining for a bit while you dried up your used Kleenex of a nasal system.

But what about my blowing idea? Why not just go into the bathroom and give that snout a little toot? Maybe you’re worried about getting your hands dirty AND you hate water, so you def don’t want to wash them. Soap, too, grosses you out. Fine. I’ll accept this. When I was a kid I hated washing my hands because when they were drying it felt like my skin was tightening and I thought that meant my hands were shrinking. And I was scarred that one day I’d be an adult with tiny child hands.
And if I had tiny child hands no one would ever want to shake them.
And if no one ever wanted to shake hands, I would never succeed in business.
And if I never succeed in business, I would never have enough money to buy a sassy parrot.
And if I never had a sassy parrot, I wouldn’t be able to go on cool adventures.
And if I didn’t go on cool adventures, then what would be the point of my life?

So, I guess what I’m saying is: I see where you’re coming from. And, also, maybe I should mind my own business. Ugh, I just remembered I brought my headphones here in case anyone annoyed me, and why haven’t I been using them? I feel like I let us both down, really. Initially I was going to say something about how this is a perfect example of how other people can ruin your day, but now I think it’s an excellent lesson on how I should cool it with prying into other people’s affairs. Also, is that man talking on his phone bothering you? Over there in the corner? He’s talking low, and mumbling as if we all can’t hear him? It’s so rude, don’t you think? Jesus, people are the worst.


5 Ways to Cope When You Feel Awkward at a Party Tonight (posted on tumblr 12/31/2015)


Parties are hard. Maybe you feel uncomfortable socializing? Believe it or not, a lot of people do. Here are some handy tips for navigating a social situation when you’d rather just go home:

1. Introduce yourself to someone you’ve never met. Ask them what they do for a living.

2. Match your party outfit to that of someone in your favorite commercial currently running. Explain to people how you were able to hunt down all the necessary wardrobe pieces.

3. Find a coat room, dark hall, or empty corner somewhere in the house. Lay down. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Once you feel centered, imagine that you are Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. See yourself as Rey? Good. Focus on the idea that you’ve just been captured by the First Order and are on the Starkiller Base being interrogated by Kylo Ren. He has you in that futuristic-dentist chair and you are freaking the fuck out. You guys are currently in the scene where he’s trying to get the map out of your head and you are like “uh-uh.” You’re acting pretty tough, but you’re really scared shitless because you’ve never been in a situation like this, and hello, your life was so ordinary yesterday, and what in the world is happening right now?

This is all too much. But you know that, at all costs, you cannot give him that map-image from your brain. And, even though in the past you might have not been super confident about yourself, for some reason today you’re pretty sure you can handle this task of mental deflection. Especially because you know that he’s evil and you’re good and it’s all so very very clear. So you deliver that line where you tell him that of course you want to kill a “monster in a mask,” and he’s like “Oh me? I’m a monster in a mask?” and you nod and he takes off his helmet and he is beautiful and you are stunned.

OK. Live in this moment for a bit. He’s not a monster in a mask, but a handsome, conflicted man, and you see all of humanity’s failures and triumphs rolling out before you as you bear witness to a truly tortured being that seems to embody the truth that life is, ultimately, absolute solitude. After a very charged silence between the two of you, he says “I feels it too,” and instead of meaning the “Force” or the fact that you might be “first cousins,” in this scenario, he means he feels the hot base desire that has ignited your physical self as well.

Wow. When he confesses this, you’re like “Be cool, be cool, he is still super evil, don’t do anything stupid, Ashley,” but there is a small part of you that’s like “He must have some of the good-Force in him if I feel this way?”

Really allow yourself to be there and experience this straight up drama of conflicting emotions about good and evil and physical longing and human weakness. Got it? Great, so after this super electric moment, you guys go back to the whole trying to get the map out of you and using the Force to get in each other heads and it’s a struggle and he gets frustrated and you say that thing about his secret fear and he’s like “TOO FAR,” and leaves the interrogation room in a pissy huff.

Kylo marches down to his Dark-Side-Daddy, Supreme Leader Snoke, and explains that he is having trouble getting the map out of you because you’re so talented with the Force. Snoke is like “Bring her too me, I’ll get it out of that lil’ bitch,” and Kylo has this like deep, gut wrenching pain inside of him, where he’s like “Oh no, I can’t bring her to the Iron Throne, he’ll destroy her” and blooming inside of him is a longing to protect you, which really freaks him out. So, he tries to buy some time and he’s like “You know what? Let me work on her for a bit, I think I got this.” And Voldemort is like “OK, I trust you. You’re so talented and this will be a good test of your abilities.” And Kylo is like “Wow, I didn’t think he really believed in me like that,” and now he feels insanely conflicted.

He decides to go to his private quarters on the ship and really think about what is happening because his feelings have him confused to all hell. It’s a strange situation, you know? All he has ever wanted is control, over himself, the Force, and others, until this very moment. He’s feeling something that’s not about total control, but instead is about craving a shared experience with another human, and he’s like AHHH WHAT IS THIS.

Meanwhile, back in the interrogation room, you’re baffled as well! You decide it is paramount to convince yourself that the attraction you feel for Kylo is some sort of dark magic, because hello, he is truly a Class-A villain, and you’re not. No way. You’re a badass, taking down the man, fighting for the people, vigilante. Or at least that’s what you feel yourself becoming? I mean, sure you were just a regular gal yesterday, rooting around in the sand for scrap metal, but now you’re clearly fulfilling some sort of destiny you always secretly hoped was within you. And you’re not going to let ANY man derail this fate you’re running towards no matter how good looking or deep their voice.

You both try and sleep it off.

The next day, Kylo comes to see you and, once again, he is trying to pull that map out of your gd brain. This time, though, he knows not to take off his mask, and you’re like thank God, because you’re not sure you could handle the emotional rollercoaster that is unbridled eye contact. The next few days follow a similar pattern: You’re a prisoner, Kylo is constantly trying to brain wrestle you with the Force, you, somehow keep holding out—much to the amazement of yourself and him—and he keeps getting angry and leaving, feeling exhausted and frustrated.

Let these scenarios play out however you see fit. Maybe in different rooms, on a holodeck, or over a game of Tri-Dimensional Chess. Whatever strikes your fancy.

After a few days pass, you start to realize you are getting treated pretty well for a prisoner of the First Order. For starters, Kylo hasn’t done that thing to you where he chokes people with his mind. And why hasn’t he handed you over to Snoke? That’s odd, right? Especially because every moment that passes the Rebellion gets closer to finding Luke. And another thing! Isn’t it kind of weird that he hasn’t ordered a Stormtrooper to physically torture the information out of you? Like, clearly this hypnotism thing isn’t working, what about a good old-fashioned beat down? It doesn’t make sense to you. You begin to wonder: is he protecting me?

Let this pattern of days go on however long you see fit in order to build sufficient tension.

Then one morning, he arrives to brain wrestle for the map, but you somehow have a lightsaber. (I’m not quite sure how you got it, but you can figure this detail out on your own. Maybe a Rebellion sympathizer slips it to you? IDK. I can’t think of everything).

Now armed, you begin an epic lightsaber battle with Kylo. Sort of like the scene in the snowy woods, but this fight is in a big warehouse inside the Starkiller Base. This shit is intense. He is enraged that you are attacking him with a lightsaber. He doesn’t fully understand why, but you attempting to fight him with a deadly weapon makes him feel straight up deceived. Like, sure he’s kept you prisoner, but he hasn’t actually tried to physically hurt you. And now you’re coming at him with this?

Anyway, this becomes an insane sword fight. You guys are at each other’s throats, while also appearing to dance because the fight choreography is so tight. And Kylo, impressed by your skills, is like “you need a teacher!” and in his moment of weakness you manage to strike him with your lightsaber, but it does nothing but knock off his helmet, which goes flying across the room, out of his reach. Stunned by the sight of his face, you stumble. He sees you falter and lunges towards you, prepared to end it all. Quickly you attempt to get up and regain control, but it’s too late, he’s over you and his light saber is flying down, about to strike the base of your neck. In one last hurrah you’re able to raise your light saber to protect yourself, momentarily blocking his deadly swing. Within seconds you realize it is useless: the leverage he has from his position over you will eventually crush your defense. Knowing you are about to die, you turn your head up and look into his eyes. That’s when you see it: the deep longing for connection from before.

OK. This is a good place for a break so you can really take it all in. Live in this moment for a sec. A few long breaths should do the trick. 1, 2, 3. Great, back to the warehouse:

There is no sound but the crackle and pop of your light sabers smashing against each other. Staring into each other’s eyes, him pressing down with his lightsaber, you desperately pushing up with yours, you both exhale and in a moment of full awareness and unity, simultaneously turn off your weapons.

You collapse into a pile of kisses.

You make love.

This can play out however you see fit. I would suggest, however, that it be similar in tenderness and passion to the love scene in the Titanic and at one point Kylo whispers “I love you” into your ear and everything feels so good and right and just with the universe.

After your epic love making, wrapped in a nest of robes in a shipping crate tucked in the corner of the warehouse, the two of you silently trace your fingers over each other’s skin, bodies still humming from the physical connection. You exhale, push a damp lock of hair off his forehead, and ask “How are we going to get out of here?” He sighs, looks away and says with a heavy heart, “We’re…we’re not.” Confused, you roll onto your side in order to look at him directly and ask, “What?” He shakes his head, eyes half-closed, he looks tired, defeated. “I’m going to get you off the ship, but I have to stay, it’s the only way that…”


Oh. The host is asking why you’re on the floor of their guest room? Get up, dust yourself off. Explain that you are engaging in a very important coping method which helps you to socialize.

You already did that?


OK. Change of plans: tell them we’re a little busy right now, and ask if you can get, like, 30 more mins in here by yourself.

Oh, everyone has left? Really? Even Todd, who passed out next to the potted Fiddleleaf Fig plant hours ago?


Now they’re saying they don’t actually know who you are? How rude! Well, explain to them how you two know each other.

Oh. You’re a friend, of a friend, of friend who didn’t come to the party? Oh dear.

OK, maybe we should just take a break for now and check in later when you’re at home. Sounds good? Great. Don’t forget party tip #5.

7. Make sure to thank your host for their wonderful hospitality and discretion.

8. Happy New Year!

Girl, what are you looking at? Whereupon I bemoan the insanity of actresses not looking into the camera in advertisements. (posted on tumblr 2/15)

I wouldn’t say I’m a feminist, but I would say that I advocate social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men. I think everyone would, right? I wish there was a word that expressed this sentiment. Anyway, that’s why I’m pretty irked over a pattern I’ve been seeing in advertisements on the subway platform. If you’re not familiar with a subway platform, it’s a thing you stand on while waiting for an “underground bus” to take you were you need to go so you can do all your many businesses. These platforms host a plethora of exciting entertainment options, from local talent performing their craft on a donations basis, to giant posters advertising products, TV shows, continuing education classes, and more!

No matter how hard I try to fight capitalism’s hypnotic effect on my eyeballs (what you look at is what you become, people!), I can’t help but staring at each and every ad over and over again like some trained monkey in a diabolical experiment to test obediance when denied intellectual stimulation. Or, just like, staring at it because I’m bored, ya know?

Recently, I started noticing a pattern that IS PISSING ME THE EFF OFF. And this is where my feelings abut “feminism” and “women” come into play. I’ve spotted a little trend in advertising I like to call “Women Not Looking At The Camera,” or “Girl, What Are You Looking At?” for short. This trend applies mainly to movies and television show ads I’ve spotted while waiting for the train. The poster-ad will show the main characters doing something that pertains to their P.O.V. as a cast member, but more often than not, the WOMAN is not LOOKING at the CAMERA. I’d say, the men usually are. Not all of them, but definetly more than the women. It’s just so annoying, because here is their chance, as respected female-based-artists, to be taken seriously as an inetgral player in a drama, action, or comedy, and what do they do? They get distracted by something out of frame and TOTALLY BLOW their chance to establish themselves as a primary character.

I’m by no means saying all the women in movie and TV ads do this, but I’ve seen it enough to notice it as a pattern, and I’m pretty oblivious to most things/life-threatening dangers. So, I’m guessing if there were statistics involved, they would find that female characters in TV show ads look at the camera less than their male couternparts. I’d bet someone $5 this is true. Here’s some basic evidence to support my case:


Example 1: This is a poster for the show Portlandia. The show is pretty rad. I’m a fan. I just want to know: Girl, what are you looking at? Did you not know they were about to snap your pic? By looking away from the camera this female character seems passive. MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH ME.


Example 2: This is a poster for a television show I’ve never heard of or knew existed. But I like Kristen Bell. She was great as a quirky personal investigator on that CW show. Anyway, I would ask “Girl, what are you looking at?” but I’m pretty sure it’s the inside of Don Cheadle’s ear. Good to know this show is about an ear. Still, I’d feel more engaged with the character if she’d just look at the camera. This makes me think her role isn’t as important as his.


Example 3: This is an ad for a movie where Kevin Hart kills a bunch of people with the help of his trusty side-kick, Beagle the beagle dog. Now, there’s a lot going on here, sure, but notice how most of the actors are looking at the camera? The dead asian guy isn’t, because he’s dead. The guy with the fake mustache is clearly plotting his escape off camera. But the woman, the only woman in the damn ad, is looking at something. What is it? Who knows, but whatever it is, it’s clearly pissing her off. Why not look away from the thing that’s making you so angry and look at the camera. FOUR (guy with glasses, guy with shin, guy from Lost, guy named Kevin Hart) out of the SIX living actors in this poster are looking at the camera. Girl, why can’t you be one of them? Is it because your character is minimally important to the plot or is it because you’re distracted? I’m guessing it’s the latter. What’re you looking at?


Example 4: This a perfect example of how a show’s poster can establish it’s characters. Dude on the right: male adult looking at camera, smiling, looks like he’s a rolls-with-the-punches optimist. Can’t wait to see how he handles his troubles in a lovable, enderaing way. Dude in the middle: male child looking at camera, looks like he might cause some trouble, but ultimately warm our hearts with his antics. Dude on the left: not a dude, but a woman, looking at something off camera, getting no read on this character whatsoever, except maybe she’s easily distracted and always in a bad mood?***


Example 5: This poster is advertising a TV show about the sky getting its period. In this ad, none of the actors, except that one dude in front, is looking at the camera. I can’t get too upset about this one, because everyone here seems confused and, franky, so am I. Get the sky a tampon and look at the camera, people.


Example 6: Finally! A poster where the women are looking at the camera! See how it establishes them as an important characters in the series? Attention actresses: take note for future photo shoots. I’ve got to give the camera man props here, though, as he clearly got as close to their faces as possible to make sure they looked at him. Kudos, somebody buy that man a soy latte for his achievement. BUT ALSO, please notice the graffiti on this poster. Someone literally carved out the eyes of these women. Why? One theory that’s popular on the streets is that the perpetrator was uncomfortable making eye contact with the women, because he/she is not used to it, and he/she was so overwhelemed that he/she had to break that eye contact by cutting out the women’s eyeballs. Gross, but thought provoking.


Example 7: This is an ad for a television show about a cursed mansion that is constantly manifesting paintings of whoever currently inhabits the house. The paintings accumulate until every inch of the house is covered in portraits of the present resident. Eventually, the dweller goes insane. They are then eaten by the house. The cycle repeats itself indefinetly, until one rough-and-tumble girl from the South is able to break the dark magic with her laid-back attitude and the help of her pet donkey, Sisyphus. And thus all the souls are freed from the foundation of the house and everything in the land is pretty chill once again. Wait, what were we talking about? Oh, yeah, look at this ad! Not even the paintings are looking at you. Girls, what are you all looking at?


Example 8: The pony is female. She’s not looking at the camera. She’s got great bangs, though.


Example 9: HOLY SHIT. A kitten in a scarf! THAT’S CUTE AS FUCK. Albert, quick, call my lawyer and have him get that kitten on the phone ASAP! I NEED THAT KITTY-KITTY IN MY LIFE NOW.

***It’s important to highlight the fact that this ad is based off the famously haunting painting American Gothic. Two things to note here:

1.) When this image was originally created, women were not legally allowed to make eye-contact with artists and that’s why the female was forced to look away during the painting of said art piece.

2.) The designer of this ad took some serious liberties with the recreation of the painting for modern-day poster-purposes. Mainly: child half-hanging out of the window, and man smiling ear-to-ear. Surely the man’s smile is as big of a change in tone as it would be if the woman looked at the camera. And yet, she doesn’t. She’s the only human part that remains true to the styling of the original image. INTERESTING CHOICE.

Readers’ Responses to my Overalls Post (posted on tumblr 1/15)

Wow. Wow, guys! I wrote something and the responses literally came flying in. Soaring. Whizzing past my head in every direction. Pretty sure someone was throwing things at me. Dare I say it: compliments!

I mean, everyone had something to say about the post! From my mom to my mom, people were talking. My mom was, actually, the only person that verbally acknowledge I’d written anything (a man nodded to me on the street the next day, so I’m guessing he’s a fan). She called right away and said “You. You, my child, should pen a novel.” Aww shucks, mom! Making me blush. In addition, some people followed me on the site, and one person was like “did you start a Tumblr?” so I’m guessing A TON of people read the post, loved it, just didn’t have time to respond. We’re all so busy, I know, I know. So I decided to help out all those busy bees that read the article but weren’t able to follow-up with a congratulatory email. Here are some imagined responses I think probably definitely happened.

1. Great profile pic! You can tell she’s just a salt-of-the-earth kind of gal.

2. I have overalls, and, yes, I also wish I could wear them without shame in public. I relate to this post.

3. Bitch stole my overalls-post idea! Dammit, why didn’t I write it first and claim the subject for my own years ago? This is true agony.*

4. Hmmm should I give up sugar and grains at the same time? Or maybe just grains and then sugar? Seems a little extreme to give them up simultaneously.

5. I just followed her because she posted on Facebook that she would follow anyone back. I need more followers! Gimme, gimme, gimme!

6. You know what? I followed that girl IMMEDIATELY, because I want to support, you know? And then it took her like THREE DAYS to follow me back. I was like, does she not see? That I followed? Does she think she’s better than me?**

7. Urban Outfitters started selling these nifty overalls in their store on 14th St. and 6th Ave. TWO DAYS later. A coincidence? Of course not, stupid. Learn cause and effect. Though totally flattered, I am a little irked that they are $98.00 and that they are called “French Workwear Overall.” Those are overalls, people, and calling them “French” does not change that. Actually this fits in *preciously* with one of my points in the original post: people not from the South are seen as fashionable/chic/quirky in overalls. It’s like Urban Outfitters didn’t read my piece at all.


Here is a picture of me and the overalls in real life.*** I was just so blown away by the fact that either A) Sir Urban O. himself read the post or B) I actually manifested something, for the first time ever, using the power of my mind/words, that I had to snap a pic.

8. Overalls? What is she going to write about next, dogs?****

9. I don’t know how I ended up on her Tumblr. It was a dark night and I was full of anxiety, shame, and regret for my past while also lost in the void of despair over my possible future. Who will I be? When will I grow? How is it that I can see, and know, my perfect self and yet continue to make these seemingly small, but still grotesque, mistakes in my everyday life? These tiny, almost untraceable blunders have compounded over time to create a person I barely know, one I don’t understand, and one I completely loathe. Is this the human manifestation of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave? Am I just a shadow-self of a more perfect being that exist in harmony in another dimension? How can I move forward when I know that my life is a series of fuck-ups, failures, and stretches of squandered time on this planet? So, I went on the internet to distract myself, stumbled upon this post, read it, and thought it was fine.

10. Hey, we’re the NSA, and we say: two claws up!*****

11. Honestly, I expected more.

12. You. You my child should pen a novel.

*My post was 100% an original idea created by ME. I just know that someone out there is feeling like I stole their voice. People are full of regrets and anger and when something is wildly successful, as said overalls piece, there will be small men grasping at straws to stake claim on the apparent genius rolling out in waves before them.

**Sorry, I wasn’t around my computer and then I forgot my password and couldn’t sign in through my phone. UGH. IT. WAS. TORTURE. Just thinking about all those people on the edge of their seat, waiting for my next move. Apologies to you! One love, friends and fam!

***I asked one of the UO employees to take this picture and she was like “sure, do you have a joke about overalls or something?” And I was about to be like “Woah! How did you know I was a professional stand-up comedian? Can I add you to my mailing list?” And then, I checked myself and gave myself a quick reminder to act gracefully in the face of recognition and praise, so I was just like “Yes, yes I do have a joke about overalls.”

****This is a great idea! Thank you.

*****Little known fact: the NSA is a bucket of crabs.

in defense of overalls (posted on tumblr 1/15)

Overalls. This is a post about OVERALLS. I went home for Christmas and while going through some boxes of old pics and journals, I found my beloved overalls from high school. The same ones I wore everyday with my burgundy doc martens. The same ones which sport carefully splattered paint stains so everyone knew that, yes, I was a deep soul who painted in her teenage room while sneaking cigarettes out the window. I re-discovered these gems, and since we were bringing a couple of choice items back to NYC (a Nickelodeon alarm clock, original gameboy, childhood bong) I decided to slip these denim beauties into the pile as well. My boyfriend didn’t verbally object, but the look on his face prompted me to say “ONLY FOR THE HOUSE! I’ll only wear them around the house.” An honest attempt at self control.

But here’s the thing: I’ve been back a week and worn them everywhere. To the laundry mat, grocery store, and even to the great isle of Manhattan. The truth is, is that they’re great! For someone that finds getting dressed a useless chore—there are so many layers that need to be applied to the body—overalls answer my unwavering search for a loose tube to slip into before leaving the house. Honestly, everyone would be happier in them, and that’s a fact. And yet, there is an ugly side to these overalls, a truth which must be addressed: I’m a little twangy. Sadly, a southern accent wearing overalls is a little too on game. It’s a little too on the nose. It’s truly, a little much. Humor me here, and for a moment imagine that I’m an LA teen moving to New York to study Art History and deeper my appreciation of the city’s pirate-radio scene. Let’s say I’m her, and I’m skipping through alleyways spitting out facts and opinions that reflect my upper-middle class upbringing and education. Imagine that’s me, and I’m wearing these overalls. I’ve dressed them up with an heirloom opal necklace and a vintage Guggenheim shirt. Sure, sure, this person is obnoxious, a little “too much” in her own way, AND YET, she can freely wear the overalls without worrying about looking like a hayseed. Without concern that she’s playing her hand a little too hard.

What am I trying to say here? That overalls are not just a regional but also a socioeconomic symbol and topic of discussion? Maybe? Honestly, I don’t care, I just want to wear these damn ugly ass overalls everywhere and am at a loss for how to do so comfortably. So, I propose this: EVERYONE, yeah, everybody, let’s all start wearing overalls all the time. Why not? They are comfy, and pretty flattering, and have so many pockets. Think of all the pockets! Imagine waking up and slipping into a pair, snapping the clasps closed, and being, thankfully, done with the whole ordeal of dressing. Then, think of filling up all those pockets with all your treasures and boldly striding out into the world to face any activity shamelessly: gardening, board room meeting, running from the cops. Why shamelessly? Because everyone will also be wearing them. And you will not be alone.