Sunday, September 24, 2017

I’m Not a Dotard and I Can Prove it Because I Took Two Teenage Boys to See a 10:05 p.m. Showing of IT

Last week, along with most of America, my vocabulary increased by one word: "dotard." I'd never have guessed that Kim Jong-Un would've taught me a new word in my native tongue, and yet there he was, calling Donald Trump a "mentally deranged U.S. dotard" whom the chubby dick-tater-tot would "definitely tame" with "fire."

As soon as I stopped laughing,I IMMEDIATELY Googled "dotard" and learned that it was a noun meaning "an old person, especially one who has become weak or senile." 

Wow, for once Kim Jong-Un and I could agree on something!

Now the suffix "tard" has obviously fallen out of favor and for good reason. A lot of things sucked about being a kid in the '80s, among them how junior sociopaths would call everyone who didn't rise to their level in the social hierarchy some sort of "tard." Like "fucktards" or "retards" or "gaytards"--with impunity. After doing some etymological research, I discovered that "dotard" was more closely linked to "dotage" than "tard," and had reached its peak use in about 1800.

The point of all this, though, is that I AM NOT A DOTARD. How do I know? I'm glad you asked, because I'm about to tell you. I TOOK TWO TEENAGE BOYS TO SEE "IT" LAST NIGHT! AT 10:05 P.M. Pee-fucking-Em, ya'll!!! That's NIGHT TIME. A horror movie. AT NIGHT! In the THEATER.


We were sitting around having dinner earlier that evening, and my friend's 17 year-old son announced his plans to head out to "the Valley" to see a 10:05 p.m. showing of Stephen King's IT with his 16 year-old buddy. "How are you getting there?" his dad asked. When the kid said "you're driving me," his dad laughed in his face. "Not tonight I'm not!"

"I'll take you!" I volunteered spontaneously, before I could fully appreciate the implications of my offer. 

It was only 7:30. That meant I would have to stay AWAKE for another two hours to pick the kids up and then another THREE hours to watch a horrifying movie. This last part was actually pretty easy, because I am a YOOOGE Stephen King fan and have read all of his books, including IT. I legit wanted to see IT and no one--and I mean not one adult I know--would agree to see IT with me.

And so the arrangements were made. Two hours later, I was sitting in a half-empty movie theater with a box of frozen Junior Mints and two teenage boys I'd basically just met, about to watch Pennywise the clown fuck some shit up.

As I cringed turtle-like into my coat and probably herniated a disc in the process, I realized that I wasn't even scared. At least not by the parts of the movie that were supposed to scare me.

I was scared that I'd suffer hearing damage from the volume. I was scared of the kids being mean to each other. I was scared of the girl character's dad who was sexually abusive. I was scared about my own kids becoming teenagers. When it was all over, one of the boys asked me if kids were really that mean to each other in the '80s. "I've never seen ANYTHING like that," said one of them.

Well that's a relief, I thought, remembering how Gary Lit would barge in on me in the bathroom and how Rolph Heitmeyer (sp??) would smack me upside the head as hard as he could while waiting for the bus.

But here in 2017, one thing was clear: I had stayed awake to see a horror movie in the movie theater with two teenage boys who didn't seem 100% mortified to be there with me.


Friday, September 22, 2017

Parenting Right Now Is...

... Freaking out and pulling a lice comb through my hair every time I feel the slightest itch on my head

... Hiding all my gum, candy, and Band-Aids

... Listening to Despacito feat. Justin Bieber over and over and over and over and ...

... Refereeing fights over who got more sugar

... Refereeing fights over who got more screen time

... Refereeing fights over who broke whose shit

... Refereeing fights over who started it

... Not caring what "it" was

... Agreeing to let Isaac wear a "ninja suit" on picture day

... Overdue/missing library books

... Not being able to find the floor in even one room of my own house

... Not being able to make it through one sentence of this blog post without Paige trying to read me a Far Side cartoon out loud

... Being subjected to Hey Jesse, Liv and Maddie and Octonauts every weekend morning

... Eating stale Late July tortilla chips with crusty cheese melted on them because no one puts the clip thing on the chips or wraps the cheese back up after they make their lunch

... Being an indentured cruise director and recreational advisor 

... Signing crumpled up permission slips

... Explaining Donald Trump

... Driving back and forth and back and forth and back and forth to soccer and dance and birthday parties and Costco and whoops one of my kids forgot their sleeping bag so I'm driving back home again

... Feeding Squiggles the frog

... Forgetting to feed Squiggles the frog and worrying that he's dead and then being amazed that he isn't

... Crying when I check my bank account online and admonishing myself for being 40 years old and still living beyond my means

... Answering "how do you spell" and "what does it mean" every two seconds

... Not being able to do fourth grade math

... Fidget spinners

... Total unmitigated gratitude for these two amazing humans!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

I Rewrote a Song Because Trump is Lying to His Base

Because you know I'm lying to my base
To my base, I’m trouble
I'm lying to my base
To my base, I’m trouble
I'm lying to my base

To my base, I’m trouble
I'm lying to my base
Right to their face...face

Yeah, it's pretty clear, I got low IQ
But I can fake it, fake it, like they all want me to
'Cause I got that spray tan and cops sprayin' mace
And all the alt-right in all the wrong places

I faked Time Magazine, my golf-club Photoshop
We know that shit ain't real, but I won't make it stop
If you got money, money, cha-ching it up
'Cause I'm conning all you MAGAs 
And you're eating up this slop

Yeah, my daddy he told me "don't worry about your lies"
(Shoo wop wop, sha-ooh wop wop)
He said, "whites
 wanna hear that the country is stayin' white"
(That's bullshit, bullshit, you know that's bullshit bullshit)
You know that Mexico won't ever pay for a giant wall

(Shoo wop wop, sha-ooh wop wop)
And I promised you JOBS JOBS but they're staying in Nepal

Because you know I'm lying to my base
To my base, I'm trouble
I'm lying to my base
To my base, I'm trouble
I'm lying to my base
To my base, I'm trouble
I'm lying to my base
To my base... Hey!

I'm bringing treason back
Go 'head and tell Bob Mueller that
My wife looks like she wants to hit me with a bat
But I'm here to tell you...
Every tweet I write is stupid and my hair looks like a mop

Yeah Ivanka she told me "keep wearing those long red ties"
And I'm building hotels for a posse of Russian spies
(I'm making money, money, I'm making money, money)
You know I wish that my fingers were not quite so very small
And to prove that they aren't I guess I'll just nuke us all.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Who Wore it Best? Melania or Your Lady Junk?

What's new, Pussycat? Melania Trump and Your Vagina made powerful cases for dressing like a bearded clam as both ditched predictable little black cocktail dresses for separate events today.

Melania, 48, continued her slog as embittered arm candy to a fascist cantaloupe in New York City, wearing a much more Georgia O'Keefe-inspired look than the slew of safari jackets and stilettos she’s been spotted in during her whirlwind tour of the not-caused-by-climate-change-hurricane-ravaged Texas. 

The FLOTUS, who looks chronically miserable even when dressed as an engorged vajazzle, chose a bright pink labial ensemble by Giorgio Punani, teamed with a landing strip of bleached pubes and Jimmy Choo Lucy 100 pumps.

In the lobby of Trump Tower, Melania stared vacantly into space, contorted her face into a rictus of pain, and slapped Cheeto Satan's hand away, cringing in repulsion at the man she calls her husband and President of the United States. 

"Get me out of here," she whispered. "I didn't sign on for this shit. No seriously, no amount of jewelry and private jets is worth this shit show."

Meanwhile, down in your pants, Your Vagina, 40, hosted the opening of a toilet seat as you went to go pee and then just sat there "reading" on your phone, long after your bladder was empty, simply so no one would bother you. The Part of Your Anatomy and Source of All Life wore an unflattering style of almost Granny-panties with pubes coming out two three sides like some kind of fucking animal.

So, tell O.H.M.: Which suits your taste better, Melania or Your Lady Junk?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

No, I am Not "Curious About My Body Composition"

Today I received an offer from my health insurance inviting me to measure my body fat percentage and asking if I was "curious about [my] body composition."

The answer is no. No, I'm not.  Not even "Christy" my "onsite health coach" can pique my curiosity about this or get me excited about "setting goals for progress."

Like why would I go out of my way to spend my lunch hour just so Christy can put a number on my laziness? 

Here are 10 things I'm more curious about than my body composition:

1. What it feels like to put my finger in an electric socket.

2. The much-debated actual size of Donald Trump's peen.

3. What's on page 1,456 of the annotated tax code.

4. What happens if you drink a whole bottle of Sriracha.

5. If Bernie really would have won.

6. My aunt's most recent comment on Facebook.

7. The names and addresses of every person who hates me.

8. If my kids will ever stop fighting with each other.

9. What my head would look like if I shaved all my hair off tomorrow.

10. Christy's body fat percentage.

Monday, September 18, 2017

20 Things Bernie Would Have Done

1. Bernie would have stopped Hurricane Harvey from making landfall.

2. Bernie would have made pepperoni pizza have no calories.

3. Bernie would have wiped out all my library fines.

4. Bernie would have made my IRS refund arrive on time.

5. Bernie would have made every woman not have period cramps.

6. Bernie would have made me parallel park in a tight space on the first try every time.

7. Bernie would have made Kim Jong-Un (aka Rocket Man) solve global warming and turn North Korea into the world's chief exporter of weed.

8. Bernie would have made unicorn poo an alternative biofuel that would have replaced petroleum by 2020.

9. Bernie would have made that earthquake in Mexico a 3.5 instead of an 8.

10. Bernie would have made my kids stop singing Despacito, especially the remix version feat. Justin Bieber.

11. Bernie would have made the check engine light on my car stop coming on for no reason.

12. Bernie would have gotten me free tickets to see Coldplay.

13. Bernie would have made my kids' rooms not be shit holes anymore.

14. Bernie would have gone back in time and diverted the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs so that dinosaurs would never have gone extinct and we could have a real life Jurassic Park.

15. Bernie would have made my boobs perky and given me six pack abs without doing any exercise.

16. Bernie would have made me fluent in 10 languages and shred guitar better than Eddie Van Halen thus turning me into an instant YouTube sensation.

17. Bernie would have written a memoir with a better title than "What Happened," maybe like "Shit Happens."

18. Bernie would have helped me to better see the value in composting all my disgusting coffee grounds and banana peels. Same with washing ZipLocs.

19. Bernie would have washed all my ZipLocs.

20. Bernie would have made all my socks come out of the laundry in perfectly matched up pairs.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Mnuchin Paradox

My parents sent me to private school in first grade for one reason, and one reason only: They wanted me to learn. 

They felt I couldn't or wouldn't do that in the pre-gentrified New York City public school system, with its cinderblock walls and overcrowded classrooms and middling standards of achievement. I was hyperactive and defiant and restless. I wouldn't sit still. I would fall through the cracks.

They could afford (not easily) to send me to a school that would teach me how to deconstruct Shakespeare and solder stained glass and write a term paper in French and conduct chemistry experiments with shiny new lab equipment.

This was no Harvard tuition then, as it is now; but it was still a hefty chunk of change for a book editor and a public health doctor to part with.

I could not have wandered the manicured lawns of Riverdale Country School had my mother stayed home in bed on Park Avenue or in her "country house," as many of the bejeweled wives of Wall Street tycoons and surgeons seemed to do. A working mother at RCS in the 80s and even the early 90s was an anomaly--a curiosity almost to be pitied.

I tried to win the approval of their children, which sometimes briefly worked but never lasted, because the value of human connection here was measured mostly in dollars, something my parents naively failed to anticipate in enrolling me there.

My self-esteem diminished but regained some traction as I gravitated toward classmates of more modest means. Other plain-apartment-dwelling, one-home-having children from my neighborhood whose parents were making a steep financial investment in their education. 

Children of color, first generation kids from immigrant families who were vessels for their parents' hopes and faith in the American Dream. Kids whose sheer drive and intellect and hard work and sacrificed summers had earned them tuition-free access to this academic paradise and all the doors it unlocked amid the elms of Ivy League colleges and the limitless world beyond.

By early high school, I'd given up completely on trying to ingratiate myself with the rich and famous who drove BMWs at 90 miles an hour up the West Side Highway to school each morning or who were deposited there in private town cars with tinted windows.

I cultivated a genuine indifference to the lavish weekend parties in nightclubs and cavernous Upper Manhattan brownstones, bereft of responsible adults and attended by notorious rich kids from other private schools around the city who smoked cigarettes and had sex in the shower.

Ironically, my indifference led to new uneasy kinships with some of the kids who had maybe on some level begun to mature and question the value of their own popularity.

I put my head down and studied hard and played sports. I dutifully gained early admission to an Ivy League School, the plan all along and the only reason I had tolerated this place: for my parents' goals and for my own. If there'd ever been any daylight between the two, I couldn't see it. My classmates chose me (me?!) to speak at graduation?! My college-aged boyfriend from the west coast, whom I loved, was there to see me walk across the stage.

These boys with their smooth cologned faces and floppy hair and Ralph Lauren button down shirts thought they were too cool for me? What a joke. No. FUCK that. I was too cool for them, and I rolled my eyes behind their backs. Because I dated men, not boys. I didn't want them and I certainly didn't need them, and the feeling could not have been more mutual.

I knew I would finish college and bide my time until I could escape this world and I did. I wanted to go somewhere where no one cared about your income or your academic pedigree. 

Most of all, I wanted to spare my own kids the indignity of trying to maintain material standards that I was perhaps able--but would never be willing--to help them meet. Standards which, at the time, RCS couldn't help but encourage.

The adults there didn't meaningfully interfere with bullying or the social Darwinism that characterized every brush in the hallways. None of this "whole child" building "empathy" and "community," as seems to be in vogue now. It was more "nice guys finish last" and less "we're all on a journey of kinship as world citizens."

I had no feelings of loyalty for this institution then, and I certainly don't have any now. I was (and am) deeply grateful for the top-notch education I received there for its own sake, and to the wonderful teachers and coaches who gave it to me.

That's it. Full stop. End of story. En fin. Exeunt.

So I sort of raised a brow when I saw on Facebook and then read in the New York Times that former students of the school had written to Steve Mnuchin, Trump's treasury secretary and husband to vacuous she-demon Louise Linton, who berated an Oregon mom on Instagram for being a lowly plebe while flying to her own European honeymoon on a government plane.

The RCS letter, like the one from his Yale classmates, implored their fellow alum to condemn white supremacy and resign honorably from his post.

I admire the spirit of this letter and the good intentions of the 185 people who'd signed it, some of them friends of mine. But the idea that "equity, social justice, and doing the right thing" were somehow endemic values of RCS--especially in the uber-materialistic 1980s when Steve Mnuchin went there--is a bit daft.

Because we shouldn't kid ourselves.

Money--having it, making it, and keeping it--was, is, and always will be a top value of these elite prep schools, including RCS.

That's why Steve Mnuchin is in the White House. To make as much money as possible, as quickly as possible, for rich people like himself. To perpetuate and protect the corporate-owned shell of a democracy we now have and will continue to have. That is, unless and until we are honest with ourselves about income inequality and the havoc that our slavish devotion to free market capitalism has wrought over the past 40 years, up to and including a generation of prescription heroin addicts and a burning, drowning planet.

So we can plead with Steve Mnuchin all we want, but shaming him over his silence about Charlottesville is futile. It's a "distraction," he said. 

Of course it is.

It's a distraction from the only thing that matters and the only thing that ever mattered to Steve Mnuchin and plenty of other people too. Just like his boss, he is shameless and beyond reproach in his pursuit of money.

Let's not pretend he didn't learn it in school.