Friday, August 18, 2017

Sugar and Screen Justice Shall be Served!

In these trying times, the one beacon of light has been my two children and their strong sense of social and civic responsibility. Now you're probably thinking:  How does she know for a FACT that her kids are two woke AF mini-citizens of the world? 

Now I don't mean to brag, but it's because they fight for justice, of course! And by "fight for" I mean "fight each other for." And by "justice," I mean sugar and screen time.

As two First World children with all their basic needs (and nearly all their gratuitous wants) reliably and consistently met, Paige and Isaac are blessed enough to have time to focus on what really matters in this world:

Who got more sugar and/or iPad during any given span of time. 

You see, sugar and screen time are valuable household resources to which neither of these kids necessarily has equal access at all times. Their draconian overlords only let them have the iPad on the weekends--not out of virtue or sanctimony--but simply because the iPad turns them into punishing, insufferable assholes. 

No, we save the iPad for when we, their overlords, need it: at 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning or a transcontinental flight to the east coast.

Sugar is a bit tricker because it's less predictable, sprinkled into our food supply, and almost unavoidable in sickening quantities. Corn syrup is its own food group in 'Murica, and every activity is followed by a fucking snack made out of sugar and you're like the worst Grinch ever if you point this out.

Anyway. 

My kids expect sugar justice and they will settle for nothing less: You finish the first day of school? BAM! Ice cream time. You were good in the supermarket and didn't nag for a bunch of shit? BOOM. Here's a donut. I'm pretty sure there are a lot of books that caution against doing EXACTLY this.

So that's the demand. Whether it will be met is anyone's guess, which I guess is what makes it all such an exciting emotional roller coaster. Because God help you if one finds out that the other secretly got Tic-Tacs on an errand the other was absent for.

These grave miscarriages of justice are added to the running tally of statistics in a long, ongoing sociological study being conducted by Paige and Isaac, to see who is truly more loved and cared for, as measured by the amount of screen time and sugar they each receive.

One day not far from today, I hope my kids are so busy marching in the streets along with their mother that they've stopped thinking about screen time and sugar all together. 

But for now, sadly, Tina Fey's mildly funny and majorly tone deaf #sheetcaking movement has nothing on our family.


American Depression: The Struggle is Real

Last week, I went to Minneapolis to meet up with my mom and spend a weekend with three cousins Paige and I had never met before. We did a bunch of touristy things around the city, and took a sunset boat ride on the Mississippi River, where I snapped this picture. 

The elephant in the room all weekend was Donald Trump. He was (and is) ever-present in everyone's mental landscape, if only because he wakes each day determined to make a spectacle of himself at the expense of everything else, including national security and unity. 

They knew we couldn't stand him, and we knew they'd probably voted for him, so we just didn't go there, which is fine. I think it's destructive to engage in arguments with my fellow Americans (much less my family) about President Trump (God, it still hurts to type that). Pointing fingers, blaming each other, attacking each other: It's self-destructive. It's unproductive. And it serves to yank on threads that further unravel us.

But the depression and the struggle is real. 

We have long ago crossed the Rubicon from "politics" to a genuine civic crisis, and we need all hands on deck to resolve and survive it. Yet there must be a balance between staying informed and active, and not completely burning out and crawling into a hole of depression over the tone Trump is setting in America and the utter havoc his administration has wreaked on us in less than a year.

Scholars of fascism and authoritarianism warned us this would happen, and as it all unfolds it still feels impossible. I know I think about this too much and it feels unhealthy. But I am a Jew, a woman, and a human being in this body, on this planet, with two children.

I can't help it. 

I wake up every morning and the first thing I do is open Twitter to see what sort of crazy Trump unleashed on the world from his Android overnight. I spend much of the next hour panicky and sad, until I distract myself with the mundane machinery of everyday life: helping the kids get ready for school, getting out the door, sitting down at my desk and burrowing into my work.

Everyday life goes on, as it did (and does) for the citizen-victims of every country that was ever squeezed in the abusive grip of a dangerous megalomaniac. Except now it's us, and finding an anchor of sanity and purpose amid chaos and misery feels harder with each passing day, and with each affront to our democratic norms and our national moral fabric.

American depression: the struggle is real.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Empathy and a Moral Compass are Fundamental to Real Leadership. Trump Lacks Both.

It’s taken me the better part of a week to crystalize my thoughts on the events that unfolded in Charlottesville and our President’s response to them.

What I’m about to say isn’t new or original. It’s all been said before by people smarter than I am, in more articulate terms. But I think it bears repeating and reiterating, if only because failure to articulate and identify the moral rot now at the center of our democracy serves to condone and thus perpetuate it.

It should go without saying that Nazis and white supremacists and those who oppose them are not morally equivalent.

It should also go without saying that the white supremacist movement—which is dedicated to retaining power, control, and a eugenics-based superiority over “inferior” races and cultures—is not equivalent to movements by the targets of white supremacy (e.g. Blacks, Jews, LGBT, Feminists), that seek recognition of their humanity and equality under the law.

It should also go without saying that the confederacy, represented broadly by Robert E. Lee, for example, and our democracy, represented broadly by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, say, are not historically equivalent.

The confederacy was an illegitimate band of traitors that lost an attempted coup against our democracy. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, slave owners and flawed human beings to be sure, founded that democracy and drafted its guiding documents, and Abraham Lincoln steered the country through the confederacy’s criminal attempt to undo their work.

So no. 

Removing statutes of confederate “heroes” is not the same—intellectually, historically, logically, ethically, or morally—as removing statues of the founding fathers. Nor is that removal “erasing history” any more than removing a statute of Hitler at a Holocaust Memorial or of Osama Bin Laden at Ground Zero would be.

But there is a deeper issue at play in Trump’s self-destructive and all-around insane response to Charlottesville, reflected in these eight words: “I’m not putting anybody on a moral plane.”

That’s what he said in his near universally-panned press conference at Trump Tower, when asked pointedly whether he would put white supremacists and neo-Nazis on the same “moral plane” as their liberal and leftist resisters.

In those eight words, Trump once again revealed his core deficiency and the true mark of a sociopath and clinical narcissist: lack of empathy and a moral compass. This void has been clear and present throughout Trump’s life and career: in his personal life, in his business dealings, and now in his public policy in ways too numerous and too well-documented to name.

Trump has no empathy, and he has no moral compass. You have never seen him laugh. You have never seen him cry. Indeed, you have never seen him express any genuine emotion at all—only an apish simulacrum of human expression and feeling. 

So of course he's not putting anyone "on a moral plane." He can't even put himself on one.

True modern leadership requires, at a minimum, empathy as defined on a poster hung in the hallway of my child’s elementary school. All hope for the future of our democracy now lies with a Congressional willingness to recognize that, and act accordingly.




Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Let Us All Take a Moment to Acknowledge that My Children Started School Today

What a time to be alive!

I graduated high school before the Internet, witnessed 9/11, and have now seen Neo-Nazis infiltrating our government thanks to a sociopathic, treasonous, greedy lunatic while our planet burns to a cinder.

But the world keeps on turning, as Stevie Wonder (and Galileo, among others) have so wisely said. So I think it's more than appropriate at this point to publicly acknowledge that my two little bone-prizes started first and fourth grades today!

In the age of social media, everything that happens is "pics or it didn't happen," nothing more so than children's milestones. Short of Halloween and their actual births, the first and last days of school each year must be assiduously documented for posterity in order to torment the rest of the planet, who gives a shit somewhere on the spectrum of ... not much, if at all.

But I believe in civic duty and doing my part for society, which is why I am putting the scholastic progress of my uterine issue on blast.

As usual, we were too lazy and disorganized to make our testicle trophies dress up and hold signs, so after doubly-decontaminating their heads of a previous bout of lice, we let them wear whatever the fuck they felt like, and asked them to hold up their grimy little fingers to indicate their new grade.

In these uncertain times, it pays to know that you will see my children on Facebook whether you want to or not, and will be subjected to their pithy "bon mots," such as Isaac's comment this morning that "crab lice live on a grown man's penis hair," which I feel compelled to assure my readers was NOT knowledge he obtained first-hand.

In any event, please take a moment to acknowledge the perfectly mundane and yet apparently 100% necessary-to-advertise fact that today was my loin discharges' first day of school for the 2017-2018 school year.

You're welcome, and God Bless.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

George Washington Issues Press Release Dragging Donald Trump

MOUNT VERNON

Statement for Immediate Release

Although I am dead and buried some 220-odd years, I was nonetheless much chagrined to read today’s dispatch from New York City.

Specifically, I was perplexed and dismayed that the 45th President of the United States—a ruddy-faced ignoramus with a wig and dental veneers to rival my own—questioned whether my statue would “be next,” after civil disobedients removed the traitorous confederate general Robert E. Lee’s likeness from a park in Charlottesville, Commonwealth of Virginia.

First let me say I know not of which statue the President speaks, as there are numerous monuments commemorating my noble visage and life’s achievements in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington DC, New York, and South Dakota.

But let me assure our at-present troubled nation, which I so conscientiously labored to found and which Divine Providence deigned to bless with His glory: I would care not one shilling if every one of these statues were exploded into smithereens with gunpowder this very instant!

Not if it meant that a complete buffoon the likes of which has never darkened the doorway of our nation's capitol were removed from office by the Congress entrusted to such lofty and somber matters.

Neither I nor my Good White Christian colleagues, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, could have anticipated that our names would be so sullied and our vision of the American Experiment so clouded to opacity by a failed casino magnate and unrepentant sociopath.

To be sure, I was a big “dick” whilst alive, to coin a modern phrase. A misogynist, a slave-owner, an adulterer, and landed gentry not easily distinguishable at first blush from the current occupant of the office I once held in such esteem.

And yet I was a lot smarter. Like, a lot. 

Because along with the other men currently adorning metal and paper currency, I spent a good deal of time studying the innermost workings of democracy and the human condition, carefully crafting through this study a nation that would sustain the blows of a tyrant and a fool, whose total ignorance and craven greed none of us could fully have anticipated.

And so it is that I answer Mr. Trump’s question of the day: No, I am not “next.” And if I am, may he follow swiftly thereafter, forced by a principled Congress to skulk back to the ignominious, cloistered gold-plated tower in midtown Manhattan from whence he came.

Done this fifteenth day of August at Mount Vernon, Commonwealth of Virginia, in the Year of Our Lord two thousand and seventeen.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Sports Romance is a Genre of Bodice Ripper, Apparently?!

I'm taking a break from all the feel-good news about Nazis in America to deliver a report from an alert O.H.M. reader about Julie Brannagh, USA Today's "bestselling sports romance author." 

Before I get to what that means, lemme just say I lied about Nazis. This post isn't totally a break from Nazis, because apparently the way we discovered Julie Brannagh--and in turn the existence of the sports romance bodice ripper--is through Nazis.

I'll explain.

My friend was reportedly going down an internet rabbit hole, researching brands that are distancing themselves from Nazis (as you do in 2017) and stumbled upon the whole New Balance and Trump sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G controversy. 

This in turn led to him finding Julie Brannagh, who decided to use her awesome brand power for good: to declare she would no longer continue to walk her chocolate lab, Moose, in New Balance kicks because Trump. In the now-seemingly innocent times of 11/6/16, Julie tweeted: 

I have been wearing New Balance shoes (at $160/pair) for the past 10 years. If they support Trump, I've bought my last pair.

And good for Julie! 

Make no mistake: I am by no means dragging Julie Brannagh, as the last thing I would do is drag someone--particularly a fellow sister in Trump hateration--from living her truth in writing and making a respectable living at it to boot. I'm more just confused and amazed at the sheer specificity of a literary genre that was heretofore totally unknown to me.

Naturally, I immediately followed Julie on Twitter and set about doing my own deep dive into her life and bibliography.

The first thing I discovered is that Julie Brannagh does NOT have a Wikipedia page, and after "the President of the United States firmly denounces Nazis and actually means it," this is the number one thing that needs to change in 2017.

So I then followed Julie on Twitter, where she self-identifies as a football fan to the ninth tenth power, and went to her website. 

There I discovered she is based in Seattle (Go Seahawks), has an agent, and has published "Blitzing Emily," "Catching Cameron," "Covering Kendall," "Holding Holly," "Chasing Jillian," and "Intercepting Daisy," among others.

I confess I don't even know what even one of those football terms mean. I barely even know the difference between a linebacker and a quarterback. I'm not even sure if linebacker is one word or two. So needless to say, the combination of football and panty-moistener bodice ripper romance novels is not exactly one I would have come up with myself. 

But like the maple-bacon donut, sometimes the whole is better than the sum of its parts, and helping a strapping tight end (tightend?) out of his shoulder pads in the shadows of a steamy locker room shower doesn't sound half bad, TBH.

If you think I am not ordering ALL of these books from my local independent bookstore TO-DAY, taking a pint of low-fat chocolate fudge brownie Ben & Jerry's out of the freezer, and warming up the vibrator, WELP, THINK AGAIN, FAM!

In the meantime, you'll find me strategizing how O.H.M. can become the (now sadly bankrupt) "Alaska Dispatch News' Most Ridiculous Terrible-Parenting, Trump-Mocking, and Vulgar-Feminist" blog.

Now that's genre-specificity!









https://twitter.com/julieinduvall

Sunday, August 13, 2017

So Much Winning

You guys. There is SO much winning. I can't take all the winning. 

It feels like America just got 8 gazillion gold medals in every Olympics ever held since the first Olympics in Ancient Greece. It feels like Oprah just gave us each a brand new car as a reward for winning the Nobel Prize and the Pullitzer in the same year. 

If America could win a MacArthur Genius Grant at presidenting, it totally would based on the amount of winning Donald Trump is doing for us right now. What? You haven't noticed?

Your 401K is winning and that's all to his credit. Also immigration is good and crime is down and there are JOBS JOBS JOBS because Trump said so!

What? 

Haven't you noticed that all the coal miners in West Virginia just got their jobs back from transgender Mexican drug dealing rapists who were recently deported over a big, beautiful wall?

Or were you too distracted by Neo-Nazi rioting terrorists and a bloated megalomaniacal toddler and senile cantaloupe threatening to annihilate us all into cosmic dust, all while making America the pitiable laughing stock of the entire globe and two thirds of our own citizens?

Wow you guys. WINNING FEELS AMAZING. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

What Do We Call This?

Not all of these are mine, but at least one of them must apply...

1. Fuhrest Gump
2. Home Despot
3. Pier One Trumports
4. You Do Nazi One Woman
5. Khakistocracy
6. Never Been Fucked
7. Basic Basement Bros Unite
8. Alt-Right White Fright
9. Cult 45
10. Vanilla Reich
11. Angry Mayonnaise
12. If it Weren't for Trump None of This Would Be Happening Because Trump is the Common Denominatior of Emboldened Neonazism and Imminent Nuclear Holocaust and People are Already Dead Because of It




Thursday, August 10, 2017

And God Created Alaska

I saw Sara Runnels' awesome "And God Created Millennial Earth" on McSweeney's today, and thought this model deserved an Alaska spin.

1:1 In the beginning, God created Alaska.

1:2 And Alaska was almost twice the size of Texas, yet much harder to find on a map for some reason and devoid of Trader Joes; and darkness was upon the face of Alaska for six months per year in some parts. And the Spirit of God moved upon sustainable yield timber harvesting and productive, environmentally-sound mining practices operating in sync with each other like Kumbaya.

1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light, but again, only for six months a year. The rest of the time half the population suffered from Seasonal Depressive Disorder and had to buy special lamps to stick their faces into while weeping inconsolably.

1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and said fuck it, you guys can handle some darkness in winter, because you’re Alaskans and tough AF and anyway that shit looks good with snow at Christmastime.

1:5 And God called the light June, and the darkness He called December. And the evening and the morning were the best times to get charged by a cow moose or a sow bear while taking your garbage out to the curb.

1:6 And God said, Let there be a telegenic celebrity politician with cute glasses in the midst of an historic presidential election campaign, and let her divide the State amongst itself, and then let the State be nationally redeemed years later by a more serious person who voted her conscience when asked by her well-insured male colleagues to take chemo away from babies.

1:7 And God made Xtra-Tuffs, and divided them into the shitty ones that are made in China now and the quality ones they used to make right here in the good old U.S. of A., and it was hard to get that kind anymore.

1:8 And God called all that was good “Skookum.” And the newbies He called Cheechakos. And He let a major cultural genocide go down and that was really, REALLY fucking NOT cool, I think we can all admit?

1:9 And God said, Let the sport fishers under heaven be gathered together unto one place, and that place was the Kenai River in July.

1:10 And God covered the dry land with no-see-ems; and the falling into the waters He called hypothermia: and God saw that "PFD" should stand for both life jackets and a modest amount of annual cheddar from Exxon.

1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and a Supreme Court case called Ravin v. State and a ballot measure that will let everyone get Irie in the sunshine, even though Jeff Sessions is kind of a dick: and it was so.

1:12 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the slow-moving creatures known as cruise ship passengers that hath money, and helicopters that may fly above the glaciers for $300 a head plus tax.

1:13 And God created great whales, that tourists pay good money to see bubble net feeding
, which the waters brought forth abundantly, thanks to the Marine Mammal Protection Act and God saw that it was good. 

1:14 And God blessed Alaska, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, but not if you're an RV-driver or a dudebro talking about the sick line he skied in the Chugach last winter because we have enough of those, k? Thanks, bye!

1:15 So God created man in his own image, and put a lot of weird dudes up here but not as many females, except in Juneau for some reason as all the single ladies will tell you.

1:16 And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. Which is why He knew the legislature would fuck it all up.
1:17 Thus Alaska was finished.

1:18 And on the seventh day God ended his work and blessed Seward Day, and sanctified it, and gave us all the day off from work because some old white dude supposedly bought an ice box from Russia.



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

You are Old and Hideous! Buy Me and Fix it Now!

Oh Hello, Hideous Old Hag!

I’m glad you stopped by this Hudson News at the SEA-TAC airport to check me out. I am New Beauty magazine

You may not have heard of me, but I’m one of 18 gazillion advertising circulars glossy mags dedicated to the truth that women are naturally fat, old, and lowkey hideous, and that they must buy a lot of shit—like, a LOT—to fix their fatness, oldness, and hideousness.

As you peruse my online content from your iPhone with a morbid curiosity and an eye toward mocking me on your blog, you will discover that I am targeted at insecure early 40s moms such as yourself, boasting content with titles like “This Is the Number-One Makeup Mistake Older Women Make, According to Bobbi Brown,” “These are the Best Ways to Firm Saggy Knees,” “12 Famous Women on the Anti-Aging Procedures They Love,” “This Botox Technique Will Give You a Much More Natural Look,” and “A New Neurotoxin is Coming to the U.S.” 

What? No! I don’t mean biological warfare courtesy of Trump and Kim-Jong Un’s dick-swinging contest. Sure the mushroom cloud is coming, but you don't want to have the most homely aesthetic in the fallout shelter, do you? Especially if you're called upon to repopulate the earth! So get up off those saggy knees and start going back in time like Marty Fucking McFly.

For as every woman knows, there is nothing more natural than loading up a six-inch syringe with botulinum neurotoxin and jamming it between your eyeballs so that you look permanently surprised for six months and #nofilter your forehead on your teenage daughter's Insta.

In this issue alone, I'll be offering tips from "doctors" on how to stop aging (which mankind has been trying to do ever since we could rub two sticks together in a cave fire). I’m also providing the “secret to looking younger,” also something no one has ever before promised in the course of human history, much less been able to produce, but which I deliver in this magazine with an article entitled “7 Ways You Can Avoid the Need for a Facelift.”

The Need.

I also do a deep dive into beauty creams (legit or no?) and talk to Courtney Cox about what she’s been up to since Friends.

Spoiler alert: having zero chill about getting old, getting plastic surgery, regretting it, getting more plastic surgery to undo the plastic surgery she got because she hated herself for being old, and then hating herself a little less while still getting a little bit older every day.

But looking snatched AF is not without its risks, because I also fear-monger with hard-hitting journalism like “Woman Experiences Horrifying Infection from Eyebrow Feathering Treatment Gone Wrong,” “This Skin Care Cure-All Has Caused Some People’s Hair to Fall Out,” “This Woman’s Unicorn Hair Dye Job Left Her Partially Bald,” “Woman Badly Burned After a Bath & Body Works Candle Burst in Her Face,” and “This Terrifying Pimple-Popping Story Will Make You Never Want to Touch Your Face Again.”

So if you want to look like Courtney Cox in 1990 and you don't want to be bald, wrinkled, and sporting an infected, swollen face riddled with third degree burns and zits, you will buy me and everything advertised inside of me today.

I’ll take that $7.00 now. Thanks!


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Dear Messy: Entry #1

I’m trying something new at the request of a reader: A messy advice column! I’ve done a few O.H.M. parody advice columns before, but never “real” ones. Let me know what you think of the idea in general, and feel free to weigh in with your thoughts on the reader’s question, too! (This is a real question I received, but some details have been changed to protect the innocent).

Dear Messy,

My partner and I are in our 40’s and planning a wedding. We have both been married before, and we both have school-aged children from our first marriages. Our kids get along well with each other, and we get along well with each other’s kids. They all want us to get married. However, we do not want to include any of our kids in our actual wedding ceremony. When we told our kids this, they were very upset. I have always thought it was weird when people get remarried and have their kids from previous marriages in the wedding party. I’m not sure kids should participate in a new marriage when the prior, failed marriages were the whole reason the kids exist to begin with. I worry about how other people will view our kids’ participation in the ceremony, and I also don’t want the kids to dictate our wedding plans. What do you think?

Sincerely,

Ceremonial in Soldotna

Dear Ceremonial in Soldotna,

In my opinion, you and your partner should do whatever makes you comfortable in terms of a wedding, be it just the two of you on a bluff somewhere, a courthouse administrative job, or a big to-do involving all of your extended families and children. So I agree that you should not let anyone else, including your kids, dictate your wedding plans.

However, I do not think it is "weird"—nor do I think it will be perceived as weird—to have your kids be part of your wedding ceremony. The fact that your kids “would not exist but for prior failed marriages” has nothing to do with the fact that everyone is moving forward in a new joint life together. Not that anyone else’s opinion matters (it doesn’t), but it strikes me as very normal and almost expected to have your kids—who will be part of a blended family—be part of the ceremony that actually blends that family together.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Good Morning, Dear Leader!

Good Morning, Dear Leader!

Your most excellent and beneficent leadership is on full display this morning on Twitter once again!

Those of us who love and adore Your Excellency and Highness know better than to ever EVER call into question your wisdom; your vast knowledge of everything in the universe; your stunning handsomeness; your enormous wealth; the gigantic size of your penis, hands, and crowds; your industriousness; the number of JOBS JOBS JOBS you have created; the future of your big, beautiful wall paid for by Mexico; and so much more.

Indeed, your brilliance and golden towers shine brighter than all the stars ever to adorn the firmament!

Respectfully, I do not mean to second guess your below accounting of all the MANY MANY FAKE NEWS outlets that dare to challenge the extent of your accomplishments, but I believe you have omitted FAILING GOLF.COM, which just last week LIED that you called the White House a "dump."

Thank the Lord and Divine Providence for Twitter, your unsecured Galaxy Note 7, and your "base." For you do not in fact represent all of America, including the majority of citizens who voted against you. 

You are accountable only to the people--especially (and exclusively!) the Good White Christian Men of This Great Nation--who attend your Hitler-esque rallies, which are without precedent in modern democracy, so you know they are good and just.

Dearly Beloved Supreme and Most Excellent King of America: We are Devoted to You and You Alone! You have been treated MOST UNFAIRLY by all except your most devoted followers and subjects.

THANK YOU FOR MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! THE SWAMP SHALL BE DRAINED! WE GENUFLECT BEFORE THINE MAJESTY!





Sunday, August 6, 2017

Too Easy

It's almost too easy to make fun of Phish and everyone who listens to them and goes to their shows. 

That's just fine with me, because my absolute favorite hobby is making fun of myself. And I can fully make fun of myself for how much I love seeing Phish play live, especially in my little hometown of 11 million souls.

I think of Phish like Dungeons & Dragons or cilantro. Unless you like it--a lot--you can't possibly understand why anyone would. But if you do like it, well, you are fucking INTO that shit!

Phish is like cilantro, in that people who like it like it on everything, and people who don't have a visceral reaction to how bad it tastes. 

A Phish show is also like a game of D&D, in that when you're playing, you're immersed in the adventure of it. There are four dungeon masters on stage and it's a roll of the dice where you're going next. You're transported to a world with its own subculture, costumes, and lingo. You know it's silly and make-believe, and that the rest of the world thinks it's stupid and ridiculous. Yet you're not quitting that shit or skipping hippie-con for anything.

There is also, of course, an element of nostalgia to anything you've liked for so long and that you associate with youthful exuberance. I have too many responsibilities to just travel around the country seeing Phish like I used to in the 1990s, and I don't have the mental real estate to dork out on all their stats and whereabouts anymore.

But for a few hours a year, it's still fun to travel back to that time and place, only now without the emotional baggage of my largely miserable late teens and early 20s. 

The band has grown up too, and if you've seen them a lot over the years you can tell. They're confident and clean, with a bit less frenetic energy, but with a certain unbridled self-possession that accompanies the shedding of fucks that comes with age. 

Although Phish has never played in Alaska (fingers crossed), they played their song Alaska last night, in the same venue where I saw my first arena rock concert--Guns n' Roses--when I was 14. It was almost perfect that a fellow Alaskan and O.H.M. reader tracked me down to say hi at his first show at the Garden.

MSG used to be a shithole in a gritty part of the city. It only sold popcorn, peanuts, Kosher hot dogs, and shitty beer like a Little League concession. Times have changed. Last night I found myself eating a Greek salad in the equivalent of an immaculate airport concourse. 

I wish I could express in words the shade and side-eye on the face of the guy who sold that Greek salad to me. He looked at me and rolled his eyes contemptuously at my very existence. I wanted to explain that my failure to understand the new weird credit card machine and ordering process was an issue of Alaska-based technology incompetency, and not only dumb hippie-hood, but I didn't have the energy to mount a defense of myself.

I'm almost 40, and I've surrendered to the flow of dorkiness forever.






Things You Notice on the East Coast When You Live in Alaska

1. The volume of traffic.
2. The great tomatoes. 
3. How dressed up eveyone is all the time.
4. The heat and humidity.
5. The crowds.
6. The bad salmon.
7. The amazing pizza.
8. The sheer number of stores.
9. All the shit you can now do from your phone.
10. Some new website or technology that hasn't made its way to us yet.
11. How weird it is that we still don't really have Uber or Lyft.
12. The haze.
13. Luke warm tap water.
14. Generalized culture shock.


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Hustling for an Answer

"What's 'Hustler?'" Paige asked with a markedly innocent curiosity as we were driving up the West Side Highway from Brooklyn last night. 

It was past 10:00 p.m., and we'd been visiting friends in Sunset Park. Paige had been happily playing with dolls and making rainbow loom bracelets all evening with the couple's five year-old daughter while our boys practiced sliding into home plate on the smooth living room floor, and the adults drank beer and chatted in the backyard garden.

"Uhhhhh...," I stammered, buying time while I came up with a good explanation. 

Knowing that adults are often more uncomfortable with awkward topics than children are, I relied on my usual unorthodox tactic of frank directness in parenting.

Two beats, three.

"It's a grownup magazine with naked pictures of women and this building here is a place where people go to watch women dance without their clothes on."

"EW! That's gross!" Paige said. "Why would people want to do that?" 

"Well," I continued, "some people think it's sexy. You're supposed to think it's gross because you're a kid and it's not for you. It's not for kids. It's like alcohol or pot or R-rated movies. It's something for grownups."

I decided to leave judgment out of it. Through the process of writing this blog, I have met and learned a lot from adult entertainers. I don't pretend to have a morally absolutist point of view about stripping or exotic dancing. People have different motivations for doing that work, and I don't believe in judging it with the sanctimony that maybe I once did.

Instead I just adopted a flat affect and let Paige take from my tone and response whatever she would.

Paige will be 10 this year, and is highly gender-conforming so far. It was at about that age, I remember, when the onion layers of a buoyant girlhood began to peel back one by one, revealing a stinging rawness and rot in the way society treats girls and women. 

I know from the near universal American female experience that the next 10 years will include battling erosion of the self confidence I have tried to instill and promote in Paige. 

Slowly it will dawn on her that the world has designs on and expectations of her identity, body, mind, and future. She will undoubtedly and by turns come to see her femininity as a liability, a blessing, a weapon, a tool. She will inevitably struggle with feelings of inadequacy amid a cacophony of mixed messages, and all I can do is to try to help her cut through the noise to find the signal.

So what's Hustler? I'm not sure. I guess it depends on your perspective.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Let Me Explain What Would Happen to Me Sitting Here in This Outfit

Sure, I would try to look all casual and chic. But we all know this chair would go flying out from under my ass the instant I applied any weight to it. In the process, the other two chairs behind it would fall like dominoes, clattering loudly as they tumbled end-over-end on the tile floor.

While that was happening, the cup and saucer in my right hand would fly across the marble bar and shatter into 26 pieces as coffee splattered all over the front of these gleaming white pants.

Then there's the shirt. Good Lord, the shirt. It's missing the top half, and yet it still somehow has armpits, which is a problem because the material is ground zero for pit stains. Also the style is incompatible with big saggy titties since you can't wear a bra with it. So that's a dealbreaker right there.

Also, I can guarantee that the space between my belly button and vajayjay would not be a flat expanse of perfectly pressed cloth. Finally, if it was hot enough to wear nothing but a silk ruffle around my boobs and a major period risk on my ass, there's no way my hair would be down on my neck.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is thiis: the difference between the outfit as featured on the model in this Ann Taylor ad and the real life manifestation of this outfit on me is big. Bigger than the violation of gravity and several other laws of physics that would have to occur for a woman to sit like this in the first place.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Maybe Don't Krazy Glue Your Dick Hole Shut, K? Thx Bye!

Technically, it's called a urinary meatus. You didn't know that, did you? Well I did, and I don't even OWN a dick hole! I have seen "Meatus in St. Louis," though, the porn-adapted Broadway musical. 

JK!

Meatus in St. Louis doesn't really exist, but I really wish it did, and someone should make it. 

You're welcome B'way!

In the meantime, dudebros, maybe don't Krazy Glue your dick hole shut during sex with the "Jiftip" sticker? Just a suggestion from someone who doesn't have the equipment. 

One visit to the website of this controversial contraceptive, and you'll wish there was an unclick function on the Internet.

Jiffy Pop posts a bunch of disclaimers that say this pee-hole latte-sticker is really just a "novelty" that isn't actually supposed to prevent STDs or preggos, which begs the question: WHYWHYWHYWHY? 

The physics of it make no sense. If plugging your dill-holio up with adhesive doesn't improve your odds on the tried and true pull n' pray method, why in the ever loving fuck would you use this? Afterall, the website makes the rather obvious point that busting a nut with this thing on feels . . . um . . . bad.

I love the step-by-step pictoral diagram though. Especially the "bond" step. It looks like the cartoon peen is getting an encouraging pat on the head before the "enjoy" step. Sort of like an atta boy, good job, you can do this type thing.

But just because you can do something doesn't mean you should, and the Jifftip peen sticker is the embodiment of that axiom.




33 Things With a Higher Approval Rating Than Trump

1. Finding a hair in your lasagna.
2. An iOS Software update.
3. Moldy bread.
4. Chewing gum under a seat on a public bus.
5. Stepping on a cactus.
6. Supermarket sushi.
7. The line at an airport Starbucks.
8. Email forwards from your aunt.
9. Nickelback.
10. A "sanitary napkin" coin-op vending machine.
11. Best Buy on Black Friday.
12. Neco wafers candy.
13. An NYC subway car in August with broken AC.
14. Sand in the crotch of your bathing suit.
15. Used gym socks.
16. An AOL account.
17. G-Train service on a Sunday at 2:00 a.m.
18. Walking in on your parents having sex.
19. Cat litter.
20. Supermarket brand Fruit Loops.
21. A leaf blower at 7:00 a.m. on a Sunday.
22. Jehovah's Witnessss on your doorstep.
23. A fart in an elevator.
24. Booger eating.
25. Kraft Singles.
26. Cold scrambled eggs.
27. A yeast infection.
28. A 6 hour layover in Milwaukee.
29. Flat soda.
30. The iMac rainbow wheel of death.
31. A hangnail.
32. The line for Space Mountain at Disneyland.
33. Your mom.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Muffin Top is Having a Moment and I am 100% Here for It!

Hey GUUUUUURRRRRRLS! 

Today I learned from the NY Post that "boobs are back in a big way." But you'll never guess what OTHER female body part is "having a moment" this summer. 

HINT: I already have one, and I took a selfie of it below. Also, it's named after a breakfast pastry that comes in lemon poppyseed, blueberry, and corn flavors among others.

That's right LADEEEEEEZ. It's the muffin top and IT. IS. POPPING. OFF. IN 2017, fam!!!

How do I know this? Well, in point of fact I don't. I just made it up. I'm following in the tradition of our president and just saying shit that I wish were true like it actually was. If it works for the leader of the free world it can work for us, AMIRITE GUURLFREINDZ?!?!

You too can have this look in just 18 months after carrying two humans around stashed between your crotch and lungs and eating a sleeve of Pamela's gluten free pecan shortbread while they chew your tits for a year. 

I know I know. It sounds like a LOT of work but you won't believe how easy it is to achieve peak muffin top. ESPESH if the only two times you have to exercise all day are 5:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., both of which are seriously the worst two times to do anything except sleep and smoke weed NOMESAYIN'?! 

You too could have the muffin top of your dreams. Muffin tops are having a moment and I for one am HERE FOR THAT ISH!



Can We Please Get a Few Things Straight Right Now?

1. "Reverse racism" is not a real thing.
2. "Reverse sexism" is not a real thing.
3. Gaslighting is a real thing.
4. There is a massive public Gaslighting underway in America right now.
5. Trump is MANIFESTLY unfit for office.
6. There are white supremacists in DC.
7. America in 2017 is more corporate oligarchy than meritocracy or democracy.
8. Climate change is real.
9. Science is real.
10. Black lives matter.
11. Saying black lives matter does not mean "fuck all other lives." 
12. White supremacy and white privilege are real things.
13. Silence is not an option.
14. Resistance is not futile.
15. We only get so much time on earth. Our words and our actions matter.



Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Planet Alaska Kid: An O.H.M. Special

*Nature Documentary Voice*

Ahhhhhh. 

And here we come upon a young female, perhaps 9 or 10 years of age, outside of her natural habitat. You can see she is agitated, having just entered a hot car in the Bronx, in July.

The Alaska Kid's usual summer habitat--even accounting for climate change--is presently 61 degrees Farenheit, a full 25 degrees cooler than where we observe this particular individual today.

If you listen closely, you can hear her plaintive wails about how unbearably hot it is, and how she can't stand it, and how can anyone possibly live this way, and how she is sure she is dying, and so on. 

Actually, you don't have to listen closely at all. She is in fact extremely loud and quite easy to hear.

This species of human child is simply unaccustomed to the heat, since it is cold AF 24/7/365 in her native habitat of Southeast Alaska. Her pale skin is ill-adapted for the scorching sun, and her tender haunches are infrequently braised by a searing hot metal seatbelt.

Young females such as this individual are often spotted hanging off their mother's purse or fighting with their siblings, and moaning and groaning that they have a headache and yet refusing to drink more water or take some Tylenol which are the only possible solutions at that particular moment.

In next week's episode of Planet Alaska Kid: we overhear a young male individual of this species call a pigeon a ptarmigan, and ask if there is "good fishing" off the New Jersey Turnpike near Newark Airport.

Monday, July 31, 2017

20 Things That Lasted Longer than Mooch as WH Comms Director

1. An episode of conjunctivitis.
2. A brutal menstrual cycle.
3. The shits in Mexico.
4. Many vacations.
5. Literally every job I've ever had.
6. A Russian novel.
7. A single season of the Sopranos.
8. My Alaska kids' temper tantrums about east coast heat.
9. 50% of all celebrity marriages.
10. My crush on Eddie Vedder.
11. Poison Ivy.
12. A cold sore.
13. All types of pickles.
14. The average Alaska kayak trip.
15. Snow in my driveway.
16. Socks on my living room floor.
17. Dishes in my drying rack.
18. Jack-o-Lantern on porch during Halloween.
19. A cut and color.
20. A quinoa salad in my parents' fridge that was there 10 days ago and is still literally there right now.

BONUS THING #21: One of Sting's tantric sex orgasms.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

I Feel Like This Living Tombstone Thing is Kinda Cray, No?

Far be it for me to speak ill of the dead. Actually . . . scratch that. Truth be told, everyone dies, plenty of dead people were assholes when they were alive, and I see no reason to pretend otherwise.  

This is a moot point right now though, because the couple on this tombstone is not dead yet as far as I know, and yet here is their joint gravestone with their pictures airbrushed in stone and (it's hard to see) their birth dates with a "--" blank for when they eventually die.

The "living tombstone" monument thing would be a little weird in a cemetery, though less surprising. But this thing (can I call it a thing? I'm not sure what else to call it) was installed on the property in Maine where we were staying last week, and I guess these are the owners. 

The owners who want you to know (a) exactly who they are, and that they shall rock 80s hair and glasses for all eternity; (b) that they will someday be buried together; and (c) that their mortal bones will rest next to a basketball court and overlooking the lake where you just took a standup paddle board out for a spin. (Side note: I kind of secretly crushed it at my maiden standup paddle boarding voyage).

Anyway, this seems pretty fucking cray to me. To not even be dead yet, but set your gravestone up with your spouse on your property which you open to the public so everyone knows you own the place and will be buried there? 

But what do I know? I plan to be cremated and DGAF what happens to my ashes afterwards. In other words, you can place me squarely at the very opposite end of the death rite spectrum from this conspicuously macabre display.

Simply put, I don't get it and don't want to.



Saturday, July 29, 2017

At the Other End

For better or worse, many things in our lives are impacted by decisions other people make; it often requires a fight, or at least assertiveness, to advocate for yourself and for what's right.

When I find myself (not infrequently) doing that, I try to remember one simple but crucial fact: there is always a human being at the other end making the decision. 

Maybe it's a judge, an insurance agent, an airline representative, or a senator. But regardless, it's always just a person. A person who is nuanced and subject to all the vagaries of human decision-making.

This week, Alaskans and the rest of America saw this principle in action when Senator Lisa Murkowski refused to strip health care from millions of Americans for political expedience. 

It's impossible to know if all the pressure that her constituents applied over the past few months made a difference, but I like to think it did, and I expect others do as well. Certainly, it makes us all feel less impotent and hopeless at a time when the only thing Americans can seem to agree on is that our democracy isn't working properly.

It helps that Senator Murkowski is smart and compassionate. I don't always agree with her, and she is a canny politician above all else. But she respects her constituents and the fundamentals of governance. Sometimes--even often--this yields decisions I disagree with, but other times it ends up with a human being simply doing the right thing on the back end of a decision.

Alaska has a tiny population and by accident of Congressional design, an outsized influence over national issues at times. Many of us have met Senator Murkowski or even know "Lisa" personally. It is at these times that we can and should aggressively leverage our civic influence for the common good.

None of us can read Senator Murkowski's mind, and people are complicated. But there is no doubt that a combination of intellect and compassion--two critical qualities of good leadership--led to Senator Murkowski's decision on health care this week.

That we got to the point where millions of American lives hung in the balance for a one-percenter tax break is another and much darker problem. That democracy worked because people applied pressure when and where it mattered is a beacon of light and hope. 

In this particular case, people's lives were saved all over America because of many voices and three smart, compassionate decisions.