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Monday, April 29, 2013

Spider-Man 2 got four stars and that makes me angry enough to punch a baby

I hate Tobey Maguire.

No, no, I don't think you understand. You couldn't possibly understand. I hate Tobey Maguire. Here is a fantasy comic I drew a while ago for this post:

Yesterday, Jesse and I were up early and he turned on the TV while I made some breakfast. He turned on Spider-Man 2 because eff it, superhero movies are a good way to spend a lazy Sunday morning on the couch. But he quickly regretted this decision, entirely because of me.

I've seen the movie before, but tend to repress my memory of it because seriously, I HATE TOBEY MAGUIRE. So despite my having seen it before, this time around felt like I was watching a whole new movie. I only watched for like half an hour, but prepare yourselves for a spewing of vitriol unlike anything you've seen before even in this blog:

Okay, let's get started: so Tobey Maguire's Peter Parker is a f**king dumpster person. He has no job, is too lazy to do well in college, is broke as a joke, lives in a shitty apartment that doesn't even have a bathroom in it and has no phone so he has to make calls from a pay phone like some kind of f**king transient. The only thing missing from his life is a severe and crippling drug addiction. I mean seriously -- if he was a crackhead, that would at least make sense. It would somehow make it understandable and more pitiable that he's in the condition he's in. But nope -- he has no excuse for being such a pathetic, worthless excuse for an adult male. GET A MOTHERF**KING JOB, PETER. A REAL JOB. Taking a bunch of selfies of you in your Spider-Man costume and then selling them freelance to the local newspaper is not a "job". You'd be better off delivering the bloody newspapers on your stupid f**king scooter. Plenty of people work full time while putting themselves through college. What the flying f**k makes you so special that you don't think you need to do that?

MJ comes from an abusive broken home but even she recognizes that she's too good for Peter. It is impossible for me to root for him, because every single misfortune he suffers is of his own making. Throughout the entire movie I just keep hoping he gets crushed by a bridge or something. Too bad he's f**king immortal, though -- he can fall like 10 stories and land on his back and suffer no injury whatsoever. It's like the movie is taunting me, making me think that maybe-just-maybe he will die and I won't have to look at his stupid face anymore, but nooooooo, he just gets right back up and is all "why aren't my webs working? Ouch, I fell ten stories!"

Oh, and then there's his buddy James Franco, who very nearly rises to the exact same level of being a f**king tool as Tobey does. He's at least a solid 97% as much of a tool. He is a terrible actor, and all he does is grin like he's been eating a diet of nothing but human feces for his entire life.

So anyway, the plot: Dr. Octavius decides he can do nuclear fusion right in the middle of his f**king living room or something. He invites a bunch of people to watch him try it out for the first time. Here are just a few of the things that are stupid about this part: 

1 -- he invents these robotic arms that are made of some crazy metal that will allow him to TOUCH THE SUN DIRECTLY WITHOUT MELTING, and then these arms are fused into his spine so that his brain controls them as if they were really his own arms. However, this invention is merely a tool in the process of his ultimate goal of nuclear fusion. Nobody is even remotely interested in this amazing and revolutionary achievement which should have gotten at least as much attention -- maybe more -- than his foolhardy and dangerous attempt at nuclear fusion. I'm sorry; prosthetic limbs that behave 100% exactly the same way that human limbs might and are controlled by the human brain -- don't you think there are some people that might want that? Doesn't anyone think this is an important accomplishment?? Evidently not.

2 -- Before starting the reaction, Dr. Ock puts on some serious tinted goggles. NOBODY ELSE IN THE ROOM IS GIVEN GOGGLES EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE STANDING LESS THAN 20 FEET BEHIND HIM AND WILL BE IN THE SAME ROOM AS A NUCLEAR REACTION THAT MIMICS THE ACTUAL SUN. Also, they do not appear to be uncomfortably warm at any time, even when they are standing fifty feet from a miniature sun.

3 -- The reaction starts to go south, of course, and everything is going to hell. The windows break and a giant shard of glass is shown flying at the Doc's wife, killing her. Dude, it clearly decapitated her. It flew directly at her neck, sharp side first. But then she slumps to the floor and later her body is on a stretcher and her head isn't even kinda partially chopped off. There isn't even any blood. Kill yourself, movie.

4 -- Spider-Man shows up and saves the day by unplugging everything from the wall. WHAT? THE F**K? How can THE SUN be TURNED OFF by unplugging it from the bloody wall outlet? What, the sun runs on 110V power from the local Con Ed plant? Did they have a surge protector on that bitch, or did they just get the cheap power strip from the drug store down the street?

Ugh. Oh and there's the part where Peter Parker tries to go to MJ's play -- he tells his landlord that "this twenty is all I have left for the week" and the landlord takes the money from him, so how did he even buy his ticket? And then he's riding his scooter down the street like some kind of mental defective and lo and behold, criminals smash into him and need some Spider-Man action. So he changes out of his formal suit and into his Spider-Man outfit and kicks some ass. Gets to the play late; isn't allowed to enter. Does he wait til Intermission and go in after that? Of course not; this movie is stupid and makes no sense at all. Then the play ends and at the exact same time that the audience emerges from the front doors, MJ (the star of the play) emerges in her street clothes from the back door. Peter watches her from across the street like a stalker, but does not say anything to her. She's pissed because she knew he wasn't there, because SHE SOMEHOW KNEW WHAT SEAT HIS TICKET WAS FOR AND KEPT LOOKING AT HIS EMPTY SEAT DURING THE SHOW. Wow, I wonder how he was able to tell her that, considering, I repeat, that HE DOES NOT HAVE A TELEPHONE.

Then some other crap happens and Spidey ends up falling 10 stories and being completely fine. But he's stuck on top of a building and his webs don't work, so he has to ride down the elevator, resulting in some hi-larious comic relief as some PR dude tries to talk to him. Moments later, Peter is shown back in his formal black suit. WHAT IN ALL THE WORLD'S F**KS? If he had the suit with him, why didn't he wear it to ride down the elevator? How did he have the suit with him? Where was he keeping it? Earlier he's shown magically changing from his Spider-Man suit into his black suit while driving a stolen convertible down the road, so apparently it's not a real challenge for him to store it in his shoe or something and then slip it on rapidly. 

Then he calls MJ to try and explain why he missed the show. Does he tell her that he got into a savage car accident on his scooter, and his scooter is now destroyed and he was nearly killed (which is the god's honest truth story of what happened)? Of course not! He's a goddamned idiot! So instead he Tobey Maguires his way through some bullshit about life being a challenge, and MJ rightfully rolls her eyes in disgust as she listens to him leave her a message. 

Then I had to stop watching the movie because seriously y'all, this kind of rage can't be good for the baby.

Also, when I hit "info" on my remote, Comcast gleefully informs me that this movie got four stars. FOUR STARS. FOUR STARS OUT OF FOUR. "This movie couldn't be any better," those four stars say. "It is perfect; a work of art that is so worth your time you should watch it several times in a row!" 


Friday, April 26, 2013

Patent's Charm School: What not to say to a pregnant lady

Welcome to the first official installment of Patent's Charm School! 

Now, I know what you're thinking -- "Patent, how are you in any way qualified to instruct a charm school? You have the table manners and social graces of a feral mental asylum escapee. What could you possibly teach the likes of us?!"

My answer is this: You are correct! But, I have been working really hard in past years to learn what sorts of things are and are not considered appropriate by the more well-heeled among us. I have studied them, and learned their ways, and would now like to impart some of this wisdom on to you, so that together, we can all hide the fact that we escaped from a mental asylum as children and were raised by wolves and monkeys in the deepest darkest wood.

Even though this is the first OFFICIAL installment of Patent's Charm School, I think that my old favorite post "Dear Men: No, I am not pregnant. Sincerely, Women" also falls under the umbrella. So this is sort of lesson 2. Now that you've learned not to ask women about their childbearing plans, what comes next? What happens after you've patiently waited until they told you their news, and now you're filled with comments, questions and advice?

If you follow these guidelines, I'm sure you can learn how to avoid some of the most common causes of "pregnant rage," which is a real thing and can be quite frightening for those on the receiving end. Also, it's rude to make pregnant women upset, because then they worry that their anger and upset-ness will hurt the baby, and that will make them even MORE upset, and so you see the whole thing is just plain madness and you're much better off not upsetting her in the first place.

DO: Ask her how she's doing.

Is your friend, neighbor or coworker pregnant? It's totally okay to ask her how she's doing! She may appreciate the attention, and if you are honestly willing to help her out if she needs something, then that's even better!

DON'T: Ask her very specifically how she's doing.

If she's feeling gassy, swollen, nauseous, or her hemorrhoids are acting up, odds are good that she doesn't want to tell you that unless you are BFFs. So don't ask. That's really weird and creepy. I mean seriously -- that is so weird and creepy. What the f**k is the matter with you? Good grief. Do you often ask your friends, neighbors and coworkers about their hemorrhoids? No? You don't? Because that would be insane? Yeah.

DO: Compliment her appearance.
There are very polite ways to do this, and many pregnant women appreciate being told that they don't look fat at all, no way, they look pregnant and FANTASTIC! This is especially true during the first two trimesters, when women may feel discouraged that they just look bloated and gross and their pants don't fit anymore.

DON'T: Tell her she's getting SO BIG!!!

I have zero personal experience with this as I am still early in my pregnancy, but I have heard this complaint from so many pregnant women that I gather it's universal, especially in the final months. 

Don't ever tell a woman she's huge. Ever. For any reason. I can't believe you don't already know this. I mean, even the wolves and the monkeys that raised you in the woods should have taught you this one. "You're so big!" = you're fat. "Your belly is getting huge!" = you're fat. "My goodness! You must be due TOMORROW!" = you're fat. "Are you sure there's only one baby in there??" = you're fat.

Don't call a woman fat.


I mean, unless you hate her and she really deserves it, because then it's the most gratifying thing in the world.

ALSO DON'T: Compliment her boobs.
Dear god. It's rude to stare at a woman's boobs. It is 10,000 times more rude to then TELL HER you were staring at her boobs. Now add to that the fact that you're staring at the boobs of a married woman who is pregnant with another man's baby, and you are proudly admitting that you were checking them out, and you just wanted her to know that you approve. Does this seem wise? No. No, it is not wise.

DO: Share words of encouragement.

DON'T: Share things like this:

 Don't be a sociopath, guys.

DO: Ask polite, not-too-personal questions.


Goddamn right you won't.

And for the record, a vast majority of women report that their vaginas completely return to normal within a few months after giving birth. So you don't even have to wonder anymore. You can really just shut the f**k up about it.

Well, that's all we have time for today! I know we didn't get to "are you sure you're supposed to be drinking coffee?" and a bunch of other topics, but those will just have to wait! 

I hope you all learned a few things here. Armed with this knowledge, you can navigate the treacherous minefield of talking to a pregnant woman without pissing her off. I wish you all the best of luck. I can't wait for the next issue of Patent's Charm School -- we'll talk about weddings and how to not make a complete ass of yourself!

And seriously, if you ever, EVER, try to talk to me about my vagina, I will f**king cut you. It's so rude it makes me blind with fury, which, as we all know, is bad for the baaaaaaaaaby.

Ha ha! A fetus just brandished a knife at you. Boy, Patent's Charm School is a laugh riot!!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What I've learned from several months without drinking

Jesse and I are very much social drinkers. Even when I was the designated driver or not really in a drinking mood, I could always be counted on to have a couple of beers if everyone else was. Beer is delicious, after all. So for the past several years, I must say it has been rare indeed that I would be stone-cold sober when others were drinking. But I've been the DD a lot, so I figured being pregnant would be no big deal. After all, what's the difference, really, between having two beers and having no beers? Two beers rounds down to no beers anyhow, through complicated beer-math.

But you guys ... I was wrong. There is such a difference. No beers means your irritation-meter hasn't been dulled in the slightest. No beers means you don't miss a single thing happening around you. And so after these past few months of no beers, I have learned a lot. A lot about drunk people. Things I was a little surprised to find I didn't already know about.

Here are my observations after being 1000% dead sober for the past ~3 months:

Drunk people have absolutely no f**king idea what is going on in any movie ever

The other night, Jesse and I were watching The Hobbit. I had no desire to watch The Hobbit, because I hate fantasy as a genre and I already disliked the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy for that reason. But Jesse wanted to watch it, and there wasn't really anything else of value at Red Box that day, so The Hobbit it was.

But we had just gotten home from hashing, so Jesse had been drinking. And it was Saturday night, and he has a Pliny the Elder clone on tap on the kegerator, so continued drinking was on the agenda.

And holy damn.

I have never been so irritated in my life.

Imagine how annoying it is when someone comes in late to a movie and wants to be caught up on what's happening. Combine that with how annoying it is when a drunk person keeps yapping when you're trying to pay attention to a movie, and that's how annoying it is to watch a movie with a drunk person when you're completely sober.

Jesse kept talking during it, going on about the Hobbit cartoon he watched when he was a kid or something. And no matter how many times I shushed him, he would only shush for a few minutes at most. And then about an hour in, he announced that the movie was an unbelievable failure because "they never even explained why they were going on this quest in the first place!!!"


This will happen 100% of the times that you soberly watch a movie with a drunk person. I was forced into watching Les Miserables with my mom a few weeks ago while she drank some wine, and I spent 90% of the movie explaining what was happening because she just could not follow it. "Wait, who's that guy? That's not the same guy from the beginning, is it?" "Russell Crowe is such a bad singer! I'm going to talk about what a bad singer he is instead of paying attention to the plot, and then I will make you catch me up!" "What's that paper he's ripping up? HOW IS HE SUPPOSED TO GET A JOB NOW?!!?"


Another time, a certain person who shall not be named was drunk while we were watching War of the Worlds. She suddenly became upset because even though she'd seen the movie before, she couldn't remember how it ended. So I told her. Minutes later, she was in a fury because hellooooo, she asked a question and nobody bothered to answer it. I reminded her a second time of how the movie ends, which worked for about two more minutes until she again started whining "why won't anyone tell me how War of the Worlds ennnnnnnnnds?????" I thought about tattooing the information on her, Memento-style, but unfortunately didn't have the proper equipment.

The moral of the story is, if you're going to watch a movie with someone who is drinking/drunk, you have a few options: you can either watch a movie you've both seen several times before (because they're going to talk during it, and you don't want to miss anything if you haven't seen it. Though this will not help if they've seen it but don't remember how it ends); you can slap some duct tape over their mouth; or better yet, you can just drink right along with them, because you'd be surprised how even just a few beers will make you less stabby with your movie-watching companions.

You don't have to be funny at all for the drunks to think you're hysterical

So there I was at the hash run the other day. And a drunk guy came up to me and said something. I didn't really hear what he said, so I said "what?" and he started to laugh. Like, he laughed so hard I legitimately thought he might pee himself. Apparently, "what?" was the most hilarious and shocking comeback he could ever have imagined.

You see, I always felt like being totally sober made me less funny. A little less quick with the comebacks, a little less likely to push the envelope. But apparently, to drunk people, it couldn't matter less. I am as hilarious as SNL at its finest, no matter what I say or do. At the same event, I said something like "I'll just plow through these branches and come over there to where you are" (we were all in the woods and I had chosen my path poorly). The guy started to cackle like I had made the best joke he ever heard. But it wasn't even a joke. I was just making a statement. Once his laughter died down, he responded "you can plow and come wherever you want!" and then laughed some more before adding, "I like you. You're funny."

I don't ... I mean ... really now? I appreciate if people think I'm funny when I'm trying to be funny ... but when I'm just walkin' around livin' my life like a chump? Is it really that funny? Have I been a monkey in a tuxedo this entire time?!?!

Then I would understand why I'm so funny.

Knowing just how readily drunk people laugh really takes the pressure off, though. I can make them laugh so hard they vomit blood with something as simple as "sorry, I couldn't hear you over your stupid hat." Or I could just say "picture a monkey in a tuxedo" and bam, they're peeing everywhere. I am a humor god.

You can win a drunk's eternal trust by politely pointing out some minor flaw in their appearance

If you see someone's tag is sticking out of their shirt or they've got toilet paper stuck to their shoe, do you tell them? (assuming it's not a total stranger, though the toilet paper thing I think I would even tell a total stranger). I do, because I'd want to be told if something about my outfit wasn't right. Like maybe my skirt got caught in my underpants after my last trip to the bathroom. Please don't let me walk around like that.

If you tell a drunk person about something like this and then help them fix it, they will trust you forever. They will name their firstborn child after you. The amount of gratitude is so out of proportion to the actual favor, it's utterly ridiculous. 

And I love it. It's one of my favorite things about drunk people. I feel like Oskar Schindler every time I tell someone their shoe is untied. I don't think I'll ever feel so good about myself for any reason ever again. Thanks, drunks! (no, thank YOU! the drunks respond, because they didn't realize their bra was showing, and nobody else realized either because I'm the only sober one, but STILL -- I am a LIFE-SAVER!!!)

"Ummm, Tara? Your boob is ... your boob is out."

If you're sober and they know it, you can REALLY hurt a drunk person's feelings

With great power comes great responsibility. And when you're the sober one among a group of drunks, your power is immense.

Have you ever been all hammered somewhere and your sober friend pulls you aside and harshly whispers at you to stop shouting and please put your pants back on because you're acting quite badly and if you don't stop, you'll get the whole group kicked out of the movie theater? Of course you have. And how did you feel when your sober friend told you this?

Did you feel ... AWFUL?!?!?!?!

There's not much worse than having a sober person tell you you're acting like an animal when you're too drunk to realize it for yourself. They are like the voice of reason in your head -- the voice that you shut off hours ago with that sixth Irish Car Bomb. They are your conscience, telling you that you are bad and awful and morally reprehensible, and you have to believe them because they haven't had a drop to drink so they're, like, omniscient or something.

I try not to abuse this power. If someone has their pants off and they really need to put their pants back on, I try to ask very, very nicely. I will gently ask Jesse to speak a little bit more quietly, because even though he can't tell how loud he's talking, I certainly can, and it is TOO F**KING LOUD.

Of course, if you really felt like being a dick, you could get your friends good and liquored up and then tell them they're awful jerks and horrible people and cruel and judgmental and racist and homophobic and you can't believe how badly they're behaving. And then the next day, when they wake up, they won't remember exactly what they did or exactly what you said; they'll just remember feeling really, really guilty for some reason, and they'll know that they need to apologize to you for something sickeningly bad, whatever it may have been. And then maybe you can get them to take you out to dinner.

Now, I'm not saying that this is something that I've done. I'm just saying, it's something that I'm keeping in my pocket, just in case. :-)

Monday, April 22, 2013

You guys are nuts. Here are your phobias.

Along with last week's post about my phobias, I asked you guys what your weird phobias are. And the answers I got ... y'all are nuts. Let's see what we're working with:


"I am terrified of balloons and the possibility that they might pop. (Mylar balloons are fine since they don't pop easily, just latex ones are scary). We switched grocery stores so they no longer have balloons. If there are balloons getting blown up somewhere, I will run out crying. I can't go to Red Robin or other restaurants with balloons and I can't go to the farmers market since they have a clown that does balloon animals. It's going to be a real problem having a kid who goes to birthday parties..."

I kind of get this one. Balloons are like loaded guns in the hands of madmen, and also they are pointed directly at your head and the madman has already said he wants to shoot you dead, and he starts counting to three but is he really going to wait til he gets to three or is he going to pull the trigger on two? Balloons are 100% like this analogy except for the fact that a popping balloon absolutely cannot hurt you. (Except it could really surprise you, which could cause you to pee your pants, and we all know how I feel about that. This is the main reason I also take issue with balloons -- my urophobia).

This one time in college, we were decorating the common room for Valentines Day, and this involved blowing up heart-shaped balloons. Well, they were really cheap, and because of the heart-shape, there were several points of critical weakness in the balloon's structure that regular balloons do not suffer from. We blew up the balloons and set them all on the couch while we looked for some tape to hang them from the walls. And then, mere moments later, they started popping randomly on their own. Like little bombs. They would just be sitting there, and then one would POP and then that might make another one POP ... and then it'd be all quiet for a while until another one decided it was time to POP. So yeah ... at least you balloon-phobics weren't in the room while that was going on.


The balloons can smell your fear, and they find it hilarious. They will gladly sacrifice themselves to give you a scare.


"My irrational fear is closet doors that are only partially open. I think it stems from the first (and only one I watched) Saw movie- there's a creepy scene where this guy is hiding in a closet and all you can see through the dark is his eyeball. Ever since then, I can't sleep if my closet door is partially open, has to be completely open or shut. As if the closet door being shut is going to prevent whatever mental asylum escapee is hiding in there waiting for me to fall asleep to abduct me and kill me in the basement."

I'm sure he just wants to make sure you don't die of sleep apnea! He's got your best interests at heart.

Your best interests.


"Fish....I have a fear of fish. It's such a crazy weird story, but a fish tried to kill my 8 year old self and we haven't been the same since."

I totally get this one too. Fish are weird and creepy. They can breathe underwater. They have weird dead eyes that don't move or show any emotion. What are they thinking about? You don't know. 

Maybe you go visit them at the aquarium. Maybe you feel pretty safe because there's glass in between you.

Look at those creepy eyes. LOOK AT THEM.

But how thick is that glass? How much stress is it under? What if you give it just the littlest tap and your fingernail is just the littlest bit too long?



"I have an irrational fear of a gang of creepy hillbillies, coming up my stairs at night, all playing different hill-billyish instruments and surrounding my bed, playing the instruments at me..... I have no idea where it stems from but it’s the reason there is a heavy bat under my bed... take that hillbillies."

Okay, you know what? I thought this one was nuts until I drew it. NOW I AM ALSO AFRAID OF THE HILLBILLIES.

Edited to add: Apparently I missed one member of the hillbilly band: the unibrowed, hunchbacked old woman playing the spoons!

She also happens to be a shining example of what a FUPA is. Terrible. Just terrible.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Poundings: I learned something about men!

Welcome to Friday! 

So yesterday I was getting dressed for work and really had it in my head that I wanted to wear regular underwear. As in, not a thong. If you're a guy, and you don't really understand this, let me try to spell it out for you: thongs aren't terribly uncomfortable, especially if you buy decent ones, but they will never be as comfy as normal underwear. So it's kind of like the difference between jeans and sweatpants. Jeans are comfortable and all, but sweatpants are the bomb.

So I wanted to wear normal underpants. I decided to plan my outfit around this decision, but ended up changing my mind (and my pants) into something that really wasn't appropriate for this undergarments choice. I turned to Jesse and said, "ugh, these underwear and these pants don't really work. But I'm already all dressed. Most of the people in my office are men anyway; it doesn't matter too much, does it?"

And Jesse looked at me and looked at my butt, and his voice took on a sudden urgency as he blurted out that "men notice! Men totally notice that! VPL!!! We call it VPL -- Visible Panty Lines. We notice and point it out to each other and laugh!"

And I had to change my underoos because now I can't stop worrying about the men of the office elbowing each other and murmuring "VPL incoming!"

So ladies, be warned: you can get sloppy with your pantylines if you want, but apparently men are not blind to this effect. VPL.

Also, while we're on the subject of man-code that some may not be familiar with, let's talk about my FUPA. You see, the baby is making my stomach get quite a bit bigger ... but I'm not really far enough along to be considered "showing" yet. Instead, little ol' Gizmo has just given me a pronounced FUPA.

So yeah ... a FUPA is when a woman has a fat stomach but the fat is really low, down by her hips as opposed to around her belly button. There you go, Mom -- try to use that one in a sentence by the end of the day! 

Also, I have been having a pretty symptom-free ride so far but the few symptoms I have had have been totally weird.

Symptom #1: my nose runs like a faucet every time I eat.

It does not matter what I'm eating; my nose thinks it's a giant bowl of boiling-hot ramen with a 50-50 broth-to-Sriracha ratio. Nah, it's cool, nose. Do your thing. I love needing a f**king PAPER TOWEL to get through a meal.

And if you're wondering "is this really a symptom of pregnancy because that's stupid," the answer is, "yes and I totally agree with you." Many women get stuffed-up noses, and I may still get that later, but for me, it's the nose-faucet. Always the nose-faucet.

Symptom #2: sore ass from sitting.

Like, 10-hours-on-an-airplane sore -- the kind of sore where there is simply no way to readjust your posture that fixes it for more than a few minutes ... but this (haha I originally typed "butt his" haha BRAIN, KNOCK IF OFF!) ... oh yeah, okay, so BUT THIS happens to me after only an hour or two. I seriously need to buy one of those bleachers pads for the next time I fly because DAAAMN, SON, I thought my tailbone was going to fall off after my recent trip to the east coast.

Is this caused by pregnancy? Yes. Apparently all the crazy hormones cause you to release something called "relaxin", which makes things, you know, RELAX. Which will be all great later on when baby is a giant watermelon hanging off my front and trying to snap all my ligaments just for a laugh, but what good is all this relaxin now, exactly? All it does is somehow lead to sore ass, runny faucet nose, and occasional heartburn. THANKS FOR NOTHING, HORMONES.

Symptom #3: raw tongue.

My tongue is red, raw, and swollen. The only time this has ever happened to me before is when I would eat like 15 Warheads candies at once. But apparently strange tongue/mouth issues are also on the list of pregnancy symptoms. WHAT. THE F**K.

Oh, but --- BUT!!!! Remember how I said I had replanted my Aerogardens? THEY'RE SPROUTING EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

I wonder how long it will be before another post curses them into the ground for being such bastards? I give it a month and a half.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

New topic: RIDICULOUS PHOBIAS!!! Part 1 -- my own deepest fears

Thanks to a great tip from a reader, I have a new topic to consider in this blog: ridiculous phobias. Of course we won't be focusing on normal, common phobias like a fear of heights or spiders or something. This is not an educational blog, dumbass.

We will be focusing on absolutely ridiculous phobias that people should be ashamed of because seriously, WHAT THE F**K IS WRONG WITH YOU? HOW CAN YOU BE AFRAID OF ________? PUSSY.

Naturally, I will open this topic by making fun of myself and my own shameful phobias, of which I have two that I'm willing to cop to. Because that way, if I end up hardcore mocking any of you later, I can be like "what the hell, how are you mad? I made fun of myself first. Buy a douche to get that sand out of your vagina, STAT."

(Please feel free to let me know what your phobias are, and if they're funny enough, I'll be happy to illustrate them for you. But don't get mad afterwards or at least make sure you douche first so you can make sure the problem wasn't just sand-in-the-vagina the whole time.)

Oh, and for the record, these aren't really PHOBIAS in the traditional sense of the word -- they don't fill me with paralyzing fear or panic or anything like that. They just make me feel very, very uncomfortable and maybe a little bit paranoid. But I'm still calling them phobias. Get over it.


This one is fairly common: the fear of inanimate objects that are intended to resemble sentient beings. Things like mannequins, robots, wax figures, etc. 

But my version of this phobia goes a step farther.

I am also very much afraid of inanimate objects that DON'T resemble sentient beings but holy shit can you imagine how scary it would be if they suddenly BECAME sentient? Like, HOW F**KING SCARY WOULD THAT BE?!?!?

The main culprit and source of my angst? Windmills.

Okay seriously.

Have you ever been driving down the highway somewhere and suddenly, very far off in the distance, you saw an itty bitty tiny little windmill, so far away you couldn't even see if it was spinning or not? 

And then you kept driving, and it got bigger. And then you got closer and you saw that it wasn't alone, but that it had friends. 

And then you got closer still and it got much, much bigger and the number of friends it had grew exponentially larger. And then you're driving right through this giant field of windmills -- hundreds of them, as far as the eye can see in both directions, as tall as any skyscraper, winging their knife-blades around in perfect sync like some sort of Nazi drill team.


Windmills creep me the f**k out, and the reason is honestly that I cannot stop picturing them coming to life and straight-up murdering people like the tripod things in War of the Worlds. 

"How could they even move? They don't have legs like the tripods do." 

The first time I saw one was on the drive from Los Angeles to Palm Springs, AT NIGHT. Yeah. I refuse to take my eyes off them the entire time they are in view, just in case they pick that exact moment to come alive. So it's best if someone else drives.

Automatonophobia, guys.

Oh hey artist, thanks for creating this totally awesome non-terrifying picture of a sea-based wind farm. I APPRECIATE IT.


Urophobia = fear of urination, also known as "bashful bladder." Usually translates into the inability to pee in the presence of others.

Now, how can I have this one, you ask? Especially after I just listed my ability to pee ANYWHERE and under ANY conditions as one of my superpowers?

Simple: I don't have the usual "bashful bladder" version of urophobia. I have a fear of suddenly, uncontrollably peeing my pants.

This is for real, guys. Whenever Jesse and I are watching a horror movie and I know that a boogotcha moment is coming (you know, where something jumps out and is all BOO! GOTCHA!!!), I look away or cover my eyes. This is not because I am afraid of whatever is coming. I am afraid that the surprise of it, whenever it does pop out, will cause me to pee my pants.

Please note that I have never, not once, peed my pants because something surprised me. This is an absolutely baseless fear. I'm sure it happens to some people, sometimes, but not to me. And yet, I still look away when the boogotcha is coming. Just in case.

I will not let anyone tickle me because I think it will make me pee. Many many years ago, I was dating a man who decided it would be funny to pin down my arms and tickle me. I achieved momentary superhuman strength and overpowered him, yanking my right arm free and PUNCHING HIM DIRECTLY IN THE FACE. This happened completely by reflex -- so deep was my fear that the tickling would cause me to urinate. He was pretty mad. But seriously, don't f**king tickle me.

The one time in my life that I partook in hallucinogenic mushrooms, I actually took my pants off and went to sit outside, because I couldn't stop laughing and was afraid that the laughing would make me pee my pants. I sat outside without pants on for hours. I did not pee. But wearing pants, and dealing with the fear that I would pee in them, was enough to turn me down a dark path (which is bad when you're taking hallucinogens). So, no pants it was.

So there you go, friends. Now you know a little more about me. Stay tuned for future editions of Ridiculous Phobias -- maybe we can learn a little about more of you! If not, I'll just make some shit up. Wouldn't be the first time.

And if you want to share your stupid phobias with me, you can either leave a comment or send me an email -- 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Me and my Aerogardens: a love story

I am the proud owner of not one but TWO (2!) Aerogardens. "What in all the five hells is an Aerogarden?" you ask? It is an indoor hydroponic plant grower thing that uses UV lights on a timer and a water pump to grow plants for you if you suck magnificently at growing them yourself in a pot like a normal person. Which I do. Hence the collection of Aerogardens.

I bought myself one for my birthday last October, and swiftly planted a bunch of herbs in it. I checked it constantly to see if the herbs were sprouting, and danced with excitement when they started to grow happy little leaves. You see, I have no green thumb -- I have the black thumb of death. There is no plant that I cannot kill. I once bought a little flowering plant from the grocery store and killed it within days. I even murdered a cactus. I didn't know that was a thing that you could do. But you can. I did it.

The second Aerogarden was a Christmas present from Jesse. I was so happy with how my herbs were coming along that I wanted to grow some nice pretty flowers in the house as well. What could go wrong?

So much. So much could go wrong.

I planted the flower garden in early January. This necessitated the moving of the herb garden from its position of prominence just outside the kitchen to a quiet corner of the dining room. No sooner had we planted the flower garden, though, than we encountered our first problem: the pump that runs the water supply through the thing was LOUD AS SHIT. It runs all the time, and is nearly as noisy as a microwave that is currently heating something. What the hell. The herb garden never had this problem.

So Jesse calls the Aerogarden customer service and they send us a new bottom piece with a new pump. It arrives. We set it up. It is just as loud, except maybe it was louder.

Then, a friend with some knowledge of gardening comes over to our house and, upon inspecting my placement of the various flower seed pods, basically tells me that a mentally retarded blind baboon could have done a better job. I had tall plants growing on top of short plants, bushy plants jammed in next to gentle spirits that wouldn't stand a chance growing in the shadow of their bully neighbors ... so we started moving all the little pods around into a better layout. Even though the plants had already sprouted and had pretty decent roots growing down in the water tank. It was easy enough to move them -- just lift the pods out of their holes like little eyeballs and pull until the dripping eyeball-nerves (the roots) made it all the way out. Then guide the eyeball-nerves into a different hole and carefully slip them all in until you could lock the eyeball pod back into place.

Oh, and then the "lights" button broke.

See, the lights run on a timer -- 16 hours on, 8 hours off. You can set what time you want them to go on and off each day, which is really convenient when the garden is, say, directly behind a television that you like to watch during the evenings. So I tried to set it by holding down the "lights" button until it blinked, but instead it just got stuck in the pushed position and never unpushed, so I can't adjust the light timer. If you're planning on staying at our house and end up sleeping on the couch in the living room, I hope you don't mind a light as bright as THE SUN that stays on until roughly 3AM while a pump as loud as a microwave runs constantly ten feet from your head.

But then the snapdragons started to bloom. Ah, those beautiful snapdragons! I was so happy to see their flash of color. This is why I wanted this thing in the first place! This is what it was all about!


They grew so fast that they choked off all the lavender I was trying to grow. Then they choked off the flowering lavender viola. Then they crowded out the pansies. The only plant strong enough to hold its own against the mighty snapdragons were the two coleus plants growing in the corners. Oh, in case you were planning planting some coleus in your garden, DON'T. They are ugly as all hell and their giant leaves will happily be accessories to the murder of your lavender and pansies.

Also, its hobbies include first-degree murder.

As my frustrations with the flower garden grew, so did my frustrations with my herb garden. You see, bullies were developing over there as well. The globe basil grew into such a mighty bush that the thyme, which had been thriving, finally gave up and died in despair. The genovese basil bravely tried to hold its own, but it grew steadily weaker. The lemon basil and dill, perhaps yearning for a larger life than the one they were currently living, grew desperately upwards and into the UV lightbulbs, where they singed and became useless. I eventually gave up on them and pulled the eyeball-pods out, stuffing them angrily into a trash can because WHY ARE YOU TOO GOOD FOR MY GARDEN, DILL AND LEMON BASIL? WHY THE F**K ARE YOU TOO GOOD FOR MY GARDEN?

I was left with only my globe basil to console me. And it did its best. With no other herbs competing for resources, the globe basil started to grow faster and fuller than an old woman's pubic jungle. I had to trim that beast a minimum of 4 times per week if I wanted to keep it under control. It would drink up the entire volume of the water reservoir in a day or two -- a full gallon of water, down the hatch. I stopped even trimming it carefully, and instead would grab great handfuls of basil and hack at them with a dull pair of scissors, like a maniac giving a haircut to a lunatic.

We ate basil on everything. EVERYTHING. I did not make a single food product that didn't contain at least a little bit of the stuff. Pesto, tomato-pesto, pineapple-basil-salsa, you name it. It was madness.

I was reaching my breaking point. I didn't have the time or the patience to spend ten minutes cutting basil four times a week. I would always do it in the morning before work, and 100% of the time, it would take longer than I thought and I would be running terribly late for work. Every time I refilled that stupid gallon jug to feed the beast, I became angry and resentful. It was time for the globe basil to go.

If the globe basil were human, it would look like this.

So I went to Wal-Mart and bought some little earthenware pots and a big bag of potting soil. And one fine day over Easter weekend, Jesse and I carefully planted both the globe basil and the wheezing, gasping near-corpse of the genovese basil in pots outside.

The genovese basil was dead by the end of the day. And the globe basil? Well, one day it rained and then the wind blew and the stupid giant bush was so top-heavy that it fell over and spilled everywhere. I still haven't cleaned it up, because f**k that f**king globe basil. Let it rot. LET IT ROT.

Meanwhile, back in flower land, the snapdragons got bored after murdering every other flower in the garden, so they started to die as well. So I got mad, unplugged the garden, and stuffed all the plants into a trash bag.


Oh, but if you're looking for a great gift idea, may I recommend the Aerogarden? They're great! I replanted both of mine this weekend and I just can't wait for them to start sprouting!!! I'll be sure to keep you all updated on how they're doing! Oh boy oh boy!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Jesse's side of the closet: A journey into my husband's mind

This past weekend, I decided it was time to make sense of our closet. It is enormous -- I mean almost as big as a bedroom enormous -- and we never really organized it properly after we moved in. Now it's been six months and it's just a damn big mess.

It took me all of an hour and a half to tidy up my side of things and put a bunch of Halloween costumes and other random crap into plastic bins. Then, it was time to work on Jesse's side. You see, Jesse has been out of town and I wanted to get through his side without him there, because I'm sure he'd be looking over my shoulder complaining, criticizing, and generally getting in my way (and in answer to the question of "why doesn't he just do it himself?" the answer is both "ha!" and "then I'd be over his shoulder complaining, criticizing, and generally getting in his way too" so you see that just wouldn't work at all). 

This task required absolute concentration. (I waited until he was back home to tell you he was gone because I didn't want you thinking you could break into my house in the middle of the night and drink my chocolate milk just because Jesse wasn't there to shoot you. I am there to shoot you. It's MY chocolate milk!)

Here are a few noteworthy observations and challenges I faced over the course of this little adventure:

Total dresser anarchy

I keep my clothing organized. Every drawer I have houses clothing that can be put into the same category, whether it be "pants", "workout stuff", or "short-sleeved shirts." Within those drawers, I even try to put same-colored items close together for ease in finding them later. I consider this to be pretty standard behavior.

Jesse's dresser? Madness

I had to organize the dresser first, because it was absolutely surrounded by loose clothing and there was no way of knowing what should/could go into the dresser until I had figured out his system of organizing what goes into which drawers.

And it turns out that there is no system.

The top row has two small drawers next to each other, which I assumed would be divided between socks and underwear, because duh. 

Nope. In each drawer I found a selection of socks, exercise shorts, and regular-old non-underwear t-shirts. In many cases, the socks were not matched, but were rather split between the drawers, with one sock in each. Because, you know ... convenience. I can understand dividing socks up by type -- perhaps having work socks in one drawer and exercise socks in another. But having right socks in one drawer and left socks in another? That is insane.

In further drawers, my odyssey into my husband's mind became more and more confusing and interesting. There were shirts I knew he had been missing, jammed into the back of what seemed like a pants drawer except that it was actually 50% pants and 50% other stuff (but since 50% any one thing was about as good as we were going to get in this dresser, it was determined to be a pants drawer). There were gloves. So many gloves. So many single, unmatched gloves. I eventually found most of their mates -- in different drawers, naturally. One of them I found inside a sweatshirt in the pants drawer. I don't know.

The decision of what to hang up versus what to put in the dresser

Jesse is notoriously bad about putting his clothes away after they're washed and folded. Now that I've seen the chaos that is the inside of his dresser, I understand his trepidation. Nobody has the kind of time it would take to find anything in there. It would take him hours to get ready to leave the house for any reason, and even then he'd probably only be wearing one glove.

The result of this is that his side of the closet features an endless variety of t-shirts on hangers. Why? Why do t-shirts need to be on hangers? I generally hang up things that either take up a lot of space or will wrinkle in drawers -- and t-shirts do not fit the bill. 

Jesse hangs up things he'd like to be able to find later. If that means jeans and t-shirts get hangers while everything else he owns -- things like collared button-down shirts and dress pants -- is strewn about the floor, then so be it. Should he be seeing a therapist or something? Are these all warning signs of a man on the brink of coming unglued??

The Army stuff, my god, the Army stuff

One of the results of being in the military for many years is that you acquire a whole hell of a lot of military-issued stuff. Necessary stuff, unnecessary stuff, totally useless stuff that you will suddenly desperately need RIGHT NOW AND OH MY GOD WHERE IS MY PT BELT AND I CAN'T FIND MY OTHER WHITE SOCK CAN I BORROW ONE OF YOUR SOCKS THIS IS AN EMERGENCY ... lots of stuff. And if you're Jesse, then that stuff will never really be kept in one central convenient location. Because ... okay, he can't even get right and left socks into the same drawer. Lower your expectations.

One of the most daunting parts of organizing this closet is figuring out the Army stuff, and what needs to go into bins for occasional use versus what needs to stay out and easily accessible. I take my role as wife seriously, and part of that role is always knowing the location of everything my husband owns. When he suddenly needed his beret and couldn't find it, was it him that remembered seeing it in the corner of the closet stuffed with a wig, some garbage, and a pair of novelty 2011 spectacles? No, of course not. It was me.

So the Army stuff is everywhere, and it needs to not be everywhere. But Jesse needs to be able to find things when he needs them, preferably not by dumping out the contents of three enormous duffel bags all over our bedroom ("That Kevlar helmet has GOT to be in one of these bags!!!"). 

(No Jesse; the Kevlar helmet is in the living room under the snake tank with an MRE and a bottle of Elmer's white glue in it. This is our home. This is how we live.)

Keeping the chaos from returning

The real fear I have is that I'll do all this work to reorganize things, but it will just go right back to chaos once Jesse gets his hands back on it. How to avoid this? A few ideas:

- Label the drawers of the dresser. Example: Pants. This drawer is only for pants. Is that a shirt you're holding? Then it doesn't go in this drawer. I don't care if the shirts drawer is full. Maybe that means you have too many shirts and should go through them and put a few into the Goodwill bin. I mean seriously, how many shirts does a man need? Especially a man who wears a uniform to work every day??! Good grief. It's like I live with Kim Kardashian.

- Put his clothes away for him. This is not the ideal solution, but I may not have a choice. I already wash and fold the laundry (Jesse was banned from washing anything other than his own uniforms because he always runs the washer half-empty and wastes water while leaving the laundry bin full. He was banned from folding laundry after I watched him spend a full minute trying to fold a thong. Plus he folds shirts all weird). Is it really such a big step to also put his clothes away in their proper locations? It would probably take an extra thirty seconds at most, and soon I'll be washing and putting away baby's clothes anyway. I might as well just become the Family Laundry Fairy.

Learning to accept the inevitable

I knew Jesse was a disorganized mess before I married him. I knew how he likes to leave his shoes everywhere, and how clean laundry never gets put away properly, and how drawers get filled to bursting and then are never opened again because the shirts are all stuck so the drawer is a pain to open and close so eff it, might as well just write off everything in there. 

I may just have to deal with a messy closet forever. But at least I've got a happy life with a man I love, a lovely home, an awesome family and a baby on the way. I don't have much to complain about, really.

Oh f**k it. I'm just going to start putting his clothes away for him. Because if I trip over one more shoe, I swear I'm just going to f**king kill someone.