Bits of Stuff

anything less than free refills is shameful.

Aug 19

Aug 1

Eternally Planning Ahead

Wrote my own obituary so that you guys wouldn’t have to. Sorry if that’s morbid, or you can just thank me for saving you time, which is actually the appropriate response, so, you’re welcome.

Girl with one name and several nicknames passed away today leaving behind the entire rest of the living world. Like many, she was a daughter, mother, wife, friend, aunt, employee, critic, creator, child, adult, human, mammal, biological mass of energy, nerves, hair and skin.

Born at a moment fraught with historical tensions on an international level, she was raised in a small town that was in many ways isolated yet nonetheless bore some effects of the global economy and markets. She worked at several jobs, some that were better than others, depending on the day and her mood. 

She had an overall happy life as happiness is just a comparative illusion and to say otherwise would be too dark for a brief write up that is already making the reader contemplate his own mortality.  She enjoyed traveling, food, laughing and everything else that the majority of reasonable humans who are blessed with occasional means and available time seem to enjoy.

A private ceremony will be held by the universe in the moment some strange coincidence happens to a random girl who will be having an otherwise bad day and will have to pause and say “oh my god, that was really weird, did that just happen?”

For more information or details on where to send flowers, please contact the one person in your life you have yet to forgive.

image

Jul 17

Dancing With My Self(ie)

For as much as Maybelline has brain-washed me into trying to make sure I project a constant “easy, breezy” image into the world, I’ll admit that occasionally I’m not quite so carefree. Though I’m hesitant to say it, I must confess I have never calmly, casually tossed out a selfie to the internet with a quirky laugh and a hair flip.

I HAVE taken selfies that way.  “Aww my hair looks cute” *click* or, “aww this outfit makes me look like a short-lived Law & Order replacement DA” *click* but the posting them online never follows the same airy joy that taking them does.

That’s why my “selfies you see” to “selfies I take” ratio is roughly the same as the ratio of hope Diamonds to girls named Hope. I am a secret selfie taker. Like a newborn baby, I am mesmerized by images of myself. Someday I will publish (self-publish of course) a limited run (1) book of my own personal Cindy Sherman-esque adventures in stylized solipsism. I will then hide this book in a locked box under my bed and wear the key around my neck Scarlet Letter style so it can serve to remind me of my shame.

Last night I posted a selfie. Slow down the stampede to my page, it’s not there.

This morning, I awoke 45 minutes before my alarm in the classic bolting upright, panicked manner of the lead character in the final show of a long run sitcom. I don’t want to overstate my terror but my actual first thought was “dear god what have I done.” I ran to my computer like I had forgotten to put the lid back on the portal to hell, opened twitter and punched that tiny trashcan hard.

image

Now, any selfie posting is a scary ordeal, where my (yes, usually slightly impaired) brain has to run through a barrage of questions before it is allowed to proceed with its intended action. DO YOU LOOK BAD? no. DO YOU LOOK TOO GOOD? no. DO YOU LOOK, NOT JUST WHATEVER IT MEANS TO BE SLUTTY, BUT LIKE A PERSON WHO HAS EVER THOUGHT OF, LET ALONE HAD, SEX? no. WHEN DID YOU POST YOUR LAST SELFIE, HAS THERE BEEN AT MINIMUM 3 WEEKS IN BETWEEN? yes. MINIMUM??? BECAUSE 3 MONTHS IS BETTER. well, I mean, ok, it hasn’t been that long but… NO, PEOPLE WILL THINK YOU’RE OBSESSED WITH YOURSELF, DESPERATE FOR ATTENTION. yeah, but I have a bruise on my arm! It looks cool! It will fade soon! I just, I mean, I just thought it would be kind of cool. NO, NOTHING ABOUT YOU IS COOL, YOU ARE DESPERATE FOR ATTENTION. ok but look, here, I just washed my face, so, no makeup, so I’m definitely not trying to look super pretty, ok? NOT GOOD ENOUGH. ok, ok, look, I bobby-pinned my bangs, look how dorky that looks! hair is sexy, and I’m pushing mine away! see??? NOPE. hey, um, I got you this… it’s a vodka. THANKS.

FINE. UGH. DO IT…I HATE YOU.

Immediately after posting this selfie, I IM’d two close friends. My messages said simply: Delete??!

“Why” was both their response. Now, knowing me and my harem of enticing insecurities, they may have just been waiting to see which glaring problem with the photo I had noticed, or, as they both have insisted, they simply saw nothing wrong with it.  As one friend said “you look good, but not like you’re trying to look good.” In other words, I had hit the ball in what I believe they call in baseball “the motherfucking sweet spot.”

So why did I wake up in the sort of panic reserved for military veterans at the sound of a car-backfiring? There was something wrong with the photo. I could hear the sounds of catty bitches snickering from 100 miles away. In the photo, in order to get my face and the bruise on my arm both in, I am leaning forward slightly. Because I am leaning forward, my modest scoop neck shirt gaps a bit. Because it gaps, you can see the very top outline of my breasts.  This picture acknowledged the existence of my breasts.

Now, this was a shirt I had worn to work (fundraising for a non-profit). It was what would be considered a professional blouse. What’s more, I would have had no problem showing that much cleavage (or maybe slightly more) at a baptism, an elementary school play or to lunch with my grandmother.  And I’m sorry, but you’ll just have to take my word that I’d dress quite modestly to those functions and am not using a bit of sleight of hand to say I just always dress in a very revealing manner. There really was no reason to think this photo was in any way provocative.

The idea, however, that people on the internet were sitting at their computers tsk-tsk’ing how sad it was that I felt the need to sell myself for sex was crushing to me. Sure, you’d get more titilating images from your average Saturday morning cartoons but still, MAURA, we really thought you valued yourself more than that.

image

And I even knew it when I posted it, that was the worst part. I couldn’t claim total ignorance. I took the photo, saw the hint of cleavage and immediately took another. But in the 2nd one my face looked weird. I took a 3rd, flattening my shirt down, the shadows made my arm bruise look odd. I took a 4th and everything was wrong. At this point I thought about getting up to readjust the light behind me and maybe change my shirt and that is when some part of my head, the last sane voice left, bold from booze, screamed WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING, IT’S A QUICK NOTHING PHOTO OF A BRUISE ON YOUR ARM, IT SHOULD NOT BE WORK, FUUUCK!

I want to think I’m a lone crazy person, over-wrought at the idea of how to visually show myself to the internet, but unfortunately, I don’t think I am. I think that in some way, most women go through this, this insane self-doubt and terror at what we are projecting and what that implies about who we are as people.

My fears come from my own internal judgments. I have done it. I’ve seen a girl posting a photo in a tight dress and thought, wow, sad that she needed to do that. I’ve seen a girl posting a photo where she’s making a face and thought, it’s too bad she feels she has to hide. I’ve seen the girls wearing a ton of makeup and thought, I guess they have low self-esteem. I’ve seen the girls posting tons of photos and thought, those girls are self-obsessed.

Or maybe, maybe the girl in the tight dress was proud of how she looked. Maybe the girl making the face wanted to make someone laugh. Maybe the girl with the makeup worked really hard to get that look and loves that as an adult she gets to capture the fun she had at playing dress up at 6. Maybe the girl posting all the photos wants to document her experience for herself. Maybe she doesn’t give a fuck what anyone else thinks. Because she shouldn’t. And neither should I.

I’m not going to judge you anymore for the pictures of yourself that you choose to share with the world. Your face, your body, your being is yours to do with however you want. Just like mine is. Post yourself looking pretty, ugly, sexy, ridiculous, post whatever makes you feel the most you. It’s not up to me to tell you what’s the right image to project. I hope it’s not up to you to make judgments about me. Our bodies exist in the world, they can exist online. I’m sorry I ever judged you. I won’t do it anymore. Judge me if you have to but I’ll hope we can support each other instead.

Here’s the bruise on my arm. Doesn’t it look cool?

image


Jul 2

Jun 26

Three Reasons Ann Coulter Should Actually Be In A Bar Cheering On The World Cup:

image

Ann Coulter thinks she hates soccer, but as it turns out, Ann Coulter is even wrong about Ann Coulter.

1. Other countries devote incredible amounts of their financial resources, endless time, training and development of their best and brightest citizens to try to dominate this sport. This is pretty much all they do: soccer (don’t worry, Ann, I won’t call it football). Meanwhile the United States casually walks into a sport that most of our citizens are barely aware of and wins games like it’s nothing. We’re better than most other countries before we even start trying. That’s patriotic pride, Ann.

2. Ann, did you know that players can only choose citizenship once? This means that a player who might have parents from different countries or has moved around and has allegiance to multiple nations doesn’t get to hop from World Cup team to World Cup team depending on where he thinks he’ll get the best deal (or, you know, most hand-outs) that year.  A player has to choose ONE country to play for and he can never ever leave it and play for any other country in any World Cup. Yep, FIFA has a zero tolerance policy on player immigration. Feels nice, doesn’t it?

3. Know what you love, Ann? Hate. Let’s not pretend otherwise, you get a flush and a sped up a pulse anytime you smell so much as the whiff of someone you can attack within in a 100 mile radius. Well guess what soccer fans love to do? They love to hate. Even better, they love to hate not individuals, but whole groups of people, entire countries in fact. That’s right, this is a sport that just BEGS you to say the most demeaning, belittling, attacky comments you can about Every. Single. Other. Country. In. The. World. I know, it’s ok if you have to sit down, but stop licking your lips, sweetie, it’s not professional.


Jun 6

Lou Bega’s Productive Day

A little bit of Monica in my life


A little bit of Erica by my side

A little bit of Rita is all I need

A little bit of Tina is what I see

A little bit of Sandra in the sun

A little bit of Mary all night long


A little bit of Jessica here I am


A little bit of you makes me your man


Jun 1

Let’s Talk About Books, Baby

 

Interview with author Wayne Gladstone on his book Notes From The Internet Apocalypse, adapted from the Words With Femmes (WWF) twitter discussion and edited for clarity

WWF: Can you tell us what was behind the decision to give the protagonist your own name?

Gladstone: Although, I don’t pretend to be “famous,” I do know what it’s like to have an online persona because of cracked.com.  I wanted to explore how we are different from what we portray online and offering up myself seemed helpful. Of course, NOTES Gladstone is actually NEITHER my persona nor me, so…

WWF: I loved the depiction of the “living” websites in the book. Were there any such depictions that didn’t make the cut?

Gladstone: Pinterest was a such a visual gag that I didn’t want to put it in the book, but I got it in the book trailer.

WWF: How do the characters (Gladstone & company) know where these recreated online groups hang out without the internet?

Gladstone: Well, there are still rumors. They hear from a tat artist about a 4chan meeting at the Bowery poetry club. Union Square is a central location. You’d just SEE Craigslist and tell your friends.  I suppose the Digg and Youtube circles would be harder to find but I have faith in net addicts.

WWF: Do you genuinely consider the internet to be as cold-blooded and useless as it may be seen in this book?

Gladstone: That’s a great question and one Gladstone answers in the next book in this trilogy which shows a different side. At the end of the day, it’s not the net; it’s people. And, therefore, great evil and pure kindness both exist.

WWF: Which books/authors inspired & influenced you?

Gladstone: The book is shockingly like Kafka’s The Trial. A proud man who inexplicably believes himself better than his peers, conducts an investigation on grand issues that is ultimately more concerned with sex and petty displays of empowerment. Notes From The Underground and Bartleby The Scrivener. MST3K…

WWF: We were discussing Bartleby The Scrivener as an influence and the ‘I’d prefer not tos” which are used in Notes and are a direct reference to Bartleby? (One of us found 9)

Gladstone: Even takes place on Wall Street at certain parts. There is a lot preferring not to in Gladstone & the net.

WWF: Are the characters of Tobey, Oz & Jeeves based on real people, conglomerations of real people, or are they completely fictitious?

Gladstone: Tobey is @mtobey in mostly name only. The What Would Tyler Durden Do (WWTTD) site was a big influence on that character. I knew an Australian girl from Facebook who showered for money.  Another Australian friend of mine help me get her dialect down better but I wouldn’t say Oz is her.  Jeeves is no one.

WWF: Just, like, to make clear, not all Australian girls shower for money. Some do it for cleanliness.

Gladstone: If it makes you feel better, I learned later she was a full blown prostitute.

WWF: I loved Jeeves - a psychic librarian totally would be a major VIP if the internet went away.

Gladstone: One critic was annoyed I made him gay but didn’t “do anything” with that. I guess gay characters can’t just be.

WWF: So what is your way of dealing with critics?  Do you read reviews or ignore them?

Gladstone: I read everything. Most reviews have been good. I think the bad reviews  don’t seem to appreciate that I’m NOT glorifying Gladstone. He’s not a self aggrandizing character. He’s deeply flawed and he was a better man before his Net immersion. The book is a rebuke of that culture and we follow him in his quest to be the man he was—a good man.

WWF: This book is the first in a trilogy, when does the next one start & what is the book?

Gladstone: It’s due to my publisher in August. It starts 2 months after this one ends and takes place in L.A.  The title is Agents of the Internet Apocalypse and it will be released in 2015.

WWF: Any hints of what’s to come?

Gladstone: No spoilers but he has a letter to deliver… more sober and sane this time.

WWF: That relationship/marriage with Gladstone and his wife was so human & heartbreaking, I hope those themes will carry on.

Gladstone: Thank you. That’s what the book is for me.

WWF: Why does Gladstone write his journal by hand? Did you write (or start) the book by hand?

Gladstone: GREAT question and I went back and forth. I had it both ways in the book originally. I ultimately decided the journal and the letter should be in the same format and be written by hand because writing one helps remember the other. @flakesflakes helped me realize this.

WWF: Did you ever envision this book as a movie?

Gladstone: The entire time. I wrote it pursuant to the “Save The Cat” beat sheet and CAA is repping it now.

WWF: How quickly do you think our world would unravel in this situation where the internet disappears? Do you think the pre-internet generation would cope better?

Gladstone: I think no one would cope better. Even I would be lost and I’m, like, old and stuff.

WWF: I wonder if children who have grown up knowing nothing else would struggle more. I’d just have no one to show sunsets to.

Gladstone: No way to know but I don’t think they would. But let’s arm wrestle for it.

WWF: I work out, just warning you. I have muscles and stuff. Little lady ones but still… ok you’ll probably beat me.

Gladstone: Definitely. I cheat. (Oh look a BABY ROO!!) SLAM!


(Thanks to Words With Femmes Twitter Conversation participants: @AliciaHawkes,  ‏@LizHackett, @NicCageMatch, @talkingattheTV2, @scoccaro, @goldengateblond, @Paxochka)

BUY THE BOOK HERE


May 27

#YesAllWomen

Because I didn’t know I was being harassed.

Because I didn’t know it wasn’t ok.

Yes All Women.

I join this hashtag because I consider myself lucky, because I have always been surrounded by strong role models, loving family, supportive friends. I have never been raped. I have never been molested. All of my sexual experiences have been clear choices that I have made and all with people who respected me. 

I am lucky.

I am tall, I am strong, I do not physically look like the sort of girl who can be easily overpowered.

Yes All Women

When we were 18, in dance clubs, sober, men grinding on us, they often grabbed our hands, put them on their crotches to feel their erections. “Look what you do to me.” I’d recoil, they didn’t seem to care. But still, that was the preferred comment, because sometimes it was the hand placed on the crotch with “how are you going to take care of this” or “you better finish this problem you started.” I’d pull my hand away, turning around, looking for someone to take refuge in and finding no friendly faces, walk casually but too quickly to the women’s room and hide. 

That’s why there are couches in the women’s room, by the way. Because sometimes that is the only safe place for a woman to be. Let her sit down while she figures out how to time it so she can run out of the club but isn’t stuck standing too long exposed on the street corner waiting for the bus.

Yes All Women.

I didn’t know that was harassment. 

Yes, when the older tennis pro I had just met led me to an unlit field and pushed me down, I knew that was wrong. I knew kicking him was right and I knew I was lucky that the kick hit, lucky that I had the self-esteem to kick, lucky that I had the presence of mind, lucky that my legs were long. I knew I could have told someone about that, that I should have told someone, but all I could really think was, “why did I go on a walk with him, I know better than that, I can’t let anyone know that I was so stupid.”

But when the boys at the club asked me how I was going to “take care of their hard-ons,” I thought that was just the price you paid for wanting to go dancing. And yes, I did want boys to flirt with me. I hoped someone would notice me and tell me I was pretty and I felt that’s what I deserved for that desire. That’s how boys flirted, let me know I was attractive, by telling me I owed them sex because the sight of me aroused them. That seemed normal.

Yes All Women

Because I don’t want any girls to think that is normal. Because I don’t want any girls to think it’s ok that their boss tells them they should “bend over more.” Because no one should feel they have to laugh when a guy grabs their ass and tells them “not to be so uptight.” Because being followed down an alley by someone saying he’d “love to lick that pussy” is not something that should be shrugged off as just what happens when you have a certain bra size.

Because the stories that I remember so casually are things that appall the incredible, kind, intelligent men that I know and love. Because they are shocked and because I am too, at how unquestioningly we, myself and my friends, internalized these things as the simple prices we paid for living in the world as women.

Yes All Women

Because I can talk about these things. Because I can talk about these things for the many women who can not, who dare not.

Because I am lucky.

Yes.
ALL.
Women.


May 21

December, 1963 (Ugh, What A Night) [response song]

Ugh, what a night.
A Christmas party, back in ‘63
What a crazy fucked up time for me
Wish I could forget, what a night
 
Ugh what a night
You know, he kept on asking me my name
And I said, look, kid, it is all the same
What a moron, what a night
 
Oh I picked him out as soon as I walked in the place
As I recall nice arms, an ok face
 
Ugh what a night
He was young enough, I thought he’d do
I was bored and looking for a screw
But he was useless, what a night
 
I felt his hands, awkwardly pawing at me
Rolling my eyes so hard he had to be blind not to see
Ugh what a night
 
Oh I picked him out as soon as I walked in the place
As I recall nice arms, an ok face
 
Ugh what a night
Why’d it take so long to make him go
I said “goodbye” he said “I love you so”
and tried to kiss me, what a night
 
I felt his hands, awkwardly pawing at me
Rolling my eyes so hard he had to be blind not to see

Ugh what a night

image


May 4
Joaquin On Broken Glass

Joaquin On Broken Glass


Page 1 of 15