Tag Archives: Girls

Top 11 Posts of 2014, With Thanks to Spinal Tap

Here we are at the end of the year when those of us in the entertainment industry run out of funny steam and cover it up with top 10 lists. Because I really want to push up the volume, I’m going for the top 11 posts. I was going to list a mix of posts that WordPress stats tell me you liked and add some of my own personal favorites. But as I reread them I realized I had a lot of fun writing most of them, so it’s too hard to pick. Plus, if you don’t like the list, you only have yourselves to blame.

Thank you for hanging out with me this year, and I promise more shenanigans in 2015. Have a happy new year!

11. Black Lives Matter Thanks for reading this one. It was a bit of a departure for me and more serious, but something I needed to write.

10. I would Have Gotten Away with It if It weren’t for that meddling Hamster, Who knew a hamster could be such a rich source of blog material? As a follow-up to this post, yes, he did need surgery, it cost a bundle, I learned that there is actually hamster medical literature, and he is still with us to ring in 2015. More Hamphrey posts to come!

9. Real-Life math Sucks. It still sucks, but I got to let off steam about my divorce and laugh at math, so it’s all good!

8. Let’s Do Things Without Shoes. This was the oldie, but goodie–misheard lyrics. I had a lot of fun reading people’s responses to this one.

7. It’s All About Me, Hannah. Alas, I never did get Lena Dunham to comment on this or respond to my tweet about it. I’ll increase my celebrity social media stalking next season.

6. California Steamin’ I wrote about two East Coast friends who left me for the Left Coast. I saw one at Christmas and I am happy to report he still has his Masshole chops. To the other one, who still hasn’t read this post and is from New York, I say, Boston’s bettah and Yankees suck!

5. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Divorce.  If your divorce isn’t funny, please feel free to laugh at mine.

4. I’m Sexy (if Only in My Head).  Perhaps it’s bad taste to be amused by your own writing, but this one still cracks me up. It made the top 5, so both you and I have excellent taste.

3. Radishes, Carrots, and Kale, Oh My! I love that this post is the third most popular and it was the second one I wrote this year. Foodies and their gastronomic obsessions are all over the blogsphere, but I’m a Cheez Whiz and Parmesan-in-a-can girl, as this post proves. Seems like I can work with that.

2. Thanks a Lot. I was surprised by how much the “kid table” really resonated with people. I also need to add a post script about my brother. For the record, I was describing our holidays from 20 and 30 years ago, because I’m a bratty youngest sister and that’s how I roll. He actually has been attending our holiday get togethers in recent years and seems to enjoy himself (as much as anyone can when they are with their bratty younger sister for more than 24 hours).

1. And what continues to be the Number One, most visited piece on my blog? Yes, It’s still that crazy serious piece I did about women and shaving many years ago. Shaving, Waxing, Electrocution: A Primer on Women’s War on Hair. So much for my humor ego. Go figure. Next year, I’m leaving that thing out of my stats or will try to sell the movie rights to Seth Rogen.

See you next year!

I’m Sexy (If Only in My Head)

You may recall my post featuring Blanche, who keeps me honest and told me to “Get back on the damn horse and ride.” Well, I’m still not ready to do that, not in a even semi-permanent sort of way, but I am thinking it would be nice to just, you know, chat up a decent guy once in a while. However, I’m long on thinking and prepping and short on action, so my first, hesitant step into this fresh hell was to go to Old Navy to look at cute dresses. Oh, I know, believe me, I’m the main reason Blanche drinks so much, and once I induced an eye roll in her that required medical attention.

But you have to understand, I’m not a girlie girl. I don’t wear makeup, I don’t own one of those bag things many women carry around their girlie stuff in, I prefer jeans and plain tee-shirts, and lean toward black chunky shoes because I get to have comfort disguised as cool (perhaps only disguised to me). I own work dresses but only because pants are too hot and I don’t have to wear hose. So, for the record, me skulking around Old Navy for a dress is a BIG DEAL. I admit I kind of got caught up in the girliness of it all, and bought not one, but two dresses. One is a little black number that I have absolutely no use for and no place to wear, but my understanding is that this is the bedrock of girlie shopping. It may play into my scheme to sit in a nice bar to chat up all the decent guys who would most certainly be drawn to the dress like squirrels to an acorn. (Oops, I just made Blanche choke on a beer nut). The second dress is cotton and is a long sundressy kind of thing, and I have so little experience with this, I don’t even know how to describe the style. Here’s a picture.

photo (7)

It’s sort of a crossover, wrap around, which I usually avoid because 1) when it wraps all the way on the bottom, the women I see wearing them are constantly having to hold on to the bottom lest they end up flashing the world and I’m much too lazy to do that, and 2) when I was younger, I didn’t have the boobage to carry something like that off. But this dress was only wrapped at the top and since having a kid, I’m almost average size, so I thought what the heck? It looked pretty darn cute, if I may say so myself, and so I bought both and had exactly three minutes of giddiness until I remembered, oh yeah, girlie is a harsh mistress: you can’t just buy a dress. The dress needs other stuff like a necklace and shoes, perhaps even a scarf and other things I don’t even know about. I mentally scanned my belongings and thought I could scrape up everything but the damn shoes. My choices were Merrell sandals and girlie sandals the wrong color from a dress and event long ago. Crap. Despite these reminders of why I’m not a girlie girl, I attacked the shoe store like a Navy SEAL. Sweating and gasping, I got a pair of black sandals, even though there is no black in the crossover dress. (Blanche is sighing and ordering another shot.)

With the summer dress burning a hole in my closet, I decided to kill three birds with one stone: celebrate city life and the end of summer, debut the dress, and practice being cute in public. I put on my costume, complete with the new sandals, a black chunky necklace and earrings I’d bought once for a fancy work dinner, a bracelet-watch, and rings. I gathered a small group of friends to meet me at an outdoor hotel bar in the afternoon, so we could enjoy the weather, sip cocktails, and look like those people in the outdoor furniture section of a Crate and Barrel catalogue. I was well into enjoying being a person who had no piles of laundry at home or a teenager to corral, chatting and laughing, when one of my friends pointed at me and asked,

“Um, what’s going on there?”

I looked down to discover with horrifying certainty that my boobs were only big enough to hold the dress up while I was standing. Sitting on the Crate and Barrel couch, not so much. Despite being manhandled by my strapless bra, one boob was half popping out of the now slackened wrap around/crossover, which clearly is not the right name for this style because that dress was doing neither of those things.

We all laughed while I scooped up my dignity and my boob and then I spent the rest of the time checking and plucking the dress from the back and sitting on it so it wouldn’t gap. But that’s what dry runs and fun friends are for, right? Just as I was starting to feel cute again, in spite of having to sit ramrod straight to keep my dress in place, I glanced down and spied a small chain poking out of the side of my dress near my boob. Like a tawdry stripper/magician act in Vegas, I tugged on the chain and slowly pulled out my necklace from the side of my dress. Bless any of you who are blaming a broken clasp—I promise not to take my lukewarm mess to any public venues near you. No, I hadn’t actually caught the clasp in a link, just around the chain, so it slid up to the last larger link. There it sat precariously until my boob shenanigans had undone the thing. Ooooh, yeah, I’m a real catch.

We all had another round of belly laughs as I struggled to re-latch the necklace and keep my boobs covered. As I headed home, I had flashbacks of similar results in my attempts to be cool/cute/sexy in my 20s. It wasn’t pretty.

  • Trying to kiss a guy on a first date and practically knocking his teeth out with my inexperienced eagerness.
  • The time, after a bad break up, I went to the dance club determined to go home with someone, and even the last dance desperadoes fled from my female version of the “What is love?” SNL guys.
  • The time a guy was putting the (not unwelcome) moves on me and I kept asking, “What are you doing?”

I should be asking myself the same thing. Well, to quote Blanche, I’m “getting back on the damn horse.”

“I’ll drink to that,” says Blanche as she takes a fortifying drag off her Marlboro. “But better make it a double.”

It’s All About Me, Hannah

So the season is over for the HBO series “Girls.” If you watch it and haven’t seen it, then come back after you do. I love this show and I love Lena Dunham, but it’s only funny:

  1. If you are very comfortable with how awkward you were in your 20s.
  2. If you enjoy things that make you laugh and feel very uncomfortable at the same time.
  3. If you are kind of clueless on both counts and you think it’s funny because it has nothing to do with you.

Think “Curb Your Enthusiasm” for women. That I even watch it is a small miracle. I only have time to watch a few shows and tend to live under a nerd rock when it comes to what’s new in pop culture—when people talk about Kim Kardashian, I hear it as Kim Cardassian and I think Rick Berman is doing a new show (Star Trek folks help me out here). On the other hand, I can tell you about the 25+ year Zelda franchise and that Nintendo made a huge misstep by not producing enough games for its latest system, the WiiU. Don’t laugh—you live with a 15-year-old hard core gamer and see what you can talk about at parties.

So I give a big shout out to my friend Colleen who turned me on to the show. I liked it from the start, and one night as were drinking wine and eating her secret-recipe wings, she told me the Lena Dunham character, Hannah, reminded her of me. I laughed so hard I almost peed in my pants. Why? Because she was right. And I don’t mean that I’m like the talented and wise-beyond-her-20-plus-years Dunham. In no way did I have the perspective to frame my 20s while I was living them. I barely have it now. No, I’m talking about the writing struggles, the bad fashion choices (oh, god, soooo bad), the blurting out of awkward truths, the drifting away of college friends. The show is uncanny in how true it is and funny as hell.

This season hit close to the bone with the story line about Hannah and other talented writers taking jobs in the advertorial section of GQ only to realize it cannibalizes their personal writing. I am not a natural at the two most common jobs for serious writers—teaching and freelancing—so I’ve had traditional full-time jobs my entire career, and I always struggle to find the time and energy to write. I’ve often wondered would my writing career be farther along if I had taken a different path—Hannah’s path?  That path would have been the other story line that put an arrow through my heart: Hannah getting into the Iowa Workshop, aka writing Mecca. I, like every serious writer, considered applying. But I couldn’t see my way clear to leaving Boston, a city I love, or how to finance it and find my way back. I went instead to Emerson College in Boston for my MA (an MFA cost more and seemed too impractical). There I discovered my writing niche: personal essay.  Still, that accomplishment didn’t prevent me from holding a grudge against a former boss’s daughter who was my age and went to Iowa to advance her literary career, while I was stuck writing full-time for her mother. It was my first job, and I’m still a little scarred from getting handed writing assignments on torn paper stained with coffee rings and wrinkled cocktail napkins. But I’m not bitter. Well, not very.

Can you see how this show is messing with me? I was curious about how much of my 20-year old angst was apparent, so I asked Colleen what exactly about Hannah made her think of me—I’ve known her since high school, and we lived through our 20s together. I’ll admit asking her the question was very Hannah-like.

“I think the first thing was her pasty white skin!” answered  Colleen. Check. “Every part of her physical appearance reminds me of you – her hair, the shape of her body, her face.” Check. “She puts it all out there and not ashamed to do so – take it or leave it.” Half a check. Sometimes I did this, but not as much as Hannah or as much as I wanted to at the time. “She is not a typical beauty, but she’s gorgeous.” Well, thank you! “She’s hilarious, she’s a struggling writer, she’s creative.  I can picture having a conversation with her where she is analytical like you.” Yeah. That about sums it up.

Watching “Girls” for me is like Lena Dunham filmed my 20s and sold it to HBO. And they used Industrial Light & Magic to add in all the sex scenes, because I was boyfriendless during much of that time and was too earnest and Catholic-guilty for random sex.

So Lena, if you want to know what Hannah will look like in her late 40s, check me out on Twitter. I’d also like to tell you to get the hell out of my head and my life, but you’re too damn funny. Plus, how else can I find out how my life would have turned out?

Photo credit: http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/03/hannahs-rock-bottom-tee-on-girls-season-finale.html