You know what’s better than having a boyfriend?

Having your best friend come back into your life…ten years after high school, that’s what.

I’m a firm believer in destiny and you know you have a true friend when you can just pick up where you left off in the late 90’s.

swilling Diet Coke, popping pills, shoplifting, and bumping gangster rap…I totally forgot that life can be really fun, melodramatic, and entertaining.

The only way to describe this friendship is to imagine Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion as directed by David Lynch. Expect more posts soon.



As I was assembling my Halloween costume, I realized that it (the costume, not I) needed the perfect awkward karaoke accompaniment. Of course, it’s awfully pretentious and presumptuous to plan a karaoke jam, but I feel that if you believe everything is truly spontaneous, you’re in the goof troop, son. Sometimes, you just have to point your brain in one awful direction and let the chemicals do the rest.

What’s an awkward karaoke song? For one, it is not ironic. Irony is for idiots who think the entire world is complicit in their stupid joke. I don’t think there’s a chance in hell I’d ever say “Take This Job and Shove It” or “Fuck the Police” and not mean it. Second, an awkward jam has to contain a ridiculous stanza or an unnecessary breakdown/build up or an outpouring of lyrics so drenched in douche water, you can’t help but actually get behind them.

Finally, the last two determining criteria have to do with you. Have you ever worked retail? If so, you’ll know every word to these songs and you’ll experience a certain Proust-like association with them. For example, every time I hear “Come On Over” by Christina Aguilera, I recall that magical Christmas I worked in the appliance department for two weeks before they figured out I failed the drug test. I can smell the burning Mrs. Fields now! Also, these songs have equally creepy, if not profoundly cringe-inducing, videos. For your benefit, I have attached and annotated five of them.

Scarlet: “Independent Love Song”:

The best part of the 90s was Clothestime and Supercuts’ contribution to feminism: big billowy outfits with ambiguous hair-dos. Think Emily Valentine and the entire cast of The Heights and then add some lame stuff about sexual autonomy and the: Creepiest. Lyrics. Ever.

“I’ll show you how to take me
Go down go down
And I’ll show you how to turn me
Right on right on
And I’ll show you how to touch me
Right on right on right on
Right on right on right on”

Ick. I had a VHS tape of “Blade Runner” that I’d watch incessantly and the preview for “Bed of Roses” featuring this song preceded it. After a while, “Independent Love Song” made me so uncomfortable, I had to fast forward right through Bridget Fonda (?) and Christian Slater’s love montage. Right on.

Shakespeare’s Sister: “Stay”

If you understand what’s going on in this video, more power to you. I guess one of the girls is the life support angel and the other one is like some sort of death Satan. Whatever it is, it’s perfect for a karaoke duet if you and your companion are a duo like ketchup and mustard or Dog and Beth Chapman. I saw this video during a vacation where everything went wrong and subsequently, I attributed the collapse of my family to Shakespeare’s Sister. Then, like all preteen girls do, I imbued way too much in the lyric, “you better hope and pray that you wake one day back in your own world!” DORKY.

Breathe: “Hands to Heaven”

If you’re dressed as some sort of creature of myth, this is the song for you. “Hands to Heaven” contains a line that sounds like “tonight you carve my bresteses” but it’s actually, “calm my restlessness.” What a let-down. This song reminds me of putting stuff on layaway at K-Mart. Jews can be poor, too. The link says “embedding disabled by request” as if there’s some huge run on this song. However, I suggest you make your way over there to watch it. These guys look like New Order but sound like a duo from junior high school talent show in the Philippines.:

Swing Out Sister: “Breakout”

A few winters ago, I saw a man in a leather bar (I was in there for research, no really) annihilating “Breakout” while his friends circled him in what can only be described as an erotic limbo conga line frenzy. This is a real “retail” song, too. I guess the message is something like, “don’t be afraid to be yourself when things are down.” You’ve got to find a way. Say what you want to say….breakout! It’s annoying, awkward, and unavailable for embedding on this page, but you should see it anyway because that band is adorable and if your costume consists of nothing but bolts of cloth and dreams, “Breakout” is the song for you:

Savage Garden: “I knew I Loved You (Before I Met You)”

I had this whole paragraph planned about how fate may or may not be bullshit but things are nowhere what I thought they’d be when I was a kid. I thought, quite honestly, that sex would be filled with sax solos and Ellen Barkin. However, before I could flesh out that notion, I read this comment under the video: “i knew i loved my fiance before we met,we were texting first,this is going to be our first dance when we get married in aug”

Dude, you win. Find the video yourself.



An open letter to the fat police at MSNBC

To whom it may concern:

The world is a very complex, involved place. While you do not feel the need to report on the endless conflict in Sri Lanka, the fact that Joe Wilson (R-Douchebag) inadvertently raised $800k for his opponent, and the “public health care option” is a mindless concession to bureaucrats who already have terrific insurance, you insist on publishing a daily piece chastising fat women. Today’s special, “Once Bullied, Token Fat Girl Sheds 110 lbs”, really spoke to me, MSNBC.
Did it inspire me to put down the donut and cigarette and join a walk-a-thon? Did it force me to look in the mirror and shame myself? Nope, if anything, it prompted me to seek an actual news source for you know, actual news. I went to The Guardian site instead. Reading your article, however, I must commend you for tabloid scare headlines and adding to the enormous sense of failure that causes women to eat out of frustration.
As a dedicated fat chick, I’ve pretty much gotten over that shit. I realized long ago that the world sort of has a blank check to say whatever it wants to me, so I decided to talk back. Let’s dissect a portion of your article for a moment:

“At 252 pounds, the size-22 mom struggled with basic everyday activities and chores. She recalls feeling “defeated” when trying to fit into theater or restaurant seats, and “humiliated” when shopping for new clothes. But as frustrated as she was, she couldn’t find the motivation control her eating habits. Rachael’s daily intake consisted of sausages, pancakes and biscuits for breakfast; pizza and sandwiches for lunch, and dressing-soaked salads and fatty starches for dinner. Rachael thought she was eating healthy by having salads, tuna and chicken, but she didn’t know to refrain from drenching her meals in dressings and oily sauces. Insecure and unhappy, she worried about how her weight and her mood might affect her small children. ”

Aside from her uncontrollable urge to drench her children in oily sauces, Rachael couldn’t muster the courage to buy a shirt or watch a movie without falling to pieces. She didn’t even know she wasn’t eating healthfully! What a fat idiot! She couldn’t complete everyday activities and chores! Three-year-olds can do that. According to Jamie Lee Curtis, I cannot poop properly. According to Brooke Shields, my eyelashes aren’t dark enough and now, according to you, I should have trouble completing basic tasks because I’m so insecure and unhappy.
Since you’re a news source, here’s a newsflash: the people you choose to profile have deep-seeded emotional issues that run parallel to their obesity.
Here’s some advice to the unhappily fat: do drugs. I’m not kidding. Just do them. Show your kids what it’s like to be in real danger. Don’t stand behind your thin friend at the bar and look uncomfortable. Snatch the mic away from the shithead on karaoke and scream, “Hey man, that suit is YOU! You’ll get some leg tonight FOR SURE! Tell us HOW YOU DO!” and mean it.
If you feel sad when you try on clothes, shop somewhere else. Wear shit that doesn’t fit. If a dress is too small, wear it as a shirt. FTW. Eleanor Roosevelt had it right: no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. That’s sage advice coming from an awesome tubby lesbian who married her cousin.
In closing MSNBC, try reporting some actual news. It’s good for the soul. And stop telling people to join faith-based weight-loss programs, it’s weird. I choose one faith, gentlemen, and that’s the teachings of early 90’s Prince. The purple one commands me to look in the mirror, look beyond the mirror and say, “I like ‘em fat. I like ‘em proud. You gotta have a mother for me so move that big ass ‘round this way so I can work on that zipper, baby.” Tonight, MSNBC, you’re a star…and I’m the big dipper.
Stay fat,

A sort of serious note for my girl, Michelle

If you ever need a way to lay things out for people, here it goes:

2% of rape accusations are false. 2% of almost all reported crimes are false and that statistic includes status and index crimes.

Celebrities are far more likely than the average Joe to be falsely accused of rape. Why? They have deeper pockets and tend to settle out of court in order to avoid a trial.

This is what I consider rape:

Full-blown sexual assault of the slasher flick variety or “The Accused”? Yep, that’s rape.
Having sex with someone too intoxicated to know their own name or phone number? That’s rape.
Having sex with your partner while they sleep? That’s rape.
Simply expecting sex because you paid for dinner? That’s quid pro quo rape.
Talking your way into someone’s (who happens to be your employee or student) pants is rape-o-la.
No means no, but remaining silent doesn’t mean “yes”, either.

Rape is the most under-reported crime worldwide. Don’t believe me, here you go:

Notes from the flea market

David Horowitz is a right-wing schmuck who blathers on about a vast Arab conspiracy to either convert everyone to Islam or blow up Yankee Stadium, I can’t decide. He makes Jews (like yours truly) seem like a bunch of lunatics. For the record, I believe that the only people who should occupy the West Bank are Palestinians and Druids. However, in the 80’s there was another David Horowitz on our local Los Angeles NBC affiliate. He had what I can only describe as THE BEST SHOW EVER called, “Fight Back.” FB, as I affectionately call it, boasted a truly triumphant, like soaring on the wings of eagles, theme song with the chorus: “Fight back! Show ‘em that they juuussst can’t win!” Each week, Horowitz exposed local scams long before the gotcha journalism of Dateline’s Chris Hansen. The most interesting part was that Horowitz examined local business and acted as an advocate for two wildly exploited groups: immigrants and the elderly. Ever sit in a “Jiffy Lube” sort of establishment only to be confronted by an angry man in coveralls holding up an air filter that you simply MUST replace since you’re clearly an automotive deadbeat? Guess what? That’s not even your air filter! David Horowitz taught me that!

There are too many fashion blogs. I don’t know how to dress, so I can’t do one of those. There are too many blogs about feelings. I don’t have many of those. Some teacher in a state college (or was it Michael Douglas in “Wonder Boys”?) once said, “write about what you know.” I know about cons and scams because I am vigilant…and I am also a con artist. Therefore, that’s where I am taking this blog. We are on a non-stop journey to honestyville: a place where girls (and a few sensitive guys) will learn to avoid cons, scams, and hustles through my casual pedanticism and bad puns.

Avoiding Flea Market Scams:

I went to our local flea market yesterday and while I was surprised to find a few funny conversation pieces (a Diff’rent Strokes coloring book with the most inadvertently homoerotic illustrations on earth and some new deadstock Schlitz Malt Liquor stickers which look amazingly aimed at children), I was put off by the scores of ridiculous hustlers masquerading as legitimate dealers. Here are ten rules to avoid being gouged by an ex-con with a trunk full of junk.

1. DO NOT FEEL BAD FOR THE VENDOR UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE. Oh, their spouse is sick so they’re getting rid of as much as possible to pay for hospital bills? Bullshit. Times are tough? Don’t give a damn. Pick up a night shift at McDonalds. In fact, if someone starts trying to reel you in with a sob story, walk away.
2. VENDORS DO NOT KNOW THERE IS SOMETHING CALLED “THE INTERNET” NOW. They don’t know that if you’re a collector, you spend hours a week pricing things for your collections. If they do use the internet, here’s what they do: they go onto eBay, find a mint or near-mint copy of their item for sale and then price it at the maximum bid. Problem? It’s the fucking flea market. Whatever they’re selling is usually jammed in a box full of crap and sitting out in the sun.
3. FAKE ANTIQUES are just that: FAKE ANTIQUES. Yes, certain types of glassware are old, but mostly, they’re worthless pieces of mass-produced junk. When someone is trying to sell you “depression glass”, it is, most likely, carnival glass which is just glass with cheap acetate or enamel sprayed on it. If you pay more than ten dollars per item, you are a sucker. Toys that look like they’re from the 40’s or 50’s from Hong Kong or Japan are BRAND NEW or at most, ten years old. They’re fun, they’re junk, and they’re worth almost nothing.
4. ANOTHER NOTE ABOUT ANTIQUES: If they’re so valuable, what the hell are they doing baking out in the hot sun?
5. THE VENDOR HAS NO PERSONAL ATTACHMENT TO THE ITEM REGARDLESS OF WHAT THEY SAY. Unless he or she is selling hand-crafted jewelry or plants, would you like to know where their goods originate? Let’s begin with this: you are not buying someone’s boyhood toy that their grandmother gave him right before she died of the plague. That Charlie’s Angels lunch box for which the vendor wants eighty bucks? He didn’t scour eBay for it so he could make a six-dollar profit. Nearly all of the junk at flea markets comes from bulk auction lots and estate sale remainders. Logically, that’s the only way to make a profit. If you buy huge lots of garbage, you can sort through to find saleable items. When someone dies without a will and no living heirs, their estate goes intestate. That means the state gets all of their crap and eventually auctions it off to cover legal costs. Two lessons here: don’t pay full price and write a damn will.
6. IF AN ITEM IS TAGGED, YOU ARE DEALING WITH AN OKAY VENDOR. The tags prevent you from the awkward, “How much is this coon skin cap?” or “How much is this July 1987 Penthouse?” questions. But those tags are also a starting price. Spaces full of untagged items are where the real swindlin’ happens. The vendor will look at you, size you up, and then come up with an arbitrary price.
7. DO NOT BE TOO SHY TO BARGAIN. It took me years to learn how to do this because it seems rude, but it’s the nature of the business. Start with an extremely lowball offer. If something is $40, your starting bid should be about $10. The vendor, if he/she is cool, will take the bait. The economy does suck; the ball is in your court. Keep haggling in increments of two or three dollars until you reach a reasonable price.
8. DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THE WAY THE VENDOR LOOKS. A lot of these dipshits look like ex-cons….because they are. If they’re rude to you, do what I do: shoplift when they turn the other way. What are they gonna do? Call a cop? Fuck them and fuck the police, too.
9. IF A VENDOR FLIRTS WITH YOU, walk away. It’s a con. Also, you’re better than that, right?
10. FINALLY, BE CAREFUL WHEN BUYING VINYL. If the crates aren’t shielded from the sun, you’re going to wind up with a warped piece of crap you could’ve found at Goodwill for a buck. If the crates are shielded and the vinyl is encased in slipcovers, you’re dealing with a legit yet overpriced vendor. They will charge you the Goldmine price for the album. Before you go, check the Goldmine price/condition list at GEMM and know what you want. Ask to look at the LP, too.

So ladies, fight back. Show ‘em that they just can’t win.

Esther a.k.a. “Wheeler, dealer, and nutsack stealer”

A super special guide for girls!!!!! Barf.

My boss informed me that his daughter will be working here over the summer and, in addition to my billion other bullshit pink collar jobs, I have to train her. To be specific, he wants me to show her the value of “an earned dollar.” Since she’s 15 and she’ll probably wind up making more than I do this summer, I’m going to inundate her with tedium. However, since I’m a learned sage, I will also impart the wisdom that comes from years of doing grunt work for the world’s biggest dicksucks.

Dear Spoiled Newbie,

It is my duty to inform you that life is unfair. Completely disregard the temporary and quite false sense of popularity you have from social networking sites and a high school that encourages you to be the bright unique little snowflake you are, in fact, not. That’s right, you’re about to enter a dimension beyond the realm of sight and sound where your feelings don’t matter and a well-trained ape could probably do your job.

You will soon enter the world of womanhood where your hormones knock you around from day to day while your addictive personality takes the swipes your hormones somehow miss. Since you’re an unmarried, childless woman, the office has a blank check to treat you however it pleases. That’s right! You don’t get to take days off when your “baby might have a cold” or “your husband has a bad back” and you will not be invited to any of the office functions because you are clearly a whore. Back to this “blank check” issue, you are young. I am pretty young. Therefore, really incompetent people (mostly men) will try to blame you for anything and everything that goes south.

Gaslight is an excellent movie starring Ingrid Bergman as a woman whose husband, Charles Boyer, convinces her that she is going insane so he can spend her money while she’s locked up in the loony bin. He made knocking sounds around the house and hid her purse from her, you know, bullshit like that, and she really fell for it because hey, we women are pretty trusting. Anyway, “to gaslight” is also a verb.

People who are completely failing at their jobs will try to gaslight you so you will believe that their shortcomings are actually your fault. They will say things like “I spoke to Jim at Company X and YOU TOLD HIM that you would cut him a check.” Now, you never told Jim at Company X any such thing, but you see, Jim is a salesperson. Salespeople lie because they’re under a lot of stress. You know what? Fuck them. They should have gotten a degree in biophysics instead of a junior college business certificate and an inspirational calendar. Also, they are literally two steps above hustling cell phone plans at the mall.

While we’re at it, let’s talk about some other scams you’ll encounter on the job. If you’re on the phone all day, you’ll face a barrage of crazy phone calls that sound more important than they actually are. These calls are divided into three: collection calls, accounts receivable calls, and sales calls.

When I first got out of college, I worked in corporate collections which is politely called “accounts receivable.” I didn’t really care how much money Kinkos actually collected, so I spent most of my day looking through confidential documents and stealing stamps. I did, though, learn all of the collection agent tricks of the trade. Here they are:

The fake law firm: you’ll notice that a lot of people are calling “on behalf of the firm of Dipshit and Douglas.” See, actual lawyers don’t actually place those calls. The minute you get one of those calls, put them on hold, and Google the name of the firm. 99.9% of the time, it’s a “debt recovery agency.” Their employees say really funny things like, “I am an account manager and I was asked to review some accounts for litigation on behalf of Dipshit and Douglas.” This approach is about a hair away from being illegal. You can’t say you’re an attorney when you’re not. Account manager always means collections agent. Oh, and the “reviewing for litigation” part is complete bullshit. Nearly all debts for which corporations retain collection agencies are under five thousand bucks. At best, they can recoup about eighty percent. That puts the balance in small claims territory. Your response can be a few different things: fuck off, here’s the number to our in-house council (they won’t call, don’t worry), or I’ll be happy to see you in court.

Collections agents are rude and self-important because they have a profession that makes a teenage hooker look like Mother Theresa. They know they can’t win so they’ll start screaming at you and usually, they don’t know enough about finance to realize that most of those weird debts cannot be applied to invoices via collections companies. And those companies don’t realize that the law is on our side. They can only call once a day and if they start talking shit, you can say whatever you please to them.

The next approach: white guilt. I know that this is going to come off as racist or racial or xenophobic or any combination of the three. Caveat: racially, I’m pretty cool. This is just something you will encounter as it is a funny 21st century spin on the door-to-door magazine scam. Collections and telemarketing agencies love hiring people who “sound scary to white people.” The assumption is that little white girls like you are at the other end of the phone and you’ll be so intimidated, you’ll agree to things over which you have absolutely no authority just to get the other person off the line. It’s the 21st century, get over it. They’ll call back and say, “That was rude of you. You’re playing games and we’re going to (insert phony legal term here) within the next week if you don’t remit (insert amount here) by (insert arbitrary deadline here).” Here’s a good response, “I have a game for you. It’s called ‘I don’t care.’ It’s not my money and it’s not yours, either. Have a great day! Threaten me again and I’ll get you fired.”

Write down the name of the agency. Write down the name of the “account manager.” Call or fax the agency and file a complaint.

The final trick is a telemarketing scam. People will call and say something like, “Hi, I’m from (insert the name of a phony business directory) and I just wanted to update your information…are you at…?” HANG UP. Here’s how those calls turn out: you give them your address and current phone and then they rush through a fast-paced and illegal sales agreement that sounds like this: “We will be sending you one of our (whatever unnecessary shit they’re pitching) to the address you provided and if you don’t like it, simply return it in the next week…blah blah..” The catch: you’re usually too busy to listen to them so you say, “Okay okay, gotta go.” The trap: they’ve got you on tape agreeing to this bullshit. Whatever you get will come with an insane bill and then a notice that you will be receiving said shitty product once a month. Oh, and it will arrive way after the cancellation cut off date. So…HANG UP.

Legit business directories don’t need to call you to confirm information. They have your information. It’s public record. Actual attorneys don’t call, either. They put everything in writing.

In closing, you’re a woman which means that you’ll be asked to make coffee and clean the bathrooms even though those tasks have nothing to do with your job. That’s life. Channel your frustration in other ways. Write a blog. Do your nails. Listen to a lot of Iron Maiden. Spit all over the toilet in the bathroom for gentlemen. Start a side business. Realize that you are still blessed with the gift of imagination.

While you’re at it, sweep around my desk. I have allergies.


Oh holy shit…a request already

Inspired by Fatshionista, I’d like to display some of my ragtag ensembles. However, I do not have a suitable camera. Any recommendations? Any ideas for backdrops? How about themes?

Stunning new mission statement (or whatever)

For years I thought that the “size acceptance” community was a bunch of self-defeatist bullshit. It was a place for women to resign themselves to being overweight while a bunch of lecherous chubby chasers manipulated them into becoming sad doormats. Then I had a great revelation this weekend, possibly ignited by chemicals, but hey, that’s okay.

I’m coming clean: I am fat. I am not chubby or big-boned. I am not fat in the way your bulimic little sister thinks she’s fat. I am fat in the way that causes people to make up their mind about me before I say a damn thing. And you know what? I don’t give a fuck.

I am funny and generous. I am conventionally pretty and educated. And damn it, I’m the most entertaining party guest you’ll ever have. Therefore, I will no longer attribute my problems to some patriarchal aesthetic guidelines. Besides, do you really want the approval of a bunch of bigots?

Let’s smash the state and DO THIS.


The phases of irony

In your life, you will go through two phases of irony. When they end, you’ll be very, very grateful because you will see how much of a jackass you were. Frankly, I have no idea what compelled me to write this, but in case a bunch of teenagers finds this, I want them to be prepared.

1st Wave Irony (Ghost World phase)-You’re 15 or 16. You will “like” the following: television from the late 70s, eating at coffee shops that the department of health should close, Howl, funny t-shirts that say “I got a nooner at Adolph’s!”

You will not, however, come to terms with the fact that you probably don’t like these things until wave two.

2nd Wave Irony (Reality Bites phase.)-You’re 22 and you just finished college. You replaced the loneliness of being a teenager with the emptiness of a legitimate drug/alcohol problem and a string of casual relationships. You will “like” the following: soft rock, Lolita, drinking at dive bars where the real patrons secretly want you the fuck outta dodge, talking about “real punk” as if you were there.

You will come to terms with the fact that you do like all of these things. Then the elaborate construct that is your life completely unravels when you’re 27 and you wake up early to watch Gunsmoke.

It’s all just a miserable lie.

Uh oh…Rated Arrrr Content

Standing on the street corner, waiting for my luck to change

When we were twelve, a friend and I had to house-sit while my grandmother was in the hospital. Two hours on duty, we discovered the giant bottles of peppermint schnapps hidden in the back of the pantry. At that age, I was maybe 80 pounds soaking wet. Bombed and brazen, we had an absolutely ridiculous idea. We called the local top 40 station and requested Sophie B. Hawkins’ “Damn, I Wish I was Your Lover” (which is still one of my favorite dirty girl songs and what some magazine critic rightfully called “the filthiest song Prince never wrote.”)

Like taking someone out to the skating rink, calling the radio station was a big deal back then. You could give a “shout out” to your girls or dedicate a song to (omg!) Mark, the finest guy in algebra. The trick was to sound as old and blase as possible. “Like, I wanna give a shout out to my homegirls: Judy, Lil Reyna and Danielle.” “Any special guys out there?” “Um yeah…this one is for Mark…hee hee hee.”

Okay, now that I’m officially old, the prospect of dedicating a song to anyone on the radio wouldn’t even occur to me.

So we sat on the line with this DJ and he noticed, between our hiccups and stifled laughter, that we were preteens and clearly drunk so he quipped, “That’s an awfully sexy song for girls so young! What makes you want that?”

We were at a loss for anything resembling English, so we kept giggling.

“Okay,” he fired back and queued the song. “Stay on the line.”

At this point, we were laughing so hard, practically gluing our hands to the receivers. Did we win something? Were we caller 12?

The DJ returned, “Hello, ladies. Sounds like we’ve got some party girls at home tonight. Ever suck a dick?”

We screamed! And we kept screaming and laughing while this crazy radio shitstain tried to have phone sex with two girls who, a few years prior, were EIGHT.

Finally, we hung up and polished off the rest of the schnapps and spent the rest of the night talking about the guys in our class we’d “do” and how Mrs. Nelson was such “a tight ass.”

I knew that night that a party career was born.

Sadly, the last time I saw that friend (seven years ago?), she had evidently become a meth-addled hooker. I became…shit, man, I still don’t know.

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