It has been said that art represents humanity’s collective attempt to reconcile its own existence against an otherwise cold and uncaring universe. To strip away artifice, to obliterate pretense — to provide a context through which we may hope to define, at its core, exactly what it means to be a person. Which explains why art is so often heartbreakingly, unyieldingly, sad. Because, loath as we may be to admit it (and despite all of our attempts to the contrary), ours is a conclusively lonely existence — one fraught with sorrow, doubt, and, ultimately, disillusionment. That’s the torment heard in Juliet’s deathbed soliloquy, the longing behind the chords of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” the anguished panic pulsating through Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.” And that’s the reason why, every Spring, I make sure to stock up on extra-soft, triple-ply, Kleenex-brand tissues in anticipation of the season’s most gut-wrenchingly devastating artistic offering: the premier episode of the ABC network’s hit reality television series “The Bachelorette.”
I will cancel my membership to L.A. Fitness next week. I’ll be moving at the end of the month, and I’ve calculated that I would burn more gas on my way to the gym three days a week than I would calories once I got there.
I’m sure the staff will try to talk me into staying. The curly-haired dynamo at the reception desk will remind me of the Monday morning spin class I never attended, the world-renowned personal trainers I never enlisted, or the squash courts I never entered. Or the whirlpools to soothe my aching muscles after spin class, training sessions and squash games.
But my mind is made up. I will cancel my membership. Continue reading
Dear Fashion Industry,
It’s time we opened discourse on a rather seedy subject in your world: prop clothing. Like the prop food adorning model furniture, prop clothing creates an illusion of actual clothing. The prop jacket may look as though it is completing your ensemble, but, unlike real outerwear, it offers no warmth.
Prop clothing comes in many forms- the super cute studded pleather “jacket” that’s “perfect for fall” but cannot keep one warm within the acceptable temperature range of fall in your region is a failure as clothing. It is a collection of cloth merely pretending to be a jacket and it may look like a jacket to all appraising eyes hence pulling off a “look”- but that is all and thus it is a prop.
#2 Scorn the work of other writers, preferably anonymously on the Internet. It makes you feel strong and powerful.
#3 Do not waste time ‘improving self-esteem’. You are a bad person. This is the only thing that makes you interesting.
#4 Do not read. It will make your work less original. Watch television if you need ideas.
#5 If anyone asks what kind of books you write say, ‘High literary fiction’. If they ask what this means, smirk and walk away.
#6 Do not strive for wisdom or insight. Concentrate on ‘cool’. If you need a definition of this, you’re missing the point.
#7 Never re-read one of your own sentences. You are a genius.
#8 Do not exercise or take care of your health. You have no pension or income and would do well to die as young as possible.
#9 Develop overconfidence and mediocrity in equal measure. It’s the only way to make people like you.
#10 Spend most of your time on the Internet. Everything else is distraction.
At the British Museum in London, many of the world’s greatest treasures are on display. As I studied the Rosetta Stone, one of our modern-day wonders, there was only one thing on my mind: What does that feel like?
Fortunately, the British Museum anticipated that desire. They recently started hosting Objects Handling Sessions, where visitors can touch historic artefacts daily under supervision of a trained volunteer. They’ve also added an interactive Touching Tour, which allows blind visitors to handle plaster replicas of some of the artwork, to better visualize it. These features can help bring history to life in your fingertips.
However, I noticed no one seemed shy about touching the real deal. “Please STOP TOUCHING the art & artifacts!” reads one 5-star review from an unamused guest.
Indeed, the guards seemed blind to it. Pictured below, a woman rests on an ancient statue marked PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH.
Encouraged, I partook myself. Here is a guide to my favorite sites at the British Museum by taste and texture.
The Sphinx tasted enigmatic. Truly, there is nothing in the world like the feel of a genuine Egyptian sphinx beneath your tongue. Each lick imbued me with years of wisdom.
On the downside, I probably have a curse now.
The coin room in the British Museum has a handful of coins out at all times to be handled. Naturally I popped a few in my pocket when no one was looking.
I felt supremely powerful holding the coins of generations past. However, I discovered that the thousand-year-old drachmas, though purportedly valuable, could not buy me a snack from the museum’s cafeteria. Whoops. Now I know what people in Greece feel like.
Comfy, but short.
“I know what you did to the Sphinx,” a voice whispered in my ear as I stroked the Mummy’s hand. Whoa. I’ve really got to get out of here.
“I’ve decided to enter the cutthroat and unforgiving arena of political life,” Frederick announced.
Mother looked up from her book. “Whatever for, Freddie?”
“I’m a natural born leader and others should benefit from my vast life experience.”
“And how do you plan to enter this world?” Frederick’s younger sister Constance smiled wryly.
Frederick sat on the settee and swung a leg casually over the arm. “I’ve discovered our local school requires a new governor, a perfect place for me to cut my teeth, politically speaking.”
Nutella is a problem. Sure, it’s creamy and fucking delicious, but it is just way too accessible. It’s the lazy person’s dream come true when it comes to instant sugar gratification. Open jar. Insert spoon. Emerge minutes later in a sweet stupor – with a gross, waxy taste in your mouth.
Nutella, I can’t quit you. Although once I did. I put a ban on Nutella (got legitimately pissed at my husband when he thought I was kidding and brought home a family-sized jar), and after two weeks of Nutella abstinence, my cravings legitimately diminished. Apparently two weeks is the average amount of time needed to kick an addiction. Heroin, crystal meth, Nutella. All the same really.
When I was younger and less intelligent, I blissed out in my ignorance of sugar’s nasty conversion into fat, and regularly ate strawberries and Nutella for the sake of protein. Like, “I’m feeling a little low-energy – I need a protein boost. Grilled chicken? Tuna? Eggs? No. Let’s go with the jar of dessert disguised as a critical part of a healthy, well-balanced breakfast.” What are we talking here? 2 grams, 3 grams of protein? But yeah, I’m just forcing this glob of chocolate down because I need my daily allotment of protein. Uh-huh. Continue reading
YA: young adult, teen, tween, advanced child, less-advanced adult, emotional human
Novel: story, book, doorstop
I know a lot about books, I’ve even read a few. One genre of book that sells well is “Young Adult” (or YA) “literature.” I have read at least one YA novel and I have seen trailers for The Fault in Our Stars, so I’m going to let you in on the secret of how to write a YA novel and make more money than JK Running.
What you’ll need:
There are three types of YA novels you can choose to write about.
1) post-apocalyptic dystopian romance novel
2) magical/fantasy/vampire romance novel
3) 21st century American teen coming-of-age, cancer romance novel
“How does one become a janitor?” A question posed by John Bender in John Hughes’ classic 1985 movie, The Breakfast Club, is one that I happen to have the answer to. To become a custodian in the Raymond School System, I first had to send in my application. Then I waited five weeks for a response. Once I finally got a response, I went in for an interview in which all of the questions were seemingly completely unrelated to the tasks I would perform as a custodian, such as “Describe a time when you made a mistake and how you fixed the mistake,” and “If you caught someone stealing from your place of employment, would you report them?” We are custodians, what is there worth stealing? Your options range from cleaning products and rags to machines so large you could not possibly sneak them out of the building undetected. No theft was going on there. It is worth noting that Todd, the head of maintenance, was just as bad at interviewing as I was at being interviewed. I told my mom this later and she said it was because we are both “socially awkward as hell.” (Thanks, Mom.)
Todd hired me on the spot, probably because my mom is a full time custodian in the district, but a little nepotism never hurt anybody. He then told me that as a substitute custodian, I would make eight dollars and fifty cents an hour and work twenty-nine hours a week. He told me that there was a mandatory meeting at the high school the Friday before the first Monday of summer work and sent me on my way. “What a wonderful world,” I thought. “I am now employed.” The wonderful feeling did not last long.