bigger than jesus

Instead of taking a normal Beowulf-reading English class during my junior year of high school, I took a course called Dramatic Literature, in which basically we screwed around in the theater wing and occasionally wrote and then performed for the entire school plays in which, for example, I had to lesbionically kiss my best friend, who was playing my life partner, and got to kiss on the cheek my objet d'crush, who was playing my son.

Our final project for the year was to write a script for any medium. I decided to write a murder mystery, and because I am pretty much terrible at coming up with plots, I took the song "Video Killed The Radio Star" and broke the lyrics down until I had a plot. (There was a character named Walter Video. And a very famous radio star died. I bet you can't guess who did it.)

This is all by way of introduction to the fact that Mister Boyfriend and I are going to see the movie Across the Universe tonight, which basically as far as I can tell takes what I did to one song by The Buggles and applies it to the entire Beatles catalog.

To remind Boyfriend when and where we are seeing the movie, I sent him an email with the following subject line:

I can't forget the time or place

Just in case you are secretly, I don't know, a pod person, and for that reason do not grok the brilliance, here is what just happened there in that email subject line:
  1. It is a song lyric, which is a measurable step up from my usual email subject lines of "hi" and "!" and "[null set]"
  2. The song lyric refers to a) time and b) place, both of which are enumerated within the email (7:35 and union square, to be precise).
  3. The song lyric is taken from a Beatles song, and the movie whose time and place needed to be ascertained is, as mentioned, full of Beatles songs.

When Boyfriend failed to have the appropriately incredulous/fawning reaction to this, and I had an incredulous/non-fawning reaction to that, he explained it thusly: "it's just so perfect that it is too good to get credit for."


i have more hilarious thoughts

"some of my best friends are #000000."

i have hilarious thoughts



vignette: sunday night at home

family guy's chris griffin as luke skywalker (on the television): hey han?
family guy's peter griffin as han solo (on the television): what?
chris/luke (tv): why do they call 'em TIE fighters?
me (real life, out loud, excitedly): it stands for Twin Ion Engine!
peter/han (tv): no idea!

there is no more to this because when it happened i was alone. in a room. talking out loud to a television. on which played a cartoon reenactment of a sci-fi movie. that is all.


this is what i do all day

my company publishes this one ridiculously famous book about pregnancy. you have probably heard of it. fun fact: Britney read it during her first pregnancy, but maybe you have to be literate for it to make a difference.

The Book was pretty much a featured player in the extremely awesome movie Knocked Up, and for various publishing-company-related reasons, today I needed to find a still of a scene in the movie in which the book appears. Unfortunately, the DVD isn't out until next week, and I needed the screen shot today.

and then in the course of listening to me complain about my impossible task, a coworker of mine clued me in to the fact that the super-creepy porn stores along 8th avenue around Times Square often sell release-date DVDs way before the actual release date. I guess they need this as an incentive for customers to come in and then when they are aglow with the thrill of having Harry Potter 5 before everyone else, they will be all "you know what I need now? porn!" and then the store will have served its purpose.

so because i have this crazy and deep love for my job, which often manifests itself in absurd and possibly illegal ways, i went to The Land Of Seedy Porn Shops and walked into many of them and went up to the counters and asked the nice men behind the counters if they had Knocked Up.

and none of them did. until one shop, where I said "do you have the movie Knocked Up? it's new."

and the friendly man of Indian (or possibly Pakistani [can muslims own porn stores?]) descent nodded happily and said yes, they just got it in, and led me back into the surprisingly well-lit aisles of the store until we got to the fetish section (alphabetized, i am not kidding, by topic). and when he started looking at the pregnancy-related naked-people motion pictures and gestured for me to take my pick, i realized there was a confusion.

"it's not a porn," i said.
"it's not a porn?"
"no, it's not a porn."
"oh. no. sorry. we don't have it."

so anyway i wound up back at the office empty-handed, and then i realized hello, i am a jew who works in media so i should be able to do anything, right? so i got a free trial subscription to imdb pro and called up Judd Apatow's production company and told them who I was and who I worked for and asked for what I needed and they're emailing it to me on Monday. The end.

alanis-ironic update: a different coworker just called me, like, one second after i posted this and said "i just saw your blog post and you know we already have that image, right?"



at work, we just got emailed our health insurance coverage summary and holy crap, i get 7 days of detox and 30 days of inpatient rehab free of charge. i additionally pay zero dollars for an "elective termination of pregnancy," though of course that's only in-network.

clearly i'd better start cultivating a drug addiction and irresponsible bedroom habits so i can take full advantage of my benefits plan.

minnesota: land of fantasy

i am a pretty big fan of my boyfriend, but once upon a time i dated a guy from minnesota, and one of the foundations of my attraction to him was a photo of him at the minnesota state fair holding a giant bratwurst. that's not a euphemism. i just seriously like sausage. that's not a euphemism either.

it turns out the minnesota state fair is a strange and, above all, wonderful thing. i am not making up any of the following fair attractions:

  • food on sticks
    including the standard hotdogesque objects, but also things you would not expect to see in on-a-stick form, such as meatball-and-tatertot-casserole, aka Hotdish, which is served with a cream of mushroom soup dipping sauce, aka Lutheran Binder. also pastrami and cream cheese wrapped around a pickle spear. on a stick.

  • the crowning of a fair queen
    is she called Miss Minnesota? no. is she called Miss State Fair? no. She is called Princess Kay of the Milky Way and is required by the rules of the competition to be a dairy farmer’s daughter, an employee of a dairy farm, or the daughter of a dairy farm employee. she then has her likeness carved in butter, and the butter sculpture is displayed at the fair on a rotating platform.

  • an all-you-can-drink milk stand
    which costs $1. one.

  • a carnival-style sideshow
    featuring Poobah, the fire-eating pygmy, billed as the youngest munchkin to appear in The Wizard Of Oz.

  • live stingrays

the question, of course, is why on god's green earth did we all not attend this wonderful thing? i am not kidding that next year i am going to be there, come hell or high water. and also that cream of mushroom soup is dead to me. there is only Lutheran Binder.


the guinea pig letters

way back in the day, i found myself in possession of a semi-decent sized collection of incredibly disgusting recipes. so, as one does, i started a blog about them, and garnered a bit of attention (of both the good and the bad variety) for a particular recipe for fried guinea pig.

part of the beauty of the recipe i had found was the simplicity with which the process was presented. "one guinea pig, de-haired, gutted, and cleaned," the recipe said. i editorially mused on how one might achieve this, and then without further inquiry both the recipe and i moved on to the next part (1/2 c. flour).

and then today i received the most wonderful email. Mr. Charlie Sommers, a self-described "Tennessee country boy (actually an old man)" found me through the magic of the internet and decided to shed light on the path. A warning that, if your stomach is not of the iron-clad variety, this might not be your cup of tea.

From: charlesfsommers@
To: Helen
Subject: How To Dehair a Guinea Pig

Enjoyed your disgusting recipes and thought I could enlighten you on how to dehair a guinea pig.

Dispatch the pig with a tug on the old head strong enough to displace the cervical vertebrae and sever the spinal cord. After twitching has ceased you may bleed the animal with as small of an incision as possible on the neck. After bleeding is complete bob the animal in water that has been heated to 155 degrees, do not use boiling water or you will set the hair. After a minute or so the hair will slip off with very little effort on your part, then you may proceed with removing the guts.

This method is also good for dehairing the possum. When cooked with the skin on both of these animals will retain more of their delicious juices and their skins will make wonderfully crisp cracklings after browning.

Bon Appetite,

Charlie Sommers
After twitching has ceased! How could I resist this? I wrote Mr. Sommers a reply, inquiring where he had picked up such knowledge. He replied right away:
Hi Helen,

I am a Tennessee country boy (actually an old man) and have assisted in the dehairing of many pigs of the porker variety. Any good old country boy who eats possum (they are delicious) knows that they are better dehaired than skinned. I have also used this method on groundhogs with much success. I have never dehaired a guinea pig but I am sure that this method works on any animal. When working in a custom slaughter house I once used this method on several goats that were being slaughtered for local Muslims. I have a friend whose wife is Peruvian and she assures me that guinea pigs are delicious and account for much of the meat eaten in her home country.

Cordially yours,

Charlie Sommers
Dear Charlie Sommers,

I adore you.



vignette: giddyup

chad: What is it with women and horses? Why do girls like horses so much? And how can they classify horses as 'pets' ?
chad: If it's bigger than I am and doesn't come when I call its given name, then it hardly classifies as a pet in my book.
me: they love horses because they are warm and soft and gentle and give you orgasms when you ride them.
me: only about 5% of men are like that


foreign people are hilarious

a headline on the english page of russian newspaper Pravda reads:


the article makes no mention of anyone expressing strong disapproval of the recently deceased opera singer. one can only wonder.

discovered via kseniya via matt carman.

what i listen to

gender groups

soapbubble pop



that with which jiggy can be got



a basic fact is that i love a lady's blog so much that i sometimes slip into her voice when thinking about my own life, and start getting all Royal We in my mental narrative and seriously consider starting to wear accessories.*

another basic fact is that i am not such a huge fan of pass-it-on memes. (except for the really long email questionnaires where you have to answer questions about yourself such as "chocolate or vanilla?" and "how many people have you kissed?" those are my kryptonite, i completely drop everything when one lands in my inbox and fill it out posthaste.) but when you get a pass-it-on meme from Mlle. Lady and you implicitly trust her taste in all matters chic and social, it is probably an a-ok meme and you can revel in its bright-pinkness.

anyway, what ho, hurrah, she has named me a Rockin' Girl Blogger, and it comes with a picture:

the rules are that now I, in turn, name five Rockin' Girl Bloggers. The Lady herself would be among them, but no tagbacks. So without further ado:

Meredith demonstrates a sense of sincere irony (or is it ironic sincerity?) that is so finely-tuned it would bring someone with perfect pitch to their knees, weeping tears of joy that they at last live in a world free from error. her blog involves many, many lists, all of which are inspired.

Leila posts to this blog approximately never, because she is all off being intelligent and professional on this blog. but she is, as the kids say, on her shit. she is single-handedly credited with introducing me to the music of Lil Mama.

now we encounter a problem. Kat hasn't updated in like nine thousand years. ditto most of the other girlbloggers i know. I read lots of sites written by girls (oh my god, basically Jezebel is the emotional center of my life right now, sorry Boyfriend), but because they are infinity more famous and important than I am I am selfishly not going to reward them even more. So I will bend the rules thusly:

- a tagback to A Lady.
- Leila counts as two, because she has two blogs.
- and Matt Carman, because he won't mind that I call him a pussy.

*glasses do not count as an accessory.


ess oh you pee

the wonderful soup place near my office has Chicken Alphabet Soup right now. i love that the selling point is the shape of the noodles. i totally bought some. it was delicious. (and orthographic!)

hypersnobbery: a manifesto

there is this application on facebook called honestybox. i love it. it is the dream, the absolute dream, of anyone who has harbored fantasies of telling someone exactly what you think of them, and knowing that they can never trace it back to you. the sort of person who will go to a public library in a town in which they don't reside in order to make a fake gmail address in order to log a scathing and anonymous comment on the blog of an ex-girlfriend of an ex-boyfriend.

not that i am necessarily such a person.
or have done these acts.

the way honestybox works is you add the application to your profile, and suddenly there is a field in which your internet-friends can write things, which will be transferred to you behind a veil of secrecy that will reveal only the gender of the sender (this makes me want to say, as a rejoinder to strap-on advocates: "it's not the motion of the ocean, it's the gender of the sender") and their presumably completely honest comments on whatever it is.

most of the comments i've received on honestybox are about weird sexual fetishes and are from people i actually know in real life who i then email and say "stop honestyboxing me about vomit" and then they say "but it is HILARIOUS" and then i admit that yes, it is.

but the few actual honest assessments of character that i've received are, well, largely negative. this is not surprising, since the people who adore me and think i'm marvelous generally tell me directly. the thing that i do find surprising is that the insult most often flung is a single word: "pretentious."

here is the thing (because there is always a thing): i am not pretentious. what i am, kids, is a giant snob.

my raging snobbishness mostly manifests itself in the realm of language: if i had more free time, i would find it entirely spiritually fulfilling to be that girl on a messageboard who does nothing but hop in and correct people: "not only are you completely incorrect about the role of the elf-queen in issue 9.25, but you misspelled "avatar" AND "hortimancy" and you meant "irrespective" not "irregardless" and holy crap learn the difference between their/they're/there, because honestly i have no truck with morons like that. xoxo." and then i'd get flamed out of existence and be all huffy, and it would be awesome. also clearly i am ok with run-on sentences.

anyway the misapplication of "pretentious" bothers me, because pretension, by definition, requires pretense. it means you have to be faking it. you have to not belong to whatever group you are playing at belonging to. i'm pretty sure i'm not faking whatever highbrowism is being pilloried, though i bet it is probably my tendency to use words like "highbrowism" and "pilloried." except i am not faking being the sort of person who uses these words, i totally am the sort of person who uses these words. i am also the sort of person who does the new york times crossword puzzle, and thinks less of a person whose favorite book is The Da Vinci Code, and wants my entire apartment to be furnished by design within reach, and thinks critical thoughts about people who wear unattractive clothing. i am not faking being an elitist intellectual who wears hipster glasses and reads the New Yorker on the subway. i am that douche.

so the other thing is that i think about the pretension/elitism distinction often enough that on facebook, where you are supposed to list your interests in order to make it easier for your friends to buy you birthday gifts, my very first interest is, i am not joking, "the complexities of pretension." which itself is a totally snobby thing to be interested in. because, in summary, in the misused language of the masses: i am pretentious about being pretentious.

but, you know, i would not like to overlook the possibility, which if it turned out to be true would be awesome, that the people who are sending me anonymous messages accusing me of being pretentious are actually using the word correctly, and think that i am faking something that is not real. or -- oh my god even better -- that they are seeing that one of my interests is "the complexities of pretension" and so they are honestyboxing an accusation that i am faking my interest in pretension, and am literally pretentious about pretension. and that would be so cool.

also, to the one person who honestyboxed me an assessment of "elitist": i love you. yes. you rock.

vignette: retromemetics

coworker: how was your weekend?
me: someone set us up the bomb.
coworker: i don't get you.


good news and bad news

the good news -- incredible, extraordinary, and worthy of celebration -- is that i have finally learned how to like gin! this was not easy, and required a very strict training regimen that proceeded as follows:

ages 0-16: never consume it.
age 16: at a cousin's bar mitzvah, dad offers a sip of his gin & tonic. find it repulsive and instead go for a vodka gimlet.
age 20: read Lolita, decide to be Humbert Humbert. realize that femaleness and lack of sexual attraction to prepubescents probably puts a damper on that, but some patina of creepy-old-manness can be assumed by drinking HH's drink, gin and pineapple. note, with happiness, that the pineapple obscures most of the flavor of the gin.
two weeks later: forget about this.
age 23: a friend reads Lolita and does the same "at least i can adopt his drink" thing. era of gin & pineapple resumes.
age 25 (right now): having been fed innumerable gin & tonics (gins & tonic?) at last weekend's wedding, the first of which was consumed when already too inebriated to register distaste, find self actively craving the commingled flavors of juniper and quinine. adulthood has finally arrived! or possibly alcoholism.

the bad news is that i didn't win the lottery. no ponies for anyone, unless you buy them yourselves.