Trivia: n. unimportant details or information

I’m losing my patience for trivia worship. I don’t have a mind for holding facts — at least not facts about popular culture. I’m a goddamn encyclopedia for pet behavior and grammar laws, but I haven’t found my flock of fellow bird & word nerds, yet. If geeks are excited about counterculture, then why do I only ever hear them exchanging social affirmations? Do you know about this? Do you know about that? Do we fall on our knees for the same gods?

I love birds. All of my snapchats are of birds.

I am a bird nerd. I love birds. All of my snapchats are of birds.

Real eggheads study an obscure or challenging subject and revel in the love of knowledge. Media culture geeks are just like any insecure high-schooler who wants to be part of a clique that’s big enough for safety in numbers but exclusive enough to be “cool.”

Yes, we’ve decided that a certain amount of geekitude is cool. But, no poindexter is standing on a table, reciting arcane theorems and getting all the ladies at the parties. People are doing what they’ve always done, and that’s dish news and check that everyone knows the what-what of the happening, socially shaming people who can’t get with the program. What’s changed is that the never-ending internet has given us more what-what to sputter over our red cups. Almost anything goes as long as you have a little tribe of other geeks who are into your geek kink. And you do have a little tribe. You’ve seen them somewhere on Tumblr.

I understand, I really do, that having a common lexicon is a short cut to establishing shared experiences. But if you go on and on about Naruto, and I don’t know jack about Naruto, what am I supposed to do? Pretend I know what you’re talking about so I can skip on the noob history lesson? Change the subject? Point out that you’re a fucking nerd?

In a perfect world, I’d tell you I don’t know jack about whatever-his-face guy-with-a-rune on his headband (at first I thought it was blue-arrow-forehead child. Don’t act shocked, they’re both animated kids shows and I’m not a kid). Don’t give me a history lesson, I’d say. Instead, share an experience or an insight you gained from watching the show.

Do you really need to figure out which episodes we’ve both seen? Why can’t you just tell me what it all means to you? How it compares to your daily life? How it’s improved your relationship with your daughter? Why do I have to partake in this pissing contest that is proving I know enough about your geek fantasy to belong in your geek fantasy?

umbrella cockatoo on the porch

You just did a lot of reading. I will reward you with another bird picture.

This trivia spouting infects everything with a fandom, music appreciation included. Particularly, I don’t know how to react when a person knows more about my favorite band (Queens of the Stone Age)* than I do. I don’t know all the names of all the band members, though I’m certainly familiar with their discography. I can sketch out a list of songs for most albums with decent accuracy. Not that I care — I’ve just listened to R, Songs for the Deaf, Lullabies & Clockwork enough friggin’ times to know.

So, when this guy knows some obscure trivia (historical dates, formation of this or that) about my QOTSA and I yawn and pretend I know Josh Homme held this or that concert for his dead friend because I’m a bit embarrassed at my lack of expertise for my self-proclaimed “favorite”… when this guy goes off on some story I frankly don’t care about (don’t get me wrong, I’m impressed he’s retained so much information on his not-favorite-band), I’m realizing I need to just say: “Hey, thanks for teaching me something new, but what does it all really mean to you?”

When he gives me his baffled response, a “what” or a blank stare, I elaborate, “I don’t really care about the trivia. I care about the music. And I care about the music because of the band’s particular influence on my family, the way the shows I’ve attended shaped my understanding of rock and live performance and human appreciation for both. Tell me about an event you went to, how you felt, which beer you drank, how much sweat stained your t-shirt.”

I’ll tell you I first saw them when I was 17, with my dad in Austin, Texas. People there thought maybe he was robbing the cradle, because I dressed a bit too stylish and they didn’t know I was his daughter. I stood on my tiptoes to watch the longest drum solo I’ve ever seen, in a tiny venue called the Rose (it’s a lot like the Casbah, if you’re familiar with that), for “Feel Good Hit of the Summer.” I saw people smoking weed and carefully looked to my dad for an appropriate reaction, as I’d never seen the stuff before.

Don’t recite some band drama you picked up in your readings — some trivia that has nothing to do with you. Make it personal. Make it you. Bands are bands and some are better, but I’m not sitting in a spa with Josh Homme so what do I care if he wrote this or that song in this or that city? Unless, of course, *you* lived in that city.

Look he's so cute he's squinting. Don't you enjoy all these bird pictures? They are like my children. Look at all these pictures of my children? I'm not boring you am I?

Look he’s so cute he’s squinting. Don’t you enjoy all these bird pictures? They are like my children. Look at all these pictures of my children? I’m not boring you am I?

What I’m trying to say is, I coasted through my history classes because they weren’t *my* story. I’m much more interested in humans right in front of me than humans that are “popular” enough to make it to the books or the silver screen. I’m more interested in you. Tell me a tale, and make it one I can’t watch on TV. Tell me something I don’t know.

As media expands, these little clusters of allegiance to external narratives (Did you watch the new Game of Thrones? Are you into Attack on Titan?) might just fall apart. Lifespans of trends are shortening as the fire hose of popular media keeps pouring. We can’t keep up with everything. Certainly, established common ground makes us feel less alone. But I hope that the growth of communication technologies connects us such that we don’t need these superficial obsessions to lope along in a conversation. We could download in instants what someone else has already digested (here’s an emotion/dream/experience I had — let me transmit it to you in a microsecond so you know what I mean) and instead of validating that we’re on the same island of thought, examine and compare our reactions in the same moment. Make meaning, not just chase meaning laid out before us for us to follow like helpless human eyes scan a constantly flashing, changing TV screen. Quit worshiping trivia. Create your own legends.

*P.S. I’m going to the show in SF on the 17th! Will I see any other San Diegans there?

Party planning: then and now

 

I’ve taken joy in planning parties since I was young. Whether I go the extra mile staying up ’til 2am the night previous building an obstacle course in the back yard to just thinking up a clever event title for Facebook, my prep efforts are always rewarded. Nowadays I plot everything on our fav’ social sharing site, but I used to write list after list in my diary.

Themes

Then:Party-planning-theme-big-kids-18th

 

Theme planning took up at least one whole page in my journal, if not several. Ideal themes lent themselves to a slew of activities, decoration ideas, and costume suggestions, though I frequently chose them by my own whimsy. Did I want my mother to make the carousel cake I saw in American Girl magazine, with animal crackers frosting-glued to straws and a big paper canopy? Time for a circus theme party. Did I want an excuse to build a giant furniture fort in the living room? I’ll make it look like a ship and have a pirate party.

Candyland was the obvious choice for my “Sweet Sixteen” but I have to admit I was most excited about making giant lollipops out of balloons and cellophane.

I read a lot more craft books when I was a kid.

Now:

This part of party planning hasn’t changed much for me. Unless the party is last minute, I put a lot of effort into the theme, as evidenced by the theme notes below. I planned to make buttons that said “I went pinky up for Sami’s 21st.” (Yeah, that didn’t happen. I wasn’t really prepared for how booze can interfere with one’s ability to execute a party. And yes I didn’t really start drinking ’till I was 21.)

Party-planning-theme-British-21stWhat has changed is that I’m less interested in forcing my guests to comply with my bizarre fantasy worlds (though a murder mystery party where I gave guests 7 pages of pre-party prep notes turned out fun) than finding a theme that’s exciting enough for people to actually show up. That’s a lot harder now. Back then I’d invite 15 of my closest friends and all but one of them would make it.

Which brings us to…

Inviting Guests

All guests received a theme-appropriate physical invitation. Jungle Party invites were written with green marker on a cut-out leaf, folded in half with the stem pushed through a slit to close. Casino Royale invites included fake money and confetti. Big Kid Party: Crayon.

Furthermore, guest selection meant creating highly sophisticated and intently coded lists for the most balanced party. Spaces were scarce – my mom had a rule I could only invite as many friends as my age number (though she allowed a couple extras as I got older). I analyzed the potential for groups to form, making sure that no guest would stand alone. I drew lines between guests to represent relationships & friendships. I drew unhappy faces for guests with ongoing fights. See that question mark, John Q? You almost weren’t invited.

Party-planning-guest-list

 

Now:

Click all the faces! But not him because he can’t hold his liquor. And not her because she probably would think it’s weird if I invited her because we’re not really friends in real life although we are facebook friends fuckit she’s cool and attractive I’ll invite her. Ah shoot I better go back around through the faces and make sure I didn’t miss anyone or else I have to awkwardly invite them late to the party. Do you think they’ll notice 20 people are already attending and it’s obvious I forgot them in the first round? Because now almost a week’s gone by and that definitely happened.

Great. I’ve invited 80 people. At least 30 are bound to show, right?

Budget

Then:

Party-planning-inventoryMy mom has a couple hundred bucks to spend! I’m going to get table cloths, crepe streamers, cups, matching napkins, food for everyone, soda, prizes, games, decorations….

Now:

I have a couple hundred bucks to spend! I’m going to get Jameson, Kahlua, vodka, ancient age, Pacifico, wine….

Party Activities

Then:

Party-planning-activities

I scoured the internet / books for inventive party games and adapted them to the party’s theme. For my sweet 16 I wrote strictly types of candy for a game of “heads up charades” (though we didn’t call it that, we called it that one game where you write things on name tags and put it on your forehead/back and try to guess what it is) and enjoyed my friends saying things to each other like, “Am I sticky?” “Do I taste good with chocolate?” Apparently 15-or-16-year-olds will play this game for like 3 hours.

Now:

Drinking!

 

 

Writing about your friends on the internet

I bite into this apple of creative energy and there’s a worm in it; another project eats away at the time and thought I normally put into my Thursday update. I’m working on a thing that my collaborator and I avoid putting the b-word on like that’s some sort of curse, but yeah, it wants to be a Book.

(We’re basically writing about our sexy times and our sad times, framed as a series of letters between lovers.)

I’ve been somewhat hush about this writing project because I know sharing too much too soon can crush my enthusiasm. Once someone’s read it, it’s lived its purpose and I lose interest. However... The thing is upwards of 50k words by now (raw, disorganized words at times but still words) so I feel a little braver. I can almost see the finish line, and this time instead of tripping over a false sense of confidence, I’m eagerly putting one foot in front of the other to draw the conclusion closer to me.

I’m not just sharing this information as an excuse of a blog post, and I’m really not sharing this to create hype out of my writing project & 50 friends bugging me to finish it already && when can they read it? — though that may be a fun side effect. Truthfully, I just want to say it occurs to me that I’m struggling with the same thing in my writing project as this blog project, and that is, writing about my friends.

I navigate thornier ground with the b-word thing, because I’m writing about friends I’ve seen naked. Wait, who am I kidding? At some of the parties I go to I see y’all naked too. Anyway, at what point am I crossing the line between enumerating the details of my personal experience to exposing too much about people I care about, even if the law of memoirs means truth is fair game?

I think we can all agree that killing a rattlesnake, cleaning, baking, and eating it at dawn* is an occasion worth commemorating. By contrast (though proudly displaying the burn marks to all) the guy who opted to get branded with a potato masher may not want me to publish any of his identifying details. Yeah, you didn’t go to that party, you don’t get to know.

Remember, though, the “list 10 friends” fad back in Myspace days? It probably started with guidelines like:

  1. Say something to the person you wish you could talk to but can’t
  2. Say something to your BFF
  3. Say something to your crush
  4. etc….

I think by the end of the meme’s lifespan, the rules disintegrated/purified to their true motivations: let’s write 10 anonymous things about each other so we can splash around in puddles of narcissism.

It was glorious to recognize myself. Perhaps I’m really fucking arrogant to believe this, but I think it’d be pretty fun to find yourself in this blog, too. Unless, of course, you said something sexist to me. And while sexists are assholes that deserve to be defamed, anyone reading this should realize my perception of reality has its limits.

FOR FUCKING EXAMPLE: I described a guy in a cookie monster onesie in a less-than-flattering context, only to realize later that I know this guy and he was chummy with me for good reasons. My bad. Guys with brown hair all look the same to me. We all have a lot of people to keep track of in this day and age — and for some reason I prioritize learning the faces of lady people…

Anyway, my dear readers, my baby birds I want to feed and feed, what’s going on here? Do you prefer reading about other people? Are you yearning for your own cameo? Are you just glad I manage to update every Thursday, like a goddamn consistent person? Like, you read me the same as you’d watch a dying TV show past its prime but you might as well since it’s still going every week, did you hear they’re making a season 6 why don’t you kill me already…

The truth is, for me, I’m just obsessed with all of you sometimes. I want to know if it’s okay to write about you. Picasso’s girlfriend probably didn’t tell him to hide away the portraits he made of her saying, ‘baby, what? I look so ugly, do you really think my nose is that big? My eyes are that..awkwardly placed in relationship to the rest of my face parts, seriously they aren’t even pointing in the same direction…??’ But I’m not Picasso and these sentences are search-indexable. I owe you your privacy, perhaps.

P.S. If you’ve been waiting for your cameo, here it is: Yes I did write this because at your party you said, “Careful around her, you might end up on the internet.”


*This occurred the night I contracted strep, but I didn’t write about it because I missed most of the rattler feast when I conked out early on a bottle of Jameson. Didn’t feel like my story to tell, which is the rubric I’ve used thus far in choosing what to put to words.

This is how you rave, babies

Rave Review

“Enter the Tech” by Rock the Discotek
March 1st

Rating: 3.5 pieces of candy
How-to-catch-James-Woods-ooh-piece-of-candy-family-guy

Negatives:

  • 18+ …still weirds me out no matter how nice the kids are
  • Some DJs were obviously underprepared
  • Too much publicity = too crowded
  • Too crowded = long ass lines
  • Too crowded = vandalism & early shut down, apparently

Positives:

  • Several projectors with visuals
  • Great sound system in both rooms
  • Most DJs were creative
  • Being able to dress up to get in for free
  • 2 rooms = less overwhelming
  • Bathrooms weren’t bad at all, if that matters
  • Casual atmosphere (e.g. friendly security)

Overall, I’d go again as long as they continue to keep the entry cost low.

I think a lot of us have been hoping for the “rave” scene to expand in SD. I’m no veteran raver but I’ve been tracking underground EDM events around town for the past couple of years and I can speak for everyone when I say we were all bummed when Gage’s warehouse basically shut down.

Since then, there hasn’t been much in the way of conveniently located regular underground events (that aren’t hyper-commercialized trash…No thanks “Somewhere Loud”) so driving to Mira Mesa actually sounded like a cinch. Event page said: “dress like Bruce Lee, get in free” which is a dumb and impossible, but Katelyn confidently put me in a cheongsam-inspired top and a tutu and said it would count.

tutu rave fishnets furry legwarmers

I did NOT know it was an 18+ event, so I was a bit stunned to see so many youngins in the line and probably accidentally gave some of my pre-party Ancient Age to a child. And it was a line. The event was over-publicized, and they invited teenagers, so it was no surprise it took at least an hour to get through. Nevertheless, I ran back to the car to grab my whiskey and made fun out of the time.

Our dedication to dressing up was rewarded when an organizer strafed the queue, shot fingers at us with a big smile and, “You are getting in for free and you are getting in for free.” Pretty much at these things if you look the slightest bit fun say to the gatekeepers “I was told I would get in free because of my costume” and gesture emphatically. It’s worth a shot. There were tons of dudes in gray sweatshirts and jeans without even a speck of adornment, not even Mardi Gras beads, which is beyond disappointing. Again, teenagers.

The neat thing about partying with kids is that it makes you feel like you can reach out and indoctrinate them while they’re still young and impressionable. I felt like I needed to “community build” or some sappy shit so I ran off and collected glow sticks to put on a guy’s crutches and broken foot. It really did help people stop tripping all over him. Then I found some girl who could barely cope with reality and tried to entertain her for awhile, until I realized I was probably over-enthusiastic to the point of being scary and dropped her off with her friends.

The gig did get shut down early at 3am. Yes it was fully permitted and the noise wasn’t an issue (sounded good and loud from the inside, yet barely audible from the street), but some asshole tagged and broke windows of the surrounding businesses. I would say that’s what happens when you invite teenagers to raves, but I suspect it was the 30-something guy I saw trying to sneak in, pissed he couldn’t trick his way into the over-packed venue.

It didn’t occur to me that shutting down was what was happening, so when the music stopped I sat in the middle of the floor and shouted, “MASSAGE CIRCLE.” I was going to save this rave. 2 people joined me. “C’mon babies, this is how you rave,” I yelled. Soon we had about 10 people and next thing I knew we were playing some sort of crowdsurfing leapfrog hybrid.

crowd-surfing-leapfrog

Katelyn had seen the cops, so she came in and told me it was time to leave. “Do we have to?” I said. Boy, I would have liked to see that thing go til 6am.

How to Crash Parties in PB

Katelyn does whatever the fuck she wants. So I really shouldn’t have been surprised when, after we’d spent most of the night at a friend’s house party, instead of letting me make a beeline for Jack in the Box and Disneyland Bed* she told me to turn North on Ingraham: “We’re going to crash parties in PB.”

We drove around the neighborhoods slowly, windows down, listening for the sounds of revelry.

Anyone who attempts this should definitely work in pairs. For optimum crashing teamwork, one person should be hopped-up on energy drinks but otherwise sober (me), and the other should be teetering between well-buzzed and fully drunk (Katelyn). Sober teammate can keep us out of the danger zone, and drunk teammate can manage the brazen introductions that are necessary.

I have to acknowledge the fact that what we’re doing isn’t possible for everyone. It probably helps that we’re two attractive (white? that might help) girls. I think it could be done by guys but they’d face more rejection.

But, my god, getting to wander around the streets at night as a woman is exhilarating. I don’t need to be afraid — the world isn’t always full of predators, I can fend for myself, I can be the intruder for once.

Technically, of course, we made sure to get permission before entering a person’s home. They may or may not have assumed we were invited anyway, but we let them open the front door for us. At party #1 we hovered near the neighbor’s door until they motioned for us to hop on over the back wall. “You’re the neighbors, right?” And that’s the story we stuck to when a new housemate came home from a night on the town and asked us, “Who are you?”

girlfriend-in-party-hat

Party #2. She found this hat and had to wear it. Every time she went outside to smoke a cigarette they made her take it off. They were on to us.

I met an incoherent philosopher. He made us give him really long hugs, but they were more drunken than amorous so I was fine with that. Maybe because he shared so many gooey-ooey thoughts about humanity I stole one of Katelyn’s cigarettes and traded it with a stranger who wandered up to the back wall for a high five. I met shitshow-dancing-guy who stood up on a chair and fell ass-first onto an iPad on a glass table. He knocked a taco plate on the ground but miraculously didn’t break anything. I also helped a girl roll a joint because even though I don’t smoke I really wanted to feel skilled at rolling joints for a minute.

Nearly everyone went home or to bed, and we were left with incoherent philosopher and girl with a joint and no desire to help them smoke it. So we exited the same way we came and followed our ears across the street. We found The Jungle.

This group of people all live in close proximity to each other in the same condo complex and share a courtyard. They’ve named the sluttiest guy in the group, “King of the Jungle.” Fucking romantic. I plopped myself in a lawn chair like I belonged there and peered at the attractive strangers through palm fronds. I mostly had to introduce myself, and when they asked how I knew everyone: “Neighbors.”

Later Katelyn and I went into the house. A cluster of people sat on a large L-shape couch around an ottoman and two women sat on the opposite wall on bar-stools like cross-armed sentries. Next to them: a huge In-N-Out wall hanging. I felt very welcomed because Cindy or Cynthia or Kathy or whatever put me in a barstool in the middle of the room and told me I look like a mermaid (my hair was down and I had on green tights).

Katelyn and I had to have a pow-wow in the bathroom because “holy fuck we are crashing a party.” We heard a sharp knock on the door, “Hello, I’m the owner of this house. Do you need help in there? Because I would really like to help you.” That was the only tense moment of the night. After we came out of the bathroom all was forgiven.

I want to say we made new friends, but we really didn’t. I think that’s the side-affect of joining a group of people at the bitter drunken end of their night. I did make the mistake of giving my number to a guy I shouldn’t have given my number. He is in love with me and sang me a song and wants to 3-way kiss with my girlfriend and me. I really want to text him back and say his messages are improving (fewer Ys in his heyyyys, yay!) but I don’t want to give him false hope.

heyyyy-hey-desparate-text-message


*We have a new bed & new pillows. It is perfect. It is like sleeping in the Disneyland hotel. We’ve spent the last 2 years on a 7-year-old full size mattress so this is a big deal.

“What did I do last night?” A Detective Story

by 

cancer-neck-pain-dying-trashed-slept-on-bathroom-floor

My little brother — cosmic-cowboy hole-in-the-brain child of the same kooks that made me — was in town last week. I’d been hesitant to take him out since the last time I’d had drinks with him in public our parents found me sleep-standing against a wall and him shouting fuck tha’ po-lice.

But Katelyn makes a good drunk wrangler (we call her The Handler) and I figured if things started going to shit I’d make use of the zipties I inexplicably had in my purse.

I took him on a test run to a beach shindig where I didn’t know anyone (seriously, no one — the host found me on Facebook and just invited me, like some sort of party talent recruiter). His standby favorite, Steele Reserve, was only available in a three pack so we were playing with fire, so-to-speak. Indeed, with a literal flaming blade he did burn his hair. Yet, he struck down the beach with such furious precision that I was sure he had the beast, his party-monster, tamed. (I can’t speak for mine, however…)

sword-fire-poi-beach

The next night I took him to Fashion Whore, where two of our mutual friends were modeling. My brother asked if he was dressed well enough, and yes the holes in his pants look less like trendy distressing and more like he’s been living in a Berkeley co-op for the past 3-4 years (he has), but his screen-printed and studded leather jacket is a masterpiece. It should be placed on the shoulders of a little girl, photographed back-stalwartly-turned to the camera, and used as his next album cover for Butch Nasty and the Blackout Kids.

Brother + friend dropping Magnums.

Brother + friend dropping Magnums.

I’m not sure if the designers are geniuses or just sewing seashells to women’s clothing they got at the thrift store, but the event felt larger than the artsy-craftsy charm of its pieces. May Star is not short of brilliant for organizing this one; the U-31 crowd was thicker than the usual Ruby Room Merrow group and I’m not the only one who enjoyed watching my friends strutting (and dipping, and gliding, and dancing, and vamping) on the runway. Good show.

I think because my brother spent most of our bar excursion outside to smoke — out of sight, out of mind — I felt comfortable enough to quit monitoring his alcohol intake. And mine. By the end of the fashion show I’d made it through the better part of the third iteration of my “whiskey coke” (Pro Tip: A plastic flask extends the life of an $8 drink). I left it unattended with at least a finger left of pure Evan Williams, so when the busboy swiped it I felt like the universe owed me a drink. A friend of mine was completely neglecting some sort of Red Bull poison, and by the time he left I was basically obligated to finish it. The universe decided to teach me to watch what I ask for, and also provided a full vodka soda. I mumbled something about being a garbage disposal and downed both.

We made it back to a friend’s house, and I don’t remember much there. Luckily drunk-sami became a smartphone photographer so I’ve managed to reconstruct memories of Jenga and flogging.

jenga smile gif

flogger-smile

What no one remembers is if I knocked over all of the Jenga pieces on accident or on purpose.

The rest of the evening I pieced together by various clues. “Babe, why was there a towel by my head on the floor where I slept?” I was apparently making spit noises and giggling, like a giant frothy baby. Solution: towel. I also found a pillow in the bathroom and glimpsed a memory of a puke-filled toilet bowl through the camera-shutter flashback that is my recollection of traumatic happenings. I’m not much of a ‘vommer,’ be the urge from alcohol-intake or flu, always choosing to bunker down with my suffering over the violence of becoming a projectile-mechanism for my own stomach soup. I’ll do anything not to succumb to the porcelain gods’ demands for sacrifice.

Cigarettes, however, are a poison that my body won’t accept. My accusatory finger began pointing like a dowsing rod. Clearly I had an accomplice, since I know full well what cigarettes do to me. I wouldn’t stick another of those emetic sticks in my mouth after half a clove produced an embarrassing wet arc on the Brass Rail smoking patio. I wouldn’t…

cigarette-makes-me-puke-textOh, right. I totally would.

How to Play Cards Against Humanity

cards-against-humanity-haiku-mime-having-a-stroke-reddit-foshofersher

Stolen from reddit user, foshofersher.

Remain sober, so you can defeat everyone with your mental acuity.

Identify known trump cards. “Pacman guzzling cum” is a trump card. So is “dick fingers.” For most, so is “Hellen Keller.”

Try to recall your friends’ personal trump cards. Emma G. will always choose “BATMAN!!!” Art Meier is weak for bacon.

Cheat. When you draw “Toni Morrison’s Vagina” and you know your friends aren’t going to get it, slyly put that back in the deck and draw a new one. Or not so slyly. Nobody is paying attention to you.

In general, just realize that nobody is paying attention to you because this game is designed for narcissists.

Confidently play “8oz. of sweet Mexican black tar heroin” only to be beaten by a deeply nostalgic moment over the card “Lunchables” that has nothing to do with the black card at all.

Try to bring up the fact that Cards Against Humanity charged an extra 5 dollars during Black Friday, but everyone already knew that. Become deeply insecure that you might be a “boring person.”

Start regretting that you offered to be the designated driver, because it’s like all the drunk people speak special drunk people language and they are playing by deranged drunk people rules.

Try another attempt at a trump card by whipping out “Firing a rifle into the air while balls deep in a squealing hog” — which you’ve been saving for 3 turns — only to lose miserably to “Glen Beck convulsively vomiting as a brood of crab spiders hatches in his brain and erupts from his tear ducts.”

Carefully time your bathroom break. Come back. You didn’t win.

Finally take your first turn as the Card Czar and announce the cards with decreasing dramatic zest…because a side conversation starts to dominate the table. Once you’ve got your white cards arranged into piles, wonder what everyone wants you to pick because you’re starting to think you’re categorically unfunny. Nobody laughs when you select your answer.

Cry a little inside when you draw the card “Active Listening.” What does that even mean?

Cry a little inside after you play your pick for “White people like _______,” and the replacement card you draw is “White privilege.”  IT’S TOO LATE. YOU ARE NOW CURSED. YOU WILL ALWAYS DRAW THE PERFECT CARD 1 TURN TOO LATE FOR THE REST OF THIS GAME.

Zone out for awhile contemplating the intricate levels of inside jokes you are not a part of.

Start chucking throwaways into the pile every turn because you’re determined to save “Trail of Tears” for that one card about white people ruining the lives of Native Americans.

Feel a little grateful that you’re at least not playing Apples to Apples.

Surreptitiously check Urban Dictionary for the definition of “swooping” on your smartphone and discover someone else out there had the same idea while playing this game. Feel less alone.

Draw “Life for the Native Americans was forever changed after the white man introduced them to __________” as your black card. Slam your fist on the table. Your friends look at you suspiciously. All hope has died.

Start writing a blog post in your mind about how Cards Against Humanity, while effective at bringing a room full of people together, is perhaps the loneliest game we play at parties.

From cah.tumblr.com

Let’s Ghost (Leaving without Saying Goodbye)

About a week ago, I saw an article in my newsfeed about ‘ghosting at parties,’ which is leaving without saying goodbye. The author, Seth Stevenson, gave an insightful background of the ethnophobic terms surrounding ghosting, such as “French Farewell.”

Read the article on slate.com here.

Read the article on Slate.com here.

He also made the argument that ghosting is more courteous than it seems. E.g. while “a hello has the bright promise of a beginning,” Stevenson points out that goodbyes are kind of a “bummer.” That’s true, but I wanted to snort; ghosting to be a good guest! While I’m all for being a party ally in the spirit of more fun for everyone, I felt that the article missed an opportunity — the opportunity to point out that ghosting is awesome for selfish reasons.

Ghosting goes well with the trope of Making an Appearance, which is a fashionable way of saying you’re a dirty, dirty party hopper like me. I’d like to pretend I ghost to protect the feelings of my party hosts when I leave their hipster potluck for a warehouse rager. I’d like to, but I don’t. I’m creating an illusion that everyone is important to me by not calling attention to how much I’m party double-dipping. That way, fewer people will hate me for being popular.

It’s true that no one cares that you are leaving. Well, except I do, at my birthday party. If you are leaving at my birthday party, please do interrupt whatever I’m doing to hug me goodbye because it makes me feel super loved, d’awww. Anyway, usually no one cares that you are leaving. And, if you don’t draw any attention to it, they won’t notice at all. This is the way I trick everyone into thinking that I’m there longer than I really am. By sliding out secretly, I slip into the party’s narrative as a permanent fixture. Perhaps I was there the whole night. Perhaps the party was so large it swallowed me up. Ghosting, my friends, is the secret to becoming a legend.

And I avoid so much awkwardness. If I start a round of farewells, by the time I get to the end of the line I run into the first person again and it’s been 20 minutes, so do I hug them once more? The dreaded goodbye Möbius strip: we could get stuck in an endless loop of departure, then someone forms their own exit circuit, then we’re all circling each other in a nervous chain of social rituals ’til someone introduces waving and we flock out the door, hands fluttering.

I’ve been caught trying to ghost before. There’s the catch.

We had driven all the way to Chula Vista and instead of a free-spirited soiree we found a weirdness ambush.

Immediately a man I didn’t know put his arm around me, people were dancing barefoot in the backyard to no music at all, and worst of all, I realized, everyone was dry as paper. Sober. They were all sober. What little alcohol there was — I saw evidence of a single pint of vodka and a six-pack of Fire Rock Pale Ale — had long ago been emptied, and evaporated out of their blood, and they were gooey and friendly and touchy but sober. These old hippies had been baking their brains and drinking the new-age Kool-Aid so long that they act like floaty affection amoeba without needing to be on any substance at all.

“Everyone is sober. There is no alcohol. I don’t think there ever was.” Katelyn said to me.

“I know.”

“Let’s ghost.”

When she and I tried to duck out the front door, a guy who vaguely knows me asked, “leaving already?” Perhaps he saw the horror in our eyes. “Oh,” I said, “We’re just going to go get some beer. Be back soon!” A goodbye ritual would have only delayed my escape, and I didn’t want to be trapped there another second.

We got on the road for another 40 minutes and I found my friend “Arwen” and collapsed into her arms. “What took you so long to get here?” she said as she hugged me hello.

“I have been at the wrong party.” I said. “Now I know better. This is the right party…this is the right party…” I repeated in a shell-shocked whisper.

She laughed and offered her flask and I never went back to that other party.

Only nerds assume asking for consent is nerdy

I’m fucking sick of nerds.*

And by nerds, I mean unimaginative literalists.

I was at a party, searching for a topic to fill the lull in conversation. I remembered that I’d pledged for a cute consent panties kickstarter and I brought that up with the intention to offer a pair to my friend, if they were interested, since in my pledge bracket I’d be receiving 5 extra pairs of boxers and briefs emblazoned with phrases like, “Only yes means yes.”

My friend’s reaction floored me. I thought they’d be receptive. This is a friend who wears brightly colored wigs, just asked if I’d like to see their merkin, and regularly walks about parties with floggers and paddles. I figured they might be into consent. I’d barely said, “Speaking of Youtopia, I got these ‘Let’s Talk First’ panties from a kickstarter and…” I was interrupted.

There are basically two ways to be a feminist at a party. One is to stand up for your beliefs and counter any bullshit the best you can, whether through reasoned quips or belligerent screaming, as is necessary. The other is to realize you are outnumbered, down another drink, and to instead store up your dismay and upset for an angry blog rant.

My friend has a much louder voice than me, and sometimes I am a coward, so I opted for plan B. I listened to this friend say, “Oh god, the consent thing is just annoying. I mean how nerdy is it to ask, ‘Can we have sex,’ or ‘Can I kiss you?’ I mean why can’t people just use body language like adults.”

Right, because no one in the history of ever has suffered from relying on just body language.

Now that I’m not frozen by shock, slouching on a bar stool with a headache trying to gracefully hint to this nearby guy with a cookie monster onesie that I’m pretty gay, yo, stop asking me “what do girls like about men” while ever slowly inching closer to me, please?  … I just want to emphatically say, asking for consent does not have to be nerdy.

Asking for consent can be highly erotic! I have lived this; my dearest moments contain that asking, and not because I churned out “can I kiss you?” like a robot trying to follow robot laws, but because I have internalized consent; I have made it part of who I am.

This is not about literally asking, this is about wanting to hear the answer. This is about not accepting anything less than eager, dripping-wet consent, or, if that isn’t there, at least having a talk about if we’re still all cool to try this. In real life, sex is often a bit awkward and sometimes we push through it because we still really want to get laid tonight, even if the moment isn’t perfect. What we shouldn’t do is push through a maybe because, if we take a second to ask, we know we won’t be getting laid tonight.

But fucking nerds just hear the frustrated bleating, “ask first?” and they think that literally means ask first. As if asking “can I have sex with you?” is magic phrase that shields you from qualifying as a rapist… No. There are moments when you will use your precious body language, and in these moments you have to admit to yourself when her back isn’t arching and her skin is dry and her eyes windows to another world outside of herself and her smile holds a little pain.

That’s the moment when you stop, when you use your words, when you check in sweetly, “babe, are you ok?” That is the moment you graciously tuck away your desires and spend the night holding her, knowing there will be a better time.

Or, that is the moment when her attention falls against you like a tidal wave, and that you asked breaks her walls, and she decides then, yes, she wants this, she wants you, the one who asked. That is the moment your care for her makes her brave against her fears.

These scripts are missing from our movies, our TV shows, the popular media engine. People cannot imagine consent language being sexy, because they have not seen it modeled over and over again the same way they have seen men wordlessly seize women in impassioned kisses over and over again. This mute tension, not knowing if your desires are symmetrical, fearing what speaking will do to the myth you have created… I concede this is worth living once. I’m not saying we need to strike that out of our vocabularies entirely.

We do, however, desperately need to eroticize consent. “Rebecca, I’d like to kiss you,” doesn’t do it for ya? Well, fine, use your bloody imagination. Create your own stories. I’ll share two, and guess what guys, in both of these I felt like I was in a goddamned movie:

Erotic Consent Story #1

I sat in a tree with a friend and gave myself the same mental nudge I do before jumping off the high dive. “You have to know that I find you tortuously attractive,” I said. Deep eye contact.

Tortuously attractive, huh?”

We returned to our previous conversation a moment, about socialism and money as debt, and again I found a pause. “Stick of gum?” I offered, very intentionally referring to Wet Hot American Summer, which we had watched together the week before. I’d been intensely aware of our body positioning on the couch, wondering for a moment to kiss, but not finding it, and going home uncertain, still just friends.

I added, “I’d really like to kiss you, but I have this terrible cough and I’d hate to get you sick before you travel.”

“That’s a bullshit reason.” This was almost the yes I wanted. I felt my grin more than it showed on my face.

“Well, it’s up to you,” I sat back, “I’m serious about not wanting to get you sick.”

“Wait, am I reading into this too much??”

Emboldened by my friend’s flustered reaction, I responded with a warm low voice, leaning in, “What I mean is, if you say bullshit, I will kiss y–”

“Bullshit!”

We almost fell out of that tree.

Erotic Consent Story #2

I finally had come to the house of someone you will recognize from the comic below ;) and we’d spent the night playing videogames and watching Howl’s Moving Castle. “Help!” I’d texted my friend, “We’re actually playing videogames.”

As we were both too shy to make the first move (or so I’d thought, turns out she just likes tormenting people!) I’d squirmed the whole night in borrowed jammies next to her on silk sheets. We actually slept together without sleeping together. As an ex-Christian I am especially familiar with the ‘thrill’ of delayed gratification. I’d once gone 7 months without orgasm. I relieved all 7 of them in that single night.

As soon as I heard her stirring in the morning, excitement pounded in my chest and in my arms as I kissed her. I remember her delicately small ear more than anything, colors washed from my memory in the dimness in her room, and how her earring twinkled. I whispered into her ear, between kisses, “Can we… have… sex now?” Her yes was full of laughter and everything I wanted to hear in the world.

comic-lesbian-first-sleepover-sexP.S. I am the big spoon. Duh.


*Actual nerds — like enthusiastically into science or books or something dear to them from pop culture, those kinds of nerds — are great, of course.

How to Spike Your Shoes + a Tale of Violence

If you came here from the google and just want the tutorial for how to make spiky shoes without using goddamn power tools, jump here.

I have mixed feelings about my interest in fashion… in that I know it’s incredibly shallow at times but I’m not a moralist so I know I don’t really need to make an arbitrary value judgement about being shallow.

If I am going to justify my interest in fashion, which is mostly an obsession with shoes, I will say…Jeffrey Campbells kick ass. At least when they are on my feet they do.

I went to my friend Mindy’s going-away party (sniff, we will miss you Mindy). It is probably the last time I’ll see her apartment, which I will also miss, sliced in above a Thai restaurant in Hilcrest. I took my gas mask photo there for her Apocalypse rager.

I wanted to impress Mindy because she is stylish and has an adorable laugh, so I wore these boots of kicking and stomping:

jeffrey-campbell-spike-black-wood-quilt

I was having a pretty good time until some misogynistic monster told the story of forcing an underage girl to walk home with jizz in her hair. Even in his account, she very clearly said not to do that, but he thinks no means yes and he even rubbed it in for her. This guy was basically who everyone thinks Tucker Max is, but actually an asshole. I mean, so is Tucker, but he knows he is. This monster I met last weekend pretends to be self-deprecating as an excuse to tell stories for attention in which he is always the hero and women are unfortunate victims. Because, you know, sorry, that’s just how men are lol haha what-a-riot no fuck you.

“I bet she’s traumatized for life,” I said.

I was possibly also cranky because I was sober. I’ve been trying to be nicer to my liver. Aside: I have been really hungry lately and I realized it is because I’m consuming less liquid calories.

By about 2am I’d ironed out most of my crankiness talking to a new friend on the couch about his job at Alesmith and how I really ought to give the new Skrillex album a chance. I mean normally I would be like oh no, sir, my DJ friends told me never to Skrillex but this guy could make even Skrillex sound appealing, is what I’m saying.

I was quite enjoying the conversation when a new guy walked into the party with his dudes, put on Bubble Butt by Major laser, and asked me to dance.

“I’d rather not,” I said, and my Alesmith friend waved his hands, no thank you. Bubble Butt said if we refused him, he’d shake his bubble butt in our faces.

Now I’m no stranger to butts in my face, but I don’t like stranger butts in my face, and this guy didn’t even know my name. I mean, please, people, don’t put your butts near my body parts without a proper introduction!  I raised my right foot high, a clear message, I thought, that if he proceeded with shaking his bum-bum near my nose, it would only meet boot.

Yeah, I shoved him with my shoe, pretty hard. Then I caught Katelyn’s eye and we high-tailed it outta there. My only regret is that I didn’t stay long enough to say, “Oh, I’m sorry, are you butt-hurt?”

I immediately scored two new pairs of Jeffery Campbells at the PB Buffalo Exchange. For my protection. Against butts.

jeffrey-campbell-usa-americano-damsel-paint-white-lita

DIY Easy Spiked/Studded Heels

These are pretty quick to make. I finished mine in the commercial breaks between watching Breaking Bad. Did you see the last episode? Holy fuck, what a phone call.

You’ll need…

  • Screw-on spikes. Spikes are expensive. Try Amazon, maybe. Mine are like these.
    screw-on-spikes
  • An awl. To avoid using power tools, we’ll make the holes by hand. So keep that in mind when picking the shoes – are you strong enough to stab ’em? I got one from Ace Hardware San Carlos Hardware for $4
    awl-it-is-stabby
  • A screwdriver with a plastic handle
    screwdriver-plastic-handle
  • Shoes. If you want to do pumps like me, you’ll need to choose a pair with a seam down the back, because I am not strong enough to stab through 12 layers of plastic/fabric/plether/suede/whatever-the-fuck so I’ll just go in-between the stitches
  • Maybe some super glue
  • Maybe like some felt dots or something

One

bushmills-whiskey-reed-ginger-beer-cocktail-mixed-drinkPour whiskey over ice and splash some sours or ginger beer or nothing on it. This is always step one why do I even have to remind you??

Two

spikes-close-up-shoesTake a good look at the shoes and plan where you’re going to place the spikes. I opted to go in between the seams, with 4 spikes in each shoe. Space between them makes them look more menacing. I didn’t need to mark my holes, because I can count stitches relatively well, but if you need to do that probably some white out or a pencil, right?

Three

stabbin-shoe-with-awl-lookit-my-glitter-nails-spikesPlace the tip of the awl in between the seams from the outside of the shoe. Place the plastic handle of the screwdriver inside the shoe, and use it to help you make a clean hole without denting the shoe and also so you don’t stab yourself. Go slow so you don’t break the stitches, and push inward with the awl while twisting. Like you are killing something through its eye-socket and you want it to suffer.

If you do break a stitch, you can be paranoid and put a drop of super glue on it though I’m pretty sure the screwed-on spike will hold everything together.

Four

Screw that spike on. Do I really have to explain this? Tighten it with the screwdriver, too.

Five?

The way my particular shoes fit, I can’t even feel the screws, but if they rub on your feet in an uncomfortable way you could try a felt dot or a piece you cut from a gel insert to add space between your precious foot and the screw. Or you could just suffer for fashion like everyone else, duh.

candies-suede-spike-gray-heels-DIY