Tag Archives: are you mom enough

Shop til you drop! (Shouldn’t be long now!)

I have a list. That’s comforting. It’s in my hand. Someone else compiled it. I couldn’t have done it myself. It’s not that I’m not capable—it’s just…

I wouldn’t be here without the list. In this town. In this parking structure. In this car. I drain into the structure, single file from the streets with the rest of the cars. There’s a system. Speed up. Slow down. Brake and snake. I’ve found a cozy spot on the fourth level.

I’m looking for a map. I’ve got the list. It’s in my hands. That much I can count on. The rest, well, it’s out of my hands. I ride escalators. First down from the structure and then back up to the appropriate floor. The people inside this place could all appropriately be labeled “Makes Wide Turns” or “Oversized Load.” This is their right.

In America, many rights are subject to circumstance. He who holds the pepper spray, baton, SIG Sauer let’s you know when and where your rights are applicable. But there are some rights that the citizens of this great nation refuse to give up. Certain issues are worth dying for.

Inside the mall, these rights are easy to identify. A woman hands out sausage and cheese products on toothpicks. I watch from the floor above. There are some skinny people here, but they don’t stop. There are many fat people here, but only a few curious men urge their wives, “One second, babe…”

She’s not interested. She’s in the throes of a Mint Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino (non-fat).

You can get as fat as you want here. You can buy as much as you want. You can stockpile calories and cotton, metallic goods and fur. To your heart’s delight! No one can stop you. This is an unalienable right.

Black Friday passed. I missed it. I’ve never been one for violence or crowds. If I skipped the running of the bulls in Pamplona, why would I go to Nordstrom at sunrise?

Then there was Cyber Monday. I don’t really know what that is. The last time I saw the word cyber it was next to the word sex. That was 1994.

Today, I read that one billion dollars of productivity were lost in 2011 due to employees shopping online at work. I want to know what everyone is buying. Send me an email with a detailed list. I’ll add it to my list. We’ll combine lists. Become blood brothers and sisters via commerce.

I watch the offering of sausage and cheese skewers until I remember that I’m here to buy. I’m not here of my own accord. You see, there are certain asterisks attached to relationships, friendships. Even of the familial variety. You and I are obligated to not rock the boat. As long as we buy X number of gifts a year for X number of people they will continue to love us. The love is not inalienable. You have to pay for it. If you don’t they have the right to stop loving you. Like an insurance policy. You get what you pay for, you goddamn communist.

Now it’s my turn. Despite the enormous Christmas tree, the air is thin in here. I inhale deeply but it’s not gratifying. Maybe it’s because I’m on the third floor. I pass shoe stores, Sbarro Pizza and about nine windows that have khaki trench coats on female mannequins. I finally turn into a store that’s on my list

Inside, there are glass cases. Inside the glass cases are earrings, brooches, necklaces, watches. Things, that’s what I would call them. Accessories, that’s what the store calls them. But once they’ve been wrapped everyone calls them presents.

I walk to the first counter. Her lips are pursed.

“Can I help you?”

I hand over my list.


She eyes it. The list has the names and images of each of the items I am here to gather. She reaches under the collar of her blouse and scratches her clavicle. Or her bra strap. I look away. I wonder how much longer I’ll have to be here.

I start to follow her. She asks me about colors and sizes. I defer to the list. If it’s not there then it’s beyond me. I can only do so much. A man can only do so much.

She picks things up and shows them to me. I’m thinking about something a friend of mine told me. She said, “The Mexican hippie is dead.” She was talking about an era, which I never knew existed. Yet, I mourn the loss.

Pretty soon I’m pointing to my phone. I’m pointing to the time.

“What? Do you have to go or something?”

Or something. Again, I point again to my phone. Today I’m not talking. There’s not enough oxygen. We can’t afford it. This year record shattering amounts of C02 were dispersed into the atmosphere. I’ve used enough oxygen today. Oxygen is not an inalienable right. There will always be plenty of Panda Express. And there’s always more shit to buy. No one will stop you from spending. They’d have to pry that AMEX Black Card from your rigor mortis stricken fingers. Am I right? Are you with me? !? Death before…

She takes my card. I pay it forward. That’s how I like to think of it, but I guess that’s not quite right. I guess you could say, I’ve formally agreed to pay it at a later date. The payment can wait, but people are dependent on what’s inside these bags. This is what makes them happy. No one is excluded. Everyone shops. Here I am shopping. I am shopping, but now I have to leave.

I sign my name. I crumble up my copy and leave it in what used to be an ashtray. The times they are a’changing… I validate my parking. I walk through crowds of lower backpain, waxed eyebrows, $20,000 deductibles, manicured fingers, rising insurance premiums, exploding waistlines, low credit scores, and unseasonable tans. They’re all smiling. This is fun. Spending money, getting fat, collecting things—it feels good.

Yes, we feel better already.


Filed under De La Moda

Mona Lisa Vs. Carey Mulligan

These chicks are in right now. Like #MonaLisa, #CarrieMulligan, #Louvre, #Drive, trending right now. Maybe Mona’s always trending, like Lady Gaga or weight loss secrets. Carrie on the other hand, I think she’ll have a rich future of trending until she’s at least twenty-nine. Maybe even thirty if she ages well. There’s something to be said for aging well. Look at Mona! Still in the limelight after all of these centuries!

I’ll admit it—Mona Lisa—I don’t get it. I never have. In my youth, I took a class on the subject and all I walked away with was the definition of ubiquitous eyes. Sure, she’s got those. Big deal. Nothing personal Mona, but you just don’t do much for me.

I’ve even seen you a couple times. Granted I didn’t get that close. I couldn’t. Between us there were a lot of Asians. Asians who were heavily armed with long lenses and wanted nothing more in the whole world than two hundred photos of you.

What’s the deal with that anyway? Why would anyone swarm like paparazzi to get a photo of a widely accessible painting? What’s the advantage? Mona wears the same shit everyday. The day you tote your camera to the Louvre isn’t going to miraculously be the day Mona shows up in a bathing suit. You’re not going to catch a “wardrobe malfunction.” And she’s not sliding out of a limo, so if you were hoping for a crotch-shot, your odds are slim.

I hate to disappoint you, but day in, day out, it’s the same drab Mona. She’s not a song and dance girl. No sir. What you see is what you get. Take it or leave it. A lot of people have taken it. I left it.

I didn’t get it so I split, but I’ve since returned. I elbowed through a sea of amateur photogs with phallic like lenses, which were seemingly attached to their faces. And these men, mostly men, they stop, stare. They gawk. We’ve all been there before—stopping and staring.

While were on the subject of gawking…

I saw Carey Mulligan last night—what do you think I was doing? Minding my own business? Checking my email? Listening to my friend’s story about getting a Boston Terrier? Hell no. I was drooling on myself in a dark bar on the corner of Selma and Wilcox.

Do I wish I had whipped out my phone and snapped a quick picture of her? Um, no. Why? Because the world wide web is full of images where she looks better than she did last night. And say for some reason, I was really into low quality pictures of hot chicks—why take one myself when surely there’s some half-night vision, half-POV sex tape of Carey Mulligan and a Portuguese Tuna Canning heir. Which no doubt, is readily available on the vast wasteland I’ve come to know as the internet.

This was the second time in a week Carey and I had been in this situation. Yours truly, drooling on myself, and her, blissfully unaware of my presence. Of course, the first time I was reclined at the Arclight and she was about sixteen feet tall. On the screen, she didn’t look that great. They put a lot of work into making her look shitty, which I’m sure was no easy task. They went with the obvious: ethnically ambiguous son, a criminal husband, a minimum wage job and an oily face.

As I do, I was in the theatre furiously taking notes. Be forewarned, I’m big into the suspension of disbelief. Naturally, I was deep in thought. My prompt: How does one convince Carey Mulligan that we should drive down the LA River whilst listening to synthy jams?

First, the obvious, get a toothpick. Second, get a thrift store jacket with a reptile on the back. After steps one and two, it becomes more complicated. You need to be handy. Under the hood, under the sink, Stanley Kowalski sweating-in-a-wifebeater-handy.

Grease is good. It’ll break down the physical barrier between the two of you when, inevitably after a long day of fixing something arcane, Carey Mulligan has to walk over to thank you. She’ll bring an ice-cold beer, which you’ll thank her for. You’ll take a long pull because you deserve it. Then she’ll laugh and you’ll smile, but you won’t know why. She’ll reach out to wipe the grease, which is perfectly smudged beneath your eye like some sort of relic of your handiwork. Shortly after you share this moment, you’ll consummate the relationship in the thinned-walled room next to where another man’s son sleeps. She’ll tell you to be quiet, but she won’t mean it. The kid will wake up to some greasy stranger nailing his mom through the headboard, but really—who cares?

I will admit Mulligan has certain advantages over La Gioconda. First and foremost, she has eyebrows. Mona, the eyebrowless wonder, looks like a cholita who left her Sharpie at home. Secondly, the hands. My god, have you seen Mona’s hands? They’re meaty and pallid, like two big dead fish slapped across her waist. Lastly, they say there’s something enigmatic about Mona’s look. I usually dig that, but when pitted against Carey Mulligan it becomes complicated. Why? On screen there’s almost nothing complicated about Mulligan. She plays the damsel in distress. She’s a throwback to an era before Beyonce’s anthems of independence. And as Irene, Mulligan is one misogynist’s loving portrayal of the perfect imperfect woman. Bravo, Nicholas. Bravo.

Carey Mulligan 1

Mona Lisa 0

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Filed under Red Cups, unemployment

Moderate Times Call For Moderate Measures

We actually know a tremendous amount. We constantly doubt ourselves, our knowledge, but it’s unjustified. We think we should read more. We should probably google some of those guys in the news, or at least where they come from. Although we already know, it’s not close to here. We might be uninformed, but we’re not stupid.

We pick our battles. We’re not trying to debate. There’s too much out there. Too many Prime Ministers, too many countries, too many emaciated orphans, too many religions, too many types of tomatoes, too many new bands, too many movies, too many wars, too many people trying to park on our street.

We know about medicine. Red wine can be good for us. Moderation is really good for us. The sun is not good for us. Antiperspirant is not good for us. Sitting is not good for us. Croissants aren’t good for us, but kale is. Raw kale. Raw carrots. Raw squash. Raw zucchini. Raw milk. Raw mustard. Raw, moderately consumed red wine. We must stress moderation.

These are moderate times, which call for moderate measures. Don’t forget that. We won’t. We’re taking stuff for our memory, every night and every morning.

If doesn’t come in the pill form, we’re really not that interested.

We’d like a goodnight’s sleep. Pill, please.

We’ve gotta stay up all night studying Mandarin/boozing/breastfeeding. Pill me.

Meditation retreat: we need to smile, we need to relax, we need to love the way we feel. Here’s a pill—might need to snort this one.

Feeling sick? Pill.

Not feeling sick, but getting a sickly feeling that you might feel sick if you don’t take something? Here’s one for the anxiety and we’ll throw in a probiotic—on the house, no problem—the least we could do. Sign here.

We’re really stressed. There’s so much bad shit going on in the world. And we’re getting fatter—all of us. Except those orphans; wherever they are. They’re getting skinnier. Which is depressing. Starving orphans don’t know what it’s like to spend their lives on the Elliptical and still look like whale. We’re depressed and we’re also getting fatter, which is making it difficult to watch the news, or to get off the couch, or to eat kale. Raw.

If we weren’t so tired and fat we’d send those orphans some kale. But we realize starving orphans probably have a PO Box or a hotmail account. Starving orphans probably couldn’t accept the kale even if we sent it to them. In a lot of ways, starving orphans are lucky. I mean, who really likes kale?


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Filed under Formal Correspondence