7.27.2011

2 Birds Investigates: Homeopathic Remedies (#Pause #NoHomeo)

I don't know if you know this, but Chris and I aren't really "ballers". We do not "ball". We take out high-interest loans with no intentions of paying them back and busk on the Internet for your spare chicken scraps. Which I believe is the exact opposite of "balling". Due to our anti-baller status, we can't really afford "insurance" or "proper medical care" and have to live like "high-class hobos", traveling from Cosi to Cosi filling up our Jansport backpacks with bread samples and complimentary pads of butter for the encroaching Winter. In lieu of medical benefits, we thought we'd spend an evening in my apartment just trying out a bunch of wacky shit that could potentially improve our mental and physical well-being. It's not the most clever thing we've ever done, but then again when the precedent is set with MSG, pussy dye, and bum wine, I guess it doesn't really have to be.

TEST #1: BINAURAL BEATS/iDOSING

According to Wikipedia: "Binaural beats or binaural tones are auditory processing artifacts, or apparent sounds, the perception of which arises in the brain for specific physical stimuli."

In Other Words: You listen to some queer noises and get high. Or lose weight. Or quit smoking. Or fall asleep. Or wake up. Or lots of things.

What You'll Need: A laptop/iPhone/iPod/mp3 player, a pair of headphones, access to a website with downloadable and/or streaming binaural beats (we used this one and this one), and a calming environment to relax in. To set the mood in my apartment, I turned off all the lights, tossed some throw pillows on the floor, and lit a musky incense stick.
Then I boldly stuck my hand up the front of Chris' blouse and felt up his tittays. And guess what? I'm telling everyone.

Step 1: Pick Your Desired Effect
We started small—I tried "Coffee Break" (considering earlier that day I woke up at 1pm, took 20mg of Adderall, drank a Redbull, ate a moderately-sized sandwich, and immediately passed out again for a few more hours) and Chris tried "Relaxation" (considering he was a ball of stress and anxiety from the lack of work we had done that day due to my sandwich/napping.)

From i-dose.us:

"'Coffee Break' will help you ward off drowsiness and feel alert in minutes. If you need to wake up quickly, this recording is exactly what you are looking for. The 'Coffee Break' track uses high Beta waves that will help you overcome tiredness.

"Using a combination of Beta, Theta, and Delta waves, along with soothing waves in the background, 'Relaxation' will literally wash away your worries, giving your body and mind the time needed to restore balance and mental strength. At the end of the track you will feel peaceful and calm."

For our second round, we both tried "Out Of Body" from healingbeats.com.

Step 2: Plug In Your Headphones, Lay Down, Close Your Eyes, and Press Play

VERDICTS:
Have I ever told you about Giant Camel’s relationship to the news? He has no interest in what’s going on in the world at large, but does like to be shocked, so he somehow has the news on his phone set up only to show him stories featuring certain keywords: murder, arson, rape, killing, beheading, disemboweling, “oh God the humanity,” “there were kids in that grain silo,” and “white people making problems for themselves.” Filed under this last, he read something a few months ago about “iDosing,” a new moral panic about children downloading binaural beat track from the internet and getting “high” from them. Isn’t that just made for Oprah? It has everything she likes: potential for addiction, something scary on the internet, and America’s Youth. Anyway, during Meg’s and my experimental session I chose a relaxation track with soothing ocean waves in addition to the beats. I was more relaxed afterward, having lain down in the dark with ocean sounds in my ears for twenty minutes. Then during the Out of Body one, I tried really hard. I had a friend in high school who was very rational and scientific except for her firm belief that she had been able to leave her body several times during childhood, so I was willing to try. Those binaural beats, by themselves, do make your body feel weird. I tried to loosen the ties to my body, I tried relaxing, I tried to gently push my “self” out my navel, but all I could think of was the episode of The Simpsons where Lisa has an out of body experience and Valentine’s Day 2002, when the aforementioned out-of-body friend and I sat in a parking lot in her Celica eating a large Whitman’s chocolate sampler and listening to Cypress Hill.

Tulane Chris’ Final Verdict: I miss Dhriti.


I give "Coffee Break" one "meh" and three solid "feh's". It kind of sounds like you're standing in the middle of a freeway and cars are whizzing past you in both directions. I mean, I guess I felt more awake by the end of the track, but I think that's mostly because I was lying on a hardwood floor for 15-minutes thinking, "Huh, it kind of sounds like I'm standing in the middle of a freeway and cars are whizzing past me in both directions."

I really, really wanted "Out of Body" to work. I can totally get down with this sort of hippie-dippie-reiki-rah-rah bullshit. I worked at a socially conscious, New Age supply store for a summer in college and I kind of got into it. It was such a weird job. We had to say "namaste" instead of "thank you" after every transaction and I never didn't feel like a total asshole when I did it. Looking back, I have no idea why they hired me. I wasn't an accurate representation of their clientele at all. They asked me what I knew about organic cotton during my interview and I distinctly remember muttering something about pesticides and wishing my skirt was about four inches longer and very much an earth tone. And yet not only was I hired, I was given keys to the store and put in charge of closing (alone) every night, despite the fact that I was 19 and about as responsible as a meth head with $40 and a vicious case of ADHD. It was a sweet gig though because I didn't have to work with anyone and customers never came in, so my friends would just drop by and shoot the shit over the Tibetan prayer flags and meditation tapes and figure out what we were going to do that night. This only backfired once when the owner unexpectedly dropped by right as Talia rolled up, saw the shop door open, rolled down all of her car windows, blasted Nelly's "Hot In Here" and repeatedly shouted, "MAY-GAHN! GET YO ASS IN THE CAR, GURRRRRL!" into the shop. Luckily for me, the owner was batshit crazy and either didn't notice or didn't care. And when I say he was batshit crazy, I don't mean that in like a, "Ohhhh, people who own their own businesses are crazy! LOL! Boo Boss #1! Boo Boss #2!" kind of way. I mean he was literally crazy. He had Multiple Personality Disorder, which I was warned about by his wife on my first day of training and told to just "go with". One of his personalities was Ghandi, and he'd routinely call me up and ask how business was in a full-blown Indian accent and I'd have to be like, "Oh, hi, Mahatma..." I'd think this story was made up if it wasn't a completely accurate description of my summer of 2004.

I 100% forget why I brought any of this up. YES—iDosing. So, yeah, I feel like that job gave me an appreciation for New Age bruhaha and I really wanted to have an out of body experience or get high from iDosing. Unfortunately neither happened. But not for lack of trying! I was totally in a zen place and the "Out of Body" track had started to freak me out, but then I was immediately taken out of the moment by Christopher Turner-Neil a.k.a. THE LOUDEST HUMAN BEING ON THE PLANET. God bless him and God bless his heart, but the entire time I was laying there, all I could hear or concentrate on was Chris' breathing, and coughing, and wheezing, and sniffling, and the CRINKLE CRINKLE CRINKLE of his shirt every time he moved, and the little "Psssst! Psssst!" noises he made at me when he was done and I wasn't. Christ. Although full disclosure: he did offer to go in the bathroom while I tried it again in silence, but frankly at that point I had a raging headache from listening to that crap for 20 minutes and just really wanted to move on.

So, Meg's Final Verdict: Abrasive waste of time.

Crestfallen from that failure, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

TEST #2: MARIJUANA
You put the big hand in the little hand, put the strap and BOOM—it's Sunday night. Moving on.

TEST #3: NETI POT
According to Wikipedia: "A neti pot is a small pot used to flush out the nasal cavities by using gravity to draw the flow of saline."

In Other Words: You shove salt water up one nostril and it comes pouring out the other.

What You'll Need: A neti pot (available at GNC, CVS, Walgreens, blah blah blah), saline packets, and water.

Step 1: Fill Neti Pot With Lukewarm Water
(I like to think I'm not a stereotypical "stoner" when I smoke—I'm not all "TIME IS CYCLICAL, MAN!" and falling in love with Ben Harper, but it's worth mentioning that this step stupefied me. Chris told me to fill the pot with lukewarm water, so I turned on the hot water faucet about half-way. A few seconds later I tested the temperature and it was absurdly hot, so I turned it down a little. I let a few seconds pass, tested it again, and it was still too hot. I turned it way down so only a trickle of water was coming out, and it was still burning hot. I mean...I felt like I had just found a flaw in the universe or discovered a government conspiracy or something. Chris and I had this glorious, wordless exchange where I looked up at him—speechless—my eyes bugging out all, "HOW THE FUCK DO YOU MAKE LUKEWARM WATER?!?!" and he raised one single eyebrow at me, sighed, and turned on the cold water faucet slightly. I was like, "OHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! Yes." I don't know. It was one of the more embarrassing moments in my life.

Step 2: Pour In the Saline Solution and Stir Until Dissolved

Step 3: Bend Over Until Your Face is Over the Sink and Holding the Neti Pot in Your Right Hand, Put the Spout In Your Right Nostril

Step 4: Turn Your Head to the Right Until Your Left Ear is Above the Sink and Water Starts Flowing Out of Your Left Nostril. Drain Whole Pot.

Step 5: Repeat on Other Side

Step 6: Douse Your Bathroom in Cleanser and Try Not to Vomit

VERDICTS:
You know those little specific rules you get raised with, that stick with you even as an adult? My father’s main one was “Never wear a short-sleeved shirt with a tie” and my mother’s main one was “Never ignore a sinus infection.” For once, she had an excellent reason: her great-aunt had ignored a sinus infection, and it had Gotten Out of Hand. The infection ultimately made its way into the bone, and the doctors had to take out half of the bone in her forehead. She had to wear a football helmet to protect her brain until they were able to put in a plate.* So after watching Meg’s little display – “Don’t talk to me. Don’t make me laugh. Aaaaaaaaaah. Aaaaaaaaaaah. Okay. Oh God. Okay. How much is left?!” – I was eager to see if the neti pot helped my cold, so it wouldn’t Get Out of Hand and Eat My Face Bones. Well. The saline got caught behind the globs of mucus in my face. I didn’t understand what was going on at first, I just knew that water had gone IN but not come OUT. Complicating the matter is the fact that it’s almost impossible to intuit how to rotate your head to make everything flow right: you’re supposed to rotate it as though looking over your shoulder, but that doesn’t “feel right.” Not to put too fine a point on it: I had to snuffle out huge globs of mucus-saline froth into and around the sink as Meg commented on how gross it was. Gross, yes: but after I snortled and snarfled and frithed and frothed I did feel a hell of a lot better. It’s not graceful, but sometimes–apparently–a man needs the inside of his head rinsed, and to my knowledge the neti pot is the only game in town.

*This sounds made up but it’s totally not.

Tulane Chris’ Final Verdict: Unpleasant but xX LOL EFFECTIVE Xx

Alex has been trying to get me to use a neti pot for well over a year now. He (and I feel like the rest of the world) swears by his, but I've always been too scared to try it. The first time he told me what it was I thought I was going to pass out. I mean, the water goes in one nostril and out the other. I didn't even know that was an option. I understand my sinuses like I understand my vagina—fluids go in, fluids come out, and everything in between is God's work.

Before this little experiment, I first had to come to terms with the fact that I was probably going to die. Because nothing in the world would surprise me less than if I died via getting high and drowning in a neti pot. Nothing. I spent a fair amount of time prancing around my bathroom nervously saying, "Oh, God—my mom's gonna be so disappointed in me," over and over again until I made Chris promise that if I did die, he'd pull some Casey Anthony shit and punch me in the tit, dump me in the Potomac and be like, "THAT POOR ANGEL—SHE WAS MuRdErEd!" to cover for me. We shook on it and I began. And it was startling. That's the best way I can describe it. It's a startling experience. The first few seconds feel like you just snorted a giant eight-ball of indoor swimming pool, and then all of a sudden the stinging goes away and there's a stream of fluid coming out of your other nostril and it's incredibly disorienting. And it goes on like that. For a while. To quote Chris, "it's a lot like losing your virginity: you very quickly go from 'OMG!' to 'how long is this going to last?'" When everything was said and done, it defiantly lubricated my sinuses (not to mention cleaned the hell out of my nose ring!), but it wasn't the life-changing experience everyone makes it out to be. I'm going to continue to use it for a while to see how it combats the congestion from my lingering Tulane Chris Fever, but I'm not sold.

Meg's Final Verdict: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Syndrome—a lot of hype and not a lot of delivery.

TEST #4: EAR CANDLING

According to Wikipedia: "Ear candling, also called ear coning or thermal-auricular therapy, is an alternative medicine practice claimed to improve general health and well-being by lighting one end of a hollow candle and placing the other end in the ear canal."

Wikipedia Goes On to Say: "According to medical researchers, it is both dangerous and ineffective."

We Say: OH. 

What You'll Need: Ear candles, a plate to catch wax drips, and a pair of scissors

Step 1: The Fuck If I Know
Uh, the box didn't come with any directions, which feels wildly negligent considering it's a product you light on fire and stick into your person. It also makes the ominous "BE SAFE" warning on the top flap kind of adorable and confusing all at the same time:

Because...how?

Assumed Step 1: Cut an X Into a Paper Plate or a Pie Container If You're Smart and Don't Want the Plate to Catch on Fire

Assumed Step 2: Stick the Candle Through the Hole, Plug the Bottom with Your Finger, and Light the Top

Assumed Step 3: Wait a Few Seconds For the Cone to Fill With Smoke and Remove Bottom Finger. (Smoke Should Be Coming Out, As Pictured.)

Assumed Step 4: Stick Candle In Ear. Protect Head From Dripping Wax with the Plate/Pie Container and a Horribly Unflattering Black Shift Dress You Bought From H&M to Wear to Your Sister's Bachelorette Party But Never Wore Because You Look Homely and It's Fucking Miami Draped Over Candle-ee's Head

Assumed Step 5: Wait Approximately 20 Minutes. Watch an Episode of Clone High To Fill the Uncomfortable Silence Between You and Your Writing Partner.

Assumed Step 6: Blow Out the Flame Once It Reaches a Few Inches Above the Plate

Assumed Step 7: Cut Open the Candle

Assumed Step 8: Marvel At What Apparently Isn't Earwax/Toxins In the Least

VERDICTS:
I’ve been meaning to try ear candling for years, ever since my summer fling with “the 30% guy.” I called him the 30% guy because I only had to operate at about thirty percent capacity to impress him. It was the relationship equivalent of those college classes where you just have to show up for three tests and pass two of them. 30% guy was also the only person I’ve ever known who “broke his sinus” – he got punched in the face during a mugging, and so it cracked the little sinus in his cheek which made the whole side of his face inflate when he breathed. Anyway, 30% guy swore by ear candling. He had terrible allergies and told me that all you had to do was just candle your ear and all the congestion just spiraled out, magically, like Pandora’s box. The reality was less exciting. After doing Meg’s ears (I wish writing partnerships didn’t involve things like “doing each other’s ears”) I lay down for her to do mine. Imagine lying on a hardwood floor with a warm stick in your ear while watching “Clone High.” That’s exactly what it’s like. Having the stick in your ear feels good in a kind of unsettling way, as though your body is determined to make the most of somebody putting something in some orifice. If the candling had worked, I would have expected the inside of my candle upon dissection to be full of cold-related “toxins” and “secretions” and “ear crap,” but it looked more or less like Meg’s, and subsequent exploration with a Q-Tip revealed ample wax left in the ear.

Tulane Chris’ Final Verdict: Bullcorn

Seriously, what I took away from this is that it feels completely amazing to have something in my ear. 

Meg's Final Verdict: SUCCESS!

Investors: POSSIBLY YOU??

7.22.2011

POOR LOL DGF!

Haha! I had an unexpected Conversation About Money earlier today, and what do you know? It’s time to play…


The Suddenly I’m In Financial Trouble Drinking Game!


Drink for every one of these phrases you say or think:

- “No, this is good. So, I’ll just eat lentils and canned pears and walk everywhere. So in what, five weeks? I should be in pretty good shape and can start picking up johns.”

- “It’s good not to be able to afford to go out. I’ll stay home and work on creative projects. I’ll learn to do origami, that’s it. I’ll just buy a book and DAMMIT I CAN’T AFFORD AN
ORIGAMI BOOK.”


- “Mom? How much is in your retirement account? Oh, just wondering. Uh-huh. Yeah. How do you feel?”

- “Does anyone know if that thing in American Beauty about there being a market for drug-free urine was true or just for giggles? Bueller?”

- “I’m doing this wrong. I’ll just become a Buddhist. They’re not supposed to want things.”

- “Sand irritates oysters and the oysters make beautiful pearls. All these people on the metro are irritating me and I’m producing acid reflux, which no sane woman would pay to wear.”


- “Hi, I just had a question about my coverage. It says that if I’m seriously injured, I’m covered to go to a rehab facility… right. So I was wondering, how badly would I have to be injured, and are meals included? Hello?”

Also drink when you:

- Claim the electric bill just hasn’t shown up the last few months. What are the odds?


- Look for change in the sofa cushions. Not under them; in them.

- Try to exploit a “loophole” in your lease by paying your rent in Singapore dollars, 13.426741 to the American.

- Make a mustard sandwich.


- Make mustard sandwiches for guests.


- Take a date to the Target snack bar.

See you Monday!

T.G.I. Hagman!

I just spent an embarrassingly long amount of time trying to write a Hagman-specific cover of Gary Puckett and the Union Gap's "Young Girl", but couldn't make it past: "Young Hagman, get out of my mind, My love for you is way out of line, Better run Hag, You're much too drunk fag." Which I'd like to think is proof positive I'm still in the throes of Tulane Chris Fever (not entirely unlike March Madness) and I need to go back to bed. I apologize for having to move our investigation to Monday. But in the mean timeT.G.I. Hagman!

Photobucket

As of 8:25am on July 22 2011, Larry Hagman is...alive! And beneath his perfume and makeup—he's just a baby in disguise. Sigh. Alright, I'm going to go with God. See you Monday.

7.21.2011

ALSO!

Real quick question: There is interest in an e-reader version of our book, right? Let me know because I've got to take those numbers and report back to Papa Bear. Thanks!

An Early Morning Email From Dan

To: Meg
From: Dan
Subject: OMG

"So I hacked into my Mom’s facebook (I know…) to see what she could see on mine (apparently everything!). BUT! Since I was logging in from the UAE – it made me answer the security questions and identify a few of her friends. And, well, you’re one of her friends. So… this page came up!"

To clarify, that's:

1.) Me. Wearing an airbrushed trucker hat boasting the phrase "Moustache Ride".

2.) Me. At a party. In the corner. Taking a MySpace photo of myself. Giving the shocker.

3.) Me. High, riding around on a tiny novelty tricycle and looking incredibly pleased with myself and my life choices.

...I think perhaps at this point the less I say, the more.

I'll be taking a long, hard look at myself in the mirror if you need me.*

(*Actually I'll be downing a DayQuil/Mucinex cocktail and taking care of post-surgery Diane. Poor mom! My poor little lamb! Am I the best daughter in the family? Some say yes. And some say I'm just the least employed. Specifically Chris. What an asshole.)

7.20.2011

Let's Get This Over With...

Ugh, I have so many housekeeping issues to discuss with you and none of them are all that funny or interesting, but we can't move on and talk about the shenanigans Chris and I got up to this past weekend if we don't address them, so let's just get this over with:

1.) That was horrible sentence structure.

2.) As I'm sure you've noticed by now, we're trying out a new way to visually differentiate my posts from Chris'. From now on, both of our blog posts will be in gray text and the little bird icon at the beginning of each post will correspond with the author. (<--- I could not mathematically figure out how to word that so it made sense for a solid five minutes. That felt like taking a test for Autism.) We can always go back to the old format if you decide you really don't like it, but as with anal sex or a friendship with your dad's new girlfriend, I urge you to give it a chance.

3.) In updating the first page of the blog with the new formatting last night, I accidentally deleted the version of Chris' post from last Friday with all the comments. I 100% apologize and assure you that it was a complete accident and I wasn't trying to censor any negative opinions to protect Chris' fragile little ego or anything. Quite the opposite, in fact. I say bring 'em on! The more the merrier! I like watching him get riled up because it makes me feel slightly less crazy about that time I called him curled up in the self-help section of Barnes and Noble having a full-blown panic attack because someone left an aggressive comment saying that I was the most self-involved blogger they'd ever read. In retrospect, I may have overreacted slightly. Oh, me. Let's talk about my reaction to that comment some more. And then a lot more.

4.) Speaking of comments, I'd like to address this old one:
I mean, I get it. Times are lean. You're here to read about our awkwardness and flatulence and gentle love affair with Megan's Law jokes; not get harassed for money while taking a much deserved break from your day. I get it. (Specifically because I was BOMBARDED by kids trying to get me to donate to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington the other day when I was on the metro taking my laundry to my parent's house to do it for free. I mean, don't get me wrong—the Boys & Girls Club is a very worthy cause. Let's not pretend like I've never had to use an ill-strung badminton racket or like I wasn't the laughing-stock of field hockey camp because I always had to use my sister's hand-me-down CranBerry stick when everyone knew it was all about STX® that year—I speak your jive, kids. I get it. But I got hassled by kid after kid after kid when we offloaded at Brentwood Ave, and it's like, look Junior—what part of me standing on this metro platform in 100-degree weather holding an Ikea bag stuffed with my dirty underwear makes you think I've reached a point in my life where I have disposable income? Was it the Chipotle-stained Hall and Oates t-shirt that just tumbled out and onto your shoe? Because that was a gift.)

The point I'm trying to make here is that I find the business side of the blog just as boring and irritating as you do. So much so, that I tend to just ignore it completely and cling to the hope that Scrooge McDuck will one day waddle into my apartment, quack, leave two sacks of gold coins on my bed, shine his monocle on my blouse, and waddle his way back out. That being said, I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that that might not happen, and every now and then we have to remind you how much it helps us when you follow us on Twitter, join our Facebook page, forward the blog to a friend, and "like" and buy our book(s) on Amazon. It makes me uncomfortable, but then again so does debt and having to snort fresh cracked pepper for $5 a line as my father's post-dinner entertainment. (True story.) (Sadly.)

We're also eager to schill our book because, well, we're proud of it. Writing it with Chris was probably one of the most fun things I've ever done in my life and as cheesy as it sounds, we're just really excited to share it with you. Because (and I know I'm biased here) it's a really fucking funny book. The following is from an email one of our editors sent us after her first read-through of the manuscript:

"Without sounding like a gushing dork, I have to say that I haven't read a manuscript that I've enjoyed this much in EONS. You guys pulled together one helluva book. You should be really proud. It was hilarious! [...] Again, loved the manuscript! I was laughing out loud and I think my landlords (who live upstairs) are probably wondering what kinds of drugs I've been doing...."

It's exciting! I also feel like it's a good sign that despite having analyzed, torn apart, re-written and slaved over pretty much every line in the book, Chris and I still found ourselves laughing-out-loud every read-through during the editing process. There's an excerpt available online on our publisher's website, should you feel so moved. It's the introduction and the first half of the first chapter, which we wrote first, so we were still in a relatively healthy mindset. I wish you could read the shit we wrote when it was three o'clock in the morning and we hadn't slept for a few days and suddenly helper monkeys, Cincinnati Bowties, and Rod Roddy's ghost were in the mix, as well as The Most Racist Joke We've Ever Written And Are Still Shocked (And Appalled, Quite Frankly) It Got To Stay In, and more thinly veiled Jessica Walter shot-outs than you can shake a stick at. I mean, you can read them. You just have to buy the book. Which I promise I won't nag you about every day, but try to keep in mind that this is our career and we need to buy pants 'n shit. (So much pants...)

SO IN CONCLUSION:

5.) I think I caught the flu from Chris when he was here this past weekend because I feel completely God-awful right now. That's what I get for splitting a hummus platter with a homosexual.

6.) Also, if you buy the book for an e-reader, you get bonus material.

OK! We're all caught up to speed. Thank you for sitting through that. And if you have already made moves to support us, I would just want to say: thank you, thank you, thank you! We truly appreciate it. (I was going to say, "And so does Evie!" and post an adorable picture of her, but, frankly, she doesn't, and she really wasn't cooperating during the photoshoot:


But thank God her hinders are clean. Christ. Oh well, new 2 Birds Investigations tomorrow! ZIG-A-ZIG-HA!)

7.19.2011

WE GOT A NEW LOOK!



More on that later. Sleep first.

Chris vs. Jezebel

You know how sometimes you don’t like something, but you don’t really have a good reason, and then a good reason presents itself and you’re so relieved because when it comes up in conversation you can bellow “SEE! It’s awful!” instead of whimpering “I just don’t, God.” (See, for example, the well-known battles “Chris vs. Mangoes” and “Chris vs. Radiohead.”) People would send me articles from trendy feminist website Jezebel to read and they’d be funny or interesting, but something about the website I just didn’t like. I think a lot of it is that “Jezebel” implies someone rebellious, and the overall tone of the website strikes me as – follow me here – being that of people who think they’re rebellious and unconventional, but aren’t. When I lived in Austin, I had these friends who were a couple, and they spent years talking about how they were going to Argentina, and as time went on they kept going to couples’ counseling and renting all-beige furnished apartments and giving me condescending advice about my job hunt… but they were going to Argentina! Just watch them! Jezebel seems to have a number of writers who have envelopes on their desks labeled “ARGENTINA FUND” that contain a couple of expired scratch-off lottery tickets redeemable for another scratch-off lottery ticket of equal price. It reminds me of the girl I knew in college who started a feminist theatre company to “explode gender conventions,” but kept having nervous breakdowns when men didn’t call her back. I just don’t think having a not-particularly-radical-feminist blog is rebellious – and I think if the actual, factual, Biblical Queen Jezebel looked down (or up) and saw what her name had been appended to, she’d have a hissy fit. She was too busy hoarding treasure, wreaking sexual havoc, and worshipping pagan gods to worry about if American Apparel is anti-feminist or not. Jezebel should really be called Meredith Vieira. Jezebel also does that thing trend-liberals do where they claim to be all about equality but consistently talk shit about the South, which is tiresome. If they post a story about something that happens in New York, that guy is an asshole, but if it happens in Georgia, it’s you know how they are down there. Also, the commenters call each other “Jezzies,” which….

So Jezebel unsettled me because of its faux-rebellious vibe, but the other day I got my reason to yell “See!”

Jezebel presented, under the title An Insane Email from the World’s Worst Mother-in-Law,” this “probably true” viral email sent by a prospective step-mother-in-law to her stepson’s fiancée. Granted, the tone is haughty, but what the Jezebettes didn’t catch was that Heidi, the daughter-in-law, is probably completely intolerable. Below, the email, and my comments in italics:

“‘It is high time someone explained to you about good manners. Yours are obvious by their absence and I feel sorry for you.

This is bitchy, but keep reading.

Unfortunately for Freddie, he has fallen in love with you and Freddie being Freddie, I gather it is not easy to reason with him or yet encourage him to consider how he might be able to help you. It may just be possible to get through to you though. I do hope so.

An adult man who still goes by “Freddie” may be beyond help.

If you want to be accepted by the wider Bourne family I suggest you take some guidance from experts with utmost haste. There are plenty of finishing schools around.

Please, for your own good, for Freddie's sake and for your future involvement with the Bourne family, do something as soon as possible.

Here are a few examples of your lack of manners:
When you are a guest in another's house, you do not declare what you will and will not eat – unless you are positively allergic to something. You do not remark that you do not have enough food. You do not start before everyone else. You do not take additional helpings without being invited to by your host.

No, you don’t! Food manners are the most basic manners of all. Can’t you just see this girl: “Oh, I HATE cabbage. I’m STILL hungry. I’ll go first! Is there any left?” I imagine she flossed at the table.

When a guest in another's house, you do not lie in bed until late morning in households that rise early – you fall in line with house norms.

Okay, here I disagree slightly with the writer because people just do have different internal clocks and I’ve always had trouble rising early: that said, it is rude to loll around as late as you please when people are waiting for you.

You should never ever insult the family you are about to join at any time and most definitely not in public. I gather you passed this off as a joke but the reaction in the pub was one of shock, not laughter.

Are you fucking kidding me? You should TRY to positively impress your husband-to-be’s family, and to insult a family you are a GUEST of?! I bet this gal didn’t even flush her own mess.

You should have hand-written a card to me. You have never written to thank me when you have stayed.

Always. Thank. Your hosts.

You regularly draw attention to yourself. Perhaps you should ask yourself why.

I bet you this is a polite way of saying she gets drunk and sings “I’m Your Venus” with dirtier lyrics.

No one gets married in a castle unless they own it. It is brash, celebrity style behaviour.

Even if you do own it…

I understand your parents are unable to contribute very much towards the cost of your wedding. (There is nothing wrong with that except that convention is such that one might presume they would have saved over the years for their daughters' marriages.)

If this is the case, it would be most ladylike and gracious to lower your sights and have a modest wedding as befits both your incomes.

She can’t pay for it, but she wants a castle? Unfuckingbelievable.

One could be accused of thinking that Heidi Withers must be patting herself on the back for having caught a most eligible young man. I pity Freddie.’

I don’t. He deserves what he gets for choosing this harridan.

The Jezebel writer adds:

“And Bourne isn't the only one who was troubled by Withers' behavior. Elsewhere the email notes that Bomber, the family dog, was left 'profoundly upset, depressed and anxious' by her visit.”

Call me old-fashioned, but dogs are members of the family. Be nice to the dog.

So, we can argue about the propriety of this email, but it’s not insane. Jezebel is coming out on the side of terrible, atrocious, appalling, God-awful manners – “We’re so rebellious, we wipe our hands on the tablecloth!”

To be fair, most of the comments on this post were a discussion of thank-you notes, with most commenters in favor of sending them, so there’s hope, but still. I can’t help but think a real feminist would side against Heidi Withers for making women look bad – she’s apparently spoiled, unpleasant, and wants to be given a wedding in a castle. She’s probably not a Jezebel, but I bet she’s a bitch.

On the topic of feminists-who-aren’t, by the way, I recommend the documentary Sex: The Annabel Chong Story. Annabel Chong is now a trivia question, but she was briefly famous in the nineties for having sex with 251 men in a single day and igniting the “World’s Biggest Gangbang” porn craze. She tries to position herself as a feminist reclaiming promiscuity as a valid female choice, but fails and comes across as a garden-variety lunatic who had one marketable idea. I won’t tell you the whole story, but watch it. In the special features, she mentions that she is now making a documentary about being in a documentary.

7.15.2011

It feels extra important this week...

T.G.I. Hagman, gang!
Photobucket
As of 3:42am on July 15, 2011, Larry Hagman is...alive! Watch the beat go UH.

7.14.2011

On 'Dallas', on Cupid, on Donder, on Blitzen!




All of my emotions about the new Dallas can be summed up in one single noise: it's a mixture of a long, disappointed sigh; the grunt of a pregnant woman in the throes of her final push; and the Bill Lumbergh "Yyyyyyyyyyyeahhh....", all made with a facial expression that screams, "Oh, shit—I just locked my keys in my car, didn't I?" That is how I feel about the remake of Dallas.

I understand that if anyone should be happy about the new Dallas, it should be me. The original Dallas is one of my all-time favorite shows, Larry Hagman is my personal Lord and savior, and if anyone loves trashy night time TV more than me, I'd like to meet them. (So I can destroy and sex them.) (NOT IN THAT ORDER.) However, I would like to take this time to officially state that I am not on board with Dallas 2.0. I actually got drunk and wrote a really long post about why not when Larry Hagman agreed to join the cast, but it was uncomfortably serious and kind of embarrassing for us all, so I ended up scrapping it and going outside to breathe this "fresh air" that everyone speaks so highly of. Here is what I will say, briefly:

1.) So much of why I love 70's/80's soap operas is because of the fashion: big hair; nude pumps;
spangly, spangly gowns; my beloved gold lamé; tight, high-waisted Gloria Vanderbilt jeans; pantyhose!; nylon and lycra and pearls—oh my! It's borderline pornographic. But squeeze a meh-list actress fresh off a run on Desperate Housewives into a Herver Leger bandage dress, give her a spray tan and I'm sorry, but I'm not poppin' wood. You feelin' me?

2.) I want to remember JR Ewing as a s-s-sex machine, not a s-s-stroke victim, thank you.
Nip/Tuck. You assholes.

3.) My concern is and always will be for
Larry Hagman's health. I'm actually CEO of a non-profit called "Focus on the Hagman". We sponsor T.G.I. Hagman's across the country, run uncomfortable Super Bowl ads and make it rain with pairs of TOMS. It's all very exciting. But we, as an organization, are not comfortable with the attention Larry Hagman is inevitably going to get from Dallas 2.0. Because on some small level, I truly believe that the Grim Reaper got distracted the day he was supposed to collect LH because he had to pick up more mulch at Home Depot or some shit and oops—it's 2011 and Larry Hagman's still alive! I'm nervous he's going to curl up on the couch one night with a bowl of kettle corn and a Zima, turn on TNT and be like, "FUUUUUUUUUUUUCK..." and that will be the end of that. I didn't invent the rainy day; I just own a Hagman-shaped umbrella.

4.) My biggest argument is this: remember that scene in
Practical Magic when Sandra Bullock freaks out and demands that Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest bring back her dead husband, but they won't do it because "even if we did bring him back, it wouldn't be Michael. It would be something else. Something dark and unnatural,"? Well, that's exactly what this new Dallas is going to be—something dark and unnatural that just shouldn't be. Don't believe me? Knock, knock. Who's there? Melrose. Melrose who? MELROSE PLACE WITH SPECIAL GUEST STAR ASHLEE SIMPSON. That's fucking who. And 90210! I mean, why don't we just dig up the body of George Washington, throw him on a vibrating bed with Brittany Snow, smear a used menstrual pad down your TV screen and call it the new Love, American Style while we're at it? Christ.

Which is why up until now, I decided to adopt the same strategy my dad used when he got his draft lottery number and ignore the entire situation until it just kind of goes away on its own. It worked for him, so why shouldn't it work for me, right? (And yes, this
is my 'Nam.) But then TNT gave the show the green light and now it's happening for realz for realz and I can't ignore it anymore. My inbox, Twitter, and Facebook were all bombarded last week with people linking me to the TNT story and asking if I was psyched. This made me start to doubt myself. Maybe I'm overreacting and should embrace the show? Gah, but it feels so wrong! I need answers. I need someone to guide me. I need the one who turned me into the Hagmanite I am today. My sireOriginal Co-Blogger Eddie. Oh, wise one! Show me the ways of the Old World! (Or, this is some shit, right?)

"MY FEELINGS ON DALLAS", by Original Co-Blogger Eddie

1.) Holy shit. When I picked the Dallas as the topic for my senior history thesis I did it because I wanted to watch lots of TV. Like Pigman in PCU. I found out that watching TV is hard, and I ended up with lots of useless knowledge about a TV show very few people under the age of 27 knew about. Our age group knew that some dude named JR got shot and all the adults wanted to know WHO SHOT JR. BUT NOW I FEEL LIKE I WAS RELEVANT, I was saying and observing important things about America and pop culture. I want to thank the remake for allowing me to feel like the history degree I earned has some value. (Aside from talking to people's moms/the older ladies at work. People's moms and older ladies at work LOVE talking about Dallas.)

2.) I'm scared Larry Hagman will die now because this cursed him in some way. JOCK died during the show's run; who's to say that will not also happen to JR?

3.) Rumor has it Victoria Principal isn't coming back as Pam because she CHANGED HER FACE SO DRASTICALLY to look young that she now looks like a monster pretending to be Victoria Principal. So no Pam on the new show, which is sad because she made moments like this in a disco so awesome.

HELLO A WHITE TURTLENECK, WHITE PAINTS AND A FUR TO A DISCO, that will not happen in the new show. She is sexy and yet very covered up...

This leads me to my next feeling:

4.) I also worry that the world of the Ewing family on Southfork belongs at a time and place. Maybe, just maybe, those characters need to stay in 1978-1991. You can't go back to the past, but thanks to DVD's and books, you can revisit at your leisure. A TV show like Dallas is intimately bound to the time frame it was created and consumed. Sure, it was an over the top prime time soap, but it still was an important piece of TV trash. I'm scared that this remake will tarnish the memory of one of the most influential pieces of television ever created and exported outside of the United States. Dallas changed the look of the 1980's, and changed television, but it was also influenced by that era. Giving JR a computer, information about GREEN JOBS and putting him on Facebook will alter the TV show. I like that TV shows don't change, that I can re-watch them and they stay the same even if the time period is different. Like little time capsules where someone playing Miss Texas could have HORRID teeth and drink when she is knocked up and it's only "maybe bad for the child." This remake will not be the Dallas I love, it will be something very different with the same actors playing semi familiar parts. This remake has the possibility of being a hallow memory of what Dallas was and never will be again, and that makes me very sad.

Chances are I have many more feelings and thoughts and lucky for me I have a whole year to process them. It's been sometime since I watched Dallas, I needed a big break (for obvious reasons) and I have no doubt re-watching the DVD's will stir up emotions I didn't even know I had.

OK, so it's some shit. Good to know we're on the same page.

Well, here we are. I finally shared my
Dallas emotions. I feel naked. I feel vulnerable. I feel exposed. I also feel like it goes without saying that none of this is going to stop me from watching it and recapping it for the blog. BUT I'M NOT GONNA LIKE IT.

 
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