Good morning. Three things:

My mom. But please don't. Because she's married to my dad. In fact, let's take blowing out of the equation all together and just call and ask her:


Me: So, one of my readers left a comment on the blog asking who they have to blow to get an Evie update.

My mom: HA HA HA! Aww, that's sweet.

Me: Riiiiight... So, can I get an Evie update?

Mom: Well let's see. Um. She's glad Dad is home from his business trip. She's gotten into the habit of not doing what I want and then snorting her little nasal congestion snort to make me feel sorry for her. We took her to the vet in her carrying case and left it on the kitchen floor when we got back, so she still goes in it from time to time as her little cozy space. That's kind of it. She's just being Evie.

Me: Well, what's she doing right this very second?

Mom: Right this second she's upstairs putting your father to bed. Oh! I know what you'll like! You know how she sleeps in our bed, under the covers, down by our legs at night?

Me: Yes. God bless her.

Mom: Well, your father said he woke up to her having a little sneezing fit the other night and he had kitty snot running down his legs. Oh, and we have to take her back to the vet to get her teeth cleaned!

Yvette Mimew Fieldmouse Rowland—All-American/Tonkinese gold.

(Oh my God, those paws! Look at her: just sittin' around the table, drinking hazelnut-flavored coffee, gabbin' with the girls, talkin' shit about Pam...)

- I wish you could hear the sound of pure orgasmic release I just made when I realized that I do have Prilosec.

- Here are the three most recent things in my Google search history:

1.) What's the difference between a wolf and a wolverine?
2.) What nationality is the Geico Gecko?
3.) Fuck yeah Khloe Kardashian

So, if you're wondering what kind of crazy, hi-octane weekend I had—no. No, is your answer. Although RE: #1, it's worth noting that the hardest I've ever seen my dad laugh in my entire life was when I told him that I thought a wolverine was just a "lady wolf", like Smurfette. And this isn't an adorable Meglet story, mind you; this absolutely happened like, three years ago. Max. When I was walking home from Laura's tonight, I realized that I know there's a difference between a wolf and a wolverine (besides gender and eyelash batting, of course), but I still don't know what it is. After some light googling and a trip to whatsthedifference.net (how badly do I wish that the answer to everything is "About five bank accounts, three ounces, and two vehicles"??), here are the official differences:

1. Wolves are canines, while wolverines are weasels.
2. Wolves are easier to find, living mainly in forested areas, while wolverines are rare, and live mainly in arctic places in the northern hemisphere.
3. Wolves live in groups called packs, and will not attack each other, whereas wolverines live segregated, and will attack other wolverines to protect their space.
4. Wolverines have rounded heads, short rounded ears and shorter legs, and will seldom hunt for their prey; wolves have longer legs and pricked ears, and will hunt for their prey.
5.) Wolverines talk a good one, but they don't do what they supposed to do.
6.) Wolves act on what they feel and never deal wit emotions, which is probably due to the fact that they are used to livin' big dog style and straight coastin'.

So, there you go. Should you want to know more about the difference between wolves and wolverines, I urge you to go to your local library or ask a trusted adult. But not me. Clearly.


Mail Bag

Dear Meg,

I a
m a huge fan of yours, [Oh, stop!] and many a time have found myself giggling hysterically in my cubicle, the classroom, my room by myself, on the phone as I attempt to read your blog posts aloud to my friends, family, and whoever else will listen. My all time favorite: My New Pink Button. Funniest thing I've ever read. My second favorite: Sorr bout the bag. This has been incorporated into my everyday speech, and I have as much as possible to tried to infiltrate everyone else's speech with this phrase as well, including my new boyfriend (we'll call him DJ)

O, last night, my boyfriend and I decided to attempt to use a female condom. I don't know if you've ever used one, but they're REALLY REALLY AWKWARD. (you should do a 2b1b investigates, and maybe you can get pot-smoking fish tranquilizer guy to participate). Basically, once you insert it, the end hangs out like a floppy vacuum attachment, which, we decided, should have INSERT HERE written on it in (flashing) letters. Having recently converted DJ into a 2b1b fan, he took one look, goes "sorr bout the bag!!" and starts giggling hysterically. At which point i also started giggling hysterically, he lost his erection, and we ended up just laying there and quoting you and NOT having sex.

So, thanks for ruining our sex life!

You, my new friend, are more than welcome. Because if I'm not gettin' any, nobody's gettin' any. Except the exact opposite of that is true. Meaning everyone's gettin' some and I'm not. Which I suppose isn't the "exact opposite" as much as it's just depressing.

I've never used a female condom before, but that's only because I didn't know they existed until about, oh, an hour ago. Now that I do know, I will never look at a Ziploc bag or my vagina the same way again. Which is unfortunate because I make a lot of to-go sandwiches and bathe with my eyes open. So, thank you.

As far as taking one out for a test spin (vomit), the last time I saw 'ole Fish Dick was when I was running away from his parent's house/numbed phallus, so that's out. I used to have an "eff buddy", but things got complicated at Ren Fest, which is a Statement with a capital S. Chris would probably have sex with me, but he'd probably also spend the entire time making obscure historical references and talking about how much he loves my mom, which is exhausting when he's next to me, nevertheless inside of me. If you're reading this and think you're up for having sex with me while I wear a female condom—that sounds extremely uncomfortable. So, let's not do that.

OK, time out. I obviously just googled "How to insert a female condom" because in my mind the answer was: WITCHCRAFT!, but instead found this highly educational and entertaining student video from Binghamton University. 

I love it for the following reasons:

1.) DOROTHY. You sassy, salty old broad, you.
2.) Dorothy's extremely soothing voice and/or the fact that I genuinely can't tell if she's foreign or just has extremely poor diction
3.) Dorothy's no-nonsense belted sweater
4.) The comical cricket noises at 00:50
5.) "Soft tubular sheath"
6.) Dorothy's makeshift female condom made out of an empty water bottle and coffee stirrers
7.) Every time they mention "the lips", I gag and want to die a little. That's not really a reason why I love this, but I thought it was worth noting.
8.) The quick cut to Dorothy at 3:10 where she talks about the benefits of female condoms while tossing condoms into a basket like she just don't give a fuck
9.) Heather's vajayjay caught on fire from using both a male and female condom
10.) Dorothy's deadpanned salty nut joke at 4:00
11.) It has a pre-planned blooper, and it involves a stunt!
12.) Special Guest Matt is pretty goddamn attractive
Christ. I just typed "Binghamton University Matt R.E.A.C.H." into Google because I'm insanely creepy like that AND/OR I'M A ROMANTIC, and everything that comes up is about Matthew Potel, a Binghamton senior who fell to his death last October while reaching to help fellow students cross a dangerous ravine in the Adirondacks. 'Eh.............. Soooooo, to recap, in the span of one blog post I've managed to: ruin a happy couple's sex life, overinform you about the goings-on (or lack of goings-on) of my vagina, offend Chris (probably), fall in love with a college student, bring you all down with a tragedy, and use the phrase "'ole Fish Dick". 

I believe my work is here is done.


Vomitting in the Galley

OK, so the original point of this blog post was to tell you that our galley edits for It Seemed Like a Good Idea... are due tomorrow and I haven't started mine yet (HA HA, me), but first I'd like to address a blog comment and tell you about the intense mini stroke I just had.

First up:
I've gotten a few emails asking me essentially the same thing, so I'm going to answer you all at once out of sheer laziness: yes, I obviously think it's worth it. Which level you sign up for is between you and your God, I think it's more than worth it to be able to listen to their entire backlog. As far as my favorite episode, that's like picking a favorite child. Which I absolutely believe I could do, so my favorite episode is 483: Guns & Roonies. I'm listening to it right now to confirm that it's the episode I'm thinking of, and it still makes me hysterically laugh out loud. Oddly enough, this episode aired on my birthday in 2008, which was also the day of the April 16th Virginia Tech shootings. (I was about to say, "that was a really hard day for me," but then I realized that I didn't get shot in the face on the way to Gender Studies, so...never mind.) I listened to this episode on the subway on my way home from work and spent the majority of the ride trying not to burst into laughter. Like, I had to physically hold my lips together to keep that shit under wraps. I eventually lost it and started unabashedly laughing, thereby making myself look like a completely crazy person. And again, I know that sounds weird because it's the VA Tech shooting episode, but Keith, Chemda, and their guest/friend, Matt Bray, spend the last 45-minutes of the show doing a table read of two of the VA Tech shooter's original plays and it just gets me every single time. Other than that, any episode with Patrice is hilarious. I mean, everything hilarious. Just dive in; you can't go wrong.

OK, so now onto my mini stroke. Tonight was completely lovely. My sister came over and I made us dinner, as cooking is a major part of my plan to start functioning like a normal human being. And, oh, I'm sorry, but I knocked that shit out of the fucking park. Chicken piccata with parmesan-roasted broccolini:

God dammit that's sexy. Plus, I only set off the smoke detector once, which is a personal best!

After my sister left, I felt great. I was proud of the dinner I'd made, I was proud of all the positive changes I've been making recently (true story: when Becca walked in, she actually said, "Hey, one of your blinds is open—making progress!", which makes me sound either like I'm a self-loathing vampire or just incredibly Autistic), and I just felt extremely positive about life in general. Plus I had just smoked a giant bowl and achieved the perfect level of being high, so that didn't hurt anything. Riding said high, I made myself a cup of tea, cut up some apple slices, sat down at my computer and was just like—this is awesome. I'm going to sit here being perfectly high, drinking this delicious tea, eating these delicious apple slices, and copy edit. This is the best night of my life. And it was, until I got this text from my sister:

And I LOST. MY. SHIT. My stomach dropped into my asshole and I actually said, out loud, "FEDERAL AGENTS MAD 'CUZ I'M FLAGRANT!" as I dumped the illegal contents on my coffee table into a Trader Joe's bag and paced back and forth for a good 10-minutes, obsessively re-arranging my ponytail and nervously touching my own breasts while I waited for DEA agents to bust in the door. When that didn't happen, I decided to clarify the situation:

I mean, for the sick love of God. Because now guess who gets to buy me a new pair of yoga pants? You, Rebecca Rowland. Because this soiled pair certainly isn't doing me any favors, thank you. So, that's where I am right now, emotionally. My perfect high is ruined, I'm paranoid, I have a long night of editing ahead of me, and my scalp hurts from tightening my pony tail too many times. That being said, my entire apartment smells like capers and it is delightful.

Alright, work time. Take us out, Keith and the Girl!

A Few Goat Men from Erik Skov on Vimeo.


I'm fairly certain I watched a woman discover a mole with irregular borders on the metro last night...

And it's fucking with my mind.

So, I went to The Container Store in Tenleytown yesterday to get an August-August calendar/organizer as part of my Meg's-getting-her-shit-together-which-really-just-means-she-naps-slightly-less-and-does-a-crunch-every-now-and-then-when-she's-not-too-high-and/or-watching-Hoarders-on-Netflix...thing...that I'm doing, and I took the metro back to Dupont at around 5:30pm. First and foremost: mistake. Mistake, mistake, mistake. Because (and I'm fully aware of how obnoxious this is going to sound) I completely forgot how God-awful the metro is during rush hour. My psychiatrist asked me last week if I ever worry about running out of material for the blog, and I said no, because if I do, I just have to take the metro somewhere during rush hour and we're back in business. Although I said that as a joke to move the conversation along because at that point I would have shaved my upper-thighs with a cheese grater if it meant we could stop talking about my "career" and move on to the part where he throws a few bottles of pills at me and says, "See you in six months", I still think it's a valid point. Because last night, three noteworthy things happened to me in the span of one metro ride:

1.) The title of this post, which we'll come back to.

2.) While I was waiting for my train on the Tenleytown platform, this goddamn frizzy-haired mouth-breather of a woman waddled up and, despite having ample room to stand next to me, she stood right in front of me. Like, her back was separated from my front by a matter of a few erotic inches. I can understand this happening when the platform is packed and it's like, well where else do you want me to go, guy?, but, again, I had at least five-feet of space on either side of me. I could have comfortably grapevined in either direction and in no way had to alter the size of my jazz movements. I don't know why she chose to stand directly in front of me, but all I could think was that this was the physical manifestation of those assholes on the The Price is Right who wait until everyone else has bid, and then bid one-dollar more than the highest bidder. Those people are the fucking worst. Because how hard is it to come up with the retail price of some asinine home product out of thin air? Pretty goddamn hard. How hard is it to tack a dollar onto that amount, turn around, and throw your arms up in victory at your fellow Arizona State Sigma Chi's in the audience? Not that hard. But they always win! And it's like, what's a bro in the desert going to do with a Jaclyn Smith Heritage dinette set? You just know he's going to sell it on eBay to buy tickets to a Jack Johnson concert or some shit, when it really should have gone to the Latina woman at the end of the row with a hutch to do it some justice, God bless her. So, then, not only was I pissed off that there was an asshole standing in front of me, I was also becoming increasingly more agitated thinking about the unspoken moral code and bidding strategies of The Price is Right's contestant's row, and I was just standing there silently fuming to the point where thank God the train came, because I was 30-seconds away from shoving a bottle of Garlique down that bitch's throat and smashing her head in with a grandfather clock. Had I had any of the necessary tools.

3.) Things were even more infuriating going from Dupont to Tenley. I know I'm a writer and I just applied to a bunch of fancy MFA programs and I should take my "craft" seriously and blah blah blah, but I truly struggle with describing seating on the metro, so I'm just going to draw the situation I found myself in instead:
OK? Get it? So my objective was to get from the aisle to the free seat on the far side of the two-seater, kitty-corner to the handicap seats. You know? Look, if you're still confused, just fucking call me. I don't have the talent or the gumption to tackle describing seating arrangements right now. Let's just leave it at that.

So, Seat #1 was occupied by this horrible girl who looked like a Hill staffer (my apologies if you are a Hill staffer, I'm just trying to paint a picture), sitting there with her perfect posture in her sensible flats and khaki pants and low bun, reading what I can only assume was Eat, Love, Pray on her Kindle. For those of you unfamiliar with the DC metro system, the L set-up illustrated above is a tight squeeze for all parties involved. Therefore, when someone is seated in Seat #1 and the seat next to them frees up, it's common courtesy to scooch over to make it easier for the next rider to sit down. Hill Staffer, however, did not scooch at all. Instead, she ignored me when I asked her to move over or swing her legs out into the aisle so I could get by. She just flat-out ignored me. And it's not like she was lost in the whimsical world of books and didn't realize that I was trying to sit next to her; she clearly locked eyes with me when I asked her to move and just chose not to. So then I had to do these Cirque Du Soleil-like acrobatics to climb over her and everyone else and squeeze myself into the seat next to her, which was as tiring as it was infuriating. But here's the best part: she did it again when I had to get off the train. As we approached Dupont, I said, "Excuse me, this is my stop", and she glanced up at me, glanced back down, and didn't do a goddamn thing. It was mind-boggling. But, I figured if it was a lap dance she wanted, then it was a lap dance she was going to get—I climbed over, straddled, and grinded that skinny bitch like it was the last dance of the night and I was $20 short of making my meth habit. She didn't have a dick, but I was still going to get it hard. I was grinding with that kind of tenacity. Because be an ass to me once, shame on you; be an ass to me twice, I'm going to get you fucking pregnant.

But back to 1.) I'm fairly certain I saw a woman discover a mole with irregular borders. I was sitting in my awkward little corner seat, fuming and absentmindedly watching the woman sitting in the handicap seat nearest to me switch her heavy coat for a light cardigan. She was an older woman, probably in her late 50's, and looked normal enough. The entire situation wasn't that interesting until she starting folding up the sleeves of said cardigan. She folded up her left sleeve with no issue, but then three folds up the right, she (and I) noticed something on her forearm. She looked at it quizzically and leaned in closer to inspect it. She licked her thumb and rubbed it, but it didn't budge. Now I'm just a simple blogger/graphic designer/unemployed Matt Paxton enthusiast, but that was 100% a mole with irregular borders. I've seen enough ZOINKS! DEEZ 'AINT RIGHT! mole posters at various dermatologist's office to know what one looks like and that, madam, zoinks—dat don't look right. 

The woman looked concerned for about a fraction of a second, shrugged, and then rolled both of her sleeves down. At this point, I honestly didn't know if I should have said something or not. Because on one hand, I'm not a doctor, it's none of my business and what the fuck do I know? But on the other—IT WAS A MOLE WITH IRREGULAR BORDERS. She needs to go to the dermatologist and get it checked out immediately. Need a dermatologist? Marisa Braun at Braun Dermatology Associates on F and 21st. I'm obsessed. I have an oddly specific balance of $10.87, but feel free to tell her Meg sent you. This woman just looked like she had a nice family at home and you always hear stories about people who don't get little things like this checked out and six months later it's metastasized into Stage 4 cancer and it's this big, traumatic life lesson about the importance of yearly full body mole scans. I mean, despite venturing into the sun only occasionally to get a $5 footlong, I convince myself that I have skin cancer at least three times a year. I rarely go to the dermatologist and get it checked out, mind you; I mostly just ask everyone I interact with to look at it and tell me if they think it looks weird. I've made quite a few happy hours awkward this way, but, hell, it's cheaper than a co-pay. Thank God I'm not a man because I can just see myself 40 years from now being someone's Uncle Mort who shows up to dinner all, "My left testicle is inflamed, but feh."

So, now I'm completely invested in this woman's livelihood. I didn't end up saying anything to her and I'm convinced that she's going to die and it's going to be my fault. I've actually considered putting the following missed connection on Craigslist:

Kind-Looking Older Woman in Smart Cardigan (Redline towards Shady Grove)

YES, THAT MOLE DID HAVE IRREGULAR BORDERS. I was the surly-looking 20-something with giant hooters sitting kitty-corner to you on the metro last night, and as someone who took biology in college instead of the considerably easier "Ocean Studies", it is my expert opinion that you need to get that mole checked out as soon as humanly possible. If the only thing that's stopping you is someone to go with you and hold your hand, here—take mine. We're going to get through this. TOGETHER.

(Email me back with "SKIN TAG" in the subject line so I know you're not a bot.)

But, you know, that's "weird". So, on the off chance that you, ma'am, are a 2birds1blog reader, I truly believe that your mole has irregular borders. I've done some light Googling, I've done the comparison, and I think it would behoove you to get it checked out. And if you're not a 2birds1blog reader, as I assume you're not because you had kind eyes and I just talked about hate-fucking a stranger because they were slightly rude to me on the metro—I'm sorry I killed you. 



It's not because you're black...

[****NOTE: Correction to yesterday's blog post: Chris and I will be on Keith and the Girl today at 4pm, not 5pm. I, Meghan C. Rowland, am a whore and a horrible human being. I apologize.****]
Well, last night sucked: the Saints lost, I tripped over a Christmas tree on the sidewalk, and Wacky Wanda pounded on the door and tried to get in at 1:30 in the morning. That’s probably the thing that pisses me off most that people ever do: they knock, and then if you don’t answer they try the knob. And so… what? Are you just going to walk in? If I’m not here, are you just going to pop in a DVD of It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, help yourself to a beer, and wait? Wacky Wanda was angry because, as she put it, we “stole her pocketbook that she left in the foyer.” So, naturally, after leaving her possessions in a public place, she assumes they were stolen by the only two people who bother to be polite to her crazy ass. I did get a little reassurance, though: I’ve always hated my speaking voice, but I noticed as I shouted at Wacky Wanda that, when I’m angry, my voice does in fact sound like an angry adult man, and not the Paul-Lynde-with-hayfever production I hear on answering machines, so that’s good.
As for the Saints… I don’t know where to begin. I’m completely irrational about football, to the point where watching The Walking Dead is less stressful for me than others because, since it takes place in Georgia, I figure everyone involved is a Falcons fan and already spiritually dead. I did manage to avoid actually crying in the bar, which was a very small victory.
So, since 2012 has started with a whimper, I’m going to go for it and tell you my best “I was accidentally racist” story ever. It’s called, “It’s not because you’re black; my mom thinks I have a disease.”
So, this past summer, I was running an SAT prep seminar for a group of kids. The organization I was working for would generally leave someone in the room with me for crowd control and, presumably, So There Would Be An Adult In the Room, Not That We Think You’re A Sex Pervert But Well What With the Church Better Safe Than Sorry And We’re Sure You Understand, It’s Really For Your Protection. The Designated Adult was generally one of two African American ladies of about the same age.
You see where this is going, right? I called the one by the other’s name. In my defense, I badly need new glasses and I genuinely expected Jane, not Tessa, to be there that day. What makes this so acutely embarrassing and Accidentally Racist is that, instead of saying, “oh, excuse me, got a case of the Mondays!” I PANICKED and started babbling about new glasses because the part of my brain that ensures compliance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 burst into the control room and yelled at the rest of my brain, “SHE’S GOING TO THINK YOU DID THAT BECAUSE SHE’S BLACK AND JANE IS BLACK AND THEY’RE BOTH BLACK AND YOU CAN’T TELL BLACK PEOPLE APART BECAUSE YOU THINK THEY SHOULD BE MAKING YOU GRITS, THAT’S WHAT SHE’LL THINK!” That’s what’s racist – just assuming my black sort-of coworker with whom I’ve had several pleasant conversations is going to be racially offended because I called her by the wrong name one morning, and further assuming that the only way I can head off being reported to the Southern Poverty Law Center is to apologize way too much, offer a convoluted excuse, and make it a bigger deal than it ever would have been if I hadn’t panicked. Essentially, I was filibustering her being offended.
Thank God for small favors, and the fact that I genuinely do need new glasses, because the first thing I thought of to say, that I might actually have said if I hadn’t remembered I was half blind, was this: “It’s not because you’re black; my mom thinks I have a disease!”
Backstory: My mother thinks I have that disease where you can’t recognize faces. When I was a child and young teenager, we’d be watching TV, and I’d say, “oh, isn’t that Jessica Walter?” Instead of saying, “no, shut up about Jessica Walter for five minutes” my mother would turn to me with a baffled look and say, “No. No. That actress doesn’t look a thing like Jessica Walter. That’s Susan Anton. I think you have that problem where you can’t recognize faces.” Granted, untreated ADHD and constantly needing a new glasses prescription mimics that disorder very closely, but it wasn’t like I screamed in terror when Dad came home because there was a strange man in the house, every single day. I have a friend who thinks everyone on TV is “that guy from Monk.”  (She can’t remember his name or face, but the core concept sticks with her.) Plus, Mom thinks everyone has every disease. (This from a woman who genuinely believes she had the menopause three times.)
So, of course, that was the excuse I thought of. What’s less racist that not being able to tell any people apart? I don’t see black and white, I see ever-shifting, interchangeable, practically Cubist agglomerations of features. And, of course – to make sure my point got across – the first sentence I thought of was “It’s not because you’re black; my mom thinks I have a disease!”
It’s not because you’re black; my mom thinks I have a disease!” just summarizes my life. My awkwardness, my constant borderline hysteria, my peculiar childhood, all neatly explained in one barely coherent sentence. It’s up there with all the other great lines in the history of the English language:
“We have not yet begun to fight!”
“Millions for defense, not one cent for tribute!”
“I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king – and of a king of England, too!”
 “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and if, which I do not for a minute believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle until, in God’s good time, the new world, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.”
“Sorr about the bag.”
“It’s not because you’re black; my mom thinks I have a disease!”



First, let it be known that I just typed out (and deleted) the entire intro to Eminem's "Without Me", replacing every instance of "Shady" with "Meggles". So: a.) I'm back, b.) tell a friend, c.) I'm still just horrible.

2012 got off to a rocky-ass start, you guys. Rocky-ass. As I mentioned, I'm applying (or, have now applied) to a few creative writing MFA programs in New York. Getting my portfolio together and writing my personal statement/memoir outline/literary essay/
vomit vomit vomit was rough, to say the least. Nothing I had felt good enough, anything new I wrote sucked, and I started doubting my memoir idea. I'd stay up for these long 18-hour stretches, not eating and just re-writing and re-writing and re-writing and tweeting and re-writing the same sentence over and over again like a crazy person. I have an unfortunate tendency to do that. When I pulled that shit with Chris when we were writing our first book, he'd tell me to stop because I was "splitting hairs". This quickly became "you're splitting pubes", which became "you're braiding your pubes", then "you're cornrowing your pubes", and my personal favorite, the direct, "MEG, STOP BEING OBSESSED WITH YOUR OWN PUBIC HAIR." I needed Chris there to keep my pubic hair in check. Which, of course, is one of the reasons why I want to go to grad school in the first place. I'd like to be able to sit down and write something without needing someone there to tell me to leave my pubes alone. <---- If I could turn back time, that sentence in 72-point CurlzMT would be my personal statement. Period.

This entire grad school application process has really made me feel like shit about myself. I couldn't stop reading these creative writing MFA blogs with their forums of people who'd been to fancy-ass workshops and had MFA coaches. MFA coaches! That's a thing! And then there's me sitting in my parent's basement in a "Hoof Arted?" t-shirt, debating if I should say, "I shoved my breasts into an ill-fitting sports bra" or "I
crammed my breasts into an ill-fitting sports bra" for 90-minutes straight. Every now and then I'd need a mental break and do a New York Times online crossword puzzle for "Young Solvers". I fucking love those things. They're easy, but not too easy, and to the casual observer it just looks like you're working that Times crossword like a motherfucker. Also, when you finish, a comical pencil pops up to congratulate you. 
I call him Colonel Twiggins and he his my jam.

One of the saddest moments of this entire process came when I decided to take a break from my Columbia application with the NYT4YS puzzle "Scary Stories". (Sad in and of itself, I realize.) I thought I had successfully solved the puzzle, but could not for the life of me figure out why Colonel Twiggins wasn't popping up. After about ten minutes of throwing pillows at the cat and yelling profanities at my computer, I realized that I had spelled "radio" R-A-D-E-O. I mean...I just can't. Because to recap: while applying to the Ivy league institution, I misspelled "radio" in a crossword puzzle written for elementary schoolers and worked myself into a lather because the jaunty little pencil didn't pop up to validate all of my hard work. I mean, why did I even apply at that point? I should have just sent them an oil painting of myself playing with my own fecal matter in a sweatshirt that says "I hate Mondays" and saved myself the $150 application fee.

But, I finally submitted all of my applications. I thought I'd feel relieved after I submitted the last one, but I didn't. I felt really, really sad. Which was such an odd emotion to have. Because I didn't feel depressed, I didn't feel disappointed, I didn't feel anxiousI felt sad. True to form, I buried those emotions deep, deep down, started to driving to Teresa's birthday party in Silver Spring, and 100% burst into tears around Georgia and August. It was weird, because I'm not really a "crier". I think I can count the number of times I've cried since 2004 on one hand, and most of them have been in the past six months, which is probably a star-spangled, flaming red flag that something is wrong. I pulled over, had myself a good cry, did some rational thinking, and here's what I realized: I've been unhappy about a lot of aspects of my life recently, and I think going to grad school was my quick fix for everything. Like, who cares that I can't find a job? I'm going to go to grad school! Why should I be upset that I'm the only one of my friends who isn't in a relationship? I'm just going to move in August anyway! Etc, etc. But then when I realized that that might not happen, it was like, well fuck—where does that leave me? Crying in an SUV parked outside of a pirate-themed bar in Silver Spring, oddly and specifically enough. But then I realized that even if I do get into grad school, it's not going to magically fix everything. I'll still be unhappy. Just with a lot more debt. And maybe a pug. Depending on my housing. But probably not. Because I can't spell and my personal statement very much included the phrase "hot-ass mess".

Back outside the pirate bar, a spry, gay young gentleman told me something wise: when you're unhappy, there are things you can do about it and things you can't, so do what you can do now and the rest will eventually to fall into place. (That gay man was Alex on the phone with me, by the way. Reading that back over, it kind of sounds like a spindly gay man tapped on my window with his house keys out of nowhere and offered to ride shotgun while we rounded a few bases and swapped life advice.) (Which I would have been into, for the record.) So, I took some time and got my shit together. Or I've started to get my shit together. And it feels good! I don't know if I'll get into grad school and there are things that certainly suck right now, but whatevs. It'll get better. And it the mean time, it's just blog fodder gold, my friends. Lose/Win!

NEXT PIECE OF TOTALLY IMPORTANT AND EXCITING INFORMATION! OK, OK, OK, hee hee hee, OK. I have an announcement to make: this Friday at 5pm 4pm, Chris and I will be guests on Keith and the Girl! I KNOW, RIGHT?!?!?!?11 If you don't know what Keith and the Girl is, you've wasted the past seven years of your life and I feel sorry for you, but for the sake of being a better person, or whatever it is I'm trying to do these days, Keith and the Girl is a free daily comedy podcast hosted by Keith Malley and Chemda Khalili and it's just so good. Their tagline is "Keith and his ex-girlfriend talk shit", and that's pretty much exactly what they do. They live in Queens, they used to date, they have hilarious friends/guests, an intense cult following, and they talk for about an hour and 20-minutes everyday on air about their lives, current events, and pop culture. It's addictive. I started listening to KATG when I moved to New York in 2007 and I've been a daily listener ever since. I swear to God I'm not saying this to suck up to them because fuck it, we already got booked, but do yourself a favor and subscribe to their show on iTunes immediately. It's perfect to listen to in the car, on your commute, at work or around the house. I do all of the above, frankly. It's funny, honest, touching, and life-changing. I say this because it literally changed my life. Which I told them. Which is embarrassing in retrospect, but it did.

It's no secret that my first year out of college in New York was one of the darkest times of my life, if not the darkest. (How dark? Buy the memoir that will in no way be written at Columbia, Hunter, or the New School.) After living in New York for a year, I felt like the only friends I had made were Keith and the Girl and my therapist, which is just as depressing as it sounds. But not only did KATG lift my spirits during a time when I didn't think that was even possible, they also inspired me to quit my job, move back to DC and write this blog. I was listening to KATG one day while riding the F train home from work, being miserable, as per usual, when Keith and Chemda started talking about how infuriating it is when people condescendingly tell that it must be sooo nice to just do a podcast and "work" for only an hour a day and how they wished they could do that. Chemda then started shouting, "THEN FUCKING DO IT! WHAT'S STOPPING YOU, ASSHOLE? YOU WANT TO DO SOMETHING CREATIVE, THEN GET A SHIT JOB, PUT IN YEARS OF HARD WORK, AND FUCKING DO IT!" And that, my friends, is how 2birds1blog was born. Well, technically Ex Co-Blogger Eddie and I had created it a few months before as a way to keep in touch after college, but that was the moment when I decided to follow my passion, take full control, and blog five days a week. And thank Christ I did, because if I hadn't, I'd probably either be dead right now or hooking somewhere in Bed-Stuy with Weekend Hair. (Truthfully, the latter doesn't all that bad...)

As you can probably guess, I'm so fucking nervous for Friday that I can barely function. I just can't wrap my head around the fact that we're actually going to meet them. I feel like there aren't enough words to thank them for inspiring me to pursue my writing, and in trying to do so, I'm going to burst into tears, soil myself, and ruin thousands of dollars worth of equipment. Not to mention the fact that we have to BE FUNNY. That's the entire reason we're going on the show! And I'm sorry, but I can either not vomit, or be funny: pick one. Contrary to the cover letter I'm currently half-ass writing in another window, I can not multi-task. Also, their forums are like our comments section on crack. People do not hold back, you guys. They will flat-out be like, "WORST GUEST EVER" 30-seconds into a show and you can't win 'em back! You just can't! My jazzy and elegant solution? Wear a low-cut top. BOOM: tit-tays. Christ only knows what Chris is going to do. Although he keeps obnoxiously texting me about how calm he is. He's so calm. He's just the calmest clam in the...cove. (I don't know if there are clams in coves, but I needed a C to finish the alliteration and THIS IS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT! I CAN'T BE FUNNY WHEN I'M TRYING TO KEEP MY SHIT TOGETHER AND I'M BARELY HANGING ON BY A THREAD!!! I'm like a scared horse that needs to be <--- Stop, Meg. Just stop right there. That "joke" was obviously going somewhere involving Pony Play and you, frankly, look crazy enough right now. Speaking of crazy! Up until about six hours ago, I had every intention of baking and bringing them cookies. I mean, there's really no quicker way to say I'm crazy than to show up sweating profusely with a shaky plate full of cookies all, "I was going to kill myself in 2008, but then you gots-me-a-gigglin'." Wiiiiiink.

Christ. Alright, I have one day to get to New York and pull myself together. If you would like to watch and/or listen to my dream come true, (being a guest on Keith and the Girl, that is, not vomiting in front of my heros) (although
dear Mary mother of God, something tells me they're going to be one in the same!) you can go to katg.com and watch and listen live at 5 o'clock 4 o'clock, or you can download it from iTunes shortly after the show wraps. But really, you should subscribe right now. And follow them on Twitter. And shit, follow me on Twitter. OK, time to unwind with the Colonel. And for the first time in my life, that's not a reference to KFC. See, POSITIVE CHANGES!!!1!



That’s Why It’s Called Work

So, I got a day job, and I have a bad attitude about it. The ultra-abbreviated version is that between when I interviewed and when I started, Giant Camel got fired over some bullshit. (He worked at the same place.) Aside from my natural partisanship, the whole situation was objectively bullshit, so by the time I started at – let’s call it CompuCom – I was already tired of it. I was genuinely going to try to be thankful and have a good attitude, because I’d needed a job for a while and because so many other people need work, but – fuck it.
I hit my first personal hurdle before I even technically started. There were four of us in the orientation group, and wouldn’t you know it? We got The Office Conversation Guy. You know that guy who insists on having a conversation during lag time instead of letting everyone sit quietly with their own thoughts? He’s sitting there just going on about operating systems, and how no one makes palm pilots anymore, and he has two monitors on his home computer, and “the cloud,” and data encryption… I can’t add to any of this, but since I’m in the room, I’m In The Conversation, and for some reason it’s rude to say “I’d rather dread orientation in silence, please.” Then the office manager comes in and – lo and behold! – Office Conversation Guy reveals his other personality, Office Humor Guy. You know that person you work with who constantly makes “jokes” using one of the four work punchlines: “Is it Friday yet?” “That’s above my pay grade!” “Coffee break!” or, sarcastically, “I love work!”? Him. So not only are we filling out paperwork about how CompuCom owes us nothing, but if we invent something, they own it, and don’t nickname your coworkers things like “Tits” or “Towelhead Dennis,” we have to have it narrated by this guy whose sense of humor is the result of Cathy getting knocked up by Dilbert and then drinking during the pregnancy.
Of course, my name was wrong on the paperwork: “Oh, we have you down as Chris Turner, is that fine?”
No, it’s not fine. My full name is right there on all the paperwork I filled out. Do you just quit typing in the middle of other words because you feel like it, as in “Fou sco a seve year ag, ou forefat…” Can I call you “Mary Smith” because it’s simpler? People never realize that – just maybe – my full, hyphenated name is, I don’t know, on my Social Security card, birth certificate, and bank account and maybe it would be nice to, I don’t know, have my actual name on my paycheck? After trying to make this point politely, I was treated to a short holier-than-thou lecture about how someone else in the office has an apostrophe in her name and she just omits it because it makes everything easier. Had I not needed the job, I would have shouted “I’ll omit you!”
Do you think that being given three PowerPoint lectures to read on your own counts as training? Me neither.
About this time, I started thinking, “Wow, I need a new spirit animal for this job. Someone who scowls. Someone who doesn’t take bullshit.”
Ladies and gentlemen, my spirit animal for the duration of this temp job… Dawn Davenport, central character of John Waters’ film Female Trouble.
Dawn Davenport knocks down the Christmas tree when she doesn’t get what she wants. Dawn Davenport eats meatball sandwiches in class. Dawn Davenport screams obscenities because it makes her feel strong. Dawn Davenport will cut you.
 Something about the stance – the fat-and-angry posture of her – really speaks to how I feel about things right now, probably because I’m fat and angry.
So now, whenever I’m annoyed at work, I ask myself, “What would Dawn Davenport do?” So far, what I’ve decided Dawn Davenport would do has included:
-       Taking extra pastries every time they appear in the break room
-       Going ahead and gnawing on the bone of the pork chop I brought for lunch, because who the fuck am I trying to impress, whereas an animal died so I could eat that meat
-       Smoking clove cigarettes right by the door
-       Not washing my hands after I pee, so everyone I touch is, in some small way, touching my penis
-       Refusing to make small talk with a coworker who wanted to talk about his pirated DVDs (let me tell you, you feel differently about intellectual property once you have some)
-       Refusing to pretend to be sympathetic when the above coworker was laid off
-       Refusing to give a flying fuck about long-term corporate goals
-       And I ALMOST talked myself into licking the office doorknob of someone I don’t like when I had a cold, but I was afraid I’d be seen
So, of course, my plan has succeeded too well, since now I really like work because I spend all day imagining that Divine is sitting next to me, keeping up an extremely foul-mouthed commentary about my workday.
Which brings me to my appeal. If any of you readers still know how to make this little woven string “WWJD” bracelets, I will pay you a modest sum to make one that says “WWDDD?”* I’ll wear it next time I don’t give a fuck.

*I’m totally serious. I really want one.


Mallgasm, Etc.

I have a real post about an uncomfortable trip to the mall below, but first I need to talk about magic and John Edwards.
So… Meg’s and my writing career is cursed. Not just in the obvious “only sold 14 copies of Brainwashing so far” sense, but in an eerier, more metaphysical sense. In The Misanthrope’s Guide to Life, we refer to vomiting to get out of an ill-advised threesome as “the Amy Winehouse defense.” Now, she’s doing lines off angel’s wings. In Brainwashing for Beginners, we made any number of jokes about Kim Jong-Il, and there’s a really solid North Korea joke in It Seemed Like a Good Idea…, and now Kim Jong-Il is behind Q/G/Kadd(h)afi/y in line to be reincarnated as a mealworm with a spastic colon. The centerpiece of It Seemed Like a Good Idea…, literally the funniest thing ever written, is about a lesbian ghost who uses a neti pot – and lo and behold! Several neti pot users have dropped dead this winter in Louisiana because they got brain amoebas.
So, this brings us the matter of funding. For five dollars, we will mention one of your enemies in the next book, tentatively titled The Big Book of Strangers Who Might Die from a Curse. Ten dollars gets the name in bold.
I feel like I should feel bad about this, but how in keeping with his whole life and career is the fact that John Edwards has a heart problem and can’t go on trial? Of course. When the going gets tough, the corrupt get the vapors. He probably does have some problem, but if anyone can find a doctor to diagnose him with whatever’s convenient, John “Follow That Ambulance” Edwards is that man. Keep in mind, this is the man John Kerry chose as his running mate so the ticket would feature someone likeable – and over whom voters chose Dick Cheney.
I haven’t been blogging lately because I have a new job with terrible hours, which I’ll tell you about in a subsequent post. Right now, I want to tell you about the circumstances of the interview.
I actually had two job interviews that week, by far a personal best. The first did not go well – my interviewer was rocking the unusual combo of “plunging neckline and obvious cardiac surgery scar,” which was distracting. We did that awkward little eye-contact dance where a woman catches a man looking at her chest and gets that “well I’m offended but didn’t expect better” facial expression and I wanted to holler “I COULD CARE LESS ABOUT YOUR TITS!” This is, PS, on a day when I thought my grandmother was having heart surgery (it was later postponed) so of course I had cracked sternums on the brain. The situation went further downhill when she used “air quotes” when referencing my teaching experience. I have teaching experience. I have taught. I have not “taught,” it’s not a lie, an exaggeration, or a week-long community service project I did in high school to appear well-rounded when I applied to college. 

I have teaching experience, “bitch.”
I then had to take a writing test. Now, I understand that haters gonna hate, but I can write. My job was to take some notes and write content for a simple website for a pool maintenance company. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have written “Try Capital Pool Services and see just how swimmingly pool maintenance can go!” but - shit. It was literally like a back-to-school nightmare. The assignment was full of abbreviations and acronyms I didn’t understand, which… isn’t it easier to tell people what to do and see if they can do it than to make them figure it out and see then if they can do it? Like, how often on the job will I have to decipher something impenetrable? Is my cubicle between a Navajo codetalker with a lisp and a signalman who stutters in Morse code?
I then had to go into another room, bare except for a table, filing cabinet, and shelf holding three VHS tapes: Managing Diversity, Sexual Harassment: IT’S NOT FUNNY, and Office Space. It’s always a bad sign when people try to self-parody and miss. Can’t you hear that conversation? “Haha, let’s be light-hearted about the cubicle situation! After you watch the mandatory videos about sexual harassment and diversity.” I was then re-interviewed by “Elaine from HR,” who asked me all the same questions but was more polite. I was not called back.
The next day, I went to be interviewed at the other place. It took five minutes:
“MY job is really just to weed out the crazies. You don’t look like an axe murderer. Yeah, here on your resume. No axe murderer could write three humor books.”
I shit you not.
So, on the way home, the main bus stop is at a large suburban mall. I decided to have Mall Time. I never go to malls except The Gallery – for those of you who don’t live in Philadelphia, The Gallery is like… it’s a Burlington Coat Factory, a Kmart, and a train station welded together with a food court and some nail salons, and teenagers go there to cruise. This would be my first time in A Real Mall in several months at least.
I got the very last Chick-fil-A breakfast biscuit, so I was riding high. I ate it leisurely strolling around, and once I was done I decided to take a spin in the hurricane simulator. Have you seen these? It’s a little booth and you get in and get blown – not in the fun way, with fams, and it’s supposed to be “like a category two hurricane.” Having largely been spared THE WRATH OF IRENE earlier in the fall, I put in my two dollars (I could afford it! I was employed!) and went for it.
Now, you’d think a pair of seventy-year-old mall walkers would have better things to do than stop and stare at a man in a hurricane simulator. You’d be so terribly, desperately wrong. They just stopped and looked, with the same flat intensity of gaze and inscrutable reason as a Byzantine icon. Sts. Herman and Bertha of Ardmore, patrons of uncomfortable encounters with strangers. I folded my hands and faced the wall, so they wouldn’t have anything to watch, and so they got to watch a very calm, composed man in 50 mph winds. I guess their expectations were low.
I checked the video store for a copy of Pink Flamingos (nope) and the bookstore for our books (nope), and then… well, there’s no dignified way to say this.
I let the little Israeli cosmetics demonstration guy give me a cosmetics demonstration because he was handsome.
I am absolutely not a Cosmetics-and-Grooming Gay. I don’t want to spend the money, I don’t want to invest the time, and somewhere over my shoulder a Protestant ancestor (hell, maybe Pocahontas herself) is whispering “You know what they call a hyper-well-groomed person of average attractiveness? A fussy queen. You’d be better off learning how to make jam. That’s a skill. Famine comes, you’re going to eat your blemish concealer? NO. Jam, you’ll eat.” There’s something comforting about being average-looking: I don’t have to worry about losing looks I don’t have, yet people at the bank will still make eye contact with me. So if I can look about the same without being a person who shapes his eyebrows, I’d rather stick with that. (That used to be my test if a man was too effeminate for me to be interested in – not if he groomed his eyebrows but if they looked like they had been groomed.)
So, why sit through a cosmetics demonstration? Because someone attractive wanted me to. Because the real title of our first book is The Misanthrope’s Guide to Maybe If You Let Him Show You a Moisturizer, You Can Have Sex in a Mall Bathroom. Because I’m an absolute dillhole. And then – because it would be rude not to, after he spent so much time! – I bought some exfoliant. It’s made with salt from the Dead Sea, because nothing says “beauty” like minerals from a shrinking, oft-contested lake that fish can’t like in because of the chemistry.
So, fine. But Hot Cosmetics Demonstration Guy had also demonstrated nail care products, which I refused to buy. (I have a limit, apparently.) So I had one perfect, pink, smooth, buffed, shiny, elegant thumbnail and nine matte, unglamorous, respectable nails. I was so reluctant to explain this that I hid my thumb for the next several days by keeping that hand in my pocket and trying to do everything left-handed so people wouldn’t think I’d applied glossy nail polish to one nail, over and over, excluding all other. I rubbed my other fingers over the nail constantly, like a worry stone – it was pretty fucking smooth.
You know – unlike me.
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