Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Holiday Message From Your Holiday A-Hole.

In recent weeks, I've determined that rather than being a bearer of good tidings, I'm more of a...Holiday A-Hole. Not that I'm not an A-Hole 365 days of the year, but my A-Holishness seems to kick up a few notches during the Holiday Season. So it seems fitting that I would end this year (seeing as I suspect my lazy ass probably won't blog again until 2009--SEE YOUSE NEXT YEAR HURR HURR) with some of my patented amicable irritation and rage. (It's mostly not fat-themed and wow, I am using some adult language, that is for sure.)

1. Stop bitching about not being “allowed” to say “Merry Christmas” because it’s OMG NOT P.C. Unless you have supercool mind-reading abilities that can tell you the person you’re dealing with is Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist or whatev (or the person is sporting hijab, peyos, yarmulke etc.), a good rule of thumb to remember for all eternity is ERR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION. So, even though it may make your buttocks clench with fiery, righteous rage, say “Happy Holidays” if you don’t know the person’s persuasion. However, on the flip side…

2. Unless you’re wearing the garb of your particular religious persuasion (i.e. hijab, peyos, yarmulke, etc.), people can’t tell what persuasion you happen to be. So cool your jets, ace, and don’t get all hinky because someone said “Merry Christmas” to you instead of “Happy Holidays” or said “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”. I had an instance of that a couple of weeks ago. A guy needed change for a five. I didn’t have change, but I did have a couple of singles, so I told him to take the singles and rock on. When he approached me on the el platform to thank me again, I said “have a nice holiday” and he admonished me for getting it wrong. “Christmas, I celebrate Christmas”. In my head I was thinking, “I want my fucking two dollars back, you jackass.”

3. If you encounter someone like me, someone who does not care for this time of year and can’t wait for it to be over, please don’t try to infuse me and my ilk with Holiday Cheer. The reasons why I don’t like this time of year are varied and would probably not make sense to you, and that’s okay because it’s none of your goddamned business. I’m perfectly content not liking Christmas. I’m not trying to dissuade you from being in love with the season. Knock yourselves out. Stop thinking it’s some sort of tragedy that I don’t like it. Stop thinking you’re going to be the one who is going to “fix it”. That kind of behavior doesn’t endear you to me. It’s off-putting and obtrusive. Don’t get passive-aggressive about it either, because that’s even more off-putting. (P.S. to a certain person: the key to passive-aggression is subtlety. You’re doing it wrong.)

4. A special message to the jackholes who were behind me at the Nine Inch Nails concert in Vegas: I HOPE YOUR COLONS FALL OUT. See, I’m one of those crrrrazy people who go to a concert to listen to the music, not to hear your conversations. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the volume level at a NIN show, let’s just say it’s like a jet engine times a motrillion. Imagine being seated in front of people who take that as a challenge to talk over the jet engine-level volume. I had Huey, Duey, and Louie yapping endlessly while getting ‘faced (yeah, you are SEW KEWL because you can drink in Vegas!) in one ear, and then JoeBob Superfan and his girlfriend directly behind me. JoeBob’s a true superfan because he owns almost all the CDs and DVDs, you know. When he wasn’t whistling at eardrum-shattering levels directly into my other ear, he was shouting along with my beloved Trent Reznor or explaining to his girlfriend the deeper meanings behind songs. It was all I could do not to turn around and offer all of them $20 a piece to shut the fuck up. Thankfully, TR brought some serious-ass rock and my lingering memories will be of him blowing the roof off the dump rather than the douchetronics seated behind me.

5. Take a day off from berating yourself for, you know, eating. There are creepy creatures out there who would tell you the Best Way To Be is to go to holiday dinners and parties with a notebook to document in detail what you put into your mouth. Nothing says “holiday fun” like whipping out a notebook to exhaustively document what you eat. And FYI: dieting doesn’t make you a saint or a better person. It just makes you boring as hell if you’re incapable of not talking about it.

6. Hey, Mom – please stop with the “my son is married and my daughters are single but VERY successful, which is fine”. It’s kind of annoying, particularly when it only applies to two of your daughters. I haven’t been put in jail, so I reckon that makes me “successful”. And it’s not “fine” for me, frankly. Let’s lead this into...

6a. Please refrain from telling me I should be grateful. I’ve discussed this before, but let me bring it up one more time since the “grateful” tends to go hand-in-hand with the whole “How can you hate Chriiiiiiiiistmissssssssss???”. For everything that I do have (friends, roof over head, employment, blah blah blah), there is always going to be a metaphorical hole in my alleged heart that is not going to be filled by friends, roof over head, employment, hobbies, blah blah blah. Platonic love, such as it is, will never satisfy me. Being the wacky asexual sidekick/third wheel doesn’t make me turn cartwheels of glee. I don’t “need” a partner/relationship. I want one. But because of whatever (anonymous commenters like to point out that I’m “angry” and that’s why I’m kryptonite to the male population of the universe), it doesn’t appear to be in the cards. You can also refrain from suggesting every dating site on the interwebs, too – I have been a busy beave over the last few months, sending out messages on a variety of sites to cats and I have not received one response. And let me again emphasize that is FINE. I understand that I am not 99.99999 percent of the universe’s bag. I get that. But don’t tell me that I shouldn’t have moments of sadness, that I shouldn’t be a touch resentful, and I shouldn’t be ANGRY that I ain’t feeling too great about being alone. Mind you, I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself, I am able to function, entertain myself, travel alone and I won’t be sitting in the house every weekend and I will make do until I kick off. But I will rage about it and I will raise hell about it until the day I fucking die, and if that’s problematic for you? Tough titty says the kitty. If nothing else, feel free to use me as your own lesson in gratitude. (However, I do charge for the privilege. I have PayPal.)

So that’s how I’m ending this year. I request 2008 get the fuck out of my face A.S.A.P. and here’s hoping 2009 doesn’t suck completely. Thanks for reading, and I hope you are able to find the occasional chuckle/coherent thought in this potpourri of genial raging that I do.


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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Why we need an under-informed person tax.

New York governor David Paterson weighs in today on CNN.com about why, for the love of God and all that's holy, New York state needs an "obesity" tax--that is, a tax on sugared pop ("soda" for some of you) and juices that have less than 70 percent actual juice in them.

Here's the link to the article itself: O M G THE CHILLLLLDREN!!!!!

It's the usual song-and-dance that we're all used to - OMG the fat children are taking over OMG fat causes everything that's bad and wrong with the world OMG the only way to solve it is to tax the shit out of junk food OMG OMG OMG.

The one bit that actually is worth more than an eye-roll is this:

"To address the obesity crisis, we need more than just a surcharge on soda. We need to take junk food out of our schools. We need to encourage our children to exercise more. And we need to increase the availability of healthy food in underserved communities."

Now, of course, take out the "to address the obesity crisis" and replace it with "to address the lack of access many communities and citizens have to quality foods and adequate healthcare", and you've got something there. But instead, Gov. Paterson is, like so many ill-informed government types and regular folks, waving the OBEEEESITY EPIDEMIC!!!!! flag because panic sells. Panic is profitable. Actual information isn't sexy, people.

Let us take a moment to repeat the following: CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION.

Obesity causes serious health problems like type 2 diabetes - WRONG. CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION
It puts children at much greater risk for life-threatening conditions such as cardiovascular disease and cancer

"Just as the cigarette tax has helped reduce the number of smokers and smoking-related deaths, a tax on highly caloric, non-nutritional beverages can help reduce the prevalence of obesity." No, it'll just mean that people will either pay the tax on sugared pop/pseudo-juice and CONTINUE BEING FAT or cut back on drinking sugared pop/pseudo-juice and CONTINUE BEING FAT. It's wacky how that whole thing works. I rarely drink sugared pop. I like the taste of diet pop so that is what I choose to drink. Holy shit, folks, STILL FAT.

The deliciously spectacular Kate Harding discusses it further, so have a peek. There's also a link in there leading to another quality post about how it would be so lovely for the government to invest some serious money in getting people good food, safe places to get out and gad about, and quality healthcare. It would be such a delight if the government would invest some serious time in actually making an effort to do research and for someone--ANYONE--to use some critical thinking. I mean, I know that's plumb nutty to even suggest, but I reckon it's worth a try.

Oh, and the other thing that made me snort, because PLEASE:

We must never stigmatize children who are overweight or obese.

But you already do, boss. And with more and more legislative horseshit like this, with "The Biggest Loser" and every ad for every weight-loss company, and every bit of media that screams "FAT = DEATH", you stigmatize fat kids, you stigmatize fat adults. By recycling junk science and half-truths, you're not going to magically make people healthy. You're making it clear who is acceptable and who isn't, who is worthy and who isn't, who belongs and who doesn't. Who is the enemy and who isn't. You are simply helping along a nation that already has an eating disorder spiral down the drain at an ever-quickening pace.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

On Blago, Oprah, and Other Sundry Items.

I should preface this by saying I'm not a political animal by any stretch of the imagination. I don't like debating politics in general, and the stuff that I believe is the stuff I believe, and know that my mind won't change on those stuffs, so it's folly for me to think I can change someone else's point of view. So you'll have to excuse my rather...lighthearted attitude regarding the governor of my state being, essentially, a less-murderous, big-haired Tony Soprano.

I do think it's a horrible thing, don't get me wrong--I mean, this cat was threatening to cut funding for A CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL if it didn't pony up a sizable campaign contribution, for Christ's sake. But I can't help but be hugely amused by the hubris of this guy. He knew he was being wiretapped, he knew he was under serious-ass scrutiny, and his response? "I think there's nothing but sunshine hanging over me. By the way, I should say if anyone wants to tape my conversations, go right ahead, feel free to do it. I appreciate anybody who wants to tape me openly." Allegedly, his wife Patti can be heard in the background on the tapes, right-onning Blago's working over people for cash, dropping just as many f-bombs as he does as he angles and connives and threatens. When I heard that, all I could conjure up in my head was Carmela Soprano bringing the pie to that lawyer's office to get a letter of recommendation for Meadow to attend Georgetown:

Carmela: I don’t think you understand. I want you to write that letter.

Joan: Excuse me?

Carmela: I said I want you to write the letter.

Joan: Are you threatening me?

Carmela: Threat, what threatening? I brought you a ricotta pie and high school transcripts so you could write a letter of recommendation for my little daughter to Georgetown.

"I've got this thing, and it's fucking golden and uh, uh, I'm just not giving it up for fucking nothing. I'm not gonna do it. And, and I can always use it. I can parachute me there." - no, not Tony Soprano...but Rod Blagojevich discussing Obama's Senate seat that HE WAS GOING TO GIVE TO THE HIGHEST FRIGGING BIDDER

Can you imagine what he could have accomplished had he used his power for good and not evil?

Meanwhile, on Oprah Watch, she kind of made me sad today. I am not an Oprah fan in the least. On a good day, she makes me grind my teeth. So when I read that SWEET MOTHER OF GOD OPRAH IS 200 POUNDS and the subsequent self-hatred she flung out there, I was simultaneously grinding and thinking, "woman, you are worth so much more than this public self-flagellation horseshit". My personal opinion of her aside, there's no getting around that she has accomplished some significant shit. There's something so...pathetic, watching a woman who has the world by the ass a) providing comedians/assholes ammunition to debase her solely based on her weight and b) essentially discounting all she's accomplished because she's *gasp* 200 pounds. And reinforcing the message that you are a failure, no matter what, if you're fat. That nothing is more important than being thin. She has millions of Oprahlytes who look to her for guidance and suggestions on how to live a better life - can you imagine what she could accomplish if she used her powers for good and not evil?

And finally, this piece on McSweeney's made me laugh this week - laugh and THINK (oooooh). It was this bit in particular:

Whoops, I don't know what I was thinking, talking about my problems when you're so much more lovably flawed.

I don't know about you, but I've had that fleeting thought more than once in my real-life relationships. I've believe I've mentioned it before, my tendency to become the zany wacky fat girl sidekick in a good 99 percent of my relationships. We've all had that friend that we believe to be prettier, smarter, better than us, the charming narcissist who will allow us that token 30 seconds to share what how we're feeling and soon navigates the conversation back to her feelings and her struggles. And because we're convinced we're not quite worth the oxygen to talk about what we might be feeling or struggling with, it becomes habit to zip it and let the lovable minx keep on yapping...and yapping...and yapping.

At some point, however, I realized it was okay for me to talk about me for a while. In fact, it was super-okay to jettison people out of my life who weren't willing to talk about me for a wee bit. It was downright kickass to give the heave-ho to people that weren't willing to support me, to comfort me, to regard me as something beyond an asexual sarcasm/heartfelt advice generator. It's cliche, but that phrase "it's not the quantity, it's the quality"? So true when it comes to friendships. It takes a while to accept that it's worth doing the dumper on people that bring us down, but holy shit, it is so...freeing. Not that I'm suggesting you should go out tonight and go on a friend-jettisoning spree, but if you're feeling like someone in your life is consistently crapping on you? It might be time to do a little housecleaning.

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