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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

8 Ways to Have an Original NYC Holiday Experience

You decided to visit New York City for the holiday season!


We’re really glad you’re here...as long as you don’t stop in the middle of the sidewalk to check Google maps for the nearest Sbarro or constantly clutch your purse for fear of getting mugged like it’s still 1986.  

New York is a fucking blast --- that’s why you came here for vacation instead of hitting up a tropical locale, which would’ve been considerably warmer but cost about the same. New York around the holidays is even more of a fucking blast, because everything is decorated and pretty and incredibly over-the-top.

If you’re visiting NYC around the holidays, you’re gonna have a good time. You’ll have an even better time if you follow these eight suggestions, which will ensure you don’t have the same New York holiday adventure as the 25, 047 other people who took a kissing pic in front of the #rockefellertree.

1. Don’t eat at Rolf’s

You’re here for one weekend and you want to waste 2 ½ hours of your day waiting to eat decent-at-best German Beef Stew with SpƤtzle?

Cool, never mind, carry on.

Rolf’s is famous for its Christmas decorations of epileptic proportions. And, to be fair, it’s pretty phenomenal to witness. But in the interest of doing cool things that actually matter, my advice is this: Walk in, look up, take a photo, add it to your Insta story, and bounce.

Or literally just look at pics online, your life will not be impacted significantly either way.

2. Keep your mouth shut

Surprise! New York is cold in December.
Surprise! You’re here at the literal busiest time of the year.
Surprise! We walk. A lot.

Let those three revelations wash over you like a $15 Vodka Cranberry and accept them as readily as you do a homeless man’s fake sob story on the 2 train.

If you’re complaining about how freezing you are while you shuffle through the line to look at Macy’s window display, go back to South Carolina. Seriously. You currently have free internet, so the ability to check the weather and read tourist guides on Thrillist was afforded to you long before you jumped off the plane at JFK and spoke too loudly and too slowly to the cabbie who was born and raised in Queens.

3. Skip ice skating at Rockefeller Center

If this is on your girlfriend’s bucket list then I literally cannot save you. However, should the opportunity to negotiate plans arise, mention that between peak-season admission and skate rentals, you’re looking at a $45-per-person special memory that you’ll be sharing with 150 other people.

The real kicker is that you can do the same activity cheaper at Wollman Rink in Central Park or at the Winter Village at Bryant Park. Or you can just watch people [try to] ice skate for free, because let’s be honest: neither of you actually know what the fuck you’re doing out there anyway.

4. Realize that Macy’s Santa is a glorified mall Santa  

I have lovingly forced my boyfriend to see the Macy’s Santa with me for four straight years, because I’m obnoxious as fuck but incredibly cute. So I realize the hypocrisy that comes with this statement.

Admission aside, making your kids come all the way to New York to see Santa Claus at Macy’s is child abuse, straight up. That line is a three-hour-long human centipede of lost patience and abandoned family values. Santa is a stud, but no more so than the one at your local shopping center in Missouri.

5. Avoid Times Square

I recommend this at any and every time of year, but it’s especially true at Christmas.

No one that lives in New York likes Times Square.

Your friend that you’re visiting does not want to take you there.
The waitress at Olive Garden wishes you would have gone to a real Italian restaurant in Little Italy.
The other tourists who don’t know how to walk at a proper pace are annoyed that you’re bumping into them.
Dora the Explorer is going to take off her mascot head right in front of your 4-year-old niece, and she’s not going to give one quarter of a shit what you have to say about it.

In short, it sucks. Go anywhere else. Consider this tip my holiday gift to you.  

5. Keep your holiday market visits to one

Unlike American citizens, all holiday markets are, in fact, equal.

You will find the same knit scarves and Amish playthings at every market from Columbus Circle to Union Square to Bryant Park. If your boyfriend says he needs to taste the “unique fare” at each of the markets to really get in the holiday spirit, you need to return that J. Crew sweater and gift him a Planet Fitness membership instead.

If you want to visit cool shops with original artisans, take the L to Bedford Ave in Brooklyn and follow the nearest bearded modern pilgrim and/or hipster into any dimly-lit store.

6. Forget the frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3


Because it can’t be said enough: it’s cold. Why in God’s name do you want frozen hot chocolate?
Why are you waiting four hours for it?
Did you know you can buy a kit on Amazon to make it at home?
Did you know there are three Starbucks in a three block radius of Serendipity 3 where you can get a hot Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate?
Did you know Starbucks exists in every state?
Did you wait in line anyway and feel a judgement-filled eyebrow raise in your midst?
That was me.

7. Freeze your ass off for free, not at minus5 Ice Bar

Any bar that can also be visited in Las Vegas and Orlando has no place on your must-visit list.

You want me to don a rented parka and gloves while I drink out of ice glasses and sit on ice chairs and observe an LED light show set to Martin Garrix? And I’m not allowed to take photos on my own camera because you want me to look psyched for professional pics that I also have to buy because this experience wasn’t enough of a soul sucker? No thank you, please.

8. Be unique

Try to have an experience that is unique to you and your travel buddies.

The reason you can google “NYC holiday must-dos” and get 21,500,000 results that are all some version of, “IT’S NOT CHRISTMAS IF YA DON’T SEE THE ROCKETTES!” is because everyone who visits is too scared of figuring out the subway and getting yelled at by a local to actually branch out and do something cool.

This place is not your comfort zone.
It’s not anyone’s comfort zone.
It’s a clusterfuck of lights and cheap pizza and jaywalking. But if you choose the tiny Moroccan restaurant for Christmas dinner or ride the 6 up to East Harlem for no other reason than it’s not Midtown, you’ll have cooler stories than your neighbor who insisted you stop in at a little shop called Urban Outfitters because they’ve got “such rare vintage clothing.”

Sunday, October 8, 2017

It's UterUS, Not UterYOU, Except When It's UterME

If you’re a woman who is actively trying to prevent a pregnancy, you probably heard about the “President”'s rollback of the Obama-era policy requiring your boss to include birth control coverage in company health insurance plans.

Businesses and corporations would control your family planning decisions rather than, like, you. We’ve already got states that promote the Coach Carr approach to sex ed, aka the Just Don’t Do It, Promise? way, which, given that places like Texas annually see about 35,000 teens and young women get pregnant before their 20th birthday, straight up doesn’t work.

Women need unchallenged access to birth control.

The current administration just doesn’t think so.

This is hilarious to me, because clearly these sewer lizards don’t completely understand these five benefits that birth control brings about that men should actually be all for.

1. It Prevents Babies
“No Babies!” is the actual name of my actual birth control alarm that actually plays every single day at 8:40 in the morning. It also used to play “Sweet Child of Mine” by Guns & Roses, because I’m quirky and perhaps a bit dark.

These are the best parts of birth control, assuming you’re not trying to conceive, which 43 percent of women in the United States aged 15-44 are not:
  • You take it correctly, you don’t have a baby. This has a domino effect, as then you don’t have to ask your side piece to get an abortion all while hypocritically preaching your Pro-Life bullshit. Right, Tim Murphy?
  • You take it correctly, you don’t have to bring a kid into this world who, in all honesty, you don’t want right now. Right, Tim Murphy?
  • You take it correctly, you can work on your career or spend all of your free time writing that novel or eat brownie batter for dinner because it is your life and they are your decisions and you want to keep it that way and not share or have another living thing be dependent on you.   

2. It Keeps Things From Exploding
During a woman’s period, an egg grows in a sac called a follicle which is located inside the ovary. Usually, this follicle breaks open and an egg emerges, sort of like Lady Gaga at the 2011 Grammy’s. But sometimes, the follicle doesn’t break open, the fluid inside the sac can form a cyst on the ovary.

While ovarian cysts are relatively common, in some cases, they can result in complications that are painful at best (pelvic inflammation, puking) and deadly at worst (internal bleeding, infection, CYSTS. RUPTURING.). #justgirlythings

Wanna guess what can keep cysts from forming?

Yeah. Birth control stops ovulation and prevents the development of new cysts.

The douchebags that want to regulate BC are probably definitely not abreast to these kind of complications. They will never know the excruciating pain associated with ovarian cysts exploding. It’s kinda like the emotional pain you feel when your wife won’t fuck you anymore because you’re disgusting, decrepit, and have the moral conscience of pond scum. But worse. Definitely worse.

3. It Keeps Skin Clear
Acne treatment is an important birth control benefit to mention, as members of the administration believe that a top notch method of birth control is to “just keep your legs closed,” so a method like the pill is unnecessary.

Acne has nothing to do with penises and vaginas.   

However, a group of hormones called androgens, which lead to excess oil production, can lead to more severe cases of acne. BC pills that contain estrogen and progesterone lower the levels of androgens in your body, thus, lowering the amount of oil being produced, thus, clearing up a woman’s skin.

That’s it. That’s the sole reason 14 percent of women take birth control.  

4. It Helps Iron Deficiencies
If you have a heavy flow and a wide set vagina, it’s okay. We all know that you’re not lying about being a virgin, and we don’t care that you use super-jumbo tampons.

What we do (or should) care about is the fact that you might have iron deficiency anemia. Without enough iron, your body makes fewer and smaller red blood cells. This deters your body from getting enough oxygen. When you're anemic, the heart works overtime to pump more blood, which can lead to an enlarged heart or heart failure.

Women with heavy periods and anemia have trouble keeping their iron levels under control -- sort of like a congressman and his addiction to child porn -- so their doctor might prescribe birth control to lighten the amount of blood flow each month.

This is crucial to living a healthy life. The ability to do so should be non-negotiable.    

5. It Keeps Us Feeling Sane
Birth control, in any form, regulates hormones. Hormonal imbalances can truly mess with your body, giving you insomnia, migraines, stomach issues, and making you feel constantly fatigued, among other fun symptoms.

The problem is, different types of birth control affect different women different ways.

Prime example: My friend and I both switched birth control medications around the same time. Her new one, she said, made her absolutely crazy. Crying at random times, becoming an anxious nut case, experiencing extreme insomnia, while also hating absolutely everyone. She immediately requested that her doctor switch her back, because -- say it with me -- fuck that.

I, on the other hand, was fortunate enough to be experiencing all of those things already. My prescription switched, and so did my outlook on life. One week I’m crying in the fetal position on my bed on a sunny Sunday afternoon for literally (literally!) no reason, the next week I’m level-headed, rational, and downright chill, breh.

For a group of people who refused to elect a woman for president because they feared she would be too emotional to make sensible decisions for the country, I find it ironic that they want to take away one of the most effective methods for keeping the majority of their country’s citizens acting sane.

You know what’s scarier than one emotional woman? MILLIONS OF EMOTIONAL WOMEN. Wearing pink pussyhats, no less.

So maybe we can give these idiots the benefit of the doubt.

Maybe they didn’t realize that birth control allows women to conduct their everyday lives with efficiency.

Maybe they didn’t understand that without insurance, birth control can cost $50-1,000, and we just don’t have it in the budget to spend that and pay for our dumbfuck leader’s golf excursions.

Maybe they didn’t hear that they’d save themselves a boatload of hassle by encouraging and maintaining women’s rights and accepting that we’re strong enough to bear the children (when we decide to), then get back to business, so instead could they please worry about the chaos in Puerto Rico, discussing gun control, recognizing police brutality, addressing global warming, supporting Dreamers, preventing chemical warfare, and maybe not making the United States the laughing stock of the entire planet thankyousomuch.   


Wednesday, August 9, 2017


I’m not entirely sure what spurred my recent purge of 103 people from my Facebook friends list, but for the most part, it was easy to decide who didn’t make the cut.

Met once at a party in college and never spoke again? Delete.

You finally had the oopsie baby we all had to pretend wasn’t an oopsie baby even though you purposely wore an empire waist wedding gown to hide the bump? Baby’s cute. Excitement’s over. You’re out.

You friended me because I was quasi-dating your friend? We all knew that wasn’t going anywhere even while it was happening. I appreciate you extending the olive branch. Bye.

For some reason, though, there were some people that fell into the above categories and I still couldn’t bring myself to bring the guillotine down. So, I decided to analyze it.

I really hope the following survivors read these reasonings and message me with their blessing/agreement to go our separate ways. Help me help myself.

How ‘bout you, Eyebrows?
We’ve known each other for several years and I’ve never really had strong feelings either way about you as a person. However, I have very strong feelings about your eyebrows. You either need to dye them or learn to fill them in. They disappear in photos. It’s disconcerting.
I’m hoping to forego all of my fucks one day and just comment these feelings on a photo so you might evolve into something besides a walking five head and I can finally be at peace. Or, you’ll get so offended that you’ll defriend me, instead. Either way works!

The Switcheroo
You got married when we were, like, 20 years old. It was confusing. You definitely changed your name at that time. I still cared about maintaining relationships then, no matter how stilted they were, so I didn’t delete you even when you posted pics of you and your (much older?) hubby’s new condo. This was the heyday of Four Loko, and I was busy destroying my organs. Couldn’t care less about your adult decisions.
However, in my quest to declutter my friend list, I noticed that you had your original last name again. I haven’t kept tabs on you because, like I said, couldn’t care less, but now I’m intrigued. You’ve survived until I can dedicate the appropriate amount of time to ascertain what the fuck went wrong. I’m excited!

Family/Friend Ties
I vehemently dislike you. I’ve never liked you. This is decades-long disdain.
Unfortunately, you’re friends with and/or related to people I’m friends with. We’re going to run into each other and be obligated to participate in group pictures together which you’re going to force us all to retake because you think your tooth looks weird. Face it: Your teeth are weird. The situation won’t be rectified in a matter of minutes.
You’re hateful, hypocritical, vain, and your values are completely out of whack. I legitimately hope you get the new strain of incurable gonorrhea going around. In fact, I’m banking on it.

Christopher Columbus
You’re moving across the country soon. I’m really just waiting until you post the obnoxious status update confirming that you and your girlfriend are on the plane and then it’s over.

Silent Supporter
When did we meet? I know it was in college, but when and how? I’ve had to consider this for several people and most of them got the axe, but not you. Why? Because you’re freakishly supportive of things I post and, apparently, find me hilarious. We haven’t spoken to or seen each other in at least five years and probably never will again, and yet, without fail, there you are.
This is literally all it takes to weasel your way into my good graces. A like or a “haha” reaction? Be still my heart.  
Keep doing your thing and I’ll keep doing mine, you preciously encouraging figment of my life successes.

The Disney Princess Bride
I think you’re getting married in Disney World soon. I very much want to see the photos from this wedding because I think they’ll be magically ridiculous. If you could somehow pull off repelling down the aisle a la Tinkerbell during the nightly fireworks show instead of the traditional walk, that’d be great. Happy for you.

Rage Inspiration
You do Crossfit. Ask me how I know.
Anyway, you’ve gotten in great shape and I’m very impressed by you, so I keep you around as inspiration.
You’re also annoying as fuck.
I do not care about your workouts or your diet or your supplements or your PR’s or your delts. I definitely don’t care that you’re trying to get your Pro Card at whatever bikini/figure/spray tan competition is happening in nine weeks. Regardless, you have my respect. I’ll throw you a like every now and then while muttering, “Oh, fuck off.”

Everyone else I generally know and genuinely like, or at least find interesting, or am obligated by relationship or family to be “friends” with.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Breakup

It was so great in the beginning.

I was excited when I knew we’d see each other, which was basically every day. I was proud to tell people about it, and it felt like the first “real” thing going on in my life in a while, if not ever.  

It started out well. And I was good at it *hair flip*. Creating marketing campaigns and problem solving and dazzling customers with my boyish charm and finesse? This job was my bitch lover.

When things come easily to me, I work hard at the difficult things to make them come easily, too. I don’t take lightly to not being the best, so any threat of that was eradicated pretty quickly (like, I didn’t kill anyone, but I got sick pleasure out of proving some of the long-time employees wrong and convincing my boss to do things my way aka the correct way. LIFE’S TOUGH GET A HELMET). Needless to say, I have zero sentimental value attached to any participation trophy I’ve ever received.

Of course, the months turned into years, and it got a bit...monotonous.

Here’s the thing about long-term relationships: if they start to get stale even in the slightest, you’ve gotta freshen them up real quick, or they’ll dry out faster than Irish soda bread. You do the same thing every day because that’s what you’ve always done, and that’s what’s always worked. Everyone else was fine with working this way, but I require constant and varying stimulation.  

Because, inevitably, I know what’s “always worked” will stop working.

Boredom creeps in. Your eyes glaze over. You care less. It’s a tedium takeover.

I wasn’t excited anymore. It was just part of my routine. I showed up, took care of the same problems, had the same phone conversations, complained about the same issues to whoever wasn’t sick of hearing about them yet (Guess what?! Everyone was!). It was turning me into an asshole and I knew it.

Like I said, if something is difficult, I do whatever I can to make it the opposite. Failure and I don’t get along. And so, I was convinced it could get better. I would make it better. I was lucky to have this job! So many people didn’t have jobs! This was fixable!

Of course, then it got worse. Big changes occurred, and not necessarily of a positive nature. I know that love is blind, as I’ve ignored the shortcomings of many guys simply because I “cared about them” or some shit. The same disregard applied here. I wanted everything to work out so badly that I shut off the part of my brain that said, “Hey, this sucks, actually. Maybe do something that, you know, doesn’t suck, instead.”     

It felt like the people in charge of the big changes were doing their darndest to get me to quit so they wouldn’t have to fire me. It’s similar to when a guy treats you like shit but won’t break up with you so they don’t have to be the bad guy and you’ll dump them on your own. Yeah, people actually do that. I have their phone numbers.

Whatever the case, as things got more stressful, less organized, more illogical, and generally more clusterfucky, I became more of a monster to be around, both in and out of the office.
If someone asked me to add something to my already 50-point To Do list, they were issued a formidable death stare.
If out with friends, I complained about work the whole time.
If hanging out with my boyfriend, I was tired and pessimistic.
I was cognizantly becoming consistently cranky and negative, which was a huge jump from my typical obnoxious peppiness, and I couldn’t shake it.

It took crying every day in the office bathroom; getting ready for bed already dreading the next day; double dosing on sleeping pills only to still lie awake with my anxiety; and waking up feeling horrible to hit my breaking point. It was a fun journey, clearly.   

I had far too much on my plate, and my bullshit tolerance looked like a cokehead in a Yeezy sweatshirt: extremely thin and heavily distressed. I finally established a deadline by which time I would have either [hopefully] found another job, or I would quit.

Well, that date came and went. I had too much to do to leave. As much as I openly despised my job, my penchant for self-destructive diligence held strong. So I set another date. And another. And one more.

The problem was, I was making that money but also letting it make me, which went against everything the Ying Yang Twins had ever taught me.
Quitting meant being unemployed meant not having a paycheck meant not buying $6 Peanut Butter & Co Cinnamon Raisin Swirl like it was no big deal. And that shit is a very big deal to me.

It came down to one fateful horoscope in the back of the January issue of a random fashion magazine that ended up making all the difference. It might as well have been the rejected plot from The Devil Wears Prada 2.

My horoscope said that if I survived the first part of the month (due to planets being out of line or whatever astronomical fuckery was taking hold of my life), my luck would be improving near mid-January, with significant changes occurring during the last week which I should not question and just roll with.

Hmmm, continue thoroughly hating my life or let Star Jesus take the wheel? I opted to give it up to the universe. I really didn’t have much else to lose.

Well, Star Jesus stepped up, guys.

The first part of the month, as the horoscope outlined, was met with so many stressful situations that I almost completely empathized with 2007 Britney (didn’t shave my head, might’ve thrown an umbrella across my apartment).

In the middle of the month, I scored a phone interview. I took this interview in a secluded corner of Penn Station with a homeless man to my left cheering me on the whole time. He had several gold teeth, so I’d like to think he was a good luck charm.

I secured an in-person interview with this company the following week. It happened to fall on a day that I was planning to be out of the office anyway. Quite a convenient “improvement,” if you ask me.  

As if you couldn’t guess, the “significant change” that took place was me getting this new job. I also bought a new brand of mascara around this time, but I highly doubt that’s what the stars were referring to (Smashbox Full Exposure, by the way. Life changing).

And now, here we are.

I’m actually pleasant to be around again, something I appreciate more than anyone else because I had to live with me 24/7.

I get an extra hour of sleep every night.
Instead of spouting it off multiple times a day, I now reserve the phrase, “Are you fucking kidding me” for special occasions, like holidays with the fam.

Ultimately, though, I learned two tremendously important life lessons:

  1. It is extremely possible to be smarter and savvier than people twice your age. Stifling how smart you are so that someone else doesn’t feel bad about being awful at their job helps no one. Don’t be a smartass, but use your smart ass to get shit done in the best way.
  2. Paying your dues when you’re young is fine. Working hard to prove yourself is standard. Working harder than everyone else makes you look good. Working so hard that other aspects of your life suffer for it is not worth it. I don’t plan to ever make that mistake again.

So, am I at my dream job? No. Life doesn’t work that way.
Am I in a position that could lead me to my dream job? I have no idea, but maybe. Hopefully.

Am I excited again? Yes, about the jar of Cinnamon Swirl Peanut Butter I’m about to dive into headfirst. And everything else, too.