Category Archives: dear god why

a journey of self-discovery OR soul death?

National unemployment is still kicking my ass, as is the fact that, despite having almost no skill set (no, snark and an autistic-like ability to recite stretches of dialogue from 80s movies are apparently not in demand with the corporate set, who knew), I am vastly “overqualified” for all positions out there.

It’s to the point where I am considering lying outright and telling potential employers that I’ve been backpacking around Southeast Asia or living in an ashram just so I don’t have to go through the rigmarole of explaining that, no, you really can’t have a job when you’re enrolled in a full-time doctoral program, and yes, if something better comes along than this nine dollar an hour data entry soul-killing horrendousness,¬† I will, in fact, quit. I mean, people are into that Eat, Pray, Love shit, aren’t they? Maybe they will think I am noble rather than someone who keeps aggressively pursuing higher education for no other reason than it seems to be a bastion of marginally sane secularism in our increasingly batshit country.

So that’s fun. Except for how it, you know, totally isn’t.

Also fun? Cover letters, the genre of quiet fucking desperation and self-aggrandizement.

Part-time marketing work also provides me with words that make me think academic jargon is pretty, by comparison:

  • Leverage
  • Learnings
  • Webinar
  • Build out
  • Incentivize
  • Advertorial
  • Game-changer
  • Impactful

Good times can be had with this corporate buzzword generator.


A playlist to stave off suicidal thoughts brought on by pleading job apps and marketing twats

Hedwig and the Angry Itch — Midnight Radio

David Bowie – Rock and Roll Suicide

Boston — Peace of Mind

Eliot Smith — Wouldn’t Mama Be Proud?

Supertramp — Breakfast in America

Wilco — Shot in the Arm

The Verve — Bittersweet Symphony

Tribe Called Quest — Rap Promoter

Beastie Boys — Super Disco Breakin’

Frank Black — Headache (listen to this last one at least six times running.)



Things I like

Country roads + 5th gear + Boston.

Everyman actors who can carry a sitcom.

Physical comedy.

Texas Red Chili.


Fro-yo. Pinkberry and all its imitators.

Interracial couples (esp. with children).

Carbon & Carbide Building.

Melodic hooks.

Things I do not like

When classic rock DJs decide to “improve” a song by adding running commentary to it.

Times New Roman.

Racism masquerading as patriotism.


People who think reading is elitist practice.

Needlessly expository dialogue.

Shoe boots with toe cut-outs. WHY?


Philosophy majors, for the most part.

Watching sex scenes with parents. Still horrible.

Proselyting in any way, shape, form.

Job applications only accepted in hard copy. In 2010.

Pic from the ever-awesome Allie Brosh, who’s got fashion posts at The Gloss here.

chicagoland, still

Despite loathing winter (whine, whine) and various other things that bug the everloving crap out of me, Chicago does have its moments. The cityscape being the obvious one, especially the gorgeous “corn cob” buildings of Marina City.*

Rather amusingly, they have been filming Transformers 3 downtown. While I don’t give a hoot and a half about the franchise, I do love that this is the sign they posted to alert pedestrians that a terrorist attack is not actually taking place. (Or, that they don’t need to play the favorite guessing game of Chicago residents: “Gunshots or Fireworks?”)

Here is a clip of some of the filming. To be honest, it did sound pretty damn scary from the street.

Still won’t see it, of course, unless it ends with Shia LaDouche getting kicked in the head. He seems atrocious.

*One of the greatest pleasures on earth, I am convinced, is listening to music while visiting the place it emerged from. Crimpshrine in the East Bay, the New York Dolls on the Lower East Side, Lyle Lovett in the Texas hill country, and so on, are all examples of this. I love nothing more than to go stare at these buildings while listening to Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, because, as the Watcher said, it feels like synchronicity¬† bordering on predestination.

things that confuse me, special local edition

If you asked, I would say, fuck yes, public art is awesome. Whether it takes the form of bronze sculptures of local figures of moderate renown (Nizhny Novgorod and Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov, I am looking very pointedly in your direction) or even the whole animal-as-totem of a cityscape (Lexington, Kentucky and variously painted horses being the main one I can conjure off the top of my head). I mean, yeah, rock on out with that.

It’s not always the best use of public funds, granted, since Chicago has potholes that can actually swallow your car and/or rip off a tire.

But this, people. This.  Seeing a giant creepy bloodshot eye looming over State Street genuinely freaks my shit out. I glance up from the bus, unprepared, and want to SCREAM in terror.

But, if someone wants to install another sculpture, just across the street, of a giant finger with a contact lens poised on it, I would laugh and laugh and laugh.

Article with the details on the giant eye art here.

more things that should not be allowed

Okay, so standing in line at the liquor store the other day, my eye alit on an endcap of some fancy French vodka. Bottles that are clearly trying to capture some of the cachet of Bombay Sapphire, copy on the website that touts the purity of the grain, the distillation of clear mountain water into some high-quality ethanol.

Fine, whatever. I’m fairly certain that the market for top-shelf super premium vodka is pretty much saturated, and that the constant proliferation of brands has got to wind down sometime (please? please?).

Then I looked more closely at the bottles. Flavors include the usual fruity shit (berry things, mango, citrus) and some combinations thereof (tropical punch, cherry-lemon, mixed berry). Fairly sure that all of these are gross in their own special way. But, oh, wait, this supposedly ‘high end’ vodka company has decided to up the ante with flavors not found in nature (butterscotch, root beer, and cotton candy), and they have also decided that THIS was a good idea–

Now. Now. As someone who has drank and then hurled up plenty of chocolate martinis in her time,* I can perhaps see that there is a niche market for this particular flavor, which is proudly touted as being “quadruple distilled” from spring water. So my question, really, is WHY? Why bother making what adds up to supposedly super premium vodka only to doctor it with not just “whipped cream” flavor, but “artificial whipped cream flavor”? I also fail to see how the aforementioned recipe could be handed down from “generation to generation” since Cool Whip only first appeared in 1967.

It is these things that make me glad I’m not a cocktail waitress anymore.

*It always seems like such a good idea, doesn’t it? It’s late, you’re wasted. You want french fries and ice cream. Unless you’re somewhere super swank, some fried food is almost always forthcoming. And there’s no chance of a milkshake or whatever, so you think, “I know, I’ll order a sickly-sweet cocktail! That will satisfy the urge for ice cream.” Which it does, until you realize that chocolate martinis and all their kin and affines are evil and will make you sick. Probably instantaneously, so don’t cave in to the urge. Here endeth the lesson.

finally irate enough to write something, are ya?

Of course. Of fucking course. So, anyone who has met me will know of my undying love for the Hendricks (and for curvaceous redheads kind of in general, because, COME ON. People.)

So, when I saw the Photoshopped pics of her London Fog campaign, just now, I got really irate. Enough to break the visual wall of silence and come yell in cyberspace. Mad, indeed.

In part because I think she’s glorious and find it disgusting that a company that would book her for a campaign, knowing full well what she looks like, would then go and change the thing that makes her body so amazing.

Interviews with Our Ms. H. very often bring up her ample woman-assets. And, fair enough. But her Mansfield-like proportions extend below the belt, so to speak. Girl has hips. She does not look like a Barbie. Nor does she look like she is about to topple over from imbalanced weight distribution.

Although, speaking of Barbie, they actually did the same thing to the Joan Holloway Barbie.

[pause for serious reflection, sense of perspective]

Now, I know that in the grand scheme of the universe, this is perhaps not all that important. It is not on par with the slums of Mumbai, say, or the Rwandan genocide in terms of stuff that matters a whole lot. And I am not so Oprah and self-helpy to think that the one is directly correlated to the other (No, you know? I don’t actually think we can solve the world’s problems by loving ourselves more. I kind of don’t.)

I also know that I am part of the problem– I buy makeup and shoes ad nauseum, I work for the man doing marketing stuff. But.


Here’s the thing. What irks me the most — even more than the idea that people can’t handle an advertisement depicting a well-known woman’s body without shrinking her lower half down until it is smaller than the bag she is holding— is this pretty terrifying reliance we have on technology to eradicate what someone dictates is ‘imperfect’ or ‘less than ideal.’ Children in elementary school can get their school photos altered before they’re brought home. I don’t give a hoot about ‘message’ or even ‘self-image’ in this case. What scares the crap out of me is the rift we seem to be causing between the projected and the real, and how the two are becoming increasingly distant from one another.

Or something.

Jezebel has a whole series on Photoshop horrors, mostly better articulated than this.

a sprinkle of blogging meta (plus, bad tv)

Hello, internet. I am trying my damnedest to make blog place of insightful commentary and thoughtful squee, rather than just mindless ranting OR celebrity bullshit. I love superficial crap as much as the next girl, but there are limits.

Conversation with self: “Erin, you should try to post meaningful and insightful things, or stuff that inspires you. Like Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls at the Party.” — “Yes, self, but it is really fun to talk about wretched overproduced reality television, too.” — “No one wants to read about that.” — “Maybe not, but you’ve intellectualized yourself into a corner. You can’t talk about Deleuze and Freud and virtual Horcruxes in a way that is legitimately funny.” — “It is funny, I promise.” — “It’s so not, you just look like you’re showing off.”
Find more videos like this on Smart Girls at the Party

I debated for about twenty minutes the other day whether or not I was going to be the kind of blogger that posted things involving Taylor Swift.* I also expressed an interest to in writing for them, and sent them links to this selfsame blog, with the attached caveat, “I’m sure I can reign in the swearing.”**

For me, I’m going to hazard a guess that the Kardashians are perhaps my personal tipping point. Everything else is fair game. Unless, and this is a crucial exception, they are featured for whatever reason on MTV’s Styl’d again. We all know I am a resolute populist when it comes to television entertainment (Ru-Paul’s Drag Race? Ice Road Truckers? Bring it.)– even to the point of watching a show whose title is not only missing a totally necessary ‘E’ but is, very likely, not even actually a legitimate word. (Is this meant to echo Punk’d? Why would you want that? Put the ‘E’ back in, dickweeds. Ahem.)

But you know who was awesome on Show Whose Name Really Warrants Another Letter? Jen Rade, that’s who. She made me so happy, all skinny and mental and competent and a total hard ass.

Here she is debating the merits of cleave with Kim K. I love her so much that I will overlook her painful reliance on the horrid neologism “s-etiquette.” (One’s etiquette on set– not looking the talent directly in the eye or flirting with the models, I guess?) Why? Because she was one of only three white people at Snoop Dogg’s wedding (SO JEALOUS), and used to style all those weird 90s R&B groups (Bell Biv Devoe, anyone? Boyz II Men?).

I will leave you with this picture of Snoop. Because, awesome. And then I will go watch the season premiere of Weeds.

*Tentative answer — not right now. Will mention that she is definitely kitteh, howevs.

**Jury actually still out on this one. Can I do it?