Category Archives: shouty bits


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.

things that piss me off

Time for some counterweight to the delight and joy of all that picspam I have shoved in your faces as of late. This time you can have pictures of things that annoy me, for various sorts of reasons. With annotation. Not full posts. Too tired. Just a soupçon of snark, is all you get right now.

I really don’t even know where to start with this. The whole notion of a ‘tramp-stamp’ is already so disturbing on about 47 different levels, that getting a) a giant wall of text on your lower back b) a giant wall of text FROM THE BIBLE permanently inked on yourself and c) supposing this chick is, in the common parlance, a “tramp,” then why on earth would you want to showcase that with passages from Scripture that are all about fidelity and constancy?

Now. I like a good Bloody Mary as much as the next girl, and general Russophilia means that vodka is my booze of choice. That having been said, I am kind of a vodka purist. It’s good enough on its own, you don’t need to tweak it with vanilla and strawberries and kumquats, or whatever.* But you know what the world really really really doesn’t need? Vodka infused with the flavor of meat. Or fish. Or smoked fish.

What on earth is the point of this? WHO IS GOING TO DRINK IT? No one. At best,  a lot of sad waitstaff who are going to be stuck with the dregs of this vile looking concoction when the bar manager misguidedly orders a case and no one ever orders it. And then the staff will be left trying to come up with ways to make it palatable — mix it with Goldschlager? Ginger ale? Knock back shots of it while gnawing on a bagel? I honestly don’t know.

This montage on the ‘changing face of beauty’ doesn’t actually piss me off all that much, save for the fact that it is hella white and ends on a picture of Heidi Montag (which, fuck no. Just, no). I would be interested to see someone do a similar kind of video that tracks the changing shapes of bodies through this same period, maybe even going further back. Knowing my luck, someone has already made it and is ending that montage with Heidi as well.

*Will concede that blood orange vodka is quite good, as is Meyer lemon.

pictures in place of words. (deal with it.)

What’s that, you say? No recipes? No rants about hideous footwear, oodles of which were on display this past week?* No brilliant observations about your interactions with AT&T customer service?**

Nope, sorry.

*Quick, what’s worse than tourists shuffling, sloth-like, down Michigan Avenue in the summer when all you need to do is run to Macy’s real quick and then get some Wow Bao on your way home? TOURISTS DURING FUCKING LOLAPALOOOOOOOOOZAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

**Apparently if you rant about shit customer service on Twitter, even without hashtags, you will eventually be found. This feels like the creepy insidiousness of the security state, on the one hand. On the other hand, the person tweeting at you may be a human, as opposed to the droning speaking Simple Text FUCK that you get over the phone? (“It sounded like you said, ‘repair.’ Please say ‘yes’ if this is correct.”)

Log of actual Twitter interaction:

@erin_pappas worst thing of all? AT&T customer service. worser: calling said customer service on behalf of neighbor. *STABS EVERYTHING*


@erin_pappas customer service “you’re calling from an 859 number for repair to a 773 number?” me: “it’s the 21st century, bitch. I HAVE A CELL PHONE.”

@ATTJohnathon: Can I help? I’m with AT&T and would like to help. Please follow and send a direct message with a contact number.

@erin_pappas @ATTJohnathon think it is dealt with, but thank you!!

@erin_pappas however, that was maybe just a wee bit weird. wonder if i rant about target being anti-gay they will send me a gift card