Monthly Archives: January 2013

A Date With Rifftrax, Goodbye 30 Rock

Tonight I’m embarking on one of my absolute favorite dates with two of my absolute favorite people–that is, my boyfriend Ian and my friend Eeon of CannedLaser are joining me to see the rebroadcast of Best of Rifftrax Live: Plan 9 From Outer Space.  Quick word about Eeon–he’s the funniest person I know, only because I don’t know Mike Nelson of Mystery Science Theater 3000/Rifftrax in real life, even if he does occasionally reply to my Tweets, which makes my heart flutter, because I am a nerd.

Eeon and I have known each other since college and are absolute proof that men and women can just be friends.  We’re pals.  His wife is wonderful.  He let me give the speech from Independence Day at his wedding and let me guest podcast with him and his co-host, Pete, who is also hysterical.

But tonight is also the end of 30 Rock, which, along with MST3K and The Shield, can be credited with fundamentally changing my life.  Liz Lemon taught me that it was okay to be a geek and to love junk food and to look fab eating Cheesy Blasters, (even if she didn’t think so)  I was torn between two of my strongest nerd loyalties . . . and ultimately, decided on Rifftrax, because  it means I get to go to Bomber’s Burrito Bar afterwards.  See what I mean?  That’s Liz Lemon’s doing.  Image

Because I’m going out, I faced a geek dilemma–do I dress to impress MST3K fans by sporting my slightly oversized red JOIKE sweater (styled after the one given to Mike by Gypsy in episode 521, Santa Claus), or do I dress to impress one/both of my dates by wearing something cute and nice?  Skirt or jeans?  Where do leggings fit into the picture?  The JOIKE sweater is wool and it’s cold outside, what does that count for? 

I decided on the JOIKE sweater, a long fitted top underneath (like a bandage skirt) and Mossimo floral patterned leggings with Doc Martens.  Is it the most stylish, flattering, feminine outfit I own?  No.  But will it make my dates feel comfortable and at ease when we’re eating nachos at Bomber’s Burrito Bar afterwards?  Probably.  No one likes being overdressed and no one likes a high-maintenance girl.  The sweater is appropriate for the occasion and the weather, and might even earn me a few compliments from fellow Rifftrax geeks.

And besides, it’s sexier than a Slanket.  Goodbye, Liz Lemon . . . I’l miss you.

Good News to Wrap Up Panty Week

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So Many Choices!

As a journalist, I’m trained to ask the hard questions, like “What are the hottest trends in wedding accessories?” or “What kind of country crafts will you sell at your new mall kiosk?”

So I pitched my Panel of Gentleman about their underwear preference on ladies, and the results were surprising.  Only one person, went for thongs, and that was after “extensive research.”

That’s right ladies.  You can go ahead and pry that string out from between the cheeks.

The majority of Gentlemen went for bikinis.  One singled out “the kind with those little ribbons on the sides that undo them.”  A few went for boy shorts, but overwhelmingly, bikinis won.  

I’ll admit, I was surprised.  I always sort of figured underwear was one of those things men had ideas about that they never broached.  Like, “I wish my wife wore thongs, but all she wears are granny panties!”  But that so many came out in support of a simple, easy to find and wearable type of lingerie made me have hope that maybe, just maybe, you can be pretty and comfortable at the same time.  My boyfriend Ian summed it up thusly–“As long as they define the feminine shape and don’t look like you’ve packed two loaves of bread into your pants, they’re good.”

And thus, we conclude Panty Week.

 

The Underpants Debacle

“A French woman wears a fifty dollar dress and a fifteen dollar corset.  An American woman wears a two hundred dollar dress and a two dollar and a half corset”  Amy Ayer, Facts for Ladies (1908)

I haven’t worn particularly fancy underwear since high school, when my ex-fiance, Aaron, used to buy me lots of lingerie from Victoria’s Secret, because he was kind of uncreative (if it wasn’t underwear, it was chocolate).  But when I got out on my own and had no money, it was cotton panties from the Jr. section of Wal-Mart, the kind that comes in the six-pack.  My underpants had to be comfortable, as I was standing for about 10 hours a day, so no thongs, no sexy v-strings, no lace or nylon.  But rest assured, I didn’t have a $200 dress either.

I took this challenge as a way to buy new fancy panties.  (That, and my favorite pair got a hole in them.)   But it’s been so long since I’ve had to buy any kind of lingerie that I wasn’t even sure what Ian liked.  Would he want me to wear bejeweled thongs?  Lacy boyshorts that go so high up into my personal area that they ought to buy me dinner?

So I asked him.  He thought it over and said. “I want them to be cute.  And fun.”  His reasoning being that we were cute and fun, and my lingerie should be uncomplicated.  Lacy underpants, to him, scream high maintenance.

Victoria’s Secret at the Sangertown Square Mall had a 5 for $26 sale, so I sifted through the bins.  The whole place smells of too much perfume and sadness.  The sales girls all wear too much makeup and too-tight skirts.  The other customers look like they’re going to hang themselves with the leopard-print V-string if they don’t pick up some guy named Brad at tonight’s 50 Shades of Grey themed party.

It should be noted that I hate Victoria’s Secret.  I’ve never had a good experience there, and today, dspite my best intentions, was no exception.  I picked out my five pairs–striped, polka dots, bikinis and even a thong–and took them to the register.  The sales girl tells me that two of my panties don’t qualify, even though they were in the bin.  Maybe this isn’t a big deal, but it’s annoying to have to go back, sift through more underwear and stand in line again.  She doesn’t even offer me a VS credit card.

But I came out with five pairs of high-end panties, which will hopefully transform me magically into a sex goddess.

 

Not a Douche

“Add fragrance, packaged specifically for this purpose, to your douche.  Another good idea is to add a teaspoon of white kitchen vinegar to the douche twice a week”  Arlene Dahl, Always Ask a Man.

There are a lot of bad beauty tips out there that can actually hurt you, which is not pretty.  This is one of them. 

I know two things about douching–1) “Douche” is French for soap, which always gets a giggle in French class and 2) When the word “bag” is attached, it becomes one of my favorite insults.

That’s about it as far as my knowledge of douching goes.   So before I tried this one out, I consulted Planned Parenthood, because as dedicated as I am to this project, I don’t have health insurance, so if I’m going to put vinegar near my personal lady parts, I want to make sure it’s not going to burn my uterus out.

“No,” was LNP Sherry’s answer the minute I said “douche” but before “vinegar” came into play.  “Not ever.”

.Apparently, douching washes away all the good bacteria that keeps everything . “The vagina is a self-cleaning oven,” she explained.  Also, I can’t imagine how that would smell good. So I took her advice and left the vinegar in the kitchen.  

 

Lessons Learned

Not even a month into this project and I already feel like I’m reaping some unexpected benefits.  I can actually feel myself being more polite, more interested in what other people are talking about, more tuned into what they’re feeling.

People–not just men–like to feel like they’re being listened to.  They like feeling like someone is treating them special, cultivating their feelings.  And more than just pretending to listen with a smile plastered on my face, I’m actually listening.

Fun Fact: Listening to other people distracts you from your own problems.  Even just listening to someone talk about what they watched on TV last night means you’re not thinking about all the garbage in your own world.  Do you have any idea how liberating that is?

In the last two months, my boyfriend almost lost his job, I botched a big story and we were briefly homeless.  I was getting so stressed that I had developed tremors.  But I kept being deliberately polite, smiling big at people who terrified me.

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Pictured: Being Nice

And it worked.  I didn’t show them that I was scared, I listened to what they were saying, and by the end of the exchange, I had the upper hand.  Sarcasm and aggression only put people on edge.  Heck, even Patrick Swayze, who ripped a guy’s throat out, knows that the first rule is to always “Be Nice.”

How To Watch TV With a Man

“Draw out his ideas to which you can gracefully add your footnotes from time to time.” Arlene Dahl, Always Ask a Man

Bill, my father-in-law, is now one of the main men in my life.  Namely because he owns the house we’re staying in for the next six months.  So I decided to try this one out on him.

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I will watch anything, literally anything, Walton Goggins is in.

Bill watches a lot of TV.  That’s not unusual for a 60 year old bachelor in the middle of an upstate New York winter (last year for Christmas, we made him a wool snuggie, which he boasts is one of his favorite gifts ever).  And the one thing he likes more than watching TV is talking about TV.  He would often regale us with something he heard on the news or a funny bit he saw on a sitcom or a particularly gruesome episode of Criminal Minds, which is normally too horrifying for me, even the episode with Walton Goggins.

Thursday night we watched  two episodes of Mystery at the Museum, and I asked him open-ended questions about other episodes, gracefully adding some notes about my own experiences with history (like the time Matthew and I visited the site of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre) when the opportunity present itself (they were showing a barber chair that Albert Anastasia of Murder, Inc was killed in).  But mostly I let him fill me in, because the man is an absolute history buff.

Last night he gave me the choice between Cold Case and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.  I am a huge SVU fan and have been since college (even though it has been terrible the last four seasons, and I think they should have replaced Chris Meloni with Michael Chiklis) but I remembered my quest and gently said, “Whichever one you like best.”  His logic was that Cold Case is only on one a week, so we watched that.

It was kind of nice.  Since we’re living in his house, I want him to feel like we’re not just taking over his life, and I think letting him dictate what he wanted to watch was a good way to do that.  Plus, I had never seen Mysteries of the Museum or Cold Case, and both were pretty awesome.

“A wife, if she is loving and smart, will get her husband back every time . . . if she doesn’t get him back, it’s because she’s lazy, blind or doesn’t want him”  Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and the Single Girl (1962)

This isn’t exactly ladylike, but it’s still early enough in the project to be a little coarse:

I hate Helen Gurley Brown.

She goes on in the chapter to say that it’s perfectly fine to date married men.  Their wives are horrible and stupid, so why shouldn’t you savor their company?

But Helen never mentions the kids.

This is the part of this project where I get all confessional and weepy.  My stepdad, who helped my mom raise me for 15 years (not that I didn’t have a dad, I did, he just didn’t live in the same house as us but was and is still awesome), who fathered my extremely awesome sister Beth, cheated on my mom with a nurse he worked with.  Apparently, my mom, who is awesome and funny and smart, “wasn’t loving” enough to “keep her man,” so he had to take up with some skanky nurse who still reads Twilight and cheats on him all the time

Pictured--still too classy to date my ex-stepdad's girlfriend

Pictured–too classy to date my ex-stepdad’s girlfriend

with dudes who would make Jimmy Buffet say “Whoa there on the pencil-thin mustache.”

When he left, our family fell to pieces.  I reacted by shutting myself off from everyone except Geena Davis in Earth Girls Are Easy.   We’re only now really getting ourselves back together, but the pain is still there, every single day.  One of my parents abandoned me.   His marriage didn’t work out, whatever, neither did my mom and dad’s, and both of them raised me just fine, stayed active in my life, loved me to pieces and, with major kudos, sat through way too many terrible high school musicals.   But this guy,  who coached my softball team, who helped me move into my first dorm, who I welcomed into my life even though I already had a dad, I just wasn’t “loving” enough for him to keep around.

(Mom, Dad, I love you.  Thank you for everything.)

That shit doesn’t stop hurting, ever.  And this is the first time I’ve ever been able to write about it, four years practically to the day from when I got that phone call saying that he’d walked out.  So thanks, HGB, for making me hate you so much that I was able to finally direct that rage.