What is Optimism?

Taylor Swift is the living embodiment of Voltaire’s tragic hero, Candide, as surely as Selena Gomez is the incurably optimistic Pangloss[1]. Just as Candide begins his life in a castle so did Swift begin hers on a Christmas tree farm equally believing that this indeed was the “best of all possible worlds”. We know Swift was as brutally ejected from this paradise as Candide was conscripted by the Bulgars, evidenced by the painful journey she takes us on in “White Horse”.

Just as Candide loses everyone he loves in hellish, nightmarish ways (syphilis, war, enslavement, rape, shipwreck, etc.) so did Taylor Swift date John Mayer. Just as Candide had to murder, lie, steal, and starve to survive his tribulations, so did Taylor Swift endure Kanye at the 2009 VMAs.

We are going to a new world, and no doubt it is there that everything is for the best; for it must be admitted that one might lament a little over the physical and moral happenings of our own world.

We are going to a new world, and no doubt it is there that everything is for the best; for it must be admitted that one might lament a little over the physical and moral happenings of our own world.

Just as Candide had to journey to the lands of his enemies to pursue a love who had forsaken him, so did Taylor Swift survive that not super well-reviewed cameo in Valentine’s Day. Just as Candide finds pessimism-spewing, shade-throwing philosopher, Martin, so has Taylor Swift befriended Suri Cruise.

Man is bound to live either in convulsions of misery or in the lethargy of boredom.

Man is bound to live either in convulsions of misery or in the lethargy of boredom.

And now we find ourselves on the other side of Swift’s exhausting journey with the masterful “Shake It Off”. Because indeed, the “Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate” for it is declared thusly in their name as it is with the players, heartbreakers, and the fakers. But at last with only the backbreaking work of her farm to occupy her time, Taylor has realized that she’s “lightening on [her] feet”, though others cannot see it. Just as Candide learns that toil is man’s only way to find true joy so has Taylor Swift declared that she “can’t stop, won’t stop grooving”. Worry not, people, that Taylor Swift stays out too late or goes on too many dates. Be not like, “oh my god”, Taylor Swift’s ex man’s new girlfriend. Think not about the liars and the dirty, dirty cheats of this world, person listening to “Shake It Off”. Taylor Swift has made it through countless trials and tribulations, recorded for posterity in the ballads born of her pain, but at last has learned, whether this is the best of all possible worlds or otherwise, it’s best that Taylor Swift cultivate her own garden.


[1] Just as Pangloss retains his optimism through syphilis, losing an eye, nose tip, and an ear, countless enslavements, a hanging, and boredom on a farm, so has Selena Gomez gotten back with Justin Bieber, like, a lot of times.

Troubles are just the shadows in a beautiful picture.

Troubles are just the shadows in a beautiful picture.

I Love Lamp

Not to brag, but I own a lot of objects. At this moment, my apartment floor is covered with them. I have feelings about these objects. My Papa Smurf plush action figure is special to me because my dad bought him before I was born. My copy of Shakespeare’s works (Riverside, duh) reminds me of a time in life when I exclusively pursued art. My yoga mat makes me feel guilty for never doing yoga. If something happened to those things, I would be the person most immediately affected.

This week, President Obama, a hero for his work on healthcare and women’s rights, released an anti-rape PSA which puts the onus on men to not sexually assault rather than on women not be sexually assaulted. Great. But the PSA missteps in falling back on the old trope, “You shouldn’t rape someone because that woman could be someone’s mother/daughter/sister/cousin/barista/dream-girl-next-door.”


Until society stops seeing women only as supporting players, characters who exist through the lives of the men who love them, women will always be victims. Who fucking cares if a woman is someone’s daughter? Women are raped because we’re seen as objects that someone has a right to take. We can’t not be raped because we’re objects that just happen to belong to someone else. We shouldn’t be raped because it’s wrong to rape, because raping a person is a terrible thing to do to that person.

This same week, someone I only know professionally couldn’t stop talking about this “hot girl who used to be his subordinate” he was going to lunch with. This man is married and ostensibly not interested in cheating on his wife. It wasn’t about going on a date with a hot girl, a situation where physical attractiveness is relevant. It was about reducing a human being with feelings and intelligence and a career to a status symbol. He diminished a woman to an expensive bottle of wine; a way to impress other people in public. It also implied that no way in hell would this guy be interested dining with a woman who’d been his subordinate if she wasn’t hot, which is the same shit women in the workplace have dealt with since we dared to enter it. After all, if a toy isn’t shiny, who would ever want to play with it?

I keep researching other relevant current events to try and find a way to tie this post together, but there are too few and too many all at once: How when a female celebrity is photographed in yoga pants, the media depicts her as “flaunting her body”. Websites dedicated to “hot” up-skirt shots taken unbeknownst to the skirt owner. Half of Howard Stern’s show. Joe Francis.

When you rob a woman of her individuality as an autonomous human, it diminishes that woman and is hurtful to human rights, no matter what your intentions.

The Ultimate High Five


Guys, CBS’s once-great sitcom, How I Met Your Mother, is over. And I, who have been begging for the formerly hilarious, more recently hokey and lazy show to end, am devastated. I’m an easy crier, but I think I bruised something watching that episode. My heart.

The episode starts out with Ted being the absolute fucking worst, as is his wont, by making someone else’s wedding reception all about him. Ted is leaving tomorrow for Chicago, even though tonight is Barney and Robin’s wedding reception. Jesus. I have clutched many a friend’s hand over the year, fearfully asking, “What if I’m Ted?!”Now? I’m good.Ok Im Ok

Then Ted is annoyed by an older woman at a bus station. Go-ud, lady! Can’t you see Ted is trying to feel feelings about a moment he’s artificially infused with drama? Then there is romance (interspersed throughout many, many other scenes).

I knew I was going to need a bigger wine glass was when Robin, now divorced from Barney, reveals that she has to step away from the gang. The fissure is what makes this show great. Rarely does a group of friends have as dramatic a dynamic as these five, but the love they share is very relatable. And the idea that we can’t stay young and close forever is an omnipresent reality for those of us who were young and foolish at the same time as Robin, Barney, Lily, Marshall, and even fucking Ted. It’s the real thing from a show that gave up trying to give us a funny, honest reflection of reality a long time ago.Close

I realized there was no glass of wine big enough for this evening when Barney holds his daughter and tells her he’s fallen in love with her. Ugh, the same clichés I’ve been bitching about for two seasons had now turned on me like Wormtail’s artificial hand, ready to snatch the very breath from my lungs.

I cried so hard I choked on a carrot.

It only got uglier. “Even when she got sick…” referencing the mother (Tracy)’s tragic demise that leaves Ted, now somehow slightly less annoying, widowed and raising his two patient children.  I’m re-tearing realizing Ted, who wanted a wife so badly, really only had one for a few, very short years.cool cool

People will hate it, but Ted and Robin should end up together. The show should end with that stupid blue French horn. The show was a journey about love, a love so great that it survives two terrible seasons of a sitcom and comes out on the other end somehow still believable. I give it four and a half out of five Roseanne finales.

I hope all of you who loved, and maybe hated, How I Met Your Mother enjoy the rest of your evenings. Do not watch anything else serious on television. Someone in this studio apartment just told Once Upon a Time that she didn’t have room for it in her heart for it tonight.

Good luck gang.Kk

Facing the Wall

Writer’s block is a crazy thing. One day, you’re just typing away about Lindsay Lohan’s great ideas and life choices and the next you’re writing “um” four hundred times on a screen and then using keystrokes to edit the fonts. Every time you (I, specifically) sit down in front of a computer, all that comes out of your (my)fingers and brain are the most inane thoughts, as opposed to the standard earth-shaking brilliance this blog has remained unknown for.

I was talking to the Lascivious Lemur at work, whose sole goal for this blog and all things internet-related is to be featured in them, and he said, “If you have writer’s block, why not write about it?” And, unlike the time he thought Adamantium was a real element, the Lemur was right. I find whenever I’m having trouble writing or finding a character or making good improv, the rest of my life isn’t doing so hot either. Not when I am angry or really sad. Those emotions are artistic gold; I would give anything for the kind of mood that induces crying on the subway. Not righteous indignation, like the kind that my frenemy, the sexually magnetic walking malapropism, Rick Santorum, can inspire; nor shame nor anger. No, writer’s block comes when I feel numb.


Thanks bro!

Life is so stressful. Mine certainly less so than people who face real strife like poverty, war, and disease. Still, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day stresses like where I will be in five years and if I’m doing everything I can to get there and if I’m going to meet someone who will love me and am I’m working hard enough to have a career and will a career make me happy and wishes come true not free and really should only Faulkner be able to write in stream of consciousness and why am I like, the only person who really doesn’t like David Sedaris’ writing and is Jenny McCarthy secretly ashamed of what she’s done but lacking the character to be honest about it and am I hungry and is Benedict Cumberbatch handsome or just charming. And after all that neurosis, it’s easy to be afraid of doing or saying or writing something dumb. And once you start being afraid of sucking, it’s easier to do and say nothing than to risk it. ugh

According to Anais Nin (and many, many inspirational Pinterest boards), “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Bullshit. Opening up is always the most painful part. And there is no guarantee that opening up will lead to something beautiful. Often, making yourself vulnerable only leads to a disaster. But even disaster is better than being too afraid to let anything happen at all.

Why A New Episode of Once STILL Hasn’t Aired……

You guys probably did not know this, but the Oscars were on last night. I say you did not know because to the untrained eye, it may have looked a little bit like a live airing of A Midsummer Night’s Dream starring Ellen DeGeneres as the handsome Lysander, Brad Pitt as a coquettish Hermia, Angelina Jolie as a lovesick and surprisingly likable Demetrius, and John Travolta as a reluctant but obvious Bottom. But no, it was the Oscars.

I had a lot of feelings. I now know that celebrities are not just like me, since they all rushed to ebulliently be in that selfie; I do not like having to do that shit at brunch and I sure as hell would not like doing it in a fancy dress. Also, Jared Leto, I saw you get creepy on Jennifer Lawrence’s thigh. Jared, you are hot but you are old. That was not appropriate.

The Oscars this year was not only like a Shakespearean comedy, but one of the better dressed ceremonies I’ve seen of late (Whoopie, this does not include you; sorry friend). Lupita Nyong’o was so beautiful and so perfectly dressed, she took my breath away, which may also explain the phrasing in Pink’s performance. Pink, the improbable artist who rose out of the pop muck of the 90’s (not you, Britney), looked like if a ruby slipper came to life and was more elegant than one could have imagined. But the loveliest look of the night was Liza Minnelli, who is easily the most captivating person in any room at any time. I loved her blue streak and her blue dress. I might get one of each.

Even with an evening so full of Liza, it was around the moment that that Spike Jonze accepted his Best Director award that I realized, I don’t care as much about the Oscars as I once did. In a world where so many people have to fight for so little, it’s increasingly frustrating to enviously watch a room full of insanely rich people and their seat fillers laud each other for how “brave” they’ve been in making movies that are too expensive for many people to see, despite how important their creators think them. Art shouldn’t be a luxury but the lavish production costs and exorbitant salaries of the people in that very room contribute to why it has very much become one.

Except that then, Idina Menzel and Derek McLane created live-action Frozen in a way I could have never even dared to hope for. It. Was. Magic.

It’s a Party

Guys, though my frail human form has been hobbled by an illness I fondly refer to as Head Cold: The Reckoning, it was a mere week ago I found myself in a Body Pump class. Body Pump is an awesome weightlifting class designed by human muscle Les Mills where people scream out things like “Plyometrics!” and “JUST EIGHT MORE!!!!”.  It’s way fun all on its own, but on this particular Saturday class, one of my fellow pumpers brought in something a little extra whimsical: rape culture.

My fun friend brought society’s ice cream cake to the aerobic party in a simple way. His t-shirt, well worn, clearly much beloved, read, “I Traded My Girlfriend for a Coors Light. It Was The Best Deal I Ever Made.” Whoop! What’s great about that shirt, aside from how sweet a worn in tee looks on anyone, is that it reminded me, as well as all the other women in the class, and in the gym, and all the other places where I hope this guy shares his hilarity and indelible taste for puns, that we ladies are the lesser item in a barter consisting of a beer which costs a max of four dollars in a New York City bar all the way down to perhaps thirty cents if we’re talking about a beer that’s been pumped from a keg. It’s also so fun because one could assume given even a moment’s thought (FYI, during the squats track in a Body Pump class, one takes all available mental vacations) that a traded girlfriend would be expected to perform sexual favors. So, this guy, like a travelling minstrel from the days of Arthur’s court, told a tale, sponsored by a major corporation, of human sex trafficking for the sweet, delicious taste of the Rockies at a robust 4.2% ABV. I won’t lie and say it didn’t add a little something extra special to my Saturday morning.

Though I was too shy to talk to the human embodiment of a party after my class, he gave me a lot of food for thought. He was not only a hoot but also helpful because in America in 2014, women can do anything men can do. We are CEOs, doctors, lawyers, teachers, vets, Vets, directors, parents, partners, comedians, and grifters. Sometimes we’re so busy doing all of these things that we forget that a significant percentage of the population still sees us as just orifices only just slightly below the delicious mouth of a freshly cracked Coors Light.

Where in the World is My Prince…..

Man. It has been a rough day. And now the internet has dealt me my deathblow. sad panda

I know right now he’s seeing someone, but throughout all his girlfriends, I always believed somewhere in my heart that we would have a beautiful family together some day. But now I’ve learned that my dream man, my soul mate, the person many have admired but only I would be special enough to win is never going to help me build the life I’ve always wanted; will never be able to fully complete that life. ick

Jon Gosselin has had a vasectomy. Go ahead, cheer and make jokes. Laughter is the only barrier between us and utter despair. We will never push our children on a swing set while surrounded by all of his many children. We will never wear sweet Ed Hardy gear and pretend to look annoyed at the paparazzi that we secretly called. We will never go on a reality show together to try to “make it work”.

I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee……



I was far too busy last night to watch the Golden Globes, but I am a lemming who will always click on an article asking whether or not a celebrity was drunk while presenting an award as surely as my spirit animal will follow its brethren off a cliff. So I did watch a clip of Diane Keaton accepting the Cecile B. DeMille award for a certain director.

Let me start this off by saying that I have never seen a Woody Allen film. At first, I just wasn’t that interested; too young. Then I sort of thought I wanted to wait till a really special movie came along, something that spoke to me. And now…any time I tell someone that I’ve never seen the world through the lens of the word’s most famous neurotic I got shock and horror. “Not even Annie Hall?!!???!” My former potential friend gasps as he/she clutches his/her pearls and averts his/her eyes.

And I’m ok with that. I was twelve when Woody Allen married his much younger former stepdaughter; old enough to assess how fucking disgusting that is at the disgust level only a tween can feel. Like disgusting. While they’re still married and only they know their love blah, blah, I can never see a picture of him without getting a little creeped out and the idea of sitting through a couple of hours of his view of women and the world gives me honest heebie jeebies.

I only recently learned that he allegedly also abused his seven year-old daughter and was caught MORE THAN ONCE. He was found innocent in a court of law, but imagining how difficult it is for a victim to come forward, let alone a child, I am inclined to side with said victim.

All that said, Mia Farrow, you need to reflect.

Did Ms. Farrow, as she watched Diane Keaton laud the man who made her famous despite the fact that he definitely did something wrong and maybe something really, really wrong, feel a twinge of familiarity? Because she continues to stand by Roman Polanski, despite the fact that he raped a thirteen year old girl. Like Keaton and Allen, Farrow and Polanski enjoyed cinematic greatness together. Like Keaton and Allen, Farrow has been complicit in a powerful Hollywood figure’s ability to be bigger than the law and justice as recently as a 2005 law suit brought against  Condé Nast for an article published in Vanity Fair, which had to be attended remotely by Mr. Polanski himself for fear of being extradited to the United States to face punishment for his famous child rape.

Sex crimes are not morally relative.  You don’t get to be mad at the guy who did it in your house while giving the guy who made you famous a pass. The victim you know is not more important than the one you don’t. Obviously, Mia Farrow is a huge fan of the site and will no doubt read this and reflect and change her whole life. I’m not suggesting for one moment she shouldn’t be apoplectic with rage at the man who victimized one or more of her children, but that perhaps that outrage is worth extending beyond your own four walls.

My Review of the Golden Globes

Y’all, I did not watch the Golden Globes tonight. I want so much to give a quarter of a fuck about them, especially because of the insane love I feel for Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and for the insane love I feel for shading celebrity dress choices (but not bodies), but I just do not. For one thing, these Law and Order: SVU episodes aren’t going to re-watch themselves. Plus, I’ve seen like, two of the nominated movies and probably .015% of the nominated television shows so I can’t enjoy the sole joy of watching an awards show, which is to nod smugly as various movies and television programs I know are announced as if I somehow made them myself. Also, since anything besides Frozen  was nominated for any awards this whole production is a bull(?)shit sham and I won’t be a party to it.

I also did not watch the Golden Globes tonight because I was busy experiencing a major life milestone. In the interest of a little backstory, picture it: New York City, 2008, the Upper West Side….

A broke actor/server server/actor, I relied on my roommate Gigi to cut my hair for me; her qualifications being skill and patience. However, Gigi was working a similar gig with different hours, so I decided to take matters into my own hands, despite the fact that I possess neither skill nor patience. I cut my bangs so short and jagged that I couldn’t even pin them back. In a headband, I looked like a troll doll going through something. A drunk five-year old with one side of a pair of safety scissors could have done a better job. Since then, I have not been allowed to use simple tools to remove any of my hair.

Brenda Walsh and me: living parallel lives

Brenda Walsh and me: living parallel lives

But tonight, a mere six years later, I successful cut my own bangs. I sent a selfie to Gigi to make sure I had permission. Hey! 24 year old me, it really does get better.

Like a fine wine

Like a fine wine

Also, Sunday night treat. Lascivious Lemur, you will love it.

Also, fair disclaimer, I am not Shannen Doherty, only a respectful and not at all dangerous fan.