Thursday, August 30, 2007

I just wanted some shorts. The weather report for New Mexico isn't looking delightful for my personal heat index boundaries, and I'm getting really nervous for the special spa treatment I promised Gaby I'd do (and call her during), which can only add anxiety sweat to my already shiny, desert-averse body. I woke up yesterday with the idea that shorts were the answer to this trip's potential downfalls. Shorts were crucial. Shorts would be life-saving.

So during my lunch hour yesterday, I chose a jaunt to Urban Outfitters over lunch with M Mulkeen, eager to throw down up to 50 bucks on some short-shorts, knee-length cut-offs, whatever could yield a maximum leg to outside air ratio while still looking good on me. After the Pete Doherty lookalike employee greeted me at the door with a grudging, but drawn out "Heeeeey", I jetted over to the first table containing barely butt grazing denim. As it turns out it was the only table of shorts in the store. And this was the only offering:

Now it's painfully clear I'm borrowing from Mary's fantastic compilation of all things fashionable and hideous in criticizing these romper-esque shorts (by that I mean they could serve as a romper for someone under 4'7). I tried them on of course, they were my only option. But my usual size had so much room in the crotch they either necessitated having a dick to not look strange and crotch-dowdy, or wearing a space diaper to fill them in. Perhaps they are meant for the diaper-wearing crowd. At least the model above looks like she just pooped in her pants. Smaller sizes yielded the same baggy-butt result with only a narrow seam line in the crotch getting tighter and tighter until I was basically anally raping myself with unpaid merchandise. Needless to say, I'm ashamed I tried the shorts on whilst under some seductive spell of Urban's hipster fashion credibility, ashamed I went to Urban (in full awareness of their politics too) in the first place, and I would like to take this opportunity to say it won't be happening again.*

*Unless my Mom sends me a gift certificate.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I'm pained to say that this is the first summer in 25 years that I will be missing the Minnesota State Fair and the impending five pound weight gain that comes with it. Though Fergie's barfing over the side of the Big Slide and the amazing foot-tapping lewd behavior scandal at the MSP airport fill me with such pride that my homesickness is somewhat abated.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Short Sunday Night Conversation with Father

Me: Hey Dad

Dad: (whispering) Hi little Lauren!

Me: What's going on there?

Dad: I'm trapped in the closet.

Me: Um, okay, can I talk to Mom?

Dad: No! I can't come out-I'm nude!


Dad: I'm in Mom's closet, nude, and she brought friends into the bedroom.

Me:That is really weird. Are you trying to tell me something metaphorically?

Dad: What?

Me: I got to go. Call me when you get out of the closet.

Dad: No, wait! Will you do a differential equation with me? I have a notepad.


Dad: Please, just one equation? I've been doing math problems to keep myself occupied.

Friday, August 24, 2007

I know by now it's cliched to protest the ever-shrinking circumferences of female models, but I can't help myself after seeing this photo of the "plus-size" contender on the next season of ATM:

I'm so disturbed that I'm going to the vending machine to emotionally binge on Doritos.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Gaby Said A Great Thing, But It Wasn't In Video Form So She Couldn't Blog It

Gaby is my friend and living partner, in the non-sexual way. We spend a good portion of our respective workdays parlaying witticisms back and forth via email, as well as news items we feel would be relevant to each other's lives, like "OMG did you read about the HPV under men's fingernails? I puked in my pants!" and such.

Sometimes Gaby emails me something so alluring and hilarious that I can think of nothing else but its blog-worthiness. "Blog it!" I reply to these items, before remembering that unlike the messy one night stand that is The Perfect Ratio, Gaby's blog has a unified theme. And that theme is video.

Like today's genius term "Dane Cookster."

It all started with:

Gaby: Oh no, do you have IBS because you don't yell at me enough???:

Me: oh gawd, this article is giving me IBS. Like really. Does this mean you're more likely to get heart disease because I come home with work-related stress?!

Gaby: It means you'll just really, really enjoy all those relaxing colonics at Canyon Ranch!

I just ran into some boy I went to high school with. He's a Dane Cook-ster, a new word I have invented for dudes who straddle a line between jerk hipster and fratboy Dane Cook-type.

Me: um, Dane Cook-ster is so so brill. I'm totally impressed. I wish it were a video so you could blog it. Maybe I'll do a "Gaby Said a Great Thing, But it Wasn't in Video Form So She Couldn't Blog It" column on my blog.

Gaby: I like it. The column image could be me doing a Borat-style thumbs-up gesture!

Hence I present this new column, titled "Gaby Said A Great Thing, But It Wasn't In Video Form So She Couldn't Blog It."

It may also alternately be referred to as "Column In Which PR Has Sad Realization That Whenever Anything Funny Happens She Has Irrepressible Urge To Blog It" or "Column In Which PR Inadvertently Admits She Has IBS (Mild! And It's Her Mother's Fault!)"

Everything is Mom's fault, btw.

Monday, August 20, 2007

I wanted to like Superbad. I really did.

For a plethora of reasons, the most important being that Michael Cera is God's gift to the world (and to Arrested Development). But I walked out feeling more pissed off than light-hearted, the feel-good intentions of the "romantic comedy" not quite sitting well in my stomach (though I consumed like 50,000 Werther's during the course of the flick, so it's hard to place blame.) There were some good subplots-- the cops played by Seth Rogan and Bill Hader were hilarious as badly behaved officers who'd rather blow up their squad car than answer a call. But the gist of the movie, two adolescent nerds trying to get ass, just fed into the same tired formula that David Denby so articulately outlined here, which can be summarized along these lines: Super funny boys love each other intensely but their penises desire ladies. Boys must learn to part from each other in order to satisfy penises. This is a sad lesson as hanging out with girls is not much fun, but will lead to sex. Hence the ultimate compromise: give up fun for sex.

The last scene is so literally emblematic of this moral, as Seth and Evan run into the two girls they desire shopping together at the mall the morning after a party at which both Seth and Evan blew their chances of getting laid by either of them. There are awkward apologies, then the girls of course suggest pairing off as M-F twosomes, Evan going with his love interest, and Seth with his. As Evan and his new pseudo-girlfriend descend down the mall escalator, Evan and Seth exchange furtive glances of longing as they're slowly pulled apart from each other. It's definitely funny-- two awkward teenage boys playing out Elsa and Rick at the end of Casablanca, wrenched apart by necessity. But if the true love affair of the movie is between Evan and Seth, then what's with the girls on their arms? Sex, obviously. It's the only desire strong enough to pull the boys in different directions, Seth at one point saying he'd "give his right ball" for it.

It's easy to see why the grand romance of this comedy is between the two straight males: they're funny, crude, dynamic characters. The audience laughs with them and relates to them, mostly because there are no other characters to relate to. The female characters are confined to be either the stationary body that Evan simulates fucking during Home-Ec class, or the temptress who gets trashed and whispers "I want to blow you" seductively in Seth's ear. There is nothing to their characters except for offering a sexual possibility to the boys, or at least a vehicle through which to play out the boys' sexual frustrations. In this world where the females have hot bodies, but are otherwise incapable of cracking a joke, having feelings, or some semblance of intelligent thought, who wouldn't fall in love with their hilarious male best friend?

Which of course, in the end, makes me wonder why I went to the movie with a group of girlfriends, and why the majority of the audience at my showing was not nerdy white boys, but groups of young girls, couples, and African American boys. Perhaps this is a gross generalization, but it strikes me as sad that such a diverse audience is forced to laugh and empathize over and over and over with the trials and hardships of angsty white boys. In fact, I probably could have enjoyed the movie despite the fact that the females were relegated to be barely-speaking penis receptors if Hollywood also churned out some movies in which females were dynamic and funny for once. But no one does, or if the script is written, no one buys. Instead Judd Apatow, a man so terrified of women he admitted in a recent Rolling Stone interview that sometimes he's afraid that his beautiful wife, actress Leslie Mann, is "going to crawl out a window" and leave him, has become the gold standard of Hollywood comedy, and worse, the only standard.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

It's a sad fact that there are still arenas left unaltered by the wonders of LOLdom. Fortunately, Jezebel took care of the high fashion pages of Vogue, so, without further ado, I offer the painfully LOL president.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A New Column: Deconstructing the Arguments of US Weekly Commenters

This comment to an US Weekly article on The Hills' Feud was, by far, my favorite paragraph of the day. I want you to enjoy it as much as I do, so below I help parse the complex rhetoric of this anonymous ranter.

5:15 PM Anonymous Says:

Okay lots to say..........................................
heidi nees to realize shes only 20 years old and shes alreay getting married hello ur supposed to enjoy your youth(*1), spencer and heidi should know that lauren only moved in with jason for the summer and then moved back (*2), lauren waz just trying to protect heidi because she used to love her as a best friend and now heidi is trash talking her(*3) which is really not a nice thing to do for herself considering she is all fake: boobs, ring, relationship, and life, and i totally agree that spencer is an idiot for buying an engagement ring at a nick nack shop and then uses his friends credit card!
im pretty much on team lauren here for many many reasons

we'll just c how heidi and spencer hold out with this so called "engagement"(*4)

(*1)- alluding to a phrase from Nietzsche's infamous letter to his closest acquaintance, Franz Overbeck, who shared a residence with the philosopher during his years in Basel. In 1870 Nietzsche left the city as a war medic on the Prussian side during the Franco-Prussian war. He frequently wrote letters to Overbeck, detailing his first-hand accounts of the sickness and death the war had wrought. In one such letter he confesses, "I am grieved by the transitoriness of things." The author here draws a clever reference to Nietzsche's grief in the statement "hello ur supposed to enjoy your youth."

(*2) From a study published in the research journal Science concluding that the most difficult decisions are best left to the unconscious. The research, conducted at the University of Amsterdam by Ap Dijksterhuis, shows that people make better decisions after letting their unconscious brain formulate a "gut feeling" rather than engage in conscious reasoning. The author rightly values Lauren's decision to move in with Jason just for the summer, a course of action that was guided by Lauren's change of heart--a reaction of her unconscious mind.

(*3) a reference to the age-old adage "Thou shall not go up and down as a Talebearer among thy people"

(*4) The author's intentions are unclear in this instance. It has been argued that the word engagement appears above in quotation marks as a political nod to the gay rights movement advocating equal marriage laws for all citizens. By highlighting engagement as a "so-called" term rather than giving it status as a valid word, the author mocks the institution of marriage, perhaps hinting that it cannot become a recognized term until it applies to all peoples.

(*5) The use of all CAPS in this sentence conveys the impression that the author is yelling, a meta-allusion to the fact that the paragraph is about a feud, and that the feud is of silly circumstances. Capitalizing her opinion is an ironic gesture on the part of the author meant to draw awareness to the futility of fighting insignificant battles.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


On those days when I have a moment to sit back and reflect on the duration of seconds, minutes, and hours that made up my life for that day, I habitually think in terms of 1 thru 10. The rating 1 is reserved for a hypothetical bad day colored by the thought of splitting my pants down the seam in a room full of people. A "10" would be a day during which I win a million dollars in the lottery and everyone I've ever bickered with calls me to say "you know, I meant to tell you that you were right about x,y, or z."

Today, the the crotch of my skinny jeans ripped. Literally. It was shocking. Though still the day weighs in somewhere around a "6". After some existential confusion, I'm now in the process of revamping my rating system and am open to suggestions.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Perfume is not a new topic of discussion on these weathered electronic pages, and obviously neither is the wonderful female genital referred to in this forum simply as a vagina. So, I thought, why not combine the two sensuous topics in one super fragrant vaginal post?

Why not indeed.

Vulva Original, a fragrance of German design (who else?), captures the pungent aroma of post-coital sheets. Or the smell of the waxing table. Maybe just the scent of female cum. You see, I'm not exactly sure. There's a lot of intricate, seductive language on their website, but none of it really explains what Vulva is (except the vague description "essence of vagina") or who should use Vulva and what they should use it for (there's a brief warning that's it's not to be ingested-- so that basically rules out the "Sports Drink" category). I believe I've encountered a similar conundrum before: let's see, there's a vagina on a bed, a lot of obtuse vaginal talk, but no discernable understanding of what to do with said vagina. Could it be that there's a young, eager-to-please male behind this marketing approach?

[ Dirt pics redacted-- younger sister's orders, obvs]

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Yesterday was scary.

If there's one stereotype that's true about Minnesota, it's that everything is nice. The people are nice, the scenery is nice, the bus drivers are nice, the squirrels in the park share their nuts with you, the wind blows gently in your ear on your morning commute whispering "Boy oh boy, don't you look great today!", the Twins let other, suckier baseball teams win our home games because they don't want to be bad hosts by trouncing them, etc. I would also say that as a people we're a lovably chubby bunch too (though this is off-topic, see Gaby for more details).

That bridge last night must have had parts born in New Hampshire or something, because it was decidedly not nice. No state's people deserve to experience this, and my strange undying home state pride makes me think, however unreasonably, that Minnesotans especially did not deserve this. We're ingrained in our peaceful upbringing to love thy neighbor, sometimes to the detrimental extent of passiveness (when our neighbor is Norm Coleman and should be ousted from office), but nonetheless, we are socialized to be helpers.

I called my high school boyfriend who lives near the bridge around 6:30 and he was on his way down to the site to help people, riding on the bike path that goes under the bridge along the Mississippi. I told him going down probably wasn't a good idea, that it could still be dangerous (New York has beaten niceness out of me), but he disagreed. This morning he called, using his left hand to hold the phone because last night his bike wheel was torn open by debris on the path and he flew over the handlebars breaking his right arm. I couldn't help uttering a nicely worded "I told you so!" but of course his reply was "I just had to go." Nice or dumb, whatever you label that effort, it is undeniably Minnesotan.

What is demonstrably not good-natured is the fact that the Bush regime has spent nearly 400 billion over the last six years on an ill begot war in Iraq while deliberately cutting the budget for the nation's infrastructure.

That is more Cheneyesque-- really really ugly.