Friday, December 21, 2007

Burlesque To Make You Brave Enough To Proffer Your Country To Old Men.

When I signed up for Burlesque for Self-Esteem class I had a very specific conception of what it would entail. I figured we would maybe get topless, learn some titty-shaking moves and compliment each other profusely while basking in a joyous aura of girldom. The "self-esteem" aspect of the class title, I assumed, was merely a side effect of the main course, Burlesque. I was wrong.

It should have been called, "Hate UrSelf? Let's Talk About It, Get Naked, and Cry!"

The space was hot and smelled like the inspiration for that rap song "Get Low". At some point there had been a lot of sweat dripping down a lot of balls in there. I wanted to scream from the windows to the walls and then promptly crawl through them, but the teacher, World Famous Bob, made us take our shoes off so there was no escaping. It's a fact that if you're in extreme inhumane conditions like boiling hot, ball-sweaty rooms you'll become more introspective and willing to cooperate-- it's the same tactic they use at Guantanemo!

World Famous Bob is pretty greatsies, and she saw me nakesies

When we entered the room there was funeral organ music playing and candles lit. Bob was weeping in mourning garb by the door hugging each of us as we passed through. It was, we soon discovered, a "funeral for our insecurities." I would have bolted at this point but my shoes had already been confiscated, and Marmsies was with me.

After the mock funeral, we sat in a circle and started introducing ourselves and explaining why we were here. I didn't want to be like, "Uh, I thought this was a DANCE class" after everyone had poured out their darkest insecurities, so I said that I was having a hard time adjusting to the attractiveness of New York peeps and I sometimes feel grossish compared to all the freakin size 0 models walking around the city. While this may be true, I'm usually too busy to dwell on my comparative fattitude, and I live in Brooklyn so most of the time I'm around baby mommas in hempseed jumpers, not models. Hemp clothing, I believe, was created solely to benefit the self-esteem of those not wearing it.

The thing I hate most about the activity of self-esteeming is that it necessitates one conjure up their insecurities that are otherwise quarantined off in an unconscious section of the brain not bothering anyone, and bring them to the forefront, like "What is it that I hate about myself again? Oh yeah!" and then you start to feel actively bad about it. I mean subconscious manifestation is a defensive mechanism for a reason. It works wonders.

The whole vibe of the session felt like couples counseling for a polygamous matriarchal hippie co-op. We got a handout with, like, 8 different definitions of the word "genius" and we read them aloud REALLY SLOWLY. Then we talked about our feelings and what we like about ourselves. The lesson of all this somehow was "there's a genius in every one of us." I was like, Duuuuuuuuuhz, I already think I'm an LOLgenius, can I leave now and go to the Burlesque Class For Vanity?

After the genius exercise came the humilation exercise, wherein we had to write what we hated about ourselves on little slips of paper and put them into a hat in the center of the room. Bob drew each slip of paper and read the body part listed, then we had to display said body part to the group. Seventy-five percent of the females wrote "stomach." So when stomach was called, we all lifted our shirts, with thighs we all pulled down our pants, with boobs we all lifted our shirts and pulled down our bras. People started crying, which made me, in contrast, feel relatively at ease displaying my goods.

By this point, I was already pretty sure that what came next was what was coming next. We picked a "prop" that called to us out of a pile of items that may or may not have had semen on them at one point. I picked a fur muff. Marmsies chose a classy gold clutch. Bob turned off the lights, lit candles, and told us to get fully undressed-- we were going to dance naked with our prop down the makeshift runway to a Lil' Kim song. Finally, sweet! In one of the only statements that made sense to me the entire evening, Bob told us that this experience would serve as a reference point that we could draw to mind later on a day we were feeling LOLbad. Like, "I have a job interview and I'm nervous, but remember that one time I danced totally naked with a fur muff in front of a bunch of strangers?"

I was a bit nervous, but I envisioned myself as a sexy LOLcat with a wig, and took off down the runway with my muff, and also my muff.

Oh haii, dis iz mai muff. U like mai muff?!

(I'm actually lying about picturing myself as an LOLcat with a wig, because I hadn't yet seen the website with cats in wigs. This is called fictionalized memory, and it happens a lot on this blogz!)

A few days later I found myself mingling with the commies at The Nation holiday party and on my way to the bathroom I spotted Calvin Trillin sitting in a chair eating a gross-looking appetizer. My heart stopped, and I almost passed by him without a word, but then I remembered my nuditude (reference point!) and summoned the bravery to say, "Omgz, I wuv woo!! Your New Yorker essays on your deceased wife are so sweet they make me wet my panties!"

Which, in actuality, came out of my mouth as: "What's that your eating? Looks great!" and then I ran away before he could answer.

But, as Bob said, baby steps. Every day. Baby steps.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

If you're like me and you check the Nation website approximately once every 6 months, today is the day to do it. Check out the beginning of this Barbara Ehrenreich piece:

Contrary to the rumors I have been trying to spread for some time, Disney Princess products are not contaminated with lead. More careful analysis shows that the entire product line--books, DVDs, ball gowns, necklaces, toy cell phones, toothbrush holders, T-shirts, lunch boxes, backpacks, wallpaper, sheets, stickers etc.--is saturated with a particularly potent time-release form of the date rape drug.

WHOOOOA, ballsy!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Party I Never Had.

YA novels are totally enjoyable, but usually leave me feeling like my adolescence didn't have enough angst to make me a well-rounded person. Sure, Bono called me fat, but my parents didn't divorce, I was over God by the time I got my period so I couldn't ask him for advice, and no one really bullied me too much. However, if Rainbow Party, had been around when I was busy pube-ascending* it would have been a welcome education, and my Dad probably would have been negligent enough to buy it for me. For whatever small amount of angst I had at fourteen centered around sex, embarrassingly apparent in the quite succinct first entry of my 8th grade diary I rediscovered when I was home over Thanksgiving: "I want to be gagged with a hankerchief and lose my virginity to Mr. [redacted] on a piano bench with candles all over while I play Mood That Passes Through You. The candles will burn us" (there was an illustration with this too, I think I may have had a sense of humor, but I can't say for sure).

I was obsessed with the Holly Hunter movie The Piano, and my English teacher, and the Grass-scented candle from the GAP. This was back when sex fantasies were really more generic pleasure fantasies and just involved somehow combining all of your hobbies, plus sex. I made my piano instructor hold off on Bach, and teach me to play the entire movie soundtrack in hopes of fulfilling my deflowering fantasy. The ultimate benefit of this absurdity is that now I can play it better than the mute betch in the movie. I have years of pent-up sexual energy pushing my fingers to new levels of nimbleness.

Marmsies proved the potency of her homosocial love by risking potential pervert status on her credit report when ordering Rainbow Party as a Hannuksies gift. It centers around a bunch of 14-year old girls who plan a Rainbow party. If you don't know, a RP is like spin the bottle, only instead of kissing there is dick-sucking. All the females wear different shades of lipstick in order to give the males dicks like Jackson Pollock masterpieces.

Incidentally, Marmsies also got me a vibrating toothbrush which plays The Black-Eyed Peas song "Let's Get It Started (Retarded) In Here" upon contact with one's teeth. There was an uncomfortable split-second where I had to decide whether I would employ this gem for my teeth or my vagina dentata. I choose teeth, mostly to spare my roommates musical knowledge of my wanking schedule. It's really impossible to describe-- I mean, you put it in your mouth and it feels and sounds like Fergie is stomping around in your fucking head. My writing is not good enough to capture the toothbrush's graces so I made a short movie on my Mac to send to my sister as a live demonstration of its awesomosity. I would share it here, but it features Marmsies and I in bath robes and we look like satisfied lovers who just finished gingerly bathing each other after an intense fisting session. Also as a rule all my videos with phallic-object-in-mouth go in my special secret folder entitled "Term Papers from Neuro112", which sounds so boring, no one ever opens it.

The first chapter of Rainbow Party begins with the numero uno slut buying different shades of lipstick for the six female participants. Her handling of the lipstick tube somewhat prepares us for the handling of tubular objects to come:
Gin took the slender shaft of the tube in her palm. She gave a gentle tug along the base and watched as the lipstick extended to its full length. Her eyes darted to the sides, making sure no one was watching as she tilted the ruby tip to her lips.


By the third chapter, Hunter and Perry, two supposedly straight junior high boys, are sucking each other off in the boy's room. This turned me on. Are You There God? It's Me Lauren, I Am Sorry.

Ultimately though, the book is like one of those hand jobs you give your first boyfriend, the ones that never reach climax because high school boys acclimate their dicks to wanking with the intensity of frantically punching a shark in the eyes and you just don't have that kind of upper body strength or fight-to-live will. The Rainbow party never happens. The book kind of dissolves into commentary on the sexual morales of junior high, which is good, I suppose, because YA books shouldn't just be porn. There's enough of that. The two sluttiest kids in the school get gonorrhea, and I appreciated how the narrative points out the discrepancy in slut-labeling:

Gin had no proof that Hunter had been the one to start the spread of gonorrhea through the sophomore class, but she just had this feeling. Of course, he had been the one to sound the alarm, which made him some kind of hero, while Gin was relegated to town slut.

For sers, this book was amazing. I was forced to swallow my pride and whip it out on the subway. Really, this post should be titled: Marmsies Buys the Best Presents Ever and I Wuv Her.

*this is intended to be a pun on pubescent as a verb, while also detailing the growth of pubes-- it is in its trial phase, obvs: does it work or no?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Savages

As a Jewess I offer very few concessions to Jebus Christ, though I do allow holiday movies to school me in the ways of seasonal morality. During my December 2006 theater rounds I learned the sad lessons that no matter how talented you are your boyf will still want to fuck your hawt friends, Will Smith is annoying, and movies about funny amoralistic Jews battling evolutionary beasts brought to life by some sort of godless trickery don't do well in the box office during the time of year when the entire Midwest is focused on Jebus-pleasing and knitting reindeer sweaters. My first sober (I was drunk during Juno) December movie-going experience was The Savages this evening. The Savages revolves around characters, namely Laura Linney and PSH (he can get his own universally understood acronym by now right?), playing a well-educated, strictly middle class pair of depressed writerish siblings. Linney gets a call from their elderly father's caretaker saying that their father has been writing insults on the bathroom wall with his feces. She immediately phones her brother screaming frantically, "We have to go down there! We have to go down there and do something--he's gone mad!" to which he replies, "Calm down Wendy, this isn't a Sam Shepard play." But then they do go down to Arizona, and the movie is essentially a Sam Shepard play.

Dealing with their father's feces problem ends up forcing them both to confront their own shit (Believe me when I say that part of me is shamed by this sentence). PSH has a Polish girlfriend who leaves because he can't commit, and then he cries way too much over it, even for a drama professor. Linney is dating a married man and struggling to be a playwright. She is also so jealous of her brother's success that she lies to him about winning a Guggenheim grant for playwriting. He calls her out on it later and it is maybe one of the most uncomfortable scenes in movie history. Every second Linney tries to extend her lie, even as PSH is shouting, "I called the Guggemheim. I called the fucking Guggenheim! You're not on the list!" is absolutely excruciating. The camera pans to the father during this scene and for a split-second you wonder who the senile one is after all. Seriously in the bathroom afterward I discovered I had pushed my tampon way up on in me just from grimacing my vag muscles so hard in discomfort.

Their father is diagnosed with Parkinsons and dementia. The movie is filled with scenes where his vulnerability is so intense, it becomes emotionally exhausting. It's kind of like the smart unromantic person's version of The Notebook.

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey Dad. Do you remember us?

I know this does not need to be said, but Laura Linney is the greatest woman in the world. I think it demonstrates my great taste in men to divulge that all of the men I've dated seriously have put Linney at the top of their Celebrity Cheat Lists.

Of course being a "holiday" movie, the ending of The Savages is wrapped up pretty nicely. PSH goes to Poland to see his girlf, Linney gets one of her plays produced in New York. Dad dies. Life changes, lessons are learned. It was a bit too neat when you take into account how fucked up their lives were just months prior, but I suppose if the movie ended with them hopeless and depressed I would have entered a profound funk out of which not even Enchanted could pull me out. Happy endings are for the best this time of year.

(LAST concession to Christ fervor: Tis the season to have a foursome with Pete Wentz and film it.)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Today's Emails With Dadsies (Part of Meet The Fam Week)

PR: yo dadsies, what do you want for Hannuksies this year? How about a customized mug? I'll make it really funny and personal to you.

Dadsies: just for you to be happy my little pumkin! love dad

PR: That's nice! Did I tell you I was unhappy? I'm super happy. Also did I give you authorization to use the term "pumpkin"?

Dadsies: can i call you pumpkin as my hannuka present? love dad

PR: I'll think about it.


PR: Update, I looked up the derivation of Pumpkin as an affectionate term, and it was launched into popular use by a 1980s British television program in which the person called "Pumpkin" was a bumbling idiot.

Not authorized!

Dadsies: your going to make me cry at work if i can't call you pumkin. love dad

PR: Not giving in on the P-word. you are getting a customized mug with a real estate attorney-themed LOLcatz. you're going to have to google "lolcats" today so you appreciate this gift.


Dadsies: I don't like those cats do somethin with dogs love dad

Monday, December 3, 2007

Sometimes getting high really helps me relax and concentrate when I have a second draft of something due in like two seconds, but on rare occasions it results in a genital-less Ren Barbarz flying around nude, breaking into Second Life private residences and screaming (well, typing) " LOL! Iz in ur house! LOL! Iz in ur house!"

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Marmsies: "This is the only compelling argument I've ever heard for marriage."

I agree. I kind of wish I had gotten married and thought of this first.