Que Sera Sera

Video Music Awards:


Two recent search strings that led people to my site: “My brothers sleeps nude” and “How to get over a fear of the dark.”

If this is the same person, you might want to just re-examine your living situation.

For ladies, waxing is a must:

And I was impressed when everyone actually showed up in a costume at my Halloween party.

Edited to add: “Do not disturb the sexy.”
Evidently Antonio Banderas will be there.

Baby fever:

I visited my old neighbors last night. They have four wonderful children, all under the age of ten. N, seven, greeted me at the door in white karate pants and a Kool-Aid mouth. “Hello, Sarahbrown. I’m taking judo now, and I know how to flip people. I am not allowed to flip R.”

R, five, looked up at me with doleful brown eyes that suggested that perhaps this had been a recurring issue.

“How do you like kindergarten, R?”

He forged ahead. “She has my old teacher. My new teacher, Mrs. Bobbinghouse, she reminds me of you, Sarahbrown. She has a voice like you, and even a blue shirt like you. But, she has smaller these.” Here he made a gesture using both hands that I will leave open to speculation.

At this point, two-year old J came running into the room, sat on my feet, and became so excited that he started bouncing up and down and spat all over my knees while shouting, “Where Daddy do? Where Daddy do?” He was either inquiring as to his father’s whereabouts or talking about Scooby Doo; I’m not sure.

“Sarahbrown! Come take a look at this. I have four canker sores! I used to have three, but now I have four.”

R tugged on my shorts hem. “Did you know that boys have a penis and girls have a buhgina?”

I tried another tactic. “How’s that new baby sister?”

R turned a lonesome somersault, and N plugged in his Gameboy. J filled his diaper while still sitting on my foot.

“Tired of people asking you that one, eh?”

In unison: “Yeah.”


You may think it sounds like fun to try out a different accent every time you answer the phone, but odds are you’ll get busted by

a) someone hanging up and calling back
b) a coworker walking up to the desk mid-sentence
c) your mother.

Don’t tell:

This probably isn’t nice for me to say, but sometimes when my mom starts babytalking to the dog, she kind of sounds like Homestar.

Just Married:

Two people this gorgeous and talented and hilarious should not be allowed to forge such an alliance. I can’t wait to see the offspring.

Congratulations, Heather and Jon!

Abandoning all pretenses of cool:

Can someone tell me what it means when someone says “oh, snap”? I’ve tried contextual clues, but I’m just not getting the gist here.

Aside from bagpipes:

If there’s one thing I love, it’s pirate skeletons.

That’s Miss Brown to you, buster:

I’ve decided to grasp this front desk thing with both hands. I’m going to do it up hardcore 1940s style, with lots of pencil skirts and slingback pumps and red fingernails. I’ve already begun practicing talking like Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hudsucker Proxy. Now if only I could convince them to add a typing pool so I’d have some suitable dames to go to lunch with.


So, I’ve just discovered one perk to sitting at the front desk: when a client drops off a box of complimentary Krispy Kremes, you get first pick.


Last night we rented American Movie, and I urge all of you to do the same. The best scene in the entire movie involves a genuine turkey leg, so you know it’s good.

Not cute:

I just saw the trailer for this Sweet Home Alabama bullshit. First of all, does Lynyrd Skynyrd know about this? And secondly, evidently Reese “I’m a Former Debutante Married to a Gay Man” Witherspoon is packaging herself as Meg Ryan 2: Electric Bugaloo. Oh, with the short blond do and the romantic comedies! Oh, with the comments about only doing “positive, morally uplifting films!” I guess getting fingered by Marky Mark on a rollercoaster and then letting him attack you and your family is about as morally uplifting as it gets. Man, do I hate her. I’ll give her Election, but then she seriously needs to get her freaky pointed chin out of my face.

Things are different now:

I think maybe the hardest part of being broken up is not so much the melancholy sad song moments or falling asleep alone, but all the times you want to call and share your good news, or go see a certain movie, or tell a funny story, and you can’t.

Something reckless:

So, I did it.

Today, I walked in and said, “I love working here, but I do not love my job. I do not want to write copy anymore. Advertising writing is not my kind of writing. What I want to do is sit at the front desk, and answer the phones, and write a book.”

Thankfully—amazingly—they were agreeable to this idea.

Today, I turned down another job, one with better pay and benefits. I told them I did not want to edit oil and gas periodicials, even if it might mean the title of “editor,” which might someday, maybe, lead to being an editor of actual interesting books. Today I realized I’d rather be on the other end of those books.

Today I realized I was unhappy, and it wasn’t my job; it was my career.

I’ve always wanted to write books, but I knew no one was going to give me a job where I just wrote books from 8-5. So instead I pursued careers where I could write everyday—I just wasn’t writing anything I enjoyed. And I realized that writing things everyday you don’t enjoy is not conducive not coming home and writing things you do enjoy. You are burnt out on writing itself. The best thing that ever happened to me, creatively, was unemployment. Writing became fun again.

So now I get to have a job where I love, but my brain gets to play all day while my mouth and hands are on the clock. And then I write at the desk, or go home and write, and hopefully—Oh my God—hopefully, in six months or so, I will have written a book.

I am absolutely terrified.

More than that, though, I am thrilled.

Will no one think of the children?

America, I am wise to your ways. I know you shop at Old Navy and love Julia Roberts movies and eat at Outback Steakhouse every weekend, ordering your ranch dressing on the side. I know you all love Raymond, much like you love wearing elastic-waistband pants to Walmart. So why do you feel the sudden need to be non-conformist when it comes to naming your children? A coworker just informed me that they named the new baby Abigail, but to make it stand out, they’re spelling it Abbygail. People. For the love of God. The world does not need any more Jadons or MacKenzies. I am talking to you, Christian Slater and Kathie Lee Gifford, and you too, knocked up seventeen year old girl in Iowa. This will not make them unique. This will make them hate you. Your children are humans, not My Little Ponies.

Well, except for maybe Kathie Lee. I can’t vouch for the human thing there.

To the person who reached my site by searching for “wallow movie ice-cream sad”:

Come on over, my friend.

There will also be corn served:

My love for Smoove B is second only to my love for Jean Teasdale.

Slow change:

I had to postpone my reckless act that was scheduled for yesterday, but I am totally going to do it today. It still counts as reckless, just not spontaneous.

Acquired tastes:

For lunch I had the tawook platter from my favorite Lebanese deli, followed by heavenly, heavenly baklava. O sweet baklava, why did it take me twenty years on this planet to cultivate my love for you? When I was little, my Greek stepgrandmother would come for a visit and say in what I’m sure she thought was a tantalizing voice, “Saaaarah, I brought bak-la-va!”, and I could never figure out why in the world she thought I gave a shit. When you’re five, it’s not dessert unless it’s chocolate or filled with cream, and seeing as how the only other things she ever brought me were those tins of god-awful dry butter cookies and a 14k gold fake fingernail for my sixth birthday, I was not interested in sampling any more of her wares. Plus, she wore scary Liz-Taylor-as-Cleopatra wigs and smelled like gin.

Foolish, foolish youth. Now I regret all those years I missed out on baklava. I do still have the gold fingernail, though. Maybe someday I’ll get drunk and give it to a frightened little stepgranddaughter of my own.

Let’s get rid of August:

Myself, I’m all for getting rid of Tuesday. Tuesday has always been the crappiest day of my week. I’ve never understood why everyone bemoans Monday. You know Monday’s coming, and you need Monday. Deep down, you welcome Monday, just like you welcome vegetables and rice after eating Twinkies and Cheetos all day. And if something goes wrong on Monday, people are nicer about it, more willing to just chalk it up to it being Monday. Come Tuesday, though, the gloves are off. It’s still too early to even contemplate the weekend, and you no longer have the Monday excuse to fall back on. Tuesday is a bitch.

I propose a four-day work week, with Tuesday omitted. You spend the weekend having fun, Monday working, and Tuesday running errands or doing laundry or just staying home. Renew your car tag on Tuesday. Scrub your bathtub. Balance your bank statement. Do all of those lunch hour errands that make you cranky. Suddenly, Monday isn’t so bad, is it? And then you come back on Wednesday to a glorious three-day work week. Can you imagine how much happier America would be?


Tonight I went out with Tony and Emily and Ryan, who is probably one of the funniest people on the entire planet. He taught me three new derogatory words at dinner, and then bought me the first sidecar of my life at the bar. As Tuesday nights go, this one was up there.

A new leaf:

Yesterday I did something spiteful. Tomorrow I’m going to do something reckless.

I am a changed woman.

Christie had best watch her back.

If elected:

I think all political television ads should follow strict new guidelines wherein they must be produced as a music video.

Tell me you, the voting public, couldn’t get behind that.


Laura: And before he left, he gave me this Celtic ring he used to wear.

Sarah: Aw! Did you give him anything?

Laura: Yeah. A Boba Fett doll.

Alma Mater:

Nothing bums me out more than reading my college alumni newsletter just before going to bed on a Sunday night. Yeah, what’s up, week.

Twenty Questions with S and K, ages 10 and 9:

Me: Okay, it’s a person. Go.

K: Is it a girl?

Me: No.

S: Is it a boy?

K: S! She already said that.

S: Okay, is it Freddie Prinze Jr.?

Me: No.

K: Is he old?

Me: Define old.

S: Is he more than 20?

Me: Yes.

K: Is he white, or black?

S: It has to be a yes or no question, like, is he or is he not white?

Me: He’s white.

K: Is he famous?

Me: Yes.

S: Is he a basketball player?

Me: No.

S: Is he Michael Jordan?

Me: Um, no.

K: Is he like an actor or an artist or a singer or an inventor or something?

Me: That’s a lot of questions. Narrow it down a little.

K: Okay… is he a comedian?

S: She already said he’s not black, K.

Me: Comedians don’t have to be black, you guys.

S: Right, like Jim Carrey.

Me: Maybe you should phrase your questions a little more specifically.

K: Okay… does this person use something that isn’t part of his body?

Me: I… what?

S: Are you sure it isn’t Freddie Prinze Jr.?

Live a little:

I just realized tonight that I’ve never in my whole entire life done that thing where you’re really pumped about something, so you run across a linoleum or gymnasium floor and then slide on your knees.

Lucky winner:

I am the proud recipient of Lies About David Blaine, Street Magician, and I admit, it really made my day. I like to think the fact that I sent her my very best pirate joke was what did it.

Anytime, anywhere:

You know, there’s one thing I always like, and that’s a bagpipe solo.


I hate to make the switch from hog slaughtering to babies here, but I just can’t stop talking about that commercial where the little baby is doing is little baby laundry down in his little baby basement when a little baby pipe starts to drip. Have you people seen this? This baby should win an Oscar. He has a full head of glossy hair and furrows his brow like Steve Buscemi. And he’s doing laundry, pulling his own share! Like, you guys, I’m sorry I’ve been crapping my pants, and I’m going to start taking care of it myself. And then he sacrifices his own little baby diaper for the leak, and runs out the door, showing his sweet little bare baby buns to the world.

I could not ask for more in a commercial, or from life, really.

A single operator can bung up to 1200 hogs!

Brian B. sent me a link to these terrifying things. They seem very Roald Dahl. Only for pigs. This raises many questions, such as, “Why is he looking up pork butchering devices at work?” and huh huh… bung.

I don’t even have the energy to get into the toe web cutters, so click on that one at your own discretion.

The Newly Betrothed Speaks:

“I called my mom and she said, ‘Oh honey, I’m so excited for you, and I want this to be exactly what you both want,’ but then two minutes later when I said, ‘We might just have a civil ceremony,’ there was this silence on the phone like I had just screamed fuck five times.”


You know, some cherished things from your youth just should not be revisited. Remember that book you loved in sixth grade, or that movie that was so, so cool freshman year? Now, not so much. Sure, some stand the test of time, but many do not, and do not painfully.

Case in point: when I was thirteen, I saved my babysitting money for weeks to buy this totally awesome black felt fedora-slash-Paula Abdul “Forever Your Girl” hat from Claire’s, and wore it to Kate’s birthday party, where I was the absolute belle of the ball, even causing the birthday girl to gush, “Sarah, I’m so glad you wore your hat to my party, because it’s just like Jan’s party when Heather wore her cool hat and everyone wanted to wear it all night!”

Jan and Heather were about as cream of the crop in the eighth grade social circles as you could get, so I have always remembered this night as one of the highlights of my middle school career. Sure, I knew the hat was passe now, but it was not until I discovered photographs this weekend that I realized it was not just harmless and innocent, but that the sheer embarrassment from ever having had it anywhere near my head should have knocked me in a coma until I turned, oh, 23.


In the past 24 hours I have skipped meals against my will, been told my copywriting is flat and ordinary and my conceptual skills are lacking, forked over $400 to fix my car, been crowned by my showerhead, gone to work with wet hair, endured some sort of bug bite on my cheek that may very well be West Nile-associated, been lied to and laughed at, realized that my future is now and it sucks, and watched the hem of my pants go AWOL, but I managed to procure some of that bath soap that smells like a cosmopolitan, and I just want to tell you that I smell fucking amazing.

Holy Matrimony 2:

Tonight, I am integral to a scheme in which one of my very best friends will propose to another one of my very best friends. I am especially excited about this because I am the reason they met in the first place, which means I get to stand up and give a wonderful toast at the rehearsal dinner, one that I’ve been practicing in my bathroom mirror for months now. I’m really going to work the room with this toast—make ’em laugh, make ’em cry—it’s so good, even I tear up. Really, you all should hear it. My shower curtain still needs a moment to recover, even after all these performances.

Anyway, this couple has been together for over five years, so it’s not like this will come as a huge shock or anything. They’ve looked at rings together and discussed marriage thoroughly, but she just doesn’t know that it will happen tonight. She’s been talking about it a lot lately, though, and last weekend, we were all in a bookstore when she picked up Martha Stewart Weddings and called him over. I was about to roll my eyes and tell her to give it a rest when she pointed to the two birds atop the cake on the cover and whispered to him, “Look: this one’s me, and this one’s you.”

It was very heart-warming, and not at all in a Hallmark way, so I bought the magazine last night to give to her tomorrow, along with a homemade card that says “You’re getting married! Ha, I totally knew it.”

Michigan Man Gets Viking Funeral:

Cool, but somehow, I doubt the real Vikings sang Amazing Grace.

Holy Matrimony:

Junk mail subject line in my inbox this morning: New Product Gives Wives Instant Orgasms ak3bmdkfijk!

Evidently this is a highly specialized medicine that only works within the bonds of marriage, and you need your ring to double as a decoder. As any wedding ring worth its salt should.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Read Margaret Berry’s second article on etiquette at The Morning News. (Whenever I write a sentence comprised entirely of links, I feel like such a slut.)

My former beau used to insist on walking on the outside down streets and in parking lots, which warmed my heart to a degree I did not think possible.

I have yet to meet a man who rises from his seat when I leave the table.

Saturday Night’s All Right:

You really haven’t lived until an Elton John impersonator sings “Happy Birthday” to you on a day that is definitely not your birthday. However, he didn’t even know “Levon,” so it was sort of an empty moment.

Afterwards, we went to the bar, where I had a very surreal moment. I was sitting at a table with three attractive young men when a gorgeous girl about ten feet away beckoned to us with a crooked finger. It was straight out of a beer commercial: everyone looked at each other, and all the boys pointed to themselves questioningly, and then she shook her head and pointed at me. I walked over and said “Uh, yes?” and she said, “I want to dance with you.” I was just confounded by the whole thing, but had a few drinks under my belt, so I shrugged and said, “Okay, twirl me.” Which she did. She kept trying to whisper in my ear, but I felt so strange about the entire encounter that after a minute, I excused myself and went back to the table. I mean, I’ve got absolutely nothing against dancing with a pretty girl, but the whole thing was so odd. She was beautiful, and I am just not the type of girl that strangers fall for across a crowded room, regardless of gender. I’m still not sure what that was all about.

One thing I am sure of: waking up after three hours of sleep after a night of vodka and cigarettes is not a pretty way to start a Sunday.


If I owned a house, I would seriously consider paying someone upwards of $50 to paint the Sistine Chapel on my bedroom ceiling, only with stick figures.

Oh, the things he’s going to do for his country:

Did I mention that we are going to see xXx tonight?

Did I mention that we are sneaking an Aquafina bottle full of red wine and a twirly straw into the theater?

Did I mention that xXx is rated PG-13 for “non-stop action sequences”?

UPDATE: Did I mention that American muscle cars trump Russian nuclear submarines every time?


My typical behavior after a breakup, no matter whose idea it was, is to have a good sulk and wallow (I recently realized this sounds vaguely British), which can stretch anywhere from days into weeks. This time I’m determined not to do that any more than necessary, so I’ve filled my calendar with every kind of social engagement possible. I feel like a crazed housewife with the kids home all summer. Still, at the end of the night, I’m glad I made myself leave my apartment.

This weekend’s plans include faux Elton John at the Holiday Inn Select, a minor road trip, and getting really drunk with my friend Josh. I’m sure it will all be great fun, and I hope it keeps me too busy to dwell upon what it is that I really want to be doing: lying on a blanket somewhere, watching the Perseids meteor shower with someone I’m trying very hard not to think about.


I am a nice girl. I smile at babies. I engage wait staff and the elderly in conversation. I write thank you notes. I say “pardon me” in grocery store aisles. People’s parents love me.

There are times, however, when being a nice girl gets boring—when instead you wish you were a mysterious girl, or maybe a tortured genius girl, or just a cool girl. These sort of urges can be dealt with now by wearing a certain pair of shoes or listening to a specific CD. However, these pangs are harder to ignore in the throes of puberty. Especially when you are fifteen and have just discovered that there are radio stations other than the top 40, and that you don’t necessarily have to buy your jeans at the Gap. It’s this kind of thinking that frees a person, and it’s also this kind of thinking that makes a person think they are the first person ever to have this realization, and the world had just better fucking watch out. It’s this kind of thinking that makes the world loathe teenagers, as they rightly should.

The summer I was fifteen was a landmark summer for me. It was 1992. I had just finished my freshman year of high school, which I’d mostly spent taking honors classes, going to second base with boys named David and Brian, and hanging out at the mall with girls named Jennifer and Mandy. I had some Blossom-esque bangs and some newly straightened teeth. For my fifteenth birthday on June 10, my mother took me to the mall where I picked out a pair of Birkenstocks and my first underpinnings from Victoria’s Secret. The bra was cream-colored lace and the panties had pink and blue roses on them.

Things were going to change; I could feel it.

I spent June working at our neighborhood pool all day and holed up in my room all night, listening to the only three tapes I owned: U2’s Achtung Baby, Nirvana’s Nevermind, and the Violent Femmes’ Why Do Birds Sing? I had been listening to these tapes since Christmas; I didn’t even like them anymore. I also spent the nights writing in the only notebook I could find. It had a pink cover, so I colored it black with a Sharpie. Sometimes I’d write poems, but mostly, I just transcribed song lyrics I liked.

I know what you’re thinking: ouch. You are so right.

Late one night, I happened upon the college radio station that broadcast music like Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Soup Dragons from midnight to 2 am. Suddenly I had a whole new world of lyrics to transcribe. Now my schedule involved falling asleep with a blank tape in my stereo, catching any coolness that might escape while I was unconscious.

I went to the mall in July and bought Tom Robbins’ Another Roadside Attraction and Tori Amos’ Little Earthquakes. I decided to quit hanging out with Jennifer and Mandy, on account of their being so lame. I woke up every day and drew a tattoo on my ankle with my mother’s Almay liquid brown eyeliner. It was an intricate desgin. It involved a yin-yang.

I got in big trouble for writing the lyrics to Led Zeppelin’s “Hey Hey What Can I Do” on our foyer wall. I got grounded for a week when, after my mother said there was no way in hell I was getting dreadlocks, I decided to just stop brushing my hair. This culminated in an ugly Sunday morning pre-church fight wherein I actually yelled the word “fuck.” My little brother cried.

I took to spending my evenings on the front porch, curled up with my notebook and pen, another Tom Robbins book, and my portable tape deck. On July 4, I drank half a can of Coors Light with the private school kids across the street. I woke up the next morning excitedly anticipating a hangover.

I kind of liked one of the lifeguards at the pool, despite the fact that he was a blonde football player. In a misguided effort to impress him, I painted yin-yangs on my cut-offs and wrote Tori Amos song lyrics on my concession stand receipt pad. He picked it up and read them while eating a sno-cone, laughed, and I forever crossed blondes off my list.

My parents went out of town for a week in August, and I got to stay with my best friend Stephanie. We spent the week watching Monty Python movies and sneaking over to my empty house to drink vodka and orange juice with Brian, the former second-baser. One day we all walked up to the corner drugstore and bought condoms and blue hair dye, just because we could. We didn’t use either.

I took to wearing a lot of hand-beaded necklaces, gifts from David, the other former second-but-now-promoted-to-third-baser. They smelled like patchouli. He wrote me letters from his summer job at Boy Scout camp. His hair reached his chin and he parted it down the middle. One time we made out in the rain in his parents’ front yard and I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

I rented the movie The Doors a lot.

I had planned my first day of school outfit for weeks: Levis that sat on my hips, a gray T-shirt, and my new black Converse. I accessorized with my favorite beaded necklace and a black bandana as a headband. I realized that I should probably start talking to Jennifer and Mandy again, since Stephanie and Brian went to different schools and how was anyone going to be in awe of my new coolness if I had to sit alone at lunch?

I spent hours decorating all of my school notebooks with song lyrics and intricate doodles that resembled my summer eyeliner tattoo. I was forbidden to wear the tattoo once school started, per my mother’s orders.

In September, David took up with some ethereal hippie chick who was a junior. She had hair down to her waist and wore ankle-length tie-dyed skirts. Her name was Marissa. I cried.

Jennifer and Mandy took me to the homecoming game where we talked to boys named Andy and Patrick. Everyone asked me where I got my Birkenstocks. Sometimes I wore my Gap jeans. I grew out my bangs.

I took all of my summer’s earnings from the pool and bought a 5-disc CD player. My first CD was Temple of the Dog. My second was the Singles soundtrack. My third was The Best of Don McLean. It wasn’t until after Christmas that I actually had enough CDs to fill my stereo.

It was, without a doubt, the best summer ever.

Telephone call from Emily:

“I just needed to call you and let you know that I have officially gone over the edge. First of all, I was watching Rosie, and secondly, when Elmo came on to say goodbye, and I totally teared up.”

“Oooh. That’s worse that Han Solo.”

“I know! It’s horrible!”

“Well, don’t worry. I assure you both Rosie and Elmo will live on, in some form or another.”

“Oh, I know. Rosie told Elmo not to worry, because when you love someone, they never go away.”

“Evidently Rosie has never gone through a breakup.”

“I guess that’s how it is when the only things you love in life are puppets.”

“That probably sums Rosie’s love life up more than we know.”


Sometimes the gesture is so much nicer than the act.

Secret Scientist Dad:

This story absolutely warmed my heart. I kept waiting for the catch, and there wasn’t one.

Shark Week:

This week is Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, which has near-holy status in my family. Watching Shark Week together became a tradition back when I was in high school, when it usually coincided with our vacations at the beach. My mother could not fathom how we could watch it all night and then swim in the ocean the next day.

My father called last night to ask if I was coming over.

“I have to go to the store tonight, Dad. Besides, I was over last night.”

“But it’s Shark Week,” he said, genuinely confused.

This year, for some reason, it’s Celebrity Shark Week, which is kind of a fuck-you to the sharks, in my opinion. Is just the fact that they’re sharks not enough? Has the guy from J.A.G. managed to stay at the top of his evolutionary food chain for millions of years? When he does that, he can be join the show. And don’t give me any crap about the human race being at the top. I mean the guy from J.A.G. personally. He’s already got his own shitty show. Give the sharks their due.

Arts and crafts:

Tonight, Emily went to Michael’s and bought velvet cobra posters for Tony and me to color. I colored mine to be a firebelly snake, which I totally just made up, and I named him Omar. Omar is a fighter, not a lover, and he’s even more of a biter than he is a fighter. Omar is way into the Nuge. Especially “Stranglehold.” Tony’s snake was named Judah, like Judah Bauer from John Spencer Blues Explosion, and he had red scales and a camouflage underbelly. It was awesome, and by awesome, of course I mean totally sweet.

In other news, I just purchased the most kick-ass purse ever from Queen Bee. (I chose the red mermaid loteria truckette.) You should definitely go check out all the other cool things she makes, like wallets and hats and guitar straps. I bet she’d get a kick out of Omar. If he didn’t bite her first. Which—let’s be honest—he probably would.

Evidently, it’s not that easy being green:

Last night I spent a good twenty minutes talking to a young man my age who, as far as I can tell, was named after a muppet. I enjoyed this more than I probably should have.

Why is it that perfectly attractive young men feel the need to get creative with the facial hair? Is it just because they can? Shouldn’t everyone have outgrown that urge by now? If women dress for other women, then men must abstain from shaving for other men, because I have yet to hear a girl gush over a guy’s dreamy mutton chops.

Bugs 2: The Stand Off

The scene: the laundry room, located in the basement of the apartment building.

The players: Sarah B., and one big fucking roach.

The plot: Sarah B. waltzes down the steps without a care in the world, fresh from Borders, where she has purchased a book and a magazine and a CD. This recent commerce has left her feeling heady and invincible… until she turns the corner and sees what filth lies waiting between the washing machine and herself.

Sarah B. feels a rush of emotions: relief, that hers is not the only unit infested; hope, that perhaps this is the mama alien roach, and once destroyed, there will be no more; and fear, when she realizes that she has no Raid. She looks to her left, then looks to her right, and spies the only thing that could even closely resemble a weapon: a miniature can of Easy Off Oven Cleaner.

Sarah B. shakes the bottle, takes aim, and foams that motherfucker to death.

It takes a good ten minutes, and she is high and itchy from the fumes, but as she places the Rubbermaid trash can over the still-writhing beast, Sarah B. feels triumphant. She has earned her rest tonight.

It is Miller Time.

Bugs bugs bugs:

I have a fear of bugs. Roaches, to be exact. It is a totally irrational fear, which means I know it’s insane, but I can’t help being terrified by them. I know they won’t sting me, or bite me, or try to make me accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior, but I still don’t want them underfoot. Especially in my home.

Roaches scare me the most because they’re gross, they’re fast, they’re impossible to kill, and if you see one, odds are there are at least 300 more hiding somewhere. They also scare me because I know they’re everywhere, from greasy back alleys to kitchens of fine restaurants. I bet Buckingham Palace has their share. I am especially at risk because I live in a small apartment building, which means that it doesn’t matter how clean I am, or how disinfected all my porcelain surfaces are, because I could share a wall with strung-out trustfundafarians who live waist-deep in old pizza boxes.

Since moving into my apartment last year, I’ve only seen three. The first was around December, when I walked into the dark kitchen at 1 am to find one examining the uncovered batch of chocolate chip cookies we’d left on the counter. There was much shrieking and confusion from both my companion and myself, so the culprit took that window of time to disappear between the counter and the fridge. That two inch space was sprayed heavily with a can of Raid, but no body was ever found. It was disheartening, and completely our fault: leaving a batch of delicious warm cookies on the counter could be construed in roach language as a formal invitation.

The second intruder, however, had no excuse. I woke up one beautiful April morning, walked into my bathroom, removed my clothes, pulled back the shower curtain, and witnessed the biggest fucking roach I’ve ever seen. It didn’t help the situation that I felt especially vulnerable, being naked and barefoot and all, but I pulled my wits about me and sprayed that fucker til he was soaked with sweet, sweet aerosol poison.

Then came the hard part: how did I dispose of the body? There was no fucking way I was touching it, and it was too wet with Raid to be properly scooped via the large piece of paper method. So I did what anyone with my phobia would have done: I huddled on the couch in my bathrobe until Laura came over.

Laura is a biologist. She doesn’t mind bugs—in fact, she likes them. I mean, she’s not into open-mouth kissing them or anything, but she doesn’t mind touching them. So Laura came over, removed the body from my bathtub, took it outside and even determined its gender. “It’s not a girl,” she said. “So at least this one isn’t having babies.” I thanked her profusely, made her wait in my living room while I scoured my bathtub so I could shower safely, and then bought her lunch, begging her not to tell anyone about what a baby I had been. (She kept her promise, but I’d told everyone we knew within 48 hours. I just can’t resist a good humiliation story.) Then we went and bought traps, which Laura placed all over my apartment. I felt safe.

Which brings us to the other night. I walked through my home in my flip-flops, turning off the lights before going to bed. I’d already washed my face, which means my glasses were off and my eyes had been doused with cold cream, so my vision was not exactly at the top of its game. I have hardwood floors, and as I turned off the computer, I noticed a dark swirl on the ground that hadn’t been there before.

“No way,” I thought. “That’s way too big to be a oh my God!”

Indeed it was, so I ran for the Raid, and stood a good three feet away, spraying liquid death. Again, the same problem presented itself: how to remove the body? There was no boyfriend, Laura was in Missouri, and I don’t have any other friends understanding enough to drive over to my house at 11 pm on a weeknight to protect me from roach carcass. There was also no way in hell I was going to be able to throw it away myself without becoming hysterical. So I swallowed my pride, pulled on my pajama pants, and knocked on my neighbor’s door.

“Hi Matt,” I said. “Um, I know we don’t really know each other all that well, but I have kind of an embarrassing question to ask you.”

Bless his heart, he tried his best to not look uncomfortable, but once I explained the situation to him, he was a pro. He laughed reassuringly, calmly asked for a tissue (not a paper towel! Real men use tissues to dispose of big wet bugs), complimented me on my apartment, and then made small talk afterwards. He acted like he was more than happy to come to my rescue, despite the fact that I’d just done something akin to inviting someone over to clean your toilet.

Feminism be damned. Matt is my hero. For Matt, I baked an entire batch of chocolate chip cookies—which now I know to cover while they cool.

Friday Night:

Erin said, “What the hell do you mean you’ve never seen Velvet Goldmine? Get over here now.”

Erin said, “I don’t see how you could possibly miss anyone when Christian Bale and Ewan McGregor are having sex on a rooftop while a UFO showers them with glitter.”

Erin said, “What about that one guy from college? The one who’s in the CIA or something now? I mean, guns are kind of hot.”

Erin said, “You definitely need some more wine.”


Sarah: Which do you like more, Boba Fett or gelflings?

Laura: Man, that’s a tough call. Boba Fett I’d like to fuck, but gelflings are like my people.

Hypothetically speaking:

Is it bad to use the word “dork” in a job interview?

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