Category Archives: stuff i hate

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The best way for me to judge how well my life is going is to spend ten minutes reading Facebook statuses and see how depressed I feel about other people’s lives.

Boys are Dumb and Have Cooties

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It must mean something that all of the books I love are about little boys, right? I don’t mean that in a molest-y way. But Dandelion Wine, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay?

I read this quote from Something Wicked This Way Comes recently:

First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys. Not that all months aren’t rare. But there be bad and good, as the pirates say. Take September, a bad month: school begins. Consider August, a good month: school hasn’t begun yet. July, well, July’s really fine: there’s not chance in the world for school. June, no doubting it, June’s best of all, for the school doors spring wide and September’s a billion years away.

But you take October now. School’s been on a month and you’re riding easier in the reins, jogging along. You got time to think of the garbage you’ll dump on old man Prickett’s porch, or the hairy-ape costume you’ll wear to the YMCA the last night of the month. And if it’s around October twentieth and everything smoky-smelling and the sky orange and ash gray at twilight, it seems Halloween will never come in a fall of broomsticks and a soft flap of bedsheets around corners.

But one strange wild dark long year, Halloween came early.

I’ve never read that book, but the moment I saw “a rare month for boys”, it reminded me of The Dangerous Book for Boys, and I immediately went to download them both from my local library’s website. It used to confuse me so much to love these boy-based books and to have unlimited tolerance for male-centric movies and video games when my male counterparts are usually unwilling to even consider anything “girly”, and if they eventually are coerced into watching a girly movie or reading a girly book, it’s nonstop complaining and mocking. I don’t see a whole lot of difference between a football game and an episode of “Real Housewives”, but while I’ll tolerate the game, there’d be a riot if I tried to make my male friends watch the women.

But I watched something recently–I unfortunately have no idea what–where a woman talked about how women don’t just tolerate male-centric entertainment but actually embrace it because we’re interested in what the dudes in charge are watching. Isn’t that gross? I’m suddenly so annoyed now by all the hours I’ve spent watching my roommate play Halo, all the episodes of “Venture Bros.” and “American Dad” I’ve watched with Kamran, and all of the male-charactered books I’ve read. It’s all “The Bachelor” and Mrs. Dalloway for me from now on.


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I don’t like it when I look at old pictures of my friends on Facebook and think, “Aww, she looks so good there.”

And then I asked myself, “Wait, why does she look so good there?”

And then I realize, “Oh, this picture was taken in 2007.”

It’s because she’s YOUNG. She looks good because she’s YOUNG.

Which means we’re old.

The Voice, Erin Martin, and Why I Should Be the Judge of All Things

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Did anyone else see this singer on “The Voice” and feel really, really betrayed by the judges?

They claim that this is a completely new sound, but if you heard (and were annoyed by) Macy Gray in 1999, Erin Martin’s voice shouldn’t seem the least bit exciting to you. And they, the music professionals, should recognize that. Instead, they pressed their buttons in awe, they stood up in their seats, they said things like, “THAT is cool!” She has foot-high hair, a foot-long skirt, and a headband on her forehead. Not. Impressed.

Now, I actually like “different” voices. I love being able to recognize a vocalist. Jack White, Chris Cornell, Andrew Bird, Thom Yorke, Rufus Wainwright, Neil Young, Beck, David Bowie, and of course Adam Levine—these are voices you know in an instant no matter what they’re singing, and I love them all.

Last season on “The Voice”, Dia Frampton was a huge hit with her whispery vocals, and I thought she should’ve won:

The difference is that Dia’s voice sounds genuine. I get really tired of voices that sound “put on”. Like, I can sound exactly like Macy Gray and Erin Martin if I try. By forcing myself to sing with a baby voice while purposely mispronouncing letters.

It’s the same thing with Duffy, Eddie Vedder (although I think I like Pearl Jam because they got to me at an age when I was still an innocent non-hater), and basically every single person who auditioned for “American Idol” this year after of the success of vocal-weirdos Haley Reinhart and Megan Joy Corkrey.

I know different people have different tastes and that Erin Martin will probably do well on “The Voice”, but I wish the judges would just call a baby-voiced spade a spade.

Secret-wish-to-be-a-rockstar-fueled rant complete.

You Are the Master of Your Taxi Domain

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I don’t take a lot of taxis. Not only am I usually unwilling to pay the initial pick-up fee of $3 when I can travel as far as I want on the subway for $2.25, but I also feel a moral obligation to embargo them because of the awful way so many cabbies drive.

I’ll admit that the idea of quietly relaxing in the back of a taxi really appeals to me some mornings, though. And this morning in particular, I was really dreading my commute to work because of the bag of clothes accompanying me for my trip to Ohio tonight. I could take the bus, which is right outside Kamran’s apartment, but aisle space is limited on those things, and jockeying the bag around at each stop would be a nightmare. I could take the subway, which affords much more aisle space, but it’s a couple of avenue blocks away from Kamran’s, and lugging my bag there in the 90+-degree heat and then sweating it out on the platform sounded almost worse than just walking all the way to work.

Manhattanhenge 2011
from the back of a cab on Manhattanhenge 2011

So I decided to take a taxi. It’s about $20 from Kamran’s apartment in Midtown to my office at the tip of the island, but what won’t I spend $20 on?, and this was a legitimate need. Kamran walked me outside (wearing a sweater vest on a 90+-degree day, because he suffers for fashion), but there weren’t any cabs waiting in front of his building, so I trekked down the street an avenue block and waved down the first guy I saw.

All of his windows were down, which didn’t work for my still-wet curly hair, so I rolled both of the rear ones up immediately. And then traffic stopped, and I sat boiling. I could feel the little sweat droplets bead up on my nose. I could feel a layer of wetness forming between the vinyl seat and my bare arm. I thought about asking the driver to turn on the air conditioning, but I felt guilty. I was going to pay by credit card, which eats into his profit, and then I was going to waste his gas, too?

But I was for-real sweating at that point, and since my best friend, Tracey, is kind enough to let me keep my toiletries at her house throughout the year for use during my visits to Ohio, I didn’t even have any deodorant in my bag. It was then that I realized I would’ve been cooler had I just taken the bus or subway, and here I was, paying $20 for the pleasure of moistening my pants.

So in desperation, I reached down and flipped the little A/C on/off switch on the vent near my feet, figuring there was no way I could turn on the whole system myself. BUT I DID! I could control my own fate! And swamp crotch! The fan started roaring, and hot air blasted my face for a second before becoming sweet, sweet cold air. My sweat dried right up, my cab driver suddenly seemed like an okay guy, and instead of typing 15% into the credit card tip screen like I usually do because all of the preset amounts are 20% and up, I just selected the 20% button like a normal human being.

Still learning, six years in.