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TKOG Who hates men

NTKOG #112: The kind of angsty, chocolate-smeared loneyheart who spends V-Day with her equally man-hating girlfriends jabbing stickpins into the crotch of dumb-boy voodoo dolls.

I am: single.

I am not: bitter.

The Scene: My glorious cinnamon- and chocolate-scented apartment, V-Day evening. Anglophile came over and we discussed the douchebaggery of men in general (and a few men in particular) before deciding on our plan of attack for the evening. Dude, we decided, let’s list all the reasons we never liked them anyway! Then make voodoo dolls! And burn effigies of the pathetic motherfuckers! Uh, and did I mention chocolate?!

We gathered voodoo supplies and fired up the fondue pot. Cute idea, I thought, but we’re not actually going to do all this stereotypical shit. We’ll probably just end up watching a movie or something…

As for how it turned out. Um, I’m going to let the following pictures tell you a few thousand words. Don’t worry, though. I weeded out all the shriekingly scathing ones.

That's not my real calendar -- my real calendar happens to have pictures of me on it this monthing. If the monthly 'stache were a real calendar, though, I'd totes buy it!

Turns out it only takes two vindictive girls, three pens, a jumbo pack of Post Its and one hour to completely cover the walls of a small apartment. Also, dude, some of these were so scathing that they burned my skin when I took them off the wall.

These are Anglophiles, 'cause mine were absolutely filthy.

After determining Post-Its weren't sufficiently violent, wrote and popped some of the things we hated about dudes.

Note the areas of high-density pin placement.

Voodoo dolls. To stuff them, we wrote down things we used to like about the guys, then shredded 'em. (But before you get all z0mg-dark-energy with me, yes, I believe in karma too much to have actually wished ill on anyone. It was pretty positive energy.)

I'm not sure I can properly convey to you how filthy and absolutely brutal the pictures were. Probably a good thing there's no photographic evidence of most of them...

Putting the "eff you" in effigy. What up.

The Verdict: It’s funny. This is the first Valentine’s Day in five years that I’ve been single. It’s also hands-down the best Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had — maybe one of the best days I’ve had, like, period. I thought all the V-Day man-bashing would feel too forced or stereotypical or just plain ol’ negative, but it was actually a pretty liberating night. One attempts to resist using the phrase “girl power,” but one doesn’t resist too hard.

The emphasis of the evening was less “I hope you get chlamydia of the face and die” and more like “dude, remember the shitty details and don’t let yourself get hung up on something that just really doesn’t matter that much.” Okay, okay, and there may have been a certain amount of emasculating joking. And doodling. And pin-sticking.

Still, this gets an A++ from me. Sometimes bitching about guys isn’t about men being idiots. It’s about remembering that the women you’re doing the bitching with are total badasses.

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NTKOG #111: The kind of thrifty, homey domesticator who eschews preservative-pumped store-bought bread for the fruit of her own kitchen.

I am: a woman living in the 21st century. You know, the one in which the phrase “best thing since sliced bread” is archaic because nobody bakes bread?!

I am not: sure I’ve even bought a loaf of bread since I moved here. I’m more of an English muffin person.

The Scene: My postage-stamp apartment, armed with a few ingredients  and a fantastically easy bread recipe from The Simple Dollar. Although the ingredients are all pantry staples, I had to run to the convenience store for milk and butter, ’cause I don’t keep any moo in the house. Dragged my goods up to the dude at the counter and whipped out my Visa.

Cashier: Ooh, sorry, your total is $3.89. We have a $5 credit card minimum.
TKOG: Bugger. Do y’all sell Nutella?
Cashier: Happy Valentine’s Day.

Love it, sir, and love you. Went home and after twenty minutes, the little cutie was rising. After I rolled it out for the second rising, decided to cinnamon swirl that motha up. My addition to the recipe: mixed two tablespoons each cinnamon and sugar; brush rolled dough liberally with moo juice; sprinkle with delicious. Let rise and bake as noted in recipe.

Also, note the copious amounts of chocolate and V-Day voodoo crap. Yeah. Read tomorrow's post.

Look how cute! Now imagine it slathered with Nutella and warm caramelized bananas! Now stop drooling on your keyboard.

The Verdict: Holy friggin’ gosh are you kidding me?! The whole shebang took less than half an hour of active time (plus two and a half hours of passive rising/baking time) and was some of the best bread I’ve ever eaten. For $4 and with pantry staples, I got enough supplies to make dozens of loaves. Which I’m totally doing the next time I have a free afternoon.

Also: whaling on the dough for ten minutes is the second most satisfying thing ever. Waking up hungover and inhaling a warm slice of this smeared with Nutella is the first most satisfying.

Guys, thank you so much for enthusiastically entering my giveaway! I was completely overwhelmed by the number of responses! I truly appreciated all the comments, and am working my way both through the songs (some awesome ones so far!) and checking out all of your blogs that aren’t on my Google Reader yet. It’s slow going because my current work computer neither works nor computes, but I’ll get there!

Anyway, that’s not what you came here to see! After a few hours of Excel spreadsheet torture, I asked random.org to pick an iPod winner. The magic of randomness chose:

Sorry I didn't capitalize your names! I feel like that was kind of disrespectful! But a time-saver!

Reading through the comments and typing in 519 entries gave me plenty of time to listen to your music recommendations. Currently stuck in my head: "Canadian, Please." YouTube that magic in honor of the olympics, dudes!

Congratulations to Kelly L of [Insert Clever Title Here]! Enjoy your bright red, 8 gig, slightly late valentine! And thanks to everyone else for entering!

If you haven’t entered my giveaway for an iPod Nano, do so by noon EST or forever hold your peace! Winner announced tomorrow! 

NTKOG #110: The kind of relaxed, centered guru who recharges after a long day with a stretch of yoga. 

I am: a Brain, not a Body. If I could exist as a floating sentient consciousness in a jar of formaldehyde, I totally would. Plus: wouldn’t have to shower anymore! 

I am not: good at listening to my body’s needs. Stretching? Destressing? Logging gym time? You’re not speaking my language. 

The Scene: Healthworks Cambridge, a palatial all-women’s gym that looks like propaganda for a Brave New World hippie commune. I took advantage of a great Groupon deal for 24 day passes, including access to all classes, and Anglophile and I were psyched to try something out of the ordinary on our inaugural visit. Unfortunately, the incompetence of the MBTA got me there too late for our first choice — beginner mat pilates — so we waited around for the 8pm Restorative Yoga. 

When we filed in, flanked by lots of 20somethings and some very fit older ladies, I got psyched for a physically challenging experience. Stretching ’til my muscles gooified, exotic poses; afterwards, flopping sweatily to the mat and hyperventilating for a spell. Serious dang exertion! 

This lasted for the three minutes it took to get inside and grab a mat, then — why’s it so dark in here? Are they handing out blankets?! Half the regulars around me lay on their backs, covered with blankets, rolled washcloths covering their eyes. Um, nap-time anyone? 

The instructor started in dulcet tones to talk about our consciousnesses and awareness and — oh god, who even knows. Her voice was dripping morphine. She told us there would be two options for every pose: one for those who were high energy, and one for those who were low energy. If you’re feeling high energy, she sweetly droned, wrap yourself complete around your bolster, crossing your ankles, hook your left elbow under your right ear and roll onto your right shoulder (or similar masochistic Twister). If you’re feeling low-energy, lay on your back. 

Don’t think I need to tell you which one I chose. 

Lay there for ten minutes, breathing deeply. Kind of soothing! Long pose, though. Surely any moment she would — “Let’s raise our awareness to our minds for a moment. If you are feeling anxious, lengthen your exhale. Or don’t, if you don’t want to. Whatever makes you comfortable.” — and ten more minutes of the Napping Toddler pose. 

“Okay, if you’d like your body to make another shape, slowly do that. If you’re in the high-energy position [step-by-step instructions for folding body into origami crane].” And if you’re in the low-energy position…? You apparently stay on your back for fifteen more minutes. I tried to let the calm atmosphere soothe my mind and, per the advice of my instructor, “listen to my body.” 

I’ve got news for you, guys. I tried listening to my body. That dude doesn’t have shit to say. I mean, my brain is a fine specimen: distrusted by men, admired by women — when my brain walks into my bar, everyone calls out its name, Cheers-style. My body is just a piece of furniture it owns. Like a TMNT Krang situation: 

Heroes in a half-shell, turtle style!

I'd like to think I'm just a teensy bit better looking than Krang's physical casing. That said, I'd totally love to score a pair of those sweet-ass metal epaulets.

 

Cross-section of my mind, thirty-five minutes into the Suicidal Turtle pose: Okay, dude, focus on how soothing this is. It’s like a bubble bath for your soul. Jesus, remember that episode of Full House where Michelle puts her fish in the bubble bath and it dies? I don’t want to die. I chose the wrong path. Maybe I should have gone to Dartmouth after all. 

Just then, a radiant patchouli-scented goddess hovered over me. “Is your body soothed?” she whispered. “Uh, yeah, I’m cool,” I coughed as quietly as possible. She smiled a moment then hummed like a beautiful machine and her hands flew above me. In the space of a moment, she had taken off my glasses, refolded the wadded towel covering my eyes, stretched my legs, put a blanket under my bank, and fixed my hair. I wondered if I took her home, whether she’d brush my teeth for me. 

“Doesn’t it bring you peace?” she breathed. Yeah. Yeah, I could kind of imagine how it would. If the rest of Yoga Nap Class was barely conscious, at least it was spent in a pleasant dream. Until immediately after the session, when Anglophile and I caught eyes for the first time then had to bite our cheeks ’til they bled to keep from laughing. ’cause I mean, dude, hippies. 

The Verdict: Okay, obviously this class — ideal for pregnant women, recently injured people, and the elderly, as noted on the course description — wasn’t for me. I nap just fine on my own. That said, I did enjoy the calm in the room and the almost farcically constant affirmations by the instructor. Want to lay on your back for a full hour, as almost half the class did? That’s okay. Want to roll on your belly and stare up at the ceiling? Okay! Want to piddle all over the floor like a puppy? We love you the way you are! Namaste! 

It’s nice to be allowed to feel good about yourself every once in a while, just as, y’know, a special treat. I foresee some more yoga in my future — but preferably of a slightly more physically punishing nature.

Guys! I’ve been asked to preface menstrual TMIs with a warning for my male readers. So here’s your warning: Vaginas bleed. If you don’t like it, don’t have sex with ’em. (You’re welcome, Muscles.)

Also, enter by NOON TOMORROW to WIN AN IPOD NANO! z0mg!

NTKOG #109: The kind of aggressive oversharer who uses her period as an excuse for everything and makes a valiant effort to keep the world at large up-to-date on her personal, uh, punctuation.

I am: one of those lucky few women whose periods just really aren’t a big deal. I barely notice it.

I am not: going to talk about it when I do notice it. I mean, unless it’s with my girlfriends, obvi, ’cause talking to women inevitably leads to discussions of menstrual blood and wedding plans.

The Scene: My uterus? So here’s a thing about periods, if any guys penetrated my severe warning and made it this far: they are fickle and perverse creatures. And there’s no quicker way to anger them than claiming that yours are never painful or aggravating. I thought of this NTKOG a few weeks ago, and laughed to myself, “Ohhh what an acting job! How could I complain about my light, pain-free period? It is practically a pleasure to host!” Cue me waking up three days later with hyperventilating, blinding, crying cramps. Thank you universe! Universe inside my reproductive system!

Anyway, set out to overshare in a variety of situations, from which, three vignettes:

Objective: Escape convenience store judgment: The Ex always argued I’m unnaturally concerned with the way people behind cash registers perceive me but, dude, you try buying red licorice and a Fresca at 10:59 PM from some translucent-skinny retail girl who weighs forty-five pounds — half eyeliner — and obviously had to filet herself to fit into her jeans. THERE WAS JUDGMENT! There was judgment.

Filet o’ salesclerk furrowed her brow for a sec when she looked at the licorice. I smiled: “Period. Crazy sugar craving, you know? Like mega period.” She looked up and gave the tiniest pulse of a smile. Foolish, heartened, I continued. “The worst part is I never see it coming. Then one day I realize I’m crying at 30 Rock and surrounded by empty pudding cups. Menstruation, eh?”

The smile wiped off her face as she gave a dignified moue of disgust. Sooooo. I guess I know whom I’m not asking if I ever need to borrow a tampon.

Objective: Tardiness with impunity: It has come to my attention, over the years, that girls periodically use their periods as an excuse for being late. I’m … just not at all sure why. But damned if I wasn’t going to give it a shot. Due to an admittedly avoidable cause, I was running about ten minutes late for the writing class I’m taking, which is taught by an elderly woman and attended by four other students. Awesome, dude. My Cher Horowitz moment.

TKOG: Sorry I’m late. I’m like super menstrual.
Old Hippie Instructor: I’m sorry, what?
TKOG: Oh, you know, I’m like on my period in a major way.
OHI
: Wait, what does that have to do with you being late?
TKOG: Uh, cramps?
OHI: [reproving glance]
TKOG: …midol?

Not quite as quotable as surfing the crimson tide, it transpired. And still haven’t solved the mystery of why periods excuse lateness!

Objective: Avoid credit card minimum in sourpuss convenience store: A different convenience store next to my house, the employees of which are positively draconian about their $5 credit card minimum (a policy which, btdubs, violates companies’ terms of agreement with credit card companies). I was picking up a travel pack of Advil to ward off a random headache, but the total came to $2.18 and I had no cash.

TKOG: Dude, seriously, please help me out here. I’m begging you.
Surly Clerk: $5 minimum. Buy something else.
TKOG: But I don’t need anything else! I’m on my period and I have terrible cramps and I need an Advil right flippin’ now.
SC: Sure. If you pay in cash.
TKOG: Dude, come on, my cramps are so bad that last night I dreamed I was giving birth to a llama.

True story, btdubs. Dude wouldn’t relent. So in desperation I glanced behind the counter at the tiny home-improvement section and, remembering the leaky aerator on my kitchen sink, asked him for a set of pliers. He rang ’em up and looked at me for just a moment, confused or at least a little surprised.

“Yeah,” I told him, ripping open the Advil as I walked to the door. “Just, like, in case a tampon gets stuck?”

You’re welcome for the visual, sir. You could have just sold me the damn Advil. But whatever, mind the mood swings, ’cause if you hadn’t heard, I had a good excuse.

The Verdict: Ugh, still not sure why women sometimes do this. I’ll admit I’m a little on the prim Victorian side when it comes to discussing bodily functions (except, apparently, on the blog — yikes), but I just don’t see what possible good can come from bringing up your period with people who aren’t actively seeking a menstrual-based conversation.

That said, as someone who enjoys behaving badly, I did quite appreciate the pale mottled shade of green the last guy turned. So. Keeping it in my bag of tricks as an emergency-conversation-escape smokebomb.

TMI Thursday! Meta-TMI about giving TMI! Go look at Livit, Luvit for more TMI! Also, while we’re housekeeping: new comment policy, kittens. If your comment friggin’ creeps me out, I will delete it wantonly and without warning. This policy will not apply to 99.9999999% of comments, but I am hereby reserving the right forever.

A couple more days to enter to win a friggin’ iPod Nano! It’s red! And gets radio reception, apparently! I wouldn’t know because my iPod is like a 64kb iPod Mini. (Also, dudes, sorry for being totally blog-world absent this week: the computer at my new office doesn’t. do. internet.)

NTKOG #107: The kind of ethanol-fueled writerly type who knocks back a snootful in the privacy of her own parlour then commences to Creating Literature.

I am: partial to: 1) the occasional snort of brandy; 2) my own company; 3) pretending, and often, to be F. Scott Fitzgerald.

I am not: an alcoholic.

The Scene: My apartment. Alone. I’d spent a Saturday night out celebrating Porn Star’s birthday with Anglophile and some of his friends — a rambunctious night, capped at a skeezy bar ’til the last train home — but maintained only a buzz due to some combination of the prohibitive cost of alcohol and the fact that Porn Star and Anglophile are non-drinkers. In fact, through some confluence of medication-mixing, religion and incomprehensible personal preference, all of my Boston friends are non-drinkers. Kind of hard on a girl, what? Still, I’ve seen Lifetime Movies, and I know that when the going gets tough, the tough crack open a jaunty little Bordeaux.

I should have known that this NTKOG was turning against me when I realized I didn’t have a corkscrew. Apparently, in a fit of boozy benevolence, I left The Ex all of my corkscrews in the break-up. Still, have Merlot, will MacGyver. Spent ten minutes sitting on the edge of my bed with the upside-down wine bottle clamped between my knees, thwacking the bottom with the sole of one of my cowboy boots. This yielded nothing but a pissed-off neighbor. After a few more strange tricks, I ended up jabbing the rubberized cork with a pocket screwdriver and digging it out in a few large chunks.

Um, hope Delta Burke’s available to star in TKOG: The Movie.

After I filled up a coffee mug with the liberated rosé, learned three key lessons: 1) DO NOT PAY THREE DOLLARS FOR A BOTTLE OF WINE; 2) especially if you are drinking it by the bottle, and 3) have no sparkling conversation to distract you from the fact that you are drinking THREE DOLLAR ROSÉ.

What I hoped would happen: I’d engage in a witty inner monologue before loosening the muse and pounding out forty-five pages of wonderful and inexplicable fiction. (Not to brag, but Drunk TKOG is something of a wordsmith. You may know her from such literary masterpieces as: “What Grown-Ups Mean When They Say God Is Dead,” “Post-Prandial Depression And Other Erotica” and about sixty thousand regret texts peppered with esoteric interwar British naval slang.)

What actually happened: After a mug and a half of the godawful pink vinegar, I lost the will to continue swallowing, and ended up spending the next seven hours in a slowly sobering melancholy state, listening to The Weepies’ “Gotta Have You” on perma-repeat and obsessively google stalking myself.

Um, I thought booze was supposed to make you fun?

The Verdict: Oh lordy, this was a fail on so many levels. Turns out alcohol is, at best, a social performance enhancing drug and not in fact any sort of panacea. That much was old news. What I did learn, however: rock bottom isn’t just a figurative phrase. It is in fact a very literal term for the drop of wine you lick off a pocket screwdriver, alone, at 4:30am. Good lord. Never again.