I Like To Moob It, Moob It

I awoke to find this article in my Facebook feed this morning:

http://www.queerty.com/what-real-men-look-like-in-underwear-ads-20130919/

When I see articles like this, articles calling bullshit on the media and how it treats men’s bodies, I pretty much always think two things, in this order:

1. “Mwahaha, it’s about time men were made to feel self-conscious, the way that we women have been made to feel self-conscious since FOREVER.”

2. “Dude, dick move. The answer is that no one should be made to crappy. Not for everyone to feel crappy.”

As I looked through the article above, I started to understand how (almost) every guy on Earth feels when he looks at women and compares them to women he sees on TV. I thought “yeah, models are lovely, but those other guys? They look like nice guys. And I really, sincerely don’t care that they’re not all cut and musclely.”

Guys, we’re not just saying that we don’t care if you have a little moob happening. We really, sincerely don’t care. We just want you to act right, be nice to us, call when you say you’re going to call, not play with your phone at the dinner table, and talk to us. At the end of the day, we would rather you watch a movie with us than be like “sorry, babe, have to go put in 4 hours at the gym.”

Yep, 6-packs are hot, but so are dudes who will share a 6-pack with you while the two of you play video games.

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The Biggest Loser Makes Me Feel Conflicted.

The irony of this whole thing is that I started watching The Biggest Loser on Hulu because I needed something to watch while I ate dinner. Being all caught up on RuPaul’s Drag Race and Vikings, I thought “hey, I used to watch The Biggest Loser…”

It’s just that, since those years ago when I watched the show and found it incredibly positive in comparison to other reality shows (granted, anything is more positive than Flavor of Love or whatever idiocy is going on with The Bachelor), I have read a few blogs written by former Biggest Loser contestants. There they were, saying all of the things we all secretly knew to be true: feeling manipulated by producers, feeling pressured to lose more and more weight, gaining weight back after they no longer had the eyes of America keeping them on the straight and narrow…it was just another reality show after all.

Still, I feel like this season’s treatment of the “child ambassadors” (a bid to bring light to the issue of childhood obesity) is remarkably kind. The kids get Skype calls from the trainers and occasionally visit the ranch to coach contestants in a challenge, but for the most part, they get to go about their lives. They get to go from being bullied to being The Kid From TV. That might come with its own set of problems, but having a TV crew show up to document a donation of thousands of dollars’ worth of gym equipment probably really IS going to help in the “people calling you a fat ass in the hall” factor. I’d like to think that the kids will come out of the experience feeling healthier and like someone somewhere thinks that they matter enough to send a TV crew to talk to them.

Jezebel.com disagreed with my naive optimism, immediately denouncing this move, saying “because adults shouldn’t be the only one running on treadmills until they puke.” In fairness, the blog was written before the shows even aired, but maybe…well, maybe Jezebel should have shut the hell up until they has a chance to see the thing against which they were rallying. Then again, jumping straight from speculation to poorly-researched sarcasm and anger is something that Jezebel does pretty frequently. Jezebel can be terribly entertaining, but must also be taken with a grain of salt.

Maybe The Biggest Loser shouldn’t have involved the kids. Maybe some horrors come out of this show. But maybe some good does, too. Maybe someone out there will finally be inspired to feed kids more vegetables or go on a family bike ride. Maybe a generation of kids will be inspired to be horribly neurotic about their weight. Hell, I don’t know.

See, that’s the point. I don’t know. Neither do you, nor does Jezebel.

As conflicted as this show makes me feel, you get out of it what you choose to get out of it. For me, I choose to see it as a group of people supporting each other in doing something that they all wanted, begged to do. No one is forcing them to stay on the show. I see it as an inspiration, a reminder that donuts are evil (delicious, awesome evil), and a message that people can change (if they want to…you are certainly not required to want to be skinny) and don’t need surgery to do so. If Jezebel wants to see it as “nothing more than a circus sideshow,” run by evil producers, watched by evil people who are watching solely to point and laugh, and participated in by sad, desperate fatties…maybe that’s just a mirror into what lurks in the heart of that particular Jezebel writer. As for me, I see people who are willing to work their butts off to make a change that they want to make, and that’s not such a bad thing to watch while eating dinner.

Frenemy

I am curious about the difference in the way the two sexes view their gender-specific parts. From what I gather from Maxim and male friends, dudes are pretty much all ABOUT their dicks. It’s like a love affair. A bromance between a man and…himself. A man loves the hell out of his dick, even during the teenage years of oddly-timed erections. Even through wet dreams. They’re just like “it’s cool, bro. Let’s play some video games.”

A man and his dick are two good friends with the same goal. They pretty much only disagree when the man is in a committed relationship and isn’t allowed to do whatever his dick wants to do. Even then, it’s a simple disagreement between friends.

Like a lot of female relationships, a woman’s relationship with her uterus is, how do you say, more complicated. A lot of women tend to look at their pieces-parts like frenemies. The uterus is the coworker we secretly hate but have to be civil to if we don’t want to get fired.

A uterus is the friend that screws up the plan. “We were going to (go swimming, have sex, be nudists) but it’s shark week.”

A uterus is the friend that is kind of high-maintenance. She demands to be taken to the doctor, and she also demands her own SPECIAL doctor.

A uterus is the friend with a gun to your head. “Be careful, or I will so totally get pregnant. You don’t want to see me pregnant, do you? DO YOU?”

“Ugh, I’m so puffy today.”
“I can’t go. Really bad cramps.”
“I want chocolate. And murder.”

In the uterus’s defense, this isn’t entirely her fault. Living as a female means dealing with a set of body parts that don’t always want to cooperate, but living as a female also means that it’s “gross” or “tmi” to talk about those body parts to anyone other than your female friends.

“I’m sorry I was bitchy about this long line, but I have wicked cramps and I just want to pay for this Tylenol and go home.”

“Sorry I snapped at you after getting your email. My brain is making me think everyone is completely stupid.”

God help you if you’re in a relationship with a guy who slaps his hands over his ears and goes “la la la!” any time you have to talk about your uterus. Right now, a lot of women are trying to avoid a coed shower, sex, or a trip to the pool without mentioning a real reason because we’ve all been taught that dudes are weirded out by periods. “Do not mention,” it is said.

To that, I have 2 answers:

1. This is my body, and I am not ashamed of its goings-on. It is doing what it is built to do.

2. If you are one of the “la la la” dudes, maybe you should attempt acting like an adult.

3. For all the dudes I just pissed off with #2, I’ll make up for it with a random tip for the ladies: stop being freaked out by ejaculate. That’s what HIS body is built to do, so shut up about it. (Happy, guys?)

So, what’s the big take-away here? Hell, I don’t know. Maybe that we should all be a little more accepting of whatever it is that are bodies are built to do. Maybe that we should be like “FUCK YEAH, I’m fertile, bitch!” every time Shark Week approaches, in the same way that you yell “fuck yeah, I’m getting laid!” at the Kroger checker when you buy condoms.

(You DO yell that when you buy condoms, don’t you?)

Forward, Finally.

I am sitting at my computer. Counting Crows are playing, a space heater is warming my feet and I smell a little like sweat because I mowed the yard earlier and haven’t showered. I am back in my pajamas. I am seemingly always in pajamas. I have Firefox tabbed to email, Facebook and TurboTax.

I am crying.
Let’s back up.

Work sends me a 1099. They don’t take out taxes, so I usually just have to set money aside and brace myself to write a HUGE check to Uncle Sam every March. There’s this ever-present fear, like maybe I haven’t saved enough. No optional large purchases are made before tax time. The fear sits on my shoulder like a cat perched on the passenger side pillow, laser eying me through the sheet, blanket, duvet and other blanket. Pet me. Pet me. Pet me. Who knows how much you’re going to owe.

Everything started to go to hell in 2009. By the time things started to get better at the end of 2010, I had no savings left and I had borrowed money from mom multiple times. I blew through everything I’d ever saved, all the while thinking, “if you were just better at your job, this wouldn’t be happening.”

I felt like I had nothing of value to offer. I felt like a non-adult. I had to close my savings account because I didn’t have enough money in it to avoid service charges. I went 6 months without buying produce, instead living on beans and pasta. I watched things around my house break and have to stay broken. I watched shoes fall apart and prayed that they would do so slowly enough that they’d wait until Christmas. By the time my office’s ceiling collapsed, I wasn’t even surprised. I just took pictures and started spooning bits of my house into trash bags with a dust pan. When I was done, I juts closed the office door and pretended nothing had happened as the room took on a parade of wasps. I did all of these things knowing that I had focused on work my entire adult life.

So this year I did my taxes with some trepidation. I stalled as long as I could, trying to wrap my head around another money-seeking call to mom. You get used to feeling like a half-adult after a while. I started my taxes just because I wanted to get them over with.

When the number at the top of the Turbo Tax window came up green (refund), I realized that whatever money I’d saved would stay with me. I could reopen my savings account. It would be like being an adult. It would be like being ME circa 2007. It was a sign screaming “the worst is over, and we survived it.”

I have been waiting for the worst to be over for almost two years. I have earned my tears of joy and I will keep them, along with what I’d saved up to give Uncle Sam. With my refund, I am purchasing a sandwich, a cream soda, a semester of school and the kitchen hardware I have waited two years to buy.

A Life Before LiveJournal Part 2: 1995

This notebook was kept as part of an assignment for AP English, so it couldn’t get too juicy. That said, it was apprently stolen at the halfway point and read by the punk dude who liked to pull my metaphorical pigtails. And so, we continue with whatever stupidity happened before my stupidity went digital…

9-8-95
“Well, Silverchair’s songs are cool, even if they may not be all that talented.”

9-18-95
“I never realized how freaking stupid slamdancing is.”

9-21-95
“Many things seemed futile then, but love and music could save us – and did” (Quote from Anthony Kiedis)

9-22-95
“If you could be anything on the menu at Wendy’s, what would you be?”

9-25-95
“Please excuse my nihilism. It’s the pms.”

9-27-95
“Last night, Jeff and I were talking about who’d we’d annihilate if we could.”

9-28-95
“Orange juice, my love, you are orange and filled with vitamin C. Let me suck you through a blue straw while I watch Geraldo.”

9-29-95
“Satan lives in my closet. He eats my socks. That’s where they go.”

9-29-95
“I have to pee. And cough. But not necessarily in that order.”

9-29-95
“What if life was a Sunny Delight commercial? No one would ever drink ‘the purple stuff.'”

10-2-95
“Nothing sexual. We were both fully clothed.”
(This, readers, is going to be carved on my tombstone.)

10-2-95
“Vampire kisses on a football bus.”
(A reference to an ill-fated game of Truth or Dare in which I had to kiss my crush on the football bus coming back from an away game. The bus hit a bump and I bit him, causing him to bleed profusely.)

10-3-95
“I’ve been a fan of mausoleums for a while.”

10-9-95
“Only dead fish swim with the stream.”

10-11-95
“With a piece of cheese. Keys? No, cheese.”

10-11-95
“My arse interests.”
(A quote from London Kills Me, which had a character named Muffdiver. When I mentioned said character to my mother, she laughed and explained.)

10-12-95 (last entry)
“I guess this is the last time I’ll write about hate, love, longing and music. Ame, look back on this later and remember.”

His Few Remaining Real Teeth

When I see someone with a grille, I always have the same thought:

“I wonder if he has really bad breath.”

I even Googled it, but I didn’t find anything conclusive. It seems that people who actually KNOW people with permanent grilles have good enough sense to not write blogs about whether Lil Wayne or Paul Wall have incredibly awful breath. You’d THINK there would be some kind of anonymous blog for this sort of thing. The internet disappoints sometimes.

Somebody like Diddy looks like he values taking care of himself: never a wrinkled shirt, poorly manicured hand, or dirty shoe. People like Lil Wayne may now be as rich as Diddy, but they come from a different world: the world where making money and not getting shot is way more important than using a tongue scraper. (As a female, I tell you this: I’d rather you get shot than not use a tongue scraper, kthxbai.)

But is this a little racist? Just because one poor lady from the ghetto went on Flavor of Love, was told she had horrible breath, was sent to the dentist and was told she needed $20,000 of dental work, that doesn’t mean that speaks for ALL people from poor neighborhoods. The dentist on the show said that the woman’s teeth looked like they had “never seen a toothbrush.” Not having 20 grand, the woman decided instead to make a necklace out of mints. This cued Flavor Flav to send her home.

Besides, there are plenty of white people with equally terrible dental situations. When Meredith Viera did that special about Appalachia, an entire segment was devoted to kids having rotten teeth coming out of their heads because their parents put Mountain Dew in their bottles (you can’t make this up, man).

Lil Wayne’s grille is permanent. He can afford good dentistry, right? The thing is sealed tighter than Fort Knox, right? His beloved Sour Patch Kids don’t come near his real teeth, right?

Well…

His prison sentence was recently postponed so he could get 8 root canals and “repairs done to his few remaining real teeth.”

Then again, further research (cough cough) indicates that, given enough mouthwash, Weezy could still be worth the trouble. If you’re into that sort of thing. Just make sure your hair’s real. My, but this got tacky quickly.

(props to @DJ_Spinja for the link)

Delusions: Go Big or Go Home

Once upon a time, I had a dream. No, not that one about all men being created equal. The one where I got hired to design paint jobs for Lil Wayne’s signature line of guitars. His little paw shook my little paw, he looked down at my cut-out Tuk lolita boots and I looked down at his spotless Adidas, and an understanding was reached.

You don’t understand.
You weren’t there.

Nearly two years later, I’ve expanded on the bizarre fantasy and my subconscious has come along for the ride in its own annoyingly prudish way. Lil Wayne and I have gone grocery shopping (“baby, grab some of that trail mix”), but we still haven’t gone all the way…to goth night, that is.

My ultimate fantasy is that Lil Wayne and I roll up to goth night in a black Escalade. Two footmen hop out of the back seat bearing tiny step-stools which Weezy and I use to dismount our pint-sized selves from said Escalade. It is comically badass. That is to say, it’s the weird combination of the comical and the mildly unsettling. This is the language we speak. Diamond grilles and weapons charges aside, this is why it works.

My friends have been enabling this delusion. When I tell them this fantasy, they pause for a second, then respond with “that’s perfect. Perfect.” Sure, Weezy’s presence in my life would mean that my friends would have an endless quantity of what is probably the world’s best weed, but this goes deeper. They know that I require someone who is frank, weird, elfin, and greater than the sum of his parts. Someone who can be three apples high, silly and still scary. Someone who whimsically wrinkles his nose when he laughs, but who knows at least twenty people who would shoot you just because he asked. Someone who works hard. Someone who can look you in the face and tell you to fuck off and you still won’t know whether to love his frankness, call the cops or make out with him. In short, someone who is different from me in every obvious way, but very much like me if we were put in a blender and pureed down to our nuts and bolts. Someone who would write a line about spritzing you all over the wall in a pink mist, and then chuckle maniacally. Is he serious, or was that hyperbole? Well, there’s the fun.

Long as we’re being delusional, I’ll tell you how it’s going to go down. Like so many delusions, it starts on Vh1. I go on Tough Love to be coached by Public Domain Fred Savage. It doesn’t help me find Mr. Right, but it does land me my own show, For the Love of Evil. I get just famous enough to weasel my way into the VMAs, where Weezy and I meet, shake little paws and come to an understanding. He and I combine or parallel work ethics, and I add secret sauce via piano to his next album. The bizarre combination of melodramatic, goth piano works well next to gangsta rap. The album is lauded for its new sound and Weezy and I joint-collect the Grammy: he in a fitted tee; me in a metal-boned corset.

All we’re missing is a show on Vh1.

Right?