Several Things I Do Not Want

And some I just do not care about

Fancy-ass kitchen and liquor shit

Real talk: one of my top reasons — not the top reason, because I’m not a lunatic — for not wanting to get married and have a big blow-out wedding (behind bigger, real reasons like a.) seems dumb, b.) seems real dumb, c.) I don’t wanna pay for this dumb shit, and d.) not even sure I wanna get married!) is that I think wedding registries are some of the tackiest-ass impediments to our modern society.

I know I could do the whole “your presence in our present” shit on the wedding site (tacky in and of itself, tbh — both the site and the statement), but I don’t trust people, and just thinking about the fact that many people in my life (i.e., my mother) would “lol” at my request for “no gifts” and then blow up my whole life with stupid “well, I had to get you something!” shit regardless of our request makes me want to throw a poodle at the wall.

My mom is a compulsive gifter. I feel for her kind of, because the woman’s love language is deffffinitely “gifts,” and she’s just trying to do what she can to show us she cares. But every time she gifts me something after I’ve made it clear for like 20 fucking years that I. don’t. want. anything., the message of “I love you!” starts to read a little like “I love myself.”

I’m just not into shit.

You know those “I’m trying so hard to be an adult; look at me over here Adulting so hard” motherfuckers, who use their first real paycheck to buy fucking throw pillows and multi-colored ceramic measuring spoons and then, inexplicably, the queer little liquor cart decked out with shakers, strainers, jiggers, muddlers, and daddy’s fucking crystal decanters? Yeah, I am not them. I’m not saying they can’t fuck with their house how they want — you do you, boo boo — but I have never once, ever, in my entire life eyed shit like that and been all, “you know what my life’s been missing? Some fancy-ass way to drink the cocktails I don’t even enjoy.” And it’s not enough just to have them — no, by jove, let’s put it all on display!

Nah. Pour me a beer and let’s move on.

A yoga studio

Dudes, call me a traitor to my generation, but I have no idea where this BIG DREAM of owning a yoga studio came from for so many of my peers. The idea of brick and mortar scares me — and actually, so does the whole thing with most yoga classes. Bitches be weird.

A brewery

I mean, I like beer and all, but I’ll be the first to admit that I have no place in a brewery, for several reasons:

One: it takes a hygienic, engineer type to brew. It’s all chemistry and process and malts and temperature and I’ve been on like 92 brewery tours and I still couldn’t tell you much more than the word “mash.” Moving on.

Two: lol, when I say “I like beer,” I mean I order beers by asking for something “drinkable.” (And I am totally delighted every time the bartender knows what I mean and pours it without judgment.) I don’t want an “experiential” beer; I’m not looking for a relationship here (and if I were, I’m not into “complicated,” needy shit.) I like my beer boring. I’ll drink the same shit day after day and not care. I only recently got into IPA, and even then I like the ones that taste halfway “lagered.” (No, that’s not real. I made it up.)

Three: I make beer terms up.

To run a marathon

I am convinced that 99.999% of people who run marathons just do it because they got off on saying “I’ve run a marathon” (or, more specifically: “I’m training for a marathon.”) I once worked with a girl, real post-sorority chick (not that there’s anything wrong with sororities but I think you know what I’m saying), who, to my great misfortune, decided to train for a marathon. Now, mind you, this girl was not a Runner. I think she mostly did it for the apps and new shoes. That, and the chance to tell me every. single. day. what route she ran, her distance, her time, updates on her injury (it was a toe), and days left until the race.

I don’t think I could have anticipated that marathon more if I’d been running it myself. (Just 27, 26, 25 more days of this blabber in my ear.)

When I was later in consulting, I had a year-long client in Boston, and had the life-altering experience of being there for The Marathon. The Boston Marathon is no longer a running event. “Getting into” The Boston Marathon is treated like getting into Harvard. Running it is received with Much Applause.

When people are genuine about something, they don’t go around needing to tell everyone about it. I’m not even sure they need sanctioned events (I mean, you people realize that you can run 26.2 miles whenever you damn well please, right?) And I know tons of people want to talk about all the fundraising and whatnot, but again: you realize you can donate whenever you want, right?

Also, as a total aside: I do not like running. And not only that, but I am terrible at it. I run like Big Bird. I once signed up for a 5K — at my friend’s urging, who swore up and down that the “Couch to 5K” was a program of easy-peasy bodily miracles — and even though I stuck to the program damnit, walk-running every day like I was prompted, about two weeks into it, I was like “yeah no — I’m walking that 5K.”

A massive closet

Totally silly and superfluous. I love living a life in which all of my clothing can fit in one suitcase (sans my five pairs of shoes, because boots and wedge heels are bulky, man.) If I had a massive closet, I think I’d probably go in there periodically and just stare at it with a combination of anxiety and anger, like “I’m paying $50 a month for you, you square footage money suck. Make yourself useful.”

Granted, I feel this way with most superfluously large spaces. I once lived in one of those massive renovated warehouse lofts with a big, cavernous “foyer” that ran more than halfway down its length until you finally got to the kitchen / living room area, and it truly unnerved me. I was never at ease in that space. I like my living spaces tight — my favorite place so far was 200 sq. feet, and I’ll happily live in places under 1,000 with a partner.

A drink or food menu item named after me

Oh dear. Excuse me while I slide down the front of this chair and army-crawl out the door. I didn’t realize you’d noticed I came here that much, and now I have to quietly amend this by never, ever coming back ever.

It’s weird AF. Like, are they still handing out Field Day ribbons somewhere, too? Maybe some adult-ass toys with meals? “I am special” star stickers? Please no.

Also, what if it’s something lame? What if it’s some stupid sugary concoction?

Or what if it’s meatloaf? What if it’s bad meatloaf?

Norah Ephron had a meatloaf named after her at Graydon Carter’s restaurant, the Monkey Bar. Because Ephron was a decidedly normal type of gal, she was obviously flattered, like most people would be — and immediately went to the place to try it out. I think it was good at first. I don’t remember. But either way, come a few months (and maybe a manager change or something?) Ephron comes back for her meatloaf again and realizes they’ve changed the recipe and it’s total garbage. She writes to them. Maybe they change it; I don’t recall — obviously I wasn’t that invested in this meatloaf story, even though I’m retelling it to you here — but I don’t think they did. And they finally just took it off the menu.

Dude. What if that happened?

The 10 Types of People You Meet on Planes

#5: the talker, your new best friend

1.) The person who needs you to know that they fly a lot.

I mean, they fly all the time. They’re on “x flights a week/month/year!” and they only mention this like 3 or 7 times, totally casually.

They’ve got status and you’re gonna hear about it. It’s the lowest tier you can get — that lame tier the airlines made up just to make this person feel special — but they don’t care. They live for points.

The best part is that if you also fly a lot, it’s probably more than this person, who probably actually flies less than you do. This only makes it better.

Unless you are also this person. In which case, you’ll of course need to mention it.

2.) The person who *actually* flies a lot

They do not want to talk about flying.

They don’t need to talk about points, because they clear platinum / 1K status midway through the year. And they don’t need to talk about status, because they’re already pretty well assured they’re near the top of any flight.

They are here purely to get from A to B and they’ve got this whole “flying” thing down to an art, so frankly they aren’t here to tell you about it or get you up to speed. (In fact, they’re probably here to work. Cue the laptop.)

3.) The person who’s literally never flown before

They checked in for this flight exactly 23 hours and 57 minutes ago and they’ve been at the airport ever since. They’re the first ones to board but don’t know how seat numbers work, they hit all of the buttons and yet can’t find the light, and they either stand up during takeoff or stay seated the entire flight for fear of getting up at the wrong time.

“When will we land? What gate will it be? Will I miss my connecting flight?”

It’s amazing that this person has made it this far in their life.

4.) The person who’s low-key convinced we’re all gonna die

But knows better than to say anything about it, lest they come off as a crazy person. (That, and they’ve probably popped enough Xanax to domesticate a dinosaur.) So they just silently plot their own demise and mentally map out their b-line route to the nearest door, occasionally muttering or praying out loud while clutching the arm rest.

Every time the plane actually lands, they’re convinced they’ve cheated death.

5.) The talker

You came here to make friends, did you not? Of course you did — why would anyone go out in public if not with the explicit intent of making new friends?

Plus, more importantly, they’re bored as shit on this flight and absolutely hellbent on using you to hear themselves talk and keep themselves entertained, because these codependent muppets have apparently never heard of “books” or “movies,” and also missed that developmental period in which the rest of us learned self-awareness and social cues.

Which is why they’re also fully convinced that we’re the one being rude.

One-word answer? Doesn’t faze them. Back to your book again? Oh, what are you reading? Not a big talker, huh? They’ll see about that. They need your life story; they need to share theirs.

Why would anyone do anything if not to talk?!

6.) The person irrationally pissed about the crying baby

Like, of everything going on with that baby, this person’s own incidental displeasure at the baby’s displeasure is The Most Important Thing.

Person: you are an illogical twat.

News flash: it’s a baby. Anyone who gets mad at a screaming baby is probably the same sort of person who has a melt-down when it rains. Like, sorry life didn’t rearrange itself for you. Sorry it’s an infant. Sorry it’s competing for your total lack of emotional self-management.

You know who has it bad? That baby. That baby doesn’t even know what’s going on. Maybe its ears hurt or maybe it’s something else, but babies don’t have the mental wherewithal to understand.

And you know who has it even worse? That parent. Because not only does he or she they have to deal with the screaming baby, but they have to deal with your irrational wrath as well.

The parent of a screaming baby on planes will have my heart forever and ever. You know why? Because I have had the great misfortunate of caring for tiny humans from time to time, and I know full well that those little tyrants will do anything in their power to test your limits and make you hate their (or even better, your) existence. Sometimes they’re hungry, or wet, or tired, or sick, but sometimes those little punks just scream to scream. Sometimes they just wanna be little assholes.

So, Person Who Can’t Think Beyond Irritation: may you die a slow death of screaming babies and may you endure a hell of not only being surrounded by them, but also being surrounded by a bunch of “you’s” hating you for not “making it stop.”

“But why can’t they just stay home?” You might ask?

Good question — I guess I’d ask the same of you, Person Who Can’t Handle Life Happening Around Them.

Maybe everyone who can’t manage their emotional responses to their immediate environment should stay off planes.

7.) The drinker

They’re low-key alcoholic for real and, frankly, this flight time is interrupting normal drinking hours.

Will readily explain the drink with: “what the heck, it’s __” followed by literally anything — “vacation!”, “after 3 pm!”, “after 9 am,” “Saturday!”, “$12 for a can of Miller Light!”

Loves spending $12 for cans of Miller Light.

Always wants to get two — not just one — microscopic bottles of booze. Fails to realize that when they can’t seem to get the flight attendant’s attention again, they’re being cut off.

8.) The movie watcher

Had time to download 8 full-length action films for this 2-hour flight, and yet somehow didn’t have time to grab headphones.

Or: has the volume so high it doesn’t matter.

9.) The serious sleeper

There is nothing quite so ludicrously hilarious to me as people who travel with full-size pillows. I laugh harder at these people than anyone else in the airport.

Like, are you people being serious? Did you also bring a can opener or a folding chair from home, just in case? Maybe a nice reading lamp?

What is wrong with you?

“It’s more comfortable that way.” Well, duh. You know what else is comfortable? Slippers and jammies. And I’d jokingly ask if you brought those too, but you probably did — or wish you had.

And not to mention how gross the airport is. I hope you’re washing that shit afterwards. And I don’t just mean the case.

10.) The person who lives on this plane

The sleeper may have brought a pillow, but this person brought their whole house. They have enough food to feed a small army and took their shoes off before the plane even pushed back from the gate. They’ve got a change of clothes, a personal library, and a small dog tucked under the seat in front of them. This person, it seems, has no intention of ever leaving this plane. That, or they seriously overestimated the amount of time in “2 hours.”

And then there are normal people like you and me

Because you and I are totally not on this list. We are totally normal and not weird or annoying or obnoxious or off-putting in any way. Regular class-A citizens; people above it all.

Especially if we are people who “fly a lot.”

Short Reviews Of 20 U.S. Places

That I’ve traveled to for business

I recently wrote about the ways I see the places I’ve lived (Colorado, Chicago, San Francisco, London and The South.) I have thoughts on the places I travel to for business, too. They’re shorter, but I figured what the hell.

Also, just to be totally fair: sometimes I spend no more than a few hours in each city — quick day trips in and out —and a “long” trip can be as short as two days. So I know that I could be 100% wrong on these observations. Take them with a grain of salt.

It’s a personal post, guys, not a formalized study. Which is also why some of these are called out by state and some are by city. This is how I think of them.


San Francisco — I’ve already talked about SF.

“She’s a one-size-too-small, ragged, old, smelly, lumpy sweater from a thrift shop, but the weave is fascinating and the wool was once high-grade, so it’s charming even in its grossness. She’s an introverted woman, both young and old all at once, who’s a little cool to the touch, with unkept hair and roughed up knees and an absent-minded gaze but a biting tongue, and she’s all wrapped up in that gross sweater, weirdly nonchalant about all the mostly socially-inept guys (we’re so far from the midwest…) making the room a little unbearable all around her.”

Los Angeles — I was surprised with how much I liked LA. Here I was expecting it to be over-the-top, in my face superficiality, but what I found was a laid-back, securely-masculine vibe. There are so many versions of LA, and here are the angles I love: health food LA, weather LA, mothafuckin motorcycles LA, latin LA, Little Ethiopia LA… it’s enough that I can happily overlook health nut LA, Hollywood LA, Rodeo Drive LA and that total letdown of a destination The Original Farmers Market… LA. I didn’t even mind the traffic (but then again, I typically don’t.)

San Diego — holy cow does San Diego smell pretty. I drove from LA to SD and nearly hyperventilated over the air coming in through all the open windows.

As a side note: I always wondered where “northern California” officially became “Southern California.” Then I had a drink at Bull and Bear Taphouse in Monterey and was barely two sips in when I realized: “oh. It’s right here. In this bar.”


I’ve already written about Chicago, too.

“Chicago is nothing if not a good “work hard, play hard” mentality. Because Chicago is a golden retriever.”


Denver — you leave Denver alone now, ya hear?

Broomfield — if you think Broomfield is gonna match your mental model of Colorado as a mountainous paradise where the snow’s pristine and the weed flows free, you’re gonna have a bad time. I’ve had several clients in Broomfield over the years, and for one very obvious reason: it’s effectively one massive corporate park, stretching between Boulder and Denver, with some housing developments and Class A strip malls for the people who work there but either don’t want to commute or enjoy living in (comparatively) cheap housing — or both.


You know that cliche metaphor “you don’t put a bumper stick on a Porsche/Bentley/Ferrari?” In Connecticut, they really do.


DC, you so cute! You’re the Boston that has to keep it together and wear pants and make phone calls and stuff.


The entirety of Florida as a state: 
humidity and the way it smells (like broad, fat-leafed plants and nectary flowers and even that mildly decomposing smell of sodden soil.) ❤
con: it is a food desert, which might seem surprising at first, with all that Cuban influence, until you consider that Cuba is kind of a food desert too. (You might not think that either — I’m not even sure they think so — and I certainly didn’t, but then I went there and ate many a signature Cuban “salad:” iceberg lettuce, tomato and canned green beans. Chalk it up to communism.)

Florida has a “uniform,” and it’s a “short-sleeved ‘dressy shirt’ —in either cotton with ‘tasteful’ leaf/floral pattern or some kind of smooth synthetic blend like we’re ready for a rousing round of golf —worn untucked and loosely draped over a distended middle-aged belly.” Half the time I rent a car in Florida, they try to give me a Corvette or a bright yellow Challenger convertible, and I’m like “stop now please.” Florida not only wears those visors with the fake hair, but I’d bet the companies that sell them are based there.

Orlando — my least favorite airport by far. How they mess up “lines” that badly is beyond me, especially since they’ve got Disney World down the street. Like, hire a Mickey Mouse retiree or something. Damn.

Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Boca Raton, and the other surrounding areas — effectively all the same place as far as I’m concerned. You can try to tell me otherwise, but I’ve seen that split-lane road with the palm tree’d strip mall more than once. And yeah, that includes Miami, because a.) I’ve only ever seen the outskirts — and b.) plan to keep it that way. Nothing I have ever heard about Miami makes me think I’d like it (in fact, the more animated or passionate the description, the more I’m like “please no.”) And all of these places need more curbs in their neighborhoods — the broad-leaf Bermuda grass just sort of rolls up to the street in many places.


Atlanta — Atlanta had my attention within about 10 minutes. Two words: radio stations. Between the 90s hip hop and current country, Atlanta wins at radio. Also, the highways smell like “humid pine,” so much softer and sweeter different than the “wheezing, bristly pine” of Colorado. It also has just enough “hipster” to keep me happy, because even though I’m not a foodie and don’t even like “good” coffee, sometimes I just fucking love spending $12 on a good grilled cheese. (Not joking.)

Savannah — terrible restaurants, tired early-2000’s retail, and yet somehow… tourism? Is the Spanish moss truly holding this place up? On the upside, I paid $26 for Byrd’s cookies, knowing full well I was being tourist-seduced, and I powered through all four bags the entire way home, happy and physically ill.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas can die in a fire. It is my least favorite city in the US by far.

People have one of two reactions to hearing this. Either a.) “Yeah, I know! I just gotta get out of there after like three days!” or b.) “oh… you don’t like gambling?”

To each point: 
a.) I’m not talking days. I’m talking minutes. The airport makes my skin crawl. 
b.) I don’t have any issue with gambling, grandma.

The issue is something more like “tacky AF empty, cheap distractions that register as the opposite of fun.” People always try to argue by shouting “it’s the Disneyland for adults!” And I always stare back at them in disgust, because, like: weird. that’s precisely my point, too.

Take Chucky Cheese’s screaming kids, whacking each other over the head with their inflatable bats, except “super size” them into adults, load them up with infomercial testosterone and then give them a three-day escape from the lives they hate, plus just enough “cheap circus” so that they know they’re spending some money but not enough to blowing their ATM-dictated budget. Remove everything real. Add everything fake. Prop it all up with glitter and cardboard facades. Then blow it out until it’s gross and distorted.

You ever stick a Peep in the microwave? That’s Vegas.

No thank you.


Western Mass — I told my client there I’d rather visit Western Mass than Las Vegas and he thought I was messing with him, but I wholeheartedly meant it. It makes sense, because they’re pretty much opposite places. There’s no tourism in Western Mass. There are barely restaurants in Western Mass. The whole place is just darling and simple and genuine.

Boston — such a sweet-cranky little old lady… or maybe a middle aged man (big Sox fan) who doesn’t realize that he comes across as a cranky little old lady. Because that’s pretty much exactly how intimidating — and funny — I find Boston.


Oh yeah? “Hot dish?” Okay, Minnesota, you sweet thing you.


No, Nashville. Just no.

I’ve heard people call Nashville “The New Vegas,” and that should pretty much explain everything that needs to be said here.

It’s the cheaper, tackier, smaller and more strictly-themed version of Vegas. It’s a fanny pack and bedazzled purple cowboy boots and early-2000’s woo girls on wheels.

North Carolina

Sweet, sweet Carolina… Your people are mostly cherub’d faced but I’m not sure you’d care even if you knew. And the Smoky Mountains smell like my definition of heaven.

New York City

I mean… it’s New York City. Come on.

Even the view of New York is beautiful. The bridges (all of them) are beautiful. The waterways and inexplicable stretches of open land just over them are beautiful. I like Brooklyn, I like Manhattan, I’ll even fly LaGuardia — I’ve never had a single problem with that airport.

NYC is the super-senior kicked back at the frat house, who knows he’s top dog and no longer has to prove anything. In fact, my only dig at New York City is that nobody told NYC it’s no longer [whatever year NYC was in its prime], and there are a number of people still running around like it’s ten or thirty years ago. (The fashion district is still mad it’s no longer the 70’s heyday, yet others are still rocking unbuttoned dress shirt + gold chain combos.)


Austin — the cutest airport by far. And obviously cute around.

Houston — lol. Take all of the cliches about Texas and make them into a caricature and then project that caricature onto a big ole white sheet billowing in the breeze, but then also time travel to the late 90s, and you’ve got Houston. It’s expansive, two-dimensional masculinity like sidewalk marketing, made of cardboard and retrofits and hot air. When I landed at the airport and made my way to car rental building, I was the only woman business traveler. Seriously, Houston, what year is it?

My most favorites (and a few least)

For food: best: San Francisco (worst: Florida, then Savannah)

For weather: best: Florida (second best: Texas) (reminder: I like humidity)

For traffic/drivers: the south’s drivers are worse than LA’s traffic


For accommodations: I found several totally adorable airbnb’s in Austin that were on par, in terms of pricing, with a Days Inn

For airport: best, Austin (worst: Orlando)

For people: the Midwest probably still has my heart here, but I like all my clients

Overall: honestly, all of them have their own special charm 🙂 I do love me some business travel.

Emotions are a funny thing

Things that make me sad but shouldn’t & things that don’t but maybe should

I mean, check THIS guy out.

This isn’t about the usual shit. Yes, road kill is sad. Child abuse is sad. Animal abuse is sad, especially when made into commercials set to Sarah McLachlan. Starvation and natural disasters and war and Fargo, ND fashion — all of it, sad.

But then there’s random shit that inexplicably makes us sad for “no” reason. And shit that maybe “should” but doesn’t.

Random things that make me sad

Even though they probably “shouldn’t.”

“The Price is Right.” And Bob Barker.

Man, I don’t know… maybe I have some repressed memory or something, because I’m pretty sure some daycare provider used to watch it, but the whole show just makes me sad and I can’t explain why. Every time someone gets excited about The Price is Right — especially the contestants who “come on down!” — I’m overcome with this sad, sinking feeling, like “god, isn’t it horrible they died later that day?” and it makes me feel like crying a little. It’s weird, I know.

And that one episode of HIMYM definitely didn’t help.


To be entirely clear, my issue with Chicago is my issue, not Chicago’s. Chicago is like a golden retriever —and who hates a golden retriever?

It’s just that with Chicago, there’s so much to subscribe to, and all of it’s so fucking old. They’ve had the same, unchanged attractions since the 70s, the same stupid inside jokes since the early 90s, the same (popular!) bars since pre-prohibition. I mean, the Cubs hadn’t won a World Series in over 100 years and yet fans somehow still had “traditions” during playoffs. Not to mention the goat.

And this nostalgia is, of course, part of Chicago’s “charm” — but only for people who find nostalgia charming.

Those of us who don’t are just left standing there with our ̶ d̶i̶c̶k̶ hot dog in our hand like, “oh. We’re still doing this?”

And everyone else is like “uh, yeah. This is forever. Because everything is.”

Classic rock and the people who still listen to it. Young and old alike.

The 60s I’m okay with. Everything before that is okay, too, and even the 80s and 90s sneak by. But man, “70s classic rock people.” Specifically, the people who only listen to classic rock, or hold classic rock as the upper echelon.

Like, god, have the last forty-odd years of our lives been that hard for you?

I know, I know — it’s timeless. And yeah, maybe it is. But there’s a difference between appreciating classic rock for what it was — what it meant at the time — and still rocking out to it as though your sad, solo air guitar will ensure things always stay the same.

this seems 80s but whatever

The Breakfast Club. And “The Breakfast Club song.”

I couldn’t even get on board when Pitch Perfect tried to perk it up a bit with a remix (and I am shameless Pitch Perfect fangirl.) The whole thing, melody and lyrics alike, is so saturated in sadness I all but drown just hearing those first two notes.

Milton from Office Space — and anyone that reminds me of him

And there are a lot.

One time I was visiting an office and saw a similar-looking dude walking to take his break, clutching a bag of Funyuns in hand, and I thought, “if anyone ruins this for him, so-help-me I will end them.”

The scene with the cake breaks my heart. Every time I think about it or see something similar happen in real life, it high-key makes me wanna light shit on fire too. On their behalf.

High rise condos

Me and me alone, I guess — I’ve never met anyone else who thinks they’re sad. It’s something about being so far, far removed from everything that’s alive — all that’s pulsing and breathing and vibrating on the ground below. One, two, even four floors, I can totally do. Anything double digits, we’re just stacking up sadness. Once we’re in the 30s and 40s and above, we might as well be in outer space; we’re as good as dead.

Similarly, hotel rooms

It’s the sterility. I know part of the appeal is to give the impression that no living thing has ever been in the room before — ever. But every time I’m in one, I also get the impression there’s nothing alive in it at the current moment, either. Me included.

Funerals when it’s sunny

There’s nothing quite like the cruelty of a funeral when it’s sunny. It’s like some screwy uncle strolling in telling knock-knock jokes and laughing too loud and smiling just a lot too much. Not cool, man.

Rain on a wedding day? Bring it. Ain’t nobody gonna rain on this parade! The happy couple cannot, will not be held down. But sunshine for a funeral? Heartbreaking. I was once cruising along on a gorgeous summer day — windows down, hair in the wind, radio turned way up — when I came across a funeral procession, and the juxtaposition of my day and theirs straight-up made me cry.

I have been fortunate enough to have snow and rain for the funerals of my loved ones. With the exception of my grandma, who had sunshine all the way — and would’ve wanted it that way.

HBO’s “Insecure”

Like, I couldn’t sleep at night after watching it too close to my bedtime. What a heart-wrenching storyline, that.

Random things that don’t make me sad but maybe should(?)

When Christmas is over

Guyyyys! Everyone! It’s a new year! A fresh start! January — what a time to be alive 🙂 Man, I do love me a new year.

Monday mornings

Honestly, this is just, like, mini-New Years Day! But with a better night’s rest and without the monster hang-over. Plus, a lot of people are dragging ass on Monday mornings, so if you wake up a smidgen earlier than normal, the world feels like your literal oyster.

The end of summer

Just means the beginning of sweater weather — and autumn leaves and boots and scarves and sneaking your freezing cold hands up the back of your partner’s shirt to warm them up!

Uh, I mean… apple cider.

High Fidelity

Guys, John Cusack. Need I say more?

This firsthand account is so endearingly genuine, it’s hard not to love it a little bit, despite all the brooding Cusack brings so hard.

When Wilson drifted off in Cast Away

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I cried — but then I rationalized and was like “oh, wait. Yeah, okay.”

Because guys, come on. What did you think — he was gonna bring Wilson back with him? They were gonna bunk up together; build a happy home? Would he be reduced to “just some dirty-ass volleyball” for the sake of Hank’s re-acclimation? I mean, for real — how was that gonna go down? Wilson had to go.


I have totally romanticized this city and that’s almost as sad as the city itself. Man, I dig Detroit — when I lived in Chicago, I made the occasional trek over there (once on motorcycle) just to see the place again. There’s just something deliciously genuine about it all — this rich industrial hub, backbone to a major part of US history, now just sitting there in tatters for the world to see. Fucking fascinating.

Riding my motorcycle in the rain

Riding my motorcycle always — always — brings me immense amounts of joy, and I’ll take riding it in the rain (or heat, or cold, or traffic, or whatever) over not riding almost any day.

Rain in general

Bring it.

Eating a meal of microwave-ramen for one

Some consider this the saddest meal out there.

*shrugs and shovels noods*

I know it’s spaghetti; calm down

Eating alone in restaurants

Haha, I literally don’t care — in fact, most of the time, I would really rather not fuck with “coordination” and “compromise” and “herding cats” and “waiting on you to figure out your shoe situation.” I eat alone all the time while traveling for work (the night I wrote this included!) and could not care less.

I don’t need the “buddy system” to get my chow on. None of us really do.

Getting to the end

Of a Netflix series. A vacation. A box of cookies. Anything, really.

Because, like, thank god that’s done. Now I can get to what’s next.

To the dating applicant with the Snoopy cover letter

Dear Mr. Muska,

Your cover letter, résumé, and — ahem — photographs* came across my desk earlier this week, and I am reaching out on my colleague’s behalf.

We find your application interesting. (Admittedly, I found your confidence and candor (“I believe I can be that fucking guy”), promises of sexual wherewithal, and “headshots” more compelling than she did, but we both agree that you have a strong skill set. Your breadth of sentimentality and generosity was of particular note.)

As such, there are a few further questions we’d like to ask to better assess your fit for this role.

First — where do you see yourself in five years?

Your objective for this role seemed to waver between:

  • “Possibly for times in the near future”
  • “Maybe forever?!”
  • “Ethical non-monogamy,” which you “can get down with to a certain extent”
  • “Some illicit drunk sexts”
  • “Or maybe even just a hug.” Because you “would totally love a hug.”

(And understandable, Scott. Because frankly, who doesn’t?)

Any answer is fine — perhaps you aren’t considering my colleague’s company for a longterm role, which is of course increasingly becoming the new norm. We’d just like to know upfront so expectations can be set accordingly.

Can you walk us through your recent dating experience?

We thank you for chronicling your dating history as far back as kindergarten and college.

We are also interested to hear a bit more about your last 2 or 3 roles, how long you were in each one, and why they ended.

Can you tell us a bit more about your viewpoints on dating?

In particular, can you walk us through how “part- to full-time as a skirt-chaser and closet romantic” reconciles with sending “creative dick pics”?

Perhaps you could just offer a bit of clarify around your idea of “romantic?” We are a bit unclear on your definition.

What is your greatest weakness?

(Besides your soft spot for romance.)

What is your greatest strength?

If you were to sum up your skill set, ranging from back rubs to dinners, in one word, what would it be?

In your opinion, what makes a “good man?”

And, more importantly, to what extent is a “good man” simply defined in contrast to “dickheads like Mike, that shitbird,” given that Mike didn’t “cherish” my colleague in all of the ways you “believe that a good man should.”

To what extent do you view your role in a relationship as one of “cherishing caregiver?”

Much of your (very strong) skill set seems to hinge on this.

How integral is “caregiving” to your role in a relationship? And to what extent do you define “love” as “caregiving?”

Scott, are you familiar with the terms “white knighting” or “benevolent sexism?”

If so, what is your viewpoint of them?

We just want to cover our bases here.

Last question. Can you tell us about a time you overcame adversity?

Other than this application process.

Thanks so much for your time.

We receive a number of strong applicants for this role and review applications on a rolling basis. Should she like to proceed, you will hear back from my colleague shortly.

Regardless of outcome, however, we want to assure you that you seem nice. We don’t disagree that, while “not stellar,” you are probably “decent,” and average may in fact be “the new awesome.”

You seem to be — and according to your own admission, in fact are — a good guy, and we do not, apart from the aforementioned questions, foresee any major concerns that would quality as immediate deal-breakers (including your bed of choice.)

So whether it’s in my colleague’s company or elsewhere, “keep fighting the good fight.”

Ms. Gage and colleague

*In the future, we would encourage you to refrain from sending unsolicited dick pics, especially during the interview process.**

**If you insist, however, you may forward them to me directly.

Why being broken up with by my boyfriend was so very traumatic and difficult for me

A few words from me, too.

A response to Ginny Hogan’s article on The Hairpin

Hey, thanks for listening. I’m going through a really rough time.

I, a loving and wonderful girlfriend, just got dumped by my boyfriend for no clear reason except that being single sounded fun.

I mean, I assume this was the reason.

Really I was more focused on how I felt than understanding his reason why. But literally that’s the only possible reason, because I am loving and wonderful. As I said.

I’m having a really hard time with it.

When he broke up with me, I started crying uncontrollably. Do you know how hard that was for me? It was the hardest thing I’d ever had to deal with. I was kinda mad at him, to be honest.

Why did he do this to me?

I know I was the only one having a hard time with it, because he only almost teared up — for like a second.

Tho to be honest, even if he said this was difficult for him too, I would have scoffed at him. Because that is ridiculous. He can’t hurt when I’m hurt!

He wasn’t going to stick around and “explain” to me why he wanted to break up, which frankly is fine because I care more about my feelings than his.

Plus, I already know how he felt.

I know it was especially hard for him to pull the cord on this relationship because I was such a great girlfriend. Some guys are unlucky enough to have girlfriends who cheat on them or emotionally manipulate them. I didn’t! And he just doesn’t know how lucky he was. Furthermore, I showed him nothing but unconditional love and support for all of his dumb undertakings.

All of which I found dumb but still unconditionally loved and supported.

Because obviously I know what unconditional love and support looks like.

So I would definitely know when I’m showing unconditional love and support for dumb shit that I think is dumb.

Anyway. I was totally loving and supportive and never expressed any judgment or criticized him (I mean, to his face), even when he wanted someone to tell him it was a good idea to buy a $600 drum set because he thought it’d be fun to bang on things loudly. He didn’t have anyone there to support him in this difficult decision. I said he should get it if it would make him happy. Then he got the drums. I let him use my Amazon Prime account. Then I got irritated that he did.

All he wants to do is bang on things loudly. I was nothing but loving and understanding and supportive.

Which is why it was so difficult to end things with him. Have you ever been dumped by someone when you are the most positive, kind, totally self-aware and empathic person in your life? Not to mention loving and wonderful. It’s really awful.

Today, I wanted to text him so badly, but I knew I couldn’t. It’s like I really lost my best friend. A best friend I resent. Whose feelings matter less than mine.

Everything is so hard. Breakups are the worst. I’m just having such a hard time right now.

I’ve decided to take the lady-like route and not use dating apps at all in the first two weeks of our break up. I know what you’re thinking — this isn’t the time for me to be a heroine. But I always want to do the right thing, even when it’s not the easiest.

And by “right thing,” I of course mean “whatever doesn’t hurt my feelings.”

I only wish I could find one — just one — other person who isn’t 100% focused on THEIR crap so much.

Everyone but me is so self-absorbed.

I just don’t know if I’m ever going to get over this. It was so hard to break up with him. I don’t really think he’s the love of my life, but what if he’s the only man who will let me show my “love” with masked resentment, unhealthy attachment, and doing the dishes?

You’re right — I’m being crazy. Every man should let me do that.

What I think of your drink order, as a bartender

Scotch drinkers, neat, are straight-up my peeps

Angels Trumpet Ale House, artists Lalo Cota and Thomas “Breeze” Marcus


In general: you chill AF.

Draft craft beer

My dude. You’re gonna be cool and we’re pretty much already friends. Totally makes up for the $1 I make pouring these for you.

There’s probably some further breakdown since we’ve got 20 on tap, but whatever — you’re all equally sane.

4+ tastes of draft craft beer

Baby, I don’t care. Just so long as you don’t care that I float back and forth to help others while you deliberate over The Last Beer You’ll Ever Have. lol

Bottled craft beer

You know what you like and you have discerning tastes, but you’re pretty chill and more or less keep to yourself. (Like: you had no idea that shit was $22, but you also won’t throw a fit over it.)

Bottled domestic macro beer

You’re here by yourself and you’re going to hit on me. I guarantee it.

That, or you’re here with a massive group 30 minutes before closing and I’ll literally never see you, because one of your buddies will always order yours with theirs.

But more than likely, you are the former.

Draft domestic macro beer

You have not yet learned about craft beer or truly don’t give a fuck what you drink. You’ll also go years without fixing that rattling sound in your car, because you either sincerely don’t hear it or you’re just like “whatever.”

Cocktails and mixed drinks

Disclaimer: I’m a beer and scotch drinker. I like things simple, straight up, and unadulterated, so this shit just ain’t my bag, baby. But for as much as I don’t like drinking them, I like making them just fine — just don’t ask me what one tastes like, because I’ll bullshit to avoid answering: “like fuckery — it’s a cocktail.”

In general: you guys want a distraction from your everyday life (just like all drinkers do), but you like distractions within your distractions. (Yo dawg.) You never look at anything straight-on; life’s easier that way. Just make it palatable and easy to swallow.

The most popular cocktail on our signature list

It’s popular for a reason. Just like “pop” music. And you.

The most tedious cocktail(s) on our signature list

Of. Course. Of course you ordered this.

I can see it’s going to happen before it even does, because of the specific way you sweep your manicured fingertip over the menu and then beam brightly just before saying those words. (That, and that barely-discernible glint of feminine sadness behind those slightly-too-eager eyes that you give me for a little too long.)

Once I get past hand-pruning the herbs and stirring the gin so as not to bruise it and rolling the sugar rim just so with the lime, I’ll be fine. I’m just not sure I can say the same about you.

Pretty much every other cocktail on our “signature” list

Yeah yeah — fine. There they are. Here you are. You can have one.

Dirty martini with blue cheese olives

You’re going to ask me for extra olives, I already know.

What is it with the fucking blue cheese olives? People don’t get weirdly grabby with the easy shit; it’s only BC olives that makes people see “salad bar.” (Do you realize we have to make these by hand??)

You’ll also tell me there was some specific ratio that “that one bartender did once,” but you won’t actually know what it was.

Grey Goose anything

Overcompensating. Always.

You’re going to talk on your phone at the bar and mention your “lake house” a little too loudly and multiple times, even though this is a small town and we all know where you live. Then you’ll pay with singles (“ugh, I just need to get rid of these!”) and/or not leave a tip.

Some of you are parading as Tito’s drinkers, but we all see you for what you are.


Duh. It’s like 90% of the vodka we pour.

Vodka soda

You’re watching your weight. Good on you.

Vodka Red Bull

You’re at least one drink past when you should be done.

Vodka cranberry (or “a splash of grenadine”)

You think it’s white girls, don’t you? It’s not. They know better than to fuck with this.

The only people who drink red dye 40 are dudes, and they’re always weird AF. Like, tiny Unabomber notebook weird. Einstein hair weird. Orders a salad but only eats the croutons weird. Wearing a freshly-pressed button-down shirt at a dive bar at 10 am weird. Professional race car driver weird (and reminder: I bartend in the south.)


You’re fighting time and refuse to grow old.


Oh you fancy, huh? (But like, in a delicate way.) Real talk, we’ve got some pretty cool botanical gins and bitters you might like.

Rum and Coke

This is sugar on sugar, yo. I mean, alcohol is already sugar anyway, but rum is like sugary sugar, and then you added more fucking sugar to the mix. omg

Jack and Coke

If General Motors was a drink. You guys are salt of the earth sort and mostly chill AF.

Long Island Iced Tea

Here to get fucked up? Nah, usually just a big dude who can’t otherwise catch a buzz.

Or, yeah, crazy chick.


lol, okay sweetie. okay.

I always thought this would be the nightmare drink to have to make, especially when it’s busy, but so far I’ve only had one dude order it, and he was so chill I would’ve made more if he wanted


I think of my dad every time I make this, because it’s the only thing he really drinks (like twice a year.) And even though none of you are even remotely like him, this connotation works in your favor. It also helps that we literally don’t have a blender (for real), so your only option is to be the cooler of the two and get it on the rocks. You’re welcome.

Bloody Mary

I think you panicked and forgot where you were.


You are either actually pushing middle-aged or you’re the sort of girl who was always middle-aged at heart.

Strawberry daiquiri or some other fruity, sweet drink

You also still shop at the mall, eat at Olive Garden, and own at least a few things that have rhinestones.

Old Fashioned

I am truly amazed at how popular this drink is — I’d never heard anyone order it until I started this job, but everyone who does is pretty easy to please (and surprisingly young.) Half of them have blazers draped over the backs of their chairs — or act like they wish they did. Daddy’s clothes, drinking daddy’s drink, with daddy’s money. Make him proud.

Old Fashioned with rye

Uh… k.

French 75, Tom Collins, Negroni or some other old-school drink

You are the most adorable 75-year old man in here — or you’re adorably 75 at heart — and even when you’re a lil tipsy you can do no wrong.

Any mixed drink with top-shelf liquor

Oh no baby, what is you doing?

Baileys, Kahlua and cream, Rumchata, chocolate martini, or anything else with cream

You totally still sleep with stuffed animals. Or real ones. Or you’re remarkably infantile in some other way. You never drink and you probably won’t even finish that one — the exception being chocolate martini, because you all but lick the glass.

Amaretto Sour

Barely above the “cream” crowd — you’ve upgraded your stuffed animals to throw pillows with cutesy phrases. You order this all the time because someone recommended it once and apparently that was good enough to last you forever, because it’s still the only drink you know.

Whiskey Sour

Barely above the “Amaretto Sour” girl. If you aren’t already, you two should totes get married at 24, deck out your cookie cutter apartment with her cutesy pillows and your posters, get a goldendoodle, name it “Casey” regardless of gender, and call it a day.

A drink or a shot with a stupid name

You just like saying “sex on the beach” or it was the only one you could remember, and the best you could do on such short notice.

A round of mixed shots where every shot is different

Clearly, you have never been a bartender. But you almost always tip well.

Some overly-meticulous drink order with half a dozen specific-yet-ambiguous directions

Do you wanna just come back here and make it? Damn.

“Surprise me”

I hate you — as a patron and a person. I wish you’d pick your own drink instead of making me guessing-game and live your life for you. How’s that for a surprise?

“I don’t know — something juicy!”

Why. Why are you the way you are?

“What do you recommend?”

Absolutely nothing.

…yet. If you aren’t gonna look at the wall or read the menu, at least put in some kind of effort. You gotta give me something to work with here, son.

So I’ll ask, “what are you into?” And from here, I get two types of people: those who want to play the game and are actually interested in having a dialogue about tastes… and those who fold because they literally wanted me to just pick something. I dig the former and despise the latter. As human beings.

“What’s your favorite cocktail to drink?”

I’m going to tell you my favorite one to make, and I’m going to emphasize “make” just so it’s clear I don’t drink them.

When you push the issue and ask me the same thing again (“no, to drink!”) I’m going to flatly answer: “scotch.” Because I don’t do cocktails. (And this is right about the time I see you realize I also wouldn’t do you.)


This is my jam. Too often bartenders just throw all of the whiskies in a bag together, but the brown-liquor drinkers are not all created equal.

They either a little badass and down with what they like, or they’re overcompensating (you may not know which you are, but I do.) But either way they are unafraid of taking shit head on.

Macallan 12 or 15

Hey, who are you to fuck with “perfection?” Especially when it goes so well with your lifestyle.

Macallan 18

This is your first scotch in public, you’re impressing someone (or me), and you haven’t yet realized people don’t casually order this pour.


You’re equally as into nice shit and just as slightly-pretentious, but with darker secrets, more skeletons in your closet, and less mental stability than the Macallan drinker.

Any other Speyside

We get it, you like nice things. You’ve got this whole blind spot to the rest of the scotches (just like you do with cars and restaurants and everything else) because its important that you have “the best” (defined in part as “polite” and “unproblematic”) and not anything beneath it. Nobody’s gonna fight you on it — not because you’re right, but because that’s not how we live our lives.

Johnny Walker Blue

You’re not actually ordering it; you’re just going to tell me a story about that one time you did. Or you’re ordering it just to make a show of ordering it. Either way, you’ll watch for my reaction, and make double sure I know it’s an expensive pour. Home skillet, I know. There are plenty of other expensive scotches and I’ve drank some of those, too, but you don’t see me telling the world, now do you? Calm down and get out more.

Laphroaig, neat

Ah, son. This is my favorite whisky and odds are good it’s your favorite too (nobody orders it otherwise.) I already know you’re one chill-ass MF, and we’re about to fangirl the shit out of each other’s face over this.

And yes, when I’m like “that campfire tho!”, I am totally saying: “I’d like to campfire you.” And I know you know what I mean.


Some dude within hearshot’s always like “but what about Lagavulin??” and it’s like “what about Lagavulin?! Does the homecoming prince need a pat on the head from me too?”

Like, alright, damn. Laga-fuckin-vulin. Take your gold star and leave me be.

Any other Islay scotch

Heck yes — still solidly my peeps. You like a little complexity and you’re not afraid of marring the veneer in your life to get it.

If it’s not busy, you and I are about to talk some serious shop up in here, and odds are good you won’t even mansplain — one of us will walk away with something new.

Any other scotch

Still awesome in my book. High five.

Angel’s Envy, Eagle Rare, or pretty much 90% of all other bourbons

You also love soda. (Tell me I’m wrong.) I know this because both have primary flavor notes of “straight up syrup.” But you don’t realize this and you call it “A Man’s Drink,” which on so many levels makes Laphroaig Guy and I giggle over our glasses.

Bulleit or F.E.W.

You’re a youngish professional and either from the midwest or with distinctly midwestern values. Very low odds of douchery.


You are the American Macallan. You can appreciate (and afford) a nice steak — done medium. You’re most comfortable in a button-down, and you’re a giver.

Buffalo Trace

You decide where to eat based on Yelp ratings.

Crown or Makers

You may drink other shit too, but you like to have your fall-back. The night’s just getting started, or winding down, or you just didn’t feel like fucking with anything new.


I’ve learned there’s a whole other world of Jamo drinkers after we all shot it in college. Some people never leave it — now they sip it on the rocks — and they’re night and day more laid back than you would think.

Pappy V

Sigh. If I set this down in a three-whiskey line-up, could you actually pick it out?

(Stop it. No you could not.)


I mean. Alright. Be that guy.

Hibiki or some other Japanese whisky

You like trying new things. I can dig it.


Literally whatever. Here.

We only have one of each type by the glass. You wanna ask me how it is? They’re all fine.

Wild card


oh yeah? lol, aiight.

The only two people who drink this, drink this and only this (okay, and sometimes Bud Light) — both of them dudes, both pretty nice on the surface, both of them probably a little wiry IRL.