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Live Blogging: Kombucha

13 Mar

We get a lot of free books sent to my office for review, and every now and again, instead of tossing them in the trash, we schlep a few down the street in a roller suitcase and sell them for cash, which we then toss in the air and/or spend on exorbitantly expensive and totally unnecessary beverages from the neighborhood boutique grocery store before returning to our drab and moneyless lives.


This, for instance.

*ahem* So having sold a few books today, we walked over to this five-and-dime of folly so a coworker of mine could purchase overpriced coffee. I’m hypersensitive to caffeine, for some reason—which is great in the middle of a drinking binge, but less handy in the middle of the workday—so I settled on a jar of kombucha.

Which, I know what you’re thinking here: Kombucha? You mean that ridiculous Gwenyth Paltrow-y beverage that has a lump of mucous that some people with sex and intimacy issues call a “mother” smack in the middle of it?


Yes, that’s exactly what I mean

I’ve had commercially produced kombucha before, and liked it quite a bit. It tastes kind of like the shrubs that everyone’s mixing into cocktails these days—vinegary and sweet—and it makes me just caffeinated enough to bounce around my office like a crazed balloon animal, without convincing me I’m about to have a heart attack. And usually the ones that you can buy in stores have had the gross jellyfish “mother” removed, so I can pretend it’s just slightly fizzy vinegar tea instead of a “living organism that boasts a dynamic, probiotic profile.”

Well, that wasn’t the case this time. I start drinking this cloudy, slightly pink thing, thinking, “Hey, this tastes not bad at all, and my hips are starting to maybe relax a little? Like when I drink booze? And maybe I want to dance a little?”

I dance a little.

“Perhaps I should look this up online and see what awesome benefits I am currently getting from all these dynamical protobiozomes or whatever-the-hell.”

The Mayo Clinic, at this point, basically tells me that the ratio of positive scientific results to adverse reactions to drinking kombucha is so low that I shouldn’t be drinking it at all.

“Ha. Ok. Well, it can’t be worse than some of the things I’ve put in my body in the past ten years.”  *imagines credit card and crushed up pile of Adderalls.*



I decide I am going to drink kombucha every day if it makes me feel this fantastic, science be damned. The end of the beverage is drawing near; I’m closing in on the dregs, and hence, the dreaded “mother” in the bottom of the glass. After every sip, I look quickly at the bottle to make sure I won’t accidentally take a sip of the blobular thing that lies in wait for me.

*Accidentally takes sip of blobular thing that lies in wait for me*

“ACK. Ugh. UGHHHH. *retches* I just. UGHHHH that tasted like a chunk of tripe made out of dirt and wall mold!!!”

The kombucha now sits in the trash. And that’s where you shall stay, kombucha.

FWIW though, kombucha mother is the consistency of really hard jello.

You know you were wondering.



The Coachella Chronicles OR The time I took a vitamin B12 shot in the ass from a male nurse on mushrooms

7 May

If you’re anything like me, and missed out on the part of high school in which you were supposed to be dabbling in hallucinogens while helplessly making out with a kid with purple hair at the Grateful Dead concert because you were too busy being an enormous band dork, then you probably really like going to music festivals as an adult. I know this because I, a former enormous band dork, had probably an illegal amount of fun at Coachella a few weeks ago. (It actually WAS an illegal amount of fun, but never you mind about that, interwebs!)

I had been pretty unbelievably excited about attending for many months, and when it was finally time to go, I packed all my bathing suits and pink shorts and $5 teal zebra-print sunglasses into a suitcase and flew off to Los Angeles, wristband clutched desperately in my sweaty fingers. I was going to get a tan! I was going to dance! I was going to hang out with my friends and listen to Radiohead and drink beers and pick up lightsticks off the ground and watch M83 and.. and… and…

I was going to get the worst sore throat I’ve had since I made out with a dorm kid in college and caught strep.


After arriving late the night before the festival began and riding all the way to Indio sandwiched between two members of a giggly couple high on pot lollipops and sundry other prescription pills that I shall call Thurston and The Neon Indian (The Neon Indian doth not like clothes that do not glow in the dark), I arrived at the apartment I planned to share with The Pharmacist, Party Monster, Gay Meow Meow and the Naughty Nurse. Three of these last few you might recognize as my former roommates (The Party Monster had a hand in that time I ate a bull penis… ). I rarely see the Naughty Nurse as he is busy being a fabulous gay nurse in LA and only comes to New York City once or twice a year.

After our first day of wandering around the festival, which really is a magical fairyland of adult attractions (“Look at that man swinging upside down by his leg in the drum and bass tent!  Let’s go, let’s go. I can hear Calvin Harris! GOOD LORD IS THAT A GIANT GLOWING SHARK ON TOP OF A REMOTE CONTROL CAR??!), my throat swelled up to epic proportions, leaving me whispering to my friends like zombie plague patient zero.

I muddled through the rest of the day’s concerts (vowing to henceforth take every painkiller I could get my little hands on), and finally ended up lying back in the front seat groaning and trying not to swallow while we waited for Thurston and the Neon Indian to find their way back to the car (Unsurprisingly, they spent a lot of time… er… lost).

“How are you feeling, girl?” asks the Naughty Nurse.

“Throat hurts… Ok though,” I stage whisper, then groan.

“I have the perfect thing. You are so lucky. I only brought one and I’m gonna give it to you. You’re gonna be 100 percent tomorrow.”

“What. What is it?” I ask, knowing full well that the Naughty Nurse is actually a nurse who carries a medical kit with him.

“Vitamin B12 shots! All the celebrities do them. I only have one, but it’ll make you feel totally healthy by morning.”

“I don’t know about a shot right now… we’re all pretty fucke…”

“Trust me,” says the Naughty Nurse. And The Party Monster snickers.

(In our defense, we did all manage to keep our flip-flops on)


Back at the apartment, the Naughty Nurse calls me downstairs.

“Lie down on the floor and pull your pants down, and don’t look at this,” he says, pulling out the biggest needle I have ever seen.

“Ha. Like that’s the first time I’ve heard THAT!” I say.

He flicks the needle a couple of times and swipes an alcohol swab across my ass.

“Ok, one…. twooo….”

“Jesus Christ, don’t count, what’s wrong with you? Just do it before I freak out.”

I feel a pop as the needle jabs through my skin and at least several layers of ass muscle. Despite the many MANY beers I have consumed to make my throat feel better, it hurts like the bejesus.


He pulls the needle out. “All done! Wait. Whoa, this needle is big.”  The Naughty Nurse starts laughing. “This is an 18-gauge needle, hahahahaha. Fuck I am so high right now.”

“I. What?! I hate you!” I wad up a bunch of tissue paper and press it against my ass, which is continuing to bleed. Finally I wad up a bunch of toilet paper in the waistband of my shorts and walk upstairs, wincing.

“Did he stick a giant needle in your ass?” asks the Party Monster, sighing in front of the fridge.

I pout. “Yes, and now my throat and my butt hurt.”

“Yeah,” he says, looking wistfully out the window as he pours himself a glass of gatorade. “He’s done that to me like 5 times.”


“Girl,” says the Party Monster. “Not letting N.N. shoot you in the ass with a giant needle is something you got to learn on your own.”

But then the next day I did feel better. And we were all friends again in time for Radiohead.

Coachella. Teachin people bout life the hard way since 2012.

*pictures, despite being really awesome, have been omitted to protect the guilty*

Of Dewdrop Temptresses, Womb Energy and Ryan Gosling

30 Mar

Dearest Dewdrop Temptresses of the Nile,

I am writing to you to inform you of my latest obsession.

(Don’t worry. Not taxidermy.)

I take regular contemporary dance classes, as you know, mostly to stay in shape and relax after work, plus it’s kind of artsy and I don’t even have to invest in a $3,000 camera or anything.

Well, here’s the thing about contemporary dance: I’ve been doing it for so long now that I feel perfectly comfortable even heading into a class I’ve never taken before. I walk into a class and think, “Ok, so now we are stretching, and now we are doing tendus. Now she is going to say we can get water and I am going to go snag that spot near the front from this ho with the ponytail so I can see the choreography better.” etc.

It’s all very relaxing and meditative and all that, but there’s just no fear in it anymore. Also, not enough womb energy.

But you know what has a lot of fear and womb energy?


I keep going around and around until I stop feeling feelings.

Here’s how this happened: The Ha-Canadian (Henceforth renamed Zahira of the Canadian Wilds) asked me recently to tell her which forms of dance I was bad at.

“I want to take a dance class with you, but I don’t want you to be all good at it,” she said.

“Hmmm, well, I’ve never taken belly dancing, I’m terrible at African, and I don’t tap.”

“Oooh. Let’s take belly dancing,” said the as-yet-unrealized Zahira of the Canadian Wilds. (Also, she has me on the hook for African, which my white, can’t bend my knees ass is going to be a HOOT at.)

So we signed up for a weekly class at the Mark Morris Dance Center here in Brooklyn, with a spunky teacher who likes to shout “AIIWA” more than I like to drink and eat pizza (so, like, a lot). The very first day, we show up and she immediately has us wiggling and jiggling and shaking our asses all around the room like it is feeding time in the Chippendale’s Men’s dressing room. I expected that, as I am a lily white girl from Florida and not a buxom, ravishing Arabic princess, I would be incredibly awkward at it, but it turns out that beginning belly dancing is remarkably simple.

“I just, this is basically just shaking your ass,” I say. “For an HOUR AND A HALF! I LOVE IT!”

Zahira and I jiggle around in a circle and sashay across the floor. The other ladies are all wearing midriff tops and coin belts that jingle like a change purse whenever they shake their hips.

“We need those little jingly things,” says Zahira.

“I think I need a bigger ass,” I say, frowning into the mirror. ” Also. Jingly things.”

“AIIWAAAAA,” shouts the teacher. “These are Egyptian half circles. EGYPTIAN. You have to use your pelvis. You have to put your WOMB ENERGY into it.”

Zahira and I giggle. “Womb energy?” she mouths. The teacher shoots us a dirty look.

The next time we come to class, the instructor splits us into two groups for the butt shaking.

“This group will be the Divine Temptresses of the Nile!” she declares, to group 1.  “And the second group, you will be The Great Mistress Sheba Lounging on a Bed of Pillows”

*we giggle*

*teacher shoots us a dirty look*

*ass shaking commences*

Seriously, y’all. At this rate I’m going to be able to shake my ass for like four hours straight by the end of the month. And you just wait till I get them jingly things. I am going to annoy the ever-loving hell out of my roommates.

*jingle jingle jingle jingle*

“Hey, Holmes. Can you keep it down? We’re watching 30 Rock.”

*jingle jangle JINgle JINgle*

“Seriously man, this is a funny part what the hell”



and then I will blast him with my womb energy (my female roommate will survive because women are immune to womb energy)

and SPEAKING of womb energy, here is some NEUROSCIENTIST RYAN GOSLING

I am the gatekeeper. Are you the keymaster?

16 Mar

Leaving aside for a minute that one time I got really drunk and accidentally flirted my way into bed with a bartender using the above quote from Ghostbusters (Seriously, leave that aside.), right now I am using it to illustrate how terrified I am by my computer keyboard.

Why? Because the simplest facts of our lives are colored by all sorts of old and arbitrary decisions—the original reasons for which have mostly been forgotten. Why are all doorknobs on the right, for instance? Why the hell is a mathematical foot longer than an at-the-end-of-your-leg foot? Why are computers square? Who made chihuahuas look like that and, seriously, why? WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY KEYBOARD?!

I know what you are thinking.

(“But have you ever seen the back of a $20 bill ON WEED???) <—- That’s what you are thinking.

But I am serious.

Look at your keyboard. It is called a QWERTY keyboard because the first six letters in the upper left hand corner are Q W E R T and Y. It was designed to help people avoid frequently typing two letters that are next to each other, which would jam the machines. You know this. But here’s what you don’t know:

“Typewriter” was a brand name. And in order to help salesmen type it back when they were first invented, the folks who made the original QWERTY keyboard put all the letters in “typewriter” in the top row.

Go ahead and look.

This is a thing you can never unknow.


Terror in the CUBE.

12 Mar

Have you seen Showgirls?  If not, I’ll wait while you go youtube the audition scene, cause I really need you to have a visual on what I’m about to tell you. In fact, in light of some eerie similarities to both Showgirls and A Chorus Line in this story, as well as the whole musical theatre theme of this post in general, I’m going to give you the scene in script form.




The One Everyone Hates: Long curly blonde hair, looks like a barbie doll and can do triple pirouettes

The One Everyone Would Hate if The One Everyone Hates Hadn’t Shown Up: She’s also very good, but brunette

At Least We’re Not That Girl: Late, forgot her headshot, wearing a T-shirt, crazy eyes

Legs McLegs: 6’1″


30ish other dancers

along with,

Farnsworth: rakish club manager in rumpled suit who may or may not own a boat

Bubbly Dance Captain: bubbly dance captain

Taco Bill: offbeat casting director with crazy hair who house dances around the room throughout entire audition


An audition for a burlesque dance club in New York City

Pictures: they're worth a thousand words

Dancers are lounging on couches in a room in a club called The Cube in tight tank tops and short shorts.

Taco Bill: dances up to a table in the center of the room “Everyone! Girls! We’re going to get started.” he counts off ten girls “You ten get on the stage, and everyone else find a place on the floor. Then we’ll switch out groups until everyone gets to see the choreography straight on.” dances off somewhere

The One Everyone Hates: looks around, removes shirt before getting on stage so she’s just wearing a bra and shorts.

All Dancers: look around, grumble, remove shirts so they are now also only wearing bras and shorts

Bubbly Dance Captain: “Alright, we’re going to learn a pretty standard dance here, it goes …1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8…”

At Least We’re Not That Girl: shows up 

Bubbly Dance Captain: “And then the second part goes …1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8…”

Floor Dancers: look over shoulders while trying to learn dance backwards, one looks between her legs while upside down, At Least We’re Not That Girl falls off couch

Bubbly Dance Captain: “With music now, are we ready?”

The One Everyone Hates: “Yep!” giggles

The One Everyone Would Hate if The One Everyone Hates Hadn’t Showed Up: also giggles

At Least We’re Not That Girl: “Wait, did they teach it already?”

Farnsworth: speaking into microphone “Playback”

Burlesque song begins playing over PA system. All dancers perform audition sequence once. 

Farnsworth: “We’re going to have you go up in groups of three.”

Taco Bill: House dances across stage

Farnsworth: “So I’m going to count you off in threes now”

Taco Bill: House dances backwards across stage

The One Everyone Hates: looks around, removes shorts so she is now wearing a bra and sparkly underwear

All Dancers: look around, grumble, remove shorts

At Least We’re Not That Girl: “Oops, I forgot my headshot!” makes crazy eyes at Farnsworth

Farnsworth: “Um… that’s ok”

At Least We’re Not That Girl: makes additional crazy eyes

Assembled dancers go onstage and perform choreography in groups of threes. The One Everyone Hates does three pirouettes before starting and smiles like a Dallas cheerleader the entire time. 

Farnsworth: “Alright, if I call your name, you’re free to go” calls 20 names while dancers grimace and cross fingers

The names stop

Everyone remaining: “whew”

Taco Bill: “Ha, you guys should do it like this!” House dances down center aisle

Farnsworth: “Can The One Everyone Hates, The One Everyone Would Hate if The One Everyone Hates Hadn’t Shown Up and Legs McLegs get onstage please?”

The three chosen dancers get onstage and perform the choreography for an iPad video. The One Everyone Hates is, unsurprisingly, chosen.

Farnsworth: “And the rest of you, I’m going to have come up and freestyle onstage two at a time.”

OneBadYamPajama: aside, to camera “Jesus, I am really not going to get this.”

The first two girls go up and look like two sorority girls trying to grind on a lamppost outside a college bar.

OneBadYamPajama: aside, to camera “Oh, well that’s promising.”

An arms race begins, with girls reducing clothing as much as possible before going onstage. Giant boots appear. Sequined clothing that poses a not unserious chafing risk is applied. The girls go up two at a time. 

Farnsworth: Points to OneBadYamPajama “Are you last?”

OneBadYamPajama: “Um, me and that other girl…” Points to At Least We’re Not That Girl, who has stuck around after being dismissed. 

Farnsworth: sighs “Sure. Both of you, come up.”

OneBadYamPajama and At Least We’re Not That Girl dance. Farnsworth perks up. 

Farnsworth: stops OneBadYamPajama. “What’s your name?”

OneBadYamPajama: “OneBadYamPajama.”

Farnsworth and Bubbly Dance Captain: sort through headshots

OneBadYamPajama: “That one.” points at headshot

Farnsworth: “Great.” puts headshot in a pile marked “keep”

Farnsworth: “Thanks ladies, we’ll call you.”

everyone leaves.

Taco Billhouse dances down back stairwell

And that, friends, is what it’s like to audition for The Cube.

It’s terrifying.

P.S. Please email me Farnsworth.

I just wanna DANCE!!



(That’s how you sign off on scripts, right?)

The Best Damn Thing

1 Mar

The other day, the best damn thing happened to me.





No. Christian Bale did not appear on my doorstep wrapped in a bow. Which. Is. Too. Bad.

I’m not going to tell you what it is yet cause suspense is driving the narrative of this post (stop reading. stop reading right now. I dare you to stop reading right now, I already got your page view, motha fuckaaaa).  *ahem* But I WILL say that this awesome thing involved my parents. It is basically the most amazing thing I could ever tell my parents, and in particular my mother, in the history of the world ever.

By a quirk of luck, the day after Best Damn Thing Day was my mother’s birthday, so in the interests of maximum impact (telling her the good news on her birthday), I kept the secret quiet overnight.  I’m not so good at keeping secrets though (When attempting—and failing—to keep them I usually jump around in my chair like I have to pee) so I was sitting at my desk feeling like my little heart was going to explode. For relief, I posted an extremely vague note that something good had happened to me on facebook. And because it seems I have friends (You like me! You really like me!), it rapidly got something like 30 comments that can be roughly paraphrased as:


But now! To your great relief, I will tell you what the best thing was.

My company, a small publishing company that publishes in-flight magazines, including the illustrious travel magazine that I edit, has launched this new “happiness initiative.” They’re doing it to make the “corporate culture” better for the people who work here, which is a laudable aim. However, I have been pooh poohing this initiative for months because:

A. They put a pun in the title of the initiative and that makes me want to punt a baby

B. No one can tell me I HAVE to be happy. *wears Doc Martins for a month*

D. Did someone say “corporate culture”? *shoots self in eye with rubber band and claims Worker’s Comp*

As part of this happiness initiative, they had everyone in the office send their top three life dreams to the CEOs. They were going to select a few employees and grant them their dreams Make-A-Wish style. I didn’t want to participate because I am an incorrigible curmudgeon, but was finally convinced to stop being a grinch about it and send in a couple of ideas by a coworker. On Friday, I got a call from one of the company executives saying that they had chosen me as the dream-receiver of the New York office, and they were going to make one of my top three dreams come true.

Here is my dream:

My parents don’t have passports. They have never been outside of the continental US and Mexico, but they reminisce dreamily of the few, brief vacations they have taken to the beaches of Cozumel and Playa del Carmen. Every year when I was in high school, my mom would get gorgeous travel calendars in the mail from aunts and uncles for Christmas, and we would sit at the bar in the kitchen and look at all the pictures. I remember us being particularly enamored of one calendar that showed shots of the Greek islands. We flipped through it until we got to a picture of the post-volcanic, possibly-Atlantis island of Santorini.


“One day, I’ll go there,” I said.

My mom smiled a tight-lipped smile and turned from stir frying something inexpensive. “Me too,” she sighed.

In college, on account of a saintly lawyer and a bastard of a family member I shall decline to describe here, I came into a sum of about $4,000. I used it to take a summer course in Thessaloniki, Greece. The course ended with a week-long cruise through the Greek islands, including Santorini. I sent my mom a ton of pictures, and she was as excited to look at them as if she’d gone herself.

Six years later, I became a travel writer.

My parents have still never been outside the US and Mexico, and every time I fly somewhere exotic and stay in some 5-star hotel I’m not paying for, I can’t help but wish that I could let them just once have the same experience. My long-suffering, one-time single mother clearly deserves it more than I. And so does my super-awesome stepdad.

And so, my company is sending my parents and I on an all-expense paid trip to Santorini, Greece. And giving me an extra week off to go.

I told my mom on the phone while she was in a J.C. Penny.

She cried.


Thanks company. Sorry I’m such a grinch. 🙂

Rollin with the Homies

7 Feb

Oh hai! (you may pronounce that Ojai, which is a place I just visited)

I have just returned, within the last 24 hours, from one of the better trips afforded me by my job (maybe my boss felt bad about the fire cupping thing?), and I am excited to tell y’all how it went! In general, it was an extremely relaxing trip to Southern California, which included postmodern tapas (foie gras cotton candy and Philly cheesesteak zeppelins, for instance) at Bazaar at the SLS Hotel, a massage and some time in a hot tub, beers by the beach, and a super plush hotel room with THIS view:

I'll just be not doing any work over here, if you need me...

There were even outdoor fireplaces, which I have to say is my absolute favorite thing about California and the Southwest. Y’all and your totally unnecessary fireplaces! It’s adorable! You’re killing me!

But not everything was so relaxing.  The reason I was there, in fact, was to review the 2012 extended wheelbase Rolls Royce Ghost, a car the size of a swimming pool that costs $300,000 and goes 0-62 in five seconds. For those of you who haven’t met me, let me just say that I don’t even like to hold people’s iphones in case I break them (also, babies), let alone things that are worth $300,000 and have a habit of hurtling down mountain straightaways like a herd of stampeding elephants. Suffice it to say it was a little nerve-racking to have somebody just up and hand me the keys to this thing.

So I land at LAX, and call the publicist in charge of the press fleet, and a man who appears to be about 6’7″ shows up in a collared shirt and dress pants with the sparkling silver vehicle. Meanwhile, I’m standing on the side of the airport pickup ramp in a pair of shorts and a sleazy rocker tee, with ripped nails and a pair of old boots and my hair all catywompus. I’m wearing a pair of giant sunglasses and am so short that it appears I might need a phone book to be able to see over the steering wheel.

The guy looks at me.

“You are….. OneBadYamPajama*?” he says, a little nervously.

“Yup. That’s me!”

He looks me up and down. “Why don’t we go somewhere where I can, um, show you how to use the car.”

He drives to the Park N Fly near the airport (which is apparently where they stash all their press cars…. SHOULD you be looking to rob a car lot…) and proceeds to show me what every single button on the console does. One turns on infrared night vision, so I can stalk my prey, and one sets a cruise control distance between me and the car in front of me so I can just chill out and basically not even drive, and, I swear to god, one of them makes a fucking umbrella pop out of the door. The car is so ridiculously cool that I forget for a second that I will never in a million years be able to afford one of these things and I start connecting my phone to the bluetooth computer system so I can call my friends by saying “Excuse me, JEEVES, can you call Sarah?”

This is maybe a slight exaggeration. Ok, it's a plane. Shut up.

“Yeah, that’s a good idea,” says Tall Pants. “It’s not a good idea to be texting while driving. I give lessons out here and this girl I was teaching was texting on her cell phone the whole time and I was like, you know, you’re gonna end up on the pavement in a big smear…”

*cough* “I’m, uh, not 16?”

“Yeah, no, I know. I mean, of course you know that.” He laughs awkwardly.  I start fiddling with the navigation system and apparently impress him enough with my fearsome computer skills that he thinks I can safely be left alone with the car for 15 minutes.

“I’ll just go validate this parking ticket,” he says.


Next thing I know I am cruising the Pacific Coast Highway at like 110 mph, pulling up next to guys at stoplights in pickup trucks who are practically licking their windows over the car. And they look at me…. and I look at them… and then the light turns green and I go “Ha. HA! Sucka, this thing is the size of a hippo but it goes 0-60 in five seconds!” and I smoke them.

And this is basically what I do for four days, with intermittent stops at various valet parking lots, where the valets stare at me as if I am made out of money and steak and quaaludes and everything nice and park the thing in the front and don’t even charge me for it.  And all is well. Until I get to route 154 through the Santa Ynez valley, which is one of those roads they put in car commercials during the Superbowl and you look at the guy driving it at 250 mph in an Audi and you’re like, Jesus, that man must have balls made out of titanium. It was one of those roads, and while I am normally a careful driver, this car was so cool it made me feel like the Red Baron again so I just had to drive it like this:


And then when I got to the bottom I drove the Rolls through the drive through at In N Out so I could get a burger to calm my nerves. I think it still smelled like animal-style fries when I dropped it off. Tall Pants is not going to be pleased.

*Obviously not my real name, fools.