Open Letter

Dear people who got to my blog by Googling “girls who show their vaginas”:

You are terrible at the internet. Also, probably at life, but that’s just a guess. I’m sure about the internet thing, though.


A person who could not find porn if it hit her in the face, and yet would know better than to look for it on this blog.


Things I Wrote While Getting Laid Off

When I finally decided to use this blog as a promotional vehicle as well as for its original purpose of complaining and talking about my period, I promised myself that I wouldn’t spam y’all with thousands of posts full of links. So you don’t have to worry about dozens of these appearing on your wall unbidden or showing up in more than one corner of your social media presence. Still, if you’d like to know what I’ve been up to since the Lay Off, well, here it is:

Compensation: Why Average Salaries Lag at Small Companies

Jobs for Veterans: How Hiring Veterans Can Boost Business

Jobs That Died in 2011

The 10 Best Skin Care Products Under 10 Dollars

10 Cheap Sweater Dresses

The Best Cheap Job Interview Outfit

Taj Boston Hotel Review

You can also find a giant picture of my head with a lot of words under it, here: And if you wish to receive a newsletter from me in which I discuss my habitual cheapness, you can sign up for it here:

Some of these go back to when I was trying to freelance and work full-time, which is why it makes me tired just to look at them. As much as I’m getting nervous to be at the end of my severance, I’m glad I’ve got a lot of different things going on.

The big thing I’ve learned so far about freelancing is that even if you’re super organized, and the editors are super organized and everyone is lovely and well-meaning, something will happen to make it so that you don’t get paid for two months. My money-hoarding habit is starting to look less and less like a crazy way to be.

Wisdom of the (Middle-)Aged

This is possibly my favorite project ever undertaken, and it’s better if you read about it yourself.

Quick summary from the ever-useful Metafilter: Back in October, NYT columnist David Brooks asked his older readers (aged 70+) to send him “life reports.” He wanted them to appraise their lives, in an effort to glean some life lessons for all of us to learn by. After receiving thousands of replies, he published his assessment of them a couple weeks ago, in two columns (Part 1: Nov 24, 2011; Part 2: Nov 28, 2011). He’s also selected specific ones and published them on his blog.

I’m interested in this on its own obvious merits, but I would also like to do something similar with my 35-year-old friends. We should have at least half as many life lessons to impart. What say you all?


How an Atheist Taught Me the True Meaning of Christmas

Before his second Christmas, my nephew was photographed on Santa’s lap. His mother, who shares my sense of humor, sent me the picture shortly afterward. Santa looked younger than me, and was wearing an obviously fake beard. My nephew was screaming and pointing at his mother off-camera. You could almost hear him say, “YOU! You over there! You’re the one who abandoned me! You get back here right now, you filthy strumpet, and soothe me!”

In my mind, all babies talk like Stewie on Family Guy.

Anyway, I knew how he felt. In the old days, I spent the holidays feeling like I was waiting at a bus stop for a bus that was never going to come. Or that worse yet, it would come, and it would be full of cranky people who’d been shopping all day; people without jobs but with laps full of parcels, and faces with permanent scowls. People who were thinking about credit card debt instead of egg nog, or maybe thinking about egg nog because of their credit card debt.

If there are two kinds of people — those who hate Christmas and those who love it — I was definitely on Team Christmas Hate.

Then I met Adam.

My friend and traveling companion Adam loves Christmas the way that kids love Christmas. He loves Christmas trees, so we got one for our very first Christmas. It was my first since high school. He loves presents, so we give them to each other, even this year when we have no money and everything we need. Adam taught me, all over again, that presents must be wrapped ahead of time and prominently displayed under the tree. We’ll bake cookies for our landlord and make champagne punch for our friends, and we’ll drink egg nog, despite the fact that I still find it a little weird, like the top of a dessert served in a cocktail glass.

My favorite part of all of this? Adam’s an atheist. Also, he’s not a big fan of social gatherings on a large scale. Put that together and you have a person who should hate Christmas. But he doesn’t.

The night we put up our first tree, we turned out all the lights and sat on the couch and look at it.

“What should we name it?” I asked him.

“It has a name?”

“I think it should.”


“Let’s call it Frasier,” I suggested, somewhat unimaginatively.

“OK. And next year, we can have Frasier Two.”

“Then Frasier the Third.”

“And so on. Exactly.”

It was very quiet in our little two-room apartment, even though we lived one block from a busy city avenue. With all the lights off, no TV, no computer, all I could hear was the rush of the air in my ears and the almost inaudible hum of electricity coursing through the building. If I listened long enough, I thought, I would start to hear the pulse of blood in my beloved’s veins as he took my hand.

“Thanks,” he said.

“You’re welcome,” I said. Although of course, I should have been thanking him.

This post appeared in slightly different form in another blog two years ago. Today, we put up Frasier the Third. He is quite stately.

The Mind Meld Is Complete

So here is a thing that actually happened.

This morning, I woke up and had a vague memory of having a nightmare during the night. I think it stuck to my brain mainly because Adam had to wake me up and calm me down. While I was drifting back to sleep, I remembered what I’d dreamed, and thought, “Ha, that’s funny. My mind is now squishing together all of my favorite TV shows while I’m sleeping.”

When I woke up, I texted Adam, who was up and about much earlier. “Do you remember me having a nightmare?” I asked. “I think I dreamed about zombie Parks and Recreation.”

A few minutes later, he burst into the apartment, holding his phone up and pointing to my text. “Are you serious about this?”

“Yeah. Why?”

“Because I had a dream about zombie Parks and Recreation. Ron Swanson pinned a zombie with a crowbar and was trying to stab it in the head with a hunting knife.”

“WHOA. That is way more interesting than my dream. Mine was just … oh, look, it’s Parks and Recreation, but with zombies. Although, sadly, I think in my dream the Parks world was real life. Which probably tells you something about my obsession with that show.”

“Do you think we talked about it?” he asked. “Like, did you tell me about your dream and then I started having the same dream?”

“No, I don’t think so,” I said. “I think maybe we’re in the same sleep space now, headwise, and we’re just going to become Voltron — we’ll fold up together and become Robot Jendam and take over the world.”

“Well, OK. I’m fine with that.”

Image: Awkward Moments in Pause

Coworker Dennis and Netflix Instant

Me: Netflix Instant thinks I’m a gay man now. I’ve watched too many old movies and Joan Rivers documentaries.

Coworker Dennis: Mine now says, “Hey gurrrl!” on start up.

God, I miss the days when Coworker Dennis was actually a coworker. Although since I’ll be working at home and he’ll be in the UK, we can just pretend that we’re still working in the same office and communicating solely by IM. Which is what we did. When we worked in the same office.