Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Dead Photo Bombing Piranha Needs a Name*

*You know you’re now curious enough to read this whole post. I am the wizard of attention-grabbing titles.

When you’re poorer than a church mouse (I don’t understand that expression – wouldn’t a church mouse have access to an alms jar, while a typical house mouse would not? I think that being a bank vault mouse would be a damn good time – if mice were actually able to spend money. Sorry, just rambling here) you have to be pretty creative with your fun.

My latest attempt to brighten up my life involves carrying around a dead fish in my purse, and staging “photo bombing” sessions. And now you’re like, wha the fuck?! Yeah, you know what I said. A dead fish. In my handbag.

You can blame it on eBay. And the fact that I live in a town full of weirdos. But this seemed to be the best idea I’d ever had when I thought of it (and still is).

Just think, my dead piranha friend can have his own Twitter and Flickr page. A huge cult following. An online persona. I can take him all over the world, and then have a giant portfolio of travel photography ruined by an ugly dead fish (what, exactly, are the stipulations about bringing taxidermy into other nations?).

And all this fun only cost me $9 on eBay!

Pure, cheap, brilliance.

But to really put this fun new plan into motion, I need to give my new zombie fish a hot spanking title. Yeah, that’s right – he needs a name people!

Once my ugly fish gets a name, this shit will be official. And I can start my project. (Dude, are the security guys at LAX gonna flip out if I have a piranha in my carry on? Because that shit is gonna show up in the baggage x-ray machine. Yes, I am already thinking about this. It’s good to plan ahead.)

So help a poor girl out. Comment, or tweet, or Facebook me or some shit. It’s so little to ask when you know my dead fish antics will provide hours of online amusement!

But don’t think my scaly new friend will be replacing Bob the Pink Deer and his quest to save children who have witnessed murders as my mascot. Because that shit’s still on.

Many Thank Yous and Fish Love Bites,

Monday, February 22, 2010

I Dislike You More than Funerals and Celery*

*And I really, REALLY fucking hate celery.

So, the power of Bob the Pink Deer came in handy yesterday when I had to battle the dark forces raging around my beloved grandmother’s memorial service. I had already sent off several incriminating text messages to close friends and family – and when I say incriminating, I mean I confessed to premeditated homicide – but, at the last minute, I decided to let everybody live. It was for the sake of the children who might have witnessed me stabbing Cancer Dad and Wife Number Four (or Five) to death in the middle of an overpriced restaurant. Yes, only for the children. Because that shit would totally have been justified.

While my poor grandmother was resting peacefully in a crematorium, Cancer Dad and the wifey were plotting ways to make me extremely uncomfortable. Yes, on the day we were celebrating my grandmother’s life, they were scheming evilly. I’m pretty sure such activities deserve some kind of corporeal (and spiritual? Are you listening, God?!) punishment. ‘Cause, bitch, thas a mistake!

I got through the actual memorial service portion of the program okay, mostly because no sane person would dare be an asshole during a ceremony for a dead loved one. I would hope. Although, I was starting to think the whole thing was some kind of veiled message intended for me – Cancer Dad gave a very heartfelt speech about parenting, and some crazy preacher lady read a poem about forgiveness written by my grandmother. Okay, God, are you telling me to forgive Cancer Dad and his concubine? And embrace my crazed parents for what they are?

Well, if that’s what God wanted, I’d be totally in. But apparently, I missed the that’s-never-gonna-happen portion of God’s divine message during Grandma’s ten minute memorial. It was a godly taunt or something. And apparently, Depeche Mode’s been right all along – God does have a sick sense of humor. He particularly enjoys fucking with me.*

*Yes, thank you, I’m aware that God probably isn’t sending me veiled messages via eulogy. I’m just being a sacrilegious asswipe. It’s what I do.

Well, anyway, I was all like thanks grandma, for that lovely poem about forgiveness because I can totally put all these fears of persecution aside and have a nice meal with my family. And grandma was all haha, that wasn’t intended for you (but I couldn’t hear that ‘cause she’s dead.)

So Cancer Dad and Wife Number Four (or Five) pulled a nice little trick on the way to the after-funeral meal. As in, Wife Number Four (or Five) walks a million yards in front of me and sprints into the nearest bookstore to avoid having to make eye contact or speak to me. I start to feel my confidence waning. Why is she going book shopping when we’re supposed to be eating?

Well, I promptly discovered that it doesn’t matter how polite I am – because the Dynamic Duo of Lameness had been plotting to unsettle me the whole time.

Cancer Dad sat down at the head of our reserved Mafia-sized table, my brother to his right, and me next to my brother. In an obvious fashion. Then, the following ludicrous conversation ensued:

CANCER DAD: Brittany, are you sure you want to sit there?

ME: Ummm…hhhhuh?? Wha? (Where is this going, you crazy dirtbag?!)

CANCER DAD: You know, [Wife Number Four (or Five)] is going to sit next to me.

ME: Yes….I know…I don’t care….

CANCER DAD: Well, we have unresolved issues with you.

ME: Oh. Well, Dad, I don’t hate her. I’m not planning on murdering her with my steak knife or anything.

CANCER DAD: You shouldn’t sit there.

ME: But – Dad – Grandma’s service was today. I’m sure we can be mature about it and polite to each other…we’re all adults…


ME: Dad, what are you saying? Do you really want me to move to the end of the table?


[In my completely shocked, shamed, and disoriented state, I get up and move to the other end of the Mafia sized table. My brother, Topher, follows me.]

CANCER DAD: Topher, where are you going?

[Topher looks confused. Is he really supposed to leave me alone at the other side of this Texas-sized table? Looking completely ostracized?]

TOPHER: Uh, over there…?

CANCER DAD: Fine. (He seems legitimately confused and upset that his son doesn’t want to leave his sister alone at the other side of the table. What the fuck.)

Well, I’m not going to fucking lie. I was completely caught off guard and very near angry tears. And very pissed that Cancer Dad didn’t have the balls to make such a nasty, childish request in front of the entire family. It is at this point I start plotting evil murderous plots. And texting anyone that will listen – to warn them that I might be in prison soon.

Luckily, Tasha Dee saved my ass with this tweet: “@brittwrit think of BOB the pink deer!”

Okay, so I start cracking up. And get that watery tears shit under control. Because I’m (always) the bigger person in these stupid situations and there is no way I’m going to let Cancer Dad see that he really, really gets to me. Like more than anyone.

Whew. I get through the rest of meal, and listen to my clueless, nice family members gush about how nice it is to all be together again. If only they knew that they never see me because I’m basically not wanted or invited by my own father.

I’m hoping nobody else dies anytime soon, because this shit is exhausting!

I definitely learned from this experience though. You want to know what I learned? This really, really, REALLY isn’t about me – AT ALL.

Cancer Dad and Wife Number Four (or Five) probably get some kind of high out of being miserable. They probably keep their connection alive by banding together against me – yep, that’s correct, I am solely responsible for their kick-ass love. Me.

You want to know what the unresolved issue that they have with me is? I told Cancer Dad I wanted a polite and distant relationship with Wife Number Four (or Five) and I wasn’t going to put myself through a stressful situation to have a close relationship with her. Because it wasn’t going to happen. Because I live on my own, make my own money, and love my father dearly, but don’t need to be BFFs with his spouse to have a decent relationship with him. AND THEN HE TOLD ME I WASN’T PART OF HIS FAMILY ANYMORE.

So, yeah bitch, this is all on you. I don’t care. I can be in the same room with anyone. But if I’m just too damn intimidating, and your wife can’t stomach being near me – well, shit, I’m going to show up to all the fucking family parties. And then maybe she’ll stay home.

Because, let’s be serious. You made me upset at my own grandmother’s funeral. And the truth of the matter is, your wife HATED my grandmother (I know, she told me) – and my grandmother couldn’t even be bothered to remember your wife’s fucking name.

And this, sir, is why I like funerals and celery more than you.

P.S. That was my grandma. So I’ve got dibs on being at her memorial service. Next time, tell the wifey to stay at the office and council some step families or some shit. Because we all know that she’s so good at that.

P.S.S. Bitch couldn’t say she didn’t want to sit next to me to my face?!! Really??! She had to hide in the bookstore while you told me she didn’t want to be near me? You know, I’m really not that scary. She weighs, like, a hundred more pounds than me. She could crush my skull with that giant ostrich ass of hers.

P.S.S.S. Okay, I’m done now. Bigger person here. YUP.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Power of Bob the Pink Deer

"After reading my roomie’s post I think we should start a ‘Power of Bob the Pink Deer’ foundation to help save children who have witnessed murders."
-Tasha Dee, my infinitely wise roommate, who read the post below and had the Best. Idea. Ever.

How I Cured a Potential Serial Killer*

*Or, “How I was Scared to Death of a 7 Year Old.”

I have no idea what inspires people to reproduce, other than to satisfy their God complexes. Children are basically tiny humans with completely malleable personalities, and no verbal filters, so they can learn any behavior and express any emotion without remorse. This is truly terrifying. Your child is a like a tiny, snot-covered window into the recesses of your tarnished soul. They pick up your personality disorders like a dog picks up fleas, and suddenly you’re standing in line at Starbucks with a 3 year old who is calling the cashier “mentally slow” and shrieking how they “want room for cream, dammit,” with the lisp of an adorable cherub. Holy shit. I bet you forgot that your toddler was present for your adult tantrum. Now the whole world is staring at your sweet angel, not-so-secretly thinking about what a ass hat you are, and that they ought to contact child services.

Don’t worry. For the most part, you have to do some pretty heinous shit for your child to be so messed up that they can’t find some faucet of society that accepts them. Surely they will be able to bond with other emo snots who are searching for meaning in skin-tight jeans and man bangs.

But, keep this in mind when you stab your husband with a letter opener in the living room during your 2 year old’s Seasame Street-theme birthday party: serial killers pretty much have to fly solo.

Exhibit A

(Those psycho kiddie drawings in movies always look fake. But is this not the most legit thing you’ve ever fucking seen?!! Wanna know why? THAT SHIT IS REAL.)

I was watching a few kids the other day while their parents were otherwise engaged (in a life skills workshop, how ironic) when my heart fucking stopped from looking into the eyes of evil. She was 7 years old, and she was furiously drawing something that looked like a knife. Or the Statue of Liberty’s torch. I wasn’t sure, so I threw a meaningful glance in the direction of my friend/co-worker, who I could tell – from the shocked look on her face – saw what I was seeing too.

[This is the point of the Japanese horror film where the stupid protagonist bitch stops trying to help the creepy little girl because she’s realized that normal children don’t grip their crayons like hammers and scribble black holes. Or wear all their nasty, unwashed hair in their face. It’s just not normal. That kid doesn’t need your help; she wants to eat your face off with her little bat teeth! Duh!]

This may be my imagination, but I’m pretty sure this kid was humming a creepy little tune to herself while she scribbled blood all up over those daggers. I felt this with the utmost sincerity: fuck my life. I am not a psychologist in any sense of the term; even worse, I had just finished reading Deeper than Dead by Tami Hoag, in which a little boy goes all batshit crazy and stabs another kid on the playground.

I don’t want to die by the hand of some 7 year old who can’t draw for shit.

Well, being a totally responsible adult and all, I knew I had to reach out and help this kid (just like every other retard in Hollywood horror flicks). What are you drawing? I said, in my sweetest, most nauseating, I-can-be-your-best-friend voice. “A picture,” was the super curt response.

Fuck. She’s fucking crazy and she’s secretive. She’s totally going to find out where I live and hide under my bed. And then stab me to death while giggling creepily!

So I pretended to not be interested. And kept coloring my picture – which was so nice and happy, I was certain it was imbued with the power to eradicate serial-killer-like tendencies.

Exhibit B

(I’m usually not a fan of happy shit. But I will go to great rainbow colored lengths to prevent the proliferation of serial murders. Go me.)

Well, Psycho Sally (not her real name) finally took the bait. She moved closer and closer, and finally, in that sweet, scary little voice of hers, she announced that my picture was pretty – and asked if she could have it.

Never in my life had I more willingly given up a piece of my work. Please, I thought, little crazy girl – be cured by the power of Bob the pink deer!

Well, now came the next stage. Homegirl wanted my shit, and since I had given it to her, she was going to be my friend. At this juncture in my narrative, she has now cut out her bloody knives and pasted them in the hands of a deranged stick figure. Oh, and written the words, “You are going to be dead” across the drawing. WHAT THE FUCK, LITTLE GIRL??!

Well, because the little girl was now my friend, I – and my co-worker – continued our desperate inquiry about her artwork. She then told us that her cousin had been murdered. Someone had come into the house and stabbed said cousin.


Surely, you jest. All those fucking movies about crazy children are based on fact? Disturbed children like to draw violent images? I probably should have already known this, but crap. I felt like I was living in an episode of Dexter. Hey look everybody! I found a future murderer! Now all I have to do is teach her to only murder bad people, and how not to get caught by the police!

Someone should make a television show about my life, like seriously.

Well, anyway, Little Psycho’s mom came to collect her – I was hoping she’d learned some useful life skills – and we parted ways. The kid took my drawing with her. And cracked a smile. So, yes, public at larger – my superior happy art skills may have saved your life. Because of me, you will not be stabbed to death. I like to be thanked via PayPal.*

*Don’t get fucking pissed, I know this kid needs a freakin’ psychologist. But sometimes, it’s therapeutic to laugh at how art mimics life. And I’m fucking traumatized as shit – if I murder you in your sleep, you’ll know why. And your family will forgive me because I obviously couldn’t help it – I looked into the eyes of pure evil, and they drove me to do it. Duh.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Tribute to My Bad Ass Grandma, 1910 - 2010

You almost made it to your 100th birthday. And that’s pretty crazy, considering that you single-handedly disproved the theory that positivity extends life. You were emo Grandma; always ready to talk about how shitty shit was, and how your life sucked harder than anyone’s, and how we should all shut up and be grateful that we, too, didn’t have to pick cotton at the rate of a penny per pound.

Grandma, you were awesome.

You were awesome because you were totally passive aggressive. Yeah, you thought you were the most important bitch in the room, but you didn’t say it – you just talked right over us and blamed it on age and hearing loss. You never stopped looking at the bad stuff. Grandpa’s been dead for years, but you still talked constantly about his alcoholism. Which lasted for 2 years. Back in the 1950s. It was your favorite topic; probably because those AA meetings were the highlight of your social life. I’ve never seen a 90-something year old get so excited telling a story about all the nice people she met in AA. And how fun it was to have all those bumbling alkies over for muffins.

Grandma, what made you awesome was your complete lack of tack. You didn’t need it. You were old; you could say anything. You read me my estranged half-brother’s suicide note, dropped the bomb about my cousin being in prison, described in vivid detail your brother’s horrible cancer-related death to Cancer Dad on the day of his diagnosis and you didn’t even bat an eye.

You were never ashamed. From you, I got a first hand account of electroshock therapy. A speech about why God sucks. You told me to get your purse one day – it’s it the closet, next to Grandpa, you said, shocking me to my very core. That’s when I discovered you had been keeping your husband’s remains on the shelf next to your handbags since I was ten.

You were obsessed with your own life story, even though you never did anything at all after marrying Grandpa (besides briefly ending up in the nuthouse. No one I know – besides you – could hate the home their husband bought so much that they hallucinated about a flock ducks in the living room.)

You didn’t learn to drive until you were 40; even then you never made a left turn.

You were the 13th child of 14, born in a one room house in Oklahoma, only three years after it became a state. You talked shit about the Indian chiefs sitting in front of the general store in Apache, Oklahoma, waiting for their government checks – supposedly, according to you, so they could spend it on booze and chewing tobacco. You wondered aloud why the gardeners were Mexican instead of Japanese these days – why are things so different now? I dunno, Grandma, I dunno.

Other people’s grandparents talk about walking uphill both ways in the snow to get to school, but you were an original gangsta. You took a fucking covered wagon to school everyday! You not only had a pet prairie dog; your twin brothers (sadly named Adolf and Nels) had a freaking crow and a singing coyote that would accompany their banjo playing.

You were weirdly superstitious – and your stories about ghosts always had logical explanations, but you would never hear them. The dead Indian chief ghost that used to carry his lantern over the hill; the doors that would open mysteriously after being locked, supposedly to let in the ghosts of the deceased previous home owners. When the Ouija board spelled out jibberish that turned out to be Danish – your grandmother was trying to speak to your dad and tell him there was a heaven. Obviously. (That would be more believable if you weren’t, like, 6 at the time and had some knowledge of Danish.)

You always had your hair permed, your nails done. The last time I saw you in your home, you were going on and on about how many jobs you had. A telegraph operator for Western Union, a film developer – before you married and never worked again. I didn’t want to hurt your feelings and tell you that I’ve had more jobs at the age of 22 than you’ve had in your whole life – I mean, you were legitimately traumatized that you had to work so much. Until you were 27. Shit, Grandma, your life was hard.

Your mom wallpapered the tiny farm house you lived in with newspaper. Your prairie dog made a hole in the door so he could come in whenever he chose. You were certain your eldest sister was kidnapped and murdered – but the fact that she was last seen with a suitcase and a mysterious man makes it sound like she was leaving her husband for a lover. Just sayin’.

You were diagnosed with every disease cataloged by man. You survived multiple types of cancer multiple times, supposedly recovered from multiple sclerosis, inexplicable blindness, and god knows what else.

You were a tough old bird, and, to the end, you thought you would never die. Your main concern when I visited you in the hospital was whether or not you’d get your voice back – not your failing kidneys, or infected intestines (all of which you recovered from before you passed away). You were 99 years old, but you kicked an orderly and punched a nurse on the way to the hospital. Life was your bitch, and you were determined to win the fight against mortality (even though, as you constantly reminded us, your whole family was dead and you were pissed about it – apparently we just didn’t count as family).

Anyway, I love you Grandma. You’re irreplaceable. No old woman is as angry as you; as bad ass as you; as downright pessimistic as you. You were a complete narcissist to the core, and it was truly awesome. You couldn’t remember your son’s wife’s name (I wish I could forget that too) and you always thought you were broke (despite the seven figure savings).

You, and your tales of suffering, shall be missed.

Friday, February 12, 2010

How Disney Killed the Magic

Like most people my age, I was an ardent admirer of Disney animated feature films as a child. Still am. It’s amazing how total strangers will burst into song if you crank up “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” or “A Whole New World” on your iPod – it’s as if Disney created an indestructible bond between children of the late 80s and early 90s.

Which is why, in addition to comfort food, I also revel in the comfort of a good, cheesy, musical Disney film. And lucky for me, all of them have apparently been uploaded to YouTube!

Over the past few weeks, I have often curled up under the covers with a cup of tea and my laptop, and relived the awesomeness that is animated g-rated romance set to music. But the other day, when ‘Colors of the Wind” was stuck in my head, I accidentally stumbled across Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World.

Whoa. Back up. Did anyone even know there was a Pocahontas II?! ‘Cause I sure as hell didn’t get the memo!

Well, there is. And it is a brazen tribute to shitty, straight-to-DVD filmmaking!

Now, to be fair, I probably shouldn’t have watched it directly after enjoying the original Pocahontas. Because the original Pocahontas is all about the freaking power of love and shit, and suddenly, and inconveniently, Disney is faced with problematic historical facts; like, Pocahontas married some random dude named John Rolfe after being kidnapped and dragged to England – and, er, died pretty quickly there after.

Ugh. How do you make that appealing to children?

Now, after getting all emotional about Pocahontas and John Smith’s final embrace before they part for what seems like forever (oh c’mon, you know it makes you want to suffer for love!), I was really, really hoping that Disney would throw caution to the wind and dole out some serious revisionist history shit. But no. In fact, they only partially revised history, made things really awkward, and left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

First off, you’re gonna have to put your happy visions of Pocahontas’ devotion to John Smith aside, because in this movie, Pocahontas is a ho.

Yeah. I couldn’t even make this shit up.

So, anywho, in the first 50 seconds of Pocahontas II, the fat dude with the hat and purple suit is inexplicably walking free (dude, the crew totally mutinied. And chained him up. And arrested him for being an asshole, a murderer of innocents and a liar. WTF?!) and he like totally fucking murders John Smith.

And you’re all like WHOA! DEVESTATION! because if you’re me, you just watched the end of the first movie like, 10 minutes before this.

Disney did not just do that right?!!

Well, as in all Disney movies, the protagonist can’t really die. In this case, it just helps the frazzled writers get rid of John Smith for awhile. But I was really traumatized there for a minute.

Well, Pocahontas somehow hears the news that John Smith is dead (how, I dunno, he was shoved off a cliff into the ocean, no one found the body, and the only witnesses were evil fuckers. But whatever.) and she is suffering from depression. But hey! Don’t worry! This pompous ass young hot dude from England just rolled into town! His name’s John Rolfe, he thinks Indians are savages, but it’s his duty to get the Chief of the Indian tribe back to England to meet the King!

Well, duh, he ends up taking Pocahontas instead, because Chief What’s-His-Face is much too busy for these types of games. And then John Rolfe has to go all My Fair Lady on Pocahontas, because – of course – the only way to save her people from the really, really dumb and bloodthirsty king of England is to dress her up in a gown and powder her face.

Which, of course, now that Pocahontas has changed her clothes, John Rolfe is all like, she’s doable – for a savage! and I’m all like, groan!

So, they go to the ball at the castle and dance, and which point John Rolfe and Pocahontas try to totally make out with each other on the dance floor (because Pocahontas seriously has a thing for white dudes who think they are more civilized than her. Is there a name for this kind of problem?) And fat dude in the purple suit totally makes an AWESOME comment about how Pocahontas is a total ho bag right to her face (once again, I could not make this shit up).

But how can the evil fat man in the purple suit screw this all up for Pocahontas? How can he insure that the Indians get murdered? (Wait, wasn’t he just after gold? Why does he give a fuck what happens to a bunch of people on the other side of the earth?)

Well, if you guessed bear baiting, you are correct!

(Okay, I’m pretty sure no one guessed bear baiting. I have to say, this was a pretty creative, albeit retarded, move on the part of the writers of this travesty of a film.)

Yeah, so, in England back in the day, they really liked to torture bears for fun as a dinner show. Apparently. And the crazy bitch goes totally savage and tries to save the bear by throwing herself on it. (Okay, really? Homegirl would totally be dead. Nobody should hug an angry bear. That’s not a demonstration of savagery, just stupidity.)

Fast forward – Pocahontas is in jail (for hugging a bear?) and THE BEST SCENE OF THE WHOLE MOVIE HAPPENS. It’s a bar scene. Some dudes are talking about Pocahontas being in jail. There’s a mysterious cloaked figure in the corner. The bartender slides a beer down the bar to a customer who says: “WHAT DO I HAVE TO PAY AROUND HERE TO GET SOME GOOD HEAD??

Oh no. You didn’t just do that, Disney. Double entendres are not meant for children’s movies!

I have to admit, I totally went back and watched that scene 3 more times, just to make sure I wasn’t crazy. And. Wow. I’m not crazy.

Well, anyway, the cloaked figure in the corner was John-fucking-Smith (obviously), and he totally goes and teams up with John Rolfe to bust Pocahontas’ ass out of jail. Hilarity ensues, that raccoon and pug team get in on the action, and then every one is all good.

Except John Rolfe and John Smith are both eyeing Pocahontas like she’s a piece of meat, and she keeps clinging to both of them.


So, I was totally waiting for this to turn into cartoon pornography. But that would be unacceptable. So Pocahontas consults mother earth and shit, proves to the king that the evil fat man in the purple suit is evil, and everyone’s saved.

But what man does she choose??!! ‘Cause this can’t end this way!

Well, for the first time in Disney history, the heroine totally gives her “true love” a really fucking lame break up speech about growing apart and shit, and goes and gets busy with the dude she’s only liked for about 2 days. REALLY NOW.

John Rolfe

(What do ya think?)

I. Am. Devastated.

I’m pretty sure that Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World completely and utterly ruined the original Pocahontas film for me. Because, apparently, that bitch went just around the river bend, and found herself a new piece of tight ass!*

Tough break, John Smith. Tough break.

*I think it’s important to note that, historically, John Rolfe was really a super religious man that was completely repulsed by his carnal urges for a savage. But he couldn’t help himself; he had to have her. He probably beat himself with a whip every night of their marriage. Kinky.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Help! Cancer Dad is Missing!*

*I’m a sarcastic dirt bag. All of the below information is true, but you should not take it as an invitation to google the shit out of my family and start spamming them. I mean, I would probably find it amusing and awesome. But don’t tell me it was you. I will not be associated with prank calls, twitter slander, etc. I don’t want to be dragged to court again. Thanks friends!

Assistance needed: I cannot find my father. Had you seen him? He’s 6’3”, wears glasses, is a pompous ass and looks like he’s about to give birth to triplets. Oh, and he drives a Jaguar with douchey personalized plates. He’s probably insulted you or cut you off on the road and acted like it was your fault. No? You sure?

Oh, wait, never mind, I found him! He’s on the radio!

I am a great lover of chaos and blatant assholishness. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside – probably because it reminds me of my childhood. And nothing makes me smile harder than listening to my Dad give ridiculous advice over the internet radio waves. About raising step children. Which he doesn’t really have.

If you’re scratching your head and thinking what the fuck? don’t worry. I was there once. But see, the thing about life is that it is much stranger than fiction. And the thing about me is, I think the horrible things people do to each other are freaking hilarious. Because if I were to get upset every time Cancer Dad filmed a special on step families for basic cable, I would probably have to be institutionalized.

Okay, I’ll stop confusing you. Here’s the back story:

I went around for the majority of my childhood thinking my parents were each other’s first spouses – mostly because nobody ever mentioned any other spouses (or a rather inconvenient sociopathic child) to me. Many confusing years later, it was apparent that Cancer Dad, had, in fact, been married many, many times. And produced offspring.

Then he got married. Again.

I haven’t quite figured out yet whether the current wife is wife number four, or wife number five. It’s up in the air. When you find some old picture of a woman who your father tells you not to mention to his new wife, and whose last names mysteriously matches your own, you get suspicious. Especially when this kind of thing has happened before.

But Wife Number Four (or Five) happened to have the most absurd career. She is a step family therapist. Right? Absurd!

Well, step family therapists are people too. Even if they have step children from previous marriages with whom they are not on speaking terms. And they uninvite you to their wedding to your father. And file restraining orders against your mother to get back at you for existing. Or they put all your belongings in trash bags, throw you out of the house, and call the police on you. I mean, hey, that’s normal, right?

[Now, to insert some cliché like “those who can’t do teach,” or “the blind leading the blind.” Because, really, they all apply.]

As if this all weren’t enough, Wife Number Four (or Five) decided to take her message to the street, and the internet. She started a step mom Twitter. A weekly online radio show. A local cable show. She started writing a freaking book. Supposedly she’s getting a show on A&E. All so she could share her expertise on step families with the world! Even better, she made my dad Managing Director of her practice. His bio on their website hilariously begins: “I had no idea of the complexities of stepfamily life until I lived them firsthand.”

Hello, what?!

I mean, technically, my dad is a step father. To a 32 year old. Who never lived with us. Hmm, that must have been really hard on you, Dad. I feel for you.

Because of the dynamic duo that is Cancer Dad and Wife Number Four (or Five), I get hilarious phone calls from parents of friends, saying things like “Umm, I saw your dad last night on television…yeah, that…what was he talking about?!”

I also get hilarious phone calls from my Dad telling me to read his wife’s new articles and listen to their radio show, because I could “learn a lot.”

Well, I finally gave in and listened. And, ohmagawd, it was more magical than I could have ever imagined. Totally epic. Like, someone else has got to picking up on the major holes in the story here. Or the super awkward moments when my dad says dumb things, like (and this is an actual quote): “Honey, was it the hardest thing you ever did, moving in with me and my kids?” Wife Number Four (or Five): “Babe, umm…you’re really putting me on the spot here.” Hell yes he is. His cancer is causing brain farts. He forgot that he’s not allowed to mention us on live radio! He’s gonna blow your cover!

Now, really, everything is a two-way street. I’m not going to pretend that my brother didn’t send Wife Number Four (or Five) emails to her work address saying he was a child chained up in a basement who was being beaten mercilessly by his step dad (it would have been funnier if he hadn’t sent it from my mom’s email account on accident, making her look like a psychopath. But oh well).

And I’m not going to pretend that her fake-ass therapist voice didn’t piss me the fuck off.

But hey – it’s all good. Now’s it’s funny! Now I laugh ‘til I cry when I hear her moaning softly into the microphone about how hard it is to be a step parent. And how she was able to successfully preserve her relationship with “her man” despite his children (i.e., she got rid of the fuckers, so they’re not really a problem anymore)!

Unfortunately, my father doesn’t think this is funny. He’s mad I don’t want to reconcile with Wife Number Four (or Five), and therefore doesn’t call me anymore. Oh dad. People have given me so many explanations of why you might think this kind of thing was necessary. Is it a career move? Are people catching on to your wife’s lack of stepchildren? Are you still convinced you’re going to drop dead at any minute, and therefore you want to be forgiven – but you’re too pompous to apologize?

I’m not sure, really. But you have such nice ways of asking me to do you favors. Like, reconcile with my wife, or you’re not part of my family anymore! Or, you are a horrible child, I convinced her to reconcile with you, you should be able to do the same!

Either way, the antics you two have pulled make me smile.

I really do appreciate the both of you. I mean, hell, she took care of you during 3 rounds of cancer treatments. And Dad, you provide me endless entertainment and stress stomach aches with your mad crazy drama, yo. Because of you, I have so much more to bitch about! I can top just about anyone’s weird step family story. It gives me the street cred I need!

But Dad, if you really want those release forms signed so Wife Number Four (or Five) can butcher my persona in her new book, you’re going to have to think of a new tactic. Like not taking me to lunch in a public place and telling me I suck at life in the middle of my work day.

Just sayin’.

Love ya bitch.

I Suck at Jury Duty

I didn’t know it was possible to fail jury duty. But I totally did, yo! Like, an automated voice came on the line and said: “You. FAIL.”


This might have something to do with the fact that I had absolutely no clue that the stupid automated system kept track of who calls in. I thought I was totally dodging a bullet – I kept calling in the day of, and the little robot voice continuously told me that I did not have to report for service.

That all changed, last night. I actually called in on time (during the hours of 7 to midnight) and the automated voice thing told me that I had failed to call in everyday, and therefore my jury service would be rescheduled.

What the fuck?! But I didn’t even have to report yet! Couldn’t they just get mad at me if I didn’t show up? Now the fact that I got distracted by booze on a weeknight (as is my right; I sit in a cubicle-like thing all day) means that I am going to have to do this stupid shit all over again?!

How many times can you fail in this way before they get really mad and start fining you and shit?

Does this mean they’ll put a red check next to my name and I’ll have to report next time?


Actually, this is a good thing. As I am tremendously bored at work these days, it might be nice to have jury duty. What would be really cool is if I end up on the jury of a murder trial. I’d go all Twelve Angry Men on someone’s ass.

But, seriously now. I’ve had 3 or 4 jury summons over the course of my life, and I’m only 22. What the hell? Is someone picking on me?? Last time, all I did was sit in a room for a million hours and read Water for Elephants like it was my job. Totally finished that shit in, like, one day!

Well, anyway, since I don’t have jury duty, I’ll have to think of something else to do today (besides writing about how I fail at jury duty). Suggestions?

Monday, February 8, 2010


The Boyfriend and I had a bit of discussion the other day when we were out goat shopping (yes, the boy wants a pygmy goat – for his backyard). He had basically decided on a goat, a few chickens, and a mini potbellied pig when I suggested he throw in a tortoise for good measure.

Well, that was promptly vetoed.

Seems homeboy has a few requirements. His pets have to be cuddly, and they have to make noise. I tried to argue my case. I mean, jeez, is he really planning on cuddling with chickens? Because that might not end so well…

It’s all good though. There’s a reason he lives in a house with a stable and I live in a high rise apartment building with a 60 gallon turtle tank. Our styles are not even vaguely similar – and we’re both pretty stubborn (I nearly got dumped after revealing that I didn’t really care for the décor in his bedroom). He hilariously believes that if we move in together, I will have one room to myself (an office, perhaps?), and he will get to decorate the rest of the living space. (Is it just me, or is it starting to sound like I’m the under-appreciated husband on a bad 90s sitcom who only barely gets to keep his recliner chair while his wife redoes the entire house?)

The Boyfriend better watch out, because our future hypothetical house is going to look like the art toy movement and a Chinese opium den in Mexico threw up on the Victorian era. (Yeah, you just try to picture that one.)

Annnnnd, I told that whole story just so I list some shit that I like:

1. Terrarium. A tiny ecosystem in a vase.
2. Claw foot tub. Romantic and classy.
3. Dunny. Awesome figurine decorated by artists all world, as part of the art toy movement that started in Hong Kong.
4. “Allusion” by Yellena. This print can be found here.
5. Vintage taxidermy. I like to be friends with my wall art.
6. Teak furniture from India. Very detailed.
7. Thai Buddha. I dragged a 50 lb Buddha home from Thailand - and customs at LAX thought I was smuggling drugs in it.
8. Nautilus wall hanging by Leviathan Arts. These freaky crustaceans make me happy. This one can be found here.
9. Costa Rican mask. I picked one up in Costa Rica - the designs on mine are made of crushed alligator eggshells.
10. Metallic damask wallpaper. Super funky and classic.
11. Oaxacan wood carving. This beautiful nautilus by Eleazar Morales will soon be mine!
12. Suzani. These beautiful tribal textiles are from Uzbekistan.

1. Spicy seaweed. This was my brain food while I was a college student.
2. Mochi. Words cannot describe the happiness that is ice cream wrapped in rice.
3. Bok choy. Surprisingly tasty raw drunk food. Plus the name of my turtle.
4. Bao. Cantonese pork bun. I could eat these all day.
5. Udon. Delicious Japanese noodles, with fish cake.
6. Snap peas. Delicious raw.
7. Japanese rice crackers. Salty and spicy.
8. Banana peppers. I literally eat these right out of the jar as a snack.
9. A1 Sauce. Fantastic on anything.
10. Stuffed martini olives. Also great right out of the jar.
11. Mangosteen. Best fruit ever; part of my daily diet in Thailand.
12. Lamb with mint jelly. If it’s on the menu, I order it.
13. Anchovies. Little salty fish of joy. Don’t knock ‘em ‘til you’ve tried ‘em.
14. Pickled herring. Another salty fish; a favorite during my weird childhood.
15. Salt and vinegar chips. Oh so tangy.
16. Tacos. Good anytime, anywhere. Plus really easy to make.
17. Khao soi. Favorite northern Thai dish - curry, chicken, lime, pickled cabbage, chile.
18. Moroccan mint tea. Nothing beats this refreshing tea.

1. Ornate box turtle. I have two semi aquatic turtles - but I’d like to try a cute land dwelling one!
2. Chameleon. What other tiny creature has rotating eyes and changes colors?
3. Polydactyl cat. They are cool because they have extra toes - and Hemingway was a huge fan.
4. Leucistic axolotl. A Mexican salamander that never reaches an adult form. Hands down, the Coolest. Animal. Ever.
5. Egyptian dwarf tortoise. If you want a cute tortoise that doesn’t get to be 500 lbs, this is the tortoise for you.

1. Morocco. Bustling and beatiful, full of spices and textiles.
2. Bhutan. Land of the Thunder Dragon, the most expensive country to travel in the entire world.
3. Egypt. I’ve been obsessed since I was 8 years old.
4. Maldives. Lowest country in the world, and one of the most beautiful. The native language is only spoken by 300,000 people on earth.
5. Croatia. My hometown is filled with Croatians, who speak very highly of their homeland.
6. Yemen. One third of the wildlife on the Socotra islands is found nowhere else on the planet.

So, it took me pretty much all day to create this post - but it was certainly entertaining. I know you want to do it too…what’s on your list?

When Your Dermatologist is a Perfectionist

There is nothing scarier than a dermatologist who thinks the skin on your face should look like a baby’s ass – and to my dermatologist, it’s not a goal; it’s a requirement. As in, I’m thinking I look pretty damn good, and then she walks in the room and tells me I look like hell. Ouch.

I don’t take it personally. I mean, I’m pretty sure the woman lacks basic social skills – but what she doesn’t lack is skin that looks like freaking silk! Not fair! But beauty is pain, and topical medications are a pain in the ass. I’d almost forgotten. But now that I am back on the crack so to speak, I will illustrate the stages of my love-hate relationship with dermatology.

Stage 1: You Ugly

If you go to my dermatologist, this is the stage where you make an appointment for something else entirely (aka, my eyelids have the space plague), and she walks in and tells you that it looks like your face hates you. I’m not even talking about acne here; I’m talking about things “not being as smooth as they should.” Like, Brittany, why aren’t you slathering Retin-A all over your face? You would look so much better! And you’re thinking, wait, this isn’t why I made this appointment – shit, did she just write me up $200 worth of prescriptions?

Well, in a moment of weakness, I decided that I, too, wanted the epidermis of a movie star. So I filled all those crazy prescriptions and got started.

Stage 2: The Honeymoon

The first day or two of your new skin regiment fools you into thinking that you will be instantly transformed into awesome. Everything feels smoother, healthier, tighter – mostly because the Retin-A hasn’t begun to eat your face yet; it’s just getting started. Those feelings of health are just the result of your brain’s trickery (i.e., “third degree burns prevent acne; doesn’t mean you should light your head on fire” will soon be your new motto, eagerly repeated to potential dermatology patients).

Stage 3: You Snake!

After the honeymoon ends, you find that your new topical medication is turning you into a reptile. Your face is literally peeling; not in huge layers, either. No – that would be too easy. Instead, your face is peeling in tiny little increments, and if you rub or peel them, they spread! It’s a never ending cycle of snake-face! You comfort yourself with the thought that once all this dead skin is gone, you will have new, fresh, happy skin. But how long will that take?!

Stage 4: A Burning Sensation

This is my favorite stage. The stage where you discover what true sensitivity is. Yes, the unique feeling of spreading Cetaphil moisturizer on your face – and discovering that it is, actually, napalm. Your face is on fire and nothing can put it out – even water hurts! You don’t even want to know what foundation feels like. You want to cry. And wear a bag over your red head. You no longer care if you look like perfection when this suffering is over; you liked your old face! It was fine! Damn this culture – why do we worship unattainable perfection?!!

Stage 5: Oh Snap

You look in the mirror one day and realize that you look amazing. Your skin is glowing; not a spot in sight. Suddenly the suffering and temporary hideousness was all worth it! You’re a fucking movie star! Now all you need is thousands of dollars worth of dental work and you’ll have the teeth to match!

Stage 6: The Laziness

You’ve been looking awesome for awhile, and now you’re convinced that it has always been this way. Why do you have to buy more of this medication? It’s freaking expensive, and you’re all glorious – you don’t need it!

Stage 7: The Decline into Normalcy

Whoops. A spot. Where did that come from? I guess it’s time for a trip to the dermatologist…


I’m somewhere between stages 3 and 4 right now. For no particular reason, really. Despite the unnecessary suffering, my dermatology appointment did lead to one good thing: my eyelids are cured! Apparently, I had dermatitis (code for, we don’t know what the fuck is wrong with you; your eyelids are just whack).

All’s well that ends well, I guess.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hand Sanitizer

Hand Sanitizer from Brittany Swanson on Vimeo.

I made all the excess hand sanitizer on my desk do a little dance. And Kim threw in a frog pen from Korea for good measure. Happy Tuesday.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Valentine’s Day Horror Story

Yes, I’m aware that our modern Valentine’s Day is some horrible Hallmark creation, concocted for the sole purpose of making people spend money on heart shaped junk. Despite this deplorable truth, I am determined to have a damn good V Day this year – pretty much because my V Day weekend of 2009 was such a crapshoot!

No my friends, I’m not talking crapshoot as in sitting on my couch whining and stuffing my fat face with bon bons that I had to purchase for myself. If I had been single, I would have thrown a bad ass drunken “Fuck Valentine’s Day” party. My story is sad because, even though I was in a relationship, I didn’t even try to make romantic plans – and yet my Valentine’s Day still fucking sucked!

The logic is this: if you have too much riding on the romance of Valentine’s, it’s bound to go wrong. But I didn’t even plan anything like that! I just wanted to get drunk and chill! Take a mini road trip! Instead, the stupid fucking cupid gnomes came after me and turned a chill weekend into a stress fest. I didn’t freaking love anybody by the end of that weekend!

What did I learn from this? Well, that I should buy overpriced Cirque de Soleil tickets and make reservations at some ritzy restaurant that serves steaks the size of buttons. Because that’s what the creepy cupid gnomes want you to do.

So, for your amusement, my Valentine’s Day 2009* (complete with a scoring system):

*For those people included in this story, yes, I know you look like jerks. But I adore you regardless.


CANCER DAD, lord of dramatic and often grim overstatements.

THE BOYFRIEND, a stubborn bugger whom I adore; and who is possibly from another planet

THE DRUNK FRIEND, a generally responsible young woman, who is unfortunately overwhelmed by booze one night and takes refuge behind a toilet

THE DRUNK FRIEND’S DRUNK ASS FRIENDS, minor characters who cannot think or drive straight when under the influence of alcohol

THE BOYFRIEND’S BEST FRIEND, savior of my sanity, and master of yoga breathing techniques over the telephone

Part One

It all began on Valentine’s Eve, when Cancer Dad, got – well – cancer again. Only, it was in an entirely different area than previous cancer, therefore confirming Cancer Dad’s fears that said cancer was traveling through his blood, meaning, of course, he would drop dead immediately [minus 30]. Since I am such a dutiful daughter, I was, without delay, overtaken by ridiculous panic-induced dad-less visions of the future. Bad start to the weekend. (Spoiler: Cancer Dad has since lived through cancer scare number 3 and bone burning radiation, but is not yet dead, despite about 7 public proclamations of imminent death. However, at the time, I was certain he was going to die. Now I’m certain he will live forever.)

I decided to put off a complete panic attack about father-less-ness by concentrated on my upcoming road trip weekend with The Boyfriend. The distraction seemed promising enough when The Boyfriend, in a completely inebriated state, confessed his love to me for the first time (despite having dated me for nearly a year) at 3 am on Valentine’s morning [plus 10]. All was cute and lovely until he woke up hung over later that day, and, when confronted with a description of his drunken declaration, replied by saying that he could not have possibly said such a thing [minus 18]. Major burn though this was – especially since my reply was “finally!” instead of “I love you too!” – I continued to be optimistic about my weekend plans.

I arrived at The Boyfriend’s residence that evening, to pick him up and embark on our trip to visit The (not yet) Drunk Friend, who lived nearly 7 hours away. Sadly, The Boyfriend had not broken his habits by developing a sense of time. Instead, he tells me that he had no clean clothes to take with him on a trip. Nonplussed, I throw him and his dirty drawers into my vehicle, and head north. He promptly falls asleep, leaving me to drive, sleepily, in the dark and silence – with only thoughts of impending fatherlessness to keep me company [minus 5]. Shit.

We arrive at our destination at approximately 3 in the morning, only to discover that The Drunk Friend – now very drunk – is wrapped around a toilet bowl at some undisclosed location, and cannot bear to be parted with it. Hence, The Boyfriend and I are stuck outside in 30 degree weather [minus 15].

We finally reach The Drunk Friend’s Drunk Ass Friends, who, in their infinite drunken wisdom tell me to either A) knock on The Drunk Friend’s apartment door and wake up her inexplicably and eternally antisocial/pissy roommates who will be much more pissed after I do such or, B) wait for The Drunk Ass Friends to drunk drive to the apartment and give me the key. Because I am freezing to death and don’t want to be murdered (and do not care about the safety of The Drunk Ass Friends), I vote for the latter.

The Drunk Ass Friends arrive in good cheer, and give me The Drunk Friend’s purse, keys and phone – so that, of course, it is impossible to reach her and she has no identification or money on her, which proves, rather dramatically, that The Drunk Ass Friends are unequivocal retards [minus 16].

I am proved correct the next day when I do not see The Drunk Friend I drove 7 hours to see until 3 in the afternoon because she had no phone on which I could contact her, and somehow forgot I had a car – meaning she got a ride from someone who had to make 30 unnecessary stops (including one to the airport) before dropping her off at her apartment [minus 2].

After reuniting with The (no longer) Drunk Friend, the weekend went swimmingly. We ate sushi and went to Trampoline World [plus 8]. But then, it was time to depart.

Part Two

Previously, The Boyfriend had come to have a suspended license due to unpaid citations. He had already served time in county jail for driving illegally.

For some reason unbeknownst to me, The Boyfriend decided that it was a fabulous plan to purchase a BMW on the way back home – though he would be unable to legally drive it. I used all the powers of logic to convince him otherwise, but The Boyfriend is a stubborn bugger; and, in the end, I drove an hour out of my way in a rainstorm so he could put himself in the law’s way [minus 15].

Several hours later, as predicted by me, the law caught up with The Boyfriend. While on the phone with me, he was pulled over [minus 25] and subsequently had to convince the officers not to arrest him, as he had a girlfriend that could pick him up.

Most unfortunately, we had been traveling through the Tejon Pass – and there were no exits for miles. My phone was dying, I could not get off the freeway, and The Boyfriend kept calling more and more frequently to beg me to hurry up in an increasingly panicked tone. At this juncture in the narrative, I completely dissolve into textbook female hysteria [minus 10]. I began, literally, screaming – My dad is going to die! My boyfriend is going to jail for a year! And worst of all, it’s Valentine’s Day Weekend! You fuckers! (I don’t know who “you fuckers” refers to. I can only assume it was the evil cupid gnomes.)

Luckily, The Boyfriend’s Best Friend is surprisingly good at mediation instruction over the telephone [plus 5]. If it weren’t for the 5 minute breathing exercise, it’s possible my cranium might have spontaneously popped off, and I would have dropped my brain on the car mat – which, of course, would have made the situation even more difficult to navigate.

Eventually, after zen-ing that shit out, I turned around and managed to locate the McDonald’s where The Boyfriend was waiting in a police car. The police turned him over to me, but kept the BMW as a consolation prize [minus 10].

As boys in trouble are wont to do, The Boyfriend tried to laugh the incident off. Unfortunately for him, because he was not in jail, he was now doomed to die by my hand for the crimes of 1) abandoning his girlfriend in a car, alone, for 7 hours, to contemplate her father’s demise; 2) making his girlfriend drive an hour out her way so he do something illegal; 3) doing something illegal; 4) getting his ass caught; and 5) sufficiently wasting thousands of dollars and several hours of his girlfriend’s life on Valentine’s Day weekend [minus 28].

He was promptly murdered and buried a mile from the interstate.

The End

Yes, sadly, the above story is entirely true – except for the murdering and burying. Actually, The Boyfriend and I are still (inexplicably) together, and almost at our two years of stupidly cute (emphasis on the “stupidly”) romance mark. The only good thing that came out of that weekend was my ability to drunkenly tell The Boyfriend I love him at every opportunity – and not feel in the least bit guilty about making him uncomfortable. (Oh, and he paid off all his fines and got his license back.) (Oh! And I’ve been inspired to write the next big V Day anthem, “You Never Say ‘I Love You’ When You’re Sober”)

So, stop feeling freaking sorry for yourself if you’re single this Valentine’s Day. Dude, it could be so much worse. (Or so much better, if your Cancer Dad actually died, or your Boyfriend actually went to jail for a year. Sorry to those peeps.)

But anyway, I scored a negative 141 last V Day. Here’s to 2010 being in the positive. Cheers!

(And fuck you, cupid gnomes.)