Dark Summer” is an MRA horror movie!

It’s about a teenage boy who has been convicted of stalking and is sentenced to house arrest for the summer with no internet access. At the beginning of the movie (AND THROUGHOUT!! Though that turns out not to matter!!) we have no reason to believe that he is anything other than a stalker who was rightfully and justly convicted of stalking and is serving an astoundingly light motherfucking sentence for it. And yet! He is our hero and we are instructed to feel very very sorry for him. Because he is BORED! And he doesn’t get to use his COMPUTER! (Except he breaks the law and disobeys his legal sentence and does anyway, because he is RESOURCEFUL and SMART.) And also we are supposed to feel sorry for him because – OH NO THAT POOR GUY! – the girl he was stalking commits suicide RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM WHICH IS MEAN AND GROSS BECAUSE WOMEN ARE THE WORST AND HE IS VERY SENSITIVE!! Also, his best friend, another super hot girl, is ALSO in love with him, and THAT makes him sad, too, because she’s not the girl he was stalking!!! SHOOT! When will women learn to just BE THE WOMAN HE IS STALKING AND ALSO LOVE HIM?!?

But guess what!? It gets even sadder and worse for the legally convicted stalker who is sad because he got caught stalking and now can’t read his red pill reddit forums! (Except I mean he can because he continues to break the law and go online but like he can’t do it while outside or whatever.)

It turns out that the (evil) woman he was stalking was EVIL! And it WAS HER FAULT ALL ALONG THAT HE WAS STALKING HER!! And in FACT, she was preeeeeeetttty much one of those vast majority of women who accuse innocent men of rape all the time, because SHE was the one who had been stalking HIM!!! And also she was a witch? And there were termites everywhere and for some reason her closet was weirdly organized? I guess because women care about clothes too much and also…something about termites?

Anyway, this movie was bullshit. But there are a LITERAL MILLION episodes of Murder, She Wrote on Netflix, so. There’s always that, at least.

Incidentally, not to be, you know, sexist or whatever, but this is what he looks like, this guy who two hot chicks keeps saying “I love you” to and keep obsessively folding origami stars for and keep biting their lower lips for when he takes off his shirt to reveal his emaciated, butter-smooth, oleo-white chest:


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I went outside today! This is notable for both the usual reasons (I’m a bit of a homebody!) and also because:

(Somehow that’s not as impressive-seeming as it was in person. But normally, you can, like, see the end of the street there?)

I was composing a tweet in my head on the walk home, something like: “Hey, it’s snowing!” But luckily, before I actually posted it, I read the Sarcasm Tweet of Snowmageddon 2016: “does anybody have any pictures of the snow” with exactly that capitalization and punctuation. There was no need for anyone to keep trying.

Anyway, I went outside because I stocked up for this storm very very poorly. Yesterday I went out and bought a second six-pack and like 8 new pairs of underwear. Helpful, yes. But then today comes along and now I want FOOD, too. So I went to the grocery store and it was THE MOST FUN EVER!!! Today is one of those days where something HAPPENS in New York City (blackouts! parades! um, 9/11.) and everybody suddenly turns into small-town Midwestern neighbors. Everybody is smiling at each other and laughing at each other’s children’s bundled-up waddle-walk and saying “Hi!” and “Oh, geez, look at that, right!?” (both ACTUAL QUOTES said to me on my walk by very cheerful strangers!) and pitching in to help strangers shovel enough snow out of the way that they can park their car. And the cars are all hobbled trundling broken robots who can’t do anything right and it’s sort of endearing (but also kind of scary to cross the street). And the cashiers at the grocery store were shocked I came in and I was shocked they were open and we both congratulated each other on our bravery. And everybody has a shovel on their shoulder and everybody looks like scientists doing experiments in the Arctic and then I came home and it was warm again! Now I’m going to drink beer and make ice cream! (That’s…literally what I went out in the blizzard to buy. The ingredients for ice cream. I mean, I also got some flour and butter, too, for cookies, and cookies are real food. But I’m totally about to make ice cream!) Yay most fun day!! Be safe! Be warm! Have snow!

UPDATE: I just realized that everything I bought I actually have to COOK. (Okay okay I bought a chicken, too. But it was funnier to claim I only bought cookies and ice cream. Abiat’s journalistic standards have never been that great, to be honest. [Digby doesn't even finish half of those books for her book club. She just wikipedias them and pretends she read them.]) I didn’t get any CHIPS or, like, other kinds of chips. I am terrible at stocking up for blizzards. I feel like this is yet another example of how terrible I would be in a zombie apocalypse. Srsly, you guys: When I trip and fall and twist my ankle and sob, “Just go! Leave me!” YOU SHOULD DO IT. It’s not a big deal. I’m totally zombie chow. I know. I’m fine with it. Okay beer now.

What Being A Feminist Means To Me
by: Jessica

Being a Feminist means that if it’s almost Valentine’s Day and you go to Target and you see these underpants and you do not have a boyfriend, then congratulations!! You have a new pair of pajama pants!

Thanks, Elizabeth Cady Stanton!!

The End [of the patriarchy].

PS – My cat got a refill on her medicine in the mail today. The label says: “Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.”

Are they…talking to my cat?

PPS – I was looking through all the pockets of my jackets in my closet just now for my good tube of Burt’s Bees. I found not one, but two feathers, in the pockets of two whole separate, different jackets. I did not find my good Burt’s Bees. (I totally know where my crappy Burt’s Bees is, YES THAT’S RIGHT I’M LOOKING AT YOU, “HONEY,” WHICH ACTUALLY TASTES EXACTLY LIKE TALCUM POWDER.)

But I guess also PPPS – Admittedly, re: patriarchy and all, I had those underpants and a six-pack on the conveyor belt thing when I was checking out, and I was standing there next in line beside them, and the cashier looked at the guy standing behind me and made a questioning face, and the guy standing behind me had to say: “No, those aren’t mine.”

Also, I don’t quite GET them. Are they implying that Chewie somehow flies Han Solo, as though Han Solo himself is an aircraft vehicle? (Or at least that he would, if we did not carefully warn him not to, on our underpants?) Or is that more like a speech bubble sort of thing, where Chewie is saying to his flying partner and good buddy: “Don’t fly without me, for I owe you a life debt and therefore I BE YOURS.” Because if so, putting that on Valentine’s Day underpants is sort of implying a level of closeness in their relationship that I don’t believe is cannon. I’m just saying. The pun…almost works.

I just woke up from a dream in which I was about to brush my teeth while standing out in a living room talking to somebody, but before I got a chance to start, I was talking or whatever, and the blob of toothpaste fell off of my brush and landed on the floor. It was very specific – I remember LOOKING at it there, and thinking, “Shoot! I’d better be careful to point that out so this person I’m hanging out with doesn’t step on it!” – but also totally meaningless, even in the dream. The dream wasn’t ABOUT that at all. What a weird fucking note to INCLUDE in the dream, though. Why on earth would my brain just pop that little detail in there? This tiny meaningless but very thoughtful and realistic and exactly-imagined minor bit of set dressing?

Also, on in the background during this conversation I was having in the dream was a cartoon version of The Force Awakens, which featured a teeny tiny little baby wookiee, which was like a little rolling furball (which I guess I realize now was some sort of dream-version of BB8, at least, so I guess that at least has a precedence for my brain or whatever) and it was suuuuuper cute and after I woke up, I laid here in bed for a long time and tried to remember what that character’s name was – the adorable little baby wookiee rolling furball – and was annoyed that I couldn’t remember.

But that was ALSO not what the dream was ABOUT at all! What the dream was ABOUT was the conversation I was having, which was with a dude that I went to ELEMENTARY SCHOOL with (except we were both grownups now, and I guess buddies, and I think we were staying at a hotel together, because this was a hotel room), whose name I can’t remember now, but who I can totally picture with perfect clarity. The conversation was him telling me a story about this lady (who, in the story/dream, looked like one of the dance moms from Dance Moms, which, FINE, YES, I had been watching just before I went to sleep last night) who had a dead son who she would buy an extra adjoining room in the hotel for, and order room service for, and she had very specific instructions for the room service people about how they weren’t supposed to pretend that the kid was ALIVE and TALK to him or anything, because she’s not CRAZY, but they were supposed to pretend that they thought he MIGHT be, because they don’t see him in the room, so, like, he might just be in the bathroom or something for a minute. So they were supposed to knock, and then call out (because she could overhear all this from her adjoining room) his name, and then shout, “Well, I’ll just leave these on the bed, then, okay?” And she specified that they shouldn’t worry about the tip, because she would add that into her bill when she paid for his room, except she would add it as an extra charge for the phone, as though he had used the phone or something while he was staying in the room (even though of course he hadn’t and there would not actually be any charge for the phone, because he was, you know, dead). And she wouldn’t pay for all of this right away, but she would call in a few days and pay for it then, so don’t worry, she would pay for it, but don’t ASK her about it while she was there, or anything, because that would ruin it. He was telling this whole story like it was a wacky joke, not like it was sad or anything, and that was how I was taking, it, too. Just, like, “Wow, what an eccentric lady!”

I guess my elementary school chum worked at the hotel, and that’s how he knew all this? And so he was telling me the story while the two of us got ready for some event or something in one of the hotel rooms and this Force Awakens cartoon played on the tv in the background (were definitely just friends, though – no hanky-panky or nothing), and I was laughing or shocked or whatever at the story and I apparently gestured with my toothbrush too hard and my blob of toothpaste fell off of it and landed on the floor (and I even remember that it was that kind that is white and has both a red and a green stripe in it, which is NOT THE KIND I USE, EVEN, so why would I have dreamed it!?) and I thought, “Oh man, I should make sure he doesn’t step on that!” because he was sort of walking around as he got ready and told the story, and I’m sure he hadn’t noticed it, and I didn’t want him to like grind it into the carpet or whatever.

Also, there were other wookiees who were disguised as sand monsters, or sand monsters disguised as wookiees, or something like that.

The end!


Last night, I didn’t want to go out for dumplings and beers, because it was too cold and sad outside. But then I received the following very scientific presentation of facts, WHICH WAS VERY CONVINCING.

However, it turned out that going out the night before I had to get up extra-early for a work thing had problems of its own. So I have made a very scientific presentation about THAT:


PS: No rilly though: Soup dumplings for the win. Shanghai Cafe Deluxe. Recommended!

On Monday, when I came home from work, Tom looked sadder than usual.

(He doesn’t really have, like, “facial expressions?” But in general he usually strikes me as sort of existentially concerned.)

He was sleeping with his nose all squished flat up against the wall, all melancholy, even while Betty’s up and about.

I know I’ve mentioned before that Tom is an astronaut, but I may not have actually explained that he has also achieved the rank of Major in the US Air Force. He’s really made the grade, and all the papers want to know whose shirts he wears. (Betty is a NASA scientist. Tom loves Betty very very much but she knows how dangerous space is, so she has decided that their love can never be, because it would hurt too much to lose him. Also, he’s an army dude, and kind of a big ol’ lumbering lunkhead, and she’s a literal rocket scientist, so, YOU KNOW. Plus, she is, as you can see, quite the classic beauty.)

Anyway, I was sad, too.

Here are some posts about from back when I first got Tom and Betty and they were still tiny and adorable and not GIANT NAUGHTY 42-POUND LUMPS OF ROCK THAT POOP. Re-reading those posts and looking at Betty’s belly button and remembering being able to hold them with two fingers cheered me up again a little. Maybe it will help you, too. (Tom was still a little sad, but Tom is a TURTLE, so what’re you gonna do? He got some extra Repto-Min that evening.)

Oh god oh god especially this I mean COME ON:


Chris’s Impression of Erwin This Morning:*

i’m going to try to eat every bit of plastic in your room and also jump onto stacks of books and knock them over and startle myself and run out of the room

* Related to me via gchat, so all caps and etc are [sic].


Wherein I Get a Hard Lesson in Morality from This Guy:

So I accidentally stole presents from orphans on Christmas Eve this year (basically), and then sought advice on whether or not I was allowed to just keep them or not from the obvious moral standard-bearer, Isley, via the obvious monthly advice-dispensing blog featuring a picture of Tyra Banks leaping, Mailbag Monday. It was kind of really useful advice! Go read it!

Thanks, Isley!

But PS: Would it have been funnier if I had used the picture of him standing shirtless in front of a police car giving a thumbs-up instead?

bernie sanders?

As those of you who know me in any sort of teeny-tiny capacity at all have surely heard about in lengthy, furious, excruciating detail, I have a co-worker that I don’t like. (What an unusual and notable trait, Jessica!) He’s a republican. (I brought an “I’m with Her” sticker to work one day and put it up on the wall behind my desk. He retaliated by bringing in a “Let’s Make America Great Again” sticker. My boss made him take it down. She didn’t make me take mine down. He threatened to tell HR that it was discriminatory. He was laughing a little bit when he said it, but I’m 96% sure that he wasn’t joking. I took mine down, too, just in case.) I found a cute gift for him at Housing Works a couple days ago! Two matching mugs: one republican-y, one democrat-y, so that we could both have one at our desks!

But then I remembered that I don’t like him, so I’m not going to give it to him. Yay new mug to force upon guests! (This is not the first time this has happened. I also own a vintage book of Reagan postcards that I really should give to him because it would be funny and nice except then I always remember that I DON’T LIKE HIM.)

Anyway, these mugs are weird! (Is the point of this whole fucking story.) The list of republicans and democrats that were chosen for these mugs is…confusing. It includes presidents and vice-presidents, and also first ladies, and, like, activists, and speakers of the house, and senators, and attorneys general. (I have no idea how many of those were supposed to be capitalized. Are you even supposed to capitalize “democrat” and “republican?” Look, IT’S TOO LATE THERE’S NO GOING BACK NOW.) They span weird timelines. It’s mostly pretty modern, but…then sometimes not. How were these people chosen? Is there some through-line here that I’m just not catching? Were they all…I don’t know…Boy Scouts or Friends of the Topeka Public Library or something specific that these mugs are commemorating?

The full list on the republican mug is:

George Bush
Newt Gingrich
John Ashcroft
Joseph McCarthy
Herbert Hoover
Richard Nixon
Trent Lott
George W Bush
Strom Thurman
Spiro Agnew
Tom Delay

And on the democrat mug is:

Harry Truman
Jesse Jackson
Al Gore
Jimmy Carter
Barack Obama
Hillary Clinton
Bill Clinton
Franklin D Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt
Robert Kennedy
John F Kennedy

(And am I right in feeling like they were maybe kind of TRYING to get some women and POCs on there, with Hillary and Eleanor and Jesse Jackson? Then again…they sure didn’t try very hard on the Republican end there, did they? I guess these might be old enough that Palin wasn’t an option yet. But…I dunno…Nancy Reagan? Um…okay, I genuinely am having a hard time thinking of a female or black republican they might have used. I dunno. Clarence Thomas? Ann Coulter? Margaret Thatcher!)

(Okay, I don’t know what’s the deal with all these parentheticals, but here’s another one about the guy I don’t like at work: So he was listening to one of the republican debates on his computer at work, and I half-overheard Carly Fiorina quoting Margaret Thatcher. I laughed and said: “Ha! She’s quoting Margaret Thatcher!” Because that’s the kind of quick-witted quip I come up with sometimes. And the guy said: “Yeah, see!” And I was all, “Eh?” And he went on to proudly point out that Fiorina totally must be one of those cool feminists like I’m always going on about, because of how she’s quoting other noted feminists such as Margaret Thatcher.)

Well, I used a special researching tool called “the internet” and I found the company that makes these mugs! The republican/democrat mugs are still for sale, though the people on them have been updated: Paul Ryan is on the republican one these days! The descriptions for the two mugs are:

From past presidents to current Senators, turn your morning coffee into a Grand Old Party with this ceramic mug. Featuring you favorite right-wing heros like Nixon, Palin, Christie, and of course Reagan!

Have your moring coffee with Clinton, Roosevelt, Kennedy, and more. From past presidents to current Surpeme Court judges, this ceramic mug is a tribute to all your favorite left-wing heros!

Sooo…I guess the through-line is just “right-wing/left wing heros?” (Also, that’s not how you spell “heroes,” is it?) (Also, I’m just noticing now that that’s definitely not how you spell “supreme” or “morning.” Huh.)

They also have a few other versions with specific people on them. For instance, Hillary’s and Bill’s portraits have both been slightly updated for their current individual mugs. Bill is a little skinnier and wrinklier these days, and Hillary is much much happier-looking. Seems right.

Her 2016 presidential campaign is in full swing! Start off your day with this Hillary Clinton coffee mug – relevant today, a relic tomorrow!

“A relic tomorrow?” I can’t tell if I’m a little offended by that or not. Though at least it’s better than poor Bernie got:

Ooof, that question mark. Brutal, man. The description on his is:

This perfect little sauce dish makes a great gift. Dip sushi in soy sauce, bread in olive oil – the possibilities are endless!

First of all…I mean, not THAT endless. But also, why does he get the sauce dish, when everybody else gets mugs? Is that another subtle little insult?

And I’m still not fully comfortable with how the list of people on the republican/democrat mugs were chosen! Who gets to make that decision? Who wields such power??? And what if you use the Bernie Sanders sauce dish to dip carrots in salad dressing? Croissants in honey? Strawberries in chocolate sauce? Ugh, SOCIALISTS.

Hey guess what! I made sausage balls! Also, I got nominated by the Chattahoochee Review for a Pushcart Prize!

One of the super-nice undergrads who works in my dept said: “Oh my gosh, that’s awesome! Wow, Jessica, congratulations! What’s the Pushcart Prize?” (She’s the straight-up best.) Well, fyi to super-nice undergrads and everybody else: the Pushcart Prize is GENUINELY IMPRESSIVE. Like, Raymond Carver and Junot Diaz and Joyce Carol Oats win the Pushcart Prize. I…am not going to win the Pushcart Prize this year.

Lots of people get nominated for the Pushcart. And a LOT of people on the internet think that that means it’s super dumb and I’m super dumb if I was excited about it. And they have spent a lot of time writing a lot of words to tell me all about the dumbness of getting nominated and the dumbness of being excited about it, and they are mostly a bunch of stinkball jerks who I’m not going to link to, but – I sure did kind of enjoy this one. He’s just SO MAD! And if I’m reading it correctly, the thing he’s most mad about is that the winners of the Pushcart Prize are celebrated, published, successful writers. And why would anybody ever want to be one of THOSE!?

Past winners of the Pushcart read like a who’s who of the Academic/Industrial Literary Complex, including English professors, ex or otherwise, Charles Simic, Robert Pinsky, Joyce Carol Oates, Ray Carver, André Dubus, Margaret Atwood, and Richard Ford. Updike is also a winner, but for some reason never became a professor.

I’m…pretty sure that’s a dig there at the end, right? It’s WRITTEN like a dig. But…I don’t quite understand HOW it’s a dig. Is it a dig at Updike? Or at everyone else? No one knows!

Also! The internet was also super unimpressed and stinkball jerky about me being a finalist for a Glimmer Train contest. I don’t remember why exactly and none of them were cute enough to bother linking to. But man, I sure do need to stop googling things I am happy about.

I did not ask the internet what they thought about this postcard I got in the mail the other day:

Eh, I know you can’t see it here, but that’s an advertisement thing that a journal mailed to me (the same one that nominated me for a Pushcart), and that’s my story that the journal is open to, in the photo! I’m being used as advertising! I’m pretty much a paid celebrity endorser, basically.

So boom take that, stinkball jerks, and bite my sausage balls. (Except don’t because you don’t get any, HA.)

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