Archive | October, 2011

Dear Arcane Work Attire Rules

28 Oct

Dear Arcane Work Attire Rules,

Did you guys know that most hotels require their female employees to wear pantyhose? At all times? Including under their pants?


This isn’t some rule like, “skirts of an appropriate length,” or even “elbows must be covered.”

Also Disneyland. And Disneyworld. Full skirts, full jackets, pantyhose under the pants.

Are their bosses encouraged to check? “Let me just pinch this thigh here and see if I can snap it outward…Nope? That’s flesh? Ouch, that must’ve hurt. Well, into the punishment coat room with you!”

Hotels, Disneyland, and Disneyworld: tourist spots, Southern California, and Florida. Hot, hot, and Florida.

I’ve been following Kate Middleton’s fashion, you guys, and they even let her wear pants sometimes. You know, just pants. I mean, I guess the photographs don’t really show that stretchy, oppressively tight nude shimmer beneath her clothes…but you can usually tell if you look at the feet. Skin’s just not that shiny. It doesn’t catch light in that way. It’s sort of like R. Pattz on a cloudy vs. a sunny day.

Men apparently are allowed to wear socks with their pants. This is because men’s legs, when covered by fabric, are appropriate for public and considered what we call “family-friendly.” Women’s legs are just so DAMN SEXY that they need the force-field strength repellent of nude pantyhose to keep them from going full Jessica Rabbit.

Plus the “control top” really helps smooth out those unsightly womanly curves that come from having a womb.


PS— Pantyhose. under. pants.

PPS– When I was writing this, I kept typing “pantyhouse.” But that’s a whole different thing. It’s a lot sexier, probably.


Dear Library

25 Oct

Dear Library,

I adore libraries. Obviously: they’re buildings with books. For free. Even if books aren’t your style, they have movies. My one complaint is that they should allow food. I hate reading without eating.

And I understand that I’m part of a school system– the California State Universities– that is hurting like a stake stabbed under your thumbnail right now. They’re hurting so badly that when the graduate student union asked the president of my university to waive tuition for TAs (a standard practice across the country so that the meager sums they pay us to teach their courses don’t immediately go back to them in the form of US paying for OUR classes), he said that we shouldn’t worry about tuition. Because the university might shut down. Tomorrow.

If that isn’t a reason to exercise fee deferment eligibility, I don’t know what it is.

But, Library! I turned that book in on Monday! I don’t think hitting me up for late fees for a book that you lost is the way to go.

Me: So I turned that book in. To the box that says “Return Books Here.” Was I not supposed to do that?

Library Guy: When’d you turn it in?

Me: The day it was due.

Library Guy: It says here you haven’t turned it in yet.

Me: ….

Library Guy: Ok, I’ll fill out this form here claiming you SAY you “turned it in.”

Me: What then?

Library Guy: We’ll look for it. You’ll hear back from us in about five weeks. If we can’t find it, we’ll charge you for the book.

Me: But I turned it in.

Library Guy: Sure you did. If we can’t find it, then we charge you for it.

Me: Really? That’s how you’re going to play this?

Rumor is they charge more than the book retails for. Rumor is this has happened to at least 4 people that I know. I think I’m getting scammed. By the smallest, most white-collar, liberal-intelligentsia crime ring ever. You’d think they could just ask for donations.

What’s even better is that it’s a book that was sent over from the nearest University of California school. A system which gives their graduate TAs tuition waivers. It was a book that my poor, broke-ass library doesn’t even have.



Dear Ppl Who Think It’s Cool to Make Me Justify Life Choices

21 Oct

Dear Ppl Who Think It’s Cool to Make Me Justify Life Choices the First Time They Meet Me,

Hey dude. I just met you. So when you ask me what I do and I say, “I’m getting my master’s in creative writing,” the proper response is “Cool,” or “What do you write?” or, “So….do you wanna write books’n’stuff?” or “I really love Harry Potter,” or “My great aunt published a poem once.”

It is not, “WHY would you get a master’s degree in that?” said in a tone of voice that clearly indicates you think it’s ridiculous because you wrote a very creative Facebook invite once and it’s not that hard, so I must clearly be a special sort of delayed cavewoman to need an advanced degree to understand how to do it.

Hint: just because you say it with a smile doesn’t mean I won’t want to rip your face off!

I know you’re challenging the very worth of what I spend my time doing. If you don’t think that’s what’s going on—if you think you’re just making conversation— then when’s the last time you asked a lawyer why s/he got an advanced degree? “Because they have to have one to do what they do,” right? But a writer– a writer could just write.

What about politicians? Oh, those guys. Those crazy, non-practicing lawyers. What goofballs, thinking they should learn some stuff about some stuff about laws and what’s legal and illegal before they run for office and stuff so that they can do a fair to middling job or whatever.

Then! When I mention teaching creative writing, the proper response is NOT, “Yeah, but can creative writing even be taught?”

Wow! Double whammy! Hit me from both sides! Simultaneously accusing me of studying something that can’t be learned and of teaching something that can’t be taught! You’re right. Due to your insight, I am going to change my life and become a— I’m sorry, what was it that you do? I’m going to do that, because clearly it’s very useful.

Now “can art be taught and how” is an interesting debate when bandied about by people seriously engaged in the practice of art and attempting to parse out the boundaries between talent and skill, craft and genius, inspiration and perspiration. It’s a terrible debate when you ask, because I’m just going to say “yes” and then stare at you blankly.

You don’t like the “yes and stare blankly” approach? Ok, well the other answer is this: “Did I mention that it’s my time I’m spending, and not yours? But right now you are spending my time by making me justify my existence to you?”

Oh wait, but you asked me with a smile, so now I’m the asshole. I should have started this letter with “No offense, but…” What?!? No way, bro.



Dear Happy Birthday Well-Wishers

18 Oct

Dear Happy Birthday Well-Wishers,

Aw, guys, it’s super sweet of you to wish people happy birthday. And I understand that being the 79th person to type, “Happy birthday, Harry!” on someone’s Facebook wall feels lame.

But that is NO EXCUSE for typing “HBD!” with one finger while you sip your triple carmel mocha latte and sext your boyfriend while at work. If posting a repetitive “happy birthday” post feels stupid to you, think how super lame it looks to the person whose birthday it is when you can’t even do that. You can’t type ten extra letters? That “p” just too hard to reach for?  You are a level below lame! Congratulations! That is hard.

On the day when Harry went to all the trouble of pushing his way out of his mother’s womb like a bowling ball through a mouse-sized hole in a wall made of exposed nerve endings, you can’t be bothered to send a present, send a card, make a phone call, or send a text. No no, it’s all Facebook wall for you— and now you can’t write out the full traditional greeting of well wishes and real words with vowels and everything?!?

You know what the worst thing is? The thing that really gets my goat backed up against a fence and bleating in protest and about to kick you with angry little goat hooves? It should just be “HB.”



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