1. This week there has been an uptick in Thought-Catalog-listicle-sharing on my Facebook newsfeed. A few years ago I used to sometimes feel annoyed by Thought Catalog, particularly when something to do with Tao Lin was on offer. Time has not improved this.
2. People in their twenties ought not to advise other people in their twenties to leech every ounce of pleasure out of their twenties by overstating the significance of their twenties while minimizing actual emotional engagement with their twenties via the dissemination of self-indulgent pap. But, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
3. This is where some people would discuss Millennials, but to discuss Millennials is to distract oneself from the universal truth that young people are grating.
4. I was a terrible person in my twenties. I was an animal, probably some kind of herbivore because I couldn’t look at anything straight-on; my eyes were on the sides of my head. In short, I was a coward, and I still am. If I were asked to give advice to people in their twenties, I would have to decline! Who needs pseudo-philosophical advice on how to enjoy youth? Youth enjoys itself! Who needs life hacks? Buy less, give more, and stop being an asshole.
5. I got an actual catalog — the L.L. Bean catalog — in the mail yesterday. Warmth at a good price really can’t be beat. Actually, if I were to give advice to a person in her twenties, I would tell her to wear good quality wool socks and winter boots in the cold. It was a lesson I learned too late, I’m afraid, and by then many winters had already been wasted.
What’s my secret?
I wear the foulest of pajamas, by which I mean the squishiest, and the most infantilizing. I lock myself in a warm room with a hot drink. And I turn off the internet. The internet is for plebs.
And then I set a timer. Every twenty-five minutes, I stand up for five minutes because I am afraid of death.
Also, I quit my day job. It’s that simple.
Unemployment + nasty pajamas + hot liquid + pomodoro – internet = many pages of mediocre fiction
Hey. Go to The Golden Key right now and read “The Swan.”
Better yet, make a donation and download the entire issue. As a professional business person and an artist, it’s my duty to tell you that free fiction is neither advisable nor sustainable. Or as my mother would say, “When you don’t pay for media, you’re stealing someone’s livelihood.”
Many thanks to the Golden Key for publishing this story!
Need free legal counsel, please. My lawyer charges much too much.
Without further ado:
I am so totally remiss in not posting about this earlier. I would like to announce that my short story, “Black Habits,” was published by Etopia Press last fall both as a standalone Ebook, and as part of the Touched By Darkness anthology.* One reviewer notes its ”gory, graphic, unexpected horror-on a strong foundation of psychological horror founded in the Id’s conflict with guilt and shame.” I think that’s generous, but I’ll take it. No, but really, this story was a joy to work on, and in terms of sheer delight while writing, I doubt I’ll ever top it.
*Subsequent to its publication, I’ve received two royalty statements, and have earned in total $8. This is very exciting, and I suggest that you add to that amount by purchasing a copy immediately. Proceeds go towards the purchase of a plastic Adirondack chair for the back porch. Or better eyeliner because I keep buying cheap stuff and it really isn’t any good. Also, I ran out of my expensive moisturizer, so obviously I could use the money. Buy this story today. The standalone copy is 99 cents. For that price, you don’t even have to feel bad about not reading it.
I was like stoked when I read somewhere on the internet that someone had seen old school Herbal Essences at Target, and I was even way more excited when I encountered these venerable old shampoos on the shelf IRL in person. Forget that they market the conditioner as sulfate-free, when the shampoo does itself bear sulfates within its listed ingredients, while the shampoo does claim to be silicone-free, even thought its sister conditioner contains dimethicone! Wat. Dimethicone, or polydimethylsiloxane, is a silicone. Wat?! When used in tandem, Herbal Essences will free your hair from neither sulfates, nor silicone, but will instead deposit a goodly amount of each onto your head. Yar.
A long time ago, I used to think that these products smelled like youth itself and the carefree living we enjoyed in pre-9/11 America. Now these shampoos smell like a hangover, but not as much as my Sacha Juan volume powder does. It has been suggested to me that this is mainly an association on my part, having nothing to do with objective qualities of the scents in question. Oh my herbally-perfumed salad days, you are far behind me.
Nostalgia and terrible copy aside, this shampoo is actively the worst. Even while reveling in the sensual fragrance of their rosy shampoo/conditioner, I used to wonder why my hair was always so heavy and flat and greasy. I thought it was my hair’s fault, or that I was fifteen and didn’t know how to groom myself. No. It was Herbal Essences wrecking my shit. My husband has been using these vintage hair products, and his soft brown curls doth suffer their effects. We will get through these bottles, I believe, but only on account of our being too lazy to do otherwise.
So I have all of these perfume samples. Some of them were stocking stuffers and some have accompanied purchases, and oh god there are just so many of them.
So I thought I’d try one: Juicy Couture “Viva La Juicy,” never mind that those words don’t seem to mean anything. I don’t usually wear fragrance. It gives me a headache. I don’t like it when other people wear fragrance. It isn’t necessary. We all have showers and baths now, we don’t stink of pottage or manure. Fragrance is for squalor. If you have nothing to hide, why are you wearing fragrance? Why anoint yourself with the musk of civet cats if you are a clean person?
Juicy Couture “Viva La Juicy” does not smell like delicious wild berries, creamy vanilla, or bright jasmine. It smells like funky sex. It smells like a sex shop. It smells like someone who wants to cover up their transgressions. I can’t get it off of me. This is horrible. If any one can tell me how to get this stink off of me, I would be much obliged.