Friday, June 27, 2014

Migraines? I Like to Think of Them as Ourgraines

Hey. Hi. 

I'm speaking in a whisper, so be sure to adjust your inner monologue levels starting now.

We have to whisper. If it helps, imagine you're Arya in the bowels of the castle at King's Landing. 

Oh, no, friendly reader companion! Some guys are plotting to murder the Hand of the King, Arya's father, Ned Stark. We must speak only in whispers or they'll catch us for sure.

Good. Very good. Just take that inner voice volume down like seven notches. There you go. Gentle, relaxing tones like you're a yoga instructor who does voiceover work for one of those "Women Who Murder" shows on Oxygen. Shhhhh….

This is no adjustment for me. I've been talking like this for ages. My boyfriend gets migraines. This bout has lasted two weeks so far. When people ask me what I've been up to, that's what I tell them. "Migraines. So many migraines." I sit in the dark. I make no noise. Not to sound martyr-ish, but that's where we are. Any little thing could set off a new migraine. The other day I ate some chips in the next room, and he told me afterward that the sound of it made him almost barf. 

I had a migraine once. It was adorable, when I think back on it. It was the Finding Nemo of migraines. I wore my sunglasses for 24 hours and knocked myself out with ordinary over-the-counter medications that might as well have been Skittles. I recovered. I was back at work the next day. These migraines are so much more than my piddly migraine. I'm sorry I mentioned it. I'm so embarrassed. 

My mom always tells me to look for the positive in things. Sometimes I just look at her like she's crazy. Sometimes I actually try it. 

Here goes. 

1. I get to eat all the leftovers, now that my man is on a diet of applesauce and crackers.
2. I get the whole couch to myself basically all the time, so I can lay on it and spread out like I'm the Pablo Escobar of this couch.

Those are the only two positives I was able to think of just now.

I don't have time to write all the negatives, so here is this video that I think sums them up nicely.


I'm going to stare into the refrigerator with a helpless look on my face now. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

FEAR ABBY: An Advice Column

Be afraid. To seek advice.


FEAR ABBY,

My boyfriend is cheating on me. What do I do?

Helpless in Wisconsin


HELPLESS IN WISCONSIN,

Do you have a cellar? Do you have gloves? Maybe it's time for Mitchell to have an accident. Oh, yeah. I know his name is Mitchell. I know where he lives. I know where you live. Do you always hide your house keys under that rock beside your porch?

Yours in Death,

FEAR ABBY



FEAR ABBY,

I can't help it. I feel like you're watching me all the time. In the shower. From my closet. Any time I'm alone. Is there any truth to this, or am I just being paranoid?

Your Next Door Neighbor Helen


ELLEN OR WHATEVER,

No, shut up. Just that one time.

I'm slowly and methodically killing you with poison,

FEAR ABBY



FEAR ABBY,

What do you mean you're killing me with poison?

Helen from Next Door


HELEN,

Oh, ha ha ha. I'm only kidding. It's just a little neighbor humor.

I ate your dog the other day,

FEAR ABBY



FEAR ABBY,

Do you have any advice for a guy who just wants to stand under the streetlight on the corner wearing a clown mask for a living?

Bongo the Terror Clown


Dear Bongo,

No. I am indifferent to your plight.

FEAR ABBY



FEAR ABBY,

Oh, Jesus Christ. Is that what happened to Scruffy? You MONSTER.

Helen from Next Door. You know, Helen of "Helen and Bob"?


HELEN,

I was just kidding. NO I WASN'T.

FEAR ABBY

Monday, June 16, 2014

I Did This to Myself: I Let Modeling Go to My Head

At the height of my modeling career.

























"Hey, can I use you as a hand model this weekend?" my boyfriend asked.

I looked up from the thing I was doing, which was probably just being unbelievably beautiful for hours on end.

"It's for this thing for work," he added.

"I'm so flattered, Michael," I said, trying to play it cool. He could not know that he had just said words that I had been waiting for my entire life.

At last I could tell people I was a model.

"Just my hands?" I asked, drawing my shapely lips into a pout.

"Yes. Your hands at various locations around the city. It's for an ad I'm working on."

I knew I had a lot more to offer than just my hands, but what could I say? A gig was a gig. And a paying gig as well, as Mike promised me that I could eat the piece of pizza he planned to photograph with my hands as part of the "New York experience" photo series.

"I would be happy to hand model for you," I said, fluttering two lush fields of eyelashes in his direction.

"Okay," he said. He'd already gone back to reading comics.

Preparing for my first real modeling gig was a no-brainer. I had to get into the best hand shape of my life, and I only had one day to do it. I began my rigorous workout first thing Friday morning.

"Look! Over there!" I gestured.

"What?" Mike asked, looking out the apartment window where I had pointed.

"Shhhhhhh!" I said, drawing a finger to my lips. "I have five more sets of jazz hands. I need to concentrate."

He was patient, not even batting an eye as I hummed "Single Ladies" to myself and began to flip my hands back and forth during dinner that night.
Tone is very important to hand beauty.

























On Saturday morning, I woke up early and did some texting to warm up my thumbs.

"I haven't even asked you what I should wear," I commented to Michael over breakfast.

"Whatever you want," he replied, shrugging.

"Probably whatever will frame my hands the best," I said, nodding. "Something a little caj. Understated. Modern."

"What you have on is fine."

"Is it?" I asked. I feared he was testing me. I'd heard stories of photographers who said that things were "fine," and then you never worked again. I needed to be careful. Fine was such a dangerous word.

In the end, I went with the strappy summer dress. When Mike moved in in an apparent attempt to grope me (typical photog behavior), I knew I'd made the right choice.

"Are you ready to go?" he asked.

We stepped out the door together. Out towards destiny? Maybe.

Our first shooting location was the tram to Roosevelt Island.

"Cup your hands like you're holding the Queensborough Bridge," Mike said. As I did, he snapped several photos.

"Is this right?" I kept asking. I couldn't read from his face whether or not he was pleased with my work.

"Maybe just tip your hands a little more towards the camera," he replied.

I did. When it still wasn't quite right, he moved my hands the way he wanted them. "Like that," he said.

As we walked along Roosevelt Island and snapped photos of me cupping various buildings in the Manhattan skyline with my shapely hands, I began to feel more natural. Confident even.

"I'm going to cup the Long Island City Pepsi sign," I said. "Then, I'm going to cup that abandoned hospital. And this might just be me going out on a limb here, but what do you think of my hands framing that seagull eating an old bagel? Like it's a tribute to squalor or something?"

I could tell by the look on his face that he was nonplussed by my creative input.

"Maybe just come back over here and let me get a few more shots of the UN?" he said, boringly.

We walked back towards the tram. We were going to head to Times Square so I could cup a dirty guy dressed as Elmo with my delicate fingers. But then something happened. Something that would change my hand modeling career, my very life, forever.

"Mommy!" I heard a voice cry.

I cupped one comely hand to my ear.

"Did you hear something?" I asked Mike. He hadn't, of course.

It was a little boy who had lost his mom at the FDR memorial. I knew I could help.

"Are you lost?" I asked him.

"Yes," the little boy replied, frantically.

"Well, don't worry," I said, with reassurance in my voice. "I can help. I'm a model."

I flexed my fingers in preparation.

"Now," I said. "Which way did she go?"

I pointed one direction. "Did she go that way?"

I pointed in the opposite direction. "Or maybe it was that way."

I flapped my hands over my midsection. "Do you remember what she was wearing?" I asked. "A hat? Sunglasses? Maybe a wig like Marie Antoinette?" With each suggestion, I moved my hands to represent the possible article of clothing. Perhaps it would awaken a memory of the last time the boy had seen his mother.

The boy was just crying by then.

Finally, he scampered off the direction I had first pointed, toward a woman wearing a blue and white striped top.

"Stripes. I should have known," I muttered.

As we continued walking toward the tram, I started thinking that I could do so much more than hold New York in my hands. By this time next month, I could be cupping Big Ben or the Kremlin for some fancy photographer named Giovanni. I could give the world the gift of my hands.

"Do you ever feel like you've just done a miraculous thing?" I asked.

Could the world handle my hands? 



















"Would you mind if we got just one more photo of the bridge?" Mike asked, ignoring my comment like a jerk.

I knew then that I had outgrown him.

"The bridge?" I asked. "You have the Adriana Lima of hands in front of you, and you want to photograph a bridge?"

"I think you might be getting a little too into this modeling thing, Bethany," Mike said.

"Am I, Miguel?" I replied. "Am I?"

He bought me a bottle of water and made me drink it, sitting on a bench that looked out at the river.

"Feel better?" he asked.

"Yeah," I said. "Sorry about that."

"It's okay," Mike said. He put his arm around me. Times Square (and the world) would just have to wait.

"Hey, would you do me a favor?" I asked, humbled at last.

"Sure," he replied.

"Don't Photoshop my fingers to make them thinner."

Thursday, June 12, 2014

My Second Favorite Scene from Christopher Pike's See You Later

NOOOO! NOT CHINA!



















I know you guys have been waiting all day and all night to see more of Batman and Catwoman reenacting my favorite scenes from Christopher Pike's See You Later. This is my second favorite scene. Just remember that after this, you're just going to have to read this book on your own. I'll be busy preparing for my one-woman show of my favorite scenes from Christopher Pike's Die Softly. Be sure to tune in!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Welcome to Bethville Theater Presents: Christopher Pike's See You Later

See you later. (This isn't a caption. It's a personal note
for someone. Stop reading it. It's personal.)


























The other day I just happened to be in a used book store. My reasons for being there are my own, so don't even think about asking. They may or may not have something to do with hiding from someone. Someone who might be another version of me, but I can neither confirm nor deny that. It's possible that I accidentally traveled back in time to visit an earlier version of myself to make sure she doesn't make the mistake of her life. I was not successful, if you must know. (I used the Nair on a place I shouldn't have.) But a good thing did come out of the experience and that is that I happened to be in a used book store that had almost the complete set of Christopher Pike's teen romance/sci-fi/horror novels from the 1990s.

With names like Die Softly, Bury Me Deep, and Whisper of Death, these books whispered softly deep into my ear all the things teen girls want to know. Such as, "Should I kill a guy if he gives me herpes?" Or, "Do all scuba dives result in murder?" And finally, "Are all head cheerleaders evil, murderous drug dealers who drive Ferraris?"

I used to scrounge for loose change so that I could buy the latest Christopher Pike novel. I loved them with the scary intensity of a cocaine-addled high school quarterback with an axe. Now that I'm an adult, I can read them again and try to decide if they hold up. They don't.

See You Later was one of my favorites. It made me cry, LIKE, OH MY GOD, with this pivotal scene at the end of chapter 10. I won't tell you what happened because I can't capture the awesomeness of this scene with stupid wordy words. Instead, I made this reenactment video. You can watch it if you want to.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How to Not Have a Job Effectively

I'm too unemployed to write a caption. 
















So, I recently lost my job.

But don't cry for me, Argentina. I'm, like, fine. I've been trying to think of a metaphor to describe my ex-job for twenty minutes, and the only one I can think of is "human centipede." As in, "My former job was a human centipede." Not, "My former job was like a human centipede." Because that would be a simile.

Anyway.

When you're unemployed, people have a lot of advice. Like the reason you lost your job in the first place was maybe that you weren't networking effectively or using the right fonts on your resume. (Like layoffs have something to do with you, and not that your former company was run like a human centipede.) It's 10 percent "job fair blah-blah-blah" and 90 percent mouth farts. I'm all stocked up on advice over here. Thanks.

But what about the advice you need for when you're just sitting at home waiting for your unemployment benefits to go through? Or when you're waiting for that temp agency to email you back? Where's the advice for when you're just killing time, trying to make your life a little less shitty?

I'm so glad you asked. Here is my advice for being a better unemployed you.

1. Stock up on some unemployment groceries. This is not the time to blow all $0 of that severance package you didn't get because your former company was a human centipede on kale smoothies and yogurt. You need ice cream. You need chips. You need some cheese that comes in a can. Maybe you're feeling positive today and are thinking, "I'm going to get healthy!" But shut your dumb unemployed face and head over to the cookie aisle. Tomorrow you won't feel that positive, trust me. They have root beer float Chips Ahoy now. DID YOU KNOW THAT?? DID YOU? Of course you didn't. You were too busy before, checking your work email and putting in a request for some IT asshole to fix the copy machine, which he will ignore for at least three hours. GET THOSE COOKIES.

2. Leave notes around to remind you what day it is. About Day 3 of being unemployed, you'll stop looking at the clock. Darkness will come, and you'll be afraid. DON'T BE AFRAID. That darkness is totally normal. It just means it's time for you to have dinner, which will consist of a mustard sandwich and some stale crackers because you were too busy watching all of the Netflix to go outside all day and buy food things. Notes will remind you that it's Tuesday and you need toilet paper.

3. Stop doing your hair. Nobody cares.

4. When people ask about your day, tell them in detail so that they don't ask again. Like this, but all in monotone. "It was good. I woke up at 7 AM. I took a shower. I walked into the kitchen, but I was too depressed to cook, so I ate some peanut butter on a Triscuit. It was a garlic Triscuit. Then, I went to the bathroom where I sat on the toilet playing Tiny Tower on my phone for 45 minutes. Then, I sang 'The Wind Beneath My Wings' to my cats. They maybe loved it. I don't know. They were all asleep. I filled out unemployment paperwork. I wrote a cover letter for some job I'm overqualified for and probably won't even get an interview. I cried into a pillow. At 11:45, I ate lunch. What did I have? So glad you asked. It was just a can of beans, two Cheetos, and some water. No, that was yesterday. Today, I had some leftover taco meat. I'm going to trail off now because I don't really want to talk to you anymore…"

5. Shower?

6. Give yourself goals. Go out for things like pancake mix. Don't actually make pancakes. Look up things to do for free. Do none of them.

7. Pretend like you're in a big hurry at Starbucks. This is really fun. "I'm busy and important. I have a meeting in five minutes. Hurrumph! Hurrumph! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? I'm CEO of Couch Corp. I'll have all your jobs." Don't drag it out too long, or you'll end up on YouTube.

8. Look at Facebook and play a drinking game where if people are talking about Orange Is the New Black, take one drink. For Game of Thrones, take two drinks. You can do this with either wine or water. Either you'll end up drunk or hydrated. The end.

Well, I'd love to stay and tell you more things to do, but I have to finish watching Community now. Okay, bye.