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My boyfriend H is a very generous and giving person.  He is the ultimate volunteer, he likes to donate stuff (time, money, goods, services), he is overall a very civic-minded fellow.  Which is great!

Except when November rolls around.

You see, recently a black cloud has settled over my Novembers, and it’s not just Autumn rolling in with a vengeance.  Oh no.  This is a cloud of a different variety.  A hairier variety, if you will.

Movember is a charity event held every November to raise money for Men’s Cancer.  Sounds innocent enough, right?  WRONG.  Do you know what the MO stands for in Movember?  Do you?  I’ll give you 5 seconds to think.

Did you figure it out?  No?

MUSTACHES.

That’s right.  Some evil genius decided that to participate in Movember (which is a great charity for a great cause, don’t get me wrong) you must grow a mustache.  On your face.  For four. Entire. Weeks.

Let’s do the math, shall we?  Charity-friendly boyfriend + his uncanny ability to sprout facial hair + worldwide event in which you can showcase your manliness and throw the occasional party ‘for a good cause’ + excuse to embarrass and anger his girlfriend (always fun) = H’s participation in Movember.

That’s right.  H is, as we speak, the proud and gleeful owner of a disgusting and disturbing mustache.  Made of hair. On his face.  A real one.

This is not the first time that H has terrorized me with facial hair.  Over the years I have been forced to deal with various iterations of his scruff, including the full beard, the long, scraggly goatee, the full beard WITH the long scraggly goatee integrated into it, the isolated chin scruff, the long sideburns, and of course, my personal nightmare, the classic kiddie-toucher mustache. With the advent of Movember, however, he now has an excuse that I have no argument against.  Oh, you hate my facial hair, Mary?  GUESS YOU LOVE CANCER THEN.

I cannot impress upon you guys enough how enraged The Mustache makes me.  Whenever I see him my thought process goes something like this:

1. HAY!  BOYFRAND!

2. So tall! Such nice blue eyes!

3. BLEEEEEEARRRGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH STACHE. WHY. WHY GOD.   IT IS SO SO SOOOOO UGLY.  IT IS STILL THERE.  IT IS RUINING EVERYTHING. PEOPLE ARE STARING.

I’m not exaggerating.  In the least.  I become positively apoplectic.  I glare at it.  Not him, it. The Mustache.

I don’t know why it makes me so mad.  It just does. The Mustache holds a mystical and dangerous power over me.

But now, backed by the power of a cancer charity, there is no hope.  I’m condemned to suffer the eye-searing sight of MUSTACHE.  All up in my grill, taunting me, scratching my face, making me seethe, all the time.

November is a bleak month.  Bleak and angry.

Well, actually, scratch that.  H loves his mustache.  He is apparently blind to the fact that it makes him look a little bit like the principal in Ferris Bueller’s Day off (who, not at all coincidentally, has recently been arrested for kiddie porn charges and pedophilia.  Not kidding).  He apparently enjoys the fact that, when out in public, people have to do a double take to ascertain whether or not his is an ironic mustache or a true, creep-star mustache.  I want to stick a button on him that states, in large font, I’M DOING THIS FOR CHARITY, NOT FOR REAL LIFE.  But to no one’s surprise, he refuses.

You can see it, don't lie.

I know there are people out there (my dad, H’s dad, and H, mostly) who will argue that mustaches look good.  And to them I say, no.  No they do not.  Not ironically, not seriously, not for charity, not even if you are a cop (DAD!).  They never.  Ever.  EVER.  Look good.

But they can be hilarious.  When they aren’t taking up space on my boyfriend’s face, that is.  And to that end, I would like to conclude this ragey post with some humorous pictures of crazy staches.  Let’s just hope this does not inspire H.  Because let’s be honest.  I will harm someone if this goes on.

The Competitive Stache

 

The Finger-Stache

The Your-Doing-It-Wrong Stache

 

the...well actually, I could be convinced with this one (stache)

 

 

The Hair Stache

 

 

The ironic stache

 

PS: Happy Thanksgiving!  Gobble gobble.

PPS: Thanks to B and S for unconsciously donating their stache pictures, (the two babes above).  Love you gals.

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I don’t know if you guys stay up on the local NYC news at all, but let me just tell you what the latest thing has been: A BEDBUG EPIDEMIC.

That’s right.  Those revolting little creepy crawly things that infest your bed/apartment/life and mercilessly bite you and feed on your life blood.  Are all the eff over my current place of residence, apparently.

I was going to insert some explanatory pictures in this post, but I just google-imaged ‘bedbugs’ and LET ME  TELL YOU.  I am now itchy all over and have thrown up in my mouth a little bit.  DO NOT. DO IT.

If there is one thing I simply cannot tolerate it is bugs of any kind.  I am that girl.  You know the type.  The girl who spots any kind of insect (okay MAYBE I can handle lady-bugs.  Only if I don’t look at them too closely) and proceeds to run screeching out of the room/general vicinity and freak out until someone else steps in and kills it.

Note.  I do not do the killing.  As much as I want to, I can’t bring myself to squish those evil little beings.  It also is completely unacceptable to chase away said bug.  I must witness the squishing. Having it run away just leaves me wondering when/if it is going to reappear, crawl into my ear canal, and lay eggs as revenge for all the yelling.  Effectively killing me.  Probably.

What prompted this post today is a recent rash (pun intended!) of bedbug outbreaks in NYC.  First there was word that the gigantic Hollister store mere blocks from my office had found bedbugs in the clothing and was forced to shut down.  Yes.  Let me reiterate.  They found bedbugs in the clothes they sell to people.

Now, I have never been inside that store (because I am 1. not a tween 2. not from the Midwest and 3. don’t want to die from cologne over-exposure).  But the fact that I’ve walked by it a few times on my way up Broadway was quite enough to inspire much anxiety over bedbugs.  Suffice it to say that I have not been into any retail stores in that general vicinity since this story broke.  Because…ew.

Obviously Hollister closed the store for a weekend-ish and addressed the issue.  Then store was promptly reopened and I was horrified to see Tourists of every shape and size streaming in and out not long after.  What is WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!  Do they not have bedbugs in Iowa?!

From there, this whole bedbug thing seemed to explode.  After Hollister it was the Abercrombie & Fitch in the South Street Seaport (an area where I used to get my hair cut…never again).  Then Victoria’s Secret. Then it was a variety of corporate offices.  Then it was a District Attorney’s office in Brooklyn.  And today we get word that the AMC movie theater in Times Square has been shut down.  Betcha can’t guess why!

Before this bedbug blitz they were generally considered something that you got if you picked up old furniture from the curb, or brought home from a disgusting hotel.  But now it seems there is no place safe.  Which is terrifying.

Apparently Mayor Bloomberg  has “declared war” on bedbugs.  There is now a ‘Bedbug Council” and he wants to appoint a “Bedbug Czar” (awesome job title to put on the ole resume).  But the real problem is that the very thing that absolutely wipes out bedbugs without a trace, DDT, is still illegal.

I feel like America has this problem.  We are too good at figuring out how to protect ourselves from bad stuff.  What we don’t realize is that Mother Nature is way better at out-smarting us.  Oh, you invented Anti-Bacterial soap, humans?  Here are some super-strong hyper-mutant bacteria that are resistant to all kinds of soap.  Now they will kill you. Great job!

Same with DDT and Bedbugs.  We synthesize DDT, use it a bunch, then decide–oops!–it’s bad.  So we stop using it.  AND all those sneaky bedbugs come out of hiding, now immune to pretty much everything (other than DDT, obvs).  Can we just legalize that again?  I don’t care if I grow a 3rd arm or if all the Bald Eagles die. I’m sorry.  At least I’ll be freaking bedbug free.

Alternately, I’ll buy myself a beagle.  Just like Bergdorf’s.  They are expert bedbug sniffer-outers, you see.  And (bonus!) they’re cute!

Found 'em, guys!

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So my mom was in the hospital last week for reasons that I don’t feel like explaining (this is a lighthearted blog, people).  The important thing is that she did great, she’s home now, and she’s on her way to recovery with some help from her new friends Oxycontin, Percocet, and Dilaudid.

I unfortunately was not present for this new high (new low), but I was sent photographic proof and felt the need to share it with the world.

If you’ve never had the express pleasure of being a multi-night patient at a hospital, please allow me to let you in on a little secret: hospitals kind of suck.  It is bureaucracy at it’s finest.  It smells funny, there are lots of annoying beeps and alarms, and you don’t get to pick your roommates.  Plus, there are sick people everywhere.  And old people…lots of old people. So you can imagine how psyched my mom was to finally go home on day 6 of surgery-fest 2010.  Except you can’t just pack up your stuff, unhook your machines, and go.  There is a process.  A long, obnoxious, complicated, form-filling-out process.

So the inital “yay you’re going home!” feeling my siblings had when they went to go get my Mom quickly devolved into more of a “WHY IS THIS TAKING SO LONG I’M HUNGRY IT’S 5PM AND WHAT IS THAT G-DAMN BEEPING NOISE” kind of thing.  And that’s when “our man (nurse*) Phil,” as my Dad kept calling him, stepped in.  And delivered this:

The Remains of the Feeding Frenzy

Not sure what you’re seeing?  I’ll tell you: you’re seeing THREE TRAYS of hospital food that Phil bestowed upon my brothers, sisters, and dad.  Without prompting.  Probably to shut them up.  Have you ever witnessed 6 people crammed into a hospital room corner? It ain’t pretty.  I don’t blame Phil at all.

You know all those horrible things you hear about hospital food, right?  Well, all those horrible things are true.  It’s gross.  And yet–you see the photographic evidence–it was devoured with gusto.  What a bunch of Freaks.

New low, DEFINITELY.  Because hospital food should never be voluntary consumed. Belch.

*Yes, my mother had a male nurse…a profession which is totally respectable, but sadly a big joke, thanks primarily to Greg Focker in Meet the Parents.

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True Life: I went to the Jersey Shore for Memorial Day weekend.

Long Branch, NJ, to be precise.  Which is a nice little town, in case you’ve never heard of it.  It’s about 1.5 hours by train from NYC, and that, combined with a free beach-front condo to stay in (thanks, friend of H!) is why I, a girl pretty much the opposite of anything remotely ‘Jersey’, found myself amidst guidos and guidettes.

Going “down the shore” isn’t exactly a new thing for me.  My family (aunts, uncles, cousins, assorted hanger-ons) has been renting a house on Long Beach Island for years and years.  You should see peoples’ faces when I say that I go to the Jersey Shore every summer.  They are terrified and suddenly suspicious:  Wait…she’s a guidette in disguise!  The red hair is meant to distract!  I see her belly button piercing and tramp stamp tattoo from here!  RUN AWAY! (note: I have neither of those things)

What they don’t realize is that LBI is not what is depicted on MTV’s “Jersey Shore.”  It’s low-key and laid back and more surfer-brah than Ed Hardy-bro.  More of a visual learner?  No problem!

LBI, these people:

my mom & bro, enjoying LBI

Other Jersey Shore, these people:

the cast of Jersey Shore

I have never actually been to the “other” Jersey Shore.  I’ve only, luckily, seen it on TV. UNTIL THIS WEEKEND.

Now is this just me, or is it hard to envision what you see on TV in real life? Especially when that TV is something so ridiculous as Jersey Shore.  Do people like that actually exist? Apparently, yes.

As a disclaimer, Long Branch isn’t even all that bad, in terms of pure dirty jerzzz-ness.  It’s no Seaside (where the idiots above reside).  But it gave me a little taste nevertheless of true Jerseyfied beachgoing.

There were orangey tans.  There were speedos.  There were thong bikinis.  There were more fake boobs than I could shake a stick at.  There was full make-up, full jewelry, fully styled hair.  Needless to say, my pale, make-up free, haven’t showered in 3 days stylings stuck out like a sore thumb.

Strolling down the beach was my favorite activity of the weekend because the people watching was just insanity.  Old people who resembled shoe-leather? CHECK.  Roided out meatheads covered in sweet tribal tattoos? CHECK.  Little girls in disturbingly age-inappropriate bikinis? CHECK AND CHECK.

I wish that I had surreptitiously photographed these people, because some of them you simply have to see to believe.  I had so much fun blatantly staring at them that I went and got myself a nice lil sunburn. Ouch.

Our host D. wanted to take us down to Seaside to get “the real Jersey Shore experience.” Sadly, we never made it.  But I like to think journeying to the JS is a bit like getting into a hot tub.  One toe at a time, or else it’s just too much.

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It’s May, and that means one thing: college graduation time.

Okay, well actually it being May means lots of things (Spring! Memorial Day! Sandals & sundresses!), but for purposes of making this post relevant I’m going to pretend it’s allllll about Gradu.

First of all.  It has been 2 years since I myself donned those non-breathable polyester robes and funny looking hat (seriously, where did that hat come from?  Who invented that?), and I think the 2 year mark is a pretty big deal.  You can no longer say that you “just graduated from college” –and trust me, that allows you to get away with a lot.  You are firmly in the Real World, both feet planted.  You should be, in anyone’s estimate, a responsible adult.

Graduating college is probably one of the most terrifying things I’ve done (second place: skydiving).  Unlike graduating High School, there is no obvious next step.  There’s nothing really super fun and exciting to look forward to (unless you think joining the workforce is fun and exciting, which if you do…God help you).  You are unceremoniously evicted from the home you’ve had for the last 4 years, the friends that you have been with for literally 24-hours a day for years are suddenly gone from your life, and oh yeah, here’s some debt to throw on top of THAT party.  Congrats!

I sound a little whiny and bitter, but guess what, I AM whiny and bitter.  Going to this graduation ceremony this weekend marks the first time that I’ve really been forced to recognize a few sad facts: 1. how far I’ve come since college, 2. how much my expectations have changed since then, and 3. how much more awesome my life was two years ago.

Up until now I’ve been so focused on the day-to-day details of life that I haven’t really taken the time to meditate on my first couple of  post-collegiate years.  All in all they were pretty good.  I got a job right after graduation, which, in the current economic climate, is pretty freaking unbelievable.  And sure, it’s not a glamorous job.  It’s not fabulous (actually it’s the opposite of fabulous).  But I have a desk and a computer and a salary, and a nice boss who treats me like a human being, and a cupcake truck that sometimes parks in front of my office. So life ain’t so bad.

I lived with my parents for a year after graduating, a topic which could be its very own post.  It was….well.  It was necessary.  I’ll leave it at that (not to knock you, mom & dad.  You are wonderful parents.  But do you have any idea how hard it is to come back to home and parents after 4 years of utter freedom??  Betcha don’t).  But it was thanks to that year at home that I now happily live in my own apartment and even have an extremely tiny savings account.  Small miracles.

As for expectations, well.  Doesn’t every fresh-faced 21-year-old graduate college thinking they are about to embark on a fabulous new chapter of their lives, where they can be anyone, do anything, change lives, improve society?  Thanks to the world we live in, bombarded by images of independent 20-somethings living sophisticated lives, I think you’d be hard-pressed finding a college grad who doesn’t think this way.  It also doesn’t help that we’ve spent the last 8 years being told that we can do anything if we put our minds to it.  Well, thanks for your support parents and teachers!  I put my mind to making $500,000 a yr and living in a Soho townhouse.  Sooo…if we can get on that…it’d be great.

Eek.  Again with the whiny bitterness.  Sorry readers.  I guess I’m not taking my 2 year anniversary so well. Do you blame me?  Instead of sleeping til noon, getting up for one 1-hour class, then napping til dinner, I get up early and go to work (which, by the way, doesn’t have a very lenient attendance policy).  Instead of breezing through my assignments, I am faced with difficult tasks at work, with no kind professor to guide me through them.  Instead of an unlimited meal plan, a free gym, a cheap bar where everyone knows your name, and ample green space for outdoor lounging I get…New  York City. Enough said.

So hey, if you’re going to be at the Bentley College graduation ceremony tomorrow, keep an eye out for me…I’ll be that weirdo in the back who is alternately sobbing and scowling at everything in sight. Conflicting emotions, people.  It’s gonna be ugly.

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That is what Frank Lloyd Wright called Television. Which I think is a pretty awesome description, both in total accurateness and in creativity. TV doesn’t really have a point. That’s what ole Frankie is trying to say.

But does that stop me front plopping down in front of our circa 1999 Sony and becoming utterly absorbed in something that is most likely an insult to my intelligence? Absolutely not! Because I LOVE tv.

I get accused of loving trashy tv by a certain fellow who has to share the remote with me, but I like to think that I’m just open-minded. It’s not like I watch Rock of Love or Jersey Shore and don’t realize ‘hey, this is really really trashy and stupid.’ I do think that. I also think ‘this is so horificially entertaining I cannot get enough!”

It’s like a car crash. SO bad, but you can’t stop looking, cause it’s fascinating. I sit there and marvel that there are really people out there who act like that. And it’s not just bad reality tv that I watch—oh no, I’m nothing if not fair. I also watch bad, cheesy, scripted tv.

Exhibit A: Spartacus.
If you can’t guess from the title, this program is a spin on the classic movie staring (St. Lawrence University ALUM) Kirk Douglas. Except it is so cheesy and trashy and overly dramatic that the title is probably the only thing the TV show has in common with the movie.  It’s a typical “Sword & Sandals” series in the vein of Xena, Warrior Princess (and, coincidentally, Lucy Lawless is in Spartacus too).  It is, shall we say, raunchy (we’re on Starz here people, you can show whatever you want), and it’s super blood-guts-gore.  I’m really embarrassed to be admitting that I love it, but I do.  Thank you, Netflix On Demand, for allowing me to watch it in secret (although I guess the secret’s out now, whoops).

AP Photo/Starz Entertainment, LLC

Do you see these abs?  Do you blame me?  That is Spartacus himself, that fuzzy little man peach.

Annnnnyway.  Don’t judge me too much just yet.  I do watch bad tv, but I also watch really, really, REALLY good tv.  Like “Life.”  Now I’m sure you’ve watched “Planet Earth” on the Discovery channel, and, if you have any brains in your head, you recognized it as being an absolutely stunning piece of television.  This is sort of the same thing, but with Oprah, and LOTS more cute animals.  I’m obsessed.

This is really saying something, because anyone who knows me knows that I am not the greatest fan of nature.  Actually, yeah, I mostly hate it.  It’s okay.  I hate nature.  Bugs and weird stinging plants and crazy vicious animals…blech.

But therein lies the beauty of TV.  I can watch something like “Life” that showcases insane nature-y things and totally appreciate it (from the safety of my couch, indoors).  Plus, now I totally would like a baby elephant for a pet.  Please and thank you.

Copyright © 2006 - 2010 by Jason Butler, elephant-photos.com

So, the point of this post is, while I appreciate Frank Lloyd Wright’s clever turn of phrase, I don’t necessarily totally agree with him.  Yes, there is deffinetly TV that is utterly pointless (Real Housewives of…wherever, anyone?) but there is also TV that opens up a whole new world for you, and shows you stuff you’d generally never see.  The History Channel, Discovery, even TLC (I mean where else would I see the “Man Who’s Arms Exploded”).  People sort of poo-poo the notion of educational TV, but I think it’s pretty legit.  I learn tons from TV–from how ad-men in the 1960’s philandered their way to the top (hey Don Draper, I miss you! Come back soon!) to how Guidos get their blow-outs just right.

So I’m proud to say I am a TV lover.  It allows you to turn off your brain and to stimulate it depending on what you’re watching.  I give those who do not have cable credit, and I’m jealous of the money you save, but I could never do it.

Hi, my name is Mary, and I am a tv-aholic.

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