New Nobel Peace Prize Categories

That I deserve to win.

Giving Guys The Out On Cancelling Plans

Enjoying Guy’s American Kitchen And Not Being Ironic About It

Uncrossing My Legs On The Subway When My Foot Is In People’s Way

Fake Laughing At Harmless Yet Impossibly Stupid Bros Quoting Parks & Recreation

Not Screaming At Rich People

Letting The Gchat Sit There For A While

Keeping Thought Pieces In My “Draft” Folder

“Liking” Your Embarrassing Headshot

Not Mentioning The Mutual Friends’ Hookup Even Though It’s All Anybody Can Think About

Nodding And Smiling At Old Racist People Who Mean Well

Not Burning Down The Laundromat At Sunday At 1PM

Remaining In Contact With You Even Though You Once Used The Word “Flippant” In Earnest

Not Blowing Guys When They’re Vulnerable To Make Them Confused About Our Friendship

Seamless Meal Additions

Qty – 1 – Grilled American Cheese Sandwich

Meal Additions (*Optional – Select as many as you like)

* _ Another pair of hands. Ones who won’t text him eight times in a row.

* _ 2 Liter Pepsi

* _ The Pet Edition of Resolve carpet cleaner. It’s the only kind that will get vomit out of the carpet next to your bed.

* _ The capability to feel shame or embarrassment at work functions involving alcohol.

* _ Mozzarella Sticks

Qty – 1 – Chicken Caesar Wrap

Meal Additions (*Optional – Select as many as you like)

* _ Garlic Knots

* _ The sensation of male approval.

* _ Gatorade (Call the restaurant for flavor options!)

Qty – 1 – Martha’s Panini

Meal Additions (*Optional – Select as many as you like)

* _ New York Cheesecake

* _ Getting invited to those things that you see people doing on Instagram.

* _ A depressant that doesn’t make you send sexually aggressive Facebook messages.

* _ Mozzarella Sticks

* _ A guy to cuddle and play video games with. (Call the restaurant for flavor options!)

I’m Not Here For My Daughter. I’m Here To Watch Melinda Fucking Destroy This Jazz Recital

I am a 44-year-old woman, and not much excites me anymore. I like it when they get into fights on The View and I have re-read the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy six times. My day is taking the girls to school, then Lindsey to dance practice, and making food for the household. I get it, I chose this life.

But this is the winter jazz dance recital. It comes once a year. So if you could get your camcorder out of my view, Janice, I would really appreciate it. Because this is my inspiration. I’m ready to be floored.

No, I’m not here for my daughter. I’m here to watch Melinda fucking destroy this jazz recital.

Melinda D. is a nine-year-old dance powerhouse and veritable force in the entertainment industry of Overland Park, Kansas. Her confidence gets me through my worst days. The days when I can’t bring myself to write another diary entry (that will hopefully turn into my memoir! Or a blog maybe.), or when Idina’s ballads just aren’t doing it for me anymore (she, like, got divorced! We can all fall.), Melinda’s kick-twirl -touch combo from the Spring ’12 recital flashes before me, and I feel like a woman again. A strong woman. Who can do things. Who can change things. I have power.

Melinda is my Oprah.

When I took my nine-year-old daughter, Lindsey, to Sue’s Dance Studio in the strip mall for her first modern jazz dance lessons, I had no idea what sort of wake-up call that I was in store for.

My life is fine. It’s normal. It’s better than living alone. But Jesus Christ, I just need some inspiration to get through the day! I’ve never felt so empowered as a female creature than when Melinda steps out in her Capezios onto the stage to that song from Hairspray. She performs as if she’s been through some shit.

Melinda is my Beyonce.

Yes, my daughter, Lindsey, is in the mix up there somewhere on stage, but Melinda has something. The “it” factor. An unexplainable confidence that reminds me that feminism is alive and well. I bet she goes home and fucking writes. I bet she shows the other girls at school who the fuck she is and that they better follow or die. Did you see her unitard after practice last week? IT WAS YELLOW. No one can pull off yellow. She walked around like she didn’t give a shit. I want that.

Lindsey is kind of good at math.

Mr. Clark, if you could please move one seat or two over, so that your head does not obstruct my view of Melinda’s solo finale number in the cafetorium, I would REALLY appreciate it. No, that’s not mine up there. But look at that hair. Look at that essence. Just let her fucking destroy “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” with her jazz leaps and then you can move back in front of me.

I’m not here for my daughter. Tell her I’ll be outside warming up the car. I am fulfilled.

I’m good.

I Am Thinking About Doing A Cartwheel At This Office Happy Hour

My boss laughs with me and we clink beer glasses. All walls of superiority are broken down and my brain is buzzing with a defiant confidence that only $3 Coors Light pitcher beer at the bar across the street from our office building at 6PM on a Tuesday can offer. I don’t think the people here quite know my fun side.

I am thinking about doing a cartwheel at this office happy hour.

Sure, we put our heads down all day and run this toiletry marketing company effectively. We make decent salaries and do a damn good job of getting hair gel out there in front of the people. But do they ever get to see me as myself? No, not as the print copy queen or as the one who always gets the breakroom cakes secretly ready for birthdays. As the real me. As the kind of woman who had some light dance experience from being Lily St. Regis in “Annie” in high school. As the kind of woman who  enjoys attention from people who I must present an impressive version of myself to on a daily basis. As a woman who has read far, far too many self-help books and inspirational blog posts about third-wave feminism. As a woman who tweets about “sometimes just taking chances<3”.

I should totally do a cartwheel at this office happy hour.

“Swing, Swing, Swing” just started playing and Allan – the cute and confident guy from creative who is usually soft-spoken but really blossoms at happy hours – has been totally looking at me. He wants me to do something. He wants the unexpected. Oh, you’ll get it, Allan. You will get it.

I’m a star! I’m the center of this company! My 14-month tenure has really solidified my place as a social “queen bee”, if you will, of the team and they deserve some classic “me” action tonight! They all say hi to me when I walk in in the mornings. It’s like, guys, there’s one of this sassy, city lady to go around! Come on!

Oh God. Here it is. This is that moment they talk about in those Toni Morrison books. I have to do it. I am a heroine. I am here only this once. My mid-level career at a mid-level company marketing mid-level products is peaking right now, and goddammit, how else will I express it?!

Move that fucking chair, Shannon. Hold my shoes, Ellen.

Hey everybody. It’s me. It’s fucking ME.

Daily Routine

7:00am: Wake up, remember employment, sit in wonderment.

7:30am: Accept inevitability of roommates seeing you without bra, walk to bathroom.

8:15am: Ride subway. Contemplate infinite paradox of machines v. man v. time v. nature v. bystander phenomenon, eat bagel.

8:50am: Arrive at office, fill communal Keurig water, feel indebted by everyone rest of day.

11:00am: Plan passive-aggressive remarks to button emails.

1:00pm: Walk out into world, realize not much better than indoor world.

2:00pm: Return indoors, delude self.

6:00pm: Ride subway, reminded of poverty.

8:00pm: Dinner, feel guilt for not writing, watch movie.

11:00pm: Feel guilt for not writing, watch other movie. Sleep after listening to “Titanic” score on loop.

I Am The No-Reply Email Address

But I DO want people to reply. I just put up defenses.

I am lonely. And it’s hard for me to really be myself around people. Let my guard down, ya know?

So, here I am. I’m here to tell you that I never mean to offend. I’m just scared.

When my beckoning all-caps message to the world sits at the bottom of an email, warning intruders of the dangers of even thinking about replying, I am really screaming to be loved.

I am a misanthrope. There is nothing I want more than attention, and yet, I thwart the very possibility of it. MailChimp and ConstantContact inform me of my uselessness. I can never please them. Father is angry. Nobody knows what to make of me.

Sure, I get the word out. Sure, You see the message.

But do you see me?

Announcing Our Fresh, Hot Nail Polish Line

With shades like:

Broken Woman

Tar Seduction

Slut N’ Sparkle

Bitter Aunt

Petrified Soak

Gutter Detox Bustier

Pink Familial Detachment

Consolation Prize Potion EXTRA-FAST DRYING

Catacombs of Sociopathy NOW WITH TOPCOAT

Victim Tattoo

Shame Teal

Skin Drip

Von Trier Mahogany

Bright Screen Smile Delusion NOW WITH TOPCOAT

Late Night Monologue Jokes

A couple of months ago I submitted for NBC’s Late Night Writers Workshop. I did not make it. These are my jokes.

Home Depot has recently dropped health insurance for its employees, forcing a lot of them to quit the company. Looks like you’re going to have to go somewhere else for construction advice from loud dads, other loud dads!

Last week in Italy, a nun gave birth to a baby. When asked to comment on her break from celibacy, the nun said, “Hey, you guys gotta try this!”

A study revealed that three states had zero female, African-American, or Hispanic students take the AP Computer Science exam last year. Sorry, everyone, looks like it’s just white dudes who are going to be virgins forever.

Environmental analysts have revealed that 2013 was officially one of the hottest years ever recorded. In a related story, it’s also the year that I had my “fun hat” phase, so, YOU’RE WELCOME, world!

In a Rolling Stone interview, 17-year-old singer Lorde said that she sometimes texts Taylor Swift for advice. The latest message from Swift was reportedly a photo of Lorde’s passport about to go into a shredder with a note that says “I’ve got this down-to-earth thing on lock, OKAY?!”

Today, Jelly Belly – the famous Jelly Bean company – announced a new beer flavored jelly bean. Oh, great, now know-it-all kids everywhere are going to start throwing around the words “hoppy” and “microbrew”. Thanks, Jelly Belly.

Madonna is in trouble because earlier this week she used the N-word on her Instagram account. That picture of eggs benedict DOES NOT deserve that language!

The cheerleaders for the Oakland Raiders are suing the team’s management for “unfair treatment”. In a related story, every person ever is suing all cheerleaders everywhere for unfair treatment.

A new study suggests that Facebook might lose up to 80% of its users by the year 2017. I guess mankind will create new ways to find out what your ex is up – OH MY GOD THEY’RE HAVING A BABY WHAT HAVE I DONE WITH MY LIFE I’M TAKING OFF WORK TOMORROW I QUIT FACEBOOK FOREVER.

Government officials have officially given NASA the go-ahead to launch five new space missions in 2014. Said the officials in the midst of throwing a spitball, “Congrats, nerds!”

A pod of dolphins interrupted a surfing competition in California this week, giving the surfers even more mileage on their insufferable stories about how they got their dolphin tattoos.

Your Dad Can’t Come Backstage: An Oral History of the Blackburn High School Theatre Department

CHAPTER FOUR

The Food Run

HEIDI: There were a lot of politics involved in what car you piled into.

TIM: You would see some people kind of, you know, running. To a car. The right car.

CHANEL: Like only three people has big enough cars to take us out on food runs so it was totally up to them what social group you were going to get lumped into. The rejects usually went in Robert’s car.

VICKI: Opening night is a big deal. This…this culmination. Of everything you’ve all been working for.

ALEX: So the pre-show free time to get dinner is kind of a big deal. There’s a lot of frenetic energy. People want to take pictures. You better pick the right restaurant, the right people, etc.

TIM: You know, it’s not like there aren’t food runs all the time during the rehearsal process. But this, like, matters. The opening night meal. You can’t go to Wendy’s.

VICKI: We usually go to Wendy’s for regular days but we knew that Reynolds was there on opening night. Every opening night.

CHANEL: Would you be included with the confident kids who went to the cheap but kind of exotic Greek restaurant? Or would you end up at Fazoli’s with Robert?

HEIDI: I never ran. I’m very proud of that. I sauntered slowly. And I usually got what I wanted. If you act like you don’t care, Hallie will in fact invite you into her car group.

VICKI: That’s the thing. I always cared too much. And I always ended up at Fazoli’s.

TIM: It’s also not like we couldn’t have just all gone to the same restaurant. But no one wanted to be the follower. I know about the local cuisine of Sapulpa. I wanted to show that I can pick my own places. I’m kind of proud, ya know. No one knew about the wing place until I came along and joined the troupe.

VICKI: Their chicken parm was really good, though. And there’s an unlimited salad bar.

The Songs of Bruce Springsteen

The following are excerpts of reviews by resident music critic Jensen B. of some selected songs of Mr. Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band.

“4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)”, The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle (1973)

With this album, Mr. Springsteen is exploring a newer, slower – yet explosive – sonic sexuality that America did not know was coming. After collaborating with various music historians who were active at the time of the album’s release, we have concluded that the second track, “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)”, might be based on the non-fictional, existent location on the northern shore of New Jersey, known as Asbury Park.

“Badlands”, Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978)

This one has very sincere undertones of the singer’s personal history. Perhaps, where he grew up? We are given very little, and it is not clearly stated (and, need we remind ourselves of the value of ambiguity in art?) but “Badlands” could very well be about New Jersey, the home state of Mr. Springsteen.

“Streets of Fire”, Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978)

The streets and the fire are both located inside of New Jersey.

Nebraska (1982)

Not wanting to implode as a result of the “next big thing”, “flash in the pan” genre of hype that we see envelop a talented musician all too often, Bruce transitioned to a quieter, more docile feel with Nebraska in 1982. Poignantly reflecting on the pain of lost love and the confusion of an existence after you have achieved everything you thought life had in store for you, Bruce made waves with this thoughtful album. Even though it is called Nebraska, all of the songs are about a different state called New Jersey.

“Working on the Highway”, Born in the U.S.A. (1984)

The highway may very well be a metaphor for the endless drudge of a middle class working life, unforgiving in its honesty. If this one was not a hit for you on the first listen, I highly recommend going back with fresh ears along with this analytic perspective that I am presenting to you: that the highway is a highway in New Jersey.

“My Hometown”, Born in the U.S.A. (1984)

Emulating the working man’s everyday struggle to merely survive, this song stalwartly stands the test of the fickle wench known as time. It also has strong, strong elements of the “New Jersey” thing.