Hot Off The Presses!

Things are finally starting to look up.

Why you ask? Well, I’m in NYC, probably the most fascinating city in the US if not the whole darn world, AAAAAAND I got one of the first copies of the eagerly awaited tome LAME ADVENTURES: UNGLAMOROUS TALES FROM MANHATTAN by my newest pal, Virginia Antonelli. Now, I haven’t had the chance to read it yet, but I will when I finish the current book I’m reading.

I cannot wait.

You wanna know the best part?

I got to hang with the author last night in the city. I had a lovely time. She showed me some cool places, and we had a great time hanging out, laughing, boozing it up and chatting.

I am so happy to have a new friend.

So, my three readers, I highly recommend you check this book out.

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I apologize for the bad quality of the pic, but I’m using my iPad to post this, and well, let’s just say the marriage between WordPress and the iPad tis a rocky one.

NONETHELESS, read this book! You can get it from Amazon.com

You’re welcome!

Love,
Julia

Hands Across My Labia

(WARNING: NSFW)

There’s a new movement afoot to get women to love their labias.

Why? Huh?

Because we women are supposed to feel like shit about our physical selves–even when we don’t–so some twink somewhere (probably a plastic surgeon) makes up a new neuroses for us gals to glom onto. Of course we do this since we women are also major people pleasers AND this society is allllll about promoting beauty over brains and brawn. What happens next? Our self-esteem takes a major hit, and we’re looking for the next beauty miracle to make us perfect instead of, oh I don’t know, maybe reading a good book that will make us a scosch smarter/wiser. Help us, Judy Blume!

Now, I was taken aback by this new love thyself no matter what proclamation because I had no idea that some women hate their labias.

Wait..clarification desperately needed here–90% of men don’t know what the LABIA is (no, it’s not the latest Italian sportscar, although most men ride it like it was –HEY O!), so I will do the honors of explaining to the menfolk just what AND where the labia is.

From FreeDictionary.com:

labia

[lā′bē·ə] sing. labium

Etymology: L, lip
1 the lips.
2 the fleshy liplike edges of an organ or tissue.
3 the folds of skin at the opening of the vagina. labial, adj.
Here’s the perfect graphic for show n’ tell: And to the dudes who read this blog–commit this image to memory–with particular attention paid to where the clitoris is. *AHEM*
(Courtesy of The Mayo Foundation)

(Courtesy of The Mayo Foundation)

Apparently, the hot trend these days–labiaplasty–is for women whose twats have had quite the workout birthing humans, riding horses, doing the splits during their Nadia Comaneci phase, and well, just by being a modern woman. That shit gets stretched out, see, and some women are uber-self conscious about their labias looking like elephant ears.

Huh?

Really?

This is where we get into trouble.

Ok, let’s walk through this one, mmkay? So, some woman, who has done her fair share of living (see above graf), suddenly feels like CRAP because she’s seen what the porn goddesses have and decide that them gals are the new high standard in pussy perfection.

(Side note: I’m sure most of this myth is perpetrated by men who never leave their parents’ basements.)

Yes, even though the only folks who will actually feast their peepers on her vajay, are her doc (hey, she/he has seen ’em all & they don’t care), her significant other, her lover, her mistress, and perhaps her waxologist–but she’s still quite self-conscious. Let’s be honest–any dude who is THAT LUCKY to get close to a labia–would be wise to shut his yap-yap about what it looks like or he’ll find that he is no longer welcome in that fleshy, magical, wonderful kingdom.

Apparently, and thanks to the world of social media, there are blogs, blogs and tumblrs & more tumblersand whatnot dedicated to celebrating the labia–no matter the size. Bravo to those broads who are all about putting puss pix out there for all the world to see. <golf clap>

This is what has me flummoxed: Women do the crux of the living and breathing in this society, and our bodies are the physical evidence. We’re the ones who keep this world from sliding deeper into the shitter. However, even though we are the ones made of sterner stuff, we’re still made to feel like shit if we don’t look absolutely fucking perfect all the live-long day.

To that nonsense I say “What the entire fuck??!”

In short, there is nothing wrong with you–you’re perfect.

Dissed Again

The recipients of the MacArthur Genius Grants for 2012 were announced yesterday and I was mighty surprised that I wasn’t among them.

Da noive!

Seriously though, the fellows have me scratching my in-dire-need-of-a-vigorous-shampoo-head. Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz? He’s already well-known, is an incredible writer and probably makes a decent amount of moola each year, why did he get it? Same with David Finkel, an editor at the Washington Post. Of course, these two men are talented, but I was of the belief that winners of the $500,000 no-strings-attached stipend were usually struggling artists or scientists.

Oh how mistaken I be.

What also surprises me is the nomination process. Turns out it is shroud in secrecy — one can’t nominate him/herself — the fellows are nominated by an anonymous group or an anonymous person, then those nominees move onto an even more anonymous group to be voted on yet again anonymously.

Why do I have visions of this particular scene when I imagine what the whole anonymous nominating process is like?

Got it … I think. Not only do I have to get my ass in shape, buy yet another g-string and fancy head dress, I also have to prove to the fucking world I’m a serious writer who could use the $100,000 stipend paid out over 5 years, no-strings-attached.

So, how do I go about being nominated anonymously?

Guess I have to stop scowling and spitting at strangers on the street, on the CTA and in the holding cells from now on. Time to hone my flirting with cops to get out of those indecent exposure and lewd behavior arrests. And–this one hurts the most–I’ll have to discontinue going to my local OTB facility wearing just my Daisy Dukes, halter top and cowboy boots — no matter what the weather is. Also, time to stop dotting my i’s with little hearts and kitten faces.

Crap. There goes flipping people off randomly from now on too.

The goal here is to get folks to see me as a serious writer, who knows how to behave like a lady writer out in public.

This puts a serious damper on my social activities.

This is how one writes a protest letter…

One of my favorite authors of all-time, and her response to her book “To Kill A Mockingbird” being banned in Virginia. Class act all the way and it wouldn’t surprise me if the gist of the letter was lost on the receivers.

celluloid blonde

harper lee

 

This is on of my favorite author letters responding to news the author’s book has been banned, penned by Harper Lee in 1966 when she heard To Kill a Mockingbird was pulled from school library shelves by the Hanover County School Board in Virginia. [Harper Lee so rocks.]

Monroeville, Alabama
January, 1966

Editor, The News Leader:

Recently I have received echoes down this way of the Hanover County School Board’s activities, and what I’ve heard makes me wonder if any of its members can read.

Surely it is plain to the simplest intelligence that “To Kill a Mockingbird” spells out in words of seldom more than two syllables a code of honor and conduct, Christian in its ethic, that is the heritage of all Southerners. To hear that the novel is “immoral” has made me count the years between now and 1984, for I have yet to come across…

View original post 79 more words

The Daily Retro

Hmmm… what is it about this book that makes it creepy by today’s standards?

1) That Cheryl Tiegs was once a shill for some sort of NAMBLA-esque how-to book?

2) That this book is better than the Bible?

3) That I actually owned a copy of this book once upon a time?

4) That Ellen Peck was either a big, giant perv OR a cougar waaay before it was cool?

5) That when I look at this image, “Seasons in the Sun” by Terry Jacks pollutes my internal safe place, and I … can’t … make …. it …. stop?

6) That the word “groovy” will never go out of style, ever?

7) That looking at this book again has caused me to order every flavor/scent of the old-school Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers and Tickle Deodorant just now?

8) That I actually owned a copy of this book once upon a time?

Discuss.

The agony of defeat

I can’t believe what a fuck-up I am.

It’s astounding. I’ve been spent the past few days going over and over in my head, racking my brain, searching my memory banks, peering into the deep, dark, disgusting depths of my soul to figure why I am such a colossal fuck-up. Who in one of my past lives did I piss off? Was I a Nazi guard at a deathcamp and now karma is kicking me in the ass? Did I abuse orphans in Calcutta back in the day? Did I kick puppies or something? Who did I pick on when I was a child that caused the universe to sit up, take notice, and make a point of making sure I don’t succeed in anything at any cost? Was someone recently a recipient of a dirty look that wasn’t a dirty look, but a witness to my face when I’m deep in thought? Who the hell knows.

Or am I a complete moron who happens to be a wonderful actress and has oh so many people fooled?

Somewhere in between lies the truth.

I’ve been in LA for a little over a month and it’s been a huge struggle, not a challenge, a struggle. I’ve had a few painful-as-hell job rejections and sent out tons of resumes for jobs that actually fit my skills set — more so than when I was in Chicago — but so far, nothing. There’s more opportunity out here for someone like me — this town seems to ‘get’ me. I’m more comfortable here, and can’t see myself living anywhere else. (well, maybe San Fran or NYC)

But, who the hell was I to think I could get a job out here? How delusional am I? Quite, obviously.

On the plus-side, I’ve met some great people who are fun, inspiring and NICE. That’s huge with me — NICE.

I’ve also “met” a lot of folks via email who don’t like to return emails. Or phone calls. Lordy, I hope they’re never out of work and in need of contacts because, well, we all know how karma works.

I’ve come to the conclusion, however, that I do everything wrong. EVERYTHING. When I try to make things better for me, I get slapped down in the most obscene manner. It’s astonishing to me. My friends and family who are experiencing huge successes, I curse them under my breath. “Die in a fire,” is what I hear the evil Julia saying more and more. Some folks I know aren’t any smarter than I am. The bad part is, the decent and kind Julia is taking her own sweet time at punishing the Evil One. It ain’t pretty, but it’s the truth.

So, what do I do about this? No clue. My psyche is spent. Worn out. Frayed. Beat. Fucked. I’m down to eating one meal a day because I don’t want to spend the money. I don’t answer phone calls anymore. Thank dog for voicemail.

I might as well take up running — maybe I’ll be as successful as Jim Fixx was.

Cheesy title about taking chances goes here

On Wednesday, I’ll be winging it out to Los Angeles for about 2 months to look for journalism/media work. I’ll be subletting a place from a young actor who will be setting up shop for 6 months in NYC to star as Happy in “Death of a Salesman” opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman on Broadway. Mike Nichols will be directing. After a few starts and stops with dealing with sublets on Craigslist, I found Finn and Sarah’s place, had it checked out by one of my dearest, most trusted friends, and after getting his thumb’s up, I went for it.

To me, at this stage in my life, subletting an apartment is a big chance. Yes, it seems small to someone who’s had an easy go of it, but for me, right here-right now, it’s HUGE.

However, in the past, I have taken huge chances — and — surprise, surprise — risk taking has worked out well for me. Hard to believe, eh? Yeah, it’s hard for me to believe at this point in time too. I do this thing, see, this thing where I look back on my past experiences and remember them as being purely awful and disastrous. Funny I think that way considering they weren’t … maybe it’s the fear and gnawing anguish I felt that made them seem tantamount to drinking hemlock. The fear of miserable failure perhaps. The worst is remembered — not the joy felt by someone who eventually succeeds. And succeeds BIG.

So, here’s an edited list of the chances I took. The successful ones. Wait, all of the big chances I took were successes. Imagine that…they really were. I’m still getting used to the concept of McCrabass succeeding.

1) Sweet 16 in the land of Jerry Lewis worshippers- It was scary but oh so fun, and I learned to worship Reblechon cheese and the French language. Yep. Look it up. That summer I was introduced to Flaubert and Beckett. Need I say more? Oh, and I learned the French reallllly love Barbra Streisand. (thanks to my little sister, Catherine Shandler, for reminding me of this time — she inspired me to write this post.)

2) Westward, ho! Hey, when your parents say you MUST GO TO COLLEGE BUT WE’LL PAY FOR IT, you take advantage of it and go to the unfamiliar, the distant, the strange. Well, LA wasn’t that unfamiliar: Older sister Liza and two of my cousins, Jane and Caroline, were out at Occidental College so I had ventured out there a few times. I didn’t decide on Oxy though, I wound up at USC. Turned out to be a big mistake, which takes us to chance #3.

3) Left USC for UW/Madison — mid-year — mind you. Transferring mid-year just isn’t done, young turks.  Yeah, I was desperate to get the hell outta LA and far away from the ultra-conservative, ultra-Greek USC. Gag. So not a good fit for the tough-to-mold McCrabass. So, I took a huge leap of faith and ended up at a school I had never even visited.

Hot damn, I got lucky because I fell in love with Madison. How could one NOT get the warmies for Madtown?

Or my personal fave …

Who knew that once I set foot on campus that I would have to study? Something that wasn’t exactly encouraged at USC at the time. At Wisconsin, I studied Film, African languages and politics, and psychology. My first love was film, and what happened with that love affair is explained next.

4) Westward, ho part deux. Shit howdy — talk about wingin’ it. I had maybe one contact out there, but I worked that contact over like an old French whore. I was the networking queen and that skill kept me employed in the business for about 11 years plus another 2 or so back in Chicago. But, before we get back to Chicago (you knew it was coming), let’s chat about McCrabass in LA. I worked on movies. Lots of them. I made lots of friends — many of whom I’m still in contact with today. I had some serious relationships — one ended up in an engagement which eventually went south, one ended up with my friend Lisa dumping my recent ex’s CD player on the floor of his condo whilst helping me move out, then mimicking “Roseanne”: “I hate myself for that.”

Then there’s the Lump (affectionately nicknamed by David B), and a couple of decent fellas I managed to run off or who managed to turn out to be choads. In short, the LA-based McCrabass Man Pile is quite large.

5) Sweet Home Chicago. The last few years in LA, Ursula kitteh and I were fearless but that made us weary so we packed up the Honda and headed east — to the wilds of west suburban Illinois then into Chicago — where I dove into film teaching, improv training, marriage, journalism graduate school, journalism employment, then soul-sucking unemployment and other, tawdry various forms of humiliation which I have discussed here previously. I’ve been here for about 11 years, and most of my professional tenure here has been a right pig fuck of a disaster. The upside of this chance was I got to be with my family and that has been wonderful — worth the humiliations. They’re my rock, part of my soul and I wouldn’t be splayed on the floor in the middle of the night, banging out this post if it weren’t for them and their unending love and support.

Now, these days, things are different. A new chance has to be taken because Chicago is dead to inexperienced, but older than the normal newbie journos like me. No one wants to hire the older, way smart broad with tons of life experience. They want to hire young and clueless. Fine. Go for it. I just don’t need to witness the bad crap while freezing my tits off. I’ll do that in LA, thankyouverymuch.

6) Everything old is new again. On the 11th around 2pm, I’ll be cruising down the freeway heading toward my sublet, and with each minute I’m in LA taking in my new life there, something from my past LA life will come creeping into my mental Rolodex. It’ll be up to me to decide whether or not to file it or trash it. I’ll probably end up using some of it to enhance this chance I’ve been given. I’ll treat them as blessings, a lesson but one thing I’ve already realized–I’ll never go home again.