From the category archives:

culture. such as it is.

10 Uses For White After Labor Day

by anna on September 6, 2010

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white after labor day

  1. Follow Glenn Beck around on tour selling handmade commemorative hoods at an outrageous markup.
  2. Four words: Halloween — Good Humor Man.
  3. Continue to enjoy the largely unconscious privilege of being able to ignore it most of the time.
  4. Every once in a while, bring it out as an excuse for why you cannot dance or jump.
  5. Throw it in as a hackneyed symbol of goodness and hope it in the intricate, barely comprehensible deus ex machina that concludes the TV series Lost
  6. Consider lending it some of it to a friend whose website has a black background, so that maybe people can start actually reading the content there.
  7. Keep it in your glove compartment in case you get pulled over by the LAPD in a wealthy neighborhood late at night.
  8. Invite it to host Saturday Night Live to appease the womenfolk.
  9. Use it as the inspiration for a late sixties Cream song, then put it on an infomercial aired on daytime TV in the late eighties; a generation of kids will grow up realizing that they know the words to the chorus without ever having heard the song in its entirety.
  10. Go into business making flags of surrender for when the space people come (and they will come).

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Hello, Betty!

by anna on June 25, 2010

I get that I have to do it forever. I do.

I get that it’s not like, I work out for a few months and then I’m done, and I look better and it’s all over and yay! let’s go shopping! I have totally accepted that I have to work out for the rest of my life if I want to look better and I’m OK with that. I’ve even accepted that I will never look the way I want if I don’t eat diet food. I remain skeptical of my ability to do this with any kind of reliability, despite my intense desire to do it, but I accept it as a reality for me, I really do.

I also accept that this is the stupidest of stupid things to be concerned with, and hate that I care (so much) about this, or that it bothers me (so much). But nevertheless, here we are. I live in Los Angeles, and we have reached that point in the year where it’s so freaking hot that everybody is wearing tank tops and this is what my arms look like.

Well, Hello there, Betty!

Uggh. Six months with Travis for this?

UPDATE: Here is just the *last* part of a typical workout with Travis, not even the hardest part. This is why I am frustrated.

Periodically, Mr. Right-Click will get a bee in his bonnet about how I don’t have any friends.

I do have friends. In theory.

But not you know, local, close real life, in-person people that I really want to hang out with most of the time. As I write that, I’m really hoping that there’s not somebody I’m going to alienate and there probably is.

It’s like that Seinfeld episode where Jerry says, “I already have three friends — I cannot handle any more!” That’s me. I cannot handle any more than that.

Or like when somebody says something racist and they try to prove that they’re not really racist by saying that some of their best friends are black? I’m like that with people. Some of my best friends are people. Really. I mean it.


When I was younger, I was kind of one of the smart kids, I guess, but I didn’t completely fit in with them, either, mostly because I did not let myself. I have never really been comfortable with the concept of fitting in. Kind of a “Wouldn’t be a member of any club that would have me,” kind of thing.

But in any case, the smarter kids were more accepting of me. Most of them did not seem to have a problem with me, and they were my friends. As it happened, the group of kids I went through school with had a large group of smart kids, so some of the smart kids were also cool kids. Which doesn’t always happen, you know. So this was kind of weird. Because I was kind of not fitting in with the smart kids and not fitting in with the smart kids who were also cool kids at the same time.

My friend R and I always referred to the cool kids as “Bops.” It was “the Bops” this and “the Bops” that. There was a “Bop” party somewhere on the East side. We could go but who knew whether the Bops would want us there. All of the Bops are wearing those stupid jelly sandals again, did you see this?

Well, anyway, part of the smart kids were mixed in with Bops in my year, and this kind of mixed things up. And by the end of my Senior year, I found myself going to parties with Bops and smart kids, and equally not fitting in and fitting in with both groups, equally confused and identifying with each, equally amused and annoyed by each, finding fodder and infuriated by each. By the end of the year I was almost a Bop by Default, much to my chagrin. It was weird. I would have Bop friends and Smart friends, and some would talk to me in some contexts but not others.

Life is weird. It goes in cycles. People are weird. Sometimes they both make me want to punch things. Other times they make me want to hug things. Now that I’m older I have to try to remember the times that have come before and just laugh.


I’ve been working out with Travis for several months now and occasionally, to better pass the time whilst torturing me with a round of Steppers! he will regale me with tales from life as a sort of single 22-year-old male in Los Angeles. I say sort-of single because technically Travis has a girlfriend, but you know how 22-year-olds are.

I have lived in or around Los Angeles my entire life, but never have I heard of Malibu referred to as “The ‘Bu” until Travis told me about going there a few weeks ago with a friend and his girlfriend, and seeing some “exceptionally well maintained cougars” to whom he yelled out something wildly inappropriate, as they crossed an intersection, after imbibing a few too many beers at a Mexican restaurant.

To clarify, I made a point of asking Travis if his girlfriend had been in the car at the time that he said these things to these “cougars.” After he confirmed this, I then asked for his girlfriend’s phone number, so that she and I could have a little “talk,” as well as the approximate ages of said “cougars,” just so that I know, for future reference, what passes for a cougar these days, in case it should ever come up.

Say what you will, but there is a certain wisdom in the simplicity of the 22-year-old male. It is not unlike that mentality I myself had in my mid-twenties, when I thought I just needed to find an investment banker to marry and all of my problems would be solved. Some days, Travis’ tongue-in-cheek life plan includes trolling The ‘Bu for a wealthy cougar to take care of him. On those days, we discuss how I can write about this on my blog and spin it without alienating all of my readers for being totally antifeminist. Other days, we discuss making a workout video for Travis’ “army of totally shredded housemoms.”

Life takes you strange places. Sometimes you don’t realize it until you’re discussing a spinoff series of CougarTown blog posts with a 22 year old personal trainer in between rounds of sumo squats.