Category Archives: ART

I suck at small talk: holiday party edition

OFFICEXMASUgh, I went to a holiday party tonight. It was work-related and therefore somewhat obligatory.  I’m really grateful to the woman who welcomed me into her home and makes me feel a valuable part of her business, so please don’t take the following rant as ingratitude.  I suck so much at small talk at these parties. What the fuck do you talk about?  I ask about the kids. I ask about work.  I ask about holiday plans.  I intently listen, but I never get comfortable.  I always feel ill at ease.  I know; this is why people drink.  I don’t drink and drive at all, and don’t drink at work functions, so no social lubricant for me.  I stayed just shy of 90 minutes.  I had probably 10 conversations, 3 of them meaty.  I’m pretty sure I offended someone in one of those conversations.  I was definitely awkward in another.  And in the last I had to do all the conversational heavy-lifting.  All three were tedious, and now I feel tired.  If I’m honest, the night peaked with delicious cheese and crackers and the M&M bowl.  Sidenote: Can we stop with the mini cupcakes?  They’re as dry and flavorless as my lame party chat.MINICUPCAKES

Can You Afford It?

SUZE ORMAN DENIALDo you ever watch Suze Orman?  She includes a segment at the end of her show where she “denies” or “approves” purchases based on an unknown algorithm.  I’ve been thinking on whether it’s ethical for me to encourage someone to spend on a trip that he arguably can’t afford.  Yes, he could throw the trip on credit cards, but I don’t want a few days on white sandy beaches to turn into years of indebtedness.  Conversely, life is short.  And if you’ve ever seen a retiree try negotiate the steps of Prague Castle, you know you don’t want to save your most adventurous traveling for your financially solvent, but psychically feeble golden years.  I know some of my more affluent girlfriends might opt to pay a larger share of the bill just to keep everybody happy, but something about that doesn’t sit quite right.  That sort of imbalance breeds resentment over time.RESENTMENTAt a minimum, before splurging, you gotta have a year of living expenses saved up, a maxed IRA contribution, no credit card debt, and the money for the splurge saved up separately.  Without those basics in order, approval for the purchase must be DENIED.  But then again, who am I to tell someone else how to spend his money?  If I limit my social invitations only to folks that fit into that aforementioned category of preparedness, I would be engaging in most activities alone.  It’s your money and ultimately you must decide how to negotiate the tightrope walk between adventure and safety net. TIGHTROPE

throw the baby shower out with the bath water

KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN BABY SHOWERJust got back from a baby shower.  Said my Hellos.  I stayed 30 minutes because there was nothing for me at this party.  First, it was one of those invite the whole family type showers and I don’t have a kid or husband to reluctantly drag.  The mutual co-worker who was supposed to attend with me cancelled (ugh, 4th time in a row this bitch has bailed on concrete plans).  I showed up with my thick stack of Dr. Suess books elegantly wrapped.  I dropped the present off at the designated table occupied by several medium-sized gift bags.   I greeted the mom-to-be who was dressed in a tight, fuchsia, cotton, ruched tube dress.  She looked like a raspberry.  I told her as much, which in hindsight she may not have appreciated, but I love raspberries so I didn’t intend the comment pejoratively.  Dad-to-be and I chatted for awhile, but I noticed the side-eye of the older ladies when our conversation extended beyond 5 minutes of appropriate small talk.  Who is that predatory single woman circling the dad-in-waiting?  Please.  There are no secret yearnings.  Excuse the blatant bitchery, but if I wanted him I could have him a year ago when we first met and he was drooling all over himself.HOLLY MADISON BABY SHOWER

After I was done talking to the two guests of honor, I wandered around a little bit and introduced myself to a few other folks standing solo.  Nobody seemed very interested in small talk, and it’s not my strength anyway.  When in doubt, hit the buffet, right?  Well you already know that I refer to buffets at barffets and am never in the mood for a group feeding.  This spread was particularly bleak.  Two circular trays of Subway-style sandwiches of dubious origin and questionable content.  The fold-out tables lacked proper placards describing the menu.  Just down from the sandwich wheels where huge bowls of standard potato chips.  Why do people do this?  Put out enough potato chips to feed and army just to watch them soften into stale after the first hour.  Plate of pickles, ok, I get the nod to pregnancy cravings.   A couple of large bowls of mystery potato-salad glop remained untouched.  The beverage options included electric yellow “lemonade” and something that looked like soda.  Not a cupcake in sight.  Killing time with mindless eating would not be an option at this shindig.BABY BUMCAKES

The one activity provided for the children was butcher paper on the tables and crayons.  I made a doodle.  I met a couple kids.  I drank some neon lemonade.  Then I split.  There was nothing left for me.KROY KIM

To that end, if you want people to stay at your baby shower for more than the obligatory 30 minutes, consider the following:

1) With regard to length. 2 hours maximum.  This one was scheduled for a tedious 3.  I like the idea of a short and sweet 90 minutes.

2) Delicious food.  Lots of options.  Baked goods.  Simple non-dressed salads.  Fruit. Cheese. Crudites. Readily available sweets. Warm offerings.  Coffee. Tea. Iced Tea. Water.  I personally prefer an elegant seated brunch.JESSICA SIMPSON

3) Make introductions.  Reign in loners.  Ensure everyone feels included.WIZ AND AMBER

4) Create intimate seating arrangements to encourage eating, drinking, and conversation.EVEYLN LOZADA

5) Designate a separate (but within eyeshot/earshot of helicopter parents) fun space for the kids.MINNIE DRIVER

6) It’s fine if you aren’t into “baby games,” but do provide some sort of entertainment or fun.  Music. Dancing. Karaoke. Ice your own cupcake.  Whatever.  These activities start conversations and save people from dreaded awkward mingling.MINDY WEISS

7) Attentive hosting takes work, the preggo shouldn’t be hosting her own baby shower, but these two did it as a couple.  Designate a host devoted to socially lubricating the shower.  Mothers and mothers-in-law love this job.KRIS AND KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN


Demeter Clarc Artist Spotlight: Arabella Tattershall



bong buy


CAM00700Went bong shopping on a whim with Hil yesterday and she spotted this beaut on the top shelf of the head shop.  Meet Augustus Clarc Gus for short.  At 9 millimeters thick, Gus is one durable, bitchy, glass-on-glass queen.  He’s a sturdy, flamboyant, fat, flat bottom.  Dontcha just love rainbows?CAM00701Beyond mere aesthetics and charm, practical considerations influence the purchase of a bong.  First and foremost, the glass must be thick.  Pay more for a substantial piece that can survive life’s hard knocks.  The tube to base ratio matters.  If the tube is too short relative to the size of the base, water pulls up the tube resulting in that unpleasant toilet splashback sensation.  I prefer a bong that fits comfortably from lap to mouth enabling the user to balance the instrument hands-free. CAM00702Don’t be seduced by the megahuge gimmick hamster wheel bongs.  While fun to look at in the store, they’re impossible to clean and difficult to pass in a communal circle.  Some of those devices almost require you to mount them to get a good hit.  Trust me when I say they aren’t worth the trouble.  Besides, you’ll be sad you paid so much when one of your clumsy friends breaks it. CAM00703

When you find your perfect glass slipper, upgrade the slide as the standard issue bowls are almost always shitty.  Negotiate.  At many headshops, clerks have wide discretion with pricing and steep discounts are not uncommon.


Skills for Life: on bullies

ASSHOLEI’m an Alpha.  Nobody who knows me would contest this.  That means in my worst moments I can be a bully.  It’s just one of the many flaws on my mental personal improvement list.  The upside to knowing how to bully is knowing how to handle bullies.  This morning, I encountered a doozy.  This rich, white, entitled asshole is accustomed to getting his ass kissed by everyone.  Boy, did he get a Sunday morning surprise when he quickly realized I’m not in the ass kissing business.  He was rude.  I stood my ground.  He threw a tantrum.  I firmly and politely looked him in the eye, unmoved by his childish antics.  It was as if he’d never heard the word “no.”  Within 5 minutes he relented.  So incredibly uncomfortable with my powerful, direct, and uncompromising stance, he couldn’t cope.  In the face of true courage and strength, he crumbled like an insecure little bitch.  Money and status are common external qualities and neither one makes you powerful.  Power comes (in part) from courage – a much rarer internally-cultivated quality.  Don’t ever let anybody push you around.  Stand powerfully with your courageous heart and watch the weak wither.

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear,not absence of fear.

— Mark Twain

Full Moons are for First Kisses


Happy Horse Year


January 2014 Horoscopes


Happy Birthday in this New Year Capricorn!  It gets crowded in your celestial neighborhood with a clusterfuck of planetary activity.  Enjoy all shine on you Capricorn with a new moon and its accompanying nascent verve.  Always the dutiful workhorse, January virtually requires you get self-centered.  That doesn’t mean selfish; it just means self-focused.  Your homework is to do something frivolous that makes you happy.  In midst of fun, you may stumble upon a deeply held unconscious wish.  This is the key to uncovering your true desires.


Happy New Year Aquarius!  You might be writing 2013 on your checks for the next couple weeks because you aren’t quite done with last year.  Aquarius sifts through the recent past remembering an old home, a former lover, or the family that once was.  Letting go of these familiar loves, places, and habits isn’t easy and it will take you a little extra time to shift into the momentum of the New Year.  Take the time you need to close one chapter before you begin another.  Heal the wounds and clear the scar tissue surrounding those old emotional injuries.  When you make way, you’ll see the future clearly.


Best New Year Wishes, Pisces!  Friendship, networking, and nonsexual connections dominate the January landscape.  Form your team.  Gather a worthy and skilled group.  At the helm of this mighty assembly, Pisces wields significant power and influence.  In January, Pisces people-pleasing tendencies butt-up against your own need for self-reflection.  What you really crave is deeper connections, but what you’re immersed in this month is buzzy fleeting interactions.  Make the most of your time with your most important person.  Keep secrets.

AriesARIES 2

Happy New Year Aries!  Take the long view.  Whatever you have simmering now will be perfectly cooked and ready to serve in about seven months.  Your ambitious plan flourishes by your commitment and self-control.  Obviously you work very hard Aries, and you’re one for recognition.  Careful you aren’t begging for attention like an orphaned dog.  Instead, concentrate on executing your vision so you can be the one giving approval instead of seeking it.  With regard to your personal life, those little lies, omissions, and deceptions will catch up to you sooner or later dirty-dealing Aries.  Consider the consequences of your actions and the ways dishonesty is eroding your relationship.  The universe will test your integrity this January.  Will you backstab to get what you want?

 TaurusTAURUS 2

New Year blessings to you Taurus!  Fresh firsts are your favorite and this new beginning has you awash in an optimistic glow.  Usually mired in the minutia, January provides an unusually expansive and beneficial perspective.  Planets align for romance and adventure.  Just whom or what do you want to do beautiful Bull?  How about arrange a super fun trip with friends to a corner of the world you have always wished to visit?  Perhaps a joint-venture with a business-minded friend sounds appealing?  Spearhead the effort and others will be swept up in your enthusiasm.  Level-headed Taurus handles practical considerations in short order, so feel free to fully fantasize.


Happy New Year Gemini!  While some of you squandered the last moments of 2013 acting desperate and slutty, others among you retained your dignity under the duvet as the proverbial ball dropped.  A number of planets in Capricorn influence gumby-like Gemini in a multitude of possible ways this January.  Will you tap into the power of the Sun, the insight of the Moon, the love of Venus, or the contemplation available in Mercury?  I vote you take the plunge of depth with Pluto.  In standard fashion, Gemini goes all in on the latest obsession/project.  Balance never really has been your strength, has it?  Enjoy your intense focus, the delicate process, and your fruitful results.


New Year Greetings Cancer!  Most of your energy and thought funnels toward your primary relationship in January.  There’s just no escaping the cluster in your seventh house which governs close, confidante-like relationships as well as known enemies.  Exploring a new depth of connection, you’ll find yourself engaged in longing love stares and cuddling up like kittens.  Tension arises when Cancer tries to juggle the demands of partner and family against your own need for domestic downtime.  Will you capitulate to the wishes of your sweetie or will you put your own emotional needs first?


A felicitous New Year to you Leo!  In January, you become the drill sergeant in the boot camp of your own life.  Leos making health-related resolutions possess the drive, organization, and will power to commit.  Now is the time to streamline your life into a simple and healthy routine.  This includes cleaning out the clutter that is physical, mentally, and spiritually blocking your path.  If you need to rest, do so rather than pushing yourself into illness.  Don’t expect others to embrace your health and cleaning kick with the same enthusiasm.

VirgoJob Number 2009126

Welcome to 2014 Virgo!  You feel like ringing in the New Year with a bang!  Literally.  You’ve got a tingle in your pants and a desire to tell it like it is which makes you a lot of fun to be around in January.  Throw down like the old days.  Remind them there was a time you didn’t sweat the pregame.  Flirting?  Yes.  Exhibitionist behavior?  For sure.  An embarrassing dance move?  I hope so.  Perhaps a smooch or two?  Pucker up.  Just remember we are in the digital age darling.  Keep the goodies covered.  Drag others along on this run of fun as everything is better when you’re ballsdeep in friends.

LibraLIBRA 2

Warm New Year Wishes Libra!  Nested at home is where you feel most comfort in January.  Creating the perfect table full of healthful foods feels deeply satisfying.  Gathering and connecting with the women nearest and dearest to you rounds out this nourishing time.  Replenish in good company and delicious meals.  All this homespun loving is great, but it also gives you a bit too much time to think.  Should you find yourself contemplating insane resolution-style mega shifts for the New Year like a move or a baby you could very well seal your own fate.


New Year Blessings Scorpio!  In January, you will talk and others will talk about you.  Wise Scorpios have watched, listened, and learned in the past months.  Now you have something to say and nothing can stop you from spurting out your true thoughts and feelings.  These ideas could lead to something interesting – a partnership perhaps?  Open up and you could very well catch the attention of a worthy collaborator.  As always, speak your mind, but do so tactfully so that you will be heard.  Now begins a seven month path of professional growth and discovery.


A prosperous New Year to you Sagittarius!  Finally, some revenue accrues which begins January on a productive and lucrative note.  The financial momentum only reinforces the laser focus on your priorities.  More disciplined and professionally energized than ever, your intention has finally aligned with your talent.  Now is the time to eradicate obstacles and disbelief regarding your aptitude and capabilities.  Financial security provides options.  Will it be freedom or stability?  Remember, when it comes to money, make prudent choices like slow, steady saving.  Heed this advice and by summer you’ll have a soft place to land.