Archive for November, 2016

Home Alone Drinking Game

November 29, 2016

My husband’s law school classmate MB, who is OBVIOUSLY a genius, shared his incredible Home Alone  drinking game, which I am now sharing with you.  As much as I hate to mark anything a rival to Intervention Drinking Game (or WKCDS Drinking Game, for that matter!), I’m forced to admit that this one, adapted for both Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, is a real standout in the field.  True props to you, MB.  Everyone who can (sigh) enjoy some eggnog and a little group fun this holiday season, but play responsibly!  (I am a liquor company rep in my spare time, after all, so I’m required to say that.)

For the sake of convenience, I have adapted for both “Home Alone” and “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” (with substitute rules for the latter in brackets).
In order to play, please write each number of the list below on a separate notecard. Before the game, have each player select a predetermined number of cards. The suggested number of cards is 4-6 per player, but really, who can say what is appropriate? Anything over 10 cards per person and you’re getting into “Drunk Uncle on Mulled Wine” territory though. When playing in large groups, it may be advisable to create multiples of the list below, as that will encourage a more social holiday drinking experience, with more than one person drinking per specified event.
As a refresher, until the start of the “Home Invasion Round” (at which point all players drink together), if the event described on a card occurs, the player who has drawn that card is required to drink. The world famous “Home Invasion Round” begins when the Trans-Siberian Orchestra kicks in, and we get a montage of Kevin McCallister preparing to horribly maim, murder, and dismember Harry and Marv. From that point onward, ALL players drink every time that they believe that the Wet Bandits should have conceivably succumbed to their injuries. For instance, when Kevin hits Marv with a brick directly in the temple from a six story building, all players would drink, as Marv would likely suffer from severe traumatic brain damage and would likely die from internal bleeding.
The game ends when the final credits roll. All players are winners.
Here is the 2016 list:
1. Drink every time Uncle Frank is an asshole
2. Drink every time an on screen character speaks French
3. Scary Shovel Man Sighting! [Creepy Bird Lady sighting!]
4. Drink every time Kevin uses a TalkBoy
5. Drink every time Kevin commits credit card fraud
6. Tarantula sighting! [Future President of the United States sighting!]
7. Drink for every transparent 1990s product placement (Pepsi, American Airlines, the Plaza Hotel, TalkBoy, etc.)
8. Drink every time Kevin eats or orders pizza
9. Drink every time “Angels with Filthy Souls” [or “Angels with Filthy Souls 2”] is played. ***BONUS: Communal Drink when Kevin uses the audio to fool another character***
10. Drink every time the Home Alone theme song plays (masterfully crafted by John Williams)!
11. Drink for bad parenting from Kevin’s mom
12. Drink for all other instances of bad parenting – also includes references to previous debacles (i.e John Candy recalling leaving his child at a funeral parlor)
13. Drink for bad police work
14. Drink for every scene Kevin is in his terrifying basement. [Drink for every scene Kevin is in terrifying 1990s Central Park.]
15. MAKE A RULE! Whoever draws this card gets to make a rule that applies to every other player during the game.
16. Drink every time John Candy’s character plays or references polka. [Drink every time Rob Schneider’s character asks for or references a tip.]
17. Drink every time someone knocks over the McCallister’s porch statue. [Drink for Duncan’s Toy Chest sighting!]
18. Drink when Kevin evades apprehension for theft.
19. “Buzz, your girlfriend – woof!” [“Grown men come into the park and don’t make it out alive.”]
20. Drink every time someone screams “KEVIN!”


PS: Don’t be a dick and pretend you made this up!  All credit to the drunk wizard that is MB!

A Dark Fairytale (Or the Start of One)

November 22, 2016

So the husband and I were shopping one day in Budapest, and we stopped at a flea market.  Husband saw these children’s shoes, and was like, “We can get these vintage leather shoes for our future kid and then our baby will be super hip.”  So we were talking to the lady, who told us the price, and as we’re taking the bag after we’ve given her the money, she says, “They are really amazing, from before World War II.”  And then we’re walking out and my husband goes pale and says, “Oh fuck, these are definitely some little dead Jewish kid’s shoes…”  And now we have Holocaust booties and can’t figure out what to do with them.  They’re just sitting being creepy on our front hallway table.  HAPPY TUESDAY EVERYONE.


Sent in a Email Subject Line “This Is Real Life”

November 17, 2016

The text of a Facebook post written by redacted, for OBVIOUS REASONS:

Anyone know what to do when there’s a ghost in the house? I’m not afraid, but I want to know like in terms of Torah, do I have a need to be, or all is good?


November 15, 2016

Today I went to see the Bedlam exhibit at the Wellcome Collection, and there was a lot to chew on (notables include: the record Symposium in Blues, commissioned by Merck to promote psychiatric medication, paintings of “morphinomania, and a psychiatric patient’s artwork depicting his perfect day in the asylum, which ends with a visit to feed the resident polar bears).  A few choice quotes on the wall alluding to the old adage that the insane in charge lock up the less insane to keep them pacified, which feels really fucking resonant right now.  But anyway!  Here’s one of my favorite things from the exhibit: the artwork commissioned by Wallace Laboratories, makers of Miltown, to depict the glorious transformation undergone by those who take the drug.  And who did they decide to have paint said transformation?  Salvador Dali, naturally.  From Sotheby’s:

Given the artist’s reputation for phantasmagoric images, it may come as no surprise to learn that in 1958, he was commissioned by Wallace Laboratories to design an artwork to promote their psychotropic drug Miltown. A sedative that was popular in Hollywood circles, Miltown was at the time considered to be a miracle cure for anxiety. The resulting project, Crisalida*, was an art installation Dalí built in the shape of a chrysalis. Visitors walked through it to see glass panels illustrating a user’s three stages of healing: from an ominous, hollowed figure, to a feminine form in mid-metamorphosis, and finally, to a healed, whole woman with a head of blooming flowers.



As my companion said, “I really cannot tell the before and after here.”  Which is to say we both might quibble with the Sotheby’s writer who claims the whole thing is “no surprise.”

*Get it?

The Only Thing

November 10, 2016

The only comfort I’ve found since the horrible news of yesterday morning is the artistically absurd; in other words, any thing that resembles reality, I want no part of it.  I’ve scrolled endlessly through this website, watched the amazingly odd Canadian horror cult film Pin, and attempted, despite my limited ability to focus, to finish The Master and Margarita.  (My two-book-a-week average has dropped considerably as of late.)   If the absurd is saving you, too, here’s a little rec: this short story called “Let’s Do This Once More, But This Time With Feeling” by Sabrina Orah Mark, published in the Bennington Review.  It’s about what Louis CK would be like as a husband, and also seahorses.  Herewith, the first half:

LOUIS CK, MY HUSBAND, PILES all my seahorses in the middle of our king-sized bed and starts shouting. I see moon and stars seahorse, and green seahorse and the one with no eyes, and pink seahorse, and says-things seahorse, and pregnant seahorse, and I see the sad one, but I don’t see black seahorse. “Where is black seahorse, Louis?” This makes Louis CK, my husband, even angrier. In a fake little girl voice, all singsong, he goes “WheRe is BlAcK SeAhoRSe, LoUIs!?” My husband, Louis CK, is not being very nice. So I say, “No, not black seahorse Louis, just black seahorse,” which makes Louis roar. So I say, “What’s the matter, Louis? Why so boiled?”

“What does your anger, Louis, have to do with my seahorses?”

We go through this every night.

In the morning everything is fine.

Louis CK and I hold hands. We go to the meadow and make love. We do not bring up the seahorses. Louis pulls my head all the way back. He kisses my throat. His lips are rough like rope. I call out, Sweet, Sweet Nothing. “Who?” asks Louis. He looks around. “Who,” he asks, “is Sweet, Sweet Nothing?” “You,” I say, though it’s impossible to be sure.

I cannot explain it, but ever since the seahorses Louis and I have become less and less human. Our ability to speak had gone from stratospheric to cloudy. “Tell me about eternity, Louis.” And Louis tells me all about eternity using mostly the wildflowers from the meadow. For hours and hours, with the petals and stems he builds boats and whole entire cities and nations of people with terrible long flowing hair, but nothing really comes of it. He speaks for a long time, but the words are few and far between and half-finished. Like somewhere in the middle of being words they closed their eyes and fell asleep and dreamed they were seahorses.

When we get home, Louis CK, my husband, piles all my seahorses in the middle of our queen-sized bed and starts shouting. “I thought, Louis, we had a king-sized bed.” Our bed now is unquestionably queen, giving the seahorses the illusion of looking larger than they had the night before. Black seahorse is still missing. Louis doesn’t answer or look at me. He just keeps piling and shouting and piling and shouting. I see super seahorse and old seahorse and nowhere seahorse and sorry seahorse and the one the other seahorses call the Saint and the one they call the Fool.

We go through this every night.

In the morning everything is fine.

Louis CK and I go to the diner. We sit in our favorite booth. “I love you,” says Louis. “I love you more,” I say. We hold hands. We are very alive. The waitress takes our order. Louis orders two soft boiled eggs, coffee, and toast with strawberry jam. I order the same. We do not bring up the seahorses. The waitress’s name is Poppy. She is wearing a t-shirt with a blue and red rocket ship. Poppy serves us our breakfast. “Where is the rocket ship going?” asks Louis. Poppy looks at me. I shrug. I have no idea. Poppy looks at Louis. She looks down at the rocket ship. “Isn’t it always going to the moon?” asks Poppy. “I guess so,” says Louis. There is a little bit of jam on Louis’s cheek. Poppy dips a napkin into my water glass and wipes it off. She kisses Louis on the mouth. He kisses her back. They kiss for a long, long time. “Don’t be wounded,” she whispers. “Don’t be wounded more,” he whispers back. While they kiss I build a tower out of all the jams and pats of butter and honeys. I collect them from all the booths. The tower is so high I have to stand on the table to keep building. At the very top, I imagine perching hold-me seahorse and never-let-me-go seahorse but, seconds before Louis and Poppy finally stop kissing, the whole tower comes toppling down.

“Is that all there is?” asks Louis. We look around. It seems it is. The diner is empty. Jams and butters and honeys are everywhere. Poppy has disappeared into the kitchen. Possibly forever. We look out the window. Out on the street are a few orange and red and green bouncing balls neither Louis nor I have even seen before, but otherwise not much else. Our friend Ferguson runs past us. I knock hard on the glass and call out, “Hey, Ferguson is that all there is?” But he doesn’t hear me. “Go on without us,” calls out Louis. But Ferguson has already gone on.

“Look,” says Louis. “Something fell out of Ferguson’s pocket.” Louis and I rush out of the empty diner to see what it is. Two identical black seahorses lie on their sides. Their heads are touching. I am careful not to get too close. There is something wrong with these seahorses. It is possible their heads are attached. It is possible neither one is my black seahorse. It is possible they are not alive.

“So is THAT all there is?” asks Louis. He waves his arms around, messily. He seems angry. I don’t know if by THAT he means the seahorses or my feelings about the seahorses or my still missing black seahorse or the flash of Ferguson or the broken tower forever ruined or the orange and red and green bouncing balls which are all still bouncing or life in general or eternity or his undying love for me which might be dying a little on account of the seahorses and on account of kissing Poppy.

An Amazon Review Is My New Characterization

November 9, 2016

Re-reading bad Amazon reviews of a wildly successful memoir (that I have zero intention of buying/reading), I find one that basically sums up my experience with most things.  If I had a Twitter account, my sub-header would be, “I couldn’t get into it but everyone else I know loves it.”  Maybe that only applies to books though.

You’re welcome for the only thing you’ll read today that isn’t about the election.


November 7, 2016

Back a few years ago, I had an awesome idea for stationery that was designed like Google except it was called Pmail (Paper Mail) instead of Gmail.  Seriously, genius!  I’ve seen things kind of like it but nothing so on-the-nose as this.  Here’s the prototype:


Thanks to LB for input and her bro CR for design.

Contract for Potential Correspondent

November 6, 2016

I, ____, heretofore referred to as CORRESPONDENT, have agreed to enter into a written correspondent with Itinerant Daughter, heretofore known as ID.  Upon signing this contract, CORRESPONDENT agrees to the following stipulations:

  1. CORRESPONDENT will feel emotionally invested in the quality of the prose
  2. CORRESPONDENT will feel at least a twinge of guilt when not responding to a note (email or letter) in a timely manner
  3. Despite point number two, CORRESPONDENT will not be under any obligation to respond to any piece of communication in a timely manner, provided that:

3A. CORRESPONDENT agrees not to communicate displeasure with ID via silence or     refusal to engage to written correspondence.  CORRESPONDENT can only opt out of relationship and written engagement via a clear message (medium is the choice of CORRESPONDENT) indicating such.

In turn, ID agrees:

  1. To never assume that CORRESPONDENT’s delay in response is indicative of anything other than CORRESPONDENT’s very busy life.
  2. To never guilt CORRESPONDENT into sending response
  3. To also only communicate termination of correspondence via clear written message (although knowing ID, this will not happen, as she has never met an epistolary relationship she couldn’t carry on.)

Signed and dated:

_______________                   _________________

CORRESPONDENT                        ID

Comment Gems

November 1, 2016

A little while ago, I actually started to read The Comments.  Never for anything I write, ever, and admittedly sometimes I do it even if I know it will be an exercise in nurturing and then suppressing irritation, but a few times, the practice has yielded pretty awesome results.  Once, I found a nun who lives in a cemetery, once, a secret Shaker community, and now, an international conspiracy mastermind!

This genius commented on a New York Times article, which is about a mixologist who basically made up a provenance for a cocktail.  He claims to have… oh well, you’ll see:

Bill In The Desert La Quinta 16 hours ago

Dummy. You never reveal such a thing.

I created a myth and have seen it spread around the world. Sorry, but I will not reveal enough to identify it. However, it involved naming something. And, I tied it into the Latin version of an ancient myth. In the years since 1979, I have succeeded in getting it in print in academic publications as well as special interest magazines, newspapers and club newsletters. It is now buried in the archives of the Vatican library. Only six people are in on the whole hoax and I will never reveal the truth. I love it when it comes up in conversation and especially when a stranger has used the name and even cites the sources I planted.

Please tell me this is somehow related to the Jesus’s wife papyrus!