Archive for the ‘Lists’ Category

Life Lessons

May 14, 2017

Things children in Samoa must learn before the age of five:

To sit or crawl within the house

Never to stand upright unless absolutely necessary

Never to address an adult in a standing position

To stay out of the sun

Not to tangle the strands of the weaver

Not to scatter the cut up coconut which is spread out to dry

To keep their scant loin cloths at least nominally fastened to their person

To treat fire and knives with proper caution

Not to touch the kava bowl, or the kava cup

If their father is a chief, not to crawl on his bed-place when he is [near]by

~Margaret Mead, Coming of Age in Samoa

I <3 Experts

February 4, 2017

Michael Gove, British gnat, famously said back in the time during Brexit campaigning that Britons were “tired of experts.”  With the election of Donald Trump, the era of the average asshole has been officially heralded.  But I was thinking the other day: I bet there are plenty of instances in which even Gove himself would prefer an expert over an amateur.  Here are just a few:

Cardiovascular surgeon: who would you rather tinker with your ticker, a real doctor or a guy who just believes he has a feeling for it?

Airline pilot: or helicopter pilot.  Or submarine captain.  Okay, so basically any large vehicle operator.

Professor of Ancient Greek: if you need to learn it, why not learn from the best?

Criminal defense lawyer: Never know––he might be in need of one at some point.


Bomb detonator: this one feels *too close* yet undeniable

Lion tamer: I guess if you find yourself inexplicably dropped into a lion enclosure at the zoo…

Hit man

Skyscraper designer: would you be chill living in a penthouse built by a child, for example?



June 19, 2016

Isn’t it fun to get used books and see what the previous owners wrote in them?  This morning I finished Caroline Blackwood’s The Stepdaughter, which I have been wanting to read for ages (but found a little disappointing.)    A former owner underlined single words, perhaps ones he or she wanted to look up, throughout the text, which together comprise a very macabre description of Caroline Blackwood’s personality and her fiction.  Here goes:





























petard [pretty sure this is a typo and was supposed to be “retard”]












Also, sort of strange––this book was the property of St. Mary’s Library, and was taken out four times in 1978, and then not again until 1992.  And then once after that in 1999.  On my birthday!  What do these numbers mean?

Henry VIII’s Second Course

May 12, 2016

“Could” include: jelly, cream of almonds, pheasant, partridges, quails, cocks, gulls, kid, lamb or pigeon, larks or rabbits, chickens, venison in paste, tarts, fritters, fruit, butter and eggs.


Concept Tumblr

May 4, 2016

Last week, when my husband and I were in Rome, I saw a nun driving a car across the Isola Tiberina, and then she honked at someone!  I was tickled.  My husband said, “Nuns doing stuff is the best.”  And lo, a concept Tumblr was born!  I won’t start it because I would inevitably run out of steam, and you know how much it pains me to see abandoned blogs, but here is a blueprint of what it might look like:


Playing croquet…


Baking bread…



Nuns In The Surf

Playing in the ocean…


Chilling at the bar…


Smoking herb…

Nuns Having Fun (2)



Eating cake…


Working at a spa…


Playing basketball…


Enjoying a lager!

If you know that this Tumblr happens to exist already, just don’t tell me.  I’d rather live blissfully ignorant of my generally derivative life than look the blinding sad truth in the face.  I do, however, note the existence of a calendar called NUNS HAVING FUN or something to that effect, which I would like to own.  If you could mail it to me c/o the Guggenheim Museum, that would be much appreciated.  Consider it a belated birthday present.


I Did Everything

May 1, 2016

Sorry for the big gap between posts, my five devoted readers!  I’ve been on vacation.  I know what you’re thinking: ID, isn’t your whole life kind of a vacation?  Uh, no, I have a full-time job being a garden variety neurotic, and that’s not an easy gig!

Anyway, last week in Jerusalem, I went to a gallery called the Museum on the Seam (so named because it is right on the Green Line.)  Wasn’t overwhelmed by the art there, but I did like one piece called “It Was Me.  Diary 1990-1999” by Italian artist Daniela Comani.  It’s a text piece that imagines the major events of the 20th century as if they all happened to one individual.  Here is the whole thing, and here (colon) is an excerpt:

February 20th. London. I took my life tonight. First I tried with an overdose of pills (150 antidepressants and 50 sleeping pills) but was saved in King s College hospital, where I hung myself 2 days later in the toilets in the middle of the night. February 21st. New York. I murdered Malcolm X during a speech in Harlem. February 22nd. I executed the siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl. February 23rd. Edinburgh. I cloned a sheep at the Roslin Institute: Dolly. February 24th. I presented ‘the 25 point program’ to the German Workers Party. February 25th. Unbloody putsch in the Philippines: I overthrew the president Ferdinando E. Marcos.”

My traveling companion (in life) didn’t like the piece, but I enjoyed it because I felt like no matter how obvious the conceit, it did make you think about each event as if it had happened to you for a millisecond.  Also, it reminded me of some horror movie I’ve seen––but forget the name of––in which the Devil (or some evil force named otherwise) reveals him/itself to have been behind all the tragedies of history.  A whiff of The Invisible Man, too.

Perhaps Unfair, and Almost Definitely Not Politically Correct, But…

March 23, 2016

Remember when I was talking about Sybil?  Of course you do––it was just a few posts back.  Anyway, over this past weekend, sick in bed and literally voice-less, I decided to re-read the Debbie Nathan book––for research, and also because salacious psych exposes are my kryptonite.  That’s beside the point.  Anyway, in the book, Nathan mentions that during the MPD craze of the eighties and nineties, someone started a newsletter for multiple personality sufferers called Many Voices.  And lo and behold, the entire archives are online.  It’s equal parts legitimately sad and disturbing and, shall we say, meta-sad and disturbing, knowing now how many of these people were likely to have been manipulated in therapy.  My favorite part of the newsletters––again, I know this isn’t technically funny, but… ––is the optimistic/humorous (opti-humorous?) koans offered by various contributors.  Below, a selection:

“If we’re multiples, they’re monotones.”
“If someone says, ‘That doesn’t sound like you,’ it probably wasn’t.”
“Caution!  Subject to rapid personality changes.”
“I found myself!  And another, and another, and another… ”
“Maximum occupancy: 200 people bodies.”
“I had just learned that I am a multiple, and was feeling stunned and angry about it.  ‘Forget this,’ I said, ‘I’m not playing host to all these people.  Everybody OUT.  Immediately.'”
“I’m a community.  Who are you?”
“We’re not all multiples.”
“What is a multiple’s favorite fruit?  Bananas––they come in bunches.”
“TV Guide: MPD––your alternative to MTV.  We dance to the beat of a different drummer.  Featuring The Dissociations, a hot new group from the Ego States.  Like Madonna, they constantly reinvent themselves.”
“No longer alone.  Supported by others, who have others!”
“How does a person diagnosed with MPD know they are completely fused?  When they hear the word multiple and think VITAMINS!”



Submitted to the Committee

February 21, 2016

DC and ID attended the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden for the second year in a row this year, and propose to add the following new rules to the drinking game:

When the handler’s outfit resembles upholstery

A truly dangerous decree.  Think long and hard before voting this in.

A collective “awww” from the audience

This one might be only applicable for those watching the show in person.  This year, a number of breeds got this sign of approval, including the Wirehaired Dachsund and newbie the Lagotto Romagnolo.

When the handler keeps treats in his/her mouth

This was discussed as a possible rule back when first formulating the game, but somehow didn’t make it on the list.

When the handler runs with a brush

Many long-haired breeds need the occasional touch-up.


If you are a member of the Society for the Advancement of Drinking Games, please fill out your ballot with your choice of proposed new rules and submit to Siobhan at  Next year, DC and ID, instead of attending both nights at MSG, will host a public viewing party on the first night of competition for members of the SADG and their guests.  Location TBD.
How many more acronyms can I fit into this post?

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Drinking Game

February 15, 2016

Starting tonight, New York’s Madison Square Garden will host everyone’s favorite annual competitive event: the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Launched in 1877 by a group of “sporting gentleman,” the show is a two-night long competition in which canine entrants are judged on everything from the luster of their coats to the floppiness of their ears. Even if you happen to be more of a cat lady (like me), watching perfectly-coiffed pooches strut down the turf in hopes of being dubbed best in show is the best antidote to mid-winter blues. In honor of the WKC’s 140th birthday, we’ve written a drinking game to help you celebrate. Unless otherwise noted, take one drink for each. Those of you watching from home can enjoy a single malt and the witty banter of the USA Network-appointed panelists; those of us attending the event will get lukewarm Bud Light in jumbo cups, and the heady satisfaction that comes with a Maslow-ian peak experience.

The sequin rule: If you’ve watched the show a few times, you’ll have noticed that dog handlers, for whatever reason, are really into their sequins. Sometimes they sport a splash across their shoulders, whereas other times they’ll model an entire outfit after Michael Jackson’s famous shiny glove. Take a drink if there are any sequins at all, two for an entirely sequined outfit, and three if the handler wearing an entirely sequined outfit is male.

&lt;&gt; on February 15, 2011 in New York City.

Shine bright like a diamond.

Owner/dog doppelgangers: The “canine mini-me” effect is real, although not universally applicable. Take two drinks if the handler, owner, and dog all look alike.

When the dog is from New York City: Everyone loves a hometown dog.

If you would have sex with the handler: Self-explanatory. If you actually have had sex with a particular handler, finish your drink.

The breed is new to Westminster: In 2015, two new breeds were admitted to Westminster: the wirehaired vizsla, a hunting dog from Hungary, and the coton du tulear, the national dog of Madagascar. This year, somewhere between five and ten new breeds will be introduced. We won’t tell you the exact number, so as to keep you on your toes. Fun fact: one of the new breeds is primarily known for hunting truffles.

When the dog has a human name: Most of the dogs at Westminster have elaborate, nonsensical names like “Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot,” best in show 2009, or “Whisperwind on a Carousel,” the winning poodle from 1991. And then there’s Garth, a six-year-old bloodhound from New Hampshire, competing at Westminster for the fifth and final time this year. If the dog is entered under a banal human name like Jim or Stephanie, take a drink.

Handler tattoos: This is like spotting the chupacabra. Take two drinks for a full sleeve.


They do exist!


Direct fingering of the anus: As aforementioned, the dogs are judged based on different aspects of their physicality: width of shoulders, shape of head, pertness of tail, and certain rectal features, or so it would seem from watching some judges.

When the announcer says something vaguely sexual or racist: For the twenty-sixth year in a row, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will be narrated by David Frei, a former public relations guy with a voice like toasted and buttered heaven. We’d never suggest the lovely Frei would say anything actually offensive; this is more of a “that’s what she said” interpretive situation.

Breeder/Owner/Handler: More often than not, a show dog is shepherded through life by three important people: its breeder, owner and handler. But some uber-passionate people take it upon themselves to do it all. Breeder-owner-handlers are rare, and have only been part of a winning human-dog duo eight times in the show’s history. If a breeder-owner-handler takes the cup this year, finish your drink.

When you can’t see the dog’s eyes: Certain breeds, like all varieties of poodles, are made to wear elaborate fur-styles, whilst others, like the shaggy, huggable English sheepdogs, go au naturel, sometimes to the point where you have to wonder how it is they know where they’re going when they’re not being led on a leash by a bedazzled dog choreographer.


The winning dog is deemed an “underdog” by the announcers: When this is said, it is almost always unironically.



Irritated/Funny List

December 7, 2015

So I’ve been in a low-grade shitty mood since Saturday night because of thought plagiarism, as a general concept (not going to elaborate), and then I went to go purchase tickets to a Hanukkah concert and found my spirits lightened by the sheer number of title options available to your average British consumer.  (Some of these are certainly included only because it’s a Jewish event, but still.)





Chief Rabbi







Dr & Mrs


His Honour




Lt. Cdr



It just occurred to me that there may have been more options, but I didn’t scroll down.  Curses!  *waves fists at sky*