Hairy Styles

Getting old is not for pussies. But, as my mom says, it is better than the alternative. Which I guess is dying? Why is that not reassuring?

The last time I got my eyebrows did, my eyebrow lady was finishing up and said, “Anything else?” She had never asked this question before. I thought she meant my bikini or legs or something, so I said, “Nope, all good, thanks.” And do you know what she says?

She says, “What about your face.”

I said, “Um, what about my face?”

“Do you want to wax your face? Some women do. As they get older.”

WHY I NEVER. I stumble around for the proper response, politely say no thanks, then cover my wolfwoman face and run in shame to my car. By the time I get home, I am good and outraged. I’m not sure if it’s because she called me old or because she called me hairy-faced. So I tell my husband.

He says, “What! You are no hairier than anyone else.”

Is all the hair plugging up my ears, or did I really just hear that?

Sigh. So I pout about becoming an older, hairier woman, for a little while. And then I see this article about the 2013 National Beard and Mustache competition in New Orleans. I decide then and there that if this facial hair situation really gets out of control, I’m just going to go with it. I could totally pull off some lamb chops.

(AP Photo/Susan Poag)

(AP Photo/Susan Poag)

Celebrity Roundup

It’s Thursday, so it’s time for Celebrity Roundup!*

1. ALERT ALERT Benedict Cumberbatch update. Unfortunately it is not about his crumpets or monocle. And yes, I did intend for that to sound dirty. Lord Cumberbatch is not going to be in Star Wars, and that’s a really big deal because…well, I have no idea why that’s a really big deal. He’s just so awesome that not being in movies makes headlines? OH King Sir Cumberbatch Duke of Wales.

From Jordan Zakarin @ Buzzfeed

I can’t explain this. Just go to Buzzfeed.

2. At the end of our recent California trip, we went to Disneyland for the day. The highlight of the day was seeing the joy and wonder on my children’s faces. JUST KIDDING, it was totally seeing David Beckham AND Brandon Flowers (who I mentioned a while ago here) on the same day IN PERSON. Also, I am guessing the lowlight of the day for my sister-in-law was when I pointed out Brandon Flowers to her and, for no apparent reason, kept saying that I just wanted to rip my shirt off.

3. Seeing David Beckham and Brandon Flowers at Disneyland reminded me of how lame the celeb sightings are in DC. Once in DC I saw Hillary Clinton walking out of a restaurant, which was cool, until I told someone I saw her and they said, “Oh yeah, I heard she was in town, I used to work with her.” Well aren’t you fancy. Another time I saw Trent Lott walking downtown when he was in the news for being all racist and crotchety (which I realize does not narrow down the time frame). This was when I was working at the law firm. I happened to be walking with a super smart, outspoken Democratic colleague, and I couldn’t wait to hear what he had to say when we walked by Trent. Imagine my pride when my colleague yelled, “YOU SUCK BOOO!!!!” right at Trent’s face. That’s the kind of nuanced takedown you can only learn at an Ivy League law school.

4. And finally, this is probably the only Celebrity Roundup in the universe this week that did not analyze Miley Cyrus and/or twerking. You are welcome.

*Please note that I will probably never do another Celebrity Roundup, much less on a Thursday.

Panda Tales

Have you guys heard the news about the baby panda born at the National Zoo? Well, it’s very exciting, although my kids’ reactions were strange. When I told them the girl panda had a baby, my son immediately said, “THEY SHOULD NAME IT MICHAEL.” When I asked why, he said, “I don’t know, I just want a panda named Michael to live at our zoo.” Um. Then I told my daughter about it, and she asked to see a picture. Here is the picture I think she was expecting to see:
SO adorable, right? Well, here is the picture I showed her:
She said, “That is not a panda.”

Can we all agree that pandas should not exist? Really. If they weren’t so adorable (after their hair comes in, I mean, and they stop looking like a smiling hairy penis with tiny claws), we would not go to such ridiculous lengths to keep them alive. I read a New Yorker article recently about all the horrifying lengths zookeepers go to to help the pandas reproduce – including building platforms and weird plastic cylinder structures to help them, um, get comfortable. Some even dress up in panda COSTUMES so they can go in the enclosure and, I don’t know, get them in the mood or something? I hope zookeepers get paid a lot.


Also, if the pandas are fooled by that crappy costume, then they really are doomed.

I imagine that someday we will find ancient cave drawings about unicorns that are exactly like our modern day panda story: all the cavemen thought that unicorns were so adorable and magical, and then the unicorns stopped reproducing, and the cavemen were all “Ohhg og grunt what the hell grunt?” and used all of their caveman know-how to save the unicorns, and eventually said, “Eh, what are you going to do.” And bam, no more unicorns. Yes, I am basically an anthropologist.

My father-in-law is Chinese. He visited us once shortly after the National Zoo got its first panda years ago, and we asked him if he wanted to go see it. And he said, “No. I’ve already seen a panda in China. They all look alike.” Which is TOTALLY TRUE.

So I guess the point of this is: when the pandas all die, they really had it coming. The end.


Last week I took my kids to see the famous smelly corpse flower at the National Botanical Garden.

The trip from the ‘burbs took us an hour door-to-door, which included 15 minutes of waiting in line outside while it was 4,000 degrees with 9 million percent humidity. By the time we were almost in, the only thing keeping the kids from acting like wild animals was the promise that this flower was going to smell like the worst thing they could possibly imagine. My daughter asked me very earnestly if it would be “worse than a poop and vomit bubble,” and I said, “WELL OF COURSE.”

And then we overheard this conversation between a guy standing in line and a Botanical Garden worker:
Guy: “So this thing must be pretty stinky, huh?!”
Worker: “Nah, not really. There are so many people.”
Guy: [Stunned silence.] “Uh, what? It’s supposed to smell like dead bodies. And why does it matter how many people are here?”
Worker: “Yeah, it’s not really THAT bad. And with all the people around, it just doesn’t smell as much. I don’t know, it sort of dissipates or doesn’t make as much smell during the day or something.”

So to recap, this 10-foot-tall uncomfortably phallic looking plant that is plastered all over the intrawebs gets a little shy around crowds. I am pretty sure no one ever mentioned that to me.

Once we finally got up close to the thing, sure enough, it did not smell at all. My kids told me that they thought they could smell something stinky, but I’m pretty sure it was just all the sweaty tourists.
Titus Anum

Which reminds me: what the hell happened with the cicadas? I will tell you what. Nothing. I did not see one all summer long. Back in the spring I read article after disgusting article about the impending East Coast invasion, describing how the cicadas would take over the East Coast, steal our children, ruin our crops, and enslave us, AND NOTHING HAPPENED.

So I am grumpy about a not-smelly-enough stinky plant, and also about missing an invasion of noisy, creepy insects. Perhaps I need a nap. Or perhaps YOU do, DC, with your nature-hype machine.

Tomorrow it’s supposed to be beautiful out, and I’m taking my kids to the movies. So there.

Hide and Seek Gone Bad

Oh no, did you see this story? In a nutshell, a 4-year-old girl went missing from her grandma’s house during a family get together. Insanity ensued, the police came, POLICE DOGS searched the house, and no one could find her. And then, guess what. Someone discovered her sleeping peacefully under her grandma’s bed surrounded by “items” — probably blankets, and stuffed animals, and her poor grandmother’s fragile nerves, which were destroyed in one unannounced game of hide-and-seek-with-the-authorities’-help.

So much to say.

First of all, those police dogs are an embarrassment to the profession. Finding a kid under a bed in a house must be Doggie Police Academy 101, right? Like a prerequisite class before taking “Finding Heroin in Butts and Greyhound Buses” and “Scaring Foreigners at the Airport.” These dogs are going to lose their fancy street beat and face a lifetime of boring police paperwork.

Second, I sympathize with that grandma. You’d think that you could relax about your kids a little bit when you have a house full of adults, but let me tell you what happens: all the grown-ups assume that some other responsible person is watching your kids, and no one is, and then they wander off to some corner of the attic and set fire to a battery and eat expired prescription pills. Or just play quietly, one or the other. But my point is you just never know.


Third, I really hope that girl is amazingly cute and charming, because it is going to take a lot of adorableness for that grandma to get over these shenanigans. I imagine this girl at her college graduation years from now, proudly crossing the stage to get her diploma with honors, and that grandma in the audience: “Summa cum laude?! How about that time you hid under my bed for six hours WHILE THE POLICE AND THEIR DOGS RANSACKED MY HOUSE?”

But thankfully the story had a happy ending and now everyone has an amazing story to tell. I’m sure those dogs will think about that when they’re stuck behind a desk, trying to figure out how the hell to type.