Friday, June 6, 2008

More Than Just a Facebook Profile

Me at 16: Didn't get the memo teen smoking rates had dropped


The Associated Press is reporting that US teen are now engaging in less risk-taking behavior than their 90's counterparts. The rate of teens engaging in sex without a condom is down, as is marijuana and alcohol usage.

But it makes sense if you think about it. The 90's were a dark period. We were still kind of trying to figure out what AIDS was and how to treat it. Condom usage was more to guard against pregnancy than against various STI's. Drug addiction sky rocketed and hip hop emerged as a reactionary element both fueling and curtailing the problem. Anti-depressants flooded the market because everyone seemed to be young, sad, battered. We were still recovering from the strict Reagan regime, beginning to recognize gay rights, women's rights, abortion rights. Monica Lewinsky put the President's cock in her mouth and forgot to swallow the evidence. Will Smith was the most famous rapper out there.


There was a reason Nirvana was one of the most popular bands during the 90's. It felt like no matter how old you were, you were going through some kind of existential crisis. Even midlifers were reverting to the teenage role of self-discovery, through drugs and drink and unprotected sex. We didn't understand the realities. The AIDS tolls continued to rise. The Middle East blew up in our faces. The US economic budget erred on the side of surplus, but people were homeless, and sick, and drug addicted and depressed.

The new millennium changed all that. It washed away the sins of the 20th century and ushered us into an era of relatively newfound tolerance, acceptance and knowledge. We elected a certified dumbass, but we were wary of our mistake. We recognized it - even if it took two elections to do so.


The teens of today are mired down in Facebook and Myspace, one finger on their Blackberry and the other on the remote flipping through reality TV channels. But they are far more intelligent than the teens who came before them. They grew up knowing the troubles of unprotected sex because they saw their parents' friends dying from the AIDS epidemic. They saw what happened when a fellow disaffected youth took naked pictures of herself - how quickly that could sour, how quickly it circled the internet, how it ruined her. They channeled their outrage against world crimes like in Darfur or Iraq into an online medium.

Some may call this lazy, or inefficient, wont to smother the grassroots action that our parents and their parents championed decades before us. But the internet has become one of the most provoking and powerful tools to ever capture a generation. It has allowed even the laziest of people to care about something, even if it's as simple as joining a Facebook group representing a political platform. It has allowed us to parse our emotions, parlaying them into blogs and op-eds and videos that explain what we are really about. We are smarter than they think we are, with more and more teens going to college, studying abroad, becoming world citizens.

But we have a lot of positive influences to thank for our early maturity. Current TV is an excellent example of a media source - constructed and consumed by teens and young adults - that pumps viewers and readers up with real news in an interesting way. I cannot stress enough that my generation does not consist of clone drones consuming what is put in front of us, worshipping Speidi, our pulses slowing dutifully despite the Red Bull injections. We do have positive people enacting positive change.


And yet, religious fanatics gripe daily about the sexualization of the media, the desensitization of the population to images that are overtly and offensively sexual. But clearly these images have had little impact on our behavior -- perhaps it is desensitizing us, but that also means it's allowing us to make our own sexual choices outside of what the media has to offer on the issue. I well up with a sense of pride when I realize how important and amazing it is that teen condom usage has gone up so much. I know firsthand how hard it is. I've stood in the bathroom stall at work with a pregnancy test in my hand, the turbulent anxieties ripping open my insides. It is a terrible feeling, one that children of the 90's are all too familiar with, and one that I hope - and am glad that - teens these days may never have to feel.

-Jess

Sex and the City Makes Me Sad in the City

I'm depressed. I'm depressed because I saw the Sex and the City movie last night and it was horrible. Don't read on if you haven't seen it yet and don't want to know what happens.

Now, I'd like to preface this by saying that just because I didn't like it doesn't mean I didn't cry every time Big looked at Carrie with that "I'm pretending I don't love you but I totally love you" face, or when Miranda and Steve reconciled for a emotionally-fueled hug at the midpoint of the Brooklyn Bridge, or when Carrie gave "Saint Louise" that (ugly) Louis Vuitton bag. If I had gone in with no knowledge of the series, no expectations, no emotional ties to the characters, I would have loved the movie. But because I was such a fan of the series, I truly felt like the movie fell short of its intended goal.

First of all, in the series, the girls are all very label conscious. Yes, Carrie loves clothes and shoes and material things, but this movie took it to the extreme. The opening line was: "Every year thousands of women move to New York in search of the two L's: Love and Labels." What... the... fuck? The alarming amount of superficiality throughout the movie really pissed me off. In the series, Carrie liked clothes, but she had substance. She was smart and highly likeable. In the movie they dwindled her down to this whiney, hypermanic, then hyperdepressed version of herself teetering on $500 heels. All of the panache that originally attracted droves of women to her character and gave them the desire to forever compare themselves to her was completely drained. She became utterly two dimensional, obsessed with "love," but mostly just with labels. Anyone who argued before this movie that Big's money wasn't a factor in Carrie's love for him was obviously wrong.

That said, the fashion in this movie was RIDICULOUS. I've never coveted studded belts and 5 inch booties and sack dresses more. My mouth was legit watering almost the entire time because I wanted all of Carrie's outfits so, so badly. Fuck. This movie is making me even more materialistic as we speak.


Then there was the product placement. In every fucking scene I was distracted by the overt display of products which companies obviously paid thousands of dollars for to nab their chance at being eaten, drunk, worn or fucked by the fabulous foursome. The Vitamin Water on the seats at the fashion show? Charlotte's refusal to drink anything but Smart Water in Mexico? A little much.


Speaking of Mexico... wtf? How did half this movie take place in Mexico or LA? This movie is about NEW YORK. "New York is the fifth character," the magazines like to say. Not so for the movie. And WTF at Charlotte shitting her pants? I felt like I was watching the female version of Superbad at that point - oh ha ha, toilet humor, so funny!!!


Then there was the problem of Mr. Big. This sturdy man, this big, rich bad boy that was unbridled and untamable - it was like he had been fucking castrated. Admittedly, leaving her at the altar was very old Mr. Big-esque, but the dynamic between the two of them had visibly shifted. Carrie had all the power, whereas in the series Big did. I liked it better that way. It was more realistic. Were the writers trying to show that men like Big can be tamed? That if you can just be as successful and witty and gorgeous as Carrie, that the rich unattainable emotionally unavailable asshole will fall right into your arms? Give me a BREAK. I'm only 20 years old and I understand that that's just completely not the case. Not that this movie had to be realistic - I mean, obviously, it was highly unrealistic. But instead of being subtly so, as the series was, the movie took it to a whole new level. My friend David summed it up perfectly: "It was retarded."


I'm really sad that the experience was so disappointing. But like I said, the movie was good on a superficial level. As in, "I'm willingly losing brain cells while watching this but I can't look away." I mean, I'm still totally buying this when it comes out on DVD.


-Jess

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ambiguous Headlines Annoy

This morning, one of the stories in my comcast.net news feed was linked by the headline "Hispanic Students at Risk." I love this; like, it doesn't matter what the risk actually is, because they're minorities and therefore their struggles adapting to mainstream America are noteworthy and maybe white people should be scared.

The actual article goes on to talk about how Hispanics try drugs and kill themselves in greater numbers than their black or white peers. No explanation is offered, other than some vague quote identifying "segregation" as a problem. So, you know, if you're Hispanic, WATCH OUT.

Ay carumba!

-Josh

Political Discourse

This is a very interesting article on the value of unified democracy in a society increasingly defined by virtual interaction and individualism. It is a difficult yet ultimately rewarding read; I highly recommend it.

-Josh

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

In Defense of Porn

I just read Pornography, Sex and Feminism by Alan Soble in an hour and a half because it was so damn good. I picked it up at my favorite place ever, The Mulberry Street Library, and immediately began tearing through it. I knew I'd like it when I realized that Chapter 3 is entitled "Sluts and Facials." YES!

While I don't agree with much of what Soble says, it definitely presents a sex-positive view of feminism that I can get behind. Many feminists rally around the idea that porn is dehumanizing, degrading, anti-woman. But that theory can only be propelled forth if you accept the Christian/conservative-tainted view of women as pure and chaste. Instead, I'd argue that many women do enjoy sex - I, for one, have been known to initiate it during a relationship even more than my ex-boyfriends - and therefore watching porn or engaging in the acts that are taped for porn is not degrading at all. In fact, it can be rather empowering. Soble touched upon my blowjobs-for-power idea, and the fact that men are more apt to worship an ass than intelligence. Sad as it may be, it also proves that women do have a power over men - one that, I'd like to point out, perhaps hasn't accurately been captured on film since The Virgin Suicides. We have the ability to exude power from the tiniest places, our sinews, capillaries, the ends of our hair. Kirsten Dunst is like the role model for chaste mystery, while Nina Hartley is one for female sexual empowerment and orgasm. Combine them together and you have the perfect woman: something that I am so, so striving for at this point.

-Jess

Snus-ical

Okay, it's about time I started this thing. I'm actually a little nervous. But, when you don't have roommates to annoy talk to, you know, you gotta get your kicks somehow.

6:42 pm: The tin smells like a teabag. A really strong teabag that has some tobacco in it. But yeah...tobacco tea. I'm sure they sell that in Texas or something.

6:43 pm: Okay, I'm gonna put one of them in my mouth. Under my upper lip, to be precise. I guess I just...leave the bag in there? I don't know, it seems weird to me, like, where is that bag gonna go?

6:44 pm: Okay, whoa. By "tingle" they must mean "burning sensation," because ow, this hurts. And the pouch is pretty much too big to fit behind my upper lip without part of it sticking out in front of my teeth. I have to keep my mouth in a certain awkward position to make the damn thing stay up there. I bet I look so cool.

6:49 pm: Okay, my gum doesn't hurt anymore; it is indeed simply tingling. But now my head hurts. How much nicotine, compared to a normal cigarette, am I getting anyway?

6:50 pm: And now I'm getting lightheaded. But this is kind of how I felt the first time I had (really had, as in inhaled, not just put in my mouth) a cigarette, so I don't know if this is the "typical" reaction or not. But I don't really like this, and what the hell is going to happen to the bag in thirty minutes? I thought there wasn't any spitting required, but I can't see how the bag itself is going to dissolve.

6:54 pm: Ashley says, "LOL it sounds like you're eating a warhead." But, you know, with lots of typos and stuff because it's Ashley.

6:55pm: You know, I had a big craving for nicotine before I tried the Snus, but now I can feel it somewhat subsiding. Like I still want one--my lungs seem to want that smoke--but overall I don't feel like I have to have one. As much. Sort of. I have a pouch beneath my lip.

7:01pm:
By the way, that's what an unused Snus looks like.

7:07: Okay, so how's it working? Well I still feel the tingling. And when I really start craving a cigarette, my fingers start to tingle and my eyes feel like they're getting dry, both of which is still happening but not nearly as bad as it normally would be by now. The problem is that I still have that heavy feeling in my throat, in which (ironically) I feel like I can't breathe properly unless I smoke a cigarette. I think that comes more from the act of smoking than from the nicotine, though. So I guess the Snus is sort of working. I still don't know what to do with the damn pouch.

7:15 pm: Well, it's been thirty minutes. Time to de-Snus. As you can tell by the above picture, the aftertaste is awful. My gum feels...weird, and I vaguely taste the tobacco-tea-ness. Plus, there's still plenty of tobacco left in the pouch, which I promptly disposed of. I feel like either I did this wrong, you're supposed to keep it in your mouth for far longer than thirty minutes, or it's just a stupid product. I guess if I were stuck on a plane or something I would use Snus to help curb the cravings, but I still want to smoke an actual cigarette--it's that damn heavy-lungs thing. Maybe Snus just take time to really "work," but I can't see myself replacing cigarettes with them.

Oh well, at least they were free.

-Josh

You Snus, You Lose?


While I was buying a pack of cigarettes at my local deli earlier today, the cashier, seeing my dissatisfaction at the price hike, offered me a tin of Camel Snus. I hadn't heard of them before, but since it was a one-time free offer I figured I might as well try them.

Here is what the instructions are:

"1. POP it under your upper lip
2. Wait a few minutes for a TINGLE
3. ENJOY for up to 30 minutes

(No spitting required)"

This struck me as a little suspicious, because:

1. This sounds an awful lot like gumming cocaine
2. I really don't understand how a tobacco product causes a "tingle"
3. If I don't like it, I will certainly not enjoy the 30 minutes that follow

Google didn't dig up a whole lot of information on what it's like to actually try the product, however, so in the name of both journalism in the public service and because I am looking to cut back on cigarettes, I will not only try a Snus but will live-blog the experience. I'd do it right now, but I just ate and the post-dinner cigarette is probably my favorite, so I'm not going to sacrifice it. But in a couple of hours I'll forgo the stick and try the Snus (Snu?). So check back later tonight to see if I like the pouches or if I get a serious case of Snus Blues.

(Ba dum...tsch.)

-Josh

The 89th Anniversary of Relative Political Equality

Today is the 89th anniversary of the 19th amendment that legalized women's suffrage, the one that Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony worked tirelessly for decades to get passed. I could get into the fact that Hillary refusing to concede last night was a disgrace - to the democratic party, to the Clinton legacy, to the public perception of women in politics - but I won't, because I'm sure you've all heard it before.

What Marshall said yesterday was true. Women have built a tremendous legacy for themselves. We have come so far in such a short period of time. Clinton's candidacy has served as a catalyst for sexism to rear its vicious head, but it has also stimulated debates concerning the issue that allow anniversaries such as this one, that celebrate the accomplishments women have made in the face of tremendous odds, to feel that much sweeter.


-Jess

I'm Almost Cool

Because I almost saw Jay-Z and P. Diddy at a club last night. Apparently they were there, and I really really really wanted to at least catch a glimpse--come on, wouldn't you?--but I couldn't see anything past the horde of weed-reeking bodyguards and members of their seemingly endless posses. Whatever. I did, for the record, see many bitches, hos, and ladies shaking it like a saltshaker.

-Josh

P.Fucking.S. (From Jess): He also saw Julia Allison which was even more exciting to me. Apparently she looked really drunk. You go girl.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Tribute to Cigarettes

New York's new cigarette tax went into effect today, causing most stores to charge upwards of $10/pack. Because of this - oh, and the fact that cigarettes are awful for you - this summer I'm actually going to try to quit smoking. I've started to take running kind of seriously and I really can't spend $30-40/week on cigarettes, so that's the sad reality. Here's a photographic tribute to cigarettes of Josh and I puffing away as I embark on the beginning of my journey to quit:
















-Jess

Smoking Suckers

Okay, this is bullshit. A new $1.25 New York state tax on cigarettes has driven the prices of packs up dramatically; my pack of Parliaments now costs nine dollars.

And I think it's pretty ridiculous.

For the past few years, starting with perhaps the amended statewide smoking ban in 2003 but probably even earlier, New York's governments have been on a crusade to get its citizens to quit smoking. Yes, that's their goal. Of course, the ban isn't really comprehensive; smokers will still do what they do in their favorite bars, and I've been to numerous clubs where the bouncers inside don't tell patrons to take their smoking outside but rather to a less conspicuous area of the venue.

But this tax is pushing it too far. It's like some perverted Stamp Act, where my people's discontentment finds expression in disgruntled puffs and the jingling of change at the register, where our goal is not freedom of a nation but freedom to do whatever we want to our bodies, and I do believe this was taxation without representation, because anyone who apposed this tax increase would inevitably be painted as--gasp--pro-smoking (even if that person is simply anti-let's-take-more-money-from-the-people.)

I mentioned before that the government's goal was to get its citizens to stop smoking. I think that's true. But I do not believe that it is purely motivated by the desire to increase the longevity of its citizenry; rather, I think that the government was caving into pressure from the tourism industry, from scary anti-smoking people like Rob Reiner (who, being a non-smoker, is of course in the best of health), and from those same self-righteous perfectionists who want to see smoking removed from movies and made illegal within a certain number of feet from public buildings. Look, they raised the price of oil, but that hasn't made us any less of an oil-dependent nation; similarly, raising the price of cigarettes may get some people to cut back or even quit, but plenty of others (myself, most likely, included) will stick with the habit, and the so-called "problem" of people smoking in the city won't go away.

This is a typical article on the tax increase, with a typical man-on-the-street interview. The woman in the piece isn't quitting because of the health risks or, you know, because she's a mother, but because it is getting too expensive. Which is fine and good if you hate smoking and are glad to see it just go away in general, but this doesn't seem like a pro-health governmental crusade; it seems like a way for the government to increase its revenue while fighting the very industry that helped keep this nation afloat in its early days (albeit by way of slavery, but slavery was unfortunately rather universal, being used in all agricultural industries.)

Were people really dropping like flies due to secondhand smoke before the ban? Were crazed addicts roaming the streets, buying four packs for twenty dollars and offering the cutest fifth-graders their first cancer stick? Or was New York simply a city in which some people chose to partake in a habit that has definite health risks, the same city that faces air pollution from smog and automobile exhaust, the same city that once prided itself on allowing those who lived there to make their own choices, health risks and political correctness be damned, in the name of a bohemia and a romantic recklessness both, sadly, in what is surely their dying moments.

-Josh

TOPSHOP NEW YORK

Walking home from the gym today I literally stopped in the middle of the street and began to hyperventilate. Why? Because I saw this:I'm not sure how I missed the news that Topshop is opening a store in SoHo (on Broadway between Broome and Grand), but I spend hours on their site coveting everything from chunky platform heels to crushed leather motorcycle jackets and frilly floral frocks with exposed zippers. The people on the sidewalk gaped at me as I jumped up and down and took a picture.

Unfortunately, I'll be in Paris when the store opens, but there will be a Topshop there! The caliber of my wardrobe is about to fucking skyrocket.

Here are some of my recent favs from the Topshop files:

-Jess

The Female Experience: Two Sides


Anna Holmes, managing editor of Jezebel, penned this smarticle in the NY Times op-ed section about Hillary Clinton and feminism. It sparked a relatively intense debate between me and my friend Marshall:
JESS: From Holmes' article: "Sexism is so pervasive as to be almost invisible and so accepted that to mention it is to risk being accused of hypersensitivity."
JESS: so true
MARSHALL: no other social group has made the advances that women have made in the last two generations in such a short period of time, basically without retribution or violence
MARSHALL: the older generation and their expectations will die out. and there will always be assholes.
JESS: yeah
MARSHALL: but at least in this country I really dont think sexism is the defining narrative
JESS: it's not the defining narrative but it's certainly an important one
MARSHALL: and it really sickens me during the age of arranged marriage and genital mutilation perpetuated on 10 year old girls that Hillary losing an election is considered at all
JESS: part of me wants to tell you that you don't get it because you're a man and you can't see the nuances and subtlties that affect me every day that have their roots in patriarchy
MARSHALL: I know. isn't that sexist too?
JESS: perhaps in some ways, but i don't think saying that the sexes view things differently and understand the world in different ways because of their distinct personal experience is sexist MARSHALL: no, but when a man says it he usually is called such
JESS: and i also don't think its fair to compare the experiences of women in 3rd world countries to women in america
JESS: well that's not my ideology. maybe it's steinems', but not mine
MARSHALL: I know
MARSHALL: it's my same deal with African Americans complaining about slavery when there are still slaves on this planet. if it's something truly abhorrent than address it in its entirety.
JESS: i hate that reasoning, though. it's like telling someone who has a normal life but is depressed to cheer up because most people have it worse than them.
JESS: everything is relative
MARSHALL: sure, but I honestly believe a woman in this country can do whatever she wants to. maybe I'm ignorant. but I dont think Hillary Clinton losing has anything to do with her gender.
JESS: i agree that her loss has nothing to do with her gender and everything to do with her horribly unlikable personality.
JESS: and i do think women can get to where they need to be - but that's not the point. we can achieve what we want, but our methods of achievement are different and often times much more difficult than those of men. women have to work 10x harder to get the same opportunities men get handed to them on a silver platter
JESS: or they have to flash their tits and be okay with being painted as sex symbols a la emily gould or elizabeth wurtzel
MARSHALL: well here's a flipside: If I wrote a book about my mental disorder, looking the way I do, do you think anyone would read it?
MARSHALL: did her sexiness help her or hurt her? I mean, if you accept that we think different you can accept we achieve differently too
MARSHALL: my main point would be that I think this Hillary analysis is a disservice to feminism, and I think a lot of feminism in the western world is a disservice to women
JESS: the thing is that it wouldnt MATTER what you look like if you wrote a book, and it would matter what I look like
JESS: I agree that we achieve differently but that doesn't mean we should be afforded different opportunities
MARSHALL: I dont think that's true
JESS: but like... it is. it's a fact. for example: you know that guy who wrote about wanting to have extramarital sex for NY mag? did you see his face gracing that article at all?
JESS: no, of course not. and emily gould writes a piece for the NY times magazine and gets her face on the cover
MARSHALL: no, but I didn't see Jewish Carrie Bradshaw either
JESS: but they never put pictures with Sex Diaries, thats the point, they're anonymous - their credibility and anonymity would be shredded if they posted a picture
MARSHALL: true
MARSHALL: I think Emily Gould is known
JESS: Emily Gould was not known outside of Gawker followers until the ny times piece
MARSHALL: do you think it's a disadvantage?
JESS: i think that it can be
JESS: i don't think there's anything wrong with women using their looks to get ahead, but when their looks are getting more attention than their writing, then we have a problem
JESS: society isn't going to change. they're not going to stop putting elizabeth wurtzel in a belly shirt on the cover of her book about being young and depressed in america. they're not going to put chuck klosterman on the cover of sex drugs and cocoa puffs 2. women may as well turn it from a disadvantage to an advantage
MARSHALL: right. just like sex.
MARSHALL: it's not ever going to be the same
JESS: it just occurred to me that that's the number 1 difference between modern feminists and feminists like steinem from the 60s
JESS: steinem is still clinging to the idea that these subtle nuances engrained into the fabric of society that are dentrimental to women can be slowly unwoven, while the girls of my generation have accepted the disadvantages and found ways to turn them into advantages
MARSHALL: right
MARSHALL: what do we want ____! when do we want it? Now! is the dumbest thing that's ever happened to any movement
JESS: don't say that. the disadvantages i spoke of wouldn't be so nuanced if it wasn't for those women
MARSHALL: clinging to that is what I mean though
JESS: maybe
MARSHALL: I'm prepared to admit I'm sexist if that helps
JESS: see thats the trouble, you think you're sexist and though you obviously have some malecentric ideas, you're one of the least sexist people i know
JESS: i've dated some really fucking misogynistic assholes
JESS: are you mad now cuz i fought back? do you need me to bake you a pie in reconciliation? ;)
MARSHALL: we can't have you baking
MARSHALL: baking is a man's job
MARSHALL: you can just make the crust

-Jess

True Love Waits, So Just Put it in My Ass

Boinkology pointed me to this disturbing new trend in tween wear:Building off of the Juicy Couture model, these pants seek to broadcast to all horny teenage boys in the general vicinity that the wearer is a Christian and therefore Pure and a Virgin until Marriage. Well, at least in the front door. The back door is all yours, baby!

-Jess

Natural Home Beauty Remedies Are Kind of a Crock

Summer makes me bored. I work 10am-5pm, I go to the gym, I eat dinner, get stoned and go to sleep. Wake up and repeat. So I've been trying to find random things to entertain me. One of them was to experiment with home beauty remedies I found online. Big mistake that was! I tried three of them, and below are my reviews:

1. The Honey and Sugar Exfoliator

I read on some random website that you can exfoliate by mixing honey and sugar, so the other night Ashley and I mixed some up and applied it to our faces. It tasted really good, and I guess it worked okay, but it seemed like it functioned the exact same as a drug store exfoliator. So if you can't afford Neutrogena products or you ran out of exfoliator and don't feel like getting more, you could def use this mixture as a stand in.


2. The Honey Face Mask

Something about the vitamins in honey is supposed to be good for your skin. Readers on yet another random website raved that it made their skin super soft. First we exoliated with the honey and sugar and then rinsed our faces with warm water to open our pores. Then we squeezed some honey into the palms of our hands and spread it all over our faces and let it harden. After 20 minutes, we washed it off with cold water to close our pores. My face felt the same as it does every day. Baby soft, bitches. But I attribute that to my moisturizer and toner, and not to the honey. There's no harm in trying it, I guess.


3. The Olive Oil Hair Mask

DO NOT DO THIS. No seriously, don't. Unless your hair is so unbelievably dry that it breaks when you run your brush through it, please do not put olive oil in your hair. Olive oil is for cooking, not conditioning. Last night I heated up a mug of olive oil in the microwave for 20 minutes and then applied it all over my hair, attempting to avoid my roots. I left it in for about 15 minutes and then shampooed my hair. I brushed through it and I looked like a fucking guido with an oil slick on top of my head. I guess I didn't wash it out thoroughly enough but what the fuck? I went to sleep and when I woke up this morning I looked homeless. I vigorously scrubbed my hair, shampooing it twice - once at the beginning of my shower, and once at the end. It still kind of looks like shit, so much so that I wore my hair UP today which I never, ever do (much to the chagrin of my mother). I'm hoping another shampooing session will get rid of the nasty oil. Ugh. What the fuck was I thinking?


-Jess

The Dating Gap: How Old is Too Old?

For some reason I've recently been blasted with reminders that, at 20 years old, I am Young. One man who is particularly fond of calling me at the alumni office and relaying his life story to me frequently regales me with such reminders: "I'm using a rotary telephone, you probably don't know what that is!" "I'm computer illiterate, but I bet you grew up using the computer!" Another man who came into the office earlier said, "I graduated in 1986! Probably even before you were born!" I responded with, "Yes, it's true, I was born in 1988. I'm 20" and he looked like I shot him in the face. "I'm old!" he shouted, "Get me a walker!" (He graduated from Tisch so he was a little dramatic)

The thing is, just because they're old doesn't stop them from flirting with me. My alumni phone friend frequently tells me how "sweet" I am, and the aforementioned walker man asked me to get lemonade with him - I'm assuming because I'm under 21 he suggested lemonade instead of a drink. Funny.


I've always been super attracted to older men. I'm not sure if it's a Freudian father complex, or if I'm just sick of the emotionally immature man-boys I seem to constantly choose. But I don't think dating someone older than you is a crime. In fact, I think it's hot.


One of my close friends recently embarked on a relationship with a guy who we believe to be 16 years her senior. It made me think - how old is too old? Below are the pros and cons of dating an older man.


PROS

1. The Physical Factor: It all kind of boils down to experience. Men who have had more sexual partners are more apt at pleasing a lady. Case and point: They know where your clit is. This can lead to a highly sexually gratifying experience.

2. The Youth Factor: The cool thing about age is that the gap will always be sexy. You'll always be the pretty young thing he scored. He will value your youth more than a younger guy will, and beyond that, he'll find your youth sexy, which will help to make you feel sexy.

3. The Money Factor: This shouldn't be as big of a deal, but older men are generally more financially stable with steady jobs and nice apartments. If you're looking for a sugar daddy, this is definitely a good thing. If you're not, then it's just one of the perks that comes with the territory.

4. The Intelligence Factor: He's going to be more booksmart and more emotionally intelligent, mostly because he's been around the block many more times than the little NYU students hovering in the stacks at Bobst. I personally find intelligence to be unbelievably sexy, so this is a big factor for me.


CONS

1. The Generational Gap: Like my rotary telephone guy, and the 1986 grad, there are some things you two just might not be able to relate on. You grew up in a different age. We were fed on Facebook and reality TV, and he may not even have had cable as a child. It can lead to some pretty fundamental differences concerning personal interests, as well as the way you operate as a person.

2. The "Different Stages" Factor: If you're a college student, and he's working a 9-5 job to pay off his mortgage, you're at completely different stages in your lives. He's probably looking to settle down, get married, have kids: and if he's not, then he's got Clooney syndrome and he's even more trouble than you first thought. You two might have some major conflicts over how serious you're each taking the relationship.

3. The "Oops I Lied, I'm Married" Factor: Please. Make sure he's not married and using you as his on-the-side arm candy. He will not leave you for his wife, no matter how hard he tries to convince you otherwise.

4. The Illegal Factor: Depending on what state you live in, it could be illegal for you to even be dating this guy. If you're under 18 you probably want to check up on statutory rape laws in your area, and also use the Megan's Law website to make sure this guy isn't a pedophile. I'm mostly joking but like... yeah.


I guess it's really just on a person by person basis. I wouldn't recommend someone who hasn't had a lot of relationship experience to allow their first serious relationship to be with a much older man, because I can only imagine that that pattern would simply keep repeating based on the fact that it's what you'd become used to. It's probably better to experiment with people your own age, even if it's just so that when the vintage wine comes around, you can more aptly appreciate its bold, robust flavor.


-Jess

Law and Order: Manipulative Intent

A few years ago my best friend from high school, Meg, was involved in a pretty serious car accident. There's this horrible corner that you have to turn out of to get from our neighborhood to the main road in our town; it's so blind, even the best driver could be subject to getting into an accident there. My mom and I were headed to Starbucks the morning she got into the crash, and actually drove by the scene literally a few seconds after the crash occurred. I saw Meg climbing from the metal heap of her car (luckily, it was a Honda so she wasn't too badly injured - unluckily, her car was totaled) so of course I had my Mom stop and I got out and helped her. Her parents were rather M.I.A. so I kept trying to call them, and sat with her when the ambulance came, etc. It was a pretty terrifying event, especially for Meg, who was a young and unsure driver, and who had been T'd by a truck who was definitely speeding.

Meg's Dad is the successful president of a hospital, so naturally one can assume that the driver would sue her. I heard him say, "It was my fault, I was speeding." But now he's trying to blame Meg for the accident.


The point of this story is that I got a subpeona to give my deposition to the guy's lawyer, and I'm nervous because I've watched enough Law and Order: SVU episodes to know the nuances of the interrogation room. What if I accidentally lie? What if I'm manipulated into saying something I don't mean? I'm not very good at telling the truth. What if one of the interrogators gets mad and hits me? Or they give me a cup of water and they use it to take my DNA and run it through the system?


Okay I'm not like a suspect in a crime but this still kind of terrifies me. Someone help!


-Jess

WORST. NIGHTMARE.


Monday, June 2, 2008

In Keeping With Today's Random Political Theme...



LOL. Thank you Facebook.

-Jess

The Smartest Skirt in the Land

There's an article in The New Republic (I know, stifle your snark for just a moment and let me get on with it) chronicling badass Nancy Pelosi and her accomplishments and the decidedly feminine wiles she's mastered that have helped her to achieve those accomplishments. Pelosi stands in stark contrast to Clinton: Nancy Pelosi is like, Chanel, and Hillary Clinton is lucky to be considered Dress Barn.

I'm not sure what The New Republic is getting at, and actually as I type this I find my face caught in such an intense and disturbing frown that I'm realizing how annoyed and perturbed I am by this article. I'm glad they're championing a female politican - because we all know they are few and far between - but look at the fucking picture they used:Oh yeah I'm glad that they can boil down one of the most powerful women in the nation to a childlike caricature of her face with JEWELRY AS HER FEATURES! What the FUCK?! Show me a picture of one of the Daily Kos editors or fucking John McCain with typically "masculine" tools as his facial features and I'll shut the fuck up. But you're not going to find it. Because rarely do people questions men's masculinity in a political arena. But women are forced to contend with this shit, and also bear cutesy nicknames like "skirt." No seriously. Read this:

Still others suspect the speaker has calculated that she'd have more influence under President Obama than President Clinton--partly because Obama has more limited Washington experience than Hillary and partly because, as the Hillary adviser snarks, under Clinton, Pelosi would lose the advantages that attend being "the most senior skirt in the land."

First of all, Hillary doesn't wear skirts. And second of all? Fuck you. I hope Nancy Pelosi uses her femininity and the Power of the Skirt to conjure up something awful to rain down upon you Mr. Hillary Adviser. You too, New Republic. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

-Jess

Breaking News: Hillz "Expected" to Suspend Campaign

Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton sent a personalized e-mail to her top supporters and donors last night inviting them to see her speak in New York Tuesday night. According to Huff Po, this is the first move she'll make in ceasing her campaign and even possibly endorsing my boy Barack. It's still early, as Huffpo is one of the only news sources carrying this story, but I'd still like to take this moment to address Josh: TOLD YA SO. ;)

-Jess

The Secret to Love Lives at Dairy Queen


While enjoying a cigarette in the gorgeous New York weather just now, Josh and I actually unlocked the secret to love. It went something like this:

JOSH: I really want a Blizzard from DQ right now. (DQ = Dairy Queen)

JESS: I really want a boyfriend.

JOSH: It's the small things first: Blizzard, then boyfriend.

JESS: It's more like refusing the Blizzard, then getting a boyfriend. First gym then comes boyfriend.

JOSH: How about a boyfriend who buys you a Blizzard?

JESS: Okay so... gym, then boyfriend who doesn't care if you eat a Blizzard, then a Blizzard. I think we've just discovered what love really is.


-Jess

A Steaming Hot Bowl of Rage for Breakfast


Either New York Mag's staff writers are splashing around in a champagne-soaked hot tub in the Hamptons and have left the mag in the clutches of its wretched interns (Bitter that I never got a callback? I think so.), or they're suffering from a massive hangover, because this week's issue is the biggest piece of crap I've ever seen.

The cover story is about breakfast. BREAKFAST! It's called "The Breakfast Manifesto." How fucking retarded can you get? I tried to wade through it so I could give you guys a fair review, but after I read "The Guide to Caffeine Addiction" while drinking my 16 oz coffee lovingly poured by my coffee cart guy on W. 4th and Mercer, I had to stop.
Look, I know caffeine is bad for me. We all do. Now pour me another fucking cup.

Another article reviews 100 kinds of cereals. Ceriously? (Get it?!)

We are in the midst of the most important election this nation has ever seen. The murder rate in New York is increasing after years of a sleepy lull in crime. Sarah Jessica Parker fucking wore the same dress as Lindsay Lohan did months prior to the SATC premiere. And this is what you give me, New York Mag? I'd rather read another 10 pages on Emily Gould. UGH.

-Jess

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Saturday Night

Text Received June 1, 12:46am

Lol i'm so hi [Ed. note - he meant high] I want to try to draw a person on a lightbright.