Month: May 2016
As Featured on News Cult: How to Celebrate Father’s Day
I had to Google when Father’s Day is (sorry, Dad). But luckily I’m way ahead of the game and it’s not until June 19; (completely forgot to do a post about Mother’s Day… sorry, Mom). And when you have your shit remotely together for once, it’s worth commemorating. So here’s a list of ideas for how to celebrate, with plenty of time to plan/pull one of these out of your ass morning of.
1. Make a list of all the parenting mistakes your dad has made
And ways he’s failed you. Handwrite it for extra personal effect before you gift it to him.
2. Do a nostalgic activity
Growing up, I was daddy’s little boy, so when I quit soccer, I believe that was the most disappointing moment of my father’s life. So for me, this would be playing soccer with him/losing my breath after 2 minutes and disappointing him all over again.
3. Don’t express too much emotion
Things will just get weird if you do something like say “I love you,” so just keep a lid on it. No need for a hug—a pat on the back or sturdy handshake will do just fine. Perhaps even a chest bump, or barbaric grunt.
4. Go out to dinner
5. Bring your significant other to meet him for the first time
Nothing says, “I love you, Dad,” like introducing your piece of shit boyfriend to him on a day that signifies family togetherness and appreciation. I find it helps if your guy doesn’t have a college degree or a job, can’t drink whiskey straight or engage in substantive debate about the morality of war, and puts on a lot of PDA.
6. Tell him you’re pregnant
And that soon enough your child will be celebrating Father’s Day! With whom, we don’t know yet, but we feel confident we can narrow it down to 3 candidates, +/-.
7. Offer to join him in an activity he likes
Like golf—all dads like golf, right? Join him for a
spastic bout of swinging the club and taking chunks out of the ground, never hitting the ball game. Or buy him some nice cigars—that’s another dad thing, right? Offer to sit in the den with him and choke while sucking on the wrong end smoke one by the fire.
8. Ask him for money
Parents love when you do that! Nothing says “I appreciate you, Dad,” more than, “I need you to bankroll my lifestyle.”
9. Get him a dog
And then take on zero responsibility in caring for it.
10. Give him comments on his will
Ask him for a copy of it, redline and annotate that shit, and get it back to him for countersignature. #he’swelcome
11. Get into an explosive, hysterical argument
It’s not a family gathering without one, right?
12. Move back home
If anything, he should be grateful, because someone is going to have to wipe his ass for him in his old age. #47isthenew74 #youmaythinkyou’reyoungandhealthy,butyouknowwhoelsethoughtthat? #StephenHawking
13. Make him a card
Nothing too flamboyant, lest you insult his masculinity. But maybe some neutral-toned cardstock with a navy blue or forest green accent, perhaps some plaid ribbon if you’re feeling courageous, and black or blue ink only.
14. Ask him to bail you out
“I used my one phone call on you! That’s how much you mean to me.”
Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/14-things-youre-dad-will-really-really-love-get-fathers-day/
When you’re not sure if you’re on a date
(are you ever?) and you get into a debate with the guy about the part of the Bible that says to sell your daughter into slavery
And you see the way a little bit of his soul dies when he asks you if you’re pro-choice and you answer with a resounding “YES.” Followed up by “ABSOLUTELY.” And then “100%.”
And then he invites you to go to church with him
As Featured on News Cult: Voting: A How-To Guide
**DISCLAIMER: CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS, YOUR LAST DAY TO REGISTER TO VOTE BEFORE THE PRIMARY ELECTION ON JUNE 7 IS TODAY, MAY 23. FOR INFO ON HOW TO REGISTER, GO HERE**
Voting season is upon us,
people who stole indigenous land Americans. And it can get a little tricky if you aren’t white because of all the requirements, laws, deadlines, rules, and other red tape. So I thought I’d put together a how-to guide. And since there’s a lot I still need to learn and my voting knowledge mostly pertains to California, I’ve included links to some helpful outside resources. Let’s get our democracy on.
1. Voting Requirements
To vote, you have to be a U.S. citizen and 18 years old. Some states allow you to vote in the presidential primaries if you aren’t 18 but will be by the time of the general election. And your eligibility to vote in a specific state depends on your residence. Basically, whatever state you live in is where you can vote. But determining residency can be tricky, so see below for some helpful links.
College students go here.
Citizens living outside the U.S., uniformed service members and their families go here.
And you don’t necessarily even have to have a street address to vote. This is the case in California, where, if you’re technically homeless, you can still vote. You just have to provide as precise a description as possible of the location you live when you’re registering—whether that’s an intersection, reference to landmarks, the In-N-Out where the 101 meets the 10 before the 110, etc.
When you register, you can pick a party affiliation or choose not to. Of course the most talked-about parties are Democrat and Republican, but there are multiple other choices, like Green, Libertarian, etc. Whether a party is on the ballot for a certain election depends on the state (e.g. the Green party is only on the ballot for the 2016 presidential election in certain states).
The reason the party you pick matters is because it can determine if/when you can vote. For example, in closed primaries, you can only vote if you are registered with the party holding the primary election. This is what happened in the recent democratic and republican primaries in New York—approximately 3 million people couldn’t vote because they’re registered as “independents,“ which means they’re not affiliated with a party. Whereas in open primaries, you can vote regardless of party affiliation.
And make sure that if you want to vote in a certain party’s election, you have that party’s ballot. For example, in CA, you can vote in the democratic primary if you are registered as an independent/no party preference, but in order to do so, you have to request the democratic ballot, either at the poll, or request to receive it via mail if you’ll be voting by mail.
Regardless of what you decide to do, just make sure you understand what it means to affiliate with a certain party, because sometimes the titles are misleading. For example, in California, registering with the “American Independent Party” does not mean you’re an “independent” (i.e. have no party affiliation or preference). It means you’re registered with what’s commonly referred to as the “Tea Party,” an extremely conservative, right wing party. In other words, you’re an asshole in the asshole party, even if you didn’t mean to be. So do your research.
For more info on voting by state go here.
Here’s a list of answers to voting FAQs.
There are different ways you can register to vote and different ways you can vote. You can register using a hard copy form that you mail in or drop off at your registrar’s office, or, in some places, you can register online. However you do it, just make sure to periodically check your voter registration status, because, as we’ve been seeing, a lot of voter fraud is occurring where people are having their registration status and party preference changed without their consent.
For directions on how to register and check your status, please visit this and this.
As for voting, you can do it in person at the polls, drop off your ballot at an official drop-off box /location, or by mail. Each has its pros and cons. If you go in person, you can ensure your ballot goes where it’s supposed to (theoretically), versus trusting it won’t get lost or stolen in the mail. But you can also get stuck in horrendous lines at the polls, and be told by incompetent poll workers that you can’t vote for one B.S. reason or another. And for most of us, going to the polls means missing work—which is fine if you have a boss who’s rational, but those are about as common as a truth spoken by Hillary Clinton, so mail-in or drop-off voting often is just easier.
I would say that if you choose to go to the polls, be prepared to prove that you are entitled to vote. This means printing out and bringing all documentation possible that shows you are registered, under whatever party. This can be the stub you receive when you fill out a paper registration form, or the page showing your voter reg status when you check it online, etc.
It’s important to be properly registered and have proof accordingly, because it entitles you to vote using a regular, official ballot (as opposed to a provisional ballot). The reason you want to avoid using provisional ballots is that it means your vote may not be counted, because provisional ballots are used when there are doubts or questions as to a person’s eligibility to vote—they’re essentially placeholder ballots until the voter’s registration status can or cannot be verified. So, for example, you could show up to the poll ready to vote, and be told by Patty, the sassy, red-white-and-blue-, visor-wearing
troll poll worker, that you’re not listed as registered, and thus that you can only use a provisional ballot, and if she and her team of equally useless poll workers are able to validate your registration, your vote will count, but if they find it invalid, it won’t. So do whatever you can to get your hands on a non-provisional ballot. This is why it’s important to bring evidence you can shove in Patty’s stupid powdered face that shows you are legally allowed to vote and, furthermore, she can suck it. Also bring contact information for voter fraud resources with you, in case Patty gets real salty and you have to stick the authorities on her ass. Below are helpful resources:
For info from the ACLU on voting rights go here.
To Report Voter Fraud go here.
Another thing is that you can choose to be a permanent mail-in voter. That way, if you ever can’t make it to the polls for an election, you’ll always have the mail-in option to fall back on. But, you can still go to the polls if you so choose—just make sure to bring the ballot that was mailed to you with you to the polls, because I don’t think they’ll provide you with another one. (This may not be the case in all states, so to double check your situation, again check your state’s voting website).
Look, I’ll be the first to concede that there is not a direct correlation between whether or not you vote and your level of civic engagement, passion, or activism. And I say that because of the way our political system works in the U.S.—it is so much an established system of corruption and greed, that most of the time our voting choices are just a bunch of evils who we try in vain to weigh against each other and categorize as “lesser” and “greater.” So I don’t blame people for abstaining from participating in an unjust process and not voting. But, when we have an option to vote for a candidate like Bernie Sanders—a man who, although far from perfect, has dedicated his life to serving the working class, improving life for the masses, and precisely fighting against the corruption that plagues our political processes—I think the argument for voting becomes much more persuasive.
Furthermore, if you are disillusioned with the political system, there are plenty of non-establishment, non-two party candidates to vote for too, like Jill Stein of the Green Party. People will say there’s no point in voting for someone like her because she can’t win in our current system. But to that, I’d say that a vote is a statement, and should be principled as such. A vote for someone is a vote for that person and that person only. The whole game of voting strategically, so that someone doesn’t get elected, instead of taking principled stands and voting to get someone elected, is the problem—if everyone voted on their conscience, I’d be willing to bet the system would change, and “underdog” candidates would have a chance at getting elected and causing progressive change.
I encourage everyone to vote according to their beliefs. (Unless you believe Hillary Clinton is upstanding. Or Donald Trump). But seriously, voting is a right, regardless of beliefs, and I think everyone should be able to access it and exercise it with responsibility—research your options, candidates, and other ballot measures thoroughly, consider what they mean for you and the rest of the world, and then vote, or don’t.
Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/voting-a-how-to-guide/
When you’re trying to convince a guy to vote
And he says he’ll vote if he can take you out.
“FINE. But only if you vote for Bernie.”
As Featured on News Cult: How to Make the Most of Your Free Time
For most of us, there’s a pretty clear distinction when it comes to “free time”: it’s time we get to spend doing whatever we want, free of any obligations (especially work). If you’re one of those fuckers who loves their job, then perhaps the line is a bit blurrier and free time less precious to you. But for the rest of us, it’s like coffee, or alcohol, or justice, or a green arrow on a left turn: there is never enough of it. Which is why you have to make the most of it. Here’s how.
Something we are terrible at. But if you make an intentional choice (yes, this is something a yoga teacher would say, and thus something we would normally mock mercilessly, but just bear with me) to make your free time just about free time, not about any obligations, you’ll get more out of it. Otherwise, what’s the point? If you’re going to watch a TV show you like, or get a massage, or go on vacation while also answering emails, calls and texts non-stop the whole time, you may as well just turn the TV off, skip the massage, and stay at the office. The ‘conscious effort’ methodology is great for us not just because it will help us truly enjoy our free time, but also because it’s a totally valid excuse to tell everyone to fuck off, which is our favorite thing. #allIwantforChristmasisforyoutofuckoff
If you’re bad at carving out free time, plan ahead to use it. E.g. schedule a vacation a few months in advance, or buy tickets for a show you really want to see right when they go on sale, or promise a friend you’ll take that hike with them next weekend. While we are spectacular at cancelling plans, if we make them, at least that’s a bit more motivation to follow through on our free time-enjoyment efforts. Which brings me to…
Have skin in the game
If you set it up so that you have something to lose by not enjoying your free time, you’ll be more likely to take advantage of it. Like if you spend money on flights for a vacation, you’re unlikely to cancel them. Or if you know that you’ll have to pay for your massage after it’s over, you’ll make more of an attempt to really relax and benefit from it. This is sad of course, because it means we are motivated by money, but that’s what we get for building a capitalistic society. If I had it my way, we’d all still be trading: you give me a goat, I’ll give you some clay beads; you give me a smallpox blanket, I’ll give you your scalp on a fucking platter.
Allow yourself to look out for #1. I’m not saying be like most people and dwell in assholic narcissism, but just that you can enjoy the little things in life and still be a decent human. Remember, as a yoga teacher would also say and make us want to smack them in their fat mouth: in order to help and take care of others, you first have to care for yourself. As Donna Meagle, our collective spirit animal, says, “treat yo’ self.”
Find something you like
I know, this is impossible. But maybe there’s something out there in the world you mildly, tepidly enjoy doing, which will be a good use of your free time. Like, for me, it’s crusading against insurance companies. All of them. Just tornadoing right the fuck through them. For you, it might be quilting, or walking your dog. For Hillary Clinton, it’s committing war crimes. Whatever
ruins the most lives in the name of money and power floats your boat, right?
Remember no one is going to do it for you
I cannot reiterate enough that no👏one👏gives👏a👏shit👏a👏bout👏you👏. If the world had its way, you’d be its slave forever, never getting any free time. No one is going to ensure your life is enjoyable and that you relish your free time for you. It’s on you, boo. It’s like oxygen masks on planes—every man, woman and child for himself. #everyoneelsecanchokeanddie
Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/make-free-time/
As Featured on News Cult: How to Give No Fucks
The art of giving no fucks can only be mastered through experiencing the utter shit hole that is life. At a certain point, you realize that everything is meaningless. And it’s unfortunate, because by the time you’re ready to fully embrace zero fucks given, you’re too old to enjoy it. So let me help speed up the process so you can get a little more mileage out of not caring. Here’s how you do it.
Focus on death
Spend at least 5 minutes every day reminding yourself that you’re going to die. Which is great news, by the way—because it means none of this matters. None of it. So you can let it go. You messed up at work? Whatever—one day you’ll be gone, and with any luck your boss will go
soon first, so who’s gonna care then? You failed a test? Psht—you know who test results don’t matter to? YOUR DEAD BODY. Your thighs are getting a little cottage cheesy? Eh, soon enough they’ll be rotting in the ground, so who gives a shit. #byeeeeeeee
Put things in perspective
Things only have meaning if you assign it to them. So whip out your relativity skills and play the comparison game: weigh whatever’s got you riled up against something else in order to put it in perspective. E.g. if your tire gets slashed, just think about all the women who’ve slept with Charlie Sheen. Or if you get fucked by your insurance company, revel in the fact that everyone who works there must go home at night to their TV dinners, shag carpets, and oak furniture, and have to reconcile their receding hairlines, egg-shaped bodies, and ill-fitting pantsuits while somehow managing to not put a bullet through their heads. Or if your school’s douchey registrar (is there any other kind?) doesn’t let you sign up for the one class you might actually like, take comfort in the fact that she recently found out she’s allergic to gluten. #ifyoucan’thavebreadyoumightaswellbedead #atleastIcaneatadonut,bitch
It’s not enough to try to act like you give no fucks. You have to live it. You have to go through life actually giving none. This means that the next time someone tries to embarrass you, you don’t try to save face in the moment but then go cry to your mom when you get home. Instead, you stick .it. to. them. in real time—I find it helps to say something like, “COME FOR ME, motherfucker—I fucking DARE you. BLOW ME and the horse you rode in on, you worthless piece of shit” whilst yielding a baseball bat—and move on, with your head held high. It means that when you make a mistake, you don’t spend forever obsessing with guilt about it—you realize it, maybe try to learn something from it maybe, and then proceed to fucking your next thing up. It means that you don’t try to meet someone else’s standard of beauty or success, but you burn that motherfucker DOWN and follow your own path, misguided and aimless as it may be.
Believe in karma
Or what white people have appropriated and mislabeled as karma: the idea that what goes around comes around. If you take this to heart, then righting all the wrongs no longer falls on your shoulders. It’s a lot easier to not care about something if you believe it will take care of itself. Sure, it’s hard to embrace this belief, because it takes some blind faith—which is why it helps to remember times you’ve seen karma in action. (Or be a
naïve, delusional devout follower of any religion). Like that time your bitchass coworker got audited by the IRS. Or how the incompetent, sassy receptionist at your doctor’s office (is there any other kind?) got fired. Or the time that guy treated you like you were an Iraqi and he was Hillary Clinton, and you definitely gave him HPV. #who’sthelosernow? #yournextgirlfriend’scervix,that’swho
Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/important-lesson-life-give-no-fucks/
When you can’t tell if someone just asked you out