Put the Sex-zema in Eczema with these Halloween Costume Ideas

It’s that time of year again for All Hallows’ Eve, which is fancy for Pass Out Drunk in a Costume Day. For us girls, we can’t just pass out drunk in any old costume. It’s got to be sex-ay.

I don’t know much about that, though, so I’m passing this assignment on to my alter idiot, Kale. She’s a fashionista, maxxinista, and sometimes when she’s breaking out in a full-body rash, an eczemanista. Eczema may be a very common, treatable skin condition, but Kale knows how to take it to a whole new level with costume ideas that wow even while you want to scratch your eyes out.

Take a look at her video below and put the sex-zema in eczema this Halloween: 

Or, if you’re looking for real costume inspo, check out last year’s post about how to be a feminist for Halloween. Because Kale might be a little confused about feminism… for instance, what that word means.

Things I Hate #47: Cold, Sunny Days

cold sunny day

There’s nothing crueler than a cold, sunny day. It’s a contradiction, a meteorological paradox. If you were to look up paradox in the dictionary, you should read an unnerving story about a cold, sunny day.

Here’s how it works.

You look out your window. It looks sunny outside. This cues your brain to think warm, sunny thoughts. Images of sandy beaches and sipping mojitos poolside flood your brain. You think, maybe I’ll wear a light blouse today. Or, maybe I’ll opt for flats instead of heavy winter boots. And if you’re in San Francisco, the king of mind-fuck sunny-cold days, you bring a light sweater just in case.

You go outside. It is far colder than you expected. This is when you realize you’ve been duped. You wanted to believe in warm weather so badly you opened yourself up to heartache. You won’t make that mistake again. You’ve closed your heart off for good, vowing never to be this vulnerable again. Because what did you really expect? It’s late February, or maybe an equally deceptive day in March. You knew it was too good to be true. Even your mother warned you.

But it was sunny outside. It still is sunny outside. You thought maybe a few rays would cut through the cold just enough to touch your skin. You thought there was a chance it could work if only your face warmed up a degree or two.

But no. You thought wrong. You’re cold and exposed. Now it’s back inside to layer on more clothes or face the world with your light sweater and broken heart. From now on, you’ll only trust reliable gloomy days cloaked in fog or rain. No more of this flirting with a wild card—at least that’s what you tell yourself.

Things I Hate #1: Teddy Grahams

Teddy Graham boner

(image courtesy of theorangeninjaturtle)

I hate Teddy Grahams. Their texture, size, and smell, even the stupid looks on their little, bear faces—all make me sick to my stomach. Though, to be fair, it’s not entirely Teddy Grahams’ fault.

I had an incident when I was young—maybe four or five years old—when I used Teddy Grahams as edible spoons to eat an entire can of vanilla frosting. Don’t ask how I got my hands on a box of grahams and a whole can of frosting, but needless to say, it did not end well. I distinctly remember projectile vomiting saccharine beige sludge all over the side yard of my childhood home, trailing it into the bathroom and probably smearing some on my dog.

Now, as an adult, just a whiff of Teddy Grahams sends a chill running down my spine. Pair them with frosting, and I might as well be rolling around in human excrement on the high seas.

Looking back now, it is strange how one small twist of fate could change my life irrevocably, making the Teddy Graham forever and always my number one nemesis. I sometimes wonder if another version of myself exists in some faraway, alternate universe, the same me in every way except that this other me likes Teddy Grahams.

I hate you, Teddy Grahams. I will always hate you. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a special place in my heart for the things I hate most and almost cherish for the revolting feelings they stir up in me. Because in hate there is at least a sense of being alive; for example, in the absence of nausea how can we appreciate not-nausea?

So thank you, Teddy Grahams. Thank you for being so wholly disgusting and for providing a contrast to the things that don’t instantaneously nauseate me. Soldier on, little champs. Soldier on.

How To: Handle Rejection (Even When You Don’t Feel Like It)

champagne giphy

It’s time to pop some bubbly because I got the best rejection letter ever. It came from a highly esteemed literary magazine (insert raised pinky here) with a reputation for publishing amazing emerging and established writers. They said my writing was “clear and concise,” that they were “very impressed,” and that I should “feel encouraged by this short note” and send them something else. BOOM. I’m tempted to put it on the mantel.

Unconvinced rejection should be something to celebrate? Try being a writer. Anyone who attempts writing will face rejection at some point, and those trying to be good writers face rejection over and over again. And again. And again. So much so that rejection takes on different shades of rejected-ness. There have been blog posts about what your rejection letter really means, from semi-congratulatory rejections to constructive rejections to meek, flat auto-responses that suggest a robot read your story instead of a human. There are people who celebrate every rejection because it symbolizes getting that much closer to an acceptance. There are also those people who cherish rejection letters enough to wallpaper their bathrooms with them.

Based on personal experience and the advice of other well-rejected writers, I’ve compiled a short list of must-dos after getting a rejection letter. Whether it’s a form letter, a thoughtful rejection, or a flat NO, here are a few things you might want to try in the aftermath:

  1. I mean it. If you got a rejection with some feedback or praise for your work, really go nuts. Even if you received a basic form letter with “you suck” undertones, rejoice! That means you’re one step closer to getting where you’re supposed to be. At the very least, it’s a sign you’ve put yourself out there, which takes courage. No lit mag—poorly funded, highly esteemed, trendy, or otherwise—can take that away from you.
  2. Get back to writing. Waiting anywhere from two weeks to nine months to get a response back about your submission can be maddening. The only thing you can do to lesson that madness is by writing and forgetting all about the submissions game. In the vast expanse of time between submitting and getting a response, you’ll grow as a writer and gain perspective. Maybe that story you sent out wasn’t so great after all, or maybe it just needs a little tweaking. But since you’ve been writing that whole time, you’ll likely have something new to polish, which brings me to the next step…
  3. Submit again. This is such an important step—for women especially. If a lit mag says they want to see more of your work, then send them something. Don’t let the negativity of the rejection cloud over the huge positive that they asked for more. Another thing to consider: you might be at “no” number 447, but unless you resubmit, you’ll never know if your 448th submission will be the first big, fat “yes.”

When anticipating rejection, we all know how we’re going to react. Our minds already go there. My personal favorite reaction is to curl into the fetal position and weep before wailing at the sky, “Why doesn’t anyone love me?” But when we try to imagine a successful outcome, suddenly our vision blurs. Our ability to read the future becomes unreliable. Why is that? Are we really afraid we’ll succeed or does it have more to do with a fear of the unknown? I tend to think the latter.

I’d also argue that how you choose to handle rejection is way more important than how you handle success. If you can pick yourself back up and keep going despite every urge to lie in the road and play dead, then you’re better off in more ways than one. Rejection can be a powerful motivator or an excuse to give up, depending on how you look at it. Don’t be afraid of those closed doors and robotic passes, but don’t be afraid of the inevitable successes either. Because, if at first you don’t succeed—well, you know the rest.

Stupid Questions Uber Passengers Ask Me, a Female Uber Driver

pink uber logo

Contrary to the common saying, there are stupid questions—often asked by equally stupid people. Every day, while driving for Uber, I get asked at least one stupid question, and I do my best to answer it without popping a blood vessel. But purely for your entertainment, I’ve got all the stupid questions and all the answers I wish I could spout back.

  1. “You don’t drive at night, do you?”

No. Never. Everyone knows that as soon as the sun sets, I automatically get raped, murdered, and/or maimed.

  1. “You don’t drive in sketchy neighborhoods, right?”

If I could, I’d intentionally seek out the sketchiest of neighborhoods. Unfortunately, I have to go wherever Uber tells me to, which is usually Santa Monica where I pick up oblivious, humorless accountants like you.

  1. “Do you actually like Led Zeppelin or do you just keep it on for old people?”

I guess because I’m 24, I’m not allowed to actually like Led Zeppelin. Is that it, you ignorant, ageist nitwit?

  1. “Are you sure you’re old enough to have a driver’s license?”

No, I’m not sure about anything anymore.

  1. “So, is this your only job?”

I get this one a lot and I’m still not sure how to answer it. I mean, it’s basically how I pay my rent right now, but I also do about one million other things—paid and unpaid—so no? But if it were my only job would that be such a bad thing? What’s with all the judgment?!? Leave me alone!

  1. “Let me guess, you’re another one of those struggling actresses?”

No, but if I were, that would be an incredibly rude, insensitive thing to ask. Idiot.

  1. Gross, British white guy wearing bling: “Do you ever have issues with the guys you drive?”

You mean guys like you? Um, yeah, all the time. Thanks for asking.

  1. Stoner: “Can you drive me through Del Taco?”

Get your own ass through Del Taco. I don’t get paid enough for your shenanigans, sir.

  1. A real New York housewife: “Why are you doing this?”

Me: “To pay the rent.”

NY housewife: “But there are lots of ways to do that.”

Like marrying rich?

  1. A real Beverly Hills cleaning lady: “Why are you doing this?”

    Me: “Well…”

Cleaning lady: “It’s too dangerous. Get yourself in a nice office making fifty an hour. I never want to see you again!”

You never want to see me again? Really? Because I thought we were making a connection for a second there. No? Shoot. Making friends in LA is hard.