30 November 2011

Snark Mark. Yes... Really.

On this 111th anniversary of Oscar Wilde's losing his duel with the wallpaper, I'm just too tired right now from the adventures of the past couple of days to give you a proper round-up of all the snarkiness that has had to occur in response to some thoroughly absurd events, but I'm not entirely snarked out to the point that I can't share with you this one little gem, to which my friend Nichole alerted me.

There is, friends, such a thing as a punctuation mark that seems to have been created just for me. It is... the snark. I'm not even kidding. I know, you were probably thinking that the Snark Mark is something like the Dark Mark and was created by an evil overlord of snarkiness (me), but I'm serious. It exists. In the world. Not just in my head. It was apparently created by the English printer Henry Denham in the 1580s. I want to travel back in time and kiss him. Except that his breath was probably foul. Because it was the 1580s. And they didn't have toothpaste. Or Altoids.

Here it is:
The Snark. For real.
According to this article, it is also called the Percontation Mark or the Irony Mark. It is my favourite punctuation mark ever. The whole point of its existence is to alert the less verbally astute to the fact that the sentence they've just read might be sarcastic. Or perhaps even downright bitchy. It's like my pal Henry Denham knew that I'd exist one day. Now, we just have to petition our friends at Microsoft to make it readily available in Word. You can make it happen, but you have to remember a string of keystrokes that I am unlikely to recall until I've used it a few hundred times. And I will use it with alarming regularity. I am in love with the Snark. If I ever get more ink, this will be it.

I think I'll have to create a zazzle store just for this. T-shirts. Coffee cups. Excessively bitchy greeting cards. Something like, I'll always love you just as much as I do today as a caption under a bouquet of dead roses.

But wait, there's more. The interrobang. Seriously.

The Interrobang. Also for real.
The interrobang clearly wins because of its name. It sounds like something from the Urban Dictionary that it might have nefarious connections to breakfast pastries. But it's real. It's the perfect way to sign off a card that says something like Knock, knock, motherfucker‽

Who knew that punctuation could provide hours of snarky fun outside of the notion that 

I cannot wait to use the Snark and the Interrobang in an email. I suspect that I'll get the chance soon. If the rest of my week is anything like the past couple of days, these will appear regularly.

In the meantime, visit here (and thanks to my incredible helpful technical advisor, Goose at The Penalty Box, for pointing it out to me).

Stay tuned for more in the coming days. In the meantime, I'll remind you once and for all that...

Full Contact Pipe Organ Tuning
is a sport that should not be played by people with hangovers. Ever.

28 November 2011

Self-Help Books. Written Just for Me.

My friend Melissa just made the gigantic mistake of alerting me to the existence of... Snark Handbooks. Oh. My. God. With titles including Snark! The Herald Angels Sing: Sarcasm, Bitterness, and the Holiday SeasonI. must. own. all. these. books.

They're like... manuals on how to be me. And God knows, I need help with that.

Wonder if Kickstarter would let me have a fund set up to get the series? If I tell them that I really need a series of self-help books on how to be a bitchier bitch? That not having them is keeping me from reaching my full potential as the Impressaria of Innuendo, a Virtuoso of Verbal Attack? I have my doubts since they refused to help The Bloggess to get a taxidermied wolf pelt to wear to the première of Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part One. I mean, she got Wolf Blitzer in the end, but not because Kickstarter wanted to help. Fools.

There's a lot going on over the next month... and I will no doubt find a lot about which to be snarky. Not in a totally Grinchy way, but in a way that reminds good Episcopalians everywhere of the Eleventh Commandment...

Thou shalt not be tacky.

Forget that rule at your peril, because if you do, you'll find your transgressions catalogued in a blog entry here. If you help me to be snarky by participating in an event that brings it on, or if your own snarky comment makes me snort, you'll find yourself here too. It's like separating the sheep and the goats. And We All Like Sheep. Baaa.

27 November 2011

Don't Text & Walk (unless you want to make new friends or possibly buy antiques).

Last night, I was on the way to a Leftovers Party at a friend's house (what a freakin' brilliant idea!)... Walking distance, so I could drink as much as I wanted and crawl home if necessary. Awesome, right?

I'm walking along with my container of mac and cheese, a container of smoked salmon spread, and a box of water biscuits... texting with a college chum who had asked for my mac recipe and was quizzing me about making collard greens (because it makes perfect sense to ask the WASPiest and Yankiest and Britishest of your friends how to do these specific things). Anyway...

I make my way to the big yellow brick house on the left and ring the doorbell, which is duly answered by a woman I've never seen before. This doesn't surprise me a bit. It's a party. Party Rules - the person closest to the door answers, whether that person is the host/ess or not. Right?

Me: Hey. I'm Jen. Sorry I'm a bit late.

Woman Who Answered Door: Umm. Hi. John... Jen's here.

Enter John, holding an antique phone receiver. Like this one:
Western Electric 302, Metal with Bakelite Handset.
From oldphones.com.

John: Umm. Hi. Are you here for a pick-up?

Me: (Puzzled look.) Umm... no? (Internal monologue: But maybe I'm hoping someone will try to pick me up at this party. It's possible that that's why I'm wearing kinda tight jeans and my new Chatham College t-shirt that kinda maybe emphasizes "the twins" just a little bit. But I don't think that's what you mean. Even at all.) This is Nita's house, right?

John: Umm. No. Are you a new babysitter? Because we're always trying to find a reliable sitter.

Me: Umm. No. But I love you for thinking I might be a teenager or an undergrad. I'm looking for my friend's house. For a party.

Mrs. John (who answered the door): Of course you are. You have water biscuits. Babysitters don't randomly show up with water biscuits. That would be weird. But... do you babysit?

Me: Umm... wait. This is why I shouldn't text and walk. I think I turned on the wrong street. But that's a really cool receiver. I love antique phones.

John: Well, then, you need to see this.

Opens pocket doors to gigantic living room... FULL OF PHONES. Hundreds of them.

Me: Oh. My. God. This is so cool.

John: Do you have an old phone?

Me: I got one for cheap on eBay once, but I never got it working. (Starting to worry that this might work like stamp collecting and I might have to hear the differences between every single phone in the room).

John: Well, drop it by. I run old-phones-dot-com.

Me: I think I lost it in the divorce. Or threw it away. Or something. But if I ever get a landline again, I know where I'm getting my phone.

Alas, I did not get picked up at the Leftovers Party. No breakfast pastries involved. I did, however, have a great time at said soirée. And someone thought I was an undergrad looking for her babysitting gig. Which means that there's hope for me to get picked up at some other party. Or bar. Or street corner. Maybe by a younger man. Which would make sense, since my alma mater's mascot is, and I swear I'm not even kidding...

(Rachel) Carson the Cougar.

25 November 2011

Happy Snarksgiving!

Okay, so... Wow. Where to begin? Let's start with the fact that my (awesome) family does a HUGE Thanksgiving every year, but I couldn't handle it this time around. My life is just too fucked up right now to be able to cope with all of the questions... especially the ones surrounding just what the hell happened with the man of my dreams nightmares, who turns out to be incapable of sustaining a relationship if there's any discord whatsoever. Especially discord that he created himself by being bug-fuck nuts suffering some kind of crisis that, for reasons that are beyond me and the rest of the universe, he can't / won't let me or his friends help him to get through. Whatever. Maybe I'll write more about that later, but for now... let's just say that it's his loss in a huge way because I can't imagine anyone else who would put up with his bullshit idiosyncrasies and be as (a-hem) "flexible" as I am (literally and figuratively).

So, since I couldn't cope with the huge gathering this year, I was thrilled to bits to have an invite to join a group of supremely snarky local friends who are serious foodies, absurdly intelligent, and a load of fun.

At some point, I think on Wednesday night, it came to our attention that Pat Robertson had put his foot in his mouth - again - to a degree that it's a wonder that bigoted jackass doesn't have athlete's tongue.

No idea what I'm talkin' bout, Willis? Well... he asked his co-host if mac & cheese is "a black thing."

Don't believe me?  Here's the proof:

Aging Televangelist Who Reckons it's 
Makes Racist Comment... Shocked?  Me neither.

So, how does my lily-White Anglo-Saxon Protestant ass respond? First, by railing about it with friends on Facebook in an epic session of comments... which of course, because my buddy Dan was involved in this, turned ultimately into a series of sexual innuendos focusing on breakfast pastries. Because that's how we roll. Much to the chagrin of some of our other friends and Dan's long-suffering wife Becky, who, I hasten to add, is ultimately responsible for the giant metal peacock that I still can't believe she didn't buy immediately, but instead alerted the rest of us to its existence and made us egg on Christine until she bought said giant metal peacock. Admittedly, it didn't take much to get her to buy it. Because we all agreed that Beyoncé needs a friend and partner-in-crime. Also, Ich bin ein berlinner. But I digress. And I'm probably not nearly as much of an ancestral WASP as my name suggests. But that's not the point.

Then... the light switch flipped, a choir of angels sang, and I remembered that Thanksgiving is really supposed to be about being grateful for all the blessings of our lives the food.

Game on, foodies.
White People Eat Mac & Cheese Too, Asshat.
Sorry. That's Reverend Asshat, I guess.

The only reason I didn't spell out "Fuck you, Pat Robertson" in cheese letters that would have browned nicely so that you could read the message (and we could have emailed a picture of it to him) is that I dropped the last few slices of cheese on the floor and the dog ate them.  To be fair, I didn't have enough cheese for the whole message even before it landed on the floor and made its way into the dog, but "FU, PR" would have gotten the point across and been cryptic enough that children who could read wouldn't have been corrupted and taught to swear by a side dish.  Also, by that time, I was eleven shots of espresso deep, I had to be ready to go in fifteen minutes, and I was covered in flour and had splattered whipped cream everywhere while making butter and buttermilk from whipping cream... because if you're going to make buttermilk biscuits from scratch, you'd damned sure better make the buttermilk yourself as well as the butter to slather onto the biscuits. Anyone care to open the betting on how many shots of espresso I've had today?

But seriously. Look at that food. Damned near all of it locally and sustainably produced. When my high school friend, Shannon, saw the pictures of our Thanksgiving spread, she commented, "Next year, I'm coming to your house."  When she learned that there was tiramisu, homemade by my awesome new friend from Milano, she said...

Correction: Next year, I'm coming to Your house... and I'm wearing clown pants (because sweat pants would simply be unacceptable). 

I'm holding you to that, Shannon. But if you're wearing the pants, you have to wear the shoes too. Because the shoes make the outfit. Or break it.

The next Village Foodies Event here in our little corner of Pittsburgh is going to involve a gaggle of astonishingly cool women... and the giant metal peacock, whom we've christened Jay-Z. We'll set a place for him and send pictures to The Bloggess. And post them here. Because we can. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, Happy Snarksgiving Weekend!

21 November 2011

Hope for the Future.

Not mine, necessarily.  But for the next generation's, maybe.

Stolen from the facebook status of an old partner-in-crime's husband:

Teenager: I'm not a nerd.  I'm an intellectual badass.

Maybe there is hope.  Just maybe.  I have hope because of kids like whoever said that, and my choir buddy who writes this blog and our exceptional organ scholar who said, in response to another (adult) singer's suggestion that we use the processional cross as a weapon, "the power of Christ compels you."

You know what?  Maybe there's hope for me too.  Maybe, just maybe, like my heroine (not heroin, because that's a downer, and it's clear that what I do not need is anything to squash my soul more since I've lately been the bug more often than the windshield), The Bloggess, I too can claw my way out of this crushing misery and get back to my intellectual badass, riotously funny self.

The self who said, while on choir tour, "I just bought a handle of gin, four bottles of wine, five cigars, and a lampshade.  It's gonna be a good weekend."

Yeah.  I want that bitch back.

18 November 2011

Drunk on the Bus

To clarify: I was not the drunk one.  This time.

Staggering woman: THAT WAS MY STOP BACK THERE.

Driver: Well, you'll have to wait for the next one.

Staggering woman: But... It's LIGHT UP NIGHT.  Happy light up night.  Light up night.  It's light up night.  HAPPY LIGHT UP NIGHT.

Me: Well, you're certainly lit.

Fellow passengers: Applause.

17 November 2011

A Test Balloon of Snarkiness

Inspired by my sweet (and not-at-all-sarcastic) sensibilities, I decided it's time to start blogging.  So, here goes.  The first thing we (yes, that's the Regal We.  What about it?) need to know is what our loyal subjects (you) think about the title... and more importantly, the choice of logos / pictures below.

Have at it.

With "is the new black" centred along the curve of the S?

Or with "is the new black" aligned with the bottom of the S?
See?  Apparently I'm so ADD or OCD or just plan damned lacking in sense / confidence that I can't even decide THAT.  I keep wavering.  But now I think I like it with the text on the curve.