A NEXT GENERATION REPORT

By Cindy Landistrom

I’m 40, but still pull off 36.  I’m single, but not crazy, and I’ve had a pretty good dating life. In my 30’s, I was more of a Carrie than a Samantha, and I plan to be more of a Blanche in my twilight than a Rose. I’m a real woman with a successful career as a VP in Finance.  I am always looking for true love but never sought the knight in shining armor. I was raised to believe that as long as I found a guy who treated me right and didn’t have the potential to land in jail, that was good enough.

In the past I have dated within my “range”, let’s say, but there was also a ‘but’ to the guy. Nice, but “lousy kisser.” Fun, but “smells like cabbage.” Intelligent, but “watches sports.” Perfect but “does meth.” And then there was Nathan. He was my soul-mate “but I was too stupid to know.” By the time I figured it out, it was too late- he was stolen by a 40 year old ballroom instructor who we used to take swing dance lessons from. During the quiet moments before sleep, I sometimes envision the two of them very happy with one another; him wheeling her around and washing her teeth in an antique jelly jar (kidding… Sort of…) Now that I’m getting older, the pool seems much shallower, and because of my job, I really only date when I have the time. Lately I day-dream about finding love within this younger generation, like the ball-room dancing instructor before me.  

Sidebar:

THE YUMMY PREY: Carter, 28, triathlete, founder of a website that sells those stickers that you place over your ex’s face on old photos.

SCENT: Smells like cake batter.

WHERE DID WE MEET: he lives in my building; we’ve flirted at the mailboxes a few times.

WHERE DID HE TAKE ME: Out to dinner at the restaurant where Lindsay Lohan got arrested.  

I had to join Carter at the restaurant.  Unfortunately my meeting ran late which means that I had to perk up my hair and make up at the children’s play area restroom at Barnes & Noble on the way,  but I looked good.

Things started slowly. I must admit I felt like I was having dinner with my teenage niece, because she too is always on her phone. The entire time he was able to ramble off a conversation with me while keeping most of his attention on typing on his smart-phone. I was proud of myself, I didn’t lose my wits. That’s what the 38 year old self would have done. I took a moment, looked around, and noticed that every young(er) couple was multitasking on their phones while having conversations with their date. I guess that’s what they do nowadays. So…

I picked up my smart phone and automatically went to Facebook. Yes, I’m a Facebook junkie- (don’t judge). I immediately see that I have a new friend request. It’s CARTER! I accept and read his status: “Sitting across the table from the sexiest woman ever!” I click “like”. And decide to play along- I change my status to “At dinner with a Hot Delicious Dish of a Man.” Unfortunately because of the dimly lit room and the smallness of my phone’s keyboard, my status auto-corrected to “Parallel Parking Stops Aids.”  

I quickly facebook-emailed him, (is that what they call Twerking?), and what happened next was amazing! As our lips continue to ramble off pleasantries: dreams, goals, whatever; our fingers were exchanging hot intimate fantasies about each other. At least I hope we did, again it was dimly lit. I’ve never been more turned on by the lack of eye contact or real human connection in my life because what was real was happening on the Facebook. That night ended in a wonderfully magical fashion.

At work, I surfed the Facebook the entire next day for his status update. It was posed at 2:39pm, “Today feels like the beginning of a new journey!” I had goose bumps. I left work early and arrived at my apartment to see Carter outside packing boxes in a U-haul. He was going to Grad School. We apparently had discussed that plan at great length during dinner last night, but I hadn’t picked up on it because the facebook-twerking-email-thingy. I thought, “Grad school, of course, because you’re 28! And that’s what you do.” Yeah, grad school - been there- done that. And just like that- I finally realized what happened to the 40 year old ballroom instructor who took my Nathan away fifteen years ago. Nothing. It most likely fizzled out as soon as it began. Speaking of which I wonder what Nathan is up to on Facebook?  Friend Request Sent.

RISE ABOVE

An abbreviated speech

by Joyce “Boxcar” Miles, Lawyer, Author, and Inspirational Speaker

Let me spin you a tale, fellow travelers, of a woman who found self worth, not through validation from society and its ancient ideals of a woman, but through working hard and taking control of her own destiny. Yes, women are still earning less than men in the workplace, still expected to stay at home with the kids, still looked at as objects of beauty rather than people of worth. But you don’t need to let anyone tell you that you are unable to do something just because you are a woman and just because you happened to be raised by hobos.

Yes, I was born with ovaries and found in an apple crate by a small gang of drifters thirty-some-odd years ago. Does that mean I’m supposed to give up? Accept my fate of riding the rails as a second class citizen? No! You get yourself up every morning, brush your teeth and scrub your back with the same oversized scrubbing brush, look at your reflection in the puddle and say, “I am a woman, and today is my day.”

People think they can keep you in your place, always a rung below them on the ladder. At Harvard Law, my professor assumed I wasn’t ready to take on a thesis that would upend a century old Supreme Court ruling because it was “too difficult for a young girl.” My thesis was published in several law journals before graduation. And when Old Tin-Strang Joe tried to tell me that he “ain’t lettin’ no lady sip his moonshine,” the very same ‘shine we had all chipped in for, I stood my ground. I told him he wouldn’t be drinking no moonshine if I hadn’t thought to sell that old crate of copper we found. And you know what? He poured me the lion’s share, and we sang songs ‘round the fire ‘til the sun did rise.

And women, how can we expect men to respect us if we don’t respect each other? If you see another woman struggling, don’t walk over her, help her up. When you make snide, backstabbing comments about my makeup it hurts both of us. Besides, it’s not even makeup, it’s coal smudged across my face from sleeping in the train yards. Instead, why not open the conversation with a supportive, friendly gesture by complimenting the pattern on my bindle, and I in turn will admire the cobbling of your Prada. As my fathers used to say, “Can’t start a stew with muddy water.”

Women, I hope you find power in these words, but always remember the real power is found within. Work hard at what you love. Take every challenge head on, be it a job interview, your child’s skinned knee, or a school marm who swore she’d give you a tray of biscuits if you cleaned all her chalkboards, at which you did your best. See, chalk is a tricky thing that leaves some deep marks in the slate that don’t always warsh off! Just the way slate is. And I know what I’m talking about. How do you think we mark our hobo codes on your fence post? That’s right, with chalk, which you’ll be seeing when I draw a big “X” so everyone knows you ain’t true to your word, Ms. O’Shaughnessy!

Joyce speaks at High Schools, Colleges, train yards, AA meetings, old barns, and women’s clubs across the nation. You can buy her books from your local retailer or ask Fiddlin’ Bill to recount her tales in song.

BEAUTY TRIALS


by Crystal St. Gibbons


When my good friend sent me a petition asking corporations to stop testing cosmetics on innocent, furry little animals, I broke down and signed right away. Why should animals have all the fun?

I quickly diverted my usual craigslist browsing of “missed connection haikus” (You: tall, gaunt, somber / reading Polish newspaper / taste my pierogi?) to find any trials I could get my hands on. With a few little white lies about my age, weight, and medical history my schedule filled up quicker than Kate Upton’s prison fan club!

Now, one year later, I’m sexier, more confident, and technically a government superfund site. The future of beauty is now! And I’ll tell you where we’re headed.



I began my trials with a new miracle drug that promised quick growing, thick, long eyelashes. Guaranteed to be better than any other drug on the market. Lupexiator™ worked miracles on my thinning lashes, as well as my previously unseen knuckle hair. The dates I went on during those two weeks had men staring deeply through the thick veils of my batting lashes, mostly to make sure I actually had eyes! The daily trimmings were a bit of a chore and also made incredibly painful by the nerve endings now growing within, but like the biggest nerds in high school, Lupexiator™ did its job better than needed.

Next was my foray into fragrances. Incorporating pheromones into perfumes and lotions is nothing new, but it’s difficult to distinguish the real charms from the snake oils. Husk™ by (REDACTED) promises both! As was explained to me by a suspiciously handsome doctor, snake pheromones come closest to those excreted by humans. If it weren’t for their fangs, venom, and general reptilian appearance, our attraction could easily cross species. No wonder Eve couldn’t resist that apple! Despite the solid scientific research behind it, and my multi-layered applications, the product failed to bring more men to my side of the bar. Though you could say I was quite the “charmer” at the reptile show for my nephew’s bar mitzvah. Sssssshalom! (Editor’s note: the writer did suffer multiple bites from the snakes in that show. The necessary anti-venoms compounded with the pharmaceuticals have caused large pockets of memory loss.)



And of course what marathon of pharmaceutical, topical, and deep physical cosmetic trials would be complete without implants! The wonderful facilities at (REDACTED) tucked away in the (REDACTED) Hills of Southern (REDACTED) headed by the amazing Dr. (REDACTED) have brought new life to my hips! I went from a flat ruler with no bumps for my junk, to a curvy hourglass filled with sand! And the sand that fills my voluptuous sides may feel crunchy and awkward at first, but like sandcastles, it only takes a little water to shape my shapely figure. After four months of physical therapy, I not only learned to walk again, I learned to strut! All in all, I give (REDACTED) four (REDACTED) out of (REDACTED) (REDACTED).

Watch out for these products and more at your local beauty shops, pharmacies, and black market alleyways. Just remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the beholder is usually a shallow, sex-driven (REDACTED).

PSEUDOCIDAL COLLECTION

Tips on Organizing Your Digital Photos

By Cathy Innanel

Little did we suspect as children that saying “cheese” would lead to an endless parade of paper representations that catalogue our entire existence from birth on.  Unless you’ve been lucky enough to have a house fire, or some natural disaster that swept away your precious memories, you’re probably stuck looking at piles and piles of underexposed photos that have become the greatest burden of your lifetime.  With the proliferation of electronic picture taking, and worldwide distribution, it’s impossible to keep on top of selfies, besties and even those one or two shots that don’t make you look fat.  You’ve tried scrapbooks, clever computer programs and even hiring someone to curate the photo experience that is you, all of which have failed miserably.  Frustrated and encumbered, what is a modern woman supposed to do with her pixel prison?  The answer couldn’t be simpler, fake your own death.



What better way to find out how your friends and family will remember you than by seeing what picture montage they put together under the silky sounds of Iron and Wine?  How many Facebook slideshows and Flickr tributes will tell you which pictures to keep for your children’s children to look at?  Instead of spending all of your precious spare time agonizing about which wallpaper collage will work best with your winter’s solstice rant, let Aunt Betty do the work for you.  Tear-stained tributes and funny stories about your childhood will help define the narrative that has been your life.  Idle hands create the devil’s work, but grief stricken hands will create works of art that you never even imagined.  



There are a few downsides to the paring down of your fairy tale photo album.  The first is that this tactic will generally only work once, so make sure that you have reached your photogenic peak before setting sail into the afterworld. For good measure, you may want to schedule an extended vacation before you “pass away” and visit as many people as possible, allowing everyone to take pictures of you when you were happiest.  We have found that recent contact with the newly deceased gives most photo tributes that personal touch.  Another downside to your faked demise will be the alienation of all future photo takers.  This is not a complete loss, as studies have shown that most people don’t like how they look beyond the age of 28, with a large portion of those questioned admitting to not liking images taken after the summer of their twenty fourth birthday.  So choose a date wisely and have no regrets, there’s not much for your photo future beyond your fake death anyway.   Some of the participants of the early death plan have noted that multiple angry photo tributes followed their resurrection, with nothing but ugly, out of context photos gracing what was once pristine picture palaces.  At first this may appear to be a negative, but we disagree. Finally you’ll now know which pictures to absolutely throw away. 



VICTORIA’S CLOSET

The Advice Column From Within

by Marilyn McCoy-O’Brien



MM-O: Insecurity Rag is absolutely giddy to have famed former advice columnist Victoria Dubois grace us with her vast knowledge of insecurity in one hand, and a half empty bottle of fabulous Malbec in the other.

VD: Happy to be here.

MM-O: Before we start, rumor has it that you’re writing a juicy tell-all book.

VD: (laughs) No, actually, I’m not—I’ve put all that behind me—doctor’s orders (laughs). But I am writing a book, that is true.

MM-O: What is it about?

VD: It’s a children’s book about a little black puppy named Roscoe who teaches himself how to survive the urban jungle of Minneapolis.

MM-O: Oh. Interesting. Are you from Minneapolis?

VD: Nope, never been.

MM-O: Okay. Welcome back to the world of advice.  With your permission let’s get started.

VD: Way ahead of you (pouring herself another glass).



MM-O: Rachel Facebook’d us, “Every time my boyfriend and I have sex, he almost immediately turns me over into doggy style. It’s getting to the point where I truly believe he thinks that he cannot stand the site of my face.  What am I to do?”

VD: At my old job, which you know I held for 30 odd years, I’d probably give you some nonsense about “it’s not that your face is ugly, it’s that your ass is fine!” But let’s be frank, the ass alone is not fine. The phrase “butt ugly” exists for a reason.  It’s only considered sexy from the use of accessories like jeans, lingerie, tattoos, or pole dancing. If you don’t buy that he might be intimidated by your angelic face, then most likely he’s turned off by how listless and distracted you are with whatever list of tasks are running through your head. In his need for some sort of connection, he’s probably thinking “at least her ass jiggles.” So get over yourself, and enjoy the moment for chrissakes. Honestly how important are these tasks if you’re subjecting yourself to this unpleasant humiliation instead. Look, we’re all insecure, get over it! And if you can’t, then I suggest wearing one of those novelty butt hats and hope he can’t tell the difference.



MM-O: Lisa writes “my boyfriend keeps texting me all the time. Asking me if ‘I’m okay’ or ‘do I need anything’ or just telling me he loves me. No matter how many times I reply to reassure him that I’m okay, I don’t need anything and that I love him too, he continues to text me. It’s smothering, what do I do?

VD: Seriously? Let me get this straight. (refills her glass) Your boyfriend is a good communicator, expresses his love for you, and is devoted to your happiness. He sounds horrific. Seriously, you must be in your 20’s because no one in their 30’s would be so stupid to think this as a problem. Look, from a technical standpoint, if you want to break the titlewave of texts- try this- it’s crazy simple- Don’t reply! Now, if he continues to to be a “problem” and decides to do all this verbally- that means without his thumbs- then be honest with yourself. You’re better than all this- and better than him- You are probably way out of his league and so break his heart and give him my digits because the only text I got from my last boyfriend was to break up with me, the coward. Seriously, Lisa, unbelievable.  
My glass is empty,(takes
out a box of wine from her tote bag.) Who’s next?



MM-O: Gail tweets “My boyfriend swears he does not watch porn, but-”

VD: He’s lying. Next!

MM-O: Okay. Jonelle writes “My boyfriend and I broke up five weeks ago. In that time I dated a guy who gave me incredible oral sex. Now my boyfriend and I are back together. How can I get what I got from the guy from my boyfriend?

VD: Sit your boyfriend down with a pen and paper and a camera and invite Mr. Tongue over for lesson. Watch and learn I always say, (toasting with the box of wine).

MM-O: Can I offer you some coffee?

VD: You don’t know me!

MM-O: How do you take it?

VD: The way I like my men: iced, with foam, and cinnamon sprinkles.

MM-O: Ok. I think we have time for one more, Jessie tweets: “I have discovered recently that I make more money than my husband, should I-”

VD: Woo-Hoo! You deserve it. Remember, the double standard we live in won’t be singular until you take it to the next level and make sure that you shatter that glass ceiling completely. Start small, open the car door for your husband, give up your seat, force that lazy pig to go down on you for a change. Our equality will not mean anything until you’re the one who gets up in the middle of the night to investigate the sound coming from the living room. So, man up! (falling off her chair.)

MM-O: That’s all the time we have, I’d like to thank our special guest Victoria Dubois.

VD: (mumbling to herself), and Roscoe finally found his way home, right where he left it… (passes out)

REBOUND GIRL

PULP DIMPLES

BY: REBOUND GIRL



Dear RB,

I’m finding it difficult to talk to my sister after her plastic surgery.  HELP!

Signed,
Before



Dear Before & After,

I

 like to think that I’ll never get plastic surgery. I’ll never need it. Hell, I may never be able to afford it anyway. But never say never, and actually, I’d like to be able to afford it, even if I don’t get it. I may just buy a home instead, or even a second home…one in a village, or a beach, or a galaxy, far, far away.

I’ve lived in a few homes, apartments that happened to have mirrors on the closet doors in the bedroom. It’s not what sold me. Although one definitely helped make the place feel bigger, which was nice. But then I’m also faced with myself, a lot. Which is also what happens when you have your own place. You talk to yourself. You look at yourself in the mirror, because, you can’t help it. It’s right there. Reflecting.

Do I like everything about my face, my body, even my personality? No. Do I like waving to myself in the mirror? Sometimes. Do I like being able to see myself having sex in a mirror? Depends on who I’m with.

We met at a little cocktail and finger food party I threw. He came with one of the attendees but not as the date. Someone had suggested I throw a little “I’m single, bring a single friend that the other single friends won’t have met yet” party. Of course, everyone was rebounding, because, as one friend that night said, “Every person who is single is on the rebound. Some are just in denial about it.” Of course, that friend was quoting me having said that to her after her last break-up. (I actually said a whole lot more but I’ll bring up those ditties another time.)

So, I have a bunch of single people at a party at my place. No, we didn’t all screw each other, but there was a lot of glancing around the room with slanted eyes, sly signals, whispered plans and overt moves. My conquest caught me in the kitchen as I was refreshing the ice bucket. “Now’s a good time to admit to each other that we think the other is cute,” he declared as he made me a drink with bourbon, marmalade, orange bitters, and one other ingredient from the bar he kept secret. The drink was delicious and so was he. We traded witticisms. “You know your way around my kitchen.” and “I’d like to tour the rest of you.”

 “Perhaps,” I replied, “perhaps.” He then kissed me, and that was a kiss to say yes to.

After more conversation, flirting, boozing, my friends and new friends left. Some paired off, some left alone, some went to try their luck at bars or booty calls elsewhere…but he stayed.

While I was in the bathroom, he got into director mode. He re-designed the lighting and made a pyramid with the pillows on my bed. He undressed and then undressed me and propped me Cleopatra-style onto the bed. He then asked me if I watched myself having sex a lot.

“Sometimes, “ I acknowledged and said aloud, “Depends on who I’m with.” He then touched me so that I quivered and asked, “mind if we film tonight?” I told him, “No cameras on the first night.” And that he’s moving quite fast. He slowed down. The foreplay was…really good. When he went to get a condom, he adjusted his phone that was on a little tripod. I hadn’t noticed this set-up when I came in. I asked him if he was filming us. I, actually didn’t wait for him to answer, I got up to see for myself.

I was amazed. He had managed to mostly keep just his face in the frame. He sure knew his marks. He explained, “I’m documenting my expression, when I come. How it changes or doesn’t change each time as I age. Don’t worry, I’ve done this so long that I forget that the camera’s there. I don’t act or fake it. You’re the first girl I’m doing this with outside of my girlfriend. My ex-girlfriend. She left me for my agent. Soon to be ex-agent. I’m sorry, I didn’t explain this to begin with. I just couldn’t resist when I saw your room cuz I can capture my expression reflecting in the mirror. I like the layers. I’ll be respectful. I’ll blur you out if you end up in any of the angles.” He was talking too much now but not enough to dissuade me. Simply, if/when sex tapes get made, I’m going to have the control over them.  From that point on, my phone, my computer, my editing. I also downloaded his original video of us and erased it from his phone and the cloud.



It was actually great. The sex and the sex tape. So great that the ones we made became the centerpiece of his project. Yet, we did not become the center of each others’ lives. There’s more to say, but we just didn’t click. Even though the director took direction well, he was still quite narcissistic. Sometime later, he invited me to a loft party and was going to publicly screen the series for the first time. I told him I’d go, but only if I could keep my anonymity. He said he’d prefer me to be anonymous too, and that he had superimposed his new girlfriend’s face into a sequence in which mine had been blurred out. (We did the blurring together, on my computer, so, yes, I have the original, unblurred version). He said it was better if no one at the party knew it was me, or his new girlfriend/agent, might get upset…she’s the jealous type. The video series started with his ex (his before), then I was blurry in the middle, but then it transitioned and emerged to his current girlfriend (the after), on my body at first and then her body. But the focus is always his face, so you don’t see much in the way of bodies. In my case, a shoulder here, a dimple of Venus there. 

My sister insisted that we go to the party and maybe cause a little trouble, or be tame little flies on the wall. It was my sister who invited this guy to my party to begin with, (they’re local coffee shop friends) and she was determined to make up for it with being my wing woman so I could make a new match. 

My sis wore a dress that revealed her own dimples of Venus, but I didn’t make the connection until after her nose was a bloody pulp.  It appears that both the before (ex) and after (current gf) of monsieur the director assumed the mystery middle girl was my sis. I was flaunting legs not back that night, and they failed to notice in their drunken rage that she doesn’t have a telltale skin tag on her back that I have, (and can be seen clearly) in said video series. Not bright lights these two!

The ex punched left, the current gf punched right, and my sister was down for the count. Her nose was broken and in need of plastics. It always takes me a moment when I see her now, like when you see Jennifer Gray, you also see a flash of her Dirty Dancing face as she carries a watermelon. It’s burned into our pop culture minds…like staring too long at the sun. But my sister’s new nose does look quite nice, and those bitches with monsieur the director, paid out big. Eventually it garnered him some publicity, and his time lapse orgiastic mug toured around the world. He’s still dating that crazy ass chick and I hear their bedroom is all mirrors. He still contacts me every now and then asking if I have the original video, I don’t respond. I’ve chosen to keep my anonymity until now. Whatever.

So my advice to you B&A, either speak up if the timing is right or go soft focus when you encounter your sister. You’ve got to have each other’s backs, even if genetically they may not be quite the same.

Until we meet again,

MY SEASON OF CSA OPTIMISM

Keeping Your Relationships Fresh 

by Tamsin Putputt-Carr



My new husband and I have been trying to save money by eating out less, and attempting to eat healthier with organic vegetables –which isn’t easy living in a large metropolitan area. So after being on a waiting list for 2 years, when a membership spot opened in our local CSA (Community supported agriculture, not Confederate States of America or Casting Society of America) -we jumped on it. 

If you’re not familiar with a CSA, members “buy-in” for a growing season (usually Mar-Nov)to a “share,” a portion of a local (within 50 miles) farm’s organic crop yield for that week. This helps support local farmers by pre-selling their produce, and allows members to purchase local organic vegetables from somewhere closer than Chile or a GMO Food-Space Satellite in near-earth orbit. On the designated night of the week, members pickup their share at a designated central location at which the farmer’s drop off their food in share boxes, and volunteers check in members that come to pick them up. Not having a car, it’s an added bonus to get exercise carrying the 15-20 pounds of boxed vegetables the 10 blocks home. 

Another option for local organic produce in a big city is the Farmer’s Market. But why spend prime brunch-time picking out $30 worth of vegetables, when you can have them selected for you, and pick them up on your way home from work? 

To minimize the expense we decided to split our share with another couple, halving our investment to $35 every-other-week.

Being young urban professionals on a hectic schedule, we appreciated another feature of the CSA: weekly suggested recipes to make use of that week’s CSA vegetables. 

Below are some highlights of the season and our results.

Recipes courtesy of LaGuardia CSA and the Gold Bond Flour Cookbook (1919)



Week 1:

Macedoine Salad 

It is generally best to use potatoes for the body of the salad, adding other vegetables to give color and flavor. 

9 Semi-diced Russett (or Idaho) potatoes
1 heads fresh spinach (2 heads are better than 1)
1 head Duse Lettuce
4 extra-plump heirloom tomatoes
1 clove of garlic (bruised)
1 extra-large jar mayonaisse
12 green-beans
1 nasturtium bloom
1 jar store-bought gherkins (optional)
2 drams pickled beets
2 lbs ice

Marinate each vegetable separately, add French dressing. 

Set on ice to cool before serving. Rub the salad bowl with a bruised clove of garlic before arranging the salad. Serve with more French dressing or Mayonnaise. Garnish with nasturtium, gherkins, pickled beets.

Result: 

 My husband nearly forgot to pick up the veggies, even though it’s on the same night every week. He managed to make it just in time before they closed, and realized he forgot his keys at work. He waited at a cafe for 2 hours until I was home from my Gothic Knitting circle. He put them in the fridge when we got home, and then we proceeded to argue for 2 hours, going to bed without speaking to each other. I thought it best not to bring up the subject the next day, and we made up over Chinese food (chicken with broccoli).



Week 3

“Asparagus in Ambush” 

2 bunches cooked asparagus
1 tablespoon Gold Medal flour
1 cup scalded milk % teaspoon salt
2 eggs
6 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon butter
6 rolls 

Cut off the tops of the rolls to serve as covers. Remove the crumb, dust the shells and covers with melted butter and brown in the oven. Make a white sauce of the milk, butter and flour. 

Cut the tender part of the asparagus fine, cook a few minutes in the white sauce ; fill the rolls with the mixture, place on the tops and serve hot. 

Result: 

Picked up in good weather, not locked out. Inlaws visited this week, mother-in-law very judgmental, put off cooking for her. Asparagus wilted.  

Week 7

Jerusalem Artichokes 

8 lbs Jerusalem artichokes
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp powdered sugar

These are tubers which grow wild in the eastern part of the United States and Canada; being free from starch, they may be eaten uncooked. 

To Bake: Boil until about halftone then peel and put into a baking dish with 1 tablespoon of butter, salt and pepper to taste. Dust with 1 teaspoon of powdered sugar and bake a good brown. Baste with butter. 

Result: 

Husband in ER with dehydration from food poisoning. Distracted from Jerusalem Artichokes. Which is good, because I hate Jerusalem Artichokes. 

Next year I think we will just go to the farmer’s market. 


DATING APP-TITUDE

2014: A DATE ODYSSEY

by Hannah-Kate Sarah

In the future, dating will take place entirely inside of a computer, you’ll meet your dates for martini pills and laser-dancing, and sex, like all our jobs, will be replaced by robots.

Thankfully by then we will all be dead. For now we have the entire dating world at our fingertips in smartphone apps like Tinder. Its success has spawned a bevy of new apps to rate, swipe, and poke potential lovers. Here’s our guide to dating apps on the rise!




Character-Assured: 

Why spend hours obsessing over your dating profile when you can boil it down to a single image. And what could be better than a street-fair style caricature? Nothing! Nothing can be better. Simply upload a few pictures, pick a few activities you enjoy, and two hours later you’ll have an amateurish rendered portrait to show the world that you love water skiing AND listening to your iPod! No clever angles or blurry photo shoots can hide the real you because your head is now the size of a hot air balloon. Show off your beautiful smile, cheerful eyes, and that that tiny bump on the bridge of your nose that you hate so much.

F**kHunt: 


A fun callback to the video games of our childhood. In each round, faces of single men fly across the screen, tap quickly to shoot them down and add them to your “F**k Bag.” Lightning fast reflexes are key, as you have to make the split decision to go for the kill or let them fly away, as you have so many times before. Miss every mark in a round and a little dog laughs at you and leaves a joking but hurtful comment on your Facebook page.

KnowsBest: 




This app allows your mother to do all the work for you. Searching, messaging, making plans. Maybe then she’ll see that it’s not so easy. We can’t all get pregnant in college and later claim it was “fate” and “true love” even though your only display of affection is eating at the same restaurant every couple of weeks, ordering the same food and being home reading in bed by 9:30. Your Dad drowns himself in his work, and if the two of them happen to be in the same room together, he just has a beer in his hand, eyes on the TV, nodding and agreeing to everything she says to avoid any sort of confrontation. Some of us are looking for a real connection, Mom!

Gngr: 



 

Find the nearest redhead.

 

 

iStalk: 



Connects to your accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, MySpace, LiveJournal, Friendster, Xanga, Google+, Meetup, Amazon, Reddit, Yelp, Netflix, Youtube, World of Warcraft, WhatsApp, OKCupid, iTunes, Groupon, Last.fm, Tumblr, LivingSocial, RateMyTeacher, AirBnB, deviantART, Flickr, Everquest, Meetup, RenRen, Muxlim, ibibo, Weibo, AlJazeera, AMC’s Official Breaking Bad Message Board, AOL, GroupMe, Snapchat, Google Maps, Craigslist, Skype, Uber, Paypal, Vine, HBO GO, and HealthCare.gov to help you create the perfect profile. The terms of service are really long, but I’m pretty sure they keep all your information totally secure and private.

KINKY KORNER

You submit them; we review them

By the Insecurity Rag Cinema Club



After a long hiatus, we are back. Thank you for your submissions- we were very excited to review your sex tapes. Let’s open a bottle of Malbec from Argentina and get started.

“1997 ARBOR DAY CELEBRATION”


PERFORMERS:      ELBERT AND AUDREY
AGE RANGE:        OVER 40
RELATIONSHIP:   WE GUESS NEIGHBORS OR CO-WORKERS
MEDIA TYPE:        VHS

We have always encouraged individuals to experiment,
to fantasize, to celebrate, and especially to record themselves doing it. With that in mind, we weren’t sure what ELBERT and AUDREY’S ARBOR DAY CELEBRATION TAPE had to do with Arbor Day until we Googl’d Arbor Day and finally discovered it’s not a Viking Holiday rejoicing in the whaling industry as we were led to believe. For those who also live on the East Coast, Arbor Day is apparently the holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees. 

With that bit of knowledge, Elbert and Audrey’s Arbor Day Celebration turns out to be the perfect reminder of why we can never remember what Arbor Day is about, and why we celebrate… or why we care.

The opening shots are clunky, as Elbert struggles to avoid walking into trees while holding the camera still on the Audrey who has dressed in multiple layers of lumberjack attire. We are led to believe that they have been hiking for hours to a remote area high above the purple mountain majesties…until Elbert pans behind them to reveal the parking lot 300 yards away. 



Nonetheless, they are alone and Elbert spoon feeds Audrey some horrible questions to set the mood.

“So, do you love Arbor Day? How much do you love Arbor Day? If Arbor Day was a man with a camera how would you show your love?”

Which apparently was her cue to do a strip tease. The piles of discarded clothes looked like the bargain bin of Abercrombie and Fitch. Once she was au natural we could see that Audrey had grown enough shrubbery on her own body to help reforest the Grand Tetons, which coincidentally, her Tetons, although not grand,  did have some stubble around the apex. Now of course we’re not suggesting that everyone should get a Brazilian, but we
felt after watching this video, that we had concrete proof of Big Foot’s existense.

Soon afterwards, she got down on her knees, clearing the ground of pinecones, and “seductively” untied the drawstring of his red sweatpants to reveal black boxer-briefs with the gray elastic band. She smiled at the camera as she tugged them down, and then looked for his “tree limb”- not AT his tree limb- FOR his tree limb. 



As we have said numerous times, although the camera usually adds ten pounds, it rarely adds it down there, and to be fair, it was hidden under his rotund belly. It’s a shame that this was Arbor Day and not Groundhog Day.  Perhaps then it would have come out of hiding…but then we would have six more weeks of winter…and it would have shrunk smaller. (note to reader: Google Groundhog day and penis shrinkage)

Although we never got to actually see it, we assume it was there. Because of the downward angle of the camera, all we could see was her long straight brown hair bobbing up and down. In many ways, it resembled Cousin It from the Addams Family marching up the top of the hill and retreating down again. (note to reader Google “Cousin It”).

Thankfully, this was a short film both in length and in LENGTH because it seemed to take just three licks of his lollipop to finish the job. (note to reader: Google “three licks lollipop”) The rest of the tape was recorded with the lens cap on, but the audio didn’t suggest that they furthered the fantasy. In fact it sounded like they actually planted a tree for Arbor Day, (note to reader: Google Arbor Day.)

POLKA DOTS- THE NEW PLAID?

Your Polish Heraldry Revealed!

by  Zbignew Chalmers



We all know that a rich world of genealogical and celtic national heritage can be unlocked by staring at kilts and looking up each Tartan plaid pattern and reading about it. But how many of us are aware of the shades of meaning and heritage behind the noble slavic patterns known collectively as Polka Dot?  It’s not just fashion, it’s romantic history and cultural pride, so know where you stand—and where you came from—when you pick out your next summer dress. 

Anka



Dating to the Iron Age, roundles of snow white on a sanguine background. Anka is the oldest of the tribal totems, used until recently in ribbons of distinction on military uniforms and in constructing the luggage of the modern warrior class.

Avsenik



Today thought to be festive, this pattern of red shields against a field of gold, is still incendiary in some areas of the Pursowic mountains. Avsenik commemorates the Battle of Hunzfeld in 1109, where brother fought brother as the Prussians under Henry V were repelled by Wrymouth.

 

Bolislaw



Distinguished since the dawn of the Piest Dynasty, Bolislaw honors the bravery and sacrifice of the “Sto Bracia” or “100 Brothers” who stood abreast to repel Flemish invaders at Luzyce in 250.  Favored in rural areas, but a very expensive material owing to the Krol Beetle used to obtain the rich crimson hue.

 

Gniezo



Commissioned by Boleslaw the Brave in 1000A.D. Six different colors varied on a field of white, to commemorate the formation of the city-state Gniezo brought about by the unification of the six bishops of Krakow. It is ascribed a jovial tone, and is favored both by residents of Gniezo and todays Diplomatic Corps.

 

Gorski-Wegry



Ascribed to the artisinal guilds of the Wegry valley, the circles of varying size and hue celebrate Royalty united with the aesthetic class during the tumultuous 7th century. The azure rings honor the passing of craftsmanship from one generation to the next (small circles to large), the orange and yellow honor the dairy farmers of the valley, and the grey the intricate metalwork practiced since the bronze age.

 

Mieszko



The second oldest pattern, taking its derivation from the biedronka or “ladybug” the personal crest of emperor Mieszko II Lambert circa 990. It has also been said to depict the mushrooms of Masowsze at night. Fierce warriors and practical rulers were proud to travel under this banner for hundreds of years.

 

Swabia



One of the oldest patterns in Polish heraldry, first observed in vestal garments of Svetoid the pre-Christian Slavic god of war, fertility and abundance. Later adopted by Wladyslaw I to maintain familial continuity it is today used throughout the world on both handkerchiefs, undergarments, bow ties and vintage coat linings. 

 

Yankovic



A migrant Romany corruption of Bolislaw pattern for the near-sighted agrarian class. Czech but sometimes confused with Polish. 

 

 

Welk



Native to what is now modern day Zwiazek Wielecki, the crimson, verdent, red and aqua orbs symbolize both the original 4 allied slavic tribes, and the stars that shielded and protected them at night. American musician Lawrence Welk (nee Washington) adopted it as his own.

 

OShaugnessi



Legend has it that in the eighth century B.C. Celtic druids traveled by canoe to the shores of what is now modern Pomorze. Certain resemblances can be seen between the O’Shaugnessy tartan of Ireland and the similarly named OShaugnessi Polka Dot, which can be seen in the logo of Polish automobile manufacturer Spolz.

GENE-DEFYING LOOKS

When There’s No Fitting In

by Pixley Wadsworth



Ladies, it’s that time of year again! Kiss summertime blues away and look at new jean styles for fall!  There is so much variety this year you could kill yourself with choices. My assignment from We Own the World Denim was delivered to me at midnight, and I spent the whole next day submerged in my own Jean-a-thon.

I almost killed myself the first time I thumbed through a well- known popular clothing catalog (that also is a real store, a house hold name really) and saw all of their denim colors and prices. We all have $200 to spend on a pair of jeans, right? The styles alone for a curvier bottom like yours truly were just fantastique! (See? I am speaking in Franglais- I am so excited.)  In the printed catalog, the pages alternated from one page being in black and white  to the next page in color- just showcasing the jeans. That alone told me that the jeans were extremely different from each other.

Not believing my eyes, I took a trip to their flagship store to try on these jeans myself!

Here’s a taste of what is in store for you!

The Matchstick

These really recouped their name as I couldn’t get them up over my calf muscles!  Obviously my self-worth soared sky high when I thought, “why these are just oven mitts for my shins- in case I want to remove brownie pans from the oven with my legs.” No fire hazard there.

The Toothpick

An entirely new approach (and skinnier than the Matchstick), I could barely fit my toes into them. Then I had fun pretending to be a swamp monster with an extra two tentacles attached at the bottom of my feet. I even added sound effects. Luckily I was not escorted out of the dressing room (yet.)



The Pencil Denim 

The Pencil Denim skirt stands by its name in that your figure literally must be the structure of a straight up and down wooden board to get into this spandex sleeping bag. We all know that women do not have hips or buttocks, so you’ll be able to just slide into this number! I had so much fun not being able to move an inch in this blue fisherman’s net that I imagined being an upright sea creature hobbling around my little dressing room, looking for the sea again. I was asked by the sales clerk if I needed any help. Don’t I! Come Halloween, this is the skirt for you if you are inspired by upright whales.

The Pixie Pant

If sparkles are your nemesis than don’t buy these bedazzled capris capers! That is all I am going to say about these. My eyes hurt from staring directly at them for too long.  I could lend this pink explosive material to my four-year-old niece who wants princess curtains for her Disney Pets Dog House, but I think it would poison the pets. These pants would be great in a stand-off, because your attacker would get confused by all of the glitter.

The Calcium Deficient Pixie

These jeans, like their name, will leave a gap in your diet! They are filled with holes. I would like to say the holes were in demure spots, but they are not.  With holes so near my hoo-ha, who needs to flirt with words anymore,  I’ll just go into a bar and point to my Pixie jeaned holed crotch.  Because that is what sexy is, pointing to your pants parts.  These jeans would make a great dog toy come to think of it, since they are already shredded and so unwearable! These jeans could be the “after” picture of documented tiger attack- really reasonable and likely to happen.

The Meth Addict

These jeans are truly for that Meth head we all know- these jeans were so crusty and ragged that I am sure I detected an odd smell coming from them.  So put on your Breaking Bad chemistry goggles and yellow your teeth: these jeans will take you to the seediest part of L.A. and leave you there. No one will mug you in these jeans because you will look so down on your luck already. If anything, people will offer you money so that you go away and they won’t have to look at you.

The Where’s That Girl Jeans?/ I Knocked Her Down

These jeans were so tiny that I had the tall seven-year-old girl in the dressing room next door try them on. I honestly did not see her after that. She must have just blended into the wall. Her mother was not pleased. I believe it was right around this time that security was called.



The Beard 

Something that I have long coveted, even though it seems like it is trying to rip off the famous “boyfriend jean.” This style of jean is supposed to be more “baggy,” like you put on your boyfriend’s jeans because you missed him when he left the apartment and you are trying to be cute.  Unfortunately, it is still super skin tight and replaces the room in the buttock area for a roomy penis pouch—two things I know I especially shoot for when trying on jeans! This is a great cross dressing jean for all of your cross dressing needs.

So there you have it ladies! You think you are just getting the same jean year after year but you are not! There are jeans for Halloween costumes, catastrophic events, running away from home and becoming a drug addict, using sparkles to your benefit to confuse any attackers, jeans to disappear in, and cross dressing any night of the week, because let’s face it, we could all use a change of self now and again. 

Not only can we now squeeze our asses into these new salami skins, but we can also have that look that says, “I know, I need your hands— and a pair of pliers to take these jeans off.”

The maker of these denim styles also promised “…you do know when your butt looks great…”

Of course I do! 

I know my butt looks great squished into a skinny jean because that obviously makes it look smaller!

I also love seeing the word “butt” in print.

Instead of having any other style of denim to choose from, all women can now look attractive, as we reach for the pixie stars.  Jean wearers of the world (that is ALL OF US) unite! Let’s cram our asses into these beauties before it is too late! Because at SOME point, they will stop making SKINNY JEANS and we will all wake up to a nightmare of a wonderful variety of jeans for different sized and multi-proportioned women! Or I could just take my ex- boyfriend’s advice who told me, “you probably just shouldn’t wear jeans at all.” 

SEXNAPPED

Is Sleep Ruining Your Sex Life?

by Rebecca Rhodus



In the past, eight hours of sleep a night gave women sixteen hours to find the perfect mate.  With rapid biological changes and environmental shifts in our evolutionary development, some scientists are starting to question the age old “beauty sleep recommendation” and are exploring a new “awakening” in order to better our position in the natural selection process. What you consider to be a normal amount of dream time might actually be the very thing destroying your relationship. To gain a greater understanding of what we’re facing, it’s advantageous to explore where sleep falls flat on its face. 

NAPS

As good as they feel, naps are probably the leading cause of sexual dissolution in modern relationships. Aside from their distracting nature (try sending a sexy text whilst sleeping), naps are dissatisfying at best. Usually taken at a time too short to experience the full five stages of slumber, napping places you at a severe disadvantage over more aroused challengers. On a scientific level, sexually successful women are willing to trade their paradoxical stage of shuteye for your boyfriend’s favorite plateau phase of “getting it on”. Without proper planning and diligence, you might find that taking the occasional catnap will drive your man into the awakened arms of another woman, leaving you to purchase a cat to keep you company.



SLEEP BREATH

One of the great struggles about morning sex is the halitosistic hurdles that women must jump over in order to please their man.  “Before-Breakfast-Bang-Bang”, once held as the ultimate honey trap for future monogamy, is starting to come under fire. Studies show that men prefer their morning mate to be drool and odor free, no matter how good the coitus is. Women who sleep in are unable to address this foible of sleep’s curse, and therefore more likely to lose their mate to morning weather girl types, perfectly coiffed in the Local Morning News Television hours.  When your man starts reaching for his remote before reaching for you, it might be high time to trade in your R.E.M.s’ for Day-Dreams instead.



FAKING SLEEP

This is perhaps the most dangerous of all rest related studies. Aside from being a truly disingenuous practice, faking sleep puts undue pressure on your mate to perform the duties of two, fully awakened adults. Scientists are quick to point out that although pretending to sleep is a very common practice in young children, continuing this pattern into adulthood greatly reduces your ability to find and retain a productive partner. Historical data has shown that closing your eyes for extended periods of time can actually lead to “real” sleep, severely limiting your ability to give or receive sexual pleasure. More importantly, once a lover learns of his partner’s faking practices, a certain level of distrust is harbored by the offended party.  

To sleep and perchance to dream are sentiments that Darwin never dealt with in his evolutionary studies.  With our biological alarm clocks ticking louder than ever, it might be high time to decide if you’re going to be spending your time with your man, or Mr. Sandman.

PHOTOGRAPHY CREDITS: Teela Wyman

SEXY INSURED


Protect your Assets Before It’s Too Late

by Marisa Fiore

I recently showed my boyfriend a new spice rack I purchased.

He said, “that’s not the rack I want to see.”

I’ve got a nice rack.

It’s so nice that I got it insured.
My boyfriend got his mustache insured.

Are we celebrities?
No.

Are we rolling in dough?
No.

Are these special skills like singing or smelling wine that are instrumental to our careers?
No.

But my rack and his stache help define who we are and are therefore definite assets.

And they should not only be promoted but insured.

We protect our lives, our homes, our cars, our property, our luggage, our health, so why not what makes us sexy?

Even if it’s not what necessarily pays the bills.
Even if we struggle to pay the bills.

Choosing the right company is key, not only so you can sleep soundly without doubling your dosage, but also so that you can cash in when you start to sag. (Note: Sag insurance is an add-on.)

Without going to London and having a movie studio front the big bucks on your booty, your boobs, your gams or your grin, what do you need to look out for as you sign on the dotted line with a “specializing in sexy” insurance company?

You guessed it! The Fine Print.

Body insurance clauses can be worse than the contract at your local gym. Here’s where to shine your grandmother’s magnifying glass.

Survival of the Fittest

You’re going for more than the simple disease, dismemberment or death reimbursement that you can get from any ole life insurance policy. You are going for sexy. Sexy is both genetic and refined like caring for a bonsai. But sexy changes over time. You want a policy that will adapt with you not against you.

Die Young if You Have Fun

Young, single, smart and sexy? Take advantage! Discounts abound, especially if you are social media savvy with a bevvy of click-like-happy responsive followers. Post photos and hash tag with the insurance company’s name. Just be sure the photo doesn’t capture you, your friends or anyone in the frame, smoking, drinking, doing drugs, eating processed foods, eating after 7pm, eating more than 3x/day, engaging in unprotected sexual relations, engaging in sexual relations and/or kissing or dating more than one partner in a year, crying, sunbathing, staying up past 10pm, being awake between the hours of 10pm-6am, chewing gum, sucking your thumb, or biting your nails. Those are the basic no-no’s. Some companies have longer lists that include running with pointy objects, riding a motorcycle, shoveling snow, gardening or using power tools. Sound complicated? There’s a filter for your phone’s camera called Puresque Sexy. Search, download and install (worth it!)

Pimp Your Peeps

Refer a friend who signs up for a policy, and many companies will forgive your monthly premium anywhere from a few days to a whole year. It just depends on how uniquely sexy your friend is. You’ll get referral points that’ll raise your status to gold, ruby, emerald, sapphire, and these can get you discounts on workout clothes, vitamins, conferences and retreats. But first, get pimped by a friend or a stranger in high standing (wink, wink). 

Lie About Your Age

Companies will raise your premium with each birthday. If you’re paying a higher percentage than your year, say 28% if you’re 25 or 40% and you’re 30, then you’re being scammed. Negotiate or go elsewhere. Oh, and there’s no insurance after 50 unless you’re an endangered species. It used to be 38, so let’s all tweet some appreciation to J Lo’s buttocks and O’Brien’s bangs.



Family Planning

Each child carries a payment increase of at least 10% that kicks in upon conception with interest. So plan ahead! You can reduce that percentage increase slightly only if your post-baby body bounces back as quick as Beyoncé with the expertise from one of their in-network personal trainers. You may pay double or triple what you would with Tony or Tina at your local gym but you should still come out ahead. Just be sure to also check the fine print on the trainer’s contract. Some require a two-year commitment even though you were back to your pre-puberty jeans size in less than two months. My man and I are so not there yet. But most companies have monthly fertility charts as a downloadable pdf. There’s also discounts on basal thermometers with your points. You often have to ask, before they tell.

Don’t Procrastinate

Time is of the essence when you start requiring nips and tucks or treatment for an accident. You have 10 business days from onset to file a report requesting an initial consultation. You must get a second opinion 5 business days following the first. Within 48 hours you must post the two reports on your online profile with your company, along with bulleted statements about your preference. Your broker will review your claim and if everything’s a-ok, approve it. Then the broker will average the two bids and cover half after your copay and deductible. If they don’t cover half, don’t go with them. You are responsible for the rest and your broker will negotiate a payment plan with interest should you need it. Note: you may only receive treatment in the 5 mile-radius, city, country or countries you purchased coverage. Never go that far off the grid so that you don’t miss your window of opportunity. Don’t even bother going out-of-network, it’ll cause wrinkles. My boyfriend and I participate in each other’s daily sexy-insured checks and award each other gold stars and more…but the more is private.

Offshore Accounting

Open up an account with an approved bank in Switzerland, Hong Kong or the Cayman Islands as soon as you begin your insurance policy. Shop around for a good interest rate. I’m not allowed to tell you what I found.

Let it Go

Don’t want surgery? Pay a fee and you can get a pension once there’s no sign of sexiness to you whatsoever. The rules and procedures for approval are similar to pursuing treatment except you need at least ten initial consultations for opinions on your lack of vavavoom and not just two. 

Get Help

Hire a manager, therapist or life coach to help you navigate all the ins and outs, send you updates on your rankings and helpful affirmations like, “There’s nothing to fear but fear itself.” My boyfriend and I use them as mantras. We often worry that his approved stache wash will cause split ends or my approved bras will puncture my breasts. This lifeline seer will also get your insurance policy professionally framed. Mine glows like sand on a sunny beach and my boyfriend’s erupts like a volcano. It boosts our confidence. We feel not only protected but invincible.

On good days.

THE EAT PRAY SURROGATE


Finding Someone Who Finds You

by Laura Gardens

Work, gym, dinner, drink, TV, bed, repeat. I was spending weekends with the same friends, having the same conversations about the same people. A goldfish will only grow as big as its bowl, and I felt trapped in a shot glass. With a marriage in tatters, stuck in a career I didn’t choose, and no faith left to fill the hole in my heart, something had to change. Something big.

I took a cue from the trailer of the film adaptation of my favorite audiobook on my “must listen” list, and I decided one year: one year of finding myself, and I knew exactly where to look…

I was scared to travel alone, but as soon as you’re overlooking the Parisian streets, a tall glass of white wine washes those fears away. At least that’s what Amy, my surrogate, wrote to me in her first report. I booked my ticket without thinking of the meetings I’d scheduled for the next week, and I couldn’t get anyone to watch my Yorkie. And is it really so hard to defer Zumba classes for an indefinite period of time? 

A friend recently hired a surrogate to carry her child (the ovaries are fine, she just didn’t want the hassle). Luckily for me, one quick Google search later I found Amy, a woman who found her calling finding women looking to find themselves.



Amy spent her days walking through small towns in the countryside, exploring a culture rich in history that values long nights with friends, taking your time, and indulging in meals I’d only ever imagined (luckily Amy gave me detailed descriptions, yum!). Wandering, eating when you’re hungry, having coffee with strangers, time loses all meaning. In my old life, it was always go-go-go, on to the next thing, I never stopped to appreciate my surroundings. But when I finished reading Amy’s e-mail I sat back, closed my eyes, and for a moment I felt a peace and relaxation I hadn’t experienced since I was a child. Of course I had a lunch meeting to run off to with that bitch Margot, but it’s nice to know that if I had the time, I could sit like that for hours.

Next it was off to Bhutan, a small independent kingdom bordering China and India filled with Buddhist temples and travelers seeking a greater connection to the world. I originally wanted to go to India, but Amy had already been there. Sure, there were a lot more expenses and she needed to hire a translator, a Sherpa, and a trained dog for some reason, but this is a once in a lifetime experience! The sight of these grand temples with the Himalayas as background could leave you breathless. I’m pretty sure Amy must have taken a photography class, because I got every megapixel’s worth of karmic cleansing. As the monks explained to Amy and she explained to me, we are all connected, everything is one, so it made sense to spend a little extra for kayaking.



Last stop: Barcelona. Parties, drinking, making out with strangers and dancing until dawn, Amy checked off everything on my list (a spreadsheet I’d spent countless hours agonizing over with columns for my spiritual, mental, and physical awakening). Little did I know that somewhere between “touch a statue” and “learn to merengue” the fates added the name “Tomás” (I added him in at C42). Amy’s translations were rough, but she assured me that Tomás “encanta’d” me, and “quiero mucho.” I spent long nights dreaming of this pro fútbol player/salsa dancer/marine biologist and wondering why he needed all that cash. Our “fuego” burned bright and quickly, as I had to let Tomás go. He taught me how to love again, and my checking account had run dry.

All journeys must end, and after a long, eventful year Amy reached my “destination that was myself”, and I finally returned home (after a long wait in the Whole Foods line, I mean, don’t people understand the system there? For fuck’s sake it’s just colors and numbers. Is everyone a moron?)

BEAUTY TRIALS


by Crystal St. Gibbons


When my good friend sent me a petition asking corporations to stop testing cosmetics on innocent, furry little animals, I broke down and signed right away. Why should animals have all the fun?

I quickly diverted my usual craigslist browsing of “missed connection haikus” (You: tall, gaunt, somber / reading Polish newspaper / taste my pierogi?) to find any trials I could get my hands on. With a few little white lies about my age, weight, and medical history my schedule filled up quicker than Kate Upton’s prison fan club!

Now, one year later, I’m sexier, more confident, and technically a government superfund site. The future of beauty is now! And I’ll tell you where we’re headed.



I began my trials with a new miracle drug that promised quick growing, thick, long eyelashes. Guaranteed to be better than any other drug on the market. Lupexiator™ worked miracles on my thinning lashes, as well as my previously unseen knuckle hair. The dates I went on during those two weeks had men staring deeply through the thick veils of my batting lashes, mostly to make sure I actually had eyes! The daily trimmings were a bit of a chore and also made incredibly painful by the nerve endings now growing within, but like the biggest nerds in high school, Lupexiator™ did its job better than needed.

Next was my foray into fragrances. Incorporating pheromones into perfumes and lotions is nothing new, but it’s difficult to distinguish the real charms from the snake oils. Husk™ by (REDACTED) promises both! As was explained to me by a suspiciously handsome doctor, snake pheromones come closest to those excreted by humans. If it weren’t for their fangs, venom, and general reptilian appearance, our attraction could easily cross species. No wonder Eve couldn’t resist that apple! Despite the solid scientific research behind it, and my multi-layered applications, the product failed to bring more men to my side of the bar. Though you could say I was quite the “charmer” at the reptile show for my nephew’s bar mitzvah. Sssssshalom! (Editor’s note: the writer did suffer multiple bites from the snakes in that show. The necessary anti-venoms compounded with the pharmaceuticals have caused large pockets of memory loss.)



And of course what marathon of pharmaceutical, topical, and deep physical cosmetic trials would be complete without implants! The wonderful facilities at (REDACTED) tucked away in the (REDACTED) Hills of Southern (REDACTED) headed by the amazing Dr. (REDACTED) have brought new life to my hips! I went from a flat ruler with no bumps for my junk, to a curvy hourglass filled with sand! And the sand that fills my voluptuous sides may feel crunchy and awkward at first, but like sandcastles, it only takes a little water to shape my shapely figure. After four months of physical therapy, I not only learned to walk again, I learned to strut! All in all, I give (REDACTED) four (REDACTED) out of (REDACTED) (REDACTED).

Watch out for these products and more at your local beauty shops, pharmacies, and black market alleyways. Just remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the beholder is usually a shallow, sex-driven (REDACTED).

MARTIAN MATTERS

How Martian Culture Trumped Our Own

By Shawna Richardsond

Have you ever looked up into the cosmos and wondered what was missing from your life?   Most women do.  Anxiety, depression, obscurity are all valid and self fulfilling prophecies when compared with our extraterrestrial ancestral lineage in the stars.  Although astrophysicists and cosmologists have worked hard to bring us the science behind Martian culture, there has been little information regarding the anthropology of this once proud people, and for good reason. As we are slowly learning, the accomplishments and grandeur of the “Red Planet” so far exceeds our trivial attempts at success, that many fear the comparison alone with Martians will drive this planet into such a deep depression that nothing short of a Worldwide Celexa prescription will save us.

There have been several clues about our connection with Mars, and the society that serves as a beacon towards our own.  You may have found yourself asking “what part of me is Martian”, a question often times covered up through religious practices, or the occasional fad diet.  Unfortunately, the answer that has come back is, “not nearly enough”.  In fact, our so called foray into Martian genetics points to a major flaw in our own DNA, one that government officials are wary of revealing.

Martian society for the most part was spectacular.  The passion, the fierceness, the artistry with which they approached every moment of their lives was only sustained by the tenacity of their desire to create and fulfill simply the very best that life had to offer.  Every Martian citizen could sing with such emotion and clarity that it would be constantly broadcasted throughout their lives to millions of loving fans who had nothing better to do than admire the honesty with which they harmonized.  Free thinking individuals whose complexity of thought and fairness of values were written and sent to all Martians, everywhere, over and over and over again.  Ideas were transmitted in short, succinct wording that made everyone laugh, cry, and thank the higher power for the many gifts that they both gave and received.  The ability to purchase and wear anything and everything from a thousand different shops located close to one another allowed Martians the opportunity to fulfill every wish and dream that their peers could come up with.  Tremendous opportunities to rate each others successes was only surpassed by their ability to use passion, artistry and determination to change their world forever.  Each generation was braver than the last, more intelligent, more independent, healthier, less troubled, and helped tremendously by little pills that could fix any problem they may be having. In short, Martians were everything that we are not.  They constantly enjoyed love and intercourse without fear or hesitation.  They ate without Earth’s gravity or gene pool to make them fat, and they never had anyone to blame for their problems, because there were no problems.  

After reading this, you may be asking yourself what keeps us on the “blue planet” from enjoying the fruits of our fair-skinned, galaxial progenitors?  What could Martians do that we can’t do right now?  The answer is primarily a biological one: Martians were able to consume their own feces.

For answers about how this sedimental fact played into Martianian culture, Insecurity Ragazine interviewed several social scientists from the Martian Exploratory Commission, previously a major division of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration before government cut backs in space exploration were implemented.  Hypotheses varied upon how the Martian’s use of foul matter mirrored our own, but the one clear cut conclusion arose out of the primordial dung:  “Martian droppings were far superior to our own.”

At first you might be taken aback by the veracity of these claims, until we examine how Martian manure was used.  Early in their development, Martians were able to excrete a much larger amount of sludge than the average human.  It wasn’t until Martian culture recognized the importance of this green matter and started to use it as currency.  Martian historians point to this as the Ordurous Aeon, or the golden age of Martian culture.  Once Martian waste matter was turned into cold hard cash, social mores and inhibitions were removed from the society.  Martians learned that their passion, artistry and desire to pursue the very best that life had to offer was only surpassed by their ability to purchase anything they wanted.  In fact, the more excreta they produced, the more things they could buy, and the happier they became.  Suddenly, time that had been spent thinking and planning for their waste management, was turned into free time where they could talk to one another and figure out what was wrong with themselves and fix it. The Martian’s ability to turn their crap into currency was the most outstanding turnarounds of interplanetary annals.

The final question that we asked from the experts, was “where did this utopian society go?”  The answer is not completely clear, but finds its roots within the biological realm again.  Most historiographers agree in principal that it was the Martians inability to continue producing such large amounts of silty cash that lead to their downfall.  Although most Martian documentation is long gone, anthropologists are able to determine that the production of feces fell from a record high of 80lbs per Martian unit, to a mere 1.6lbs, and happened over a period of only five Earth years.  Now Martians were not only egesta poor, they were now unable to produce enough feces to live on.  For several decades, the Martians searched in vain to find a sustainable food source that could also give them the passion, artistry and desire to live.  In short, it was the Martian’s need to consume their own excrement that lead to their demise. 

What lessons can be learned from these advanced peoples from the heavens?  Not any that we can see.  Failed interplanetary societies are a thing of the past and probably shouldn’t be examined too closely for clues relating to our own existence.  If you do look towards Mars, remember to examine your own failings before judging theirs.  It’s as one scientist put it best, “Perhaps if the Martians had produced more shit and taken better care of it, they would still be around today.”

REBOUND GIRL- THE SEXIVERSARY

Dear Rebound Girl,

I’ve started dating this girl that always brushes her teeth before we kiss, even if we are at a bar. She’s a really good kisser but it’s kinda weird. I’m afraid to ask my friends for advice on this one, girls or guys. How do I bring up this excessive hygiene and lack of spontaneity?

-       Tim

Dear Minty Fresh,

There are always things that are hard to bring up with friends. I have to pick and choose who I kiss-and-tell to, whom I cry a river to, and who I dance with in my kitchen. There are some friends who fall into all three categories, and there are a select few that I also share a bed with.  There was only one, however, that I shared a sexiversary with for years.

Yes, years.  

Now dear readers, there are no steadfast rules on how you celebrate a sexiversary, but he and I had agreed on the three S’s. There must be an element of spontaneity, there must be surprise… and there must be sex, a lot of it. One sexiversary involved catapults. No, not cats and rubber bands, I’m talking actual catapults. It wasn’t fifty shades of S&M, but I’ll let you use your imagination. So while there is planning involved with a sexiversary, it can be more of a jumping off point, (that time, literally). Soon after, we enjoyed each other off the beaten path…

A note about a true sexiversary for those new to the term. Unlike an anniversary, it’s not an annual event. He and I would summon a sexiversary when we were both simultaneously rebounding hardcore, and in my case, often from other rebounds. Now, we didn’t just summon a sexiversary to have an excuse to have sex with each other, nor did we lie about our pain. Instead we’d kiss-and-tell in great detail. We’d share proof that the latest “end of the affair” had been so devastating that a more extreme recovery was called for. Unfortunately dear readers, there came a time when I needed a rebound from rebounding on him.

What happened, you inquire?

Quite simply, he lied, quite elaborately. There was a reason why we never truly dated. Actually, there were several reasons. He didn’t have a track record for betrayal so this left me surprised and more vulnerable than usual because, sigh…I had let my guard down with him. I had trusted him.

I wouldn’t learn about his deception until much later, (thanks to google alerts), so my rebound from him was a delayed event, and thus much crueler with the revelation. No, he wasn’t rebounding during what would be our final sexiversary, rather, he was in love. In fact, it seems he had finally met his soul mate. His girlfriend, then fiancé, now wife, had helped come up with the idea. Also in on the plan were his friends, her friends, her boss, co-workers, two brothers, sister, dear old dad, and yes, even her Auntie Joan, (not her mother, may she rest in peace.)  As part of the charade, he shared with me their voicemails, emails, and posted messages, verifying the demise of said relationship. Why did they do this? Because I was to be his bachelor party, his last hurrah. Granted, I’ve been others’ final passionate foray before the big day, but this took the cake, the cherry pie, the whole damn bakery. Now the events of that sexy sexiversary involving a Swedish Chef and a Roman bath leave a bitter taste in my mouth.  As a souvenir, he didn’t take a pair of panties, which is a common, yet prized trophy, he took my toothbrush.

My toothbrush.

Are my bristles still caressing his enamel, or worse, his wife’s pearly whites?  Perhaps they use it to clean Junior’s crayons off the wall.

I’m not always honest, but I do advocate honesty. Is honesty always the best policy, hell no. But honestly, MF, if I was that girl, (and maybe I am), who is brushing her teeth before my lips and tongue touch yours, there’s a good chance that I could be coming off of a particularly poor rebound. My advice to you is to kindly tell me not to worry so much and prove that you want to taste the real me.

Until we meet again,

RBG

BEAUTY TRIALS

by Crystal St. Gibbons

When my good friend sent me a petition asking corporations to stop testing cosmetics on innocent, furry little animals, I broke down and signed right away. Why should animals have all the fun?

I quickly diverted my usual craigslist browsing of “missed connection haikus” (You: tall, gaunt, somber / reading Polish newspaper / taste my pierogi?) to find any trials I could get my hands on. With a few little white lies about my age, weight, and medical history my schedule filled up quicker than Kate Upton’s prison fan club!

Now, one year later, I’m sexier, more confident, and technically a government superfund site. The future of beauty is now! And I’ll tell you where we’re headed.

I began my trials with a new miracle drug that promised quick growing, thick, long eyelashes. Guaranteed to be better than any other drug on the market. Lupexiator™ worked miracles on my thinning lashes, as well as my previously unseen knuckle hair. The dates I went on during those two weeks had men staring deeply through the thick veils of my batting lashes, mostly to make sure I actually had eyes! The daily trimmings were a bit of a chore and also made incredibly painful by the nerve endings now growing within, but like the biggest nerds in high school, Lupexiator™ did its job better than needed.

Next was my foray into fragrances. Incorporating pheromones into perfumes and lotions is nothing new, but it’s difficult to distinguish the real charms from the snake oils. Husk™ by (REDACTED) promises both! As was explained to me by a suspiciously handsome doctor, snake pheromones come closest to those excreted by humans. If it weren’t for their fangs, venom, and general reptilian appearance, our attraction could easily cross species. No wonder Eve couldn’t resist that apple! Despite the solid scientific research behind it, and my multi-layered applications, the product failed to bring more men to my side of the bar. Though you could say I was quite the “charmer” at the reptile show for my nephew’s bar mitzvah. Sssssshalom! (Editor’s note: the writer did suffer multiple bites from the snakes in that show. The necessary anti-venoms compounded with the pharmaceuticals have caused large pockets of memory loss.)

And of course what marathon of pharmaceutical, topical, and deep physical cosmetic trials would be complete without implants! The wonderful facilities at (REDACTED) tucked away in the (REDACTED) Hills of Southern (REDACTED) headed by the amazing Dr. (REDACTED) have brought new life to my hips! I went from a flat ruler with no bumps for my junk, to a curvy hourglass filled with sand! And the sand that fills my voluptuous sides may feel crunchy and awkward at first, but like sandcastles, it only takes a little water to shape my shapely figure. After four months of physical therapy, I not only learned to walk again, I learned to strut! All in all, I give (REDACTED) four (REDACTED) out of (REDACTED) (REDACTED).

Watch out for these products and more at your local beauty shops, pharmacies, and black market alleyways. Just remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the beholder is usually a shallow, sex-driven (REDACTED).

ASSEMBLY REQUIRED

by Virginia Baker

So I will never admit this to him, but the reason I chose my man was because he likes to assemble furniture. As far as he’s concerned, I’m with him for his talents in the bedroom, which unfortunately do not include picking up his clothes and putting them in the hamper. As for turn-ons, what really gave me the vapors was that he would assemble furniture all by himself. It’s awesome. It’s three hours of me-time, and all it costs is a kiss and assurances that he is my man!

Unfortunately, that was when we were dating, and as we all know, when you’re married, things change. You get comfortable with each other. Where as he used to assemble an entire bedroom set by himself, now he needs a helper for even the smallest things . Everyone can tell you how to jump-start your sex-life or rekindle communication, but no knows how to get out of building furniture with your husband.  Now before I give you the secret- avoid these traps!

TRAP ONE:

Do Not Offer to Read The Instructions- 9 out of 10 times you will still be assembling anyway. - ex. The six drawers of the dresser or a tiny door to the entertainment unit.

TRAP TWO:

Avoid Being The Extra Pair of Eyes- This primarily pertains to leveling the wall art or shelving. It might seem like an easy out, but odds are that he’ll need the most help to retrieve the hammer while he balances the nail, the wire, the frame, and the tape measure like a circus performer.

TRAP THREE:

Do Not Suggest Hiring a Handyman-  A word to the wise, I don’t care how much you think your man is out of his league when it comes to putting up that floating plasma TV arm thing, save the handyman card for when repairs are needed, and water is involved. Trust me, holes in walls can be fixed with toothpaste; water damage is forever.

TRAP FOUR:

Avoid Multi-Tasking- Don’t suggest that he assemble the furniture while you do the dishes, this will only work the first time. He will wise up to your “household chores excuse” as a way of getting out of helping, and will counter with the “that can wait argument”, which is true since the dishes haven’t been washed since the last time the dishwasher worked. (Note to self: call the handyman).

THE SOLUTION:

Listen up! Here is the fool-proof way to get back the man you fell in love with!  

Step one- Suggest that “We” put together the piece of furniture. After all, you have the power if it’s your idea.

Step Two- After you help open the boxes, grab the instructions and sell  him on the fact that you’re serious about your role in this operation.

Step Three- Now this is where the magic happens.  Right before you start setting up, text or email your sister, your best friend- anyone who you gab with for hours- and ask them to call you in ten minutes. By that time you should have him completely committed to opening the boxes and laying out the instructions.

Step Four- Once they call- motion to your husband that you’ll be back shortly.

It’s as simple as that- go into another room, chat away, or not- have some me-time for as long as it takes him to assemble the furniture. By the time he wises up, he’ll be determined to finish it on his own…just like the old days.