…I hate to tell her this, but two of her kids have seen the Ring video.
Liz and Laura are indeed on Twitter, at @lizlaura in case you’re not already following us, and we’ve put a whole lot of nonsense out into the abyss in the last couple of years. But these are a few of the glimmering tidbits of quasi-humor (or even, dare I say it, insight) that we were able to salvage from the rubble.
20. Movies that glorify boring professions: Sister Act (nunnery), Toys (toy factory), Beverly Hills Cop (being a Beverly Hills cop).
19. There was a news promo that said “Drink up! The beverage that relieves stress.” Uhh…beer?
18. Idea for a double feature movie night: Stephen King’s “Thinner” and “The Santa Clause.” Unexplainable weight change=terrifying or hilarious?
17. Michael Chiarello from Food Network and the Moment of Luxury guy from PBS should be a couple and have a fabulous home together.
16. It’s sad to see people partying like douches at Senor Frog’s in Mexico on NYC Prep, because I’ve done the same damn thing.
15. If people are going to complain every time a youthful looking model gets partially nude, the modeling industry is doomed!
14. Only pussies collect unemployment.
13. They should rename the TV show “Hitched or Ditched” to “Humped or Dumped.”
12. Ads for life insurance like to show beaches.
11. How did the disney monorail have a fatal accident? It goes 35 miles an hour and it’s on a goddamn rail.
10. I’d like to see Dancing with the Starfish.
9. Word that sounds like the opposite of what it means: spendthrift.
8. Don’t you hate when you read “Animal Collective” and for a second it looks like “animal crackers,” which are delicious?
7. Who else thinks it’s about time Sting started using his real name? Gordon Sumner: it’s not that bad.
6. Why is it British people say “sport” where we would say “sports,” but say “maths” instead of “math”?
5. The art of note passing is really lost after high school. Why don’t people pass notes in offices more? Maybe they do and I’m just unpopular.
4. Does a pimp share his business secrets on a need-to-ho basis?
3. I hope moon water makes you turn into a zombie. Then when the first moon resort is built, everyone will turn into moon zombies.
2. It’s not cheating if it’s molestation
1. Do you think “Twitter” will ever get into the dictionary? That would be a sad day indeed.
With autumn right around the corner, we here at Liz and Laura headquarters want to do our part to prepare our nation’s youth for the exciting, stimulating (heh) world of higher education. In this installment, we will assess the multitude of options available to fresh-faced youngsters as they embark upon their journeys toward middle-class wage slavery. Right now, you too, reader, may be asking yourself if you should enroll at a 2-year college or battle your way to a doctorate. Before you make your decision, find out what your potential educational pedigree will say about you with the help of our handy guide!
Community College – This category applies to schools that offer two-year associate’s degree programs and certifications, and many of them advertise on subways and bus stops. We like to call these the Bullshit Schools. They’re fine if you want to get a quick certificate to advance your career, or if you want to brush up on your French skills, but some of them enlist sketchy practices to make sure that you spend a ton of money while gaining little benefit. Many jobs say they’d prefer that their employees learn on the job than go to the kind of training programs that are advertised on TV, such as cooking schools. And if you plan on transferring your credits to a regular college, don’t get your hopes up. That said, if you tell somebody that you went to community college, their reaction is likely to include politeness, an understanding nod, and quiet pity.
High School Diploma/G.E.D. – This is pretty much the bottom of the barrel, aside from high school dropout. More enlightened types may be impressed that you were too cool for college, but jobs might not be so enthused. And there’s a lot about the college years that doesn’t involve homework or passing tests, like keg parties, casual sex, drug experimentation, meeting new friends, and did we mention the casual sex? You’ll be left out of discussions about that vital part of life forever. Hope you enjoy skipping straight to working!
Bachelor’s Degree – A classic four-year college experience is the cornerstone of American young adulthood. Liz and Laura fall into this category, which means that it is clearly the best choice. From the day you tack up your Che Guevara poster in your freshman dorm to the day you eat a handful of mushrooms and then try to look normal in your graduation pictures, you’ll find the university experience to be a rich and rewarding one. Your main decision will be between a state school and a private university, which poses the question: Would you rather be date raped at a post-game frat party or a naked art rave? No matter what school you choose, unfortunate side effects of the college experience may include cafeteria-induced weight gain and an inflated opinion of Albert Camus. Unless you plan on being an academic (someone who loves school so much they never leave), you’ve reached the end of the game. Congratulations! Spin the wheel and find out what crappy office job you’ll be stuck with for the rest of your adult life.
Graduate School – This is what happens when fear of the unknown outweighs the natural aversion to school. Whether it’s not wanting to have to get a job (something we relate to) or wanting to be able to make a ton of money once that job is gotten, grad students will come up with any excuse to justify their huge student loans and years of extra work. Many of them take jobs in their school departments, ensuring that they have little to no exposure to a world beyond those hallowed halls. You can recognize grad students by their large cups of coffee, preppy vintage attire and the shitty apartments they are forced to rent while they earn their unnecessary degrees. As obnoxious as those who go straight from college to grad school are, they’re not as bad as people who go back to grad school years later in a desperate act that seems designed to hit the reset button on an unsuccessful life. Two years and 50 grand of debt later, you have to wonder if it will still seem like such a good idea.
Ph.D. – If you’ve already earned your Masters, and you’re not quite ready to leave the cozy nest of academia, have no fear! You can always earn the impressive-sounding Ph.D., which allows you to add “Dr.” to all of your letters, emails, Facebook posts, and birthday cakes. These pompous professors are recognizable by their annoyingly liberal views, interest in boring things like local politics and nature, fondness of NPR, and their tendency to have affairs with their students. On the plus side, they usually have cool apartments with lots of books, but they don’t get to spend much time at home because they’re always working on a proposal or flying to some dumb conference in another country.
Professional Title (M.D., Esq.) – If you don’t want to spend the rest of your life grading horrible essays by college freshmen, perhaps you should go the route of obtaining a professional title like M.D. or pass the bar and become a lawyer. The problem with this? Yet more school and interning and on-the-job training is usually involved, and once you get your job you won’t have very much free time. But once you start making way more than anyone you know, you’ll be the most popular person in your group. It’s also good for getting dates — all you have to do is tell someone you’re a doctor and they’ll pretty much want to sleep with you there and then. You can recognize these professional types by their expensive taste, chain smoking, and sad vacant looking apartments that remind you of American Psycho. You may not want to be them, but they’re good to have around in case you need to borrow some money or want to go out for a fancy meal. Oh yeah or if you need an operation or want to sue someone.
We hope that our guide has given you the information you need to make an educated decision about your college plans. Remember, it’s not about what school you go to, it’s about how much you’ll be able to impress people at parties, right?
I made another one of those arty collage books…hope you like it! This is an unofficial followup to my previous piece, “Rain, Snow, Hail, Sleet,” in case you didn’t read that one yet.
Click on each image to zoom in.
The foamy lip of a newly opened tall boy…the expiration date on a box of cold medicine…the salt and pepper of an overflowing hotel ashtray…the yellow warning signs around the sinkhole: these are the things you look at when you are fighting/talking with her that day. None of it registers exactly, sort of like being tired and trying to read a magazine paragraph over and over.
“Look at the seagull,” she says, pointing. It has a crab in its beak. The crab is twitching in vain, although maybe if got the seagull’s throat it wouldn’t be in vain. How often do crabs win in this game?
The gull flies up high and then drops the poor crab on a rocky area so that it will break apart and be easier to eat. You say it’s sad, but she says it’s no different than when you bash crabs with mallets in seafood restaurants, and you agree.
As members of the, er, Millennium generation? Gen Y? I’m not sure what Liz and I are, but surely we are members of some generation. And if you’re in your late 20s and lived in suburban America during your childhood, you know that ours was a very special time, a transitional time. Here are some random memories that you might relate to.
You might be the same age as Liz and Laura if…
-You owned at least one pair of JNCO jeans.
-You used to get a million ‘Free Month of AOL’ CDs in the mail…but you hung on to the first few because CDs were still really cool looking.
-Speaking of AOL, your first experience with the internet was with AOL connected to a slow dial-up modem. It took 20 minutes to check your email and days to download video clips, but dammit, you appreciated those files once you had them.
-You remember when 1-800 numbers were like a company’s website (the closest thing they had, anyway).
-You were around when 90210 and Melrose Place were on the air…both times around.
-You know how to do the Macarena, the Electric Slide, and perhaps the Boot Scootin’ Boogie. You also still remember how to “skank.”
-When you were a kid, long distance calls were expensive enough to get you grounded if you made one without permission.
-You tried to learn how to swing dance in high school and/or late middle school.
-You used to think that burning a music CD was just a faraway dream, like ordering a pizza online (remember when Sandra Bullock did it in The Net? That was essentially sci-fi at the time).
–Jurassic Park‘s CGI effects totally blew your mind.
-You went to a spin art booth at the mall and made a “cool” piece of art either on a piece of paper (if you were cheap) or on a t-shirt with your name in the middle. And if you did get that t-shirt, boy, you wore it with pride.
-You knew how to do The Urkel, The Bartman, and any number of other funny dances based on TV characters (back when TV shows had no shame about breaking into a musical number, and when everything had to have a corresponding “Do the _____” dance).
-The only designer label jeans you can remember hearing about in your childhood were Guess jeans, and your parents thought they were a waste of money and that good, sensible people didn’t wear labels.
-You rushed home from school to watch Square One TV, 3-2-1 Contact, and Carmen Sandiego.
-You owned a pager.
-You watched “Captain EO” at Disneyland or Disney World, and on a related note, didn’t think that Michael Jackson was odd at all.
-You dressed up as Madonna or Cyndi Lauper for Halloween at least once.
-Your parents’ first couple of cars didn’t have air conditioning, and when they did get a car with AC, they rarely ran it on full blast, treating it like a thermostat.
-You remember when The Simpsons first aired, and the backlash from angry parents. In fact, your parents probably wouldn’t let you watch it at first.
-You owned multiple slap bracelets, at least one Swatch, and scrunchies in every color.
-Leggings, leg warmers, bodysuits, jellies, skorts, stirrup pants, Hypercolor, oversized t-shirts with those little ring things…I could go on. But you know you wore these things.
-You owned Vanilla Ice’s “To the Extreme” and wore out the cassette liner’s spines memorizing the lyrics.
-You crimped your hair.
-You had an extensive collection of troll dolls.
-You waited until the end of that one Blossom episode to watch the premier of Joey Lawrence’s music video.
-Instead of YouTube, you depended on America’s Funniest Home Videos for your videos of cats falling off things.
Ah, glorious Northampton, home to Smith College, these things called “trees” that turned out to be quite lovely, and our dear high school friend and his boyfriend who invited us for the weekend. After several conversations that went something like this…
“We’re going to Northampton this weekend.”
“Oh, you’re going to the Hamptons? Fabulous!”
“No, not THE Hamptons. Northampton, Massachusetts.”
…we traveled to our destination and took in the town with a merry stroll.
With plenty of small-town charm and historic-looking homes, it was easy to see why our pals (Chris and Andrew) chose to leave the confines of Manhattan for the verdant scenery and friendly faces of Northampton.
Our delightful hosts had arranged an exotic Ethiopian feast for our visit, and we assisted in the preparations with zeal.
When they asked us to bring African outfits, we only half took them seriously, so we were the fools when our hosts came out in full Ethiopian regalia. Themed dinner parties are so awesome it’s not even funny, and we always like to bring our full game when it’s called for, so this was our bad. However, once the food was served, our cares melted away like so much clarified butter.
Delicious! From the injera to the lentil stew, it was a meal to remember. Stuffed and content, we pondered what to do with the rest of our evening. Luckily, a local landmark which we have previously visited called to us.
Indeed, Ye Ol’ Watering Hole and Beer Can Museum holds a certain charm that can be matched by no other establishment. With an overwhelming classiness, beer cans of old line the walls and shelves as relics to one of our country’s most beloved pastimes. Who knew that Schlitz could be purchased in so many different sizes and varieties?
We somehow managed to avert out eyes from the magnificent exhibit in order to play a few rounds of pool and ogle the local studs (just kidding, it was mostly middle-aged barflies). So far, this town was treatin’ us pretty alright.
With her smooth pool sharking skills, Liz was soon challenging the locals while Laura took bets. Except by locals we mean the friends we were staying with. And by bets we mean beers purchased by Liz.
But our friends had mentioned another bar, and the lure of variety soon proved too strong. Onward! we said.
You might ask “What could possibly be more entertaining than used beer receptacles on display?” Well friends, how about an extremely poor rendition of 90’s classic “End of the Road?”
Yes, it was Karaoke Dance night at the World War II Club…one karaoke song, five minutes of dance party, repeated. Strange but fun! But, as always seems to happen in karaoke, what seemed like a simple pop song was actually quite hard to sing. The DJ had to bail us out with the melody of this Boyz II Men classic a few times, which was kind of embarrassing. We were planning to humiliate ourselves further with a fine Alicia Keys song, but before we had a chance, karaoke night ended.
As we walked home, high on the brief thrill of our mediocre performance, we thanked Northampton for showing us such a good time, and took the opportunity to strut down the alleyways like a cool West Side Story street gang.
On our last day, we took a stroll around our pals’ neighborhood. They alerted us to the fact that Calvin Coolidge’s house was but a short jaunt away, so we made that our destination.
The rain tried to stop us, but we powered on, and finally we reached our glorious goal. It was a pretty awesome sight, what with Laura’s love of former presidents and Liz’s love of looking at historical shit.
Well, alas, it was time to say goodbye to the lush fields of rural Massachusetts, and hello to the mean streets of New York City. A train ride filled with Samuel Adams (it’s legal to drink on the Metro North!) and popsicles was in order.
So that was our weekend in the country. Until next time, dear readers!