Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bloody Mary time

Dear 6 readers, I am not abandoning you. Things are very hectic right now and my shoulders seem to be solidly clamped in a tense shrug. I haven't read The [Goddamn] Rules in a week and I am positively remiss in that I have not posted my tribute to Elizabeth Taylor. Guys, she always wore necklaces. Obvs, I loved her.

But for now, as my shoulders creep terrifyingly close to my ears for the millionth time in an hour, my thoughts turn to booze. You may or may not know that I am a HUGE fan of the bloody mary. I love tomato juice so so so much, so adding exciting things like limes and celery and booze is just like the greatest thing I could imagine. You can have your mimosas! Wait, I like mimosas, too...

Anywhoozle, here's a great little article on the science of bloody marys. It's genius. After you read that come back for my recipe.

WELCOME BACK! Here's my bloody mary recipe, which may or may not totally fly in the face of the above article. It's kind of choose your own adventure.

First you have to decide what kind of a booze mood you are in. Do you want a bloody mary (vodka), bloody margaret (gin), or bloody maria (tequila)?

Get a glass. Put some ice in it. Put some booze over the ice. I do like 1 - 1.5 oz of booze, but feel free to make it to taste. Lush.

Okay, here's where it gets crazy. I hate swizzle sticks and their ilk, namely those stupid little cocktail straws. I like to never have to mix everything up. So I take the glass with booze and rocks and then add my ingredients:

* A couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce (obvs if you are vegetarian, skip it)
* A shake of pepper
* A dab of horseradish
* Squeeze a quarter of a lime in there. Just a small one is fine.

And then we get back into choose your own adventure:

Do you want it spicy? Add a shake or two of Tobasco.
Do you want it awesome and spicy? Add a little bit of Sriracha instead.
Do you want it a little bit spicy and smokey? Add a couple of shakes of chipotle sauce.

I cannot overestimate how awesome chipotle sauce is in a bloody mary. You'll never not have it in your cupboard again.

Okay, now it is time to shake the living daylights out of the bottle of tomato juice and pour it on top to fill the glass ALMOST all the way. Clamato is fine. Don't use V8. Trust me.

Then! Top with another squeeze of lime and a couple of shakes of lemon pepper. Garnish with whatever you like. I am a celery believer (better than a swizzle stick), but I know some people put olives or pickled green beens in their drinks. Whatever you want, really.

Then you can just drink up! For me, it takes about half as long for me to drink the thing as it takes to make but it is SO worth it. Enjoy!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jogging in Lipstick: Rules 11-15

Oh we're getting into the good stuff now. And by good, I mean infuriating. As usual, all block quoted text belongs to Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, whose minds are very interesting. Also, before we start, I would like to give a shout-out to my mom who is about to read some very candid jokes and indignant rants about sex, written by her eldest daughter. Love you Mom! And love you too Dad, if you're reading over Mom's shoulder, which you totally do all the time!

Rule 11:
Always End the Date First

Even if you're having a great time, end the date first (see Rule title) so you can leave him wanting more of you, "not less."

BS Meter:
Wait- what? If you're having a great time, end the date so he'll ask you out again. On the surface that seems okay, except that it seems that you are supposed to abruptly announce that you've had a wonderful time but have a busy day tomorrow, carefully being sure not to say what it is that you'll be so busy doing. For someone with MY social "graces" this is a recipe for disaster.

Points of Interest:
Not ending the date is bad enough. What's worse, however is prolonging the date once it should have been over. Randy felt that she was "losing" Bob at the end of their second date [...] so she suggested that they go dancing. Bob didn't want to hurt her feelings so he said okay, then he never called again. Of course, Randy should have ended the date right after the movie, but she thought she could entice Bob with her great disco dancing.

Uh, Bob? Bullet dodged, buddy. Bullet dodged.

Meg's Alternate Rule:
The all day date can be a lot of fun, so don't discount it. If you find that all of your dates are all day dates, though, you are not dating, you are forming a co-dependency. Keep an eye on it.

Rule 12:
Stop Dating Him if He Doesn't Buy You a Romantic Gift for Your Birthday or Valentine's Day

If you don't get jewelry, flowers, poetry, or other romantic gifts on your bday or Vday, that dude is not going to give you "the most important gift of all: an engagement ring." If he buys you something thoughtful or expensive for those two "holidays" but it's not jewelry or flowers, it's over. It's fine to get practical gifts any other time of the year. Also, if he doesn't sign a card "Love, name" then he doesn't love you.

BS Meter:
HOLY. LORD. ABOVE. I wish you guys could see my face. (not taking a picture, it's really an ugly face I'm making.) I am DYING. I wish this book was like Tom Riddle's diary so I could jump into it and slap these women silly. Let me put it to you this way: the two most romantic gifts I have ever received are (in order of receipt) Rage Against The Machine's "Evil Empire" and a trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Seriously romantic and thoughtful, both of them. AH! But there's the rub, according to The Rules. I should have known that those men would not marry me, because they gave me thoughtful gifts that I really, really wanted instead of going to Jared.

Points of Interest:
Sooo many good quotes.

Furthermore, while a romantic gift is a must for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and anniversaries, a man who is crazy about you will give you all kinds of things all the time.

Like chlamydia! *rimshot*

For example, when Patty expressed an interest in biking, her boyfriend Mike bought her a fancy helmet. If he didn’t love her, he would have given her the helmet on her birthday, but being in love, be [sic - HA! found a typo, Rules!] gave her a necklace and flowers on her birthday and the helmet to celebrate their six month anniversary.

Whoa whoa whoa, The Rules. You just said above that romantic gifts are a MUST for anniversaries. So is the helmet now romantic? I AM SO CONFUSED! HOW DO I PROCEED!?

Also, isn’t this a little... what’s the word I’m looking for?

This is not a rule for gold diggers; it’s just that when a man wants to marry you, he usually gives you jewelry.

Thanks for clearing that up, ladies.

Meg's Alternate Rule:
A thoughtful gift is totally romantic. Be gracious and not greedy. And besides, a crappy gift is a crappy gift and you’ll know when you’ve got one, even if he went to Jared. (I’m looking at you, Jane Seymour open hearts collection!)

Rule 13:
Don’t See Him More than Once or Twice a Week

You can see him once a week for the first month you date, twice or three times a week for the second month you date, three or four times a week for the third month you date. Oh, and until you get engaged? Not more than 5 times a week. Don’t let him bully you into “extra” dates and certainly don’t listen to your own desires about seeing him. That’s not how you get married.

BS Meter:
I think the below sentence alone puts the BS Meter pretty high.

Men must be conditioned to feel that if they want to see you seven days a week they have to marry you. And until that blessed proposal occurs, you must practice saying no to extra dates even though you’re dying to spend more time with him and even though you’ve mentally said to yourself, “This is The One.”

Blessed proposal!

Points of Interest:
Men like sports and games - football, tennis, blackjack, and poker- because they love a challenge. So be a challenge! whore!

Meg's Alternate Rule:
While moderation is always key (says the girl sitting next to and eating a large bag of pretzel nuggets), I don’t know that you have to be so strict as to say only once a week for the first month.

Rule 14:
No More than Casual Kissing on the First Date

Everyone I know flagrantly violates this Rule.

BS Meter:
You know what? These girls had me on their side briefly with this quote.
If a man pressures you, then he’s not someone you want to date.

True! Ah, but then...
Keep telling yourself that other women have spoiled men by sleeping with them on the first date, but you’re a Rules girl and you take your time.

Those other women happen to be my friends, bitches. You and your Rules have fun; we’re going to the Big Fat Whores Bar.

Points of Interest:
We know this is not an easy Rule to follow, particularly when you’re out with someone really cute and he’s driving fast in his sports car and kissing you at every red light.

They wrote this book while watching Corey Haim/Corey Feldman movies, didn’t they? RIP, Haim.

Meg's Alternate Rule:
Part 1: Do not ever let anyone pressure you into doing something you do not want to do. If you find yourself in a dangerous situation, do anything you can to get out of it.
Part 2: Do not ever pressure anyone into doing something they do not want to do. Don’t sexually harass or assault people.

Rule 15:
Don’t Rush into Sex and Other Rules for Intimacy

I am going to throw this book out the window. It is against almost everything I believe as a nascent sex educator and sex-positive feminist. Okay, ready? Obvs, don’t rush the sex (couple of months seems to be the baseline reading, unless you at 18 and a virgin and then they just say wait for a “committed relationship.” Whatever that means.) and try to keep it cool, even if you like sex (which is presented like an anomaly). Don’t ask for what you want in bed (at first, they say, but it reads like EVER), don’t do kinky stuff, don’t get clingy, don’t be a tease (you have to tell him that you’re waiting for 2 months apparently), and ... if you’re more into sex than he is but you don’t want anyone to start feeling insecure never initiate sex until you are married.

BS Meter:
The one thing that is not complete BS in here is “wear a condom.” You guys know I’m all for that. Other than that, this chapter is MAKING MY BRAIN LEAK OUT OF MY EARS.

Points of Interest:
Where to even start? On talking about your sexual needs with your sexual partner:
You have to trust that if you relax and let him explore your body like unchartered territory you will have fun and be satisfied.

This is how we get the jackhammer! Okay, how about moving on to kinks:
Don’t bring anything - red lightbulbs, scented candles, or X-rated videos- to enhance your sexual experience. If you have to use these things to get him excited, something’s wrong. He should be excited about just sleeping with you.


Meg's Alternate Rule:
There is nothing wrong with asking for what you want in bed, as long as you’re able to hear your partner’s needs as well without feeling criticized. It’s important to phrase your requests in a way that doesn’t sound like “your penis is small,” because that’s just kind of rude and dismissive and sex should always be about open communication. Unless, that is, you have a dom-sub relationship where you just get to demand things. In that case, just shout out what you want, Mistress.

I know, I know

I realize y'all are like this with me right now:

but between my day career and my theatre life, I'm like this right now:

But! I am going to have the next Rules post up before I go to bed tonight. I know you're all excited, like this:

or maybe more like this:

and then you'll read it and be like:

and then I'll be like:

Friday, March 18, 2011

omg so tired zzzzzzz

You guys. I was definitely going to do a post about sex today cause, you know, I try to do that once a week. But it's been absolutely CRAY-CRAY today. So all I can do for you is give you this E. L. Doctorow quote from Billy Bathgate that is just so lovely and wish you a good weekend.

You can't remember sex. You can remember the fact of it, and recall the setting, and even the details, but the sex of the sex cannot be remembered, the substantive truth of it, it is by nature self-erasing, you can remember its anatomy and be left with a judgment as to the degree of your liking of it, but whatever it is as a splurge of being, as a loss, as a charge of the conviction of love stopping your heart like your execution, there is no memory of it in the brain, only the deduction that it happened and that time passed, leaving you with a silhouette that you want to fill in again.

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A plug for someone else's blog

You guys! It's FUG MADNESS time! The hilarious girls over at Go Fug Yourself do this every year. Think March Madness but instead of really good basketball teams, it's really bad celebrity fashion head to head until only one fug can reign supreme.

You can get you bracket right here. There are four conferences: Cher, Madonna, Charo, and Bjork. You, sadly, already missed the play in game (Madonna bested Cher in a battle of the queens of Fug Madness) but there's still time to vote in the first round - WHICH FEATURES TILDA SWINTON VS. JUSTIN BIEBER. It's seriously amazing.

Go Fug Yourself is one of those magical blogs that just makes me laugh and laugh. I'm sure there are hundreds, nay, thousands of people who read their site and feel like the Fug Girls would be their best friends. I am one of those thousands. They love Diet Coke just as much as I do, love to watch cheesy tv and movies, and coined the phrase "look into pants." Love. Them.

I hope you enjoy Fug Madness. Oh! And if you are looking to celebrate St. Patrick's Day tonight, may I suggest hitting up a sushi joint for sake and a couple of rolls? There won't be a soul in there and the staff will be happy to see a warm body. Also, idiots who only drink on this day and New Year's Eve won't barf on your shoes. Be safe and don't let the idiots drag you down!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Citrus Avocado Salad, for the people

My dear 6 readers (I've been told to up my numbers by a couple of you), hello. Today I have a stolen recipe for you that will make your life very happy (if you like the ingredients). I first had this salad years ago at the wonderful and amazing Dmitri's.

Sidebar: I hate linking to Yelp, but Dmitri's doesn't have a website that I can find. There are two locations, one in Queen Village and one in Rittenhouse. I prefer the Queen Village BYO location but Rittenhouse has booze and is closer to the theatre. All in all, both are awesome.

Ingredients you need:
Lettuce (I like to use Butter Lettuce) (you might call that Bibb/Boston Lettuce)
Citrus you like to eat

Step one: We could have lots of fun.

Non-NKOTB step one: Slice and toast your almonds. Careful with the toasting. This always ends in black almonds for me. Luckily, I like those.

Step two: There's so much we can do!

Non-NKOTB step two: Clean and rip your lettuce.

Step three: It's just you and me.

Non-NKOTB step three: Peel your oranges, grapefruit, whatever you like and separate into sections.

Step four: I can give you more.

Non-NKOTB step four: Peel and slice your avocado.

Step five: Don't you know that the time is riiiiiiiight! Ungh!

Non-NKOTB step five: Put it all together, lettuce on the bottom, citrus slices, avocado and toasted almond slices on top. Drizzle with vinegar. Ungh!

Seriously. It's that easy and it's delicious. The perfect vinegar to use is red wine, but I like it with balsamic as well (I'll be using that tonight). My favorite thing about this salad is that you can customize it to your tastes. Feeling like you might be developing scurvy? More citrus! Feeling like you need to eat all the avocado? MORE AVOCADO! Hate almonds? Screw 'em! They're extraneous!

I hope you enjoy eating this salad and having the bridge of "Step By Step" in your head for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jogging in Lipstick: Rules 6-10

We're back with more Rules! All block quoted text belongs to Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, those saucy minxes.

Rule 6:
Always End the Phone Calls First

When a man calls you, only stay on the phone for 10 minutes. Otherwise, you might make him bored or tired or treat him like a friend.
BS Meter:
This seems pretty silly. It's almost as if they're saying that you shouldn't stay on the phone too long because then might actually get to know you and THAT'S BAD.
Points of Interest:
In fact, the biggest mistake a woman can make when she meets a man she wants to marry is to make him the center of her life. [...] First of alll, he may be overwhelmed by all the attention. Second, he may never propose.

If you have decided you want to marry someone after not looking at them and letting them do all the talking, certainly don't mess it up by having an actual conversation.

Meg's Alternate Rule:
Getting to know someone you like and would like to date is important. You may end up finding out that you don't actually like them and don't actually want to date them.

Rule 7:
Don't Accept a Saturday Night Date After Wednesday

If a man really likes you, he will reserve your time early. Don't be fooled into accepting last minute dates, you whore.
BS Meter:
Yuck. This is a straight-up game. If he calls anytime after Wednesday, wanting to go out on Saturday, you're supposed to say simply "Oh, I'm so sorry, but I've already made plans." You can't play hard to get, the authors tell us, if you accept last minute dates. (Don't be whores, they imply.)
Points of Interest:
We often hear about "spontaneous" women who go out with men on twenty-four hours' notice. We wish them luck. When a man know he can have you five minutes after his last girlfriend gave him the boot, he'll call you because he's lonely or bored, not because he's crazy about you.

Meg's Alternate Rule:
Cultivate your own happiness. This sort of goes hand in hand with the rule about never asking men out. There's an undercurrent of wait around around and let him decide to love you, masked as You Are In Control, Girlfriend! As a person with a very busy schedule, I encourage y'all to fit love in whenever you can.

Rule 8:
Fill Up Your Time Before the Date

Make yourself busy so you won't spend the 4 hours before your date writing your first name and his last name over and over on the back of your notebook.
BS Meter:
Duh. Being busy is one of the best ways to not freak out about a date.
Points of Interest:
Recommendations with what to do with your time include going to the gym, getting a makeover (TERRIBLE idea before going out in public), taking a nap, going to the movies (they caution you not to go see a Rom-Com, as this will put romance in your head). Things not to do include talking to your girls about the date, seeing anyone in your family who wants you to get married, or basically doing anything that might make you mention the word marriage during your date.

Meg's Alternate Rule:
Being busy is great, just don't do it to distract yourself from the idea of marriage. Seriously, you probably have a million things to do anyway.

Rule 9:
How to Act on Dates 1, 2, and 3

A drink date lasts 2 hours, a dinner date lasts 3-4 hours, only a light peck on the cheek or lips after the first date, don't feel the need to fill lulls in conversation, he doesn't get to see your apartment until date 3 (date 2 if you are brazen), "dress nice, be nice, good-bye and go home."
BS Meter:
Well, I think it's safe to say I have never practiced The Rules. A light peck on the cheek - hilarious.
Points of Interest:
Don't get into his car for any reason (or you might end up in his trunk!).

If you don't follow The Rules you will probably get murdered.

Meg's Alternate Rule:
Okay, the truth is you have to be careful. There are bad people out there, so be aware and don't do anything you're not comfortable with. On the other hand, just feel it out and see what feels right to you. Also, please please have a conversation that doesn't revolve around him. He wants to know you too.

Rule 10:
How to Act on Dates 4 through Commitment Time

While now you can actually share a few things about yourself, don't get too heavy and don't reveal your faults. That's for after you get married.
BS Meter:
Boy howdy, this is ridiculous. It seems more and more that if you follow The Rules you are setting a trap. You are acting sweet and nice and then the minute he commits: BAM! Neuroses come out and he's like "WTF??? Who is this girl?"
Points of Interest:
Remember you won't have to keep such things to yourself forever. Just for the first few months...until he says he's in love with you. Eventually you will become more yourself. It's the first impressions from the first few months of dating that men remember forever.

Yeah, oooor he's going to think you are some sort of boring automaton and dump you before you can ever reveal that you know all the words to Shoop AND Push It.

Meg's Alternate Rule:
Be yourself. Always and unabashedly. I can tell you from personal experience that love is actually better and more fulfilling when you are totally in it and not wasting time pretending to be something you're not.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Celebrity Stylist Celebrity

This article on Rachel Zoe in the Hollywood Reporter is absolutely fascinating.

I have a longstanding love-hate relationship with Ms. Zoe. First, I'm pretty sure her last name should be pronounced "Zoe-ee" but she goes with "Zoh." I know it's her name and she knows the right way to say it, but it rubs me the wrong way. Then again, I haaaaaate when people say my name "Meegan" so maybe I should back off on this topic.

When RZ first burst into my fashion/pop culture consciousness, it was because I noticed Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan getting suspiciously thin. I did a little research and learned that they had both hired RZ to be their stylist and I immediately blamed her for making them lose all sorts of weight that didn't need to be lost. +1 in the Hate column.

Then she took us from this:

to this:

and furthermore, is responsible for this:


and most recently this:

which is like +12 in the Love column.

Then again, her show is obnoxious. If I hear another person mimic "I die" or "that is bananas" I am going to self-combust. So, +10 in the Hate column.

But if I take a step back, she has a pretty great eye for fashion and she's an Armani and Oscar de la Renta devote, which means she is my fashion opinion sisterfriend. Maybe cousinfriend...I don't agree with everything she likes.

I suppose most of all, I am just jealous that she has one of my dream jobs. I would love for my employment to include mandatory fashion show attendance, finding the perfect dress for these amazing girls on the red carpet, and making sure the hair and the makeup and the accessories are right. As it is not my employment, I will simply continue my favorite off-hours pastime of looking at the fashion week offerings via the magic of the internet and guessing who will show up in what (modified how) for red carpet appearances, and then blogging about it all during my lunch hour. +2500 in the lame Jealousy column.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Oh my god, you guys, I forgot to post today. I'm so sorry. To console yourself, I recommend a viewing of Drunk History. My favorite is Oney Judge. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Shameless plug for sex ed

Maybe you 5 readers don't know this but I co-created a show with my best friend called Chlamydia dell'Arte: A Sex-Ed Burlesque. We've had a great time over the past couple of years developing and performing the show (hopefully coming soon to a place near you), but the best thing of all is the friends we've made through it.

Though the show, we met and befriended the Liberty City Kings, Philly's own drag king and burlesque queen troupe. LiCK is totally fabulous (and they are all genuinely nice), and they have introduced us to the world of girls dressing like boys for fun and profit. They invited Gigi and me to play their calendar release party not too long ago, where we met the women of ScrewSmart, a sex-positive and queer sex education collaborative. Ever since that moment the Chlams and the Screws have been deeply in love.

Tomorrow, our dear Screws are throwing a benefit called Dancing With Myself: A Celebration of Solo Sex. If you live in Philly, I encourage you to attend. It's going to be half-performance, half-sweaty dance party, all totally awesome fun. Gigi and I will be performing our take on the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet and the Kings will be there, and the ScrewSmart girls are going to be doing a bunch as well. Throw into the mix burlesque queen Miss Mary Wanna and your MC for the evening, The Notorious OMG (loooove) and you have got one heck of a party! Seriously, it's like $5-10 bucks for all of this delicious sex-positive, informational entertainment.

If you're not around Philly or have too many plans to celebrate solo sex in the privacy of your own home tomorrow night, may I at least point you toward the website and method to the fierceness of ScrewSmart? They do workshops on everything from navigating open relationships to queer history to how to use strap-ons. These women are wickedly smart, funny, and care deeply about comprehensive sexual education. I cannot say enough about the work they are doing and I feel truly honored to call them my friends.

So! Tomorrow! Performance and a party! Come! Or, you know, just stay home and read the ScrewSmart website. That's pretty awesome too.

Dancing With Myself: A Celebration of Solo Sex
Friday, March 11
9 PM
Danger Danger Gallery
5013 Baltimore Ave.
Philadelphia, PA

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fun with Ramen

My parents gave me the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook as a housewarming gift. You have seen this book - it's red and white checkered, ringbound, and full of amazing things you want to make. I grew up watching my parents pull out their 1970s-era copy over and over, week after week. I am so happy to have this one of my own.

One of my favorite things in the world is reading cookbooks. It makes like seem so orderly. Even the most difficult recipes are just one step after another until completion. And then you get to eat the completion! What could be better?

Flipping through my new cookbook, I noticed a full page of ideas for how to prepare ramen. Recently, I got crazy and started adding mushrooms and garlic to my Maruchen packages, but this is taking it to a new level. They don't even recommend adding the packet of "seasoning" (aka ALL THE SALT). So I did a little grocery shopping and got some basic ingredients. I didn't have the forethought to go to the gigantic Asian grocery store near me, so I just bought a 6-pack of ramen for the noodles.

This morning, before work, I prepared a ramen lunch. One block of noodles cooked in water. I stir-fried some frozen veggie mix that I bought when I realized that by purchasing frozen vegetables I could avoid the grossness and guilt of throwing out rotten peppers that I totally meant to eat.

I threw a little bit of Trader Joe's version of garlic teriyaki sauce in the stir fry and a little bit in the noodle water. Lunch was made in about 5 minutes and it is delicious. Ramen Success!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Jogging in Lipstick: The first 5 Rules

First and foremost, all block quoted text is by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider. They own the material I'm about to analyze in a scholarly way. Ladies, I am sure you are good people who mean well. I am too.

Let's dig in shall we?!

There are a few introductory chapters in The Rules. You see, I bought All The Rules, which melds books I and II and I intend to go through it in order. So: introductory chapters! The authors attribute The Rules to their friend Melanie's grandmother. A couple of chapters later it seems that their friend Melanie is their "friend" Melanie, as they totally girlbash her looks. But I'm getting ahead of myself. You see, because The Rules were passed down by grandmothers they are old fashioned and THAT'S THE WAY IT SHOULD BE. What are The Rules exactly?

The purpose of The Rules is to make Mr. Right obsessed with having you as his by making yourself seem unattainable. In plain language, we're talking about playing hard to get!

Well, I'm already in trouble. They go on to explain that when you follow their system, you won't be suspicious of the time your Mr. Right spends with "attractive" or "bosomy" women because he will think you are the "sexiest woman alive." Translation: Harlots who don't follow The Rules should always be suspicious of girls with bigger boobs. I've only read 50 pages so far, but there seems to be an awfully strong undercurrent of girl-on-girl hate in this book.

The authors have a strictly mean girl tone throughout. Oh, you can live your life how you like, they seem to say, but you'll never actually be happy. Don't you want to be happy, single women? Is your career really that fulfilling? Aren't you just fooling yourself?

One of the basic tenants of The Rules is the treat the man you want as if you don't want him; if he doesn't knock down your door to win you, he's not worth it. Here's my problem with this: I find it fulfilling to let people know that I care about them and appreciate them. Why is that bad? Because then you will never get a husband, the book seems to hiss in my ear. Moving on...

Remember Melanie? Here's the description of their friend:

If you had ever met Melanie, you wouldn't have thought she was extraordinarily pretty or smart or special, but you might have noticed that she had a way of behaving around men that put prom queens to shame.

Can you not just see the scene?
"Melanie! You're in our book!"
"Oh yay! Where?"
"Chapter 3!"

So after we meet Melanie and see how she makes the most out of her Thunder Road complex ("you ain't a beauty but hey you're all right," remember?) then we get to the last step before you can start The Rules: the complete makeover. Lose some weight, fattie! And wear a skirt! And makeup! And keep your hair long! And don't laugh! Seriously, guys. I wish I could just post this entire chapter for you to read. I repeatedly thundered down the steps of my place last night, mouth agape, brandishing the book at my roommate, shouting, "OH MY GOD! THIS BOOK IS EVIL!" A few tips from The Rules, regarding your appearance:

* Don't be a slob (men don't like slobs)
* Wear "sexy clothes in bright colors" (men like this)
* Remember that you are dressing for men, not women
* Always wear makeup, even when jogging (men like makeup)
* Don't cut your hair short (men like long hair)
* Exercise (men don't like wobbly bits)

Okay, they say one thing I can get behind: wear clothes that flatter you. Unfortunately, they word it in the mean girl way, clothes that "hide your hips." You guys know that I am a very huge believer in always wearing clothes that fit and flatter, no matter the number on the tag. Girls and boys! This is the most important part of dressing well! And you know what? Sometimes it's a good idea to ACCENTUATE your hips, you fabulous creature!

Ah, and then there's this:

Do everything you possibly can to put your best face forward. If you have a bad nose, get a nose job; color gray hair; grow your hair long.

GET A NOSE JOB!? What!? But wait, it's not just your appearance you should change. Your personality could use an overhaul, too.

Be feminine. Don't tell sarcastic jokes. Don't be a loud, knee-slapping, hysterically funny girl.

We can all agree I'm screwed, right?

This post is turning out to be much longer than I thought! Let's get into the first 5 Rules shall we?

Rule 1:
Be a "Creature Unlike Any Other"

Believe that you are worthy of love.
BS Meter:
Pretty sound advice. This is one of the only things in the book I can get behind.
Points of Interest:
Even if you don't feel good, never let on. Act like you feel good until you do feel good. Act like you are pretty, even if you're the ugliest of your friends. FEELINGS BAD. PRETENDING GOOD.

Meg's Alternate Rule:
Actually, this one is okay. Even if you are just existing, you are worthy of love. I believe that about everyone. Especially myself.

Rule 2:
Don't Talk to a Man First (and Don't Ask Him to Dance)

You'll ruin the natural order of nature! Men are supposed to pursue women!
BS Meter:
You have got to be kidding me. Also, these authors are obsessed with going to dances. They're always like "just wait around till someone asks you to dance." Who goes to dances? Other than my one friend who does swing dancing once a week?
Points of Interest:
Oh ho ho. You get tons of examples of Those Who Did Not Believe and they all end up MISERABLE.
Had Pam followed The Rules, she would never have spoken to Robert or initiated anything in the first place. [...]she might have met someone else who truly wanted her. She would not have wasted her time. Rules girls don't waste time.

And none for Gretchen Wieners, bye.

Meg's Alternate Rule:
Engage in conversation with people. You don't have to have a motive behind it like friendship or Forever Love. Just talk to people.

Rule 3:
Don't Stare at Men or Talk Too Much

Let him do the talking and only look coyly at him from time to time. If you stare, he'll know you wanna have lots of sex and babies.
BS Meter:
Points of Interest:
He'll think you're interesting and mysterious, unlike many of the women he's dated. Don't you want him to think about you like that?

And everything else you've ever done makes you seem like a boring tramp.

Meg's Alternate Rule:
If you think someone is attractive, you should have a conversation with them to see if you share any interests or values. Also, making eye contact is a good way to let someone know you are interested.

Rule 4:
Don't Meet Him Halfway or Go Dutch on a Date

The Man should go out of his way to see The Woman and The Man should always pay for dates.
BS Meter:
Seriously annoying.
Points of Interest:
Love is easy when the man pursues the woman and pays for the woman most of the time.

Love is easy when it feels like an escort service.

Meg's Alternate Rule:
Whomever does the asking does the paying. Find something fun to do on a date - if it's equidistant from your respective homes, even better!

Rule 5:
Don't Call Him and Rarely Return His Calls

He might be busy and you would be interrupting him. Better to wait for him to call so he's not mad at you. And if you make him wait to hear your voice, he'll like you more!
BS Meter:
Over the moon. Seriously? Don't call and rarely return phonecalls? Maybe this worked better in the mid-90s, before everyone was instantly accessible.
Points of Interest:
Life has enough pain without our adding man pain to it. We can't control cancer or drunk drivers, but we can restrain ourselves from dialing his number.

You don't want to give yourself telephone cancer, do you?

Meg's Alternate Rule:
Oh my god, pick up the phone. Just don't get obsessive about it.

Intro: purchasing The Rules

Today I will be introducting a weekly feature: blogging through The Rules. Yesterday I ventured into my local chain bookstore to purchase the thing. Ta-da!

This is proof that I have it and that I payed my $10 for it. Oh my goodness, all of this ridiculous relationship advice for only $10! The birthday gift I bought for my friend's almost-3-year-old was more expensive! Granted, that gift involves a pigeon wanting to drive a bus, so I guess there's your premium.

Not that I wanted to be like the person who buys a gallon of milk, some bacon, a loaf of bread, and an issue of Hustler, but I had some gifts to buy and decided to just make one big purchase - things I want to buy plus this book. So I made my way to the counter of the chain bookstore with my purchases, feeling very shameful about The Rules. As she rang me up, the clerk looked at me like this:

At first I thought I'd explain that I didn't really want to buy it, it's for my blog. But then I thought that sounded dumber so I just acted cool and self-possessed. (I would come to find out that this is one of the lessons in the book.)

I was shocked and kind of horrified to see how thick the book is! What did I get myself into?

But then I opened it up and found out that the type font is, basically, huge.

(Fingernails for scale.) Seriously, this is the biggest font I have read since I was in grade school. It's kind of nice for my eyes.

Anyway, all of this is for you, my dear 5 readers. I'll be back later today with the first installment of my reaction to The Rules.

Monday, March 7, 2011

On makeup and beauty

I learned how to do makeup when I was in 7th grade. Honestly, I'm pretty good at it. I wish I was better at executing a thin line of eyeliner, but I prefer a nice heavy top liner, so it's not ruining my life. I don't think I was allowed to wear makeup in grade school, but I know that I have certainly been wearing makeup almost every day of my life since I started high school. Certainly, when I'm sick in bed and when we're taking apart sets in the theatre I don't bother. I would guess that I wear makeup about 355 days a year. I have my routine, I have different things that I do for special occasions or for the stage... I am a makeup girl.

I was super sick at the end of last week, so I didn't put on makeup on Friday. I went to work, I had a beer with a friend, and I realized that I didn't really care that I wasn't wearing my war paint. Saturday, I co-hosted a party and intended to put on some makeup but just didn't. Yesterday, I was kind of hungover from said party so couldn't make the effort to slap on even mascara. And then, today I decided that I would try going without makeup for the whole week.

I feel a little bit naked, I admit. And I'm slightly surprised when I look in the mirror and see my bare face. But it's kind of great. My skin is getting a break, my morning routine is 10 minutes faster, and I can rub my eyes.

You guys, I love rubbing my eyes. I had no idea what I was missing!

I love makeup. I think that I look prettier with it on. I am terribly vain, so this is a big deal to me. But I cannot tell you the number of people who have said that they didn't notice the difference.

I am very lucky to have great skin (thanks Mom!) and I think that's helping me adjust to this new world free of foundation and powder and blush and eyeliner and eyeshadow and mascara. I don't know that I'll make this a forever change, but it's an interesting experiment in getting used to my face as it is.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

FOOFM: The Bad!

I know all 5 of you have been waiting for this so here it is: the worst of the worst from the 2011 Oscars. Let's start with a true tragedy, shall we?

Kathryn Bigelow!

What? No! While I'm glad she didn't choose this thing last year when all eyes were on her, it's still not right to wear something this casual, this whack when you are a presenter. It comes down to the shoulder slits for me. It's almost as if this was a whole dress with no slits and someone said, "You know? Let's make this more interesting without giving one thought to what this will do to the cut of the sleeves." AND THEN LET'S THROW A BRONZE WHIP AROUND THE MIDDLE AND CALL IT A BELT.

Sharon Stone!

Ms. Stone is modeling the very latest in Patricia Arquette's face, post-Jersey Shore bouffant, and a skunk pelt shoulder accent. We will always love Ms. Stone.


More like NOPErah! The neckline was nice, though I would have liked to have seen a necklace. That's about where the compliments end for Ope. The top was too tight and her boobs were forced into an uncomfortable-looking extreme football shape. And the skirt (in this photo especially) looks like the world's sparkliest octopus arranged just so around her waist. Also, on the telecast, she looked plum tuckered. You guys, it's hard to be a mogul. But a woman with her connections and her money should never have to endure this dress.

Michelle Williams!


Firstly, I am convinced that she has lost her smile memory. She used to be able to smile sincerely in photos, but now it just looks like she's in pain. Secondly, this dress is giving me a headache. The color is all wrong for her, and there is absolutely no excitement in this gown. I think perhaps I just don't love Chanel on the red carpet. Remember the Kirsten Dunst Oscars 2007 Chanel disaster?

I wish I could erase that whole look from my brain, but alas, that is what comes to mind when I think of Kiki.

Anne Hathaway!

Anne, never ever let this happen again. You are not latter-day Judy Garland. This is a terrible look for you.

Melissa Leo!

Welp, we figured it out: Melissa Leo is one of those kooky actresses. That might explain why she showed up in the formalwear version of a Sandra Lee tablescape. At least she wore a necklace. And dropped the F-bomb! That was hilarious.

Scarlett Johanssen!

I directed this show a few years ago where we made the walls out of maroon lace so you could see the shadows of people lurking in the hallway or spying or whatever. We didn't have a big budget, so my friend Gigi had to line up the designs on the lace by hand and it just about made her insane. Had I known that 5 years later ScarJo would wear those same walls as an Oscar dress in her Depressing Divorce Fashion Tour 2011, I probably would have praised Gigi's work a lot more.

Marisa Tomei!

She was all, "It's vintage!" and I was all, "It doesn't fit!" The bust is roomy while the midsection is pulling. Vintage explains the fade on the skirt but doesn't explain why she didn't bother doing anything with her hair. Ugh! Tomei! No!

Nicole Kidman!

The detail work is pretty, but the construction is Hips Ahoy, which we know is not at all what La Kidman is packing. Makeup too severe, hair disaster, I'm exhausted. Nicole, you know I cut Jane Lynch off from awards show red carpets. Don't make me do the same to you.

Sunrise Coigney!

AKA Mrs. Mark Ruffalo. AKA my pick for the worst dress of the night. Not the worst dressed, because I think her hair and makeup are spectacular. It's this dress. Perhaps you cannot see it very well in this photo, so allow me to describe what I imagine happened. Sunrise put on a gorgeous, form-fitting gold strapless gown. Then she got cold. So she asked to borrow Mark's overcoat. She got the overcoat halfway on when she was besieged by a throng of photographers. So she went with it and called it FASHION. That is the only possible explanation I can come up with for this... "dress."

Okay, so there was a little bit of controversy yesterday because I didn't realize that I had included Vanity Fair party photos in the mix of The Meh. I had actually pulled a bunch more for The Bad (because OH MY GOD JENA MALONE) but I don't feel that it is appropriate to include them in this red carpet coverage.


Rita Wilson!

Holy. Crap. The print! The fringey bag! The bangs! The sandals! Oh girl, oh no.

okay, okay, one more...

Jena Malone!

This is the fashion equivalent of shouting "OH MY GOD! SHUT UP MOM!" and slamming the door to your bedroom.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Okay, fight fans. We're back and here you go with your winners of the most lukewarm feelings I had about fashion at the Oscars! We'll start with what may be the most contentious.

Cate Blanchett!

Apologies in advance to my friend Mordicai, because I know he loooooves this look. I think Cate is incredible and we can always count on her to do something terribly fashion forward at the awards shows. This one just didn't hit the mark for me. She looks beautiful, but I simply don't like this gown. It's like a fabric fish bowl somehow made its way onto her torso. I will say that her jewelry is PERFECT, though. Sooo close to the Good pile.

Zoe Saldana!

Such a step up from last year's monstrosity, but still... not quite there. There's too much going on here with the Victorian frilly high collar and the fabric falls in different colors. What sends me over the edge is the belt - it's completely in contrast with the romantic feel of the rest of the look and not in an exciting way. And what in the world is that bag?

Virginia Madsen!

While it's better than the saloon owner's widow look we saw last year, it's not better by much.

Celine Dion!

She looks like an automaton. And lady, please, stop wearing that necklace from Titanic. WE REMEMBER. WE PROMISE.

Busy Phillips!

Oh Kim Kelly, you look like a hot mess. Great earrings, but this looks like someone tied some twine around your knees and you're going to have to hop around all night. The dress itself is not flattering and your retro Sharon Stone hairdo is not helping matters.

Anne Hathaway!

Not a favorite of mine. I love the detail on the bodice but the color is not great for her.

Annette Bening!

Sadly, our Annette again lost most of her arms as the victim of a tragic red carpet accident. I don't know why in the world she chose to wear this to the Oscars and that fabulous gold to the SAGs. I mean, maybe she thought she'd actually win the SAG and she knew La Portman was a shoe-in for the Oscar? Is that what it was? This dress does nothing for her. Even with the sequins it seems dull and depressing.

Gayle King!

Every time I think of Gayle, I can only picture one of my favorite Top Cheftestants of all time yelling for a different Gail.

The green is very pretty, but the cut is doing nothing for her. The hair is okay, makeup is pretty horrid. I will say that Gayle has the fanciest gold business portfolio I've ever seen. What? That's her purse... You have got to be kidding me. GAYLE!

PS- Oprah's like officially out now, right? Bringing Gayle to the Oscars?

Florence "And the Machine" Welch!

She's very pretty but Fancy Little House on the Prairie should be no one's choice for Oscar chic. I really love her hair, though. And her music.

Charlize Theron!

A definite step forward from the whole Cinnabusom incident of 2010, but such a boring step. It looks like a Pier 1 mirror is exploding from her side.

Halle Berry!

The good news: She remembered to put on her dress this time. The bad news: Her cat got to it first.

Cheryl Hines!

WHO THE HELL INVITED CHERYL HINES TO THE OSCARS? And why did she come in a Busy Phillips costume? Her necklace is great (and appropriate), I will give her that. But that's all.

Mandy Moore!

That is some serious illusion netting. It's like she took a really fantastic figure skating costume and glued some tulle on the bottom. And then absolutely assaulted her face with makeup. The grandma earrings and Mama's Family hairdo are not helping matters. Mandy Moore! What are we gonna do with you?

Hilary Swank!

Ombre, muppet, severe hair, necklace, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Sorry, I just fell asleep.

Anne Hathaway!

To my mind, the least successful outfit of the night. I don't like the two-tone tiers, I hate the hair, and it just sort of looks wonky on her. But! Love that necklace.

Helena Bonham Carter!

This is merely okay. I like the corset top with shredded sleeves and you can't go wrong wearing a gown by the woman who wins the Oscar for costume design. The fan is a step in the "right" direction but I was hoping for something a little more craz--

Muuuuuuuch better.

Keep your leggings (which are not pants) on

The Meh is coming in later today.