Putting together your Apocalypse Playlist

Many people these days are getting super into doomsday prepping. Why?  Because, everywhere you go, and every time you look at the news, the end times feel near. So maybe you have some  water stocked up, a first aid kit. Or maybe just  some cash and a revolver in a fanny pack. But no matter how many life straws you own, I bet you any money you don’t have an APOCALYPSE PLAYLIST. 

And you totally need one. Because nothing demands a righteous soundtrack like your final death shamble in the midst of a nuclear winter. Nothing screams “Playlist” like reaching your arms out to the sky as a giant meteor takes you out. You’ve got energy bars and water, but you’re gonna need some TUNES  to either drown out the sirens and/or the rattling of your own lungs as they fill with fluids. You need some departure music! Carefully curated to lift you off this scorched earth, and into the angelic realms. 

Yes. I’m talking about the MASTER  MOTHERSCRATCHER of all playlists: THE APOCALYPSE 100.  Chock full of songs that bring you back to childhood. Songs that you never tire of no matter how many listens. Songs that would be  PERFECT for a doomsday scenario where you have to shoot someone over a can of beans. 

I myself have been working steadily on my apocalypse playlist since November 6th, 2016 when I looked out  into the horizon and saw the pale horse of death. Then I realized it was just a cloud. And also I was super stoned. BUT STILL I SAW IT AS  A SIGN TO BEGIN MY END TIMES PREPARATIONS and that meant putting together my EXIT MUSIC. 

See, the way I see it, there are five main potential extinction events facing us right now: 

1- NUCLEAR ATTACK (vaporization)  If a nuclear attack happened in our country, I sure hope I would be right in the middle of the mushroom cloud. That way, I’d be vaporized before I knew what hit me (but I’m assuming I’d still have at least  half an of warning sirens to cue up my playlist.) 

1-NUCLEAR ATTACK (nuclear winter)  Being poisoned by nuclear fallout sounds like a really shitty way to go. In addition to shitting and barfing continuously, pieces of your rotting skin will literally slough off your body like a snake.  The skin under that will be glowing green, and that is the final stage before death. That’s why I have a cyanide pill and kilo of heroin in my bug-out bag, just in case this scenario plays out. Good luck with 

2- PANDEMIC/CONTAGION:  (actually happening and relevant!) – Whether it’s the Rona, or some other hideous bug, we could fall prey to something sinister and highly contagious. It amazes me that people don’t know how vulnerable their meat sacks are! But deadly contagions don’t really care how “tough” you think you are, or if you pray to Jesus for protection. The and they don’t play. So, make sure to add some good music to your Apocalypse Playlist that will drown out the sirens and the wails from your dying neighbors, as you walk down the street in your plague mask and gloves. 

3- GIANT METEOR:  (my favorite!) Even better than dancing in the nuclear mushroom cloud–being squashed by a giant meteor! Hopefully there will be at least a little warning for this, so you get a chance to stand on your favorite hillside with your arms raised and have  your playlist poised to knock you out of the galaxy. 

4- RESOURCE WARS: According to most  scientists, we really don’t have more than 15 years at the most to support the current population and  demand for resources. Industrial agriculture has ravaged the land, droughts and floods  are becoming more frequent, and that means there’ll be less of everything to go around. What I think is people will eventually go bonkers and start scrapping in the street over a bar of soap or can of chili. And that will lead to all sorts of unfortunate antics, all of which you need a playlist for! 

Perhaps you have a different idea about how it might all end (robo-clowns? bio-weapons? aliens?) and that’s cool. Just remember, whatever scenario you game out, there could be hundreds of song choices to match, so make each choice count! You only get 100 (that’s the rule.) 

So what are you waiting for? Now is as good a time as any to start putting together your Apocalypse Playlist. Don’t get nuked without accompanying music!

Below, is a snippet of my very own playlist! And if you want to see the playlist in its entirety, and/or  hear more about it, I’ll be doing an Apocalypse Playlist deep dive over on my Patreon Page! 




How to Plan your Funeral

Hi Everyone! I’m taking a quick break from my housekeeping tips, to talk about something you might not want to think about: WRITING OUT YOUR LAST WISHES. 

Whether we like it or not, the Coronavirus is making us all think about that one big elephant in the room:  death. This elephant is, of course, a skeleton elephant, with two sickles as tusks and an icy cold trunk. Some of us drink, or eat too much, or stay perpetually busy to keep this elephant  away from the center of our consciousness. Especially lately. But I would like to encourage you to take a moment right now….while you’re home and have nothing else to do… to really LEAN IN to that elephant. Lean in, and let yourself feel your own mortality wash over you. Feel the trunk of the elephant gently massaging your shoulders, poking you with its icy cold whiskers until you shiver. Then,  let that shiver melt into a peaceful calm. Now, take that calm feeling and focus it on something you have control over: WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR BODY AND YOUR STUFF AFTER YOU DIE. 


Now, I  don’t know anything about the legalities of writing wills and such; however what I do know is, I AM a licensed notary. Therefore, whatever I write down as my last wishes,  I can just notarize myself. (WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO ARREST ME FOR NOTARY FRAUD I’LL BE DEAD LOL). For someone who has actual assets, it may be a good idea to consult a licensed attorney and fill out an official will. For people like me though, who have nothing but extended good-will to offer my survivors, my will is just that– good-will to all, and to all a good night. 

And now, let’s get down to the REAL business which is planning your funeral. 

Let’s start with your body. You have a choice of many myriad options for your dead-ass body. The standard embalming/funeral type service, cremation,  being planted into a giant seed pod, a water send-off, or plastination. However, being as these are plague times, consider you may not have the usual options to choose from. Your body may be thrown into a mass grave with others. Or, it might be stacked up on top of another body in a refrigerated truck. So, when writing out your last wishes,  consider you may not get your favorite option here due to the unfortunate times we live in. To play it safe, you should have a “Plague-Time” directive, and also a “Non-Plague” time directive for your lifeless husk. 

For instance: 


Non-Plague: Please plastinate my naked  body and put a tray of hors d’oeuvres on my outstretched arms.  

Next, you need to think about your memorial service, or what I like to call “your hip-hip hurrah!” Funeral ceremonies can be as formal or as informal as you want.   Some people like a respectful church service with bible passages read aloud. Others would like it if everyone snorted some coke off the coffin,  followed by shooting some skeet in an adjacent field.  There’s no right or wrong choice because there are no right or wrong people. But please consider if you die in the plague you will likely get a ZOOM funeral, so perhaps you can do your family a favor now and help get them familiarized with Zoom. Maybe do a few practice funerals as a warm up! 

If you’re doing a memorial service  during normal (non-plague) times, now is the time to break down your ceremony details, including an estimated  budget for whomever will have to pick up the bill when you kick the bucket. (This duty will fall to your richest friend or relative). 

Decor: do you like a certain type of flower or candle scent?  Maybe you want a cat theme. Imagine you are a spirit floating above your funeral. What do you hope it looks like? Who do you hope is crying a lot? Is it sparkly everywhere, or is it muted and grayscale? Perhaps there are white horses roaming the premises.   Would you like a champagne fountain next to the casket? A friendly english undertaker who goes around with tissues saying “I’m terribly sorry for your loss.”? All you have to do is write it down, and someone will help it to happen. Believe! 

Display of your body: Time to think about your dead body again! Are you in an urn, casket or plastinated and greeting visitors at the door? Or, perhaps you’d prefer a slide-show of all your best photos? (Pick those photos now, and trust nobody else to do this for you!!) If you’re in a casket, what is your outfit? (Again, not something you want to trust anyone else with unless you want to end up looking like the lamest dead person ever.) If you’re in an urn, have you picked one out? There are many beautiful urns out there, but there are some ugly ones too. If you’re talented with ceramics, you could even make your own urn and decorate it with whatever baubles you like. Get creative! And if you’re going the casket way, please make sure to have a funeral-tote of your best lip-liners and shadows for the undertaker cosmetologist to use. (Make sure they have a photo of you looking hot in that make-up combo so they have something to go off of in case your face has been half-eaten by plague). Do this even if you don’t normally wear make-up because they will put it on you anyway! 


Catering:  People who are grieving typically either have upset stomachs or are doing emotional eating, so maybe now’s not the time to make your family eat spicy tuna sashimi and chitlins (Unless that is comfort food for your family, then by all means go for it) .  I recommend you serve small sandwiches, cake/coffee and have an alcohol option as well. Two alcohol options. 

Music/Dj: Do you have a talented musical relative or friend  you’d like to hit up to do a song in your honor? Perhaps you’d like a chorus of children to sing Man in the Mirror.  Or maybe you have a DJ friend who wants to play all your favorites after the ceremony, so your friends can dance and cry and remember how funky you were. 


VIP List: The people who HAVE to be at your funeral. (Some of them will be surprised to be summoned if they haven’t seen/heard from you, so jot a few notes down next to your VIP list names. 

For instance: 

Veronica – Best Friend. Soul sister.  Must be there. 

Pablo- Lost virginity to. Smoked first doobie with. Mandatory. 

Fred- Still in love with after all these years. May not remember  who I am. (show him attached nude photo of me during the time I knew him). 



Gift Bags: Everyone who comes to the service should get to go home with a “piece” of you. Whether it’s shwag  (buttons/hats/tshirts with your face on them), personal mementos or a literal baggie of ashes they can snort later, think now about what you’d like everyone to leave with, and then  list it in your Final Wishes document. 

Officiator: You need not use a religious official if you are not comfortable with that. It’s your funeral, after all. However, if it’s a friend of yours you’re tapping to speak, you might want to let them know ahead of time. Also, you should have a second/third choice if the plague gets the first two. The power of practical thinking! 

Here’s an example of a letter you can send. 

Dear, 1st ______, 2nd_____, 3rd______ choice 

As I am in the process of planning my will, I would like you to know I’ve selected you to officiate at my funeral. You are a fantastic speaker; one who speaks well of me often, and I know you will do well. Attached is a sample program, with suggested song interludes and also poetry. 

Props/Gags/Strolling Characters: Funerals and weddings are very similar in the sense that both of them are, on the whole,  usually boring. In fact, funerals are actually more interesting because everyone is super sad, and for a brief moment, in their grief, there’s something very human about them. (this, in contrast to the blandly supportive jubilance of a wedding).   Am I saying get some white swans, and hire a few balloon artists or strolling characters for your funeral? Yes, but only if that’s your style. Were you a prankster in life? Why not do something funny like have a water corsage squirt people in the face when they lean over to hug you in the coffin? Set off a whole pallet of magic snakes! Put your corpse in a hang-glider and send it off into the wind, while your friends & family cry and wave white hankies (embroidered with your initials!) 

Whatever you decide to do for your service is cool, but when planning your funeral, the main thing is to make  sure there’s plenty of time for everyone to stand up and tell a cool story about you. This is why I urge you to  have a champagne fountain or open bar at your funeral, because after they knock a few back everyone will really spill the beans (and also belch uncontrollably which will add some much-needed levity to the proceedings.) 
Estimated budget: $15K (make sure to tip the strolling characters well!)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this exercise as much as I did! And if you need your last wishes notarized, just give me a yell.


10 weird tricks for staying sane in a plague

Hi Everyone! I hope you’re all staying safe and sane  out there in this disease-ravaged world. 

So, there’s  a lot of advice  floating around right now  on how to take care of yourself (and your community) during plague-timey times.  Wash your hands, social distancing,  flatten the curve and  STAY HOME.  ALL THINGS YOU SHOULD BE DOING ANYWAY.  But since I have a wandering, worrying kind of mind, I have come up with some of my own  suggestions for managing anxiety during the plague. And maybe they might help you too. If not, I sure hope it was fun! 

  1. SHOWER KARAOKE. Sheltering in place can bring up a lot. When will it end? Will I die? Will people I know die? Will I run out of toilet paper and have to make my own from collected twigs I’ve crushed in a bowl? So many feelings. Big feelings!  But, a lot of these big feelings can be exorcised…simply by taking  a hot shower/bath and  singing one of your Power Songs. What? You don’t have a power song? You don’t even like to sing? I don’t believe you. I don’t believe anyone who says they don’t like singing, unless they legit don’t have vocal chords. When a person tells me they don’t like to sing, they’re telling me they don’t like to sing around anyone who can hear it. However, the loofah sponge, the rubber duckie, the bottle of pantene conditioner…these lifeless objects become a rapt audience when you bust out your special song, don’t they? SING TO THE DUCKIE. 
  2. ONANISM. You can’t touch your face anymore,  but you know what you can touch? Mmm-hmm. That’s right. Your very own genitals.  It’s simple math: one clean hand, plus one genital, plus your spotify make-out playlist= NO CORONAVIRUS.  Plus it helps boost the immune system and frankly you need all the help you can get right now–(bonus points for those of you who had to look up Onanism, and who are enjoying some cool 1970’s beaver shots right about  now)–. Love yourself! It helps keep the Rona away. 
  3. DRESS AND GROOM YOURSELF.  Shower or bathe daily. Scrub your molars, and put on deodorant. Then, dress yourself for “work” even if your only work is taking out the garbage. Put on real shoes. (The sound of slippers shuffling through kitchens after noon is known to cause depression in plants.) Wear anything you like!   If you do venture out on a  business walk, try  to avoid public places. Also, make sure to arm yourself with cleany-wipes, face-mask, and some bear mace. And upon re-entering  your house, strip nude and burn all of your clothing. 
  4. PLAY YOUR BELLY LIKE BONGOS.  You’ve got a nice big belly now that you’ve eaten all your quarantine snacks in the first week. Pick good songs with drum solos and smack your belly rhythmically, it’s a cool noise! And the bigger you get, the deeper the bass. Feel the groove! 
  5. PUT TOGETHER YOUR   APOCALYPSE PLAYLIST. What? Don’t tell me you don’t have one yet!! Pick 100 of your timeless classics. The songs you want played at your funeral. The songs you want playing while you’re being  vaporized by a nuke, or staggering buck naked down the street in a fever trance, with radioactive goo dribbling down your chin.  WHAT WILL YOUR FINAL SONGS BE? Make sure you’re locked and loaded for your grand finale. 
  6. IF YOU ARE BORED IT’S BECAUSE YOU’RE BORING – I don’t know any other way to tell you this. But if you find yourself being bored stuck indoors, the problem my friend, is you. You need to find something meaningful to do.  In the house. Clean? make pickles?  Sort your socks by color? ONANISM?? There are so many, many things to do! If you don’t know, just ask me because I can  think of a few things you can do right now. 
  7. GO EASY ON YOURSELF. We place such a premium on being productive, we literally don’t think we’re allowed to exist unless we’re “doing” something “valuable”  with our “time”. If you’re motivated to take on a big scrap-booking project, or knit yourself a death shroud, that’s great!  If you spend all your quarantine time looking at cat videos and drinking wine, that’s okay too. This is a special time–a dark time to be sure. But a time that doesn’t ask you to do anything more than to take care of yourself and your community’s health and safety. 
  8. TAKE NAPS : Your body’s #1  bio-weapon is sleep. Above all else (probiotics, vitamin C, onanism, etc) you need lots of sleep. Which is hard to come by, given the amplified anxiety levels we are all  experiencing. Many of us are not sleeping well, imagining apocalyptic plague scenarios unfolding in real time. But if you can, if you’re able to, sleep. Sleep whenever you feel like sleeping. 
  9. DON’T PANIC, GET ECCENTRIC. During times of  danger, it’s tempting to panic and do something impulsive or reckless, like fly to another country, change your name to Bernadine and marry a stranger.  Or get drunk and send a boob pic to an ex. DO NOT GIVE IN TO THIS PANIC, FOR IT IS OF SINISTER ORIGINS. Rather, dig in and let the fear warp you and make you weirder. Let it darken your humor.  Let it shape your actions. Not in an impulsive way, but in an intentional way. Why do harm to yourself when you could do something like go through your closet and pick out some nice burial outfits? Try them on, take selfies and send them to your friends. Ask them to rate your corpse on a hotness scale. Too dark? How about  doing a “reverse” vision board where you cut out pictures of horrible things, and paste them onto a poster board. Your worst fears come true. Right on the board. Then, burn the board and watch your nightmares go down in flames!!! (These may be shitty suggestions but they are better than drunk dialing an ex, or giving yourself a bikini wax in the kitchen) Think outside the box. 
  10. HUG YOUR PETS MORE THAN USUAL.  I feel sorry for people who are having to shelter in place without some hairy freaks to pet. If I didn’t have my two cats, I’d probably be drinking way  more wine right now. Pets help bring down the anxiety levels, just by being themselves. In the eyes of your pets, shelter in place means you get to hang out with them all the time just like they’ve hoped and dreamed since the day they came home!  They don’t know about the plague outside. All they know is their dreams have finally come true; you are with them, they are with you, and they will stay with you until you die, and then they will eat your corpse. 

Take care everyone! Stay foxy!





Ah, a global pandemic!  Can’t think of a better reason to clean and disinfect everything in the house. But because I’m a methodical kind of bitch, I believe that all cleaning should start WITH THE BEDROOM. That’s where you sleep, wank, and cry into your pillow, shouting WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE. In short: your room has more of your germs in it than any other part of the house. Start there and work your way out.

If you are an Unruly House Honky or are simply in a slovenly phase of life right now, you may look at your messy room and wonder WTF WHERE DO I EVEN START?

At this point, if you don’t gain some perspective soon,  you are likely to do one of two things.

1: DISTRACT YOURSELF FROM THE MESS using whatever your fave distractions are: Netflix, drugs, work, hobbies, boobies,  comic books, food,  or just getting as farrrrrrrrrrr away from the mess as possible with hopes it’ll just “resolve” itself tomorrow when you return. (hey, maybe someone with severe OCD will break into your house while you’re away and clean it all up!)

2: AIMLESSLY THRASH ABOUT trying to “tame” the mess.  Pick up something here, put something there. Wield your mop like an axe and hack at the floors.  Move the mess from here to there. Make a mess trying to clean the mess.  Make a to-do list to tackle the mess.  GET FRUSTRATED AND GO TO OPTION 1. Kill self out of frustration.

Either of these choices is madness. So,  if you find yourself overwhelmed, despairing, or daunted DO NOT FEAR for I WAS ONCE LIKE YOU AND I HAVE LEARNED THE WAYS OF THE CLEANING! IF I CAN DO IT (AND TRUST ME, I WAS PROBABLY GRODIER THAN YOU ARE NOW) YOU CAN TOO!

STEP ONE: ACKNOWLEDGE THE MESS.  I know you know there’s a mess. We all know. And howdy,  can we smell it. But really take a moment to drink in the aroma of  beer farts, coffee mold, and ball sweat. Look deeply into the swirling chasm of orphan socks, snot rags, and pube tumbleweeds. Listen to the hiss of the static in your head, reflecting the chaos of your surroundings. Feel shame.  Shame is a great motivator for getting shit done. SHAME IS YOUR FRIEND. 

STEP TWO: LOCATE ALL GARBAGE AND THROW IT AWAY OR RECYCLE IT.  trash may include: wrappers, snot rags, cum cloth, empty cans, broken fans, junk mail, snail trails, weed roaches,  bits of hotdog buns, used condoms, broken pens, AND SO MUCH MORE. Before you can get a handle on your mess, you need to dispose of any hazardous materials LIKE NOW.

STEP THREE:  IF IT’S NOT ALREADY MADE, MAKE YOUR BED NOW!! Then, put down some towels on your bed  for safety. This is going to be your “work space” where you sort items from other woebegone parts of your bedroom.

STEP FOUR: PICK UP CLOTHING OFF THE FLOOR AND SORT IT ON YOUR BED. My friend Adriana says “Clothing should never be on the floor, unless you’re having sex or gravely ill.” And I agree.  Put dirty clothes in the hamper. Hang up the clean clothes in your closet. AND DO NOT EVER WEAR CLOTHING YOU PICK UP OFF THE FLOOR. You walk around the streets everyday–streets full of poop spores, skin flakes, snail slime and dead dreams. Then you come in and walk around your house, spreading the detritus everywhere. Then you throw your clothing down on the floor, and WEAR IT AGAIN?? NO.

STEP FIVE: REMOVE EVERYTHING FROM YOUR SURFACES- If you’re anything like me,  you’ve probably  got some bullshit stacked up like flapjacks on your desk/side table/ chest of drawers, etc right now. Pick one surface at a time. Remove all items from that surface and sort them into piles on your bed: keep, toss, or recycle/give away.

STEP SIX:   SCRUB/DISINFECT your surfaces thoroughly with a high intensity wipe-down. Start with a dry cloth, or feather duster, and wipe it down. LET ALL CRUMBS AND NUGGETS FALL TO THE FLOOR. Then, do a second wipe-down with a wet rag. You can use any  cleaning spray/disinfectant you like! I won’t judge you for using harsh chemicals (Personally, I LOVE the smell of bleach.)  If you ever get confused about the order to do this stuff, just remember FLOORS ARE ALWAYS LAST.

STEP 7: PUT IT ALL BACK ON THE SHELVES. Once your surfaces are disinfected, you can now put your items back. This is my favorite part of the cleaning process! As I put each item away, I do a quick check-in to make SURE it’s an item that absolutely needs to be there (and not say…in the trash, or in storage). Is it a decorative object? Something you use everyday? If the answer is NO consider putting the item somewhere else or getting rid of it. Visual noise (i.e. visible clutter) is for me, a huge chub killer. I want to walk into my bedroom (and other people’s bedrooms) and feel horny, not distracted or like i’m about to get crabs. Use your best judgement and don’t be afraid to say goodbye to things that don’t serve a purpose. Less clutter is always best.

Step EIGHT: IT’S TIME FOR FLOORS. Remove every item of furniture you can from your bedroom. Then, vacuum or sweep up all of the crumbs and crackerjacks. Then, mop or swiff your floors until them stains are gone.

STEP NINE: DO A VICTORY DANCE! If you follow my  room cleaning instructions to the T you’ll be done with this whole job in an afternoon, promise. Pick your power song, do a shot, and dance in your freshly cleaned, disinfected PLAGUE FREE bedroom. Feels so good!

Stay safe out there everyone, and remember to wash your filthy mitts!

Unruly House Honky, Age 2 





Hi friends! I have decided to resurrect my housekeeping blog! Rejoice!

Yes, despite my great transformation from UNRULY HOUSE HONKY to SOMEWHAT RULY HOUSE HONKY several years ago,  I still engage in epic battles against dirt, germs, clutter, chaos,  and whatever those mushroom things are sprouting from the corner of the bathroom. I often win these epic battles! But sometimes…. I  lose. This happens when my depression symptoms are peaking, and I’m caught up in a chaos spiral.  Then I sit and gaze bitterly upon those moldy coffee mugs on my ledge.  I say to myself . “All you have to do my friend is just….reach out and grab a mug….Then, move yourself to the dishwasher somehow…Put the mug in the dishwasher AND I PROMISE IT WILL ALL BE OKAY.” And then an equally loud voice says “I WILL STAY RIGHT HERE BECAUSE  THE BED IS SLOWLY DIGESTING MY BODY.”

So I thought I’d return once again, to share with you my continuing adventures in housekeeping! My hope is that my message will reach other unruly house honkies like me, and provide you with the tools, and perspective to take steps towards clean living! (And I don’t mean sober. cannabis, coffee, and crack cocaine can all help you do a better job cleaning)

One of the main questions I get from my many besotted fans is, HOW CAN I TELL IF I AM AN UNRULY HOUSE HONKY? So, I have created this very special quiz, just for you!





1- Yes

2- No

3- Little bit

4- Not sure



1- An hour a day, keeps the crud away!

2-I don’t bother with chores man, that’s for plebes! Now where is my wallet/keys/pants/phone/glasses/wife?

3-I’m always cleaning, and my hands are mops now!

4- Almost none, but I’m rich enough to afford a cleaning services so suck on that.


1- Nothing!

2- A pan I let soak overnight, plus my morning coffee mug.

3- A pan I let soak for several days, plus several plates, three bowls, and some mugs that I just don’t have the time to take care of.  I’m super busy!

4- Flies

QUESTION 3: Describe to me what’s going on under your bed right now. 

1- Just a few lone storage boxes and a tumbleweed!

2- The cats are making love again

3- I can’t tell! Too much stuff under there.

4- I don’t have a bed, just a pile of clothing I sleep on


1- (Sweet Dreams) Are made of this

2-Under Pressure- Bowie/Queen

3- It’s the End of the World as we Know It/ REM

4- Wild Thing / Tone Loc


1- Almost never! Everything in my house has its little place.

2- All the time, but I’m so rich I can just buy more of what I lose lol.

3- All the time! but I also  have a certified poltergeist in my house that I’m trying to get rid of (i.e. my roommate)

4- Only when my mental health symptoms are super bad.


You’ve met someone really sexy, who you want to do the sex with. You are nearer to your house than theirs,  so they say “How about your house?” To which, you respond…

1- “Let’s go!” and excitedly drag them to your Love Lair which is carefully decorated to bring insta- boners to everyone.

2- “Let’s go!” and excitedly drag them back to your house. When you get home, you offer them a glass of wine in a cup that has an old lentil floating in it, and then bring them to your room. Before you lay them down for a shag, you move all your laundry, jizz rags, and dirty plates to the other side of the bed, waiting for your partner to smile at how considerate you are for clearing a spot for them. Instead they get up and go home, and you never see them again.

3- “Who does it in a house anymore? Let’s just give each other a handy under the dinner table here at the restaurant.” (Afterwards, you go home and begin a cleaning frenzy which lasts 14 hours)

4 “Let’s Go!” and excitedly drag them back to your house, where you make them wait 45  minutes  for you outside,  while you hastily change your dirty  sheets and toss out your jizz rags and empty dorito bags. When you return, they have vanished.


1- Either in my closet, or my drawers

2- On my floor, in a pile!

3- On my bed, where I can roll over in the middle night and make love to the pile as if it’s a very absorbent human.

4- On my body-  I’m very cold!


1- A hint of citrus, coffee.

2- booze breath  and cat pee

3- Melted crayons and lost dreams

4- Hot pockets and testicle cheese


1- Within the last two weeks

2- Within the last 3 months

3- What’s the point of cleaning a bowl you just shit in anyways?

4- Bless me father, for I have sinned. It’s been 1,786 days since I scrubbed my toilet, but lord, I promise tomorrow I’ll change my ways, for even though I’m a slob I’m still capable of shame.


1- Mopping

2- Killing flies

3- Masturbatory aid

4- Self defense


RESULTS: If you answered anything but 1’s you may very well be an unruly house honky!!!! But don’t worry, I won’t leave you hanging in your squalor. Tune in next week, when I take you through the basics of HOW TO CLEAN YOUR DISGUSTING ROOM. 



An Open Letter to Color “Oops” Hair Dye Remover

Dear Color Oops Hair Dye Remover,

I’m writing to you because, after 23 washings, my hair STILL smells like Color Oops Hair Dye Remover, which, as you may or may not know, is the exact smell of hospital room death.

Please help.

I don’t know why I wanted to turn my golden locks brown, two weeks ago. However, I suspect it may have something to do with the fact that I’m now 3 months shy of turning 40. Being always youthful and sprightly, I never expected that I too would fall prey to a midlife crisis, of any kind. But apparently I have.  For instance:

  • I recently put a giant wall-size poster of a tiger in my bedroom
  • I am planning my first ever trip to Vegas for my birthday (even though I have spent my whole life saying things like “I’ll never go to vegas. Vegas is stupid. Why would anyone go to Vegas? Vegas is an asshole.” )
  • I am saving up my money to  get my first (and last) TATTOO, on my “tramp stamp” spot of this bumper sticker: (I’ve also decided that, when I die, I’ll have an open butt casket funeral where the only thing that’s exposed in my coffin is my withered glutes and this withered tattoo. I’m not even joking.


Understand, I wasn’t intending on going full browny brown. Just light brown! Caramel Latte extra foam brown. Ikea shelf  brown.   The brown where the sea touches the sand, and the wheaties kiss the milk.

All poetics aside, the processing time on the brown dye said 30 minutes, but my practical friend warned me to check periodically because my hair is so light it will literally drink up dye like it’s just fallen off the wagon.

Check. After 5 minutes, I noticed my hair turning REALLY SUPER BROWN. I immediately washed out the dye. The day before, I’d gotten a shorter, shaggier cut. Ever the optimist,  I imagined the results would be like Winona Ryder from Reality Bites.


However, it turned out I more closely resembled Carol Burnett, Circa 1974



And so, I lived one week as a full on brunette. My coworkers said it looked good on me, and “brought out my eyes” which is, of course, the default compliment people give when there are no nice things to say about an obvious cosmetic accident. (“interesting…. do you like it?” is another one) 

Anyway, during my week as a brunette, I felt sadly invisible. No longer did people look at me as an exotic  inbred specimen from some snowy place.  Sure, there are blondes in the bay area, but most of them are fakers with bad roots. My color is true, and it  comes from generations of bluish-white people doing what they do best: breeding with their siblings to stay warm.

A quick google search  for “how do I remove hair dye” led me to Color Oops Hair Dye Remover. Fortunately, the Walgreens by my house carried it! Yes! It promised to strip the brown from my hair and restore the old color. Soon, I’d be back to my old exotic self.

It was gag at first squirt. I won’t lie–I usually enjoy the smell of corrosive chemicals. I like gasoline, bleach, elmers glue, and soft scrub in particular. However, this grouping of chemicals did NOT make me happy or evoke pleasant fantasies of sucking on the nozzle of a gasoline pump in an industrial wasteland. Instead, it evoked the smell of the nursing home I was forced to visit every other weekend for two years when I was a kid, to visit my late uncle (rest in peace) who was institutionalized there.

The nursing home wasn’t called Sunny Acres, Meadowlake Villa, or Convalescent Cove. It was named after the broke-down Minneapolis neighborhood it was located in: Bryn Mawr. Hell, the name even  LOOKS jank–could they really not afford to buy a few vowels?  Apparently not.  And Inside, it looked exactly like a horror movie hospital, and was tended to by nurses who looked like they spent their off hours assembling car parts.   And everywhere, the old people shuffled down the hallways, yelling out, arguing, begging invisible friends for candy, demented, dragging dirty diapers, sometimes half naked,  and nearly all of hem long abandoned by their families. And no matter how much industrial grade ammonia and bleach they hosed the place down with every night, nothing could erase the smell of impending death. It trumped everything.

My late uncle Ken,  who was sadly only in his mid thirties at the time, was placed at Bryn Mawr because he was afflicted with a particularly deadly and crippling form of MS. My grandmother, who lead the charge of our bi monthly family visits, who was, incidentally,  already certified crazy, used this as an opportunity to crank her insanity to  a volume of 11. She’d spend weeks preparing for these nursing home trips…packing food and supplies that were better suited for building a bomb shelter, than visiting a someone in a nursing home-food bars, slipper socks, sweaters, baby food, pudding, instant breakfast.

But that was just a start!  As soon as my dad fired up our bloated Buick Skylark  every other Sunday, we’d still have several more stops to make before seeing Ken. Throughout the week, he’d shout out the names foods that he wanted my grandma to bring him, for his big feast. Fried chicken, steak, burgers, fries, mcdonalds soft serve ice cream…The list was long and punishing, and by the time we arrived at Bryn Mawr my entire family smelled like the grease trap of a deep fryer.  

Upon arrival, the  ritual of feeding Ken began. My uncle was always a good eater. Unfortunately, because of the disease,  he no longer had any way of knowing if he was full or not, and would inevitably end up barfing. It was such an ingrained ritual that my grandma KEPT A BARF TROUGH  NEAR HIS BED for the moment when this happened. And it always did. Sometimes he’d barf and then demand more fries. It could go on and on.

Whenever the feeding began, I’d take my little sister Laura downstairs to the community room to spare us both having to watch the barf fest.  Sometimes we’d eat  from the box of sugar cubes that lay next to the tea dispenser. Sometimes we’d plunk out some tunes on the broken piano, pitched pennies, or pestered one of the bedraggled nurses for paper to draw on.    It  was always a little scary to be alone anywhere at Bryn Mawr–especially if you were under 10. This is because all of the residents, so desperate and lonely for company, would always sniff us out and stagger out of their rooms to find us.  One woman would march in place and smack her lips together, ready to gobble down our youthful souls. Another would say “Abba Abba Abba Abba” over and over. One man, afflicted with severe hydrocephalus,  seemed particularly enchanted by my sister, and would roll his blimp head around to stare at her whenever she was near. (Which of course, terrified her).

All of this backstory, of course, is not to torture you, but   to give you a fully developed sense of the smell bouquet evoked by Color Oops Hair-Dye Remover. To recap:  Ammonia, bleach, barf juices, despair, and death. Check.

As I washed the corrosive chemicals out of my hair that first day after application,   I prayed to Jesus that I’d actually have hair left when I got out of the shower. Fortunately I did. And while the chemicals did NOT restore me to my old color, they did lighten the color to a strawberry blonde that looks, if nothing else, like it would grow naturally out of my head.


Unfortunately, it was only the beginning of my nightmare. That night, as I brushed my teeth, I caught a whiff of it again. I concluded that I must have spilled some color loops somewhere in my bathroom, and immediately began scrubbing like mad. 

A few days later, I was at the gym, and I caught another whiff. What the….It was coming from my sweaty head–apparently I didn’t wash it out well enough!

So I went home and washed, and repeated. Washed and repeated.

A few nights later, I woke up from a nightmare, head all sweaty,  and SMELLED IT AGAIN.

This began my foray into obsessive compulsive hair washing. lather, lather lather. Rinse, rinse rinse. Lather lather lather….I washed my pillowcases, gym clothes–anything my wet hair may have touched and infected with the smell.


The good news is, I only smell the smell chemicals when my hair is wet or my head is sweaty. As long as I don’t get too worked up and avoid the rain, all is groovy.

The bad news is, the chemicals are still in my hair follicles. What are they doing in there? Why won’t they leave? Don’t they know their job is done, and they can now  go to the great celestial sewer in the earth and mingle with mouthwash, acne scrub and shampoo residue? Seems like a pretty good deal for some foul smelling

Why am I writing to you? Obviously  my association with the smell of your product is unique to me. Nobody else in the world visited their uncle Ken in a nursing home for two years and watched him barf  a haystack of fries into a trough. Nobody else sat in a hallway pitching pennies for hours while sad old people cackled and peed on the floor.  

I guess I’m writing to see if this is a common thing among users of your product. Is it me? Or is this some sort of gift that keeps on giving? In other words….Is the hair dye remover continuing its slow stripping my follicles of browny brown even after 23 washings?

Primarily, I am seeking your sympathy. However, if you are so moved, please reimburse me $12.99 for the entire bottle of shampoo I used up trying to wash the smell out.

Also, since my scalp is sore from all the rubbing of shampoo suds, I would like to request one of those cool scalp massager things that look like beat-up kitchen whisks. Those are awesome as fuck.


Arlene Shirlee

Dollar Store Douche (And other tales from the bathroom)

2012: A newfound passion

Let it be known! The big  bedroom makeover  of 2012  sparked a new passion in me never before witnessed by  family or friends:  The passion to clean, purge, and organize.  To those who have seen me plucking a pair of pants off my bathroom floor,  wearing them to dinner,  spilling lasagna on my lap and then EATING THE LASAGNA OFF THE DIRTY TOILET FLOOR PANTS-  BEHOLD! To those who have wondered about strange smells emanating from my purse-WITNESS! To all of my dinner guests who have had to surreptitiously re-wash entire sets of dishes I set out for them-TESTIFY!  

With shame and disgust as my guiding stars, I set out to methodically clean and reorganize my ENTIRE HOUSE, starting first with the bathroom.

For those still in denial over how gross I am, here’s a testimonial about my bathroom,  from Adriana:

For as long as I’ve known Arlene I was a little scared to sit on her toilet when using the facilities at her house. I mean, I can always wash my hands with iodine if I touch something unexpected in the salon or kitchen, but how am I supposed to sanitize my chocha & bung if a septic army crawls out from under her turlet seat and invades my bits?!?! An immediate full-on bath isn’t an option. I’ve seen her shower stall and I believe it’s in cahoots with the commode.

The first step in my bathroom adventure was the gutting every single item from my cabinets and shelves, and placing them on my bed to be sorted into individual toss/keep/goodwill piles–yes, motherfuckers: every  half- empty vitamin bottle–every  rusty bobby pin, every leaking tube of neosporin, every capless stick of lipbalm was layed out next to my dozing cat. 



Dollar Store Douche

About  four  years ago, I was in the dollar store on 7th and Market,  and I spied an item on the shelves that enraptures me to this day: A DOUCHE KIT. It was love at first sight.  My brain immediately began to hemorrhage with so many questions….First of all, DOES ANYONE ACTUALLY DOUCHE ANYMORE? Haven’t we all learned that vaginas come equipped with their own internal janitorial staff,  and to mess with their delicate flora can result in a raging yeast infection? Second of all, WHAT UNSAVORY SEX ACT WOULD YOU HAVE TO DO to warrant a dollar store douche? A corn weevil gangbang?  Mudfisting? Dumpsterlingus?  Assuming that you spent an evening shotgunning ketamine in a gas station bathroom, and woke up straddling a dead horse, COULDN’T YOU JUST TAKE A HOT SHOWER?

The more I stared at the box, the more I knew I just had to buy it. It needed to be part of my life somehow in ways I didn’t understand. And so, I plopped down my dollar on the counter, and took my new friend home. I placed it on my desk and stared intently at the box. As I stared, more questions began to bloom:  Who was the airbrushed model on the cover?  Either they’ve been using the same photo from 1973 to sell douche (I mean..aren’t there any retired actresses who can be the new face of the natureplex douche kit-JULIE DELPY I’M LOOKING AT YOU) (holy shit maybe it IS julie delpy) . The alternative is this box of douche WAS ACTUALLY ABOUT 20 YEARS EXPIRED.  Also, note the name of the manufacturer: “Natureplex.”  Are you kidding me??? I’d LOVE to go to the natureplex! Sounds dreamy.  I imagine it as a huge bio-dome full of woodland creatures, mossy glens, endless starry skies, and glittering rainbow rivers of douchewater, tended to by airbrushed nymphs who look like Julie Delpy. Yessss.


“What are you going to do with that douche, anyway?” Asked a friend, noticing it still sitting on my desk after two weeks.  

I didn’t know. For awhile, I flirted with the idea of turning on my video camera and doing a live televised douching–in the spirit of Geraldo Rivera getting butt fat injected into his face on his show a million years ago. After all, I’d never douched before! The whole thing would be a joyous disaster from beginning to end-sure to please one and all.  “Who is this woman willing to put her vagina on the line for entertainment?” people would say. “Let’s give her lots of money!” Of course, there would be a follow-up show all about my raging yeast infection, and searching in the dollar store for a healing salve. 

After the novelty wore off, however, I put the douche kit in the  cabinet below my sink with all the other chaos and noise.  And then, when I finally cleaned my bathroom, I  decided against throwing it away. Instead, I put it in the back of my cabinet for reasons I did not understand. 

Then I began to scrub the living shit out of my shower stall. I emptied bucket after bucket of filthy water, feeling like I was cleaning both the bathroom and my soul somehow. 

“Still on this cleaning kick?” asked my dickhead roommate, poking his head in the bathroom.

“Kick? I’m never stopping,” I said. “This is my new religion.”

“Yeah, right. We’ll see.”



Is there anything more deeply refreshing than drinking a cold beer in a hot shower? Think of it like a full cleansing, inside and out. While the suds roll off your body, a sudsy stream of alcohol disinfects and purifies your insides. When you emerge, you are extra  super clean!!


Unfortunately,  after my extra clean evenings, I’d just leave the empties on the floor of my shower–creating a serious trip hazard.  Were there ever to be an earthquake while showering, I’d would likely be found with shards of glass lodged in my body, resembling a craft project done by a tweaker on day one at the recovery center.

“Yeah, I’m guessing she was already dead before the quake” the coroners would say. “Jesus, can anyone drink this much beer in one sitting and survive? Man this bathroom is filthy, let’s take the body and get the fuck out of here. I think I just saw a bug crawling out of an old cheetoh.”

Which brings us to the present: 2015 

Even though my dickhead roommate at the time thought my obsession with cleaning was only a phase, I have since proven him wrong over and over again. (And also kicked him out for being a dick) and kept up a regular cleaning schedule.  While I am far too distractible by shiny things to be a full-on anal retent like Julie or Adriana,  I now make time to keep things from getting out of hand. 

Though I’ve dutifully  kept the toilet from growing mushrooms,  I have always  felt like my bathroom was missing something. I spend lots of time in there. I also have guests sometimes. It’s a nice thing to do, to think of other people and the experiences they are having in your bathroom. It’s one thing to poop, it’s another thing to poop and ponder something.

Anyway, remember the dollar store douche? I have kept it all these years–in the back of my cabinet below the sink. Once a year, I purge the sink cabinet, and I am once again confronted with the douche kit, and EACH TIME I PUT IT RIGHT BACK IN THE CABINET. Why do I hold onto it??

So, I decided to make the boldest executive decision of my life: Put the dollar store douche ON DISPLAY in my bathroom as an object of curiosity. This will force each person who enters to wonder about my intimate life. Does she do unsavory things? Make dildos out of dog turds? Perhaps they too will become lost in a reverie about the natureplex. 

So here it is, right next to my razors y’all! Front and center! 

go big or go home.
go big or go home.

I also decided to put up a framed picture, above the toilet. Each time I use the toilet now, I look at it, and repeat this phrase:

inspirational poster

Another fun fact–In the last year or so, I started learning how to accessorize and wear jewelry. A huge step for someone who should not be allowed anywhere near jewelry or tiny precious things because of the mysterious vortex that surrounds me. Earrings, bracelets, necklaces, newborn babies,  all seem to get sucked into it. “I just bought these earrings and already one is gone. WHERE DO THE THINGS GO?” 

I thought it would help to have my jewelry–y’know– organized in some way, instead of in a tangled mass of sparkles and chains.  So I procured this little number from Walgreens, and doctored it up with some russian criminal tattoo greeting cards I had laying around.


farting russian skeletons for the win
farting russian skeletons for the win

And here are some succulents in my bathroom window  that will surely die because I have the black thumb of doom. One of them is a BUTT PLANT. (which will apparently grow a tiny flower out of its crack) 


And finally, my collection of cheap eyeglasses–one in every color. Arranged neatly on tiny hooks, instead of flung haphazardly about and getting scratched to hell. 


And thus concludes my bathroom makeover! Hey,  if you’re ever in Oakland and gotta pee or number two (or douche!) look me up! I’ve officially got the funnest bathroom in Rockridge.

The Great Birthday Bedroom Makeover

In 2012, on my birthday, my friends showed up at my house with their arms full of cleaning supplies. Instead of cupcakes and shiny presents, they carried mops, buckets, rags, rubber gloves,  knee pads, buckets of paint, and murphy oil soap.

Did I mention I have the best friends in the world?

As instructed by Adriana, I’d already undergone phase 1 of the makeover: removing all items from my bedroom. Each item I removed  revealed a new horror: A giant dust oxen, in the process of mating with a pantiliner. A shriveled pea, a crumpled piece of paper with the words “Genital Crab Race”  scrawled on it. Brown-tipped ear plugs, wrapped up with broken ear buds. Playing cards stuck together with nail polish.

“Well, it was hard and also  scary, but I got everything outta there,” I said, walking my friends to my now empty, but completely filthy room.

“Oh my god. It’s worse than I thought,” said Julie, examining the Jackson Pollock stained walls. “Ew, is this ketchup?”

“Either that or blood,” I said. “I’m a barbarian you know.”

“Jesus. I think I need a drink before we get started,” she said.

And so, we gathered outside, to do a ceremonial shot of whiskey, and breathe in the fresh air before heading into the dungeon of my neglect.

And then we donned our rubber gloves.

first time wearing rubber gloves for anything but fisting.
first time wearing rubber gloves for anything but fisting.
Julie, getting fitted for knee-pads
Julie, getting fitted for knee-pads

I’ve asked my friends to submit their own versions of what happened after this–while they remember the before and after,  both of them reported it was a blackout haze of dirty bucket water, violent scrubbing, gagging, and scraping.

While my friends hunched over crusty splatters of pea soup, I took artistic photos and tried to keep them motivated with cheerful observations and antics. (Hey, someone had to be the cheerleader!) (also, it was my birthday!)

At some point, I noticed a rainbow prism shining into my room, where Julie was scrubbing some old sputum off the walls.

“Guys, a rainbow a rainbow!!” I announced. “This is a good omen from the gay parade birthday gods! Hold that pose Julie! Okay, now look like you really mean it. Give me a smile. Okay, good!”

A rainbow!!
A rainbow!!

“I think I’m gonna hurl,” said Adriana, pointing to something in the corner. “Did a bug just crawl out of that old cheetoh?”

After the bedroom was thoroughly cleaned, and disinfected several times over, Adriana set to work on taping the walls to begin painting them Wild Raisin. 

Meanwhile, Julie scrubbed down my desk outside–the beautiful, solid oak desk that the nice old gays gave to me a few years earlier was completely laquered with weed resin and chum. My promise to them that I’d take good  care of it, long abandoned.

Along with all the hilarity, of course, was shame. A shame that had been growing since I purged my closet a few months earlier,  and unearthed  the corpse of a long-dead film prop. The shame continued to bloom,  and haunt me  through my excavation mission under the bed. How is it acceptable that a 35 year old woman treat her own surroundings like a refugee camp? How could I justify my neglect  by saying “Oh, well, I’m an artist, I’m too busy videotaping  myself giving birth to Giant Meatballs to really do any of that ordinary people cleaning stuff. Besides, one day I’ll be rich and famous and hire someone to do that. For now, I’m cruisin at too high an altitude, baby.”

It was simply not okay for me to continue disrespecting myself as I had been.  Mother nature may have cursed me with a pathological near-sightedness and manky teeth–but she blessed me with a bright and brassy inner voice.  “Forget your art projects for now,” said the voice. “This is the shit.  And it’s only the start. You wanna break free from your demons? You wanna find your way out of the belly of the whale? Then grab a rag and get down on your hands and knees, bitch, and clean some crud. CLEAN YOUR WAY TO FREEDOM.”  

“Yes, ma’am.”


“Yes. Promise.”

(Fortunately, I’m also not smart enough to second guess or argue with my intuition)

And so, after the painting was finished, Adriana brought me into my newly scrubbed, newly painted bedroom, where we stood in front of a giant fan and gaped.

“You know what this is?” she asked.

“The best birthday ever???”

“No. It’s A clean vag. Your bedroom is a metaphor for your cooter. Just remember that.”

“I will.” (And I did.)

A clean vag.
A clean vag.

After my friends went home to bleach themselves, drink,  and douche, I lay on my bed marvelling at my walls.  For the first time in nearly a year, I felt a little hopeful about life. Like, in all of the darkness, I could see a tiny pinprick of light now. And if I continued on this strange journey of personal hygiene and house cleaning, I would eventually find my way to the sun once again.

And so, over the next year, I kept my promise to the dominatrix of  my intuition.  The bedroom was only a start. The next weekend, I purged and cleaned my pantry. Then I tackled my bathroom. Then the kitchen. I opened and emptied every drawer and cupboard finding horror after horror.  I got rid of the dumpster-dive couch full of spider nests. I learned to love my mop and bucket time,  and rejoiced every time I smelled  Murphy Oil soap, because it made me think of my friends, and what a special  gift they gave me on my birthday. Truly, a gift that keeps on giving, even to this day. 

lost in contemplation and shame.
lost in contemplation and shame.

The Gentle Pimp Hand

When setting off on an adventure into uncharted waters, it’s good to have a compass, a sack of food, and some good drugs. However, the most important thing to have, are travel companions who can help you figure out how to use your compass,  and who you can share your food and drugs with.

I’m very proud and lucky to know two extremely smart and homesteading-savvy women–without their help, guidance, and merciless teasing, I would probably be floating on a barge of cat hair and kleenex, somewhere north of the Pacific.

Meet Julie

One day, Julie and I took a trip to the beach. The plan was to meet at her house, and she would drive us there. By the time I showed up at her house, I’d lost a flip-flop along the way, spilled gatorade in my lap, and my sunscreen exploded on the train, covering everything in my beach bag with oily goop. Meanwhile, Julie had both of her beach bags packed neatly and efficiently, according to logical ease of access. She was also dressed appropriately for the beach, and had packed extra layers, for when it gets cold.

“Drat, I forgot to bring something warm for later,” I said, knowing I’d forgotten something.

“Do you wanna borrow an extra hoodie, mama?”  Asked Julie.

‘Sure, that’d be great,” I said, fishing out some soggy store receipts from my bag.

“Here you go. Just please don’t wipe boogers on it, okay?”

“Of course. And thank you.”

Speaking of appropriate clothing–Julie is also one of the most  smartly dressed people you’ll ever meet. She is, in fact, my style hero. No matter what the occasion, or weather, she always has the right thing on, and the right things packed in anticipation of weather changes. Generally,  she’ll wear nice slacks, librarian shoes, and knit sweaters that fit her perfectly BECAUSE SHE KNITTED THEM HERSELF. Julie believes that one should always be smartly dressed in public, as it raises society to a  more respectable level. Through her guidance, and gentle ribbing, I too, have stopped wearing overly squishy things in public. I put together an outfit. Then, I check my outfit for stains, rumples, and hairballs before I leave the house. And I always pack a scarf.

Julie eats her food in neat little bites and doesn’t wolf it down like a barbarian and get big grease stains on her titty.

If you go to Julie’s yuppie house, you’ll be hard pressed to find any dirt whatsoever. (Although she went through a weird stage where she was collecting cat fur in a jar for mysterious reasons.) When her mom comes to visit Julie ritually CLEANS THE BLINDS. This means, no matter how neat Julie is, her mom is clearly in a category beyond.

Julie says she can’t abide by chaos and disorder–she hates housework but makes herself do it because the end result is sanity. And, after my come to jesus moment with cleaning, I have to agree with her: organized, and clean is best.

Meet Adriana

Adriana is the wizard of all things homesteading related.  Really, she should  be like a yogi or something, and sit in a shrine doing bong rips while being visited by various spazzers, clumsy acolytes, and greasy barbarians.

“Adriana…I just bought a mini bottle of fernet, and can’t open it. I want to smash it!”

“Get a rubber band and wrap it around the top.  And zip up your fly for pete sake.“

”Adriana….How do I put a comforter cover on a comforter?”

“My child. simply turn the comforter inside out. Hold it at the corners. Then shake it down over the comforter.”

“Adriana. How do I organize the lids of my pots and pans so they don’t fall on my head all the time?”

“Young grasshopper. Simply buy a dish rack, and arrange them in there.”

When you crash at Adriana’s house because you got too loaded, she will have clean sheets for you, and a clean towel. And a toothbrush. She won’t hand you something that smells musty, or give you a glass of water with a dried lentil floating in it. If you run out of toilet paper in her bathroom, there is a fresh roll waiting on a shelf, within reaching distance. You won’t have to shuffle to the other side of the bathroom with your chonies down, and dripping pee everywhere. She really thinks of everything. I fucking  love that woman.



My Reality Show Starring Me

Me: Guys, I feel like I’m in a reality show right now.

Adriana: You are. It’s called “your life.”


Makeover style shows generally suck. This is because the people doing the makeovers are not your friends, they are entertainers. After the show, when you wobble home in your Jimmy Chu’s and pleated capris, look at yourself in the mirror and say “I look like an asshole” the producers of the show are clinking glasses, smiling into their coke mirrors,  and celebrating another successful show.

If you decide to do a home or personal style makeover (and I’ve done both now!) you want to choose people you really trust, and who you can rely on to be completely honest with you. Because let’s face it–you can’t grow into the best person you can be,  if you can’t accept honest criticism here and there from your loved ones. Likewise, you aren’t being a good friend when you offer only empty praise and say “That’s awesommmmmme” to every nit-wit thing your friends say or do. You are only keeping them small, and in the dark.  We have a duty to each other, as human beings, to gently guide and corral behaviors when necessary.  Not everything we do is “awesome” and deserving of praise. I know, in the Bay Area, we tend to discourage shame and shaming. Which is, well, a shame, because people should feel more ashamed. Especially those who wear pajamas in public and walk too slow in the train station. Without shame, what’s to stop us from throwing poop at each other like monkeys, and making whoopee to moving buses?  Shame, when used conservatively,  is actually quite useful to maintain accountability. Take a moment now, to feel some shame. Let your cheeks get rosy. It’s good for you.

Anyway, In light of the bedroom makeover, and the subsequent clothes shopping makeover, my friends and I created a  friendship philosophy around being truly honest with each other about shit, and it’s come in handy for more than just makeovers–it’s just a good all around way of respecting your loved ones:



This philosophy of the  gentle  pimp hand,  follows a five finger approach. When embarking on any kind of make-over expedition, road trip, or other deeply personal endeavor with someone, consider each finger of the gentle pimp hand, before deciding who to take with you on your journey.

The gentle pimp hand
The gentle pimp hand


Does this person love you? Do you even know what love is? Are you a rock or an island?  I can’t answer that for you. But if thou have a slightest doubt then don’t choose this person  for your make-over.


“They are not my friends. They’re like my co-workers and our job is being, like… popular and shit.”

-Winona Ryder from the movie Heathers.

There are “friends” and there are Friends. Some people you hang out with because they are fun, or help you get laid because they are attractive. Or because they have access to the best drugs. Other people, you trust with your life. They’ve seen you vomiting in your purse and falling down from heartbreak, and they still embraced you. You’ve confessed things they have not repeated on Facebook. They check in on you when you’re down, or sick.


Here’s how Adriana lays it out.

“If your friend has spinach in her teeth, you’re doing her no favors by remaining quiet about it. You are only embarrassing her further. Yes, it will be embarrassing when you tell her, but think how embarrassing it could be if you DON’T. “

So, if your friend squeezes into a tube top and resembles a keilbasa, there is a way to tell her that will still allow her to retain her dignity and prevent her from buying the tube top. Remember: your friend’s  unflattering clothing choices are like spinach in her teeth.


Nothing should be taken too seriously. ESPECIALLY not makeovers. Your friends should be able to tease you and you should also  be able to make fun of yourself. Like the time I went clothes shopping with Adriana and Julie:


Humor is such an undervalued, but necessary  part of the makeover process. Please remember that you’re supposed to be having fun. No matter what you’re doing.


Once you’ve found your one or two  friends who you know have your best interest at heart, and who aren’t trying to make you into someone you’re NOT and  who only wish to see you rocking what you got THEN YOU MUST OBEY THEM.


Giving up control is hard for many people. At first it will be weird and you’ll want to fight them. Eventually, you just submit to their gentle pimp hand. That actually makes it easy—if you can’t submit, then perhaps one of the fingers is still missing from the pimp hand. Time to have a sandwich, and re-examine.

Here’s an example of the gentle  pimp hand in motion :

Prior to going clothes shopping with me for the first time, Adriana gave Julie a pre-game pep talk, because Julie was feeling a little nervous about the possibility of having to tell me something I picked out doesn’t look good, and hurting my feelings. We women care much about hurting feelings. Maybe a little too much.

“Okay Julie. Here’s the deal. At some point in time, while shopping, Arlene will probably try on something way too small and do her best to convince you that it’s sexy. Your job is to gently, but directly let her know that it does not fit her. Guide her to more appropriately sized clothing. You can do it. Keep your pimp hand strong!”

Sure enough, I found a clingy pencil skirt that day at H&M that made my jelly jiggle.

“Wow, look at my ass in this thing!” I said, twerking and spanking myself. “Amazing! This is hot!”

Julie was quiet for a moment. She cleared her throat. “Don’t you think it’s a little, well,  er….small?” She asked.

“Yeah, sure, it’s tight. But it’s tight HOT.”

“I don’t think it’s the right size for you.”



“Aw come on,” I said, waggling my booty. “You know you want some of this, huh, HUH?”

“You have a fantastic ass, mama. I just think it would look better in a skirt that actually fit you.

Then I stopped. I noticed the elastic on the skirt was, in fact, digging into my vital organs. And I had a little difficulty walking. Well, okay, a lot.


“You can still find a hot skirt, but in your size.”

“Awright.” I grumbled. “You are right.”


I am lucky, and blessed,  as I said, to know people who I trust enough to help scrub the mystery stains from my walls. To help purge the torn flannels and half-stuffed railroad hobos from my closet. To bring with me into the dressing room while I try on endless bras. Were it not for my friends and their gentle pimp hands, I might still be safety pinning my pants, and mopping my floors by skating around  the kitchen on clorox wipes.


And on this note, I’m going to turn over the next post–for the most part!  to Adriana and Julie.  They will help me tell the story of the Great Birthday Bedroom Makeover–one of the best, and joyfully humiliating days of my life.

**SENSITIVITY NOTE:  I understand the violence, and abuse that real pimps inflict. I do not mean to make light of this abuse.  However, I am re-claiming this word. It’s okay if women (and men) who love each other,  are each others gentle pimps in a tough love friendship. Please realize that, though the pimp hand is often firm, and sometimes even stings, it is NEVER abusive. If you feel humiliated or wounded by your friend pimps, then go to a safe place and hide. Then, find some new friends.

The Monsters Behind My Bed

Though my bedroom, at one point in time, would have made a great sad clown museum, or a secret hideaway shack for one of the lost Manson girls, the truth was, it just didn’t feel sexy for me to be in there. This is because, my bedroom wasn’t JUST my bedroom; it was also my art studio, production room, dining room, stoner dance party club, and my wastebasket. As a matter of fact, it was so NOT sexy, that I coudn’t even have an erotic fantasy without interruption.

For instance, I’d lay back in bed, turn on some slow jams, shut my eyes and imagine some swarthy lumberjack, poised to ravage me.

“Take me, take me now!” I’d cry to my romantic partner.

Stone cold freaking would begin. After a few seconds, he would stop, and say “wait. hold on. There’s something digging into my leg. Holy shit, is this a toenail?”

End fantasy. Make sandwich. Sigh.

Even my homosexual cats, Henry and Ralph, were getting more play than me in my bedroom. Unlike human homos, they didn’t seem to care if I had a box of tampons on the desk or not. They didn’t mind about the broken christmas lights. They got it on day and night.

“Jesus christ, give it a rest!” I’d shout, in the middle of the night, feeling the bed wobble, and hearing what sounded like the ghost of eartha kitt rumbling up from the bedsheets. “Go rent a room at a Hojo and leave me in peace.”

As the days led up to my Big 35th birthday Bedroom Makeover, I grew increasingly excited, envisioning how my new bedroom would look. One thing I did know for sure–I’d be caught dead before I let anyone turn it into some assembly-line pottery barn suburban bullshit. There would be no earth tones, and no motherfucking shams. There would be no framed artwork featuring spring flowers, or abstract squares. And there would definitely be no wicker baskets, of any shape or kind.

Instead, I looked to 70’s porn, for my bedroom makeover inspiration. I wanted to transform my sad railroad hobo shack, into a full on shagadelic lavalamp bordello, complete with a revolving tray of boob chocolates, and luther vandross on a clapper.

Like this:


“Hey, maybe we can even put a mirror on my ceiling!” I said, to Adriana, in a reverie of excitement, one night.

“Honky, you live on a fault line–ain’t no way I’m gonna let you get sliced to shit from your falling fuck mirror if there’s an earthquake.”

“Oh. Right.”

“Don’t worry! We’ll make it sexy. Just watch–it’ll be like a dick trap. Men will be walking down the street and suddenly be knocking on your door with their boners.

I smiled, thinking about some of the hot DILFS in Rockridge, abandoning their non-fat latte pilates wives, and strollers, for one chance to freak out in my den of iniquity.

We had meetings to discuss paint colors. We collected swatches. We debated over accent walls, or a full bedroom paint job. In the end, we decided to do two accent walls. The color I chose was a deep, fully engorged burgundy called “Wild Raisin”.

wild raisin

Wild Raisin! The color of love, before it explodes into whipped cream.
Wild Raisin! The color of sex for breakfast.

I spent the morning of my 35th birthday emptying my aquarium, moving my dresser, and desk out of my room, preparing for Adriana and Julie to arrive with their cleaning supplies. Behind each of these things were assorted treasures! Buttons, and safety pins. Earplugs, and hairballs. Dried cat vomit residue, and cat litter. And about $50.00 worth of spare change.

The last thing that remained to be cleared out, was my mattresses.

I’m not sure how often y’all clean behind or under your beds, but the only times I’d ever cleaned behind my bed , was when I was actually moving out of an apartment. That is to say, my idea of a fun Saturday afternoon involves hanging out at the cemetery and thinking about death, and coming home to listen to 70’s music while I dance with a towel on my head. Maybe make a casserole, or two. Maybe start a screenplay I’ll never finish. But never have I ONCE said “you know…I think I’ll spend this nice golden saturday afternoon cleaning behind my bed, because it seems like it might be getting a little grody back there, and I don’t want to breathe in spider poop while I sleep.”

Never. I’d lived in that room for 5 years, and never once moved or cleaned behind the bed.

I had no idea what I was in store for.

After the spiders and silverfish were effectively wrangled and exterminated, and I stopped shrieking about bugs, I began to slowly fish out random items from behind my mattress, each one more strange than the last.

Then, I began to snap some photos.


List of items found behind my bed, are as follows:

1. Crumpled kleenex
2. Dried up tube of cadmium yellow acrylic paint
3. Crusted shut bottle of strawberry lube
4. Black yarn, tied in knots
5.Gauze tourniquet, applied to my cat Henry’s chin, when he had an exploding abscess.
6a. Old stuffed dog I found in the park, with eyebrows drawn on!
6b. An old man mask with “Kiss me, I’m terminal” hat.
7. Hair weave /severed muppet head
8a dead muppet
8b. Writers guild certificate for my screenplay “Dearie”
9. long ropey thing.
10. leaf
11. Plucked pink feathers, from a boa
12. cat treats
13. Lowrider Oldies CD
14. assorted dried out pens
15. assorted mixed nuts
16. Grapefruit spoon
17. 63 cents in spare change
18. ear plugs
19. nail clipper
20. Risk card

If this were a crime scene, what do you suppose happened? My guess is someone broke into a halfway house for dried up theater queens, and distributed a truckload of acid to the residents, which resulted in a lowrider dance party orgy, followed by a game of Risk that turned deadly after someone swallowed the dice thinking they were candies.

After taking several artistic photos of what I found behind my bed, I moved my mattresses out of my room.

My bedroom was now COMPLETELY EMPTY. Having all of the furniture of of my room gave me brand new insights into the random stains on the wall. Some of them were obviously coffee or condiments. Some were more mysterious, and contained particulate matter of unknown origins.

The doorbell rang. It was my friends.

“Happy birthday, honky!” they shouted, hugging me, and dragging buckets and mops and rags behind them.

“I’m proud to announce, I removed all of the furniture from my room,” I announced, walking them into my bedroom. “Incidentally, I found some nuts behind my bed. Is anyone hungry?”

“Jesus. We’ve really got our work cut out for us,” said Julie, gazing at the Jackson Pollock splattered walls, and crusty floors.

“Dang. I really hope those aren’t boogers on the wall over there,” said Adriana.

“Yeah. We may need something stronger than Murphy’s soap for this job,” remarked Julie.

“We can always go get bleach if we need to. And we may need to,” said Adriana.

“Well, should we get started?” I asked.

As my friends began to fill buckets full of soapy, lemony-scented water, I grabbed my camera and started snapping more photos. I knew this would be a day that would live in infamy, and it was.

Before I tell the birthday story of the Great Birthday Bedroom Makeover, I’d like to formally introduce you to Adriana and Julie, my Anal Friends.