If I Were a Homeless Person…

Dude, listen. If I were a homeless person, I wouldn’t be lame like everyone else. If I were a homeless person, I’d be friggin’ COOL.

1. I’d listen to my iPod all the time. I’d have an iPod because homeless people are rich. Let’s be honest—they make way more than I do. (I can’t afford a nice new peacoat, but the homeless guy outside Starbucks sure can!) I’d jam out to classic homeless favorites like “Take the Long Way Home” and “Take Me Home, Country Roads”; however, I’d be sure to have all the obscurest indie tunes on my ‘pod, so that passersby would groan in envy at how hip and cultured I was.

2. While listening to my iPod, I’d constantly text my homeless friends on my iPhone, while typing To-Do lists on my iPad (1 – Get more money 2 – Find some food 3 – Vodka break? 4 – Check price of 7-Eleven sunflower seeds) and making beats on my iMac. When other homeless people tried to steal my snazzy technology, I’d scream “GET A JOB!”

3. The key to looking fashionable is mixing high- and low-end merchandise. I’d pair my Balmain jacket with a fetching pair of plastic bag bloomers, or grunge up my Prada heels with some chewed-up gum. I’d have a streetstyle blog called Cardboard is the New Chanel. All the pictures would be of me.

4. I’d have a homeless lover, and we’d sit on public benches and stare deeply into each other’s eyes, with matching McDonald’s coffee cups quivering by our entwined feet. Every time someone threw change into our cups, we’d kiss. Eventually, we’d have a big homeless wedding with pigeon bridesmaids.

5. I wouldn’t sit on the sidewalk—so demeaning! I’d sit on rooftops and yell at people to toss up money. If they were rude, I’d drop pennies on their heads. Did you know a penny dropped from the top of the Sears Tower can kill a man? Tee-hee!

6. I’d go into hotels and wait for people to leave their rooms, then I’d slip in before the door had a chance to lock. I’d curl up in the bed, take a catnap, watch some TV, and empty out the minibar.

7. When the police yelled at me for sleeping in other people’s hotel rooms, I’d respond with a shockingly eloquent tirade of legal jargon, something like this: Good sirs! The terms “homeless person” or “homeless people” do not appear in the U.S. Constitution. So how are we to know what rights, if any, the homeless have? The enforcement of your acrimonious ordinances violates the rights of chronically homeless residents who have no other place to sleep. Sirs, you are are intimidating, harassing and arresting a chronically homeless resident for the natural and involuntary acts of sleeping and having a stiff drink.

8. I’d have awesome signs. Half of them would be abstract works of postmodern genius, like this:


…while the other half would be lyrical and sincere: Ladies and Gentlemen of the World. Do not look at me as a blight upon society, a thwarted and dangerous and probably drugged-up young white woman sucking the dregs from the pockets of the more fortunate. While I do enjoy throwing the occasional knife at an innocent passerby, I do so out of a deep-seated need to come to grips with my own mortality, not out of any bitter hatred for society. Thank you for giving generously.

9. I’d be an eco-friendly homeless person. When kind passersby gave me their leftovers, I’d demand to know if they were raw, vegan, organic, and locally-grown. If they weren’t, I’d throw them on the ground and spit on them. Then I’d punch the giver in the face while screaming “OHM!” I’d offer to give interviews as Granola McHomeless, the world’s first eco-friendly burlesque bag lady. I’d insist that my money was going toward obscure environmental causes, like “clouds,” and when people refused to give, I’d look at them with withering scorn and hiss, “And you call yourself a human.” I’d have lots of pets, as the homeless tend to do, but mine would all be endangered species. I’d have a panda named Louis XIV, and a white Siberian tiger with a diamond-encrusted collar named Jafar.

10. I’d slouch around, wearing dirty clothes and pretending to be poor, looking judgmentally at anyone who appeared the slightest bit happy.

And that’s what I’d do if I were a hipster!


Gossip Tori

A Dialogue Between Me and You

Ever wondered what it would be like to have a real face-to-face conversation with me? Many have. Few have actually experienced it. I am usually so busy vomming in the sink or screaming at my boyfriend that I have no time for any other human interaction. It’s hard being so divalicious. Here’s how it would probably go if you and I happened to run into each other.

Me: Oh hey there!

You: Um…h-h-hi.

Me: There’s no need to be intimidated, young Padawan. I’m very approachable.
(I hold out a few breadcrumbs. You snarl, grab them, stuff them into your mouth, and retreat back into your fort. Oh yeah, you’ve built a fort and you’re hiding in it and I came over to talk you out of it because your mom wants you in for dinner. I forgot to say that.)

Me: You wanna grab some dinner? It’s been forever!

You: Maybe.

Me: OK, let’s get pizza.

You: Why do you always want pizza?

Me: Because pizza is the best food ever!

You: True.

Me: Garlic? So good.

You: That’s true, too.

Me: And any combo of bread + cheese—MMM!

You: Fine.
(You crawl out of the fort and we go ask your mom if we can order pizza instead of eating her tuna casserole. She says yes because you have a cool mom.)

As you can see, I come across looking way cooler, more mature, and well-traveled (nothing screams “Paris!” more than bread + cheese) than you do.

I Know Some Words (Rated R for Graphic Scenarios and Some Drug and Alcohol Use)

As I go about my day-to-day life, I’m constantly encountering crazy words. Because that’s what happens when you’re a masked vigilante. There are crazies EVERYWHERE. And some aren’t even human–some are units which are constituent at the phrase level and above. The horror! I’ve stalked and killed most of them–although my sources tell me there are still many on the loose–and have half of them pinned up over my desk at work, and half of them pinned onto a bulletin board at home. Actually, I only have two pinned up at home–my apartment is a safe space. They dare not enter there. Here are a few of the craziest ones I’ve encountered as I slink around Chicago in a cape:

my desk

vitelline: having a yellow color resembling that of an egg yolk.
“Geohhge!” she drawled. “This is the most gawjus ring I’ve ever seen!” It sparkled on her finger, vitelline in the sunlight, false gold like the false teeth of the man she thought she loved.

cryptomnesia: copying the work of others without being aware of it.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” he wrote. He could feel the fire of genius bubbling in his blood, a common side effect of cryptomnesia. Or was it the whiskey?

uxorious: affectionately oversubmissive toward one’s wife.
“My darling, my cuckoo-bird.” He fawned over her mud-stained boot, uxorious. “What can I get my lovely creampuff today?” “Vicodin,” she snarled, pulling off her gloves, “and a fifth of tomato juice. Take care of the body.”

lycanthropy: the magical ability of a person to assume the characteristics of a wolf.
Thanks, Shakira!

vitrescent: becoming glass
Blanche wanted to live forever. So she Botoxed. And she Botoxed some more. And now she is vitrescent.

hypergamy: marrying up
He was a devout Communist. He thought that marrying Angelina constituted hypergamy, and as such he considered himself thoroughly justified in sleeping with the maid. The judge disagreed. So did Angelina. In the library. With the ice pick.

Aren’t they COOL? You are now smarter. For real! How does it feel?

Interview With Barack

Wow, it’s been an exciting week. I had a chance to interview the (arguably) most influential man of the decade, and it was a thrilling experience. NBC, thanks so much for getting me in! Michelle, thanks for letting me steal your man away from the kids for an evening. 411 4eva! Yeah, girl! 😉 (Sorry guys, inside joke.)

I didn’t think I’d be able to reprint the transcript of the interview here before it goes live, but luckily a very special somebody over at NBC was able to get me full rights! THANKS PAUL-O! Love you lots, love your chicken more! HAHA! Oh, I went there! 😉

Anyway, here it is!

Me: Well if it isn’t Barack Obama, the first black president in the history of the United States!
Barack: Haha, hello yourself.
Me: Do you feel awkward, Mr. Obama, when I refer to you as “black?”

Barack: No, not at all.
Me: Great. Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am a white female striving for equality in this crazy world. I work in children’s publishing and am thinking about starting an ebay store with one of my friends. Hmm, what else—oh, I love the color coral, because my grandma says I look pretty in coral.
Barack: Sasha loves coral, too—she even has a coral key chain to go with her coral purse.
Me: Cute! So, first question. What three words would you use to describe me? “Calm, cool, and collected?” “Spunky, sparkling, and spacey?” or “Fun, fabulous, and fly?”
Barack: Well…I’d have to go with the last one.
Me: Holla! I’m as fly as they come. Haha! That’s just a little black lingo for you. Now Barack, I have to say, I really like the tie you’re wearing today. What is your favorite part of my outfit?
Barack: H’m. You’re wearing very nice shoes. Malia would love those. She likes to play dress-up in my wife’s heels.
Me: These old things? Oh dear, I picked these up at—let’s see, where did I get these shoes? I want to say Nordstrom Rack, but I also went on a bit of a shoe bender in Southern California last summer, and I was high on E for most of it, so it’s always a surprise walking into my shoe closet now! Hehe! I’m like, “Huh? Don’t remember buying these!” Does your wife have a shoe closet?
Barack: No, but she has a very big closet. That was one of the caveats she gave me before she’d move into the White House. “Baby,” she said, “I don’t care what the kitchen looks like, but give me a really big closet.”
Me: JUST LIKE CARRIE AND BIG! That is so cute. What tips would you have for, say, a twenty-something girl in the children’s publishing industry, for maximizing closet space?
Barack: Wow, you’d have to ask Michelle about that one. Sorry!
Me: Great, I’ll get her number from you after the break. Do you consider me an attractive person?
Barack: I think you’re very enthusiastic.
Me: What would you say is my best feature?
Barack: Well..
Me: I get a lot of compliments on my eyes. But lately I’ve been crying so much that they’re all puffy. AND I’m getting a wrinkle on my forehead! See this?
Barack: I don’t…see any wrinkle.
Me: Does Michelle have any particularly prominent wrinkles, or does she Botox?
Barack: Michelle is a beautiful woman.
Me: You’re probably wondering why I mentioned crying. I’m a very emotional person, as many white females are. You see—well, I should probably start at the beginning. When I was very young, I suffered a horrible, horrible tragedy.
Barack: I’m sorry to hear that.
Me: Yes. Thank you. My pet goat died.
Barack: That’s terrible. I know my girls would be devastated if anything happened to their puppy.
Me: But you can get a puppy at any pet store. How many times have you seen a goat?
Barack: Actually, in Hawaii—
Me: My point exactly. They don’t have them in America. Anyway, my goat died. That was probably the first night I truly cried my eyes out. Then I was robbed.
Barack: Oh?
Me: Yes, someone came in the middle of the night and took away all my toys. At the time, I thought it was the tooth fairy. Turns out it was my mom, punishing me for putting a scorpion in my little brother’s shoe.
Barack: Wow.
Me: Anyway, things haven’t been easy. So, heard anything new about the oil spill?
Barack: I—the oil spill? Oh! My team has been working round the clock to combat this tragedy. BP will pay.
Me: I know, right? So awful. However, let’s not forget about the many benefits of oil. Did you know jojoba oil is a wonderful facial moisturizer?
Barack: …
Me: I see why you wouldn’t trust me. I mean, I have a wrinkle in my forehead.
Barack: No—I—…
Me: It’s a wrap! Thanks so much, Mr. President!

A Little Bit of Bitchiness About Writers

You know what really grinds my gears? (© Family Guy)
Unpublished young writers being like, “Oh, you just don’t understand my work.”
Listen, Shakespeare, if we don’t understand your work, the problem is probably with your work. I consider it the height of pretension and general disgustingness when twenty-somethings get all aloof and superior with regards to their ART. What’s that? You’re the next Keats/Joyce? Awesome, in 100 years—when your poor old misunderstood over-critiqued underpaid body is rotting in the grave—you can consider yourself Officially Vindicated. Put that on a bumper sticker and stick it to your cryonically-frozen coffin-that-doubles-as-a-spaceship! (It’s 2110, they have those things.) But going by sheer numbers, chances are you’re NOT the next Keats/Joyce, and right now you look like an idiot.
I work in the publishing industry. (Also, I majored in creative writing.) I am a stupid twenty-something, so I don’t have that much street cred, but a year of publishing experience has given me a tiny bit. I have seen first hand the sheer number of people who are deluded by the glamour of the craft, people who think that snow “covers the hills like frosting,” people who think that the bohemian poverty of being young and white in New York is still a fresh and appealing subject, people who—I’m sorry, I know karma’s gonna get me for this one—people who think they’re writers when they’re just not. And believe you me, I struggle every day to maintain a degree of distance and self-consciousness about my writing (and myself in general). I really don’t want to come across as looking stupid. I’d rather stop writing than be the kind of author that I read every day. I’M SORRY!
One of the most infuriating/ack writing moments I’ve experienced was during the workshop of this guy’s crazy, look-at-my-vocab, plot-is-beneath-me, abstractions, adjectives, and general jerking-off-filled story, where most of the class was like, “Um, I don’t get this.” (Totally valid response, in my book.) The author’s friend decided to stick up for him, and responded, “Listen. I’ve read M’s writing before, and you can’t really look for a meaning. You just have to kind of let the words wash over you.”
ACK. Yes I damn well can look for a meaning! I’m the reader, I hold the cards right now! Once you’ve put your story out there, you don’t get to go around peering over people’s shoulders and saying, “Oh, did you notice how I used that comma to convey the main character’s sense of imminent apocalypse?” and “This is the part where the five lemons on the table represent the five ex-lovers of Bill Clinton, who was in office at the time, though I don’t mention that explicitly in the story.” If you’re that much of a control freak—and believe me, I am—go out and have a drink, baby! Relax! AND STEP AWAY FROM THE LITERATE MASSES. Note: have you recently written a creative thesis? This is the absolute worst. You don’t get to bitch about how people don’t get it once you’ve turned that baby in. You’re the one that doesn’t get it. You’re over. Step back. Trust your work enough to let it seep into our consciousness, and see if it leaves a stain.
Trust me, I’m tempted to pull out the people-are-so-ignorant-sniff-sniff card ALL THE TIME, and I know, I know, people are idiots and it’s frustrating being a misunderstood genius in a world of those who cannot spell “children.” I SUCK TOO, DON’T WORRY! Most people NEVER understand my stories the way I, you know, intended them to be understood. Oh, the humanity! However, a) I’m not a total idiot and I’m willing to consider that maybe other people are right and the twisty convulsions of my distorted genius are just confusing crap, and b) when people don’t totally understand what you’ve written, but like it anyway, you have created this magical thing called “dialogue.” For instance, I just exchanged stories with my friend Brooke, who sent back two pages of comments describing her take on my story. Most of her ideas had never even occurred to me (my main character is actually Death?!), but they were so unique and inspiring that I’m sure they’ll transform the story (once I sit back down with it, which will probably be never, because I’m busy blogging). (And eating chips, even though I hear it’s an easy way to get a heart attack ASAP.) (I JUST DON’T GET IT, THIS THING CALLED LIFE!)

Ya dig?

How To Have a Heart Attack ASAP

Sorry I haven’t written anything lately. I’ve been feeling very bitter. And when you’re bitter, it’s hard to be funny (see: stand-up comedy).

Thankfully, I was able to channel my pain into great art, and I stand before you today with a never-before-seen excerpt from my new book, Bitter Water, Bitter Bread: A Memoir.

1. Major in writing, but make sure you interact–on a daily basis–with those who cannot.
2. Live in a city that smells really disgusting in the summer.
3. Work on a block that smells ESPECIALLY disgusting in the summer.
4. Live right around the corner from the grossest smelling alley in the history of the WORLD.
5. Have lots to do, but make sure you forget your planner whenever possible.
6. Have this totally bizarre quirk where you notice things like oh, the word “children” is misspelled on this very important piece of literature. Make sure–I repeat, make sure–that the mistake lingers on and on without being corrected even though you’ve mentioned it five billion times. This kind of nitpicky perfectionism is guaranteed to increase your risk of a stroke by 105.6%.
7. THEN WRITE A STUPID BLOG POST. Make sure you tag it “genius original work.”
8. Eat lots of potato chips until you burst.
9. Dream about cockroaches.
10. Rush onto the set of Transformers 3, filming right around the corner from your office, and fling yourself onto a pile of “fake” explosives.

Traumatizing Moments from My Present, Volume One: GO AWAY GOOGLE

Just looked at Google Analytics for this blog.


First of all, I’M FAMOUS! 81 visits this week?! That’s like the whole town of Sheffield, IL! Too bad no one has computers there. They may never see this shout-out. I love Sheffield! They have the best restaurant EVER. It’s called Zee Best Cafe. You should check it out. The chef was a Top Chef winner, I think, I don’t know, he had to cook anaconda or something once. Then he served it at the restaurant. IN SHEFFIELD. And people bought it! Who says the country folk of Southern Illinois are narrow minded? David Foster Wallace, that’s who. Too bad he’s wrong. 81 visits! JEEPERS! Thanks for all the comments, jerks. Oh, and to whoever found this blog by googling “how to stalk and kill young elk,” I would like to say this: Montana Cow Elk III Decoy ©.

Second of all, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Why does Google know everything? And now that I have supped from the goblet of Google Analytics, I, too, know everything. The knowledge is too much. It’s crushing me. I spin crazily around in my own head. (Actually, I spin crazily around in my chair, from a mind-altering cocktail of ibuprofen and lattes. Why did Chili Mac’s have a $4 16 oz. vodka lemonade special last night? Tell me that, Google. Tell me that.)

Now I’m intimidated by my new-found fame, and don’t know what to write about. Ironic, isn’t it? My knowledge is also my destruction. Fun quiz of the day: Find All the Similarities Between This Post and the Book of Genesis!

Everything: the minutely detailed history of the future, the archangels’ autobiographies, the faithful catalogues of the Library, thousands and thousands of false catalogues, the demonstration of the fallacy of those catalogues, the demonstration of the fallacy of the true catalogue, the Gnostic gospel of Basilides, the commentary on that gospel, the commentary on the commentary on that gospel, the true story of your death, the translation of every book in all languages, the interpolations of every book in all books.

-Borges, Library of Google

PS: I just realized that 79 of those visits might have been me. SOMETIMES I NEED TO CHECK ON THINGS, OK? Like if this blog still exists. Google, can you tell when it’s just me? Why am I even asking that? Of course you can. YOU KNOW EVERYTHING.

PPS: Do you think there’s a chance that one–just one!–of those 81 lost souls was Scott Weiland who found me while googling himself? (Because you know he does that all the time. Sorry, Scottie.)

Evil Google Overlord

Betches Who Need to Get Their Sh*t Together and Call Me

Scott Weiland: Babe, I know it’s been a hard few decades. Your band got ripped apart by critics all over the 90’s. I mean, you can’t step anywhere without tripping over a torn limb or stepping in a puddle of congealing Stone Temple Pilot blood. But baby, let’s leave the past behind. I wanna make it up to you. See? No criticism here! Your ex-wife was so happy on the day that she left you? I’ll be happy when you walk through my door. I’m happy now, just talking to your answering machine. Sigh… CALL ME BACK, DAMMIT!

Hugh Jackman: Hugh, I know last night was awkward. Your wife walking in on us blah blah blah smashing plates. But indecent exposure is the name of the fame game, baby! Think of the roles you’ll get after our affair is splashed all over the tabloids. You’ll finally be the dark, twisted, melancholy villain you’ve always wanted to play. Remember our first date, when you told me how you were sick of being perpetually typecast as the dreamiest of dreamy dreamboats? This is your chance, my love! Call me ASAP to discuss our future. XOXO.

Taylor Lautner
: Hey, it’s me. I’m sorry I talked so much smack about Twilight. You have to understand–I hate Edward. I hate Bella. But I have never hated you. I would have totes.com boycotted the movies, had you been replaced, and I have given up a significant amount of my writerly street cred by even seeing the movies in the first place. They’re threatening to take away my Fiction Card because of it! Darling, NOW do you believe me when I say I’m on your team? Call me.

Courtney Love: Sorry for the uncomfortable run-in at K’s grave the other night. I was bringing flowers, you were bringing flowers, I was wearing his favorite color, you were wearing his favorite color, I was shooting up in his honor, you were shooting up in his honor…I KNOW. AWK. I just want you to know that I did not sleep with him. We were just really, really, really good friends. He had always hoped that you and I could be close. Well, goodb–HE WROTE “LOVE BUZZ” FOR ME. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I just thought you should know. But it was totally not sexual. “Buzz” just meant our intellectual chemistry, you know? Ok, well, bye.

Jonathan Rhys Meyer: CALLING THE POLICE?!? Really, Jon? I was not “lurking around your house,” I was looking for that earring I dropped. WHICH YOU BOUGHT ME. Yes you did and don’t you deny it. The earring happened to be caught on your rose trellis, which was why I was up there–I was NOT “peering voyeuristically through your window.” I get it, you need your space! Which is why I was leaving when you called the cops on me. IS CHIVALRY DEAD, JON? I can’t believe you would just stand there and let them…frisk me like that! You know what you are? You’re a creep. Don’t contact me again. Oh actually I never got my earring so maybe I’ll swing by tonight, OK? I picked up a bottle of your favorite Scotch. And that wedding magazine you like so much.

How to Be Delicious

Sometimes, when you’re feeling kind of musty and ill-washed, all you want is for someone to look at you with that unmistakable gleam in his eyes, as though he is a starving native and you are a crackling pig, rotating sensuously on a stick over an open fire. You with me? I knew you would be. Thankfully, I’ve compiled a easy, breezy, beautiful guide to being your most succulent self.

1. Be a tomato.
2. Make sure you are organic and on-the-vine, purchased from a farmer’s market–or, at the very least, Whole Foods. Be exorbitantly priced! You’re only young once.
3. Moisturize both sides of 2 pieces of sourdough bread with butter. Grill or toast till golden brown.
4. Slice thyself. No pain, no gain! Beauty is pain! BEAUTY IS PAIN!
5. Lay yourself in thick slices on one piece of toast. Exfoliate by sprinkling yourself with coarse sea salt and black pepper. Top with the second piece of toast.
6. For an extra-special glow, tone with torn fresh basil.
7. Make one very tired working girl’s day. You delicious thing, you.

Find Your Soulmate HERE!

Single and sulky? Tired of the same old bar scene? Stacey’s mom turned you down? Don’t worry, friends, I’ve compiled a fail-proof list of ripe, nubile young things–ERRRHMM, I mean, eligible and pleasantly youthful hotties for YOU TO DATE.

Soulmate #1: A cute, short, blonde girl I saw running along Lake Michigan. Lemme tell you something – this biddy is FAST! I used her to set my pace (they call them “rabbits” in track), and while she probably thought I was a stalker, at least you know she can run away from rapists and kidnappers! No more wasting your precious time worrying about your girl’s safety. Last spotted: Running south on Sheridan.

Soulmate #2: The pharmacist at my CVS. True, I may have referred to him as a “kindly-looking, doctorish-seeming Indian man,” but on returning to the pharmacy several times, I have realized that not only is he a very hip dresser and a very savvy pharmaceutic, his words are sweet sweet honey to my ears: “I just faxed it over for you. I’ll call you when it’s ready. You don’t have to do anything.” OH BABY! Last spotted: The CVS by my office.

Soulmate #3: Any of the friendly, hippie, talkative cashiers at Trader Joe’s. Ladies, you know you want a man who likes his pecans seasoned with rosemary, but who isn’t afraid to wear Hawaiian prints with cargo shorts. The perfect blend of sophisticate and homegrown rustic, a Trader Joe’s Man looks great on anyone. Plus, they flirt with everyone, from the hotties to the notties to the oldies. Gotta respect the equal-opportunity flirt! Last spotted: The best ones lurk at the Trader Joes on Ontario!

Soulmate #4: A homeless person. You got out of your last relationship because you were in a rut, things were boring, you weren’t moving forward. A homeless person is guaranteed to bring that long-lost spark back into your life. Perfect for those suffering from a midlife crisis! You’ll be kept on your toes by exciting new odors, creative ways of utilizing plastic bags, and hot-off-the-press copies of Streetwise. You can play the “What Did He Take From My Apartment This Time?” game, or spice things up by canoodling next to the doorway of 711. Last Spotted: On State Street, holding a sign that says “My Girlfriend Was Captured By Ninjas.”

Soulmate #5: The bagel MILF in Evanston. This prime candidate for your affections has the heart of a lioness and the bagel-making skills of a really great bagel baker. True, she’s a little stingy–“Would you like one slice of cheese, or two? That’ll be an extra 35 cents.”–but one person’s miser is another person’s blushing bride, am I right? Her luscious gray locks cascade alluringly around her wooden peace-sign earrings. Last Spotted: On Dempster.

Soulmate #6: A sexy cowboy.

Last spotted:
You don’t find him. He finds you.

(c) Tori: Enabling Stalkers since 1901.