Dear Unfortunate Nickname I Can’t Shake,

My freshman year of college was a learning experience. One important lesson I learned begins as so: One night, as many people who could fit in an aged Ford Taurus (including myself) went to Wal-Mart and went to McDonalds for dinner. It was a holy, holy day because we only got off campus when someone who had a car would be sweet enough to put some of us in it.

Naturally, at McDonalds, I felt it completely necessary – and furthermore, important – to wear one of the child-sized bibs. I wore it the whole way back to campus in the Ford Taurus. Our parking lot was at the football stadium, because so was our dorm. This meant we had to cross a major intersection to get back to our dorms. No Big Deal, we surmised, after all, we can run.

So when it was safe, we ran across six or so lanes of traffic, screaming. My bib flipped into my mouth as I ran and screamed. I suddenly couldn’t breathe. Despite my panic, I reached the other side of the road. When I stopped, of course the bib came out of my mouth and I took jagged gasps of air. My eyes were teary and I tried to tell my friends that the fucking bib was in my mouth. My friends looked at me in a combination of shock and pity. I ripped off the bib and threw it.

Later that evening we were recounting the incident I just described. One of my friends said, consolingly, “Oh, you’re like our Retarded Sister and we love you!”

And so, from that day forward I was known as Tard Sis. During my college years, this is what I was most often referred to. Some people only knew me as Tard Sis. Things around me ended up with a “Tard” prefix. Examples would be “Tard Slums” (crappy duplex I lived in one year), “Tard Mobile” (mode of transport), “Tard Majhal” (nice apartment I lived in for two years).

In fact, to this day I am referred to as “Tard Sis”. I can’t shake you. I thought that once I graduated it would be over. Luckily now, most people use “Sis” which is alright, although I do have a few friends who will greet me as Tard Sis. Most of the time, I’m ok with you, because I think nicknames are a term of endearment. But there are times where I wish I wasn’t Tard Sis.

Either way, I guess your mine, huh?

Posted in Love, This One Time At Band Camp... | 6 Comments

Dear Tall Guys Who Appear To Only Date Girls Who Are Very Short,

I alluded to your type before. I know you’re out there. I’ve seen you around. You’re 6’4″ and your girlfriend is 5’2″. She comes up to about your wrist.

And it makes me fucking crazy. Not only do I seethe with jealousy because you’re soooo in love, but I am filled with rage to see the height differential. Again. Again!

I realize that you can’t just like, custom-order the perfect person. Alright, you sort of can with like a mail-order bride and shit, but still. Unless you’re taking Russian classes Saturday mornings at your local community college, how good of a match was it, really? Anyway, sometimes you can just fall in love, regardless of height considerations. I can understand that. But I am unable to do it. Height is my critical must-have requirement. Everything else is reasonably more negotiable.

I would ask though, to consider the tall girls before making your final decision. My beef isn’t with your girlfriend, it’s with you. You know, there are plenty of us to choose from. A lot of us are sick of wearing flats and kicking off our shoes to take pictures with our current boyfriends because we look silly to tower over them. Not all of us play for the WNBA, you know. I’m like 5’10” barefoot, so how the fuck am I supposed to look like a lady next to a dude who is 5’7″?

What about being able to reach things, huh? Putting up curtains? You can actually get help from a tall girl. Hey, can your stupid 5’2″ girlfriend get to the cabinet over the fridge? I bet not. I bet she has to get a chair. And then she’s got to get you to get the cake pans, because she still can’t reach, right?

I hope you’re happy reaching for the cake pans, buddy. Me and the tall girls are going to put up some motherfucking curtains without you.

PS: This letter is almost THREE YEARS OLD. PLEASE KNOCK IT OFF – I don’t give a flying shit about your opinion on this matter. Suck it. Comments are CLOSED!

Posted in Hate, Wish In One Hand, Crap In The Other | 95 Comments

Dear Disconcerting Lack Of Internet,

I don’t ask much from you, Internet Service Provider. It’s simple, really. I want constant connectivity, pages that download before I hit menopause and no pop-ups. No pop-ups! I don’t think it’s too much to ask. This being said, when checking my email becomes something that involves “power cycling” computer equipment, I hope you’ll understand why I’m so upset.

You know what’s even more infuriating? Watching your DSL commercial – which I know is a complete load of horse shit – while I’ve got my hand in some crevasse, fishing out a wire I’ve lost. All of this effort just so I can see all the people who haven’t emailed me.

This happened for two nights in a row, you know. Sunday and Monday night I found myself asking God if this was a test. Perhaps something about tenacity or burgeoning internet addiction.

I’m just saying, if happens again, you’ll know that hunk of burnt, steaming plastic in front of your offices is my modem – you sons of bitches.

Posted in Hate | 3 Comments

Dear Poor Souls Who Will Never Experience The Dismemberment Plan’s “Ice of Boston” Live On The Hottest Day Ever,

You don’t have to like my taste in music. That’s kind of why it’s mine. And sometimes my taste sways between absolute garbage (like pop music) and the kind of thing that makes your brain dribble out of your head (like The Dismemberment Plan’s “Ice of Boston”).

Let me kick some knowledge about this song. It’s mostly the singer of the band talking about possibly the most depressing New Year’s Eve ever. That in and of itself is enough to get me to love a song. As you already may know, I have a history of some of the worst New Year’s in recorded history. When we meet the singer, he is drinking alone in his Boston apartment, waiting for the ball to drop. His is convinced that the ice in Boston is deceptive and relates that he slips on it every time. He strips naked in his kitchen and pours champagne all over himself then proceeds to take a phone call from his mother. Later, he is relating a story about meeting someone and makes the following claim – quite possibly my favorite lyric of all time:

So I guess the party line is I followed you up here.
Well, I don’t know about that.
Mainly because knowing about that would involve knowing some pathetic, ridiculous, and absolutely true things about myself that I’d rather not admit to right now.

If everything that I have mentioned so far makes you not-so-sad to have missed this band in concert, let me tell you this story:

I saw The Dismemberment Plan on their farewell tour in 2003 on what was possibly the hottest night of my entire life. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more uncomfortable. The night I listened to one of my friends have sex above my head was more comfortable. A few friends and I drove to St. Louis for the show. It was a very, very small venue – the size of an small dive bar. My roommate and I were shuttled into a holding pen (literally, it was fenced in) for people who were over 21. Our friends who were with us were not so 21 and ended up slammed near the front of the room. We were sweating so much that not only did we have sweaty armpits, but we appeared as though we were hosting our own wet t-shirt contest for really gross people. If this place had air conditioning, it was under-utilized. And the concert hadn’t even started yet. We left, briefly, during the opening act and had a beer in the bar next door, where 300 teenagers and 21 year olds weren’t crammed next to each other.

We returned to the show, which was fantastic, despite the sweating. During “Ice of Boston”, which even then was one of my favorite songs, they invited fans to come on stage. Of course, tonight all these fans were drenched in sweat. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen 50 slippery people go completely ape shit on a stage that was barely big enough for the band, but I got to that night. 

For you, because I consider you friends, I offer this small gift. An mp3 of a live rendition of “Ice of Boston”. May it make you want to wish you were one of the slippery people onstage that night.

PS: If that little thinger doesn’t work up there, you can stream all the Dismemberment Plan’s amazing albums here.

9/17/10 PPS: This letter is being re-run in honor of The Dismemberment Plan’s reunion tour, which unfortunately does not include the Midwest at this time. MY FINGERS ARE CROSSED, because that would be awesome.

Posted in Confirmed Music Elitist, Love | 4 Comments

Dear Green Day’s Musical “American Idiot”,

I was never as big of a fan of Green Day as many people my age. Most friends I know claim their first CD purchase as Dookie. Mine was Weezer’s blue album (I will also admit under duress that I received Paula Abdul’s “Forever Your Girl” as a GIFT. But I digress). There is also the chance that I wasn’t allowed to buy Dookie when it came out because it had a parental warning sticker on it. And my mom was really into Tipper Gore. Well, until her husband ran for president.

I was always sort of ambivalent toward Green Day, even though my brother’s heart was set alight by the mere thought of them. I saw them once or twice in college and was happy I got to before they died or broke up or I don’t know, sold their souls to make you, the American Idiot musical.

Journalist I ain’t, but when I saw a medley of this travesty on America’s Got Talent (I don’t want to talk about why I was watching this show, I just want to know how two British people and the guy that made up “Bobby’s World” can tell America who’s talented), I had to research into exactly why I was assaulted so.

I assumed that Green Day must have signed some unfortuate contract many, many years ago when the rent was hard to come by and their tour van had broken down. I had to believe that. There must be a major-label contract out there that said, Oh yeah, in about 15 years or so, we’re going to pervert some of your material into a mess of dance numbers and prolonged solos and then show it on America’s Got Talent, well, because by then there will only about 15 people who don’t believe you sold out and that will take care of them.

That’s when I discovered you were actually their idea. You were their idea. You were their idea. No, really, you were their idea.

I was aghast. And not because I held Green Day in some regard as a cultural touch point. But because you were so, wrong. I could fathom that there has ever been a person in the history of history, musical theater enthusiast or not, who would have believed this was a great idea. I have made poops better than the shit I heard coming out of the television set.

I could just end this letter by saying, “Who is the real American Idiot? Us or you?” Bu you know what, I don’t care to know the answer.

Posted in Confirmed Music Elitist, Hate, I Grew Up In New Jersey | 4 Comments