The Sneeze

There was a time before hand gels and Clorox wipes, before Lysol sprays and odor neutralizers when a single sneeze ignited a mortal fear in the hearts of 20 five year olds.

In Kindergarten, Annabelle Honora sneezed.  Who cares, right? Everyone at the EPA is who cared.  The class sat on the carpet for story time with Annabelle was in the front row harboring a descendant strain of the plague.  When she sneezed, a tennis ball sized blob of florescent Jello escaped her face and torpedoed into the carpet a couple of feet away.  Like a cloud of smoke being blown in by a strong gust of wind, we flew away from Annabelle and the blob.  Some children screamed, others started sobbing, I was paralyzed with fear. Annabelle and her glowing orb chose inaction.  After a beat, a frenzied Ms. Gardner rushed us all to our seats where we dried our eyes and pondered the fate of humanity.  If we were to survive this, nothing would ever be the same.  Two minutes later, a small team of gloved janitors who may or may not have worn helmets with face shields and footed jump suits came to collect and dispose of the threat. By this time everyone had forgotten Annabelle.  She sat at her desk crying while a CSI staff cordoned off the contamination zone and sprayed it down with something foamy and white.  The teacher’s assistant took her to the nurse’s office, and Ms. Gardner finished reading. Every few seconds I’d glance over at ground zero and then at Annabelle’s empty desk, and I wondered if it could get any worse than that. Could any disruption in daily life ever match the height of panic that was that sneeze? Could that white foam ever completely dissolve the residue, could it ever dissolve the horror?

*Some names have been changed out of kindness

Every time. Every time.

Live Laugh Love

In a fluffy boutique filled with long strapless dresses and floppy straw hats, I saw this decorative placard that read “I love having you as a dad.” In the event that you offer this to your dad as a gift, what function is it serving, to tell everyone who reads it they are allowed to raise him, and that he would love it if they did? It would hang right next to his other word art, the one that commands people to not die, audibly express delight, and have intense feelings of deep affection. 


“At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.”

Frida Kahlo (via micdotcom)

I’ll vouch for Kahlo on this one.  You know, in case you weren’t sure about her, and you were like I wonder what a young nobody has to say.

My grandmother was a legalized alien who spoke little English.  She made money buying and selling new and used goods.  In her lifetime she had breast cancer, suffered a stroke and for as long as I can remember, half of her face was paralyzed.  One day, she needed to buy a van to keep her business moving, so she went to the car lot in a traditional Mexican style dress, the square shaped embroidered ones that you might see a bohemian girl wearing nowadays.  She was not a bohemian girl; she was a hardened wily immigrant, and she had short curly hair that was usually disheveled from the whirlwinds of badassery.  Maybe she was rough around the edges, but she was spry in business savvy. The guy at the car lot Pretty Woman-ed her, because she obviously didn’t belong there.  But in a triumphant fuck-you to cultural prejudice, she pulled out a baller bank roll of cash and drove away in her van.  She hustled til the day she died. 

Weekly Horoscope (all signs)

As you know, you are elegant and tasteful but also a sleazy scumbag.  Use this to your advantage this week when your current romantic exploits are fraught with disaster, and you’ll find that all is well that ends in a figurative hail of terrifying gun fire.

In the workplace, co-workers appreciate you for your patience, but let them know they shouldn’t test you. You are a calculating predator with a heart of gold, a gold that melts under extreme temperatures and re-hardens as a spikey no-man’s land.

Elsewhere, a stunted project finds new life when you’re pushed to unfamiliar levels of motivation by buying that kimono you questioned.  Jupiter is in retrograde and the moon is in thumbnail, so you’ll likely find your singular creativity in hyper-drive. Use spicy mayo, wear your hair inside your scalp, cat-eye those eyelids. 

Spilled coffee on my keyboard

to see if I still feel.

“Am I at the Eiffel Tower or my sofa? Doesn’t matter.”
— Selfie

Dan Auerbach about to background-music me through this scene where I study really convincingly. #soundtrack


Reblog if you agree: Higher education is the best investment you can make in your future. Let’s make it more affordable.

And at 4 p.m. ET, tune in here on to watch President Obama’s first-ever Tumblr Q&A, answering your questions on education.

To borrow the most uninspired cliché, the price of college is what it is.  All of the people that I know who have career and financial success are college graduates.  Yeah, they probably dove head first into a volcano of debt in order to get where they are, but the knowledge and skills they acquired were those of How to Escape Certain Volcanic Death.  They know how to render the lava inert, turning it into a cool bed of igneous rock where they can sleep and work on their escape from the pit of this volcano exploits.  They’re never so indebted financially and intellectually that they burn alive. 

"I watch my music concerts through the screen of a stranger’s phone or not at all." -Douchey Robot from the future.

The Internet keeps trying to make me socially appropriate.

Time Travel: The Sterling Coopers will do it first

Assuming that time travel will one day be possible, it’s logical to assume  rich people will be the only ones with access to it in its introductory years.  As Sterling Cooper has demonstrated, the small Laundromat that was a computer in 1969 was best suited for a Madison Avenue ad agency in the glory days of ad agencies, a company that could pay 94 men to work for 3 days installing it. When time travel is possible, the big harry mechanism that allows it will be just as Laundromaty and just as expensive.  So like the cure for AIDS and the secrets of Xenu, Celebrities and conglomerate CEOs will be the first lucky few to afford it.  They’ll have to go to special chrono-spas where they’re pampered while they wait. And they’ll be fed future delicacies, like iPhone 4 batteries on saltines with a side of shredded leather, because the future is a desolate wasteland of electronic compost and Michael Kors bags.  The future is also all they’ll be allowed to see, because anyone who’s seen McFly play guitar through Earth Angel knows that traveling to the past is way too paradoxical.

What will they do when they get there?  If they’re smart, they’ll travel all the way to the point in the future when they’ve perfected backwards time travel.  This way they can go back and stop themselves from sending that one tweet or see what the Christ thing was all about.  They won’t do that though.  They’ll travel to the point in time when the cosmetic industry has developed a pill you can take that reverses the age on all your bendable parts.  Thanks to time travel, Kris Jenner can have the knees and knuckles of a young Jaden Smith. 

Finally, like all luxuries before it, time travel will settle into a Gucci phase, and it’ll be found in kiosks at your local outlet Mall. Groupon will offer a 2 week summer getaway to the Hollywood Hill Ruins of 4055.  By that time,Sir Kanye West IV will tweet photos from his private pod, while your grandson’s great grandson tweets a photo of the free Android battery-saltine he received from his economy seat on a Southwest travel that he booked 1 year in advance. 


photo courtesy of