Category Archives: The Past

Celebrity DJs, Strip Clubs, and Jason: A Love Story

Hey Guys! Cathy and I are going to a wedding this weekend, so we’ve spent most of the week being anxious about that and anticipating being embarrassed there. As a result, we haven’t had time to write any blog posts… but luckily, WE KNOW JASON! So, on this Friday in June, we present him again, here, for you. Enjoy!

Jason: When I was in the second grade there was a pretty girl that I liked, so I poked her with a pencil because I was too scared to talk to her. Well, eventually I learned how to talk to girls, but what I still haven’t learned how to do is talk to celebrities.

“Why can’t you talk to celebrities?” you’re probably saying to yourself, “they’re just like us! I read US Weekly, they take to the beach in unflattering bathing suits, they shop for groceries, they pump their own gas, they chew food.” These are the things we like to tell ourselves about celebrities, and my question to you is this: do you actually believe that stuff? I mean, when you’re being honest with yourself do you REALLY think that Brad Pitt is “just like you” because he (allegedly) chews his food? Maybe you do, and if so then good for you, because I sure don’t. Celebrities are better than us, dammit. They eat for free at restaurants that they don’t have to wait in line at, they fly to the shopping center in their private jets and they’re paid exuberant amounts of money to prance around for our amusement. Maybe they’re not better than you, I didn’t mean to insult your fragile pride, but they’re damn sure better than me.

Upon spotting a celebrity my blood pressure rises. My mouth goes dry, I can hear the violent thumping of my heart, I feel like a lion staring at a particularly haughty zebra or a young lover about to touch his first supple breast. Usually my juvenile reaction to seeing a celebrity is pretty benign. There was the time that I saw Kevin from the office in line at a Los Angeles deli: I stood six inches away from him staring awkwardly as he bought his sandwiches until, putting his arms protectively around his children, he gave me a dirty look and headed for the door. Sometimes though, my internal second grader takes over and I just can’t control myself, like the time I pulled over and double-parked in Boston traffic in front of the old House of Blues to scream “Sipowicz! Hey! Sipowicz!” at Dennis Franz until he eventually flipped me off and, giggling, I jumped back in my car and drove away.

These stories are all innocent enough when compared to my greatest showdown. You may not know this about me, but I used to enjoy frequenting strip clubs. A lot. There are probably another ten or so entries that I can devote solely to this aspect of my life, but it’s not really relevant here. What IS relevant is that there was one club in particular that I would frequent regularly, where all the bouncers and bartenders knew me pretty well (because I was so awesome…) and I would spend the majority of my time and paycheck there.

Here it is: The Cabaret Lounge (maybe. I don’t know if this is the same place. Here is a picture of a place called the Cabaret Lounge that may or may not be relevant).

Well, I walked in one night and took my usual seat at the stage (I know, I know…) and across from me I happened to see Nick Carter. No, not the Backstreet Boy Nick Carter – I’m referring to the popular Boston disc jockey from the late 90’s early 2000’s Nick Carter. Here’s the thing, you can debate the “celebrity” of a local DJ all you want, but the guy had millions of listeners, and the most important thing to keep in mind is that I was one of them. I would listen to his station, WBCN, every time I was in the car and I genuinely enjoyed listening to him. Now, I’m sitting there, in my seat at my favorite place ever and I’m staring directly at a man who has entertained me for hours upon countless hours as I sat in traffic. How did I handle this situation? Well, I waited until he made eye contact with me and then at the top of my lungs I began to shout, across the stage, “Rocco rules! Rocco! Rocco! Rocco!” Rocco being Nick Carter’s rival drive-time disc jockey on a radio station that I had literally never tuned into. The only reason I knew Rocco’s name is because Nick used to make fun of him on the air. So I continue doing this for probably about five minutes, chanting his rival’s name and screaming out the call letters to a rival station that I had never even listened to, until I see Nick get up from his seat to go, presumably, to the bathroom. About one minute later every bouncer in the club surrounded my seat.

“Was that you that was screaming ‘Rocco’ over and over again?” asked Kenny, a mammoth of a man I happened to know fairly well due to all the quality time we spent together looking at boobies.

“Probably,” I sheepishly replied, ready to be beaten to death.

“Come with me.” He said and led me, escorted by an entourage of terrifying Sons of Anarchy extra types, to the club’s back room.

“Do you know why Nick Carter is here?” Kenny asked me.

“Tits?” I said, still trying to be charming.

“He’s here because Joey here is trying to get his demo tape on the air. How would you feel, Joey, if Nick didn’t want to do that for you now?”

“Bad.” Said Joey, who was approximately 5 feet tall, 200 pounds, and had a face that looked like it had been beaten with an iron in the delivery room.

“I’d feel bad too.” I said.

Joey said nothing, he just stood there being ugly and scary. This was followed by probably 30 seconds of silence in which I was pretty sure were going to be followed by horrible pain, followed by death.

“You spend a lot of money here.” Said Kenny, finally. “And I like talking to you too. Man, if you were someone we didn’t know you’d already be gone. Fuck. Joey, if he apologizes to Nick do you think he can stay?”

“I guess so.” Said Joey, who I was starting to realize maybe wasn’t so ugly after all.

So we all headed back out to the main floor of the club. I walked around to the side of the stage that Nick Carter and his friends were sitting at and I saw Nick look from me to Kenny, who nodded at him.

“Hey, man.” I said.

“What’s up?” said Nick.

“I just wanted to tell you that I’m a really big fan and I listen to you every day.”

Then we kind of just stared at each other for awhile before he asked me, “If you’re a fan of MINE then why the fuck were you screaming ‘Rocco’ over and over again?”

“I don’t know. I didn’t know what else to do, I thought it would be funny, right?”

“No.”

“Okay, well I’m really sorry. Rocco sucks. Next time I see you I’ll just come say ‘hi’.”

“Cool.”

“Enjoy your night.”

“You too,” he said, “thanks for coming over.”

“You’re welcome.”

I then went back to my seat and drank a lot of beer and saw a lot of boobs. The next day on the air Nick Carter recanted this story and referred to me as a jackass.

This has been my story about how I can’t talk to celebrities and how one time being a regular at a strip club probably saved my face from being beaten in. Dreams can come true. Thanks for reading.

Jana: I think my favorite character in this story is Joey, who would I would like to write a movie about. Like, what kind of music did Joey play? Why was he playing at a strip club? Do strip clubs also sometimes double as concert venues? The fact that he is 5 feet tall is also, of course, excellent. JOEY. WHERE ARE YOU NOW?

Catherine: I too share an affinity for Joey, who was not unlike Nick Carter (the real one, from Backstreet Boys.) Nobody really cared about him. It was a sad thing. All those poor guys didn’t grow up to be Justin Timberlake, and I think that’s something for everyone to feel bad about.

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Black Thursday, or, How I Learned That Vodka and Beer are Different Kinds of Things

Jana: As school is now out for the summer, I will tell you a summer tale.

It was 2002, the summer before my junior year of high school, and rebellion was in the air. In my early high school years, I was adamantly opposed to drinking. My opposition stemmed from my fear of change, as well as believing myself to be way above that stuff, not needing it to have fun, never wanting to grow up, etc. In my mind, the future consisted almost entirely of me reading on the green of the really good college I was going to get into, and I’d never had any desire to get drunk, even when my friends had casually brought it up as something they maybe wanted to try. “Seriously, I just don’t have any interest!” I’d been known to say when asked.

But on the 4th of July, 2002, the stars aligned. I was on an elimination diet started by my homeopathic doctor in order to figure out what I was allergic to, so I hadn’t had gluten in weeks and I weighed about one pound. My hair had been french braided, which somehow filled me with great confidence despite the extra frizz it created around the edges of my face. And we were at a pool party. People started drinking and I thought, naw. But then, my CRUSH started drinking. He’d always agreed with me about the not needing alcohol to have fun thing, but on this night, as we all sat around the host’s bedroom, he asked for a drink! I didn’t hesitate; I grabbed a beer.

All I know is that I had that one beer and the room got twirly and it was AWESOME. And I was like ok, this is fun, I’ve maybe never had so much fun. EVERYONE had SO MUCH FUN. The night ended, but the summer was just starting, and we all agreed that we wanted to do that again As Soon As Possible. We settled on the following Thursday. My crush himself offered to have everyone come drink in his basement – his parents would never come downstairs!, he assured us. We all agreed that it was a foolproof plan.

Someone got us alcohol, I’m not sure who (later we had regular suppliers, but at this point it must have been a lucky break). But various things were purchased, and we all headed over. It’s important to note that I was wearing cloth track pants on this night, and I was wearing them because I had so severely sunburned my ass the week before, while reading “The Joy Luck Club” at Walden Pond, that I was unable to pull jeans over it. Neither here nor there. We arrived, wearing cute summer clothes (everyone else) and cloth track pants (me), and started to drink. Now, listen to this:

WE DID NOT KNOW ABOUT ALCOHOL. No one had ever told us, in all of our 16 years, that there is a difference in alcohol content between beer and vodka. It just didn’t occur to us! So, while I was randomly lucky in my selection of beer, the majority of my friends were not so lucky. They held gatorade bottles full of vodka. JUST vodka. And they were drinking them. Rapidly.

About 2 beers into my night, and at least half of the gatorade bottles in for everyone else, the inevitable happened: the kid’s mom came downstairs. OBVIOUSLY. Here is what happened next: one of my friends threw up gum onto the pool table. Everyone else, also, needed to puke around this time. We poured out of the little basement door, most of us puking on the lawn and street. I’d only had two beers, or the equivalent of six beers, so I was the most sober, and I tried to collect people into a group. Where would we go? But then, a miracle! A guy who’d graduated two years ago was driving by, right at that moment. He stopped and piled us all into his car! I felt safe and happy, especially because there was another guy with him who I didn’t know and who I thought was PRETTY cute.

The older guys drove us to the playground of one of the local elementary schools. Before we arrived, my friends puked all over the backseat of the car, but the guys were really nice about it. When we got to the playground, we fell and pushed our way out of the car, and by now mostly everyone was crying. Deep-seated angers, dormant before the alcohol, came out big time. People were yelling, and accusing other people of things. I was sort of making a show of helping out (ie, “are you ok? you guys, come back here! you can’t just wander into the playground, I love you!”), but mostly I was flirting with the cute guy, who turned out to be a little bit foreign. He lent me his sweatshirt (to wear with my cloth sweatpants), so I was pretty happy.

In the end, knowing that there was nowhere else to turn, I called my parents. Being kind-hearted, they picked us all up, nursed us, and literally helped to pick puke out of people’s hair. The night was LONG. People slept all over the floors of my parent’s house in various stages of emotional and physical disarray. The next day, everyone was  still sick. Sitting on a bench on Mass Ave, I remember just wondering if we were all going to die.

Here I am later in my drinking life, in a self-taken, disposable camera shot. Beautiful, you say? Oh you stop it.

That summer included other adventures, like a night in which we all told our parents we were having sleepovers and then slept in a field (we thought this would be the best time EVER; in reality it rained and everyone fought and it was like, why did we think that would be fun? Plus my parents found out and grounded me). But in August, as we reflected on our summer of rebellion, the drinking day, a Thursday, was the most memorable. We decided to call the day “Black Thursday”, and the following year it was memorialized in everyone’s yearbook blurb (ie, “Love my GIRLS! BlackThursday, Other memories, etc.”). Black Thursday went down in high school history.

PS. The foreign, sweatshirt guy did call me and ask me on a date to the beach the next weekend. This filled me with such CRIPPLING anxiety that I spent the morning of our scheduled date pacing my house, circling the sandbox in our backyard, unable to eat. When he stood me up (he never even called), I was so, so relieved and happy. I remain relieved to this day. I’m certain that, at that stage in my life, a beach date with a cute foreigner would have actually killed me.

Catherine: What. A. Mess. I only WISH I couldn’t relate to this.

Pipe dreams.

We all have them.

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Lil’ Disasters! Occurring In: Theaters

Jana: Here’s something new for the cheap seats in the back: A segment called “Lil’ Disasters”! In these posts, Cath and I will tell mini stories of times that we have embarrassed ourselves horrifically, but in small ways. Today, enjoy some individual moments in my life when I’ve walked away from a situation thinking “Jesus I wish I were dead.” 

In the inaugural edition, let’s talk about my acting career, shall we?

1993, The Beginning

In the third grade, my class did a play for the first time. As soon as the activity was announced, I felt something stirring in me and knew that this was my destiny. Then, I got the lead! The play was called “Daniel, Servant of the Lord,” and I was playing DANIEL. Yesss. I didn’t even notice that this was customarily a part for a boy! When the time for dress rehearsal finally arrived, I donned my tunic and tights with nervous excitement.

During that rehearsal, I was feeling PRETTY great about myself and my future as a gender-ambiguous actress. I had to go to the bathroom, though, so I left the auditorium in costume and headed downstairs. As I rushed down the top step, I saw the school receptionist heading up the stairs towards me.

“How are rehearsals going?” She asked, catching me off guard.

“Oh, great!” I managed to choke out.

Then, my tight-clad feet slipped out from under me, and I fell down the ENTIRE flight of stairs. Aside from sheer, body-wracking embarrassment, I don’t actually remember what happened next; all I know is that I avoided that receptionist at all costs for the entirety of my 5 remaining years at the school.

2005, The College Years

During one of the first rehearsals for the musical “Hair” that Cathy and I both had minor roles in our sophomore year of college, we were rehearsing a racy dance number, “Hashish”. The intimidating director was teaching us some choreography, and he placed me in contact with my crush, Peter. Peter was a junior, and I believed him to maybe BE the funniest person I’d ever met. I was thrilled that he’d have to touch me, which I expressed by looking at the floor and scratching the back of my neck. 

Unfortunately, on the day of this rehearsal I had chosen to wear my favorite workout pants. Like all of my favorite things, they were 90s-esque, with an elastic waist. During one dance move, Peter had to lift me up (YES!). BUT. The pants were so loose! Peter grabbed my waist. BOYFRIEND!, I thought. One second later, I felt my pants slide down. Like, all the way down, so that my underwear was exposed to not only Peter, but the entire cast of people I was hoping to impress. THE CLINCHER: My underwear had been purchased at American Eagle, and it was decorated with “school” phrases, like “To do: Homework!”, and little lists that read: “Field Hockey Practice, Math, TV!” 

Everyone laughed at me, I tried to be like “Ha, who doesn’t love American Eagle?”, and rehearsal continued. Shockingly, Peter never became my boyfriend.

This is what I ended up looking like in the real production of “Hair”. HELP THESE PANTS DON’T FIT ME, I wish I had been screaming. As I mentioned, Peter and I never dated.

2009, On The Downslide

Right after college, no longer an actress but still “wanting to be involved,” I worked as a House Manager at a local theater. One morning, I got dressed in what I deemed to be a classy, adult outfit – consisting of a strapless black top and a cardigan – and headed to work, where it was my job to instruct the volunteer ushers.

The ushers who showed up on this particular day were a man and woman in their late sixties. I gave them some little job to do, like picking up trash in the empty auditorium, and headed to the supply room to get the box of Kit Kits we’d sell at intermission. I leaned down and hoisted the box up into my arms. Easy breezy! Then I returned to the ushers. Like a professional, I instructed them to do another task. As I talked, I noticed they were looking at me with pained faces, as if they were being tortured but had yelled at to be cool about it. What a weird couple! I thought, but I didn’t let it get to me. I made some generic joke like, “Don’t get lost now!”, and sent them on their way. I was KILLIN IT. 

Confidently, I went to check in with the box office attendant. “Jana, oh my god,” she said. “Jana. Your shirt is off! I can see your whole bra! Oh my god!” She gestured wildly towards my chest. I looked down: BOOBS. The strapless black tank top was now just hovering underneath my completely exposed bra. The fucking Kit Kats! The strapless top hadn’t been able to maintain its position under the weight of the concessions! AHH NOO THE USHERRRS.

To my credit, I shimmied my shirt back into position and continued instructing the ushers as if they hadn’t just almost gotten to second base with me. To their credit, they didn’t complain to the theater that their House Manager had exposed herself while on the job. It was a win-win, if you think about it some way other than the way I think about it.

That’s all for today! I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of “Lil’ Disasters”! Don’t worry, there are more to come – lil’ disasters happen in my life every day.

Catherine: JANA YOU ARE A DELIGHTFUL TREASURE TROVE OF HUMILIATIONS. I love the image of your “tight-clad feet” giving way under you, sending you tumbling down the stairs, your bobby pins breaking free and dispersing wildly.

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If You Like a Boy, Let Him Know. Drink A Lot First.

Catherine: Jana and I like to drink, that should be clear by now. Sometimes, we drink too much – this, I feel/fear, should be obvious. Anyways.

The summer of 2010, several of our friends moved into a large, run-down piece of shit house that was self-titled “The Butchershop.” Our friend had found it on Craigslist, where it was advertised as “an artist community” which meant “some of us are in a shitty metal band, and the rest of us like to get high and draw inappropriate things on the walls.” It had been all guys, but then, through a series of events, the top floor had slowly become vacated – enter our three good girl friends, who quickly moved in.

It became clear, as the months wore on, that there wasn’t more than one roommate who could correctly name everyone else.  Once, someone made a sign listing the residents. Of our friends, they correctly identified one, completely missed the mark on the second, and simply wrote “etc.” for the third.

Second line from the bottom: “Sabs, Max, Abbs, Etc…”. They got two out of four, guessed on the third, and then just said fuck it. Etc.

There was a boy living on the second floor, let’s call him Jake, that I thought was a DREAM COME TRUE. He had adorable freckles, a wonderful quiet yet sexy disposition, and an impossibly gorgeous face – for. reals. He also read books and was realllllllllly into tea. Being “into tea” myself, I figured we might be soulmates. Him, being really, really, really hot and me bring really into deep stuff like tea and books.

Suffice it to say, we never spoke.

Until one night. I got nice and boozed up on the third floor and headed back downstairs to get some ice. On the way back up, I noticed that Jake’s door was open, he  inside. Logic escaping me, I let myself in. Putting on my best sexy/coy act (this is a painful thing to watch, guys. It is ROUGH.), I drunkenly blabbered on about how I really liked tea too. And what books are you reading? Oh, Vonnegut? He is GREAT. What an amazing writer. I loved “Slaughterhouse 5.” What was my favorite part? (Drunkenly searches mind for anything having to do with a book I just lied about having read) (Fails) You know WHAT. I THINK YOU ARE CUTE, I say. Yea, I think you’re a really interesting person. I’m not just saying this cuz I’m drunk, I’m hardly drunk at all! (Lies, lies, lies.) Jake blushes his adorable smile. I seat myself on his bed and he imperceptibly moves his chair further away. No matter. This goes on FAR too long. I finally excuse myself and run upstairs to tell my friend of my misadventures, where I am met with “SERIOUSLY?” and “GOOD FOR YOU!” She was drunk, too.

Jake and I never spoke again.

Jana: Ohhh Cathy. Cathy, who loves tea. Or, in my experience, drinks tea sometimes but not frequently? Anyway, yes, Cathy was obsessed with Jake, strangely freckled boy of the second floor. I didn’t personally see the appeal, but I DID one time stop her from RUNNING home from a bar to confess her love for him. As I recall, we made it to the field behind the Butchershop, where I was able to get her to stop, sit on the baseball diamond, and just tell ME about how beautiful he was, instead.

I will also just say that during our summer at the Butchershop, I once overheard one of the young artists who lived there (whose name, of course, I did not know) say this: “Texting is like saying: ‘I wanna go halfsies on a baby with you, but I ain’t gonna pay for SHIT!'”

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Maybe I (Definitely) Shouldn’t Go To Nightclubs

Catherine: Here I will detail the first of MANY reasons why I should really just stop going to nightclubs.

We open on an 18 year old Catherine, freshman year of college. I had a relentless ability to rage long and hard every single night of the week and still manage to wake up the next day and 1) live and 2) accept any and all drinks, any time of day (luke warm vodka at 3pm? Sounds fun!). One night, I ventured out to downtown Burlington, VT (no doubt taking the off-campus bus and saving myself the approximately 1.2 mile walk) with some fellow dormmates (that was a thing, guys). We headed to the (only?) 18+ nightclub, and I was brandished with big fat X-marks on both of my hands. I am ASSUMING that I was already drunk, but to be fair, that part of the story escapes me. What’s important is this: It was a time in my life where I wore, and loved, Gap jeans I had owned since 8th grade, despite their having holes in both knees and the butt. And the fact that they could no longer zip up all the way. That, I determined, was no problem at all. Instead, I safety-pinned them open and wore them with black underwear. It was a look, it was intentional, and yes, I am glad there are no pictures.

At said nightclub, it was all top 40s which was my JAM. So I was alloverthatshit. I don’t wanna get ahead of myself, but I’m a pretty sick dancer (in terms of grinding, dancing awkwardly provocatively, hair flipping, etc.) My talents were not wasted on the fine men who chose to go to an 18+ nightclub despite being mainly over 21. One such man began dancing with me, citing my “sick moves!” This went on a while, culminating in the ever-sexy “I will dance LITERALLY ON YOU with my feet off the floor as you dip me and I think I look really good most likely.” It was hot.

Upon leaving, it came to my attention that my dance date was missing a tooth. A front one. Prominently in the very center of his mouth. I literally had no idea. The ridicule I endured was appropriate because like, seriously, people. How did I not see that. My friend wrote this poem of the incident:

Hmmmmm…Cathy.
Oh Cathy oh Cathy.
Toothless Willy will never be the same because I bet he never danced with
a chick that didn’t think he was lame.You said he was sick danca’
and that’s all there is to it
because for real, he looked like pranca’
… and you know he wanted to do it.I called his friend Pedro,
maybe that wasn’t right.
But it all seemed just fine
at the end of the night!

I should mention that his friend was called Pedro solely because he was Mexican, and Napoleon Dynamite was really huge at the time.

Jana: Poor Pedro – I’m sure he got that all the TIME that year. And, I can see why toothless man liked you: it was because your outfit was so classy.

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Romance Isn’t Dead, It Just Watches Bad Movies.

Catherine: Isn’t young romance cute? Except not when you are the 12-year old couple GOING FOR IT on a street corner in the middle of the day whom I encountered the other week. Those two need to shut. it. down. If you’ve been reading, you already know about my deodorant-obsessed first boyfriend but perhaps noticed no tales of a first kiss? Perhaps? Well, that’s because there was no kiss (thankfully.) That “special” moment was reserved for the summer after 8th grade. That’s probably PRETTY late. I get that. I understand. And we all need to deal with it and know that given my awkward social behavior, it was a real no-brainer.

My SECOND boyfriend, let’s call him Timmy (no relation to his real name, but I think the name Timmy is funny and a little tragic, like this story) and we were in love, I think. I base this on the fact that he gave my Cherry Chapstick once at a movie theater. And that is all I ever want, really. I have a chapstick addiction, and we were dating before it even started, so he was really ahead of the curve. All my friends at the movie (group date, clearly) thought it was very romantic. As did I.

So, one spring day we trek to the local elementary school fair where I win a goldfish which would go on to live for over a year and would be named Spot, because it had a spot. Its death would break my mother’s heart. After the fair, we headed to my friend “Sarah”‘s house, where she was hanging out with her boyfriend. Her boyfriend, whose name I THINK was actually Sacha, was in middle school despite being maybe 16 years old, had facial hair, and was a Russian drugdealer. I am making zero of this up. Suffice it to say, Timmy was impressed.

We all settled down to watch “Starship Troopers,” Sara and Sacha on an opposing couch very obviously doing things. Sexy things. It was gross, but fascinating. At one point Timmy leans over and whispers in my ear, “I wanna kiss you.” I think to myself, WE ARE IN LOVE! FUTURE HUSBAND (truly believed that, guys.) I AM EXCITED BUT MOSTLY NERVOUS. Maybe 10 minutes later, “the kiss” happens. It is disgusting, wet, and wrought with bad breath. I complete the movie by snuggling into the crook of his arm at such an angle that he cannot possibly kiss me again. And he never would. We broke up days later.

Still, I know I am beat by my friend who lost her v-card whilst watching “Spaceballs.” That’s alright.

Jana: I love the fact that your first kiss took place in such close proximity to a 16-year old Russian drug dealer/middle school student. He seems to embody, for me, what’s really beneath a first kiss: fear, darkness, danger, inappropriate behavior given maturity level, etc.

And my first kiss didn’t happen until I was 16 (REALLY edgin up on 17. It’s like I was in The Sound of Music, except it was 2003), so. Don’t feel too bad.

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A Friendship Without Benefit

Jana: As a kid, I did have some good friends – other kids who’d known me forever and didn’t even notice my dirty tapered jeans. But as a kid in new social situations, like musical theater-based summer camps, I didn’t make friends so easily. I WANTED to, of course, but I was terrified. What I’d usually do is find a girl I knew I wanted to be friends with, develop a crush-like obsession with her, and then be unable to speak in her presence. Sometimes, by the second-to-last day of camp, I’d have forged a mini friendship with her, which was incredibly elating! But then camp was over, and with it, the future I’d imagined for us.

There was one such situation, though, that stood out from the others because it LASTED past the usually depressing final day of camp. This was a friendship that, against all odds, went on for at least a couple of post-camp months. It was like this: I met Arianna at musical theater camp (ok fine, it was OPERA camp. I’ll get into it later). We discovered that we had the same birthday, which I was glad that she also recognized as being AMAZING and OH MY GOD! and a sign that we were destined for friendship. We started to hang out at camp, and then the day of the performance I remember being really nervous and excited because she had her mom talk to my mom and set up a play date! This was really going somewhere.

This is what I looked like on the day of the performance. Which offers no answers as to why I had any friends, anywhere. 

But then, we actually had to HAVE the play dates. My memory of these “dates” is that they were just really frightening. I lost all sense of what I might say when I was with her. When I did start to talk, I was so nervous that my throat would close up and I’d start coughing instead. I remember being in her room, awkwardly standing while she sat at her desk, deafening silence surrounding us as I racked my brain for something to say. I never thought of anything.

This friendship was also where I developed my deep fear of repeating a story I’d already told. One time, we were walking through the town center and passed a toy store. I had a thing to say! I told her, haltingly, that I really wanted a personal mini bubble gum machine (WHY did I want this? I DO NOT KNOW). But about halfway through this “story”, I realized that I had ALREADY told her about it! It was one of the things I’d coughed out in her room earlier! It was terrible. She smiled, but I knew I’d made a big mistake.

STILL, she wanted to keep hanging out. Again, WHY she wanted this, when I clearly could offer NOTHING of any value and was obsessed with useless objects, was always a mystery to me. But I kept dreading it and then going to hang out with her. I even went to her birthday party, where all of her friends danced to the Spice Girls and I stood in the corner, not dancing or talking to anyone, wearing a sweatshirt which was decorated with the words “I’m Not Listening” and a picture of a guy sticking his fingers in his ears (one of my staple outfits).

Eventually, the friendship must have faded, which was a huge relief. Recently, my mom and I re-hashed it over dinner. “I remember, I know, that was so weird,” she said. “Dad and I also couldn’t figure out why she kept wanting to hang out with you! But then when you were in high school – oh my god, yes! Now I remember. I read something about her in the paper – that she was advocating for the gay-straight alliance or something as an out lesbian at her school. It made so much sense to me when I read that – THAT was it, that’s definitely why she kept wanting you around. She thought you were gay too, because you looked like such a little lesbian!”

Ah. Mystery solved.

Catherine: I want us to come out with a book only so I can use the title I didn’t realize would be a best-seller till just now – Jana: The Little Lesbian. Bestseller. Stores won’t be able to keep it in stock. Little lesbians everywhere will be crushed when in chapter 13 you finally reveal you like boys, even though it is a complete mystery why they like you. I will play the winning sidekick, coaxing you away from that (actually really awesome) sweatshirt, taming those weird hairs of yours that always stick up. In the climatic final scene (set at the prom), a teacher will ask you to leave, assuming you are from the middle school. I will stick up for you and it will go alright at best, while someone  probably laughs at us and calls us fat before throwing a cake onto our pastel satin gowns. I don’t know. I’m still working out the ending.

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Happy Birthday To Me: I Wasn’t Cool in Middle School

Catherine: It’s my birthday! Happy birthday to me, specifically. Before I get going, may I suggest liking our facebook page as a special birthday gift to yours truly? Or perhaps, if you wanted to get craycray, putting us in your status? Think about it.

In middle school, I was cast as the lead in “Guys in Dolls.” This may have been pre-type casting, because there was a scene where my character gets  drunk and sings weird shit like “if I were a salad, I KNOW I’d be splashing my dressing” and “boy, if I were a duck I’d quack!” I’ve probably said those things under the influence before.

Well, I thought getting the lead in the school musical would make me cool, because that’s what I wanted – you wanted it too, even if you won’t admit it. It uh, it didn’t make that wish come true.

I will forever remember this event:

It was tech day of our show, a weekend day, and it was my birthday. I had left the auditorium, and as I headed back, three popular boys who were doing lights or stage crew were hanging by the entrance. One of them, Greg (real name, I ain’t protectin’ his sorry ass), said, “Hey, it’s your bithday, right?” To which I was like, “Yeah!” (Inner dialogue: “Greg is talking to me – I’VE MADE IT!”) Greg then goes on to say, “Happy Birthday!” (Pause) “To a LOSER.”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME.

THIS SHIT HAPPENS. And it RUINED my whole birthday, and I STILL think of that moment in my life with regret. I wasn’t cool enough to have a comeback. But I am going to take that chance now.

Here goes.

Me: “I’m a loser? I know you are… BUT WHAT AM I?” (Inner dialogue: “Nailed it!”)

Greg: “No, you are a loser. I am not a loser. You are, and I specified that.”

Me: “… oh.”

So. That is an amended version of what could have happened on that fateful day, as I walked into the auditorium fighting back tears.

Greg, wherever you are, I hope you aren’t still a total asshole. And also that you grew out the Mario Lopez haircut.

Jana: This story hurts my heart, especially because I can actually picture it, entirely. All I can say is that, had I been there, I’m sure I would have been crying for one reason or another (I QUITE often cried during weekend rehearsals for musicals), and maybe we both would have been sitting alone, you mentally repeating the Greg incident and me crying either because the love of my life didn’t love me back, or because I hadn’t gotten into college (both things that I openly cried about during Saturday rehearsals). Maybe we would have decided to sit in the hallway together and, each taking an earbud, listen to the “Dashboard Confessional” CD playing in my discman. Maybe it would have brought us comfort.

I retro-actively offer you that solace as my birthday gift. Welcome to 26! It’s mostly just as devastating as 16.

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An Irish Memory

Jana: St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that matters only in Boston, or to big drinkers, or to people who look really good in green (ie, redheads – girls, not boys). Also, I guess, to the Irish. Luckily for myself and for Catherine, we together meet all of these criteria in one way or another. PLUS, St. Patrick’s Day is the day before Cath’s birthday, thus essentially BEING her birthday. For all of these reasons, we decided to go extra hard on St. Pat’s 2007, also known as Cathy‘s 21st birthday. The anniversary of this occasion seems as good at time as any to do our first ever “in college, we were drunk and did stupid things!” post. Happy Holidays.

Catherine: I gotta say, I am SHOCKED it has taken this long to dip into our many terrible college drinking times. How is it possible we haven’t tackled that night I fell asleep on a stranger’s lawn on the walk home? Strange. But, on with the story.

Jana: We had just returned from spring break, which we’d both spent at our parents’ houses doing absolutely nothing. It was, I believe, a Saturday night. As was our custom in those days, I collected approximately all of my clothing into plastic bags and arrived in Cathy’s room to try them all on in different combinations and with different jewelry. It took us a while, but here are the outfits (and, god help us, poses) we came up with:

   

I don’t have much defense for these pictures except to say that WE WERE IN VERMONT, and WE WERE TWENTY-ONE, although that in no way excuses the tiara (it DOES explain the wool socks). Also I’m sure Catherine stands by these outfits and still thinks they are great. Ah well.

Catherine: I wish there was a way we could go back in time and un-delete all the pictures taken BEFORE these ones. God knows these weren’t the only shots taken, but apparently these ones were the best – the ones deemed worthy for the facebook album. Also, Jana, on my birthday, and when I am 20, I can think that wearing a tiara is a cool idea. Although I do feel like it wasn’t my idea somehow? Not sure. But MOVING ON.

Jana: Once we’d settled on these, feeling really attractive, we waltzed into the kitchen to make ourselves a celebratory drink. We were drinking Bacardi Limon mixed with diet coke, a drink our group of friends had affectionately termed “Paula Abduls”, because they are very low calorie and probably Paula was drinking them during most of American Idol.

Catherine: Correction: She was definitely drinking them during most of American Idol.

Jana: The point is that, about 4 Paula Abduls in, we were with all our friends and dancing in the living room. An important thing to note is that the next day we were all set to attend a local child (in fact, our friend’s son)’s birthday party, and in anticipation of this event there was a large blow-up dinasour in the living room, which people danced with.

As Cathy demonstrates, here.

Catherine: Besides dancing, I would like to mention that pictures were taken with the dinosaur in compromising sexual positions, and also drinking. Sadly, neither Jana or I appear in these photos, so we have to refrain from sharing them.

Jana: Eventually, we went to karaoke. While this is not something I REMEMBER, I do know that it happened. At this point in my life my friends were all huge karaoke fans, whereas I was not generally a karaoke participant; yet, I karaoke-d on this night. I believe I met a gentleman who joined me on the stage (a quick peek at my actual journal for the day reveals “met some guy named kevin i think who i gave my number to”, so I guess his name was Kevin). Catherine, I know, sang her standard: Alanis‘ “You Oughta Know“.

Catherine: Quick side note about “You Oughta Know” (one of the best rock songs, ever, yeah, I said it.) Last time I was at JP’s, I sang “You Oughta Know” and closed out the night. I only know this not because I recall having a blast singing it, but because I saw pictures of me singing on my camera the next day and was informed that I had closed out the night while swaying in an enthusiastic but ultimately awkward way.

I don’t know what I sang.

Jana: The point is that around 3 AM we ended up at the local 24-hour diner, Henry’s, where after eating a hot dog AND eggs I fell asleep on the table and someone took a picture of me which I mercifully have been unable to locate.

Catherine: Henry’s is no longer open 24-hours. They had discontinue this perk after a late night food fight, which I feel a lot of regret about missing.

Jana: The next point is that the following morning, we still had to go to the child’s birthday party. I remember waking up and feeling like: how could I get dressed? I couldn’t. Could I? But, I did, and I chose to wear a pair of bell-bottom style khakis with a light blue tank top and a gray sweater, and to straighten my hair without washing it first. At the party, I looked and felt like this:

It was a real “You have no ability to dress yourself nor any right to be in the world, at any time of day” moment. In that regard, it was similar to my own 21st birthday, which I shall have to touch upon another time.

A la New Year’s Eve, we advise you to stay in this St. Patrick’s Day. At the very least, it’s best to leave your camera at home.

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Slugging in the Spring

Jana: In honor of daylight savings time, here is a mini PSA post.

It was April vacation, 1998, when my friend and I invented Slugging. What, you are probably asking yourself, is Slugging? Well, readers, Slugging is a phenomenal activity for children and adults of all ages. It requires only a few sleeping bags, a (preferably carpeted – ok definitely carpeted) staircase, and a desire to have an awesome time. Participants should be wearing sweatpants or other pajama-like clothing items. Ideally, participants are in the middle of a blissful, week-long sleepover extravaganza, and have been wearing said pajama items for days.

A good way to warm up for Slugging is to put on thick socks and slide around the kitchen for a while. It’s definitely also ok to eat pieces of whatever is being made for dinner, to occasionally fall down, and then to feel bored of sliding and get out the stilts that you received for christmas (after BEGGING for them. They weren’t delivered in time for christmas morning, which made you cry, but then the company felt so bad about the mistake that they sent two pairs. This is good news for your friend). Walk on the stilts until one of them suddenly shoots out from under your arm and nearly hits someone in the face (at which point other members of the household may request that they be put away – it’s best to comply with this).

After sliding and stilting, what will come next? That’s right: the time for Slugging is now. Leave the thick socks on. Cover the stairs with the sleeping bags. Also, it’s a good idea to put some pillows at the bottom of the staircase, forming a sort of pillow bed. Then, climb to the top of the stairs, together. Side by side, get down onto your stomachs. Count to three. On three, propel yourselves forward down the stairs. Enjoy the rush! You’re alive! Collapse into the pillows. Laugh for approximately five minutes. Jump up and repeat.

This can be done tournament-style. It can include spectators. It will not get old. Happy Spring!

Flower Drawing 2

Good thing I titled this work of art and signed it as “me”. Wouldn’t have known it was a flower. WOULD have known it was by me. 

Catherine: My favorite thing is the caption for the photo. That is my favorite. What a way to comeback, MARCH, HERE WE ARE! SORRY WE HAVE BEEN AWAY!

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