The 5 Things That Miles Is Thankful For

I am thankful for Anderson Cooper’s Talk Show

Finally the Occupy Anderson Cooper’s Life movement achieved its goals of getting a show purely dedicated to Anderson giggling and being shirtless.  Unlike on Anderson Cooper 360, where AC spends the whole time talking about world news and stuff, the talk show mainly involves Anderson spray tanning with Snooki and bench pressing Kathy Griffin.  For those who miss the AC360 moments when Anderson gazes into the camera with his icy blue eyes and his lips half parted, have no fear, because on the show’s Youtube channel you can watch Anderson answer viewer questions with the same bedroom eyes, except this time they are framed with black hipster glasses.  I would be even more thankful if someone could deliver this man to my front door.

2)      I am thankful for X-Factor (UK) Season 8

For those of you who are unfamiliar with X-Factor, it’s like American Idol but triple the budget, halve the talent, give the judges actual voting off power, and add in explosions, fire, and an army of spandex clad back up dancers.  At first I was nervous that this season wouldn’t make sense without Simon Cowell (who left to judge the awful American version), but I relaxed when the new judges proved to be super sexy (Gary Barlow and Kelly Rowland) and at times so steeped in slang that they became totally incomprehensible (Kelly). It’s true, I was a bit apprehensive when carnival act Kitty Brucknell went home, who entertained audiences by lighting pianos on fire and strapping herself to spark-shooting spinning death wheels.  However, I am thankful that I still have the girl group Little Mix, who after a charity law-suit renamed themselves after a Halloween candy assortment pack, and Marcus Collins, who is sort of a Little Richard meets Hairspray meets Wham! kind of act.  It’s all on YouTube people.

3)      I am thankful for my new job

Just last summer I was sitting at the front desk of a Chicago hair salon, listening to pumpkin-faced old women bitch at me about their daily struggles to catch taxis, and how deplorable their Michigan Avenue apartments were.  Occasionally, I would take a lunch break from this hell, where I would sit in the backroom and dodge one co-workers attempts to touch my junk, while reassuring another that she was indeed, smart, even though she was the dumbest girl I had ever met in my entire life (she did not know that Berlin was in Germany).  Now I live and work in Minneapolis, where I help unemployed people job search and learn computer skills.  Sometimes my old life as a high flying sexually-harassed receptionist feels like a dream, but then I remember that it was a nightmare.

4)      I am thankful for moving in with boyfriend

Do you want know the secret of an easy, low cost life?  Move in with you significant other. Make sure they like to cook, and won’t notice when you eat all of their Frito’s.   Split a one-bedroom so you can live dirt cheap, and make sure that they own the car so that they can drive you to the grocery store for free.  Apartment getting a little too messy with all their stuff?  Just bitch at them and tell them that you live there too (with normal roommates, this never works).  Don’t feel like doing the dishes?  Just ignore them and act more exhausted than usual.  Life is so much easier when you can lean on/leech off of another human being.

5)      I am thankful for the YWCA

The YWCA is my dream gym: conveniently located, multi-racial, and douchebag-free.  All of the posters are of powerful women, and the guys who work out there are attractive enough, but not to the point where they are distracting (see: College).  While I could do without the people in the locker room that get completely naked before walking to the showers, anything is a step up from the Chicago park district fitness center, where I had to change in the bathroom with children banging on the stall door complaining that their stomachs feel “urpy.”


The 5 Worst Things About Being a Woman

Societal Pressure on Being a Twig

Day to day I generally feel neutral to pretty good about my body. I’m not the kind of person who spends a lot of time thinking about my jean size or rationing what I eat. That is, until I open a women’s magazine. Even though I know that most models are Photoshopped to within an inch of their lives, I can’t help compare myself to someone who earns a living by being a clothing rack. Suddenly I feel like a giant jiggling about on my huge legs that get bigger towards the top- not like all these models whose thighs are the same circumference all the way up! Surely there must be something wrong with me! Oh no, none of my ribs poke out of my back- I should probably start fasting! Don’t even get me started on how you can’t even eat cereal our of my collarbones!

Double Standards

Think of all the worst words you know: how many of them are derogatory words for a woman or for female genitalia?  Have you noticed how easy it is to insult a woman based on her gender alone, with many of the words having no male correlation? Think of how many words we have for “slut” alone: whore, floozy, skank, tramp, loose, painted lady…well, maybe that last one is a little archaic. But what is the male equivalent to slut? Stud? Player? Womanizer? All of these words call to mind a glamorous image, whether it be Frank Sinatra or Jay-Z. What glamorous image does “slut” bring to mind? Ke$ha? Even the man to woman equivalent of the word “prostitute” is imbalanced. Women are hookers, conjuring up images of cheap vinyl outfits, while men get to be gigolos, conjuring up images of Richard Gere.

Cost of Lady Products

I consider myself to be a pretty low-key woman when it comes to getting ready. I work in a very casual environment, so I barely wear makeup or do my hair. Even so, on an average day it takes 14 products to get me out of the door. I don’t even want to tally how many products I use when I go out! I don’t know if you pay attention to the cost of beauty products, but shit’s expensive! I recently bought new mascara from a drugstore- on sale that tiny tube was $9. And the cosmetic industry has us all convinced that in six weeks, it is unsanitary for you to be using the same tube of mascara. And while for men a shampoo + conditioner + body wash combo is apparently all you need, women: don’t you DARE mix up your face lotion with your body lotion, regular conditioner with leave-in conditioner, your hair product with shine for your hair product with hold, your base coat for your top coat….

“Problem Areas”

I realize that both sexes can, and do, struggle with their weight. For men, a little excess weight is often seen as a positive attribute (more cuddly/warm). However, it is a completely different story for women. I don’t know a single woman who doesn’t have a problem with at least one area of her body. I hold weight around my stomach, but no fat is ever deposited to my butt. A friend refuses to show the upper half of her thighs. Another friend refuses to wear anything sleeveless. An acquaintance wears pants throughout the Summer. And the messed up thing is that these are all such small issues that in all likelihood no one would ever notice, but we are so preoccupied with whatever perceived flaw that we would rather not go out than wear something we think draws attention to our “problem area.” I personally would rather walk around in an XXL Insane Clown Posse shirt, face painted in full juggalo jugalette mode, than let my stomach see the light of day.


To be fair, anyone can be a creeper- boy or girl, gay or straight. But let’s be real; I know of way more horror stories that take place between guys and girls. To start out with, I don’t think a ton of guys even know how to let a girl know he’s interested in her. I’m not sure what reaction you’re going for when you whistle and dangle money out of your car window, but thanks for making me feel like a slut when I’m just carrying home dog food. On top of that, we now have books and tv shows telling men that the best way to pick up a woman is to just walk up to her and insult her. Ask her if she is wearing a wig! Tell her her hands are manly! It’s really not that hard, and I’m addressing ALL of you creepers….stop staring, don’t whistle, no pickup lines; walk up to them and introduce yourself.

The 5 Worst Things About Being a Man


I don’t care how old you are, when you go bald your life is over.  You better be Black, because if not then you have to go to the hat section at Target and decide what kind of a douche you want to be.  Or you can pretend to be really into sports and go the Baseball cap route, but either way you’re going to have to take off your hat for the national anthem. When you do get ready to drop down at least two pegs on the hot chart, and move from marriage material to godparent material.  And don’t even think about hair plugs because you might as well wear a shirt that says “I am a rapist.”


There’s nothing that I find less awkward then whipping out my penis in public and aiming it at piece of porcelain while my piss splashes all over my dress pants with my boss standing next to me. Now let me just turn the other way while I try to convince my penis into going back into my underwear without it dribbling any urine on my shoes.  Oh great, now I can feel pee running down my leg.

Clothing Options

If you decide to be a man then you better hate bright colors, patterns that don’t involve stripes, accessories, neckline variety, prints, volume, and basically anything else that would make clothes fun or exciting to put on.  While stores have gotten better about fit in recent years (I remember the days when Target didn’t carry size small shirts, and it wasn’t until this year that they offered slim fit jeans), the selection is still abysmal.  Looking for an orange t-shirt?  Good luck with that.  What about a printed a-shirt? You better be prepared to fork over $22 at evil conglomerate Urban Outiftters.  But you noticed one for $10 in the Target women’s section?  Forget what you saw.

Working Out

I don’t care what girls say, for them looking good is easy.  If you’re a woman, all you have to do is eat nothing and go the gym every day to look bored while you run for 4 hours on the treadmill.  Guys, on the other hand, have to do at least 30 different exercises per work out, navigate a complex maze of nutrition, and somehow determine how many reps, sets, and days a week that they need to dedicate to working out their brachioradialis muscles.  If you do any of these things incorrectly, expect results never and pain immediatley.

Inconvenient Erections

Ever have one of those days when your penis randomly engorges with blood just in time for you to stand up and give a presenation on Cameroon in front of the whole French class?  You better untuck your shirt and pretend that you suddenly need to locate your keys, because those polyester-wool blend pants from H&M show everything.  Not working? Penis painfully caught on something?  Just kind of scamper up to the front of the class and hope that your downstairs neighbor settles into a less visible position before your fellow Francophiles think that West Africa turns you on.

The 5 Meanest Fictional Moms

Zinnia Wormwood (Matilda)

With her skyscraper heals, cheetah-print leggings, and complicated nail polish, Zinnia Wormwood has all the makings of a female rapper…and none of a mother. Despite her 9 months of pregnancy, she forgot that Matilda existed the minute she exited the womb, then continued to forget her existence for the next decade or so of her life.   When spending 0% of her energy on raising a daughter became too taxing, Zinnia booked it for Guam.

Chi Chi (Dragonball)

In Dragonball, Chi Chi’ is a sweet, bikini-clad little girl who is oddly obsessed with finding a man to put a ring on it.  In the sequel series, Dragonball Z, she marries Goku, sire’s Gohan, and goes crazy.  Like a proper mother, she loses all interest in her roided out husband, screams until she’s hoarse,  and focuses solely on inundating her son with math homework at the expense of planet earth.  Oh, and her name means breasts.

Claire Huxtable (The Cosby Show)

Claire Huxtable earned her law degree solely so that she could yell “objection!” at her children’s pleas for sympathy, shutting them down with a crazy eye and a poignant hand gesture that communicates that she will kill you.  I know that her emotional abuse and shoulder pads are played for giggles, but don’t let that laugh track fool you, given the opportunity Mrs. Huxtable will stab any one of her children to teach them a lesson they’ll never forget: motherly love.

Mystique (X-men)

Mystique plays deadbeat mom to one child (Nightcrawler) and then adopts another mutant (Rogue) so that she can try out being the fun, abusive mom.  When Rogue ran away from home after putting her hillbilly boyfriend in a coma, Mystique was there to pick up the pieces by forcing her new daughter into a life of crime.  Backed by her zero knowledge of biology, genetics, or parenting, Mystique promises Rogue that she can fix her no-touching problem, but then dumps her daughter off on the X-Men when her strategy of doing no research doesn’t pay off.  To fill the hole in her heart, Mystique then shacks up with her pants-less, 80-year-old blind girlfriend Destiny, before sleeping with the entire Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

Beth Jarrett (Ordinary People)

After the family loses their oldest son in a boating accident, Beth Jarrett decides that everyone must move on by pretending that nothing ever happened.  She is disconnected from her remaining suicidal son to the point where every interaction comes across as an awkward first date, but one where you can just make out the sound of her brain imploding from all the crazy trapped inside.  To cope with it all she  golfs obsessively and redefines the word love to mean cold, bitter hatred.

The 5 Fictional Lives That Jamie Wants As Her Own

Hermione Granger from Harry Potter

I seriously felt a disappointment when I never received my acceptance owl to Hogwarts.  I really wanted to live in a magic world and take magic classes, not live in Minnesota and take math.  I love Hermione because she is such a well-rounded character.  She started out really obnoxious and socially inept, and became this amazing talent and super loyal friend.  And while I always held out hope that she and Harry would get together, Ron is a decent option, too.  Especially since he became a super stud in, what, book five?

Eloise from Eloise

Having full run of the Plaza Hotel seemed so great as a child, but as an adult scraping by to make ends meet, this ridiculous lifestyle is even more appealing.  Eloise gets to order room service every day, play in her awesome pink room full of toys, and have fantastic pet dog Weenie and turtle Skipperdee.  The entire premise of the book is basically her acting out without any consequences because she’s just so damn charming.  And because her mother is basically MIA sleeping with rich dudes around the world.  Or at least that’s how I interpreted it….

Veronica from Veronica Mars

What’s better than being an adorable wisecracking teenage detective?  Nothing, I reckon.  Although Veronica’s life has been more than a little challenging (murdered best friend, alcoholic mom, ostracized dad), she manages to always come out on top.  Though she has terrible taste in men, she has the most clever acerbic wit and was almost valedictorian of her class- so totes smart, guys.  Plus I am generally the last to figure out a what happened during Law and Order SVU…having her detective skills would be a nice change of pace.

Penny Lane from Almost Famous

It’s kind of been my weird secret dream to be a muse for as long as I can remember.  Since people apparently aren’t in the market for modern-day muses (or so says my recruiter), living through fictional character Penny Lane will have to do.  Besides being the groupie Band Aid to one of the most talented up-and-coming musicians, she has the best wardrobe.  Also, girl can handle her ‘ludes.  Important.

April Ludgate from Parks and Recreation

Since the first day I laid eyes on April Ludgate, I knew that I wanted to be her.  I am generally way too cheerful and get excited over stupid things like candy or Saved by the Bell reruns to ever be that aloof and cool.  She is also hilarious, has the elusive approval of ultimate bad ass Ron Swanson and gets to be married to the adorable Andy Dwyer.  Ugh, I’m moving to Pawnee.

The 5 Fictional Lives That Miles Wants As His Own

The grass is always greener on the other side, especially when the other side is fictional.  Who hasn’t read a book or watched a movie and thought, “I want their life!” Well now you can have it!  Actually, I’m lying.  But what you can do is read this list about what lives I would inhabit if all of this were possible.

Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service

At the age that most teens are begging their mom for a ride to the movies and failing algebra, Kiki was flying across the country to start a small business.  Sure, she only had one outfit and her bestie was a cat, but she got a free room with a view of the ocean in exchange for baking lessons, and did I mention she can fly?  Don’t forget about the time she swiffered that artist’s cabin in exchange for a painting of herself astride a unicorn. MY  DREAM LIFE.

Daniel LaRusso from Karate Kid

While the move from New Jersey to California meant leaving all of his friends behind, Daniel LaRusso hit the jackpot when he met Mr. Miyagi.  This master-student relationship involved free karate lessons, free classic cars, and a free trip to Japan in the sequel.  When Danny wasn’t building his resume with Miyagi, he was hanging out at the beach and crashing Halloween parties in that unforgettable homemade shower costume.  At the end of the first film he wins the biggest trophy I’ve ever seen, then flies off to Okinawa to date a Japanese dancer.  Dude is too cool.

Kitty Pryde from X-men

As a fellow Chicago suburbanite, Kitty Pryde’s adventures with the X-men resonated strongly with me as a teenager.  She got to drop out of school because she was a mutant, then attend fake school in upstate New York, where instead of gym class, students dodge lasers in the Danger Room.  After some pretty age-inappropriate flirtations with the Russian bodybuilder farmhand Colossus, she adopted a purple fire-breathing dragon and quit school entirely so she could go live in a lighthouse in  England.  Oh, and somewhere along the way she became a ninja.  Damn, girl.

Tintin from The Adventures of Tintin

Tintin has the best job in the world.  He works as a “reporter,” which means he jet sets around the globe with a drunk pirate, and his equally drunk dog Snowy.  Not only does he get paid to write nothing down, but he gets to  punch gorillas and shoot cobras on the newspaper’s dime.  Having his life may involve wearing 10 pounds of blush and belted high-wasted  parachute capris , but I’d take it in a heartbeat.

Sarah Williams from Labyrinth

In the movie Labyrinth, super stylish Sarah Williams reads unpublished plays with her sheepdog, bitches out her step-mom, and seethes angst in her Pier 1 furnished bedroom all before she rejects David Bowie, the kidnapping drag queen.  Faced with traversing a maze filled with monsters, she uses fart jokes and her Covergirl Outlast Lipstain to guide her to the center.  Eventually she gains the ability to snap and have Muppets appear, which is probably the coolest power ever.