The Affliction Known as Diet

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a Crossfit fanatic. I train 5 days a week and compete any chance I get. Do I win? Well no. I don’t do terrible but I definitely don’t do as well as I see myself doing in my head. In my head I beat everyone; in reality I manage to not come in last. My problem is my diet. After nearly a year of trying to prove my coach wrong when it comes to the correlation between healthy eating and better results I’ve come to the conclusion that I suppose he may be on to something. Every so often my gym does a nutrition challenge and because I’ve always believed I could somehow defy the laws of anything that has to do with being healthy I opted out of all of them, until now. We’re starting one this coming Monday, May 9th and I’m going to try it, primarily because our summer competitions start at the beginning of June and I would like to do better than “well at least I didn’t come in last”. I also didn’t think it would be that hard because it’s not like I eat McDonald’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner – my eating habits aren’t so bad that I can’t substitute something with a vegetable.

Then I got the packet that detailed the rules, the points scale, and the foods we’re allowed to eat. Here’s how it works: you earn points in 6 categories – Nutrition, Exercise, Mobility, Hydration, Sleep and a Daily Challenge. Whoever earns the most points at the end of the 6 weeks wins money, and possibly a new body. Each category is worth 5 points and, obviously, you deduct points for not doing what’s required of each category. Exercise isn’t a problem, I’m at the gym everyday already. Mobility won’t be a problem either, it’s just stretching for 10 minutes a day. Easy. I drink shit tons of water a day so Hydration won’t get me. The Daily Challenge is things that they’ll ask us to do like meditate or make eye contact with a stranger, I think I can manage that. Then we get to the Sleep category. I’m usually in bed by about 10pm, but my insomnia wakes me up at midnight and then again at around 3am, so I need to get specifics on how that works because we’re supposed to get 7 straight hours and my brain doesn’t agree. Then there’s Nutrition. The whole reason I’m doing this is to clean up my diet for these competitions but it wasn’t until I actually saw the list of what we’re allowed to eat that I realized 2 things: 1) I eat like shit, and 2) I’m probably going to starve to death. The list of things I can eat is the exact opposite of what I eat/like to eat. I’m practically crying just thinking about Monday.

Before I go into what I can eat let me just explain my thought process when it comes to food. I don’t eat incredibly terrible, just like I don’t do too terrible in my competitions. But I love to eat and when the weekend comes around my food conscience goes completely out the window I eat whatever the hell I want with the mentality that Monday starts a new week of eating better. Eating better for me means protein, a vegetable, and then mac and cheese or something else delicious. In my head it counterbalances the protein and vegetable, so it cancels everything out and it’s like I didn’t eat at all. Brilliant, huh? Well apparently it doesn’t work like that.

This Monday really DOES mean the start of not just one week of eating better, but 6 weeks. Weekends included. 6 whole weeks. 6 weeks of no mac and cheese. 6 weeks of no mashed potatoes. 6 weeks of no soda. I’m not even much of a soda drinker but now that I can’t drink it I would like all the soda. I can’t have cheese which is basically a condiment in our household. No ice cream, no french fries, no cake, no chips, no anything that tastes like happiness. Wait! I haven’t gotten to the worst part. I can’t. Drink. Beer. No beer. Not one drop. That cool, refreshing beverage that serves as the best way to kick off a weekend will soon be a distant memory. I can drink wine but that’s not beer. No beer. I’m getting sadder and sadder.

Here’s what I can eat: things that stink, things that would taste better if they were fried, things that sound like I might be allergic to them, things that don’t sound like food, and for some reason I’m allowed butter and pork rinds. If I want something sweet I can eat fruit in the morning or I can have honey, but the list doesn’t have anything I can put honey on so it looks like I’ll have to drink it out of the bottle similar to an alcoholic who drinks mouthwash when they’ve run out of alcohol.

Now here’s the REALLY fun part: I have to do this unofficially (which means even if I make it I win nothing) because the program requires that you download Whatsapp and use it to post about the Daily Challenge or something. I’m not downloading that. I didn’t even know what it was until my coach explained it to me. Based on his explanation it’s my understanding that it works as sort of a private group message only you don’t have to get the notifications, you’re just bombarded with a million posts whenever you check it. I hate group text messages and when I get roped into one it makes me want my Nokia back, so I’m not going to use an app that makes me have to participate in text messaging’s worst feature. I get that I’m being a 5-year-old about the whole thing but that’s just one more app that I have to waste time staring at and I’m not interested. Besides, if that thing allows for more than 140 characters then the group is going to be real annoyed when they log on and find that rather than posting a simple message I have typed out a blog-like post that goes on for hours about how this diet is slowly killing me inside. Instead I’ll just share that on here with all of you, my tens of readers.

This nutrition challenge is supposed to be the start of a complete lifestyle change; I’ll be lucky if I make it a week. So at no point will this blog turn into a health and fitness blog. You won’t find healthy, delicious recipes here. You won’t read about any life altering epiphanies I’ve had, and if you do they’re coming from a state of delirium and I should probably seek medical treatment. And I hope you’re not looking for inspirational quotes to help you get through your own lifestyle change journey because if you are you need to stop reading and get on Instagram where you’ll find those horrendous profiles that share nothing but positive, babbling nonsense that are created by people who are one post away from a complete mental breakdown.

If you are, however, looking for something that serves as reinforcement that you’re not the only one suffering from the affliction known as “diet”, then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s complain and take this journey together. My goal is to write a weekly update and also make it through the first day. So stay tuned to find out how deep into a diet you have to be to completely lose your mind. Enjoy your weekend!

Forever Young by: Vanderpump Rules

Not very long ago I stumbled upon a Buzzfeed article titled Why Parents Hate Caillou – a cartoon (advertised as educational) that features a 4-year-old boy who apparently is a complete asshole, with his tantrums and piss-poor attitude and such. From what I’m told this is the general demeanor of any 4-year-old yet parents are convinced that if their child watches this cartoon then Caillou will infiltrate their child’s mind like a subliminal message and subsequently posses them with behavior that probably already exists. I’m not convinced that this is how it works but if you believe that your toddler will become a monster by simply watching this cartoon then by god don’t let your tween and/or teen watch Vanderpump Rules – it’ll have you convinced that your child will remain mentally locked in their teen years for the rest of their lives, thus directly contributing to the demise of our world. And it’ll be All. Your. Fault. (No, no, it’s OK that I watch it. I’m a for real grown up with bills and responsibilities and everything! It can’t turn me!)

Vanderpump Rules does a better job of showing what a 30-year-old with high school problems looks like than the 90s version of Beverly Hills 90210 ever did. But Jenn, maybe it’s the producers plying them with alcohol and getting them drunk in an attempt to instigate drama? Maybe, but that doesn’t explain why they continue to be stupid while sober. Then again, I can’t quit watching the show so what do I know. I’ll tell you what I know: I’ve been watching the show since its debut a few years ago and unless my TV is out-of-date I’m pretty positive that quite a few of them are nearly unrecognizable. If they were actual teens I would chalk it up to aging but in this case it’s 30-year-olds who are combating aging with the help of their plastic surgeons.

Take Jax for instance: A former model who looks so different that if it wasn’t for his inability to quit lying, stealing and womanizing you’d think he’d been replaced. In addition to a new face, this season he has added theft charges and extreme narcissism to his resume´. Not that he wasn’t full of himself before, but this year he’s brought in an arsenal of conceit that I can only surmise is a side effect of his latest nose job, and can only hope will result in a scenario that’s something out of a Tales From The Crypt episode where he becomes so engrossed in himself he wakes up one morning to find that every last person in the world has morphed into a heightened version of himself and upon discovering that his new nose is the culprit behind this debacle, hurries to see his plastic surgeon only to find that it was no plastic surgeon at all, but instead a satanic wizard who’s taken the form of one Stassi Schroeder.

In real life Stassi is back: not as a satanic wizard who preys on Jax, but as a satanic wizard who preys on everyone. After quitting SUR and telling everyone to suck it she found her self friendless, jobless and homeless, so naturally she conjured up her magics to weasel her way back in. Her comeback was a very humbling one as she kicked off her return by apologizing/groveling to Lisa and freeloading off her once arch nemesis Kristen Doute. She then used her special wizard powers to make Schwartz believe she’s no longer an asshole. And finally she used her last ounce of power to win over Katie and with all of her powers drained her story line became boring and who cares.

And then there’s Kristen, who managed to keep her job on the show by turning up her crazy by about 5 notches. At least once a week Kristen made sure to mention she was in therapy and tried her best to convince America that she was totally and completely, 100% sane. If you watched the same show I watched (which shut up yes you did) then you’ll notice that what therapy actually did for her was give her a level of self-confidence that manifested itself into some sort of mild form of turrets which caused her to constantly say “suck a dick” and made her head – whole upper body, really – sway and twitch non-stop whenever she spoke, although the twitching could just be the shakes from always being drunk. Who knows. What I do know is after a while it became pretty painful to watch. In addition to her role as The One Most Likely To Have a Psychotic Breakdown she’s also the proud owner of a t-shirt line. Never heard of it? Well I took a moment to look at her product and, well, how should I describe it? You know those annoying posts that annoy you on Facebook and have now been turned into pictures by self-proclaimed poets and show up in your Instagram feed by people who probably need a bit of counseling? You know the ones: they say ridiculous things like “today is now, tomorrow hasn’t happened yet, so don’t worry.” And then idiots reply with things like “OMG, so needed to read that today.” That’s what her t-shirts are like: every annoying post on Instagram turned into a walking billboard. They’re awful.

Speaking of annoying, did anyone else find Scheana unbearable this season? I mean, more unbearable than usual. At first it was just her voice, which I hope is just an affectation she developed after moving to LA. But this season she really brought out the big guns. In seasons past Scheana got her attention by showcasing her ability to channel other personalities and make them her own: first she channeled Tammy Fay Baker with a focus on her makeup skills, then she channeled her inner T-Pain when her songs had to be extremely auto-tuned to mask her undeniably cringe-worthy voice. This season she took a different approach and used a new attention grabber: crying, sympathy-garnering crying. Shed a tear as she cries while downing a bottle of wine, explaining that she is fortunate enough to not know what it’s like to have an addiction problem so she simply can’t understand what’s wrong with her husband, so she berates him like a child. Pour one out for the demise of her friendship with Katie – a situation that she completely made up in her head because she didn’t want to be left out now that Stassi was back. Grab the tissues and try to hold back your tears as you watch her shed her own because Ariana basically told her she needed to quit her shit. It’s tough being Scheana; all of the crying she did this season has resulted in an influx in her need for Botox. Scheana 2.0 is awful, I’d like her to bring back T-Pain Scheana – the one that created terrible music but really didn’t care what anyone thought. At lease that version was tolerable.

As for the rest of the cast, either they were just extra boring this year or everyone else’s heightened bullshit overshadowed them. Tom Sandoval (Tom 1) has a band, Ariana is sick of everyone’s bullshit.

Tom Schwartz (Tom 2) and Katie Maloney are still together and, after some coercion from Katie, now engaged. Katie spends her days working at SUR, planning the wedding, and writing her blog. Tom spends his days hanging out with anyone who isn’t working and sprinkling in an audition here and there. While it may appear he’s the most immature, he actually appears to be the most level-headed. I like Tom 2 and I believe he’s on the show so the producers don’t cause everyone to completely lose faith in humanity.

And last but not least, this season we were treated to some new people: one James Kennedy and one Lala Kent. James is a busboy by day, DJ by night and a tantrum throwing alcoholic full time. Lala is the new hostess who is also the new Scheana, i.e., the one the girls pick on for no apparent reason. Both are in their early twenties and when liquored up, both are equally ridiculous. They fit in perfect. Side note: James used to date Kristen, then moved on to Lala after he and Kristen broke up. Kristen hates Lala because of this which makes Lala hate Kristen, which makes Lala act crazy around her, which is how Kristen used to act around Ariana who is dating Kristen’s other ex-boyfriend, which means that Kristen now has to deal with her very own Kristen. What goes Kristen, comes back Kristen. Don’t be Kristen.

So there you have it, what it looks like to be a 30-year-old with first world problems and a teenage mentality. Does it make you nervous? Is it your worst nightmare realized? Don’t worry, the show will be back for another season so there’s plenty more where this came from. Except next season I’ll write after each episode so you get a weekly helping of paranoia. You’re welcome. Now off you go, enjoy the weekend while you can.

American Horror Story: Hotel – Season Recap, the Season That Tricked Me

 

  So here we are, once again, at the end of another season of American Horror Story. The good news is it didn’t make me want to hurl my TV through a window like I did after wasting 13 weeks on that garbage that was the Freak Show season. This season had some good, yet predictable story lines; the character back stories were really the best part of the show. Additionally, other than blessing us with the gift of Liz Taylor, I was extremely appreciative of the writers omitting the song and dance numbers. This season, rather than have the characters break out into a random song and dance, they dubbed some pretty wonderful tunes over various scenes. Listen, I get that this show is brought to us by the creators of the comedy-drama Glee, but when I’m watching a scene in which a sadistic killer-clown is slashing through people like someone angrily trying to cut their way into an overly sealed package, and then am thrown into a musical diddy that features Jessica Lange belting out a Lana Del Rey song, well, it tends to take me out of the moment a bit. But what about the Donovan/Hotline Bling scene? Don’t you worry my friends, I’ll get to that. Anyway, I was going to write a piece about this season prior to the season finale, but after watching the finale I just decided to combine it all. The season finale, just like in the other seasons, ruined it for me which meant there was no point in trying to write an entire piece on the ending. If you saw it then you know what I’m talking about.

Let’s begin with everything we learned about the Hotel Cortez in the very first episode. The Countess (Lady Gaga) is a vampire who apparently kidnaps kids; if you die in the hotel sucks to be you because you’re stuck there, FOR-E-VER (like the death house in season one); Hypodermic Sally is super into shooting people up with heroin, and then crying about it as well as everything else; we’re introduced to the series’ greatest character ever, Liz; Iris (Kathy Bates) isn’t dead but stuck in the hotel; and we meet detective John Lowe, a cop who is hunting a serial killer and moves into the hotel with the belief that that’s where they’re hiding, and also he has a wife named Alex who is kind of a dick.

Now, here is what has transpired this season. We’ll start with John Lowe. So he moves into the Hotel Cortez hell bent on catching the Ten Commandments killer: a serial killer whose victims are people who break one of the Ten Commandments, kind of like Dexter but not as lovable. When he first moves into the hotel he’s sober John, and we later find out it’s because he went on a 2-day drinking binge after working a particularly disturbing crime scene, and then when he finally went home he took his family to a carnival by the beach in an attempt to make up for his behavior and instead of making things right he lost his son. It was a really bad week for John. His sobriety doesn’t last long in the Hotel Cortez; while there he has seen his son Holden who is seemingly frozen in time, the killings haven’t stopped, he’s being taunted by the killer, and to top it off he gets invited to and attends a party on Halloween night that is also host to some of the most infamous serial killers in the world, and they’re dead. Wait, why did detective John Lowe get invited to a party full of serial killer ghosts? Simple. Because, as it turns out, Mr. John Lowe, predictably, is the Ten Commandments serial killer, something you probably caught onto a couple of sentences ago. Here’s what happened: during his alcohol binge he somehow wound up at the Hotel Cortez where he was introduced to James March (I’ll get to him in a bit). Basically James and the Countess get him to become the serial killer. So how did the writers pull off this great secret that we all kind of realized in episode 4? It appears as though John had selective amnesia and couldn’t remember being a serial killer, and it isn’t until he annoys the piss out of everyone that Liz finally makes Hypodermic Sally tell him what’s up. And then he’s like “oh yea, I do kill people. LOL.” He gets back to killing and seems to really enjoy it but one day, and just short of one kill, like someone who gets down to “one bottle of beer on the wall” and calls it a day, he decides he’s over it. What made him up-and-quit? Well, his wife, who had since filed for divorce, is back.

That’s right, his wife, who was kind of an asshole but now we completely understand why, is back. Where was she? Well, you see, after hearing from both her husband and daughter (will get to her soon) that Holden was still alive and living at the hotel, she decides she’s had enough BS for one lifetime and personally serves John with divorce papers. As she leaves she spots a child down one of the hallways, a child none other than forever-a-five-year-old Holden. She finds out he’s a vampire and that the Countess is responsible for his transformation, so she confronts the Countess. The Countess offers her the opportunity to become a vampire in exchange for watching over her Village of the Damned kids for all eternity. Sold! She accepts. But being a doctor by day and vampire by night proves to be a little too difficult for her. How? Ok, so she has a nine-year-old patient who has a severe case of the measles, none of the meds are working and he is basically on the outs. So like any doctor would do she turns him into a vampire, who then turns all of his friends into vampires, who then start killing everyone, because vampires. The Countess finds out and tells Alex to get her Lord Of The Flies creation under control or she’ll kill both her and Holden. So she meets with John and comes clean about everything: she’s a vampire, Holden is a vampire, everyone is a vampire, and can he help her capture the vampire kids. John is like “ok but we still have another kid” and Alex is like “yea, right, Charlotte, I haven’t forgotten about her.” Well neither had we so I was glad that they finally mentioned that she still existed as opposed to making her disappear like ABC did with that middle child from the show Family Matters. They decide to deal with Charlotte later, right now they’ve got killer kids to catch. They eventually find the kids, lure them back to the Hotel and give them a permanent time out by locking them in the sealed corridor that was created by James but perfected by the Countess. Nothing brings a couple together like locking children away to ensure a drawn out and painful demise; they’re a family again and, along with Holden, they leave the Hotel. As they leave Hypodermic Sally, who is more unstable than usual, screams at John like she’s on day 1 of detox, and looking about as homicidal as the sensors will allow. What does she scream at him? That she’s going to kill him, like all jilted lovers.

So why is Hypodermic Sally completely losing her shit? Well, it turns out that being a serial killer wasn’t the only thing ol’ John Lowe forgot, he was also banging Sally. Wait, so Sally is alive and stuck in the Hotel? No, no she’s not. She’s dead. After shooting up Donovan (Iris’ son, and someone I’ll be getting too soon) Iris finds him dead (or so she thinks) in Sally’s room and pushed her out of a window. So she didn’t exactly die in the Hotel but close enough. When John became a regular of the Hotel he also became Sally’s bang buddy, for reasons unbeknownst to me. So naturally, when he gets back together with his wife Hypodermic Sally freaks the fuck out, and if there’s anything we’ve learned from the movie Fatal Attraction it’s that Sally will not be ignored. Knowing that the best way to keep them together is by killing him in the Hotel, she recruits the Countess to help her lure him back and kill him. (This is really all there is to say about Sally because she’s the most irritating character on this season, the entire series, in the entire world)

Why would the Countess help Sally? Because Sally saved her life, of course. Here’s how this all went down. The Countess has been pissing people off left and right for the last several decades. She didn’t always used to be a dick, though. She started out as a shy actress in love with her co-star, Rudy Valentino. He was into her too and thus began their love affair, a love affair that included his wife, Natasha. One day he fakes his death and then the Countess is sad forever. To take away her sadness she marries James March, the millionaire who built the Hotel Cortez. Surprise! He kills people but it’s cool because he’s rich and she likes things. So she’s happy in all of her riches when one day, while visiting the grave of her great love, Rudy Valentino, his wife appears out of nowhere and the Countess gets pissed. Natasha (Valentino’s wife) is like “calm down, he’s not even dead.” And then boom, like a vision he walks towards the Countess and they all promise to be together 4-eva. They’re scheduled to runaway together but the Countess is stood up at the train station and she never sees them again. After her husband, James March, kills himself (we’ll get there) she travels around the world, breaking hearts and racking up more money. Eventually she ends up with Donovan. Surprise! He’s not dead, she turned him into a vampire. So she likes him until a model named Tristan comes along and then she likes Tristan. Then she pretends to like Will Drake (new owner of Hotel Cortez) so she can marry him and take his money, but let’s Tristan know he has nothing to worry about. She only has eyes for him. Tristan doesn’t really care though because he’s in love, with Liz. Liz confesses to the Countess she’s in love with Tristan, the Countess is pissed, and she kills Tristan, in front of Liz! Meanwhile, Will Drake is still in the middle of remodeling the Hotel. His contractor stumbles upon a part of the Hotel that isn’t in the plans and Will Drake makes them tear down the wall to keep the construction moving. Well, wouldn’t you know it, Valentino and his wife Natasha didn’t stand the Countess up. They were locked away in that sealed up corridor the whole time, ha ha. It wasn’t so ha ha for the construction workers because do you know what happens to a vampire who hasn’t fed in decades? They’re thirsty. That’s not a one-liner, that’s what happened. They go on a killing spree and get back to their old selves. And then the Countess finds out, she finds them and puts together a plan to get lots of money, get rid of Natasha and then her and Valentino can live happily ever after. After that she manages to get Will to marry her, thus producing one of the best scenes of the season.

(Images from Tumbler)

Anyway, the Countess marries Will Drake and after he meets her kid (yes, the Countess has a kid: a half vampire/half monster thing) and calls the kid a monster (which it was) she kills him, in the Hotel. To be fair she was going to kill him anyway. So now he’s dead and after reporting him missing she gives a statement to the cops while doing her best impression of what she would be like as an animatronic at Madame Tussauds (she did win a Golden Globe so I guess what do I know about acting). Just when it looks like she’s gotten away with it, ghost Will Drake walks in on her robot-esque performance and is like “I’m back, I just got lost for a little bit is all.” So now she has to come up with a different plan to get his riches and after some thought she hatches a little scheme that involves Donovan. Nothing major, she just needs him to get Will’s rotting corpse out from the sealed up corridor and stash it someplace where the police will find it and discover that he’s dead and then she’ll get the money. She discusses this ingenious plan over dinner and Donovan is like, “yea, I’ll help you out. But I’ll need you to help me out. I blew your boyfriends face off and left him at his hotel and someone should probably go clean him up. Do we have a deal?” It turns out Donovan found out he wasn’t her one-and-only, tracked down Valentino and killed him, ironically (not really) at the same time the Countess killed Natasha. After discovering Valentino’s body she’s pissed and heads back to the Hotel to find Donovan, which she does. She walks in her room to find, what looks like, Donovan reenacting the Hotline Bling skit from Saturday Night Live. (If you haven’t seen it I suggest you YouTube it this second. I’ll give you a minute) She’s ready to kill him and he’s like “that’s how much I love you, you can kill me!” which makes no sense but Donovan has been a first class vagina this entire season so it does make sense for him. So then the Countess is like, “huh, maybe I do still like you”, and just when you think they’re about to do it in walks Liz and Iris with guns blazing.

TV Time with Typical JennTV Time with Typical Jenn“OMG, IRIS FINALLY HAD ENOUGH AND KILLED HER OWN SON?!” I thought the same thing and as happy as I was about it, because Donovan was a prick to her, that wasn’t exactly the case. So prior to Iris going gangsta she’d had a pretty rough go in life, especially with her son. After tracking Donovan down at the Hotel Cortez and watching him nearly die of an overdose, Iris decides to stay close to her now-vampire son for the rest of her life. So she takes a job as the front desk clerk at the Hotel and does everything she can to be a part of Donovan’s life. He, on the other hand, wants nothing to do with her and after the Countess dumps him he throws a big boy tantrum which included telling Iris to just kill herself, even after Iris tried to help him get away from the Countess and help him start a new life, er, afterlife, whatever. Well she’s so distraught about Donovan being such an asshole (I really did not like this kid) that she decides to kill herself; she recruits Hypodermic Sally to help her, and because Iris killed Sally, Sally is more than happy to help. Then the most least expected thing happens: Donovan interrupts her suicide attempt and turns her into a vampire so she’ll live. Why, you ask? Because being jilted sometimes makes you want revenge and he, as well as Ramona Royale (we’ll get there), needs her help to take down the Countess. Iris is down and just when she thinks it’s Go Time she discovers it was all a trick: Donovan conspires with the Countess to capture Ramona, which he does, and he locks her away in the Iron Maiden: a steal contraption used to drain victims of their blood and now, keep someone hostage. So Iris is like “oh goddamn you’re an idiot, the Countess just going to kill you.” Ramona seconds that and Donovan is like “nuh-uh”. At this point Iris has fucking had it (and so had the rest of America) so when she finds Liz attempting to kill herself (be patient, we’ll get there) she convinces her to wait and they’ll do it together. When the time comes around for them to kill themselves Iris is ready, and she’s created the world’s saddest funeral video to prove it. But Liz drops a bomb: she’s not ready to die as she has made amends with her son. Iris starts throwing a pity party when Liz basically tells her “get it together and let’s just run this place.” Their first item of business: kill the Countess. Only problem is they were completely unaware that Donovan was in her room too, so they accidentally shoot him. He manages to stay alive long enough for Liz and Iris to get him out of the Hotel, and then he finally dies. Iris mourns him, in fact she kinds of bathes in his ashes, and then it’s time to get back down to business: they need to find the Countess. Yup, she managed to survive the shooting and scamper off. Iris and Liz know they can’t kill the Countess on their own so they decide to ask Ramona Royale for help….

You mean the same Ramona that was tricked and managed to get herself locked away? Yes, that Ramona. It was a long shot, seeing as how Ramona was pissed at Iris for not releasing her sooner, but Ramona wanted to see the Countess dead just as bad as everyone else. You see, Ramona used to be a movie star. Well, a B-movie star but a movie star nonetheless. Then she met the Countess, the Countess turned her into a vampire, and her career went to shit. The Countess ends up leaving her (duh) but Ramona manages to find her true love: a man that she is just about to turn into a vampire when the Countess bursts in and kills him. Oh, and side note: these vampires, who are supposed to posses super human strength kill all their victims by using guns. So I don’t know but that just seems lazy. Anyway, Ramona moves back home in an attempt to get her vampire life back together. She’s there for 20 years before she has to kill her dad (she made him a vampire to cure his Alzheimer’s but unfortunately it just kept him in a trance-like state) and then decides to rejoin the real world. When she does she realizes that everyone has been watching her movies (for free) and she starts to get recognized which pisses her off even more because she starts to remember everything that was taken away. Now she’s ready for revenge. Soooo, after drinking the blood of a witch, who was also a human voodoo doll, she feels strong enough to kill the Countess. BUT, when she tries the Countess somehow seduces her and Ramona falls for it.  As you may have already guessed, they do it. So then afterwards the Countess leaves and right when she opens the elevator something happens that I had been waiting all goddamn season for. She. Gets. Killed. And it’s at the hands of none other than John Lowe himself, the very person she was supposed to kill. Dun, Dun, Dun! It actually wasn’t that incredible, I was just happy someone finally killed her.

But if John left the Hotel for good, why did he go back to kill the Countess? Easy. Because he believed James March kidnapped his family in an attempt to get him to finish the Ten Commandments killings, the last one being Thou Shalt Not Commit Murder. So John killed the Countess because she was a murderer, which James was super happy with because she would be trapped in the Hotel with him forever. That’s right, this whole thing is James March’s fault. Fucking everything. He built the Hotel back in the 20’s so he could have a hiding place for all of his murders. Then he married the Countess and she was cool with him being a murderer because he gave her lots of money. So one day the police find out he’d been killing tons of people and he, along with his trusty maid, decide to off themselves. Now they’re part of the Hotel forever (which the maid loves because she’s in love with James) and he can still kill people (which he loves because serial killers). So throughout the years he trains some of the most infamous serial killers how to be, well, serial killers. So he’s to blame for that too. And that’s really all there is to say about James: he’s a serial killer who still kills people even though he’s dead and helps make other people serial killers now he gets to spend eternity with the Countess because she’s dead, again.

So now we’re finally at the end. FINALLY. You ready to find out how it ends? Brace yourself: everyone lives happily ever after. I’m not joking. This show that has the word Horror in the title allows for everyone to live happily ever after. So Hypodermic Sally and Will Drake are so pissed off about being dead that they just start killing every guest that stays at the Hotel, which really puts a cramp in Iris and Liz’s business plan: keep the Hotel going long enough to become a historic monument thus making it impossible to tear down. So they have a meeting and naturally Will and Sally are like “you’re not the boss of us.” Iris finds a way to help Sally and Liz finds a way to help Drake. Starting with Sally, Iris gets her an iPhone and gets her set up on every social media site she can. Turns out Sally was just lonely and now she won’t be because she can reach out to strangers all over the world. As you may have suspected her first posts are about sadness and they’re whiny, which is just what social media needs: more people using social media as a therapist. But then she starts to post happy things, I guess, and Sally and her iPhone live happily ever after. (until the screen cracks, am I right?!)

And how does Liz help Will Drake? She takes over his business, which started falling apart shortly after he died, and gets it back on its feet. She uses his business plan to help the Hotel, which it only kind of helps. Either way, Will Drake is happy to have his business up-and-running again. There’s more about Liz but I’m saving her story for last, because like the rest of America I love her.

So what happened to everyone else? Well, the police finally discovered that John Lowe was the Ten Commandments killer and him and his family go on the lamb. It’s not working out very well so Charlotte is finally like, “we need to go home.” And by home she meant the Hotel Cortez, so they all move back in. One night John is out killing someone to get blood for his family when it turns out, the police were on to him the whole time. He tries to run back into the Hotel but is shot just feet from the front door. He tries to crawl to the door in order to die in the Hotel but the police don’t let it happen. Alex and Holden still live in the Hotel, John only sees them on Devils Night (Halloween), and Charlotte is the only one being normal, as normal as you can be with a vampire mother and brother and a dead, serial killer dad. The Countess is stuck in the Hotel forever with James March. Ramona is stuck there too because it appears as though the Countess killed her after they did it. Listen, basically just everyone lives there. Iris is trying to keep the Hotel afloat but it’s not as easy as she thought it would be. They never go into detail on what happens to the Hotel but who cares. Let’s get to Liz.

Oh Liz. The primary reason I watched this season. While everyone else was off being assholes, crazy, killers, vampires, and robots, Liz was off being fabulous. How did Liz become Liz? Well, she started out as a man living a lie. She was a married, traveling salesman who would cross-dress whenever he had the chance. One night, while staying at the Hotel Cortez, the Countess walks in on her wearing lingerie and Liz kind of freaks out. But the Countess, and I think this is the only time I liked her, comforts Liz and does something that changes her life: she transforms Liz into the goddess she was always meant to be. So Liz decides to stay at the Hotel and continue to be awesome. When she meets Tristan they begin a love affair and she believes she has found her true love. But Tristan belonged to the Countess at the time and the Countess was not cool with it, so she kills Tristan in front of Liz. From then on, Liz hates the Countess and wants her dead. At one point the pain of living without Tristan becomes too unbearable and Liz decides she wants to kill herself. Iris catches her and convinces her to take care of her unfinished business and then they’ll kill themselves together. Well, Liz’s unfinished business is reconnecting with the son she abandoned. She gets Ms. Evers (James March’s maid) to call her son and invite him to the Hotel. Side note: Ms. Evers ends her conversations with “I must away now” and now I will end all conversations like that too. Anyway, Liz’s son goes to the Hotel, manages to not get killed, and him and Liz develop a relationship which makes Liz reconsider committing suicide. After convincing Iris to do the same they agree to work on taking over the Hotel together, which they end up doing. In addition to the Hotel Liz takes over Will Drake’s business, which is all about fashion and just perfect for her. She also becomes a grandmother. Everything is coming up Milhouse for Liz when she discovers she has prostate cancer and it’s terminal. She doesn’t want to suffer so she decides to have the regulars (ghosts) of the Hotel kill her so she can stay in the Hotel forever. Just when Hypodermic Sally is about to kill her, in walks the Countess. Liz is oddly happy to see her, and the Countess reveals that Liz was always her favorite creation, and then the Countess kills her. As ghost Liz stands over her body, Tristan appears and then they live happily ever after, something he could’ve just done from the beginning.

A writer from Vanity Fair wrote that the season finale was emotional. I hope that by emotional they meant sappy. Sorry but when the show is supposed to be based around all things Horror but ends with a Brady Bunch feel, I have a problem with it. In addition, the only relevance that the title American Horror Story: Hotel had was that a bunch of lunatics lived in the Hotel. It could’ve been called American Horror Story: Halfway House and it would’ve had the same effect. And there was almost no lead up to the end, if that makes sense. It just kind of felt like the writers were told “make all of the characters happy forever” and then the writers just said “fuck it” and wrote the ending in an 7 minutes. There were things left undisclosed and it was all so abrupt. I was tricked into believing this would be a creepy season (seasons 1 and 2 were kind of creepy) but at the end of the day it was vampires, ghosts, serial killers, rainbows, unicorns and fairy tales. Like I said earlier, it wasn’t that bad when it started, but the end really took a nose dive. The next season is American Horror Story: Cabin Fever and I’m already swearing off it, even though I’ll probably watch it. Here is my prediction for the show: It’ll be a cross between ‘Freddy VS Jason’ and that old Nickelodeon show ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark’, and the season finale will just be all of them singing kumbaya around a campfire which they’ll put out with a cup of water just like the Midnight Society ended all of their ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark’ episodes. Either way I’m sure I’ll take one for the team and watch it, and then write about it. Oh, and if you’re wondering whatever happened to the vampire kids that were assholes: Ramona ate them. You’re welcome.

Im Your Therapist

As a kid I always thought my strict Mexican/Native American parents (and grandmother) were a huge pain in the ass. As an adult I’m very thankful they didn’t hold back from their parenting style which included hitting us with chanclas (sandals); telling us “you want to cry, I’ll give you something to cry about”; and giving us “the look” which meant cut it the fuck out or I’ll take you into a bathroom and whip your ass. There was no such thing as a time out, and my siblings and I were definitely not allowed to be “our own person and find ourselves” at the age of 2.

My parents weren’t about to raise idiots, or raise a bunch of sensitive, whiny assholes, which is why it cracks me up when I come across articles discussing tweens and teens going to therapy because they’re not getting enough likes on their selfie posts. Yeah, I’m not talking about bullying. I’m talking about kids getting butt hurt because nobody “liked” the 167th selfie post that looks identical to all of the other selfie posts. I read an article that featured an interview with a therapist who had seen quite a few of these cases and I was blown away by the fact that parents actually found this a dire situation – your kid is sad over pictures and you’re taking them to therapy? Does that not sound ridiculous to everyone else?

When I was in high school one of my biggest problems, other than not getting beat up, was trying to find the chemistry book I lost like the 3rd week of school so I wouldn’t have to tell my mom, which terrified me because that book was a good $70 and my mom does not waste money. (Luckily I found it 2 days before school ended.)

My mom didn’t have to worry about me being such a vagina about things that really didn’t matter but I was curious to know what her response would’ve been to something like this, so I called her and asked what she would’ve said/done if I told her I was depressed over a lack of “likes” on my pictures. Her response was, “I would say ‘Jennifer, why in the hell are you posting pictures of yourself all over the goddamn internet. Don’t you know that freaks look at stuff like that! Is that what you want? For freaks to like your picture and come find you and kidnap you? You want to get kidnapped?! Goddamn it. And I’m not wasting good money on therapy because you’re sad over stupid shit. Get over it. You don’t need a therapist, I’m your therapist. I don’t even know how you have time to take pictures of yourself when I asked you to clean your bathroom 3 days ago, that’s what you need to be worried about. Because if I have to go in there and see it dirty again I’m going to start throwing your things in the garbage, starting with your toothbrush.’ That’s what I would’ve said”.

My mom, so full of piss and vinegar, still loves to throw the bathroom debate in my face, even in hypothetical conversation. And in case you were wondering yes, she did throw my toothbrush in the garbage. I was like 14 and 17 years later I’ve kept my bathroom immaculate everywhere I’ve lived.

The point is my parents, particularly my mom, didn’t baby me which I like to believe helped me in the social media movement. You see kids, I faced social media rejection years before you were crying about not being Internet famous. And we didn’t have your fancy YouTube or ways of making our nonsense go viral in an attempt to get strangers to like us because that’s what matters, what a stranger thinks of you. Not us. My people had a little thing called Myspace, or as I like to call it, the beginning of our decline.

In the early 2000s, Myspace was leading the way in online narcissism. I recall a few other social media sites at the time but none were as popular as Myspace. This site had it all: music, Lisa Frank-ish decorative backgrounds, mood indicators (that’s right, this is not a Facebook original), a section to write blogs, and more importantly, it had accomplished something that my teenage self could’ve only dreamed of: it provided an impersonal way to communicate with a guy I was otherwise to self-conscious to talk to in person.

This invention for the self-conscious girl (or boy) came along at the perfect time. I had just gotten out of a crappy relationship and as a woman in her early twenties, I believed that the best way to get over the break up was to get back on the horse, and Myspace was going to be my trainer.

I started going through my friends list to see who I could casually flirt with. I came across a guy I went to school with that I always thought was out of my league but because we had since graduated I figured all the social statuses that plagued me in high school were now non-existent. Also, I had run into him a couple of years earlier and because he was so nice and appeared happy to see me, I thought he would be delighted to hear from me and we would hit it off. With my plan in place, and an entire scenario worked out in my head, I typed a friendly yet flirty message that I believed was subtle and would reel him in without him realizing it. The goal was to make him see that he liked me, he just didn’t know it yet. I really did think like this because when you’re in your early twenties you’re stupid.

I sent the message while I was at work but made sure to send it right before I left to prevent me from checking my profile all day. Later that night I checked my Myspace expecting to see a very excited reply from my rebound but instead, was greeted with 0 notifications. Myspace didn’t have messenger yet so in those days you had to wait for responses while your self-esteem was chiseled away at little by little. The messages didn’t have read notifications either but they did show login dates on profiles so, like social media intended, I turned into an Internet stalker and looked at his profile to see if he had logged in that day. Fortunately, he hadn’t. I gave Myspace a rest for the evening but checked it the minute I got to work the next day only to find the same amount of notifications as the day before: 0. Like a psycho I checked his profile again only this time it showed that he had logged in. Fuck.

Before I gave rejection a chance to set in I gave myself a pep talk: “he’s probably really busy”, “he only had time to read it and he’ll probably reply later”, and my favorite “he probably checked it at work but didn’t reply because he doesn’t want to get in trouble because not everyone is a rebel like you and he’ll reply at lunch so he doesn’t lose his job which is probably what you should consider, too”. The pep talk worked until I checked again at lunch with the same results.

I waited to check my Myspace again until I got home – it was my last hope. While still reeking with the stench of rejection, I logged in hoping to find a surprise in my inbox… and I did! Actually, he did something better than respond with a lame message. HE DELETED HIS ENTIRE PROFILE. You see children, back in the Myspace days you couldn’t block someone, you could only unfriend them. Well, he one-upped that and took it a step further by simply DELETING HIS ENTIRE PROFILE.

So take that you titty babies with your “no one likes my picture” problems. The next time you begin to throw a tantrum or cry over social media bullshit, just remember that not only did I not get a “like”, I MADE SOMEONE DISAPPEAR FROM SOCIAL MEDIA ALTOGETHER. Share that with your therapist.

The Girl Who Cried Hubcap

One day I would love to be considered/work as a comedic writer, but since I’m better at telling a story in person I figured a blog would be a great way to develop my skills, or some skills. As a kid I loved getting a laugh out of people and learned early on that my niche was sarcasm. I also learned that people don’t necessarily like when sarcasm is directed towards them or when they’re the subject of my stories.

In addition to telling stories and jokes I enjoyed listening to others who shared my interest in making people laugh. I wanted to learn about different types of humor, different ways to tell a story, all of it. I tried to surround myself with people who I found hilarious, as well as religiously watched Comic View and George Lopez so I could compare jokes with my fellow funny friend, Jade. D.L. Hughely taught me to say what I was thinking, high school taught me that this approach comes with ass-kicking threats and exclusion. A lot of my jokes/stories made me pretty unpopular which propelled me into a phase where I would only tell stories that happened to me or family members that I thought were funny but didn’t contain any negativity about anyone in the story – I pretty much sold out. Luckily I still had my hilarious best friend, Ileen, to bounce my mean jokes/stories off of.

Well, a week into this phase I had already had it. Positive funny things don’t really happen to me or people I know and being nice just didn’t come naturally to me (and still doesn’t). Eventually my well ran dry and I had nothing to offer; no stories, no jokes, fucking nothing. I needed material and I was getting desperate so I started to go through stories in my head that I’d heard and believed I could make more funny. After finally deciding on one it was time to get back to my one woman show. While standing around with a couple of girls I somehow managed to segue the conversation to a starting point for my story.

As I began I thought, “if I can really sell this maybe this can be my new thing: taking stories and making them better!”

The story was about standing at Hollywood Video (R.I.P.) and watching some guy driving super slow trying to impress in his Impala and his hubcap popped off and rolled away, which took away from his coolness.

It was actually a pretty ridiculous story now that I think about it. Not ridiculous in that it never could’ve happened, I mean ridiculous as in who cares and also why did I care. I told the story and waited for the roaring laughter, which was extremely presumptuous of me because I couldn’t even remember if I had laughed when I heard the story. As a matter of fact I couldn’t remember where I heard it. Until…..

 

When I saw their faces it hit me. It was their story. I had just told a story to the people it actually happened to, only my version included more exaggerated gestures and a hilarious reaction from the driver. But when you’re re-telling someone else’s story and trying to pass it off as your own they catch on pretty quick. One of the girls finally chimed in and said “uh, are you sure that happened to you because that exact same thing happened to me?” I was caught and what followed was a blur of awkward. I do remember that my excuses ranged from “what a coinkydink!” to “maybe we were both there and didn’t see each other!” Each excuse sounded more stupid than the last. The girls knew I was full of shit and laughter ensued.

After that I immediately went back to my sarcasm/shit talking stories and jokes. I figured being unpopular for my jokes was way better than being unpopular for copyright infringement, a valuable lesson to learn at 14.

So let that be a lesson to you kids, and the Fat Jewish. Don’t steal stories, or jokes, or memes and act like you created them so people think you’re funny because you’re not and need to give credit to the people who are ACTUALLY RESPONSIBLE for the memes/jokes/stories. Listen, just don’t steal, OK? It makes you a colossal dick.

Years after I graduated high school and moved away from my shame I, ironically, found myself in a runaway hubcap situation. I witnessed it for real and everything. In the early 2000s the show “Pimp My Ride” tricked people into thinking that all you needed to do to make your beat-up old car cool was fill it with bullshit from Best Buy and Spencer’s. And if I remember correctly the show helped launch the era of the Spinners, the wheels that double spun while in motion. Now the wheels, I’m told, were extremely expensive and I think could put you under hyptnosis if stared at too long. The price didn’t keep people away because I remember a cheaper version I call Fpinners making an appearance not long after the real ones. The difference between Spinners and Fpinners was rather than spin inside, the Fpinners had a smaller piece of hubcap that stuck out and spun outside of the wheel. It was like 2 hubcaps stacked on top of each other. Those wheels were straight out of the Thunderdome and I think should’ve been illegal. One day I was driving down the highway when I noticed an older model car and its Fpinners approaching in the lane to the right of me at a high rate of speed. I guess Fpinners top out at a certain speed because one of theirs popped off and rolled into oncoming traffic. I don’t know if you’ve seen these things but when separated the outside piece basically turns into a landmine for tires. Luckily the wheel wasn’t anywhere near me but through my rear view mirror I did get to see a couple of cars dodge it like the banana peel in Mario Kart. I don’t know if that piece of hubacp got anyone but I do know that I was so traumatized by my fake story fiasco that I didn’t want to tell anyone about my real encounter with a hubcap because I thought it would be like the boy who cried wolf, only I’d be ripped apart by humans. No thanks. So there you go kids, don’t steal.