Shot In The Face

Charles Negre

Today we were waiting in line at our neighborhood Pollo Loco and the line wasn’t moving. I saw that the guy giving his order at the cash register was gesticulating impatiently.

Something was up. The guy was raising his voice but we couldn’t make out his words. I turned to my husband and said, “I hope we don’t get shot here, but I can actually think of worse places.”

I was thinking of CVS, where I happened to be during a very mild earthquake. I remember how glad I was not to spend my last moments in a CVS, crushed by products.

The guy at the front finally paid the cashier. We heard him explain that his jaw waas wired shut and he wanted to have his chicken shredded.

He moved aside to the salsa bar, where an older guy said something. The young guy, who was very tall and thin, said “I was shot in the face.”

Trying to compute this information, I heard the older say “blah blah blah small caliber?”

Men! If they’re not getting shot in the face, they want to talk about guns!

I could hear the older guy making suggestions, like getting “Ensure” for the protein and drinking soup. He seemed genuinely concerned. Now I had to walk past them and at that moment, the young guy pulled out his phone to show a picture of his x-ray – a skull with something passing right through the mouth.

I blurted out, “I’m so sorry!” and the guy turned to me. Now I could see how young he was, probably around 20. I put my hand on his shoulder and said, “I’m glad you’re here.”

He blushed and smiled. I saw a flash of smashed up teeth and metal. The older guy said, “Me too.”

We found a table and I felt shaken by the encounter. Witnessing simple human kindness is  always so moving to me. It is nearly unbearable, in fact. I thought of how painful life is for so many people, all the suffering in the world and how hard it is to let yourself care or to stop from caring too much. I wished I could give the face-guy a blender. I wished people could stop killing Syrian children. I wished the loved ones I have lost would come back.

Suddenly there was a commotion at the counter. The face-guy was angry and wanted a refund. I guess they hadn’t shredded his chicken. He stormed out empty handed.

I went to get some salsa and saw the Korean manager yelling at the Mexican cashier. He was gong on about the refund, ranting about how it would throw everything off. He could not have cared less about a guy getting shot in the face.

I’m not sure what my point is here. But I’ll say this: If a guy gets shot in the face, he deserves some goddamn shredded chicken.


Posted in grief, Horrible Stuff | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Behold The Patchwork Drop-Rise Lounge Pants: $1,500

behold the denim patchworl loungepants

I am double-posting this from Hideous Denim as a courtesy to you lazy oafs who might otherwise miss it. You need to keep up with advances in the denim community. You don’t want to be left behind.

So, these denim patchwork drop-rise lounge pants are the work of Greg Lauren, either a relative of Ralph or just some blind nutcase who has inexplicably been allowed to design clothing.

Priced at $1,500, this item comes with all the bells and whistles nobody wants on their jeans:  drawstring waits, ribbed knit cuffs, mismatched pockets, a carpenter’s pants loop, and a crotch that almost hits the knees.

Bingo, right?

Let’s not forget those patches and fake rips.

The rear view is breathtaking. Unless “breathholding” is a word.


They are still available in size 2 at Barneys.

Hurry! I’ll wait while you go order them


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I Am Nonplussed, Motherfuckers.


The Daily Mail online is the world’s most popular newspaper website, and yet they struggle to use English.  How can we help them understand that nonplussed does not mean nonchalant?

This is apparently a common misunderstanding but I don’t know why. When I worked as a script reader, I often came across this confusion. A character who reacted with indifference would be described as “nonplussed”.

Do people think there is a state called “plussed” that means excited? So when you fail to act excited, you are nonplussed?


So Chelsea Handler made some outrageous public comments about Brangelina, but was later observed by the Daily Mail looking not only nonplussed but completely nonplussed.

They show another photo and note that she looks relaxed. BETTER, Daily Mail writer and copy editor! Now you’re making sense!

I feel like I’ve understood the meaning of both nonplussed and nonchalant my whole life, with no temptation to confuse them They are practically antonyms! What the fuck is so hard about this?

Is this going to be a thing like “literally,” where a word starts meaning its opposite due to public usage (i.e., idiots)?

God, I’m annoyed.








Posted in Rants, Words | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Let’s Take A Moment To Thank Brad And Angie

let's thank Brad and Angie

When I heard this morning that Brad and Angie are getting divorced, I was filled with a deep joy that spread through my being like one of Sting’s tantric orgasms, only better.

Who among us has not been waiting for this day, silently wishing they would shut the fuck up about their relationship and commitment to their kid collection.

Coming in the midst of the pestilence we call Donald Trump, their break up is just what this country needs and I for one would like to thank them for pulling it out just in time.

Thank you, Brad and Angie!

Thank you for everything, not just for getting divorced!

Thank you for the scandal that brought you to fame, thank you for elevating Jennifer Aniston to a national symbol of betrayed womanhood, thank you for the red-carpet PDA’s, thank you for the international photo ops, thank you for the self-adulating interviews, thank you for the awful Louis Vuitton and Chanel ad campaigns, thank you for letting us share your love of your children when you take them to toy stores, thank you for teaching us about cancer genes and refugees, thank you for being such great humanitarians and art collectors and real estate developers, thank you for letting Shiloh be a boy, thank you for calling everything “great fun” or “grand” and finally, thank you for the botox.

There is so much more, and in time it would be great fun if I could remember it all.

Meanwhile, as we wait patiently fir the stories and counterstories to emerge, let’s try to guess what happened.

Brad cheated. Brad ‘s temper. Brad’s substance abuse. Brad’s IQ. Brad’s hats.


Angie’s eating disorder. Angie’s drug addiction. Angie’s jealousy. Those fucking neutral colors.

Who even cares?!?

Let’s just be grateful for what we are to receive, amen.



Posted in Celebrities, News | Tagged , | 7 Comments

What’s Your Price For Sully?

what's your price for sully

Every time I see an ad for “Sully” I groan and announce that I wouldn’t see it for less than $500.

Five hundred bucks is my customary price for a film that sounds truly awful, at least by my very personal standards.

I’m sure Sully is technically well-made and acted, but who the fuck wants to watch Tom Hanks pretending to be an old man trying to land a plane for an hour and a half?

Challenged by the question of whether I think that Sully really rates as the worst movie out there, I decided to find out what else is big box office this week.

There’s another Blair Witch movie, which I would see for $200. I would close my eyes throughout but I feel this still counts as “seeing” it.

Bridget Jones’ Baby or whatever it’s called, $300. I would keep my eyes open and I would probably regret it. I don’t know who’s in it besides Renee Zellweger but $300 is my price.

There’s also “Snowden.”  I’m gonna say $150, because I don’t want to see it but I’m unaware of anything annoying about it beyond its subject matter.

Don’t Breathe” sounds too scary for me. I want to breathe. And I don’t like being told what to do. But for $300 I would cover my ears and shut my eyes.

What’s your price for Sully? And what movies have you seen lately without being paid?




Posted in Celebrities, irritants | Tagged , | 13 Comments

The Lure Of Gucci

the lure of gucci silver jaecket

If I confessed to buying this Gucci jacket for $3,500 you might be horrified, but you might also feel envious and a little impressed.

It’s so cute! It’s sporty but luxurious, classic but quirky, it’s ineffably Gucci.

Actually it’s a cheap $35 fake that’s available at my local mall, in a shop that appears to cater to prostitutes and would-be prostitutes. Everything is sparkly and hideous, in a good way.

So now you’re probably disgusted by this jacket because, ew, it’s not real Gucci, it’s just worthless crap.

See how you are?

Here’s the real Gucci:

the lure of gucci real islver jacket

Why is it worth $3,465 more?

You could say it’s the quality but we know that’s not true.

In order to gain and to hold the esteem of men it is not sufficient merely to possess wealth or power. The wealth or power must be put in evidence, for esteem is awarded only on evidence.

—?Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Class (1934 ed.), p. 36

Our clothes are still signifiers of wealth and class, even though any idiot with a credit card can own high-end consumer goods. And yet Gucci continues to exert its allure even though I know intellectually it’s just an overpriced brand with a brilliant ‘aspirational’ marketing campaign.

A million street-style pictures of girls decked out in Gucci have not been sufficient to ruin the allure, but it could happen.

I once longed for Chanel, and now it’s dead to me.

Is it better to want Gucci than to want Yeezy? Do brands have to matter? Don’t we know better?

Let me put it another way: Would you rather carry your shit in a paper bag than a bag by Michael Kors?

I hope we can all agree on that one!



Posted in Disorders, Fashion, Words | Tagged , | 13 Comments

Is Everyone Insane?


Can we just admit that Trump is ruining our lives?

Every day, every hour, it’s non-stop Trump. It’s killing me, but I can’t stop looking for new lies to flip out about, new insults to our intelligence, new interviews with his smug hateful mouthpieces, new fuel for my helpless rage at this fucking cunt’s unthinkable success.

I can’t stand his mouth, his hair, his profile, his hand gestures, his vocal timbre, his diction, his lumbering gait, his skin texture, his awful children and his whole Hitler routine.

How can such a repugnant clown be this close to becoming  president?

The other day, a Mexican guy was walking by our street, selling food from a pushcart, and calling our his wares. I turned to my husband and said with all seriousness, “That guy would make a better President than Trump!” He looked friendly and decent and hardworking. LET HIM BE COMMANDER IN CHIEF, not Trump!

What is wrong with  the people who like Donald Trump? Forget that cliche about People are mad, People want change, bla bla bla. That doesn’t come close to explaining why they’d want to put an ignorant piece of shit in charge.

What will happen if he debates Hillary? Will he just say “Buh-leeve me, buh-leeve me” or bring up Monica Lewiski, and then claim he won the debate? And then his polls will go up  like they did after he went around saying to black people “What the hell do you have to lose?”

This is so preposterous and yet sinister,  like a virtual reality Twilight Zone episode.

How can we take two more months of this? How are you managing to cope?

trump is a cunt


Posted in Horrible Stuff, News, Rants | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

The Sadness Of Shoes

sadness of shoes Altizurra

I scrolled by these shoes today and felt their sadness.

They’re trying hard to look gay and festive and boho, but you can see right through that shaky facade. They are about to cry.

I don’t know about you, but I can see sadness everywhere. It’s either a gift or a pathology, depending on your value system.

I read a good thesis on empathy as a spectrum, with autistic indifference on one end and a kind of hysterical hyper-compassion on the other end. Neither extreme is any good.

A high degree of empathy isn’t the same as being depressed, although I’m depressed too. It’s just an involuntary response in the right supramarginal gyrus (part of the cerebral cortex.)

I don’t know why an abundance of empathy seems to result in an acute sense of the tragic rather than an overload of joy. It just doesn’t seem to work that way. Certainly not unless you’re stoned.

When poor Hillary Clinton spoke at the Commander in Chief forum last week, she was criticized for not smiling enough, and even worse, for appearing “joyless.”

Imagine being graded on how much “joy” you appear to exude!

Life would be even harder for those of us who feel the sadness of shoes.

When I was getting to know my husband, he complained once that I was not more “celebratory.” I remember feeling wounded but also furious. I think I screamed something like, “Celebratory isn’t even a fucking word!” I figured he was comparing me to his ex, who literally wore party hats.

Maybe there’s a spectrum for celebratoryness, which totally isn’t a word, with me at one extreme and the ex at the other?

Here’s one thing I learned recently and I wish I’d understood it forty years ago, before having my first child: There is a spectrum of human sensitivity, and is apparent in early childhood.  Some kids are more like dandelions and can thrive anywhere, while others are more like orchids – highly sensitive and more permeable.

With intervention, highly sensitive children can learn to process their environment in ways that make life less traumatic for them

If you’re always accused of being “too sensitive” or you suspect that your kid is anxious or depressed, read this.

But first, look at this Fendi sneaker:

sadness of shoes fendi sneakers

It’s like an animal or bird crashed into it and died, but it won’t fall off. This shoe is not only sad, but embarrassed. It wears its shame wherever it goes. And so can you for twelve hundred bucks.




Posted in Disorders, Words | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Amal Clooney Challenges Angelina Jolie To A Thin Arms Smackdown


Clotheshorse lawyer and handbag hoarder Amal Clooney has issued a challenge to rival Angelina Jolie in the Thin Arms Olympics.

Wearing a priceless vintage YSL gown at the Berlin premiere of husband George Clooney’s new movie, Amal looked every inch the emaciated diva, craning her birdlike neck to smile at cameras, risking injury from the weight of her diamond earrings.

Like Angelina Jolie, Amal was once a normal size but grew thinner with increasing fame. Maybe both women are giving their dinners to their husbands, who are both looking a bit puffy.

In any case, it’s a race to hit zero on the bathroom scales.

What’s the motivation for Amal and Angie? Why are they trying to disappear?

Are they unconsciously emulating the Syrian refugees whose plight has so moved them?

Or are they caught up in a folie a deux?


More important, do you want to see them arm-wrestle?

Me neither.

For a thorough accounting of Amal’s fashion purchases, visit Amal Clooney Style, my go-to source for all things Amal. Keep a calculator handy to truly appreciate the money that goes into being a superstar lawyer, wife, and human clothes hanger.

Angie’s motivation may be more complicated than Amal’s, since she has no problem sporting a pair of massively disproportionate tits. Perhaps the tits are meant to underscore her ‘Mother of All The World’s Children’ delusion.

When I was 14 years old and stubbornly clinging to my anorexia,  I used to sneak the food off my plate into my pocket. Things could get messy.

Someone should check Amal and Angie’s pockets for tamales! It’s just a hunch but you never know.


Posted in Celebrities, Disorders, Fashion | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Recycling Hostility

Beth Hoeckel

In just one day, I have received threats of physical violence and an actual curse, both transmitted over the Internet.

Now, I am fully aware of having myself generated enough hostility online to light up several baseball stadiums if not an entire city.

But it’s interesting how loosely words are used these days when launched digitally; it’s as if everyone is on the brink of a nervous breakdown, exploding with unmediated anger at the drop of a hat.

Here’s an email from one of my half-sisters, who is around 22 and who I barely know:

Bitch let’s talk face to face and see if you will say anything to my face? Your old as hell and if I am pregnant and your harrassing me well I can send my friend to go see you and make sure you never bother me again time and place Joann to meet up if you don’t want to meet up keep your pussy mouth closed. Emails are pathetic lets meet up your so tough let’s see how really tough you are.

Naturally, I came back with ‘Blah blah blah restraining order.’

My family! Can’t kill ’em, can’t have them killed!

Meanwhile, over on Facebook, I posted a link to a story about the Eagles of Death Metal, performing this week in Tel Aviv. I saluted them for their fearlessness. I know I don’t have to explain what I meant by that, so I won’t insult your intelligence.

This started a spirited exchange about Israelis and Palestinians.

People went back and forth, citing their feelings, which grew heated, and before too long Jews were called Nazis. You probably know how this goes. Is there a Godwin’s Law adage about how any conversation not supportive of boycotting Israel results in the comparison of Jews with Nazis? Or is this just an example of Godwin’s Law?

I want an adage called Wolf’s Law!

How about this for Wolf’s Law: ‘Anything typed and sent into cyberspace will likely result in threats or insults.’

Back to the Facebook thread, here’s what an otherwise lovely person commented:

A greater collection of self serving morons I have never read before…
stay in your ivory towers …may one day ….what you dismiss in your
foolish judgements of the teller ..may in rain on you
the blood of innocence to be your eternal stain …

Because I gave props to the Eagles of Death Metal??

I don’t want an eternal stain, I’m a fucking Jew, alright? Maybe I should get a business card that states this.

Thoughts on Internet hostility? Or ideas for Wolf’s Law?



Art by (c) Beth Hoeckel


Posted in Horrible Stuff, Religion, Words | Tagged , , | 9 Comments