On Monday I went to the mall to partake in the wonderful and torturous tradition of christmas shopping. I don’t really like the mall, but I was having a pretty good day so far. For one, I was wearing this new fitted jacket that I had bought earlier in the week and made me feel quite skinn-ay. For two, I figured on a Monday afternoon I would not have to battle enormous crowds of other holiday shoppers. This seemed promising.


I was like, “alright, let’s do this!” And I set off cheerfully.


But after a couple hours, I had aged considerably. It felt like many a year I had been wandering this accursed desert, this land devoid of any hope.


If I had to see one more piece of clothing, I was sure my eyes were going to rot out of my head.


And yet, I had not yet bought a single thing. (This is me in various stages of fatigue/beardiness. Also may be interpreted as my various attempts to draw just one of this stage.)

img_7115Finally, when it seemed all hope was lost and I must surely perish, I found myself in an oasis of not-retailers. In my famished state everything was a blur, but I could tell that there were people holding pieces of chicken on sticks. I did not care that I was a vegetarian. I was dying.


There was terryaki chicken on a stick, fried chicken on a stick, curry chicken on a stick… Slowly I revived, and as my senses returned to me, I realized these chickens on sticks were in fact samples.


I had made it to the food court.


There was also a


This reminded me of one of my ex-boyfriends who would always order a burrito bowl instead of a burrito. He was manorexic and constantly pulling up his shirt to oggle his stomach in the mirror. This was very annoying. Only I am allowed to do that.


Anyway, then my eye alighted on something delicious that I did desire to eat. Pearl milk tea. <insert sound of angels singing>


I got in line for PMT, but as I waited and looked around the food court, I realized that something was terribly wrong…



Let us pause for a minute to contemplate the systematic eradication of cinnabon from lands where it once used to be plentiful, ie. the airport and mall. Seriously, who the fuck is messing with my cinnabon supply? Sure, I had promised myself not to eat a cinnabon, but what I really meant was, “Damn, I can’t wait to eat a cinnabon.” I love me some cinnabon. In Chicago I used to walk to the train station just to get cinnabon. I neverrrr took a train out of there, but cinnabons are a rare breed now–sometimes you need to go to exotic locations to find them. Anyway, don’t think I haven’t noticed, cinnabon murderers (Michelle Obama?). I’m on to these disturbing vanishings.

Right, so the point of this story is that there was no cinnabon, and so now I had to figure out what to eat. For some reason the PMT place also sold sandwiches, so that is what I ate.


Now as I finished half of the sandwich I was feeling pretty happy.

img_7125I was also feeling somewhat superior as I looked around at my other food court compatriots. There they were, having fallen victim to Panda Express and pizza and McDonalds and milkshakes, and here I was, having eaten just half a sandwich.


Then I looked at the other half of the sandwich.


What was I going to do with half a leftover sandwich? I wasn’t going to carry it around the mall the rest of the day, look at the size of my purse:


Maybe I should eat it…

I ate it.

img_7130Ug too much. I needed something to wash it down. But there was no MT left, just P. I ate some of the tapioca pearls. Even as I did it, I was like this is not logical. Why am I eating rubber balls if I am thirsty?


After that I was kinda fat. So much for my food court superiority. And fuck the form fitting jacket.


There were mirrors everywhere. I could not escape.


Also there were sexy mannequins that were at the same time both more curvaceous and skinnier than I. They had impossibly long legs and feet that were also high heels and confusing yet presumably fashionable arm poses.


The mannequins were like, “Fuck you, you will never be as sexy or have as cool clothes as we do, even though you are a human and have hair and facial features. Also, your feet will never be high heels.”

img_7136I was like, “No, fuck YOU, mannequins!” But that was not a very good come back.


Then I had to go pee, but it is impossible to find your way anywhere in a department store, even though there are thousands of signs pointing out directions.

img_7139Even if you can follow the arrows to where the bathroom is supposed to be, good luck finding it. The area with the sign actually denoting where it is will probably look something like this:

img_7140But despite these obstacles, I did find the bathroom. There was a homeless woman living in it and water on the ground from over-flowed toilets. img_7141Let us pause again to consider another matter. Why is your path in to the bathroom of a department store always like this:


But the path out is like this: ?



Right, so then I was shopping some more. For some reason I was attracted to Doc Martins


I felt like I could kick a lot of ass while wearing them. And I had some ass-kicking opportunities in mind…IMG_7147 IMG_7145IMG_7146 I also had a moment with a leather skirt. It started with me mentally mocking it,


but then I was like


… alter-ego sexy bad girl Ali who rides around on motorcycles and wears ass-kicking boots and also has larger boobs? (Illustration would be more effective if I hadn’t drawn a bicycle.)


The skirt did not fit.




As scandalous as it sounds.


On the way to see The Hunger Games (fucking awesome btw) :

Typical mom-conversation about texting– “Honey, what does it mean when there’s a parenthesis with a ‘P’?

“…you mean a colon with a ‘P’? It’s a tongue sticking out.”

“I don’t see it.”


Typical dad-conversation about his ability to foretell success–

“See I told you guys–The Hunger Games, Twilight, The Uglies. I told you they were all gonna be hugely successful.”

“Wow, Dad, you’re right. You were great at foretelling the success of best-sellers.”

“No, seriously. When I would go to parties with adults and talk about the books, none of them even knew what I was talking about.”

“That’s because they were adults, they weren’t thirteen year-old girls.”

“That’s what I’m saying! Producers aren’t thirteen year-old girls either! That’s why they need me!”

…Very logical. A sixty year-old man is just the person to put producers in touch with the interests of thirteen year-old girls. It’s a wonder how they managed to catch on to those trends without him.


My mom tries to order pizza–

“They have eggplant with aquatic cheese!”

“No thank you.”

Once she hangs up.

“…I’m curious about what that aquatic cheese was. Were they milking sea cows?”

“Aquatic cheese?”

“Yeah, you said they had the eggplant with aquatic cheese.”

“I think it’s like the four cheeses, you know, parmesan, asiago…”

“Quatro Formaggi?”

“Yeah, that’s what I said.”






Dear George,

Last night we had another one of our “encounters”. A close encounter of the third kind, as far as I’m concerned. See what you were doing to me seemed more like preparation for deliverance to the mothership than any normal animal/terrestrial-being behavior.

Let me interject with a theory: All nighttime abductions/experiments attributed to aliens are in fact performed by cats.

Now like I’ve explained before, all your kneeding, hair-combing, sitting-on-my-chest behavior is highly unappreciated. But let’s address one singular move of yours that incites a special terror in my befuddled, half-asleep mind: when you purr fervently with your wet nose pressed behind my ear. This action of yours frightens me all the way back to 7th-grade science to retrieve the vocabulary needed to describe my fear: pinna.

Used in a sentence: Oh God, one chomp of George’s jaws and I’ll lose my pinna.

This fear is particularly unsettling as I hear how excited you are becoming with your purring and imagine all the other times such excitement has lead to “loving” cat bites.

Let us recall the Cat-Vampire incident of two nights ago.

photo copy So let me conclude with,


Or I shall have to report you to the  FBI and get Mulder and Scully on your ass.

Much love,


I could go for a run and get some exercise

…or I could sit on my ass and do nothing.

So many possibilities.

I’m not one of those people that says guys and girls can never be friends, but I do think that every once in a while there arises a moment of uncomfortable one-sided romance. At these times, my natural reaction is a genius ploy of blind panic and an attempt to correct this imbalance by being twice the amount of “normal friend” to their abnormal. In theory this means it all evens out. In practice it means I act completely absurd. How unusual…


Case Study #One:

The situation–

Saying goodbye, but for some reason he won’t leave and instead gazes deeply into my eyes.

My response–

Upon assessing the linger and entering my initial stage of panic, I punched him in the shoulder. (I’ve seen this done in movies to a very desirable hey-ole-buddy-ole-pal effect.) Following this up with a slightly off-timed and manically cheerful, “Well, see you around!” I then backed away slowly, avoiding eye contact.


Resembling to the advice I’ve been given for encounters with wild animals, this tactic seemed fairly successful. The arm punch was weird though.


Case Study #Two:

The situation–

Saying goodbye (hm this seems to be a dangerous time). Hug is strangely cheek-squeezy. Ie. I’ve never had my cheeks pressed so hard to someone else’s cheeks in my life. (This makes me suspicious.) Then pulling back, he cups his hands around my face and says, “Look at you. You are so beautiful.”

My response–

Feeling awkward, I scramble to prove that this is something normal friends do. Reasoning that if I can do it to him without being romantic, it will reverse-logic prove that we are totally chillin in an equally friend-like relationship, I take his face in my hands and say, “Look at you, you are so beautiful.”


This did not help the awkwardness of the situation.


Final results of the study:

Upon reflection, quickly extracting oneself from the situation seems to be the best technique. Out-weirding the weird did not go over so well.


Does anybody has further case studies or escape tactics to report? Science for the good of friendships everywhere…

Dear George,

It’s awfully sweet that you like to sleep with me. However, I have been feeling for some time now that we need to establish a few ground rules.

  1. I have this concept of personal space. Two very important personal bubbles of mine encompass my eyeballs. I’d appreciate if you didn’t try to swat at them with your claws, or walk on them. I know it’s all fun and games, but someone’s gonna get hurt.
  2. Also my throat. I don’t really get this kneading thing that cats do, but most of the time if I’m under a proper cover of blankets I just let you do your thing, even if it feels an awful lot like a breast exam. I don’t question your motives. But I’m gonna have to draw the line at my throat, where you’ve nearly drawn several lines of blood. No more throat massages please.
  3. When you try to comb my hair with your claws, I don’t like that. I especially don’t like being woken up in this fashion at 3am. Maybe you’re a gay hairdressing cat, that’s fine (although then why all the breast exams?), but you need to ask for volunteers, not just select unconscious victims.
  4. My face is not your head rest. It’s kind of cute, the way you like to lie cheek to cheek, but inevitably it becomes back of furry head to smothered mouth and nose. That’s just not the way I want to die.
  5. When you get really close to my face and purrr directly into my mouth, it weirds me out. I’m not used to other peoples’ sounds going into my mouth. It’s not natural, and it makes me feel slightly violated.

That’s about it, only five little things. Do you think you can manage? In times of doubt just remember, don’t do unto others what you would have done unto you. Ie. no head scratchies, face massages, chin tickling, etc. Then we can both sleep soundly.

Much love,


If there’s one thing a porta potty didn’t need, it’s to be speeding down the highway.



I met a real LA cat last weekend. Not like, “yeahhh he’s a cool cat.” (To clarify in the unlikely event you thought I was a 40 yr-old goatee-sporting, beret-wearing beatnik) A literal cat that was so LA he couldn’t be described any other way . Let me explain…

#1. I’m pretty sure he’d had work done. Because really, can you get that level of pout without collagen injections?

image-2_2#2  He’ll only drink water out of a glass, in front of a mirror.

image-3_2#3. Then when he saw me taking a picture of him he immediately started his catwalk.

image-1image-2image-3image-4image-5image_2#4. Then he wanted free headshots.


I rest my case.



Clearly I am getting a little desperate when my usual walking buddy is out of town.

walkbuddyAlso, I must quote the highlight of our walk-talk. We were on the subject of being terrible people when this gem was spoken: “Even this morning when I said I didn’t like asian pears I felt a little bit racist…” #onlyinpaloalto

This morning my alarm went off, and I started my day with the pleasant thought,

“Shut up, you rat-faced mother fucker!”

I reflected on this with some satisfaction, as my iPhone now knew I was not someone to be taking any shit, but also with a little disquiet. My word choice was a bit… harsh. And while no one can deny there’s a certain ring to “Fuck you, you fucking fuck,” I feel like there’s room for improvement.

The best insults combine creativity and intelligence into one well placed, satisfying slap in the face that resounds with a nice CRACK and brings a smile to your lips. A “fuck you” derivative is a punch in the lumpy gut, inspiring an “oompf” from the receiver, but no real pleasure for the inflictor. When you scream “fuck you!” it’s usually in the heat of the moment, and you end up having to apologize. A well crafted insult, however, shows you are still cool, calm, and collected. You have your wits about you and have done proper analysis of your foe’s short comings to deliver this individualized, crafted, gift. It’s not a bitch slap, it’s a gentleman’s, let me take off my white glove first, slap. You feel no need to recant, because you meant what you said, and anyway, no one should be disavowing a work of art like you’ve produced.

Now anyone who has made it through high school knows to whom the young acolyte should go to learn the ways of the grand master insulter: William Shakespeare. So today, I would like to pay tribute to some of my favorite insults of his, and bring inspiration to us all who aspire to better ourselves.

How vast an upgrade Shakespeare makes to insults of the dumb-fuck, fuck-tard variety:

You abilities are too infant-like for doing much alone.

Coriolanus (2.1.36)

You had measured how long a fool you were upon the ground.

Cymbeline (1.2.26)

I shall cut out your tongue.

‘Tis no matter, I shall speak as much wit as thou afterwards.

Troilus and Cressida (2.1.106)

Men from children nothing differ.

Much Ado About Nothing (5.1.36)

Confusion now hath made his masterpiece!


[Your] brain is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage.

As You Like It


Where we’ve left ourselves with a pitifully depleted vocabulary weak with words like schmooze and gold-digger, look at the skill he displays to cooly scorn someone’s social endeavors:

I wonder that you will still be talking. Nobody marks you.

Much Ado About Nothing (1.1.104)

More of your conversation would infect my brain.

Coriolanus (2.1.91)

[Thou art] a very superficial, ignorant, unweighing fellow.

Measure for Measure

I will most humbly take my leave of you.

You cannot, sir, take from me anything that I will not more willingly part withal.


No man’s pie is freed from his ambitious finger.

Henry VIII (1.1.94)

Such inordinate and low desires,
Such poor, such bare, such lewd, such mean attempts,
Such barren pleasures, rude society,
As thou art match’d withal, and grafted to!

Henry IV, part I

Methink’st thou art a general offence and every man should beat thee.

All’s Well That Ends Well


And never would he deign to use words so crude as fat-ass or fugly. (Although I do think there’s something psychologically clever about fugly. It’s a soft word, but does’t it immediately evoke the image of a wrinkly pug?)

[Thou] sanguine coward, [thou] bed-presser, [thou] horseback-breaker, [thou] huge hill of flesh!

Henry IV, part I

The tartness of his face sours ripe grapes.

Coriolanus (5.4.18)

Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon!

Timon of Athens

Thou hast the most unsavoury similes.

Henry IV (1.2.75)

Thou wert best set thy lower part where thy nose stands.

All’s Well That Ends Well

You should be women and yet your beards forbid me to interpret that you are so.



And everyone must admire Shakespeare’s sheer creativity:

Some report a sea-maid spawn’d him; some that he was begot between two stock-fishes. But it is certain that when he makes water his urine is congealed ice.

Measure for Measure (3.2.56)

You starvelling, you eel-skin, you dried neat’s-tongue, you bull’s-pizzle, you stock-fish–O for breath to utter what is like thee!-you tailor’s-yard, you sheath, you bow-case, you vile standing tuck!

Henry IV, part I

Thou art a boil, a plague sore, an embossed carbuncle in my corrupted blood.

King Lear

What, you egg! Young fry of treachery!


Thou elvish-mark’d, abortive, rooting hog!

Richard III


He knew how to hit someone where it hurts:

Your virginity, your old virginity is like one of our French wither’d pears: it looks ill, it eats drily.

All’s Well That Ends Well

Your virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese.

All’s Well That Ends Well

[Thou art] a most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise breaker, the owner of no one good quality.

All’s Well That Ends Well


I personally appreciate the short and sweet:

Thou mis-shapen dick!

Henry VI (5.5.35)


And can you imagine how much fun we would all have shouting this instead of “fuck off”?

Avaunt, you cullions!

Henry V (3.2.20)

I scorn you, scurvy companion. What, you poor, base, rascally, cheating, lack-linen mate! Away, you moldy rogue, away!

Henry IV, part 2


So let’s conclude with a final collection of quotations delivered, surprisingly fittingly, by cats.


And go out into the world with a healthy eagerness to improve ourselves… at others’ expense.



PPs. for further inspiration: http://www.pangloss.com/seidel/Shaker/

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