erin judge writes this

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I'm Erin Judge. I'm a comedian and a writer. I live in Los Angeles. Let's hug.

April 13, 2007

not dot com

My impending nuptials have of course led me to the inevitable clearinghouse for all things wedding on the web: the knot. Positive things first: the site has a lot of great resources, features some helpful tips, and gives users a monthly checklist to ensure planning hums along smoothly. So kudos to them for that.

However, like so many websites out here in cyberspace, the knot seems a teensy bit...strapped for content. Every so often you click on an "article" about centerpieces and it goes something like:

Weddings are a time for attention to detail. Centerpieces are a thing that detail thinking about goes into. Some centerpieces include flowers, but for some they are too expensive. Other centerpieces include stuff that's not flowers, like pink things, or maybe blue. Enjoy your centerpieces that you will never forget!

And...scene.

Okay, maybe it's not quite that bad, but they're often really stretching.

And another thing: every tip, every article, every checklist implies somewhere within it that the role of "bride" carries a blinding level of intense stress on par with that of brain surgeon or professional nuclear device disabler. Check out this list of duties for the bridesmaids, and this one for the Mother of the Bride. They basically include instructions on how to care for the psychotically stressed-out bride by administering her electro-shocks and dolling out prescription meds as necessary. The mother of the bride is supposed to "Let the bride cry on your shoulder anytime, day or night." Wow, I never realized getting married was so...lugubrious.

Um, furthermore....the aforementioned M.O.B. list includes instructions to "Help bride choose her wedding dress, trousseau, and wedding-night peignoir." Wedding-night peignoir? I have no idea what that is, but if the words "wedding-night" are involved, then I don't want my mother anywhere near that store with me, ever. This sounds like a throw-back from the days when wedding dress shopping was the sanctioned opportunity for the mother-daughter "by the way there's such a thing as a penis" last-minute education session. Yeah...no thanks.

So thanks to the knot, I am now preparing to be a sweating, swearing, snapping, insane mess on "my day," armed only with a checklist and some shitty filler "information" on centerpieces. And a peignoir. Which hopefully is something I can use as a projectile when I'm mid-bride-tantrum.

You know what the knot needs? The knot needs a customized calendar to help me figure out when to time my various meltdowns. After all, they're supposed to be my one-stop web guide for all things wedding...somebody oughtta write the Guide to Coming Unglued for Brides 101.

Stay tuned......

April 10, 2007

Skinny Bitches With Problems

While perusing the OMG You Are So Inadequate aisle at the Pittsford, NY Barnes and Noble the other day, I came across a volume entitled, simply, Skinny Bitch. Written by two bitches who are indeed skinny (or very convincingly Photoshopped), the book attempts to drill-sargeant you into the hot body of your dreams. And the weird thing is, I found it oddly...refreshing.

Sure, these woman are not just skinny bitches, they're skinny vegan bitches who actually cite ending cruelty to animals as their #1 reason for writing the book. One shrill admonition against dairy, for instance, enjoins the reader to "Go suck your mother's tits." Um, touché? I guess? But oh, that's only the beginning! (And now I'm paraphrasing): Seriously, go! Go suck your mother's tits! We'll wait here! No? You're not going? Ha! HA! See? Ergo brie is evil. The chapters on (not) eating animals and (nor) dairy read less like a life improvement plan and more like somebody accidentally fed Ingrid Newkirk after midnight and handed her a word processor.

This whole book is exactly the kind of thing that I would usually deconstruct incessantly whilst steam poured from my ears for at least six or seven more paragraphs...but the truth is, I didn't hate it! When the Skinny Bitches say to quit smoking, they tell it like it is: Smoking is stupid and gross and it's fucking killing you and it's not hot or sexy or even remotely cool. I mean, "Stop putting shit in your lungs" is a pretty unimpeachable message. And they're similarly merciless about alcohol, soda, artificial sweeteners, packaged foods, and lots of other shit that is sold basically just to fucking kill you.

In the end, even their abuse comes across as playful teasing, even when they call the reader farty or a lazy shit or a stinky pig-beast or whateverthefuck. With their cheesey, oft-forced, over-the-top "bitch" tone, they actually manage to take all the desperate bargaining, hand-wringing decision-making, and gut-wrenching emotional power out of stuff like food choices for a second and give a different perspective. A different fucking perspective, you shit.

So my recommendation is not to buy this book, unless you really need an epic list of Skinny Bitch-approved packaged vegan snacks. But if you happen to notice it in the store, glance at it for a couple of seconds, have yourself a chuckle, and thank the Skinny Bitches for their teeny-tiny size 2 cents.

And then go check out some other awesome, smart, fabulous bitches.

April 2, 2007

a bit blank

This shit is bananas.

And spelling. And so on.

Alright, kiddies and readers (both of you), it's time for me to come clean: I haven't been writing lately because I can't write. You see, I've developed a bit of a...phobia. Honestly. It's a fear of criticism, which I developed after receiving some, and this whole time I've been thinking that I was just too lazy or too busy or too tied up in my sloth to bang out a few sentences and then I thought harder and realized that I was terrified. Am.

Am terrified.

I don't like it when people don't like what I do. Sure, there's the occasional troll who tells me that probably the reason I don't think the Pussycat Dolls are the towering pinnacles of women's liberation is that probably I'm to ugly to fuck probably definitely, ITHO*. Even that makes me seize up all self-conscious-like, so when people I know and love tell me that what I do is right crap, I guess it just....I don't know. I can't blog. I can't work on my screenplays or my other writing project. I can't. All I can do is journal, writing endless emails to myself about how I really oughtta just suck it up and write and get over my aversion, but I can't.

And I write all of this in the present tense because it's still here, even as I type with full intent to hit "publish." I have to get it back, I have to earn it. This blog was going to be a well-crafted blog, not one of those tributary streams of consciousness feeding into the wide muddy Blogossippi River, but rather one of the ones that bespeaks grace and candor, whit and craftsmanship, and gets literary agents to notice the blogger's inimitable talents and sell the blogger's screenplay and get the blogger book deals and get the blogger out of her job as a secretary in academia. It happens.

But now it's the blog about nothing, the blog about my rants and raves and contrived jokes. And I'm not trying to say anything. I'm just trying to write and not be scared.

So I invite you to criticize me. Tell me I suck. Especially if you really actually think so, and particularly if we used to be friends or relatives or respect each other. I just split a thing, that was bad grammar back there, and here, too, don't you see? WHY AREN'T YOU CRITICIZING ME?!?!?

My skin, like a yankee gravy, needs thickening, and I hope to crap that I can count on you fuckers to help me immunize myself. I need dead virus in the gravy. See, now I'm mixing metaphors. CALL ME OUT!

Love,
Not A Writer, But Soon
Dot Com

*in troll's humble opinion