Category Archives: TJ Notes

Pitchforks and hay, cat butts, promises, and questionable prizes.

So I find myself struggling, sometimes, lately, with remembering how little I wanted to do with other people’s children when I was single with no children and just trying to live my life in public places and trying to enjoy my right to… enjoy those places, and how fresh those memories are, and how much I remember being that person, and how much I still am that person, and how much sympathy I have for those people when I am out in a public place with my admittedly pretty stereotypically terrible toddler, and how that rubs up against the fact that I do have a kid now, and there’s a whole lot of “what can you do?” and “I also have to live this life” and “I also need to be in this place” and a whole lot of boiling up feelings of MY BABY IS ALLOWED HERE that I do my level best to stomp down, because yes, of course she is, and I won’t be told any different, but there is a huge difference between my baby being allowed somewhere and my baby’s right to be somewhere spreading all over someone else’s right to enjoy being somewhere.

Anyway, you know what I’m saying? I’m in no way making an effort to be the cool mom lady. The mom lady who doesn’t change from her single, childless ways now that she has a baby, who is still hip and with it and doesn’t let having a toddler cramp her style. The mom lady who swears to always understand that the single, childless people have the God-given right to enjoy their lives without hearing a peep or seeing an errant streak of snot so their delicate other-people’s-poop free existence remain untainted.

(Note that I am not accusing single people of demanding this behavior, but I am instead making fun of a certain breed of parents who try to behave in this way. I can make fun of parents, it’s cool. I am one. Some of my best friends are parents. I’m allowed.)

No, I’m not the cool mom lady, and I’m not trying to be. My style is cramped. My style is tiny and hunched over. My style is stuffed into to go containers with a lot of mumbled, “Sorry, sorry, sorry,” on the way out of restaurants. That I still go to. Early.

No, I am definitely not a cool mom lady. I don’t want to be a cool mom lady. If I wanted the same life that I had before I had a kid, if I wanted my life to be as close as possible to my pre-child life, the best way to go about that would be to not have a baby. But I do try my best to straddle the line. I don’t expect the world to cater to me because I had a baby. (Oh, and they don’t. Holy shit you guys, how about the difference between pregnancy and baby? “Oh, a pregnant lady! Let me get that door for you, let me get out of your way, oh, excuse me, oh, you’re a treasure, smile, smile, smile!” And then, AND THEN, “Oh, a woman with a stroller and a diaper bag, and 40 shopping bags, let me let that door slam in your face, let me grab that last shopping cart out from under your hands, QUICK HIT THE DOOR CLOSE BUTTON.” Children: only adorable til born.) I take my crying child out of restaurants. I run errands during off hours when I have to take her with me. I don’t let her run through stores, I don’t let her unfold tables of clothing (seriously, your child is an asshole), I don’t let her ruin your day if I can help it.

Basically, I’m super-conscious about being That Mom. I really don’t want to be That Mom. I don’t want to be the woman I used to talk about. I don’t want to be the lady who thinks your world should revolve around her kid. But you know, I’m perfectly fine with the fact that mine does. For now, at least. It does. I’m not embarrassed about it. I don’t think it’s anything to be ashamed of. I don’t think it’s sad that I don’t have any bigger interests. I don’t think that makes me That Mom. I mean, take my Facebook account. I post about Penny constantly. Pictures, status updates, videos. I mean, it’s all Penny, all the time. When I read a friend’s status, though, and I catch myself about to say something like, “Yeah, when Penny –,” or somehow relate it back to my kid, I don’t.

I have not even begun to make my point.

Here’s the thing. You know how I am really into terrible in law stories? That, plus advice from old women about the fact that my child is never wearing socks, really soured me on the whole “it takes a village” thing. Well, plus we no longer live in villages. I don’t need anyone’s help in raising my child. You know what it takes? It takes me, my husband, and an Internet. It Takes an Internet. That should be what they say now. It Takes an Internet. 

Anyway, I thought the whole village thing was stupid mainly because I felt like it gave aggravating as hell people license to butt their stupid irritating noses into your business and tell you what to do, simply because their were AROUND, thus part of your VILLAGE, and you can’t get mad, because, oooh, villager, and, I don’t know, burning hay on pitchforks or something. I really never followed the metaphor all the way out. Or analogy. I never really followed that lesson all the way out. And please don’t take it upon yourself to actually give me the lesson in the comments. I have the Internet. If I was actually interested, I would use my Internet. Go back to your village. Damn!

Terrible or not, I have to take my toddler out in public. It’s part of my job, actually, to make her less terrible. She is kind of a demon, and we have some cross country flights coming up, and I just need her to be… less terrible. At least when other people can see her. So yesterday, she and I were running some errands, and she did pretty well. Kind of well. It was okay. Nobody really cried, not with actual tears. So, when we were finished, I took her for a snack at Starbucks. We got a water and a slice of lemon cake, because those things are fast, with no waiting, and we sat at a table to share them.

And Penny was just delighted. I mean, just fucking delighted. I think she’s old enough to know now, sort of, when something is a little bit of a special treat. She was out with just me, and I didn’t make her sit in a high chair. She got to pick the snack from behind the glass, though she really just kind of slapped at it. I had it in front of me, and was breaking off pieces for her, so she was getting some of “Mama’s snack.” She was really excited, but we’re working on keeping the exuberance and shrieking down to… not shrieking… in public. And she was doing great. I mean, in my opinion. She’s still a toddler. And I know that can grate on some people. And you have to understand, I’m not saying that snottily. In the townhouses I used to live in, there was a family living in the next set of units over, and they would put their kids outside to play very early in the morning on weekends, and they would play, indeed. Loudly. And happily. And I swear to you, there was no sound more awful to me than the sound of children’s happiness. I mean, it was terrible. I’m retro-hating it, even now.

So even though we were there during off hours, and even though she was being good – for a toddler – I was doing my best to be quick. I’m not trying to tell you I’m a cool mom lady, see above. I’m trying to tell you I’m aware, at least. I’m aware. I’m aware of the limits of my toddler, and I’m sympathetic to the limits of people in general where toddlers are concerned. There was a man working behind us, and several couples chatting, it wasn’t too crowded. I understand that those people were not my village. I don’t believe in the village concept. Or at least, I didn’t.

Every person that went by, Penny would kind of check them out, wave a little bit of lemon cake at them, and say, “SNAAAA!” Snaaa. Kind of nasally, really excited. It means “snack.” And “snack” means anything in a bowl, or anything that someone else is eating that she thinks she might be able to snake some. And I’d say, “Mmhm, snack. Remember, inside voice, okay? Eat over the table, wipe your face, etc, etc.” We’re working on becoming a functioning human being here, you know? And people would smile and move on, or say hi to her, or nod, or whatever. I don’t know, the split second interaction you have with a toddler who is making an effort to engage with you.

Except, except this ONE WOMAN, who came and sat down right near us, and who was only waiting for a drink, not there to stay who just deliberately turned her face away when Pen tried to SNAAAA at her. And okay, you know, I guess that’s fine. Okay. Okay. In fact, I think I remember snorting with laughter when I read a post online somewhere about a woman being angry when people wouldn’t smile back at her kid. Because that is ridiculous. No one is required to smile at your kid. That is how I was reasoning with myself. No one is required to smile at your kid. I am not That Mom, no one is required to smile at my kid.

Except even now (it’s tomorrow), I am still huffy and trying to tamp down my inner That Momness, because look, me and the Internet will tell my husband how we’re going to raise this baby, and we’ll go ahead and do it, and we’re not going to ask you, Starbucks Lady, to jump in and be the village and wipe her butt or deliberate over preschools or anything like that, I promise. Nothing. No villaging the baby. But for the love of shit, could you just engage a few neurons when she attempts to make social contact? I’m not asking you to join a tribunal and come to budget meetings, I’m asking you to just show a flicker in your eye sockets, anything, and only during this formative social learning period. I will wipe the asses, clean the snot holes, etc, and YOU “be the village” by helping her not become a sociopath. When we’re ready to move on to the “well, honey, some people are cunts” lesson, I’ll give you the nod. I’m sure it won’t be long, what with your cat butt-looking face walking around out there.

Is it even possible? IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE to parent without, to some degree, becoming That Mom? I hope I’m clear in that I don’t want to be a cool mom lady, I don’t expect to be thought of as such, but was it too much to expect that I could straddle the line indefinitely?

I don’t, I don’t really expect you to smile at my baby. I don’t really get mad. I mean, I do notice. I can’t help noticing. I don’t think the non-react-backers are awful people. They’re just people I take note of. I’ll present your names to the judge if Pen turns into an arsonist.

“I HAVE THE NAMES OF THE ENTIRE VILLAGE, YOUR HONOR. RIGHT HERE. THE ENTIRE VILLAGE.”

No but seriously. I don’t even know. You don’t have to. I don’t even. I’m both That Mom and not That Mom. I’m both. I don’t even know.

*****

HEY PAY ATTENTION TO THIS PART REALLY PLEASE.

Over in the sidebar is a link to Phil’s fundraising page for the Extra Life marathon to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network – specifically, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where Penny has been receiving treatment since she was very small.

I know a lot of you have already donated, and it is SO APPRECIATED. He blew his goal OUT OF THE WATER, and he was so shocked and grateful.

But now, he is only $68 away from earning $1000 for PCH, and that is INSANE.

I don’t have a lot to offer. What I have to offer is embarrassing in that… I don’t know if you even want it. But listen. Today is the last day. If you donate anything today – ANY AMOUNT – and Phil makes it over $1000 before the marathon starts tomorrow at 8am, I will do a TJ’s Cosmo Cliff’s Notes of your choosing, and promptly. No promising to do it and disappearing for 3 weeks. And “of your choosing” means any media easily available to me. It could be Cosmo, or any other magazine I can get off the shelf. Or? Any episode of a currently airing TV show. Or? A show available on Netflix streaming or Amazon streaming. Or a podcast. Or… or whatever. You donate, you choose.

I know. It’s not really… anything. It’s what I have. I mean, I can make you an 8-bit perler bead hair bow barrette. I can do that. If you donate $12 ($.50 per hour!) and you’d rather have that, I can make you one of those instead. It’s equally lame. I can’t help it. We’re a lame people. But we really do have good intent toward PCH!

Regardless of if he makes $1000 or not, the marathon is tomorrow. Follow me on Twitter to get pictures and updates of Phil’s progress, except for the hours that I’m asleep. Because, ha, no.

EDIT: HOLY CRAP. $1000 passed! BUT MY OFFER STANDS. Of course money for PCH is still welcome, we love them. If you donate today – ANY AMOUNT – just email me and let me know. Take your time to pick your media of choice and redeem it whenever.

THANK YOU EVERYONE!

Penny’s prepared to step in if needed.

TJ’s Cosmo Cliff’s Notes: Special Edition

Yes, this really exists.

Before I start, I just want to remind you that I don’t fall in with the crowd that seems to think itself above those who choose to read the Fifty Shades series, especially those who cite the fact that it’s poorly written or that there are so many better things out there to read as reasons to not read it, as if those who do read it are just poor fools who don’t know any better. I don’t see any reason for making fun of what books people choose to read, and I kind of think you’re an asshole if you truly believe that of the fifty berjillion copies these books sold, all of them went to women just too stupid to know any better.

However, that said, making fun of this magazine – it’s contents and very existence – is absolutely fair game.

*****

NO TIME FOR PLEASANTRIES, GUYS.  Metalia tweeted a picture of this magazine, saying that it needed a serious Cliff’s Noting. Apparently, Internet, it’s not just a book series. It’s a movement. That is carried at Wal Mart in the form of a one off magazine printing titled Fifty Shades (of American Women who Love the Book and Live the Life).

Allow me to tell you about yourselves and your movement, American women who love the book and live the life.

You’ll need to give me a moment to settle into a groove with this magazine. It’s not especially Cosmo-ish. Where Cosmo would normally have the section that would tell you all the good parts of the magazine so you don’t have to bother to read it, Fifty Shades (of American Women who)… okay, FSOAWWLTBALTL…Fuhsawball… FSWOBBLEFswobble instead has a little blurb justifying it’s very existence. It’s not a book! It’s a movement! It’s a global phenomenon! It’s KICKSTARTED A SEXUAL REVOLUTION! We’re having a national CONVERSATION about the give and take in a successful relationship.

Actually, Fswobble, the national conversation right now is more centered around who exactly is in charge of the give and take of a lady’s vaginal ins and outs, but… okay, yeah, it’s a stretch, but I’ll give it to you.

Fswobble proper starts with a writer waiting in line overnight to get a book signed by the author, EL James, and we all learn something important – don’t go meet EL James. This is possibly one of the most painfully awkward things I have ever read. Christian is locked in her basement because he’s been a bad boy? She actually signs the books “Laters baby?” Is “Laters baby” a thing? I mean, I know it’s a thing in the book, that suave dudes say to their ladies, so… suave… authors… sign their books that way?

Oh, and guess what, guys? There’s a fourth book coming. Because after a trilogy where a couple meets, has conflict, comes together, falls apart, comes together, falls apart, comes together, suffers a kidnapping, gets married, has a baby, and ends with a happily ever after epilogue basically tying up the whole story of a man with a sexual fetish known to generally be a LIFESTYLE choice basically giving it up to just play here and there lightly for the lady in his life, what you really want to add is some kind of convoluted bullshit story on top of it.

Moving on, Fswobble has some suggestions for the casting directors for the eventually Fifty Shades movies. Because of course there are going to be movies, even though there should never actually be movies, because how would that even begin to work? Their “best bet” is Ian Somerhalder, but they’re wrong, because the answer to every casting decision ever can be answered as follows: Do you need a man with dark hair? Choose Zachary Quinto. Do you need a man with light hair? Choose Paul Bettany. Do you need a specialty actor for some reason or another? Please contact me for further assistance.

Second, casting choices for Ana, to which I say, who fucking cares, because do you remember what she looks like? Can you name an Ana personality characteristic besides sucking? (HA! No but seriously.) Just put a wig on a broom and save some money so you can have Sharon Stone play Mrs. Robinson. Right? RIGHT?

FINALLY, though, we have entered into my Cliff’s Noting comfort zone. Let me tell you how a crappy magazine thinks you should better run your life as a lady.

If all of this modern technology is doing your little lady head in, don’t worry. Here is how you apply lady rules to that super confusing FACEBOOK NONSENSE:

1. NEVER FRIEND HIM FIRST!!! That’s like calling him! Or speaking to him without being spoken to! OR MEETING HIS EYES.
2. You can like one of his photos. Just one. ONE. No more than one. ONLY HARLOTS AND TRAMPS like multiple photos. A lady restrains her clickty clicks.
3. DON’T comment on his posts. It’s like how you should be seen and not heard, because you’re a lady and you’re just decorative, except this is the Internet, so don’t type at him, because Fswobble says, and I quote, it’s “tacky.”
4. DO remove any uggo pictures of yourself. Now. Now. DO IT NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW.
5. Make sure your Facebook status is accurate. If you’re single, it should say you’re single. Advertise that shit, ladies.
6. Don’t make a duckface. I’m going to co-sign that one, Fswobble.
7. DO know when to can it. Apparently, if you send a message, and then wait by the computer like you should, and your obsessive stalking pays off and you notice that your quarry has been online, but has NOT answered your message, THROW YOURSELF OFF A BRIDGE, IT’S OVER FOR YOU, SISTER. Because you SENT a MESSAGE and he didn’t PRIORITIZE YOU IMMEDIATELY. What the fuck kind of not-Edward… I mean, not-Christian Grey is that guy? Right the fuck up his, am I right?

ADDITIONALLY, if you decide to go all archaic and email him, put the word SEX in the subject line. People love that NSFW shit, it’s charming and bold. Be like Ana and “taunt him with turn ons” – apparently, this means you should reference the dude he’s suspicious you’re boning on the side. Gives guys raging boners.

There’s also instructions on sexting, but don’t do that, okay? Actually, just don’t commit any sex anything to the Internet. I have two poorly coded words for you, Internet – Shmibby Shmoler, okay?

There’s more helpful tips here about picking out budget champagne, but you should feel free to ignore them if your boyfriend is a billionaire, because what the hell, take him for all he’s worth, am I right?

Seriously, it says that.

On the next page, there is a legitimate three panel instructional diagram for spanking beginners. The art is really poorly done. I don’t understand the physics of this at all. I’m pretty sure this woman is levitating. And they seem to be on this bed that is just missing a huge chunk out of one corner. And this guy has positively no ass, and once he starts spanking, HIS TORSO IS ACTUALLY DETACHED FROM HIS LEG PORTION.

Edit: On further Twitter discussion, I decided this poorly photographed illustrative addition was needed.

No, but really, flat hand to ass cheek. The arrow indicates and up and down motion and the text suggests that you watch your partners body language to know what to do. May I also suggest you listen to your partner’s language language? I mean, a hunched up body communicates something, sure, but, “Stop, stop, that smarts and your torso is FALLING OFF OH GOD OH GOD!” is also a fine indicator of danger.

I’m not going to take the quiz to find out what shade of grey I am (kind of a shiny, iridescent, dolphin-esque kind of color, I think), and neither are you, but I’ll give you some insights into what kinds of things would give you lots of naughty points:

– RED nail polish, you shameless hussy – 7 points!
– At dinner time, ordering take out would score you 8 points, tramp, while cooking a family recipe only nets you 2.
– London is a 1 point vacation destination, while Las Vegas is a 10 point choice.

Don’t even think about being attracted to a guy for his sense of self-confidence. You might as well just go sell yourself on the streets. You’re probably also a credit card shopper who doesn’t pay off her entire balance immediately every month. I can practically write an entire book about your sex life now.

“Frisky Food” suggestions for a Fifty Shades theme party:

Forbidden fruit – you can dip it in chocolate! Then people will know it’s not a VANILLA party! LOLOLOL! Reaching? On the first item? OF COURSE NOT NERVOUS LAUGHTER IS THE MAGAZINE OVER YET?
Red Room of Pain Red Vines – It suggests laying them “artfully” on a table. And then LABELING them individually with words like “sub,” “dom,” and “inner goddess.” Would you like an individually labeled Red Vine? How do you individually label a red vine?
– Ben Wa Balls – There’s not even a food suggestion for this. It just says it can be a fun food OR dessert! Does not see fit to mention they were in Ana’s vagina for their appearance in the story.
Oreo Truffles – Okay, fine, that’s normal, what’s the Fifty Shades connection? Oh. Oh, Fswobble thinks they should obviously be dipped in white chocolate and dyed grey. Delicious. Nothing people love more than dusty old grey balls.

And now, a random selection of seemingly random statements from fifty random women. I believe this is the “love the book and live the life” portion of the magazine. Some highlights:

“Maybe we poured it on too fast, but we had it lit, and we poured it on my stomach and I was like ‘FUCK!’ You put it on your stomach, and it’s hot […] so I got burned. I don’t know if it was a poorly designed candle, or we just didn’t do it right.”

You don’t know if it was a poorly designed candle? The one you lit? That then caught on fire? And burned hotly, as intended? The one you then tipped onto your flesh? That candle? That’s the one you’re not sure was designed correctly? Ok. I was just checking.

“I work in a pharmacy, and lately we’ve been seeing a lot of girls come in with UTIs and yeast infections. A lot more than usual. We finally got to the bottom of it… a lot of these girls were recreating the infamous ice cream scene in Fifty Shades Darker.”

That did not happen. You work in a pharmacy. You didn’t even say you were a pharmaCIST. You did not “get to the bottom” of anything. You do not have some map in some underground pill bunker with flashing red lights indicating increasing numbers of local stingy vaginas. That’s not even your job to keep track of. What, did you do this on your off hours? A side project? The UTI Detective, on the case? Shut up, you just lied, and you lied to a stupid magazine. Look at yourself. LOOK AT YOURSELF.

“I’d be lying if I said it didn’t turn me on. I’d also be lying if I told you my husband and I haven’t written up our own little sex contract.”

Us, too. It said, “Let’s have some.” We already broke it.

“My sex life post-Fifty Shades hasn’t changed much, but my dating life has. I’ve already been out with three helicopter pilots!”

I… why?

Here are some things that men think:

– It’s easy to get a girl to do what you want when you own a helicopter.
– Wash your hands when you use an elevator.

There’s a bunch of articles I can’t be bothered to read because their lead ins are so terribly, terribly, unbelievably awful. Example: “I fix men like Christian Grey… I’M A SEX WHISPERER.”

No. I will not be whispered.

A second one is on the struggle of being a secret sub, which has the potential to be an interesting article, until you read the first question which basically says, Hey, Fifty Shades is here! Why is so important for you to keep your kinky side a secret! It’s so obvious hardly anyone thinks it’s weird anymore.

Sometimes I wonder if people ever leave the Internet or the big cities on the edges of the country.

Something interesting to me, also, is apparently, 60% of women surveyed for this magazine think that this particular series has taken the “freak” stigma off of the BDSM lifestyle. Really? Really? You think so? When these books portrayed Christian Grey as a damaged individual who was, for all intents and purposes, molested by an older woman and introduced into the lifestyle at a criminally young age? And by the end of the story, he’s basically “healed” out of the lifestyle by Ana, except for light playing, so isn’t actually even living the lifestyle? But people think it’s actually helped destigmatize legitimate BDSM lifestyle practitioners?

I don’t know, why don’t you ask some what they think?

Article: “I’m a Mormon, and I LOVED it.”

Good for you! I’m an Arizonan and I like cheeseburgers.

Fswobble, look, now, you and I are getting to a point where I know you’ve got a magazine to fill up and you’re trying to capitalize while the capitalizing is good, but this: “American Revolution: For the first time in a long time, American women are confidently talking about sex – for all the right reasons.”

No. Just, no. Stop trying to make Fifty Shades more of a thing than it is. It IS a thing. It’s a thing. I get that. But it’s not, like, a bra burning, ball grabbing thing. It’s just a thing. It’s a sensation. It is a popular book the way Twilight was popular, the way any book is popular and is passed among friends and talked about among friends.

And any lady friends who are lady friends for long enough are going to talk about sex.

AND EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT SEX RIGHT NOW. And it’s not because of EL James and Christian Grey and the helicopter and balls and red rooms of pain and whatever. It’s because it’s important. And I’m not even reading this article, because YOU ARE NOT giving credit for any open discussion that may or may not be happening at this moment to BOOKS because I assure you, it is coincidentally timed.

They are books and they are popular, but they aren’t a revolution for sex, or for women, or for literature (except for maybe self-publishing), or for kink, or for anything of meaning, and they will go away, and you know that, Fswobble, and that is why 800 subscription cards didn’t fall into my lap when I opened you.

There are suggestions for more dirty books, but I’ve only read one of them, and frankly, I’ve lost my trust in Fswobble, so I suggest you just follow me and my friends on Goodreads for further suggestions.

The magazine finishes off with some suggestions on how to eat like a sex goddess, including chocolate, bananas, oysters, and asparagus. Most of that is in contradiction to an earlier section I ignored about how to eat like Ana, but she wasn’t a sex goddess, not really, so I suppose you can make your choice there. But BOTH of those were in contradiction to TWO articles on how to be sexier, which were mostly about being skinny and having a tight ass. I didn’t think you needed to be informed that yet another magazine thought that was how to be sexy, though.

LASTLY, a somewhat intriguing advertisement on the back page. I’m not even making fun of it, my interest is genuinely piqued. It could end up being the best part of the whole magazine. I may let you know. I’ll leave the link for you to check out on your own time. It is not safe for work. www.yourmasque.com

I don’t know, Internet. I never thought I’d say it, but I’m scared and I kind of miss Cosmo.

Laters Baby how is this a thing

 all quotes from Fifty Shades of American Women September/October 2012

Long-winded reasons for not doing stuff.

I have this to do list of things that I am supposed to have put here by now, so sit back and listen to me tell you why I haven’t put them here.

1. Penny’s 8 month post. I know I’m not going to keep these posts up forever, and like last month, I’m wondering if this is going to be the month that it finally stops, but I HAVE GOOD INTENTIONS. It’s just that every time I go to take the picture with the bears? Penny throws up on herself. Enough to ruin a picture, but not enough to justify changing her outfit.

“Oh my GOD. I ALWAYS change my baby’s clothes when he pukes on himself! ALWAYS!!”

WELL INVITE ME TO YOUR AWARD CEREMONY FOR MOTHER OF THE PLANET AND I PROMISE TO FEEL SUITABLY INFERIOR.

I hope this isn’t the month I finally allow my true laziness to come through, though, since this was the month that contained Penny’s first Christmas, as well as some actual milestones. Like WAVING. You guys. She waves and waves. Last night she wouldn’t sleep, so she was laying in our bed, and it was like she was COMPELLED TO WAVE. And she waved and waved, but she only waves with her left hand, and she was laying down. So it wasn’t so much waving as it was a rhythmic slapping of Phil’s face while he tried to sleep.

I’m not going to lie, Internet. It was hilarious.

Seriously, though. She wants to wave when she should be sleeping. I don’t know how to communicate to her that she’s pretty much nailed it and doesn’t need to practice anymore. Not very Tiger Mom of me, I know.

2. Our trip to Pennsylvania for Penny’s first Christmas. Penny was an amazing traveler. She got all kinds of compliments about her behavior on the planes. It was much easier than we possibly could have hoped, with the only real difficulties being ill-timed poops and how uncomfortable it is to hold a lap baby in those small seats. Even travel with cloth diapers wasn’t especially terrible.

Santa only brought Penny a couple of things, including some new pajamas and a PARACHUTE.

The pajamas are particularly awesome:

The whole of the Christmas trip would be a bit too much to cover at the moment, and to be honest, one very small thing has really soured me on the memory of it all. I’d rather write about her first Christmas when I’m a little less irritated. Irritated is a very gentle word for it.

I assure you, though, Santa came out looking like a chump with his few simple gifts. Grandparents, aunts and uncles filled in where Santa was stingy and Penny now owns, among other things, her very own iPhone case and apps, a baby doll and stroller, and an entire new wardrobe.

Santa got schooled.

3. Baby led weaning. This style of feeding the baby is really working out well for us, especially since Penny popped up a couple of fangs over the holidays. She’s sitting behind me right now, enjoying a mid-morning snack of apple scrapings.

Do you see her scrapings? She just learned how to do that yesterday. And she was DELIGHTED. Shrieks of glee. She positively gorged herself on teeny, painstakingly fanged scrapings of apple. It was hilarious, as you could tell that she was totally shocked – she’s used to just sucking and gumming on her apples. She was grinning at me around a mouth of apple mush, like she thought she was the first baby in the history of the world to spring teeth and learn how to use them.

She’s gotten very excited and kind of demanding about food. On the plane, Phil and I each had a sandwich and she was giving his the eye. So, as we usually would, he pulled off a small piece of bread and a little turkey shaving for her, and she WAS NOT HAVING IT. She dropped them and strained and reached as far as she could – NOTHING BUT THE ENTIRE SANDWICH WOULD DO.

She wants whatever you’ve got.

Anyway, it’s simple enough to say that Penny is eating anything and everything, but I’ve gotten a good number of questions about the way we choose to feed Penny – what we feed her, if we cut up her food, what about choking, etc – so it would probably be best to do a more detailed post explaining how Penny has handled being thrown into the deep end of food with no spoon feeding and no purees. I will do that. I swear.

4. Cosmo! I’ve had the newest Cosmo for the longest time, and I can’t work up the desire to do this one. Know why? Because Scarlet Johansson is on the cover. I don’t know, something about her really chaps my ass.

You know how people have lists? You know, the people you’re allowed to totally get with and your spouse can’t get mad, because, come on, the list? Phil doesn’t really have a list, but one time when I asked him, he said, “I don’t know… Scarlet Johansson, I guess?”

AND I VETOED HIM. Even though you’re not really allowed to do that with the lists.

I just don’t like her. Something’s not right. She looks like she just smelled her own butt all the time. Unless she’s playing some super cute character, but even then I can’t get into it, because I remember all these pictures of her where she looks like she just smelled her own butt. I feel like if I ever talked to her, I’d be wondering if I smelled like a butt the whole time. She has this air about her that makes me think that SHE thinks that everyone in the world but her smells like butt, but you know what? It’s probably her own butt, because I think she’s up it.

Anyway. Next month!

You could have read Cosmo yourself in the time it took me to do this. You’re WELCOME.

Ok, the time for false promises is through. I have an hour until nap time, a baby in a jumper, and a fresh Cosmo that no one has the time or inclination to read. So, with all of these ingredients, I attempt to bring to you once again Cosmopolitan Magazine: The TJ Notes.

Oh, I know, you thought it was never coming ever again. That I had given up on helping you out in this way. But did you ever think that maybe I was giving you a chance to decide if you’d really like to read an entire Cos– HAHAHA, I kid.

Anyway, usual stuff – Cosmo has this page inside of it, near the front, that lays out all the important points of the magazine for you so that you don’t actually have to read it. I take it one step further for you, providing TJ Notes, so that you don’t even have to buy it.

Adele is on the cover this month, with the tag line, “Why She’ll Never Regret Falling for Mr. Wrong.” I’m sure Cosmo will drag that whole thing out to a couple of pages, but I’m pretty sure she has no regrets because now she’s rich and famous and he’s not, which erases regrets in two ways: One, with money, which can erase many, many things. And two, with a whole bunch of IN YOUR FACENESS to the ex, which, come on, makes up for any hassle and pain. You broke up with her, now she’s loaded. I can understand why she’d have no regrets. She’s basically the winner. No one regrets winning.

As always, 34 pages and one Barrymore into the magazine, you will find the “Ask Cosmo” section. I think I’ve been doing this long enough to know that one, Cosmo is almost always wrong and two, my answers are way better, so here we go.

Q: I’m freaked out by all the stories about stars’ phones being hacked and their naked pics being leaked all over the Internet. Is there a way to keep my secret stuff safe?

A: Two part answer, lady. Part one: are you a star? No? Then no one actually gives a shit about your nudie goods. Part two: Are you an idiot? I can only assume so, if you’ve got naked pictures of yourself on your phone. As a non-star, your pictures are safe. As an idiot, someone is surely going to find them anyway. There’s basically no hope for you.

What’s sexy right now: Showing off a lacy bra. Oh, you mean, to your husband? No? You mean… just, out there? Like your shirt is cut too low and there’s your bra? For everyone to see? Cosmo, I overrule you. Revealing something that is usually covered for everyone to see is not sexy. Hinting at something is sexy. Or revealing something to a specific person, that is sexy. Putting your grunties out there for the world to look at is not sexy.

Also, I don’t see how going to DJ school is sexy. It’s like Cosmo didn’t even get the highlighted and annotated dictionary I mailed. I don’t see how Cosmo has time to write a whole magazine if they don’t have time to even open their mail.

So I’m reading the Adele article and guess what? She doesn’t regret Mr. Wrong because now she’s rich and famous. BAM. Nailed it.

(This is how far I got before nap time. It’s now 3 hours later. “Why didn’t you write during Penny’s nap?,” you ask, as if you know everything, ever. Well, I didn’t say WHOSE NAP TIME it was, now did I, smart butt?)

This month’s The Naughtiest Thing I’ve Ever Done was supposedly written by a supposed woman who supposedly slept with her supposed professor. All those “supposedlies” should translate to, “Wow, this sounds completely made up.” Next month: The Naughtiest Thing I’ve Ever Done: Completely made up a story about sleeping with my professor so I could gain some kind of anonymous non-fame in a magazine widely regarded as a joke by anyone above the age where they might have found sleeping with a professor to be a fantasy of some sort. Not that ladies don’t sleep with professors. I just don’t think that this lady did. Because it sounds made up. Like some of the blogs I read. (The Internet isn’t that stupid.)

It seems that once again Cosmo is running the 101 Things About Men feature, and I maintain that there simply are not 101 things about men to know, but I do have to hand it to Cosmo this month. Right at the front of the feature are three pictures of men – Jude Law, Marc Anthony, and Anthony Kiedis – demonstrating the recent apparent “trend” of creepy porn-esque mustaches. And it’s true, Jude Law and Anthony Kiedis look disgusting and creepy. But Marc Anthony looks how he always looks. 

I see what you did there, Cosmo, and I liked it.

Apparently, a lie 50% of men tell is about how many people they’ve slept with. Apparently, 50% of men date women who are insecure and intrusive, but probably some of them mask it behind the “we have no secrets” front as an excuse to demand unnecessary details. Just because you have no secrets doesn’t mean you tell each other everything. Phil and I don’t keep secrets from each other, but he doesn’t know how old I was when I started my period.

His Top 5 Sex Dreams, Number 3: He’s getting it on with a vampire.

Cosmo, have you met men? I’m just curious.

Stud Meter! The top of the stud charts this month is Colton Haynes, whoever the shit that is. Apparently he’s the star of Teen Wolf? And there’s nudity? In Teen Wolf? Look, if it’s got nudity and no van surfing, Teen Wolf it is not.

At the bottom of the stud meter is Matthew Fox, because apparently he got drunk and punched a woman in the crotch. Hey, look, if you flip the Stud Meter upside down, you have the Hilarious Meter!

This month’s Fun, Fearless Fashion is all centered around the color red. Wearing red during the holiday season – how novel, fun, and fearless.

YOUR HIDDEN WINTER SKIN RISK! ATTENTION! ATTENTION! DO I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION? The sun still comes out in the winter! It’s still the sun! It still has rays! There’s no magical winter light-ball that’s letting you see your way to work, home, and skanking around. That’s the SUN! IT’S STILL THE SUN! The cancer sun. YES! THAT SUN! STILL THERE!

Q: How can I rock the pink eyeshadow trend without looking like I am hungover or have a cold?

A: First, have green eyes. Second, I don’t care. Third, ladies, look, we need to talk. Stop saying “rock” in this sense. You are not “rocking” those jeans. You are wearing them. You are not “rocking” pink eyeshadow. You’re wearing it. Besides, your eyes aren’t green. You look hungover. No, but seriously. Stop saying “rock” when you mean “wear.” You sound ridiculous. You’re probably the same person who talks about grabbing a “tee.” YOU ARE NOT ROCKING THAT TEE. I am going to rock you. With a rock. That’s how you do it.

Next, we come to one of the cover features, titled 100 Best Sex Tips of the Year. Of the year people. These are 100 sex tips from just this year, confirming my belief that if you neglect your sex life for too long, they up and change it on you.

Let’s see if we can find some groundbreaking sexual discoveries for 2011.

7. Slip on cashmere gloves, and slowly stroke his member.

Don’t do this. Times are hard, you guys, and even if they weren’t, we don’t use cashmere on penises. We also don’t call penises “members.”

11. Spike a pasta dish with saffron. A 2011 study proved the garnish is an aphrodisiac.

Oh, yeah, let’s just bust out all the cashmere and saffron. Let’s gold-plate my vagina while we’re at it, huh? Also, WHO WANTS TO HAVE SEX AFTER A BIG PLATE OF PASTA? I want to lay around and moan. Alone. In elastic pants.

All of the rest of this is definitely 2010 stuff. NICE TRY, COSMO.

The Fierce Sex Every Couple Should Try: It sounds insane, but werewolf action, inspired by WILFs (that’s werewolf I’d like to, well, you know) on —

COSMO YOU ARE SERIOUSLY FUCKING WITH ME RIGHT NOW, RIGHT? Did Cosmo seriously just coin to term WILF? WILF. WIIIIIIILF. Say it with me. WILF. WILF. If I pointed out a WEREWOLF to you and called him a WILF, could you ever be my friend again? No. No, in fact, you’d be obligated to slap me across the face and punch me in the crotch, Matthew Fox-style.

Goddamnit, Cosmo, I wish you had a crotch right now.

Sex Q+A – Look, Internet, I’m not a sex expert – or a “sexpert,” as Cosmo would say, right before doubling over from a punch to the crotch – but I’ve had some. I have proof. I call it Penny. So, here I go, with some As for the Qs.

Q: What’s the best position for having sex in the bath tub?

A: You tell me that, and I’ll tell you the best position for squatting over a cup so your UTI can be diagnosed.

(This is how far I got before second nap time. I got up part way through to finish this for you. This used to be way easier.)

Here’s an article about how women should stop being so polite (and start getting real). No, seriously. It’s about how, as ladies, we sometimes act in ways that are detrimental to ourselves in the name of being polite. Here’s a shocking example: if you don’t ask your boss for a raise, you probably won’t get one. You won’t get one because you’re too polite. Or, because you have no idea how the world works. Or, because, like the Internet, you have a misguided idea about “niceness” and it’s place in the world.

NO, SERIOUSLY, THOUGH. It’s not “not nice” to advocate for yourself. It’s not “not nice” to not like everyone. It’s not even the end of the world to not always be “nice.” You know what’s a stupid word? Nice.

Once again, I come across one of Cosmo”s “shameless” sections, which always centers around money. To dedicate sections to money-saving tips and even just common sense ideas – such as this month’s tip on finding cheap airfare – and then call them “shameless” seems to indicate that we should feel shame – or would, without Cosmo’s permission not to – about finding deals, saving money, or simply being wise with our spending.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m never against money-saving tips. I’m just against money-saving being categorized as something sneaky, or secret, or as a “no one has to know you didn’t break the bank!” kind of thing. I don’t think searching for a deal is something to be ashamed of. I don’t think looking for the best price reflects on you as the act of a poor person. I don’t think being wise with your money makes you appear cheap or broke or anything unflattering. I don’t see why Cosmo continues to back-handedly continue these ideas.

YOU ONLY COST $4, COSMO. YOU’RE NOT EXACTLY A LUXURY HABIT YOURSELF.

Hey, let’s do that thing where I read the title of an article, don’t read it, and then write the entire thing myself.

20 Reasons to be Naked This Winter, written by someone, ignored, and rewritten by TJ

1. Heater is stuck on.
2. Locked in the bathroom, it doesn’t occur to you to get out of the shower.
3. Too lazy to do laundry yet too finicky to wore jeans you already wore the day before.
4. Same as above, but more valid, because a baby pooped on those jeans.
5. Locked in a heated “who can be naked the longest” battle with… anyone.
6. Attempting to shame yourself into shaving your legs by constantly having to look at them.
7. Attempting to Stockholm Syndrome your significant other into being okay with you never shaving your legs.
8. You have a great rack.
9. You were going to have sex but fell asleep on the couch while your partner was brushing his teeth.
10. You got out of the shower and realized you had no place to go so, fuck it.
11. Waiting for your husband to notice you have no clothes on and ask why so you can passive aggressively bitch him out for shrinking all your clothes in the wash when he was JUST trying to HELP.
12. You hate your naked body slightly less than you hate the way all of your clothes make your body look.
13. Baby oil slip and slide in the hallway.
14. Trying to get overstaying house guests to leave.
15. Because you have no concept of “good naked” and “bad naked.”
16. Because you imagine yourself to be some kind of natural, deep, in with yourself and the earth type of person and haven’t connected that to the fact that you have no friends yet.
17. You’ve given up like the grandparents in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but you’ve taken to your tub instead of a living room bed.
18. Over-holidayed and you’ll be DAMNED if you’re going to buy bigger pants.
19. You grew a suit of body hair, rendering clothes unnecessary.
20. A victim of crippling paranoia, you painted your entire home flesh-colored and stripped off all of your clothes in order to hide during the inevitable impending break in during which your precious Hummel collection will be stolen. You also paint the Hummels flesh colored.

Not too bad of a job, I think, especially since I myself am never naked.

Anyway, Internet, there’s absolutely nothing redeeming about the last few pages of this magazine, so I’m just going to sum them up for you, bullet-point style:

– This month in the pretty girl is murdered/gets cancer section, a pretty girl is… murdered! Apparently, the most dangerous part of a relationship is when you break it off. So, basically, Cosmo says to stay with that dickhead forever or DIE. Judging by Cosmo, you’re especially at risk if you’re unusually pretty. OR, it could be that Cosmo only finds your death sad and tragic if you’re particularly pretty.

– This is how Cosmo thinks you can double your “going out” wardrobe. Get all your best stuff, go over to a friend’s house with all your lady pals, put on a “good beat,” and swap clothes around until everyone is hot. Or, until someone is crying and left with her own clothes because no one likes them/she doesn’t fit in everyone else’s. Also, seriously? Musical sequined tops? Is this real life? Does Cosmo live in real life?

– Oh, the fashion section. It’s the holidays, so basically, wear something disco-bally and you’re fine. I guess. So much of this stuff exposes back. Am I the only one who feels more modest exposing a inch or so of cleavage than showing my entire back? Am I a Back Prude? Am I alone in my back prudery?

– Lastly, here’s Cosmo’s big tip for boosting your health this holiday season – use hand sanitizer after you touch something germy OH MY GOD, Cosmo, and I thought I’d been phoning it in recently.

BAM. TJ NOTED.

Old notes:

November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
August 2011
September 2011

 

I am just as busy as you are. I don’t need a medal, I’m just saying.

Internet, normally my intro is some explanation about how I TJ Noted (oh, by the way, I’m calling it TJ Notes now, because Cliff’s Notes apparently took the apostrophe out of their name officially now and since I have always been aggravated by those who left it out, I feel like I’ve been betrayed by their apostrophe abandonment) – HOW I TJ NOTED up this issue of Cosmo for you because you’re really busy and I have a lot of time on my hands, but you know what? I HAVEN’T had a lot of time recently, so I think this makes this installment all the more special, you know? I have NO TIME to be doing this. I have negative time. I started doing this before I had a kid, and said kid just spent 5 days in the hospital and we have to go back to the doctor in just a couple of hours, so I’m just trying to IMPRESS UPON YOU HERE that I continue to save YOU time even though I have little to spare myself. So. Let’s read this edition with some generousity and leniency because I am so tired.

I want to talk about the cover for a second. I know you think I’m going to say something about the “Va-jay-jay” and Cosmo’s use of the word va-jay-jay, but I’m holding off on that to give mine time to tell me whatever it is it is dying to tell me so that when I get to that article, I can see if mine matches up to what the other va-jay-jays told Cosmo.

No, I’m talking about this headline: “Guys Answer YOUR SEXIEST SEX Qs.” Does ANYONE read “Qs” as “questions?” Anyone? I mean, are you going to walk up to your boss and say, “Hey, quick Q.” No. You’re not. Because that would be stupid. Just pointing out that Cosmo has already gotten a running start on this issue. Let’s get moving into the magazine. It’s going to be a good one, I passed five Barrymores on my way in.

We’re jumping right in to the Ask Cosmo section. If you’ll recall, last month I tried my hand at answering a couple of the questions. This month, I’ll let Cosmo go back to handling it.

Q: Of all of the new fall fragrances, which are the drop dead sexiest?
A: Patchouli is all the rage this sea–

WHOA WHOA WHOA. Cosmo. Cosmo. Look at me, Cosmo. No. No. Watch the shape my mouth is making. Nnnnnnnoooooo. Patchouli? No. Cosmo, say patchouli. Say it. Every time you say it, I’m going to squirt you in the face with this bottle I use to make my kid’s butt wash. Little soapy, sorry, but that’s how you’ll learn. No, Cosmo. NO.

Next month, I’ll answer the questions.

I’m skipping the What’s Sexy Right Now section, because we all know that Cosmo has been kind of struggling lately with the exact definition of the word sexy, but at a glance, I can tell you that they’re advising grown women to dress like schoolgirls in a non-bedroom, non-Halloween way, because there’s nothing odd and sadly pathetic about that.

Cover girl Diana Argon – skipping. I read it, she’s not that interesting. Like, at all. Sorry.

CELEB TREND! Hideous sweatshirts! The more hideous, the better, from what I can tell. Zippers and hoods aren’t allowed, that ruins the look. We’re talking straight up 1990s B.U.M. Equipment-style shit. Only this time around, you can pay $148 for it, because you are a huge idiot. Or at least, Cosmo thinks that your desire to imitate this “trend,” which was likely someone just not expecting to be photographed on her way out for a tampon run, will turn you into a huge idiot.

Remember how last month Justin Timberlake told you how to be a girl that might get to hang around with guys but will surely be hated by other women? This month, the adorable Blake Shelton wants to let you know how a guy will know that YOU ARE THE ONE.

Here are his tips, condensed for you: Go out, but only where he likes to go, with only his friends, unless he doesn’t want to go out at all – then you should stay home and not bitch about it, and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, do NOT SPEAK.

Cosmo, just because you ask a celebrity to contribute some ideas doesn’t mean you need to use them. I mean, I’m just saying – it’s not all gold, okay? Sometimes it’s misogynistic in an admittedly adorable backwoods country singer kind of way, and not at all appropriate for your GIRL POWER!!! magazine.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has gone from the bottom of last month’s “Stud-o-Meter” to the “skanky” side of the Sexy v. Skanky feature. Has Arnold done more ladies in the last couple of months, or is Cosmo going to ride this train long past anyone giving even the tiniest of shits?

The Naughtiest Thing I’ve Ever Done: I got back at my evil roommate!

Now, I’ve had an evil roommate or two, so I was totally ready for this story, until the author explained why she thought her roommate didn’t like her:

Nina never told me why she had it out for me, but I think she may have been jealous of my easygoing attitude. She was a bit of a loner and borderline neurotic about getting good grades. She basically studied all the time, whereas I was way more social yet still managed to do better in school than she did. I think this must have created lots of pent-up anger that manifested itself in bitchiness.

Um, Cosmo? I think you’re getting the wrong side of this totally awesome revenge story.

Anyway, apparently Nina reported the author for having wine in their room fridge, which was against the rules and, oh yeah, the law, so the author stole Nina’s room key while she was out studying, went to a friend’s room, and ignored Nina’s middle of the night calls to be let into the room. This then lead to Nina staying on her friend’s futon and getting a D on her final the next day.

Cosmo expects you to applaud this act of revenge, Internet. After all, the author can’t help that she was awesome and her roommate wasn’t as awesome! And how dare her roommate be peeved that she and her friends hang out in their shared space drinking? This calls for ruining someone school year. HIGH FIVES ALL AROUND – especially to you, Cosmo, for sharing this brave woman’s actions with us.

Here’s a good one I can TJ Note for you! 101 Things About Men – there are not 101 things about men. Total. Ever. Next!

Pauly D’s Guy to Dating:

Q: Is there one thing you look for in a girl?
A:
 Yeah, the type of music she listens to. It tells you everything you need to know about a woman.

But does it tell you whether or not she uses Miracle Whip?

(We’re a Miracle Whip house.)

We’re at one of the many fashion sections now – the Fun Fearless Fashion part. This month, they’re giving us the 9 key pieces you need for fall. Presumably, we’re to build an entire wardrobe around dress shorts, leather tops, and faux fur vests. And high-waisted jeans. No one who writes Cosmo has ever had a c-section, I guess. High-waisted jeans, what the shit? Sure, a nice decorative denim sausage casing for my scar’s fat-roof. Thanks. I’ll just distract from it with this fur vest COME ON.

Oh my god, I hadn’t flipped to the next page where it tells you how to “work” these items until just now and you guys you’re supposed to wear the fur vest with the DRESS SHORTS.

Skipping a little bit farther on, I’ve learned that apparently we’re calling them fancy shorts, and leopard skin is an appropriate pattern. There’s only one person in this world who has license to wear fancy shorts, and if your last name isn’t Fauntleroy, you ain’t it.

There’s a coupon in here for Aeropostale, which is apparently now calling itself Aero, and as I am nearly 30 years old and staunchly opposed to companies trying to hipify their own names, I will not be using it. Come by if you want it.

Have you always wondered whether men find long earrings or short earrings sexier? Well, apparently they find long earrings sexier. I think. All the guys actually said was “I barely notice small earrings” and that long earrings draw attention to her face. So, Cosmo has taken that to mean that guys find long earrings sexier, when all it really means is that guys don’t notice earrings, except for the one dude Cosmo managed to find to voice an opinion on long earrings. None of this adds up to the word “sexy,” but I’m too exhausted from last month to go over this again.

I was looking at the Beauty News page and the bolded headline “Seductive Shoulders” caught my eye, so I sat here for a few minutes trying to do some seductive shoulder moves, but it turns out I’m supposed to moisturize and then luminize them. Also? We’re putting gold pomade in our EYEBROWS now. Where does one wear be-golded eyebrows? Work? Daycare pick up? State dinner?

Cosmo is featuring EOS lip balm this month, which is awesome, but don’t bother to buy it, because your dogs are just going to eat it.

This month’s Beauty Cheat Sheet is a five step process involving a blow dryer and scotch tape that all culminates in painting your nails a nude color. More evidence that I should be hired by Cosmo, because I just got the exact same effect in zero steps.

I love the Shameless sections of Cosmo, where they give you permission to not spend ridiculous amounts of cash on things and not even feel a little bit bad about it. As if without their blessing, you would feel a deep, burning, secret shame about taking advantage of free make up samples or not buying colored mascara because who the shit needs colored mascara? Cosmo is letting you know that it’s OKAY to save money, sometimes, on some things. Once in a while. But don’t tell anyone.

Prince Harry is at the top of this month’s Stud-o-Meter. Good call, I think. Did anyone else notice that he and Prince William have had opposite awkward phases? And I have a feeling that Prince William’s is going to be way longer than Harry’s was. Peter Sarsgaard is near the bottom of the meter due to a picture snapped of him running wearing slightly short shorts, proving once again that how you look when working out is nearly as important – if not moreso – than actually working out, neatly summing up why so many of us stay out of gyms. You can’t say that shit doesn’t matter, Cosmo, and then turn around and bust on someone’s workout gear.

We’ve come to the part where all of our sex cues – I mean, Qs, are going to be answered by men. Our sexiest sex Qs. In twenty words or less!

Just glancing over this, I can tell you that the dude answers are terrible. Since I let Cosmo answer a question above and it was a disaster, I’m going to answer some of these or, alternately, tell you why the man answer was terrible and you shouldn’t listen to it.

5. Do men get bored in LTRs?
First of all, you don’t have to abbreviate everything, ever. Second of all, the dude says that they do, so you need to be extra sexy. I say that men don’t have the monopoly on anything and maybe HE should be extra sexy to keep YOU from getting bored.

10. Are unshaven legs (or other body parts) a turn-off?
Doesn’t matter. Men are allowed to express a preference, but they do not get a say. The recent prevailing attitude that certain states of hair denudery are not only common but an expected standard is ridiculous and you do not have to feel obligated to keep any of your personal areas in any specific hair condition.

12. Why do guys in relationships look at porn?
Because there’s naked ladies in it.

45. Why do men dig a.m. sex?
Because it’s sex.

Hey, here’s an innovative and interesting psychological and sociological article! Why We Love Bad Boys.

Because we feel like we’re not supposed to or they’re forbidden in some way!

Just kidding, I didn’t read it.

I did, however, take the quiz. I didn’t get a lot of the references, because I don’t know what the shit a McDreamy is, but it sounds like fast food ice cream, and I am all for that. Anyway, I scored a 1, which Cosmo says means I see the inevitable dangers of getting mixed up with a bad boy, but I’m pretty sure that, based on the other answers to this quiz, actually means that I have the self-respect to not continually date assholes. Tomato, tomato, am I right, Cosmo?

Cosmo asks, Are Some Guys Just Not Wired to Marry? Because if you’re with a guy and he hasn’t shown any indication of wanting to marry you, it’s definitely some kind of genetic issue.

There’s a tear out page for you to take on your next date – Fun, Revealing Games to Play with Him. Okay, Internet, seriously, I dare you. On your next date, ask the guy which body of water appeals most to him. And then tell him what that says about his personality. Or? Take my simplified version.

If he chooses…

None of the above: he thinks this is stupid and that you should stop reading Cosmo because, come on.
Any of the above: he thinks this is stupid and that you should stop reading Cosmo because, come on, but will at least pick one to shut you up, which could mean he cares enough about your feelings to shut you up kindly or just wishes you would shut up and also can’t believe you pulled out a page torn from a magazine on a date, why don’t you just ask NORMAL SHIT like where he’s from and what he likes to do and stop treating men like some kind of puzzle you must solve because believe me, if you try to do too much solving to delve down to his deepest inner feelings and desires and non-obvious personality traits, you are going to end up one sad lady with one sore delver muscle because MEN ARE NOT SECRETS. 

A fine example of “I’m just going to play along because if I don’t I know you won’t shut up about it and I’m at work and why don’t you have any idea of what is an appropriate time to ask these questions?” And that’s why we’re married.

There’s a section here on Sex Q+A and I don’t think I’m especially qualified to answer them by Cosmo’s standards, even though I totally HAVE used sex to produce a child, so I think I have the basic mechanics down, so I’m going to skip most of these questions, except the one about queefing, because queefing is a funny word, and it’s a kind of fart, which makes it double hilarious. Anyway, lady wants to know how to not queef so much after sex, and I’m actually kind of proud of Cosmo for being, “Hey, it’s natural, bodies do things.”

I mean, mine doesn’t. Yours is strange and wrong and you should be embarrassed. But it was nice of Cosmo to soothe you like that.

Since I’m on a question-answering spree, I’m also going to tackle one of the Ask Him Anythings, even though I’m not a him, because, come on. Neither are the hims that Cosmo uses. Or, well, maybe they are, but they’re giving Cosmo-provided answers or choosing from Cosmo-multiple choice options, so they’re not hims in a real sense, but more hims in the way that hims exist in the weird parallel universe Cosmo seems to be operating from.

Q. My guy makes a weird face when we have sex — [uncharitable description of face here]. I know he’s in the heat of the moment, but it’s really distracting. Is there anything I can say or do to get him to change his expression?
A:
 Hey, weird coincidence – your guy just called and told me that the way that your boobs fall into your armpits during sex is really gross and it distracts him from his enjoyment of sex with you. Can you do something about that? No? Well, can you do something about the fact that you’re a ridiculous, terrible person? It’s distracting me from my work.

When I picked up this issue of Cosmo, I felt that it was especially fat, and it turns out that this month contains not only a “pretty women get raped” story, but also a “pretty woman gets cancer” story. Not to make light of either of these things, but it’s not extra tragic when these things happen to pretty women, Cosmo. I’m just saying.

Now, have we all been sitting around and communing with our va-jay-jays through the previous 2800 words? Because it’s time to find out what they called up Cosmo to tell them to tell us. Here’s what Cosmo says they have to say. Vagina to you! Vagina to you! Come in, you!

“Your vibrator needs a bath.” – You’re not only sad and lonely, but also slovenly!
“Could you do me a favor and pee right after sex?” – Your vagina considers urination to be a personal favor.
“It’s time you asked your doc about your extra heavy periods.” – We are taking medical advice via genitals now, how twee of Cosmo.
“Your birth-control pill is giving me a serious case of dry vadge.” – Your insufferable vagina refers to itself as “vadge.”
“Those jeans are too freaking tight.” – Well, someone had to say it and the vagina has stepped up.
“Girl, you need to eat more yogurt.” – Look for a dual assault Jamie Lee Curtis/Vagina tag-team ad campaign relying entirely on vaguely phrased yet still uncomfortable to watch commercials coming to a television near you.

“My guy goes commando – are there any risks?” THANKS FOR CHECKING IN TO THAT FOR HIM, MOM.

Fashion section: terrible. Jesus. There’s fringe, you guys. And it’s everywhere. And another version of the hair-vest. And sheer items. How about I don’t shave my legs (DONE!) and wear one of these sheer skirty dealies, and nail two trends at once?

The make up tutorial section is on “Sexy, Edgy Eyes,” and seems to entirely rely on black eyeliner, black eyeshadow, black mascara, specially angled brushes, fat crayon-y things and strategic smudging, which means they may have well have just named it, “Here’s how to spend $60 and 40 minutes and still come out looking like a raccoon.” If Cosmo ever needs to do a tutorial on blending in with the local wildlife, I am their ham-fisted girl.

Lastly, Cosmo thinks that using your computer while you eat your lunch in your cube (because all the young, hip Cosmo girls work in cubes) will make you fat. Because you’ll eat too much of your lunch if you’re distracted. Call me crazy, but if this is a problem for you, how about just bring less food (but don’t let anyone see you eat it all)? Because all of those Kongregate games are not going to play themselves.

Lesson learned: The number of Barrymores spotted on the way in does not directly correlate to the quality of the Cosmo innards. I give this issue two and a half Barrymores.

BAM. TJ NOTED.

Old notes:
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
August 2011