• DRINK TO THE LASSES: Notes from a Woman's College Womb
    DRINK TO THE LASSES: Notes from a Woman's College Womb
    by Mary Beth Ellis
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    Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers
    Random House Trade Paperbacks
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IAD Officially Certifies Obama As Nominee

So I was desperately trying to leave town this morning (remember last year's Johnny and his gun-getting? He’s back and he’s gun-gettier than EVAH!) and as I schlepped my 15 pounds of carry-on snacks past a D.C. themed gift shop, I noticed a woman dressing a mannequin in a tie-dyed, fully non-ironic Obama tee shirt. Oh, there was a whole Obama display, right in the heaviest traffic area: Life sized cutout, convention buttons, bobbleheads, both of his books. In hardcover.

“Did they make you wait for the final delegate count before bringing that stuff out?” I called over to her, maybe 47% kidding.

She took a dressmaker’s pin out of her mouth and pointed around the corner, where the other display area of the gift shop faced the loo. “There’s what we have left of the Hillary merchandise. Fifty percent off.” I leaned over to check: Indeed. There was the hand-lettered "CLEARANCE" sign. And most of what was on the table was the clear over-run on a bumper sticker which read, “ANYBODY BUT HILLARY ‘08.″

Harsh days, Senator. When you’ve lost Concourse B of the Dulles International Airport, you have indeed lost America.

conceding the coffee mugs at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com

Belmont Update

Only three shopping days to go!  Gimme some crap.

waiting on something awesomely inflatable at:  mbe@drinktothelasses.com



There was so very, very much to be horrified by in tonight's episode of The Bachelorette, and the worst moment wasn't even when Ellen DeGeneres ordered all the men to drop their pants, and it wasn't when one of the men given the heave-ho placidly says "She didn't reject me, she just chose other guys," and it wasn't when The Bachelorette slammingly told the story of the death of her mother in incredibly excruciating and depressing detail, and it wasn't when one of the guys announced, "I woke up this morning thinking, 'You know, she's not my kind of girl, but now I've got a case of the DeAnnas.'"

No, no, it was when DeAnna (or ABC, or Mike Fleiss, or Chris The Rose Ceremony Guy, or whoever it is to blame) bought a star for one of the men on the show and named it after his son to... show she's okay with him at some point in the past having had sex with his ex-wife for the purpose of procreation, or something? And he cried, and she slouched into her strapless dress, and it all would have been very touching IF THE CERTIFICATE MEANT ANYTHING AT ALL IN THE REALM OF ASTRONOMY.

Because that star? It's been named already, and it's not "Ty." It's RUC 9274 or something equally astronomy-ey. You can pick a star and firmly deem it "Fourth Hair Down, Seventeenth Across On My Left Buttcheek" and embroider a tea towel announcing this and it would be 100% as official.

Well, so what if it's not scientifically recognized? What's the big deal? This. This is the big deal. From Phil Plait, author of Bad Astronomy:

Imagine being an astronomer during an observatory’s public night, happily showing people the wonders of the universe through the telescope, then having someone ask you to see the star they named after their daughter who died tragically. They only have the name they gave it, not the position or any other name that might be useful. Worse, they really, honestly think that every astronomer has access to the ISR (International Star Registry) and can easily find their star. Having run many a public night myself, I can only imagine how horrible I would feel. In such cases, what do you do, tell the people they were lied to, or deceived, crushing them? Or do you keep quiet, spare their raw feelings, and perpetuate the lie by showing them some random star?

Many astronomers don’t have to imagine this. It’s happened to them.

Oh-kay. There. Now you know. ABC, will you kindly stop perpetuating crap space information? Give us something real and inspiring from the heavens, something substantive, something roaringly amazing, something affecting our daily lives. Give us broken space station toilet coverage. YES.

celestial flush at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com


Welcome Freelance Switch Readers

Are you in-betweening, too?



It's late. I'm late posting today, and I'm sorry. For the past week, I have been very concerned with togas. No, don't ask. I have made two of them, and there has been patterns and thread and directions and wrong sides together and interfacings and tears and hemming and ribbon and again, seriously, you don't want to know. I will simply submit to you that after two separate attempts at sewing classes, if there's a way to unspeakably mangle the act of adhering two pieces of fabric together with a piece of thread, I will find it, and then I will cry about it like a little *&%#^. I'm trying hard, really, really hard, not to categorize this as a basic human failing, but at 31 I'm running out of things to be competent at, here.

I'm thinking back on my life and trying to categorize all the things I've done without notching some kind of catastrophic failure or humiliation along the way. So far, the Success List includes:

1) Braiding my own hair

I'll get back to you when the togas are pressed, but I don't have hopes of that going very going well, either. I've managed to anger the iron, somehow. All I did to it was plug it in, and it started beeping in an extremely pissed manner. I'll get back to you on this once I've apologized.

turning in basic humanity competency card at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com