5 Ways to Spend Valentine’s Day

First off, let me just say to those of you with significant others: You have enough resources to figure out what to do on Valentine’s Day. Unless you’re just looking for a nice, cheeky afternoon read, I suggest you go elsewhere because I have nothing for you.

Now to everyone else, here are some ways you can spend Valentine’s Day:

 1. Ladies/Gentlemen’s Night Out.

I think at some point everyone has to try the segregated female/male night out bit, but you might find that it’s not as empowering as one might imagine. If you’re going out in the hopes that you’re going to go to some gay club with your girlfriends and dance along to “Single Ladies” ’til the pain goes away, I suggest you pursue a different plan. You have to go out with the right expectations: Don’t go into this thinking it’s going to be a great night of partying and fun. Don’t go into this thinking you are going to find the man/woman you’ll end up marrying. Do realize that any club or bar you go to is just going to be filled with particularly desperate single people preying on each other. Do realize that if you have any sort of positive expectations, the reality won’t measure up.

My best advice is to go to dinner with some friends, drink Cosmos, and decide which Sex and the City character you are. Then, be home at a decent hour and watch Bridget Jones’ Diary until you fall asleep. Enjoy the company of your friends, but don’t make it a big to-do.

2. Pretend it’s Just Another Day.

I think this is a great option, but you have to really commit, and there needs to be a little preparation on your part. First, at least a week before, (there’s still time if you start today) you have to come to terms with the fact that you will be spending the day alone. I can’t stress how important it is that you abandon all hope. If you hold on to any glimmer of possibility, you can’t ignore the holiday to the fullest extent. If you need someone to crush what little faith you’ve been holding on to, let me be that person:

There are 3.5 days until Valentine’s Day. Even if you met the man/woman of your dreams in the next 20 minutes (you won’t), nobody wants to have a first date on V-Day. Starting February 15th, you can begin your hunt for next time. It is not happening for you this year. 

When it comes to the actual day, don’t be that weirdo who wears black and psychotically pretends like the holiday doesn’t actually exist. More importantly, don’t be the person who walks around telling everyone that Valentine’s Day was created by Hallmark, this makes you bitter which defeats the whole purpose. You acknowledge that the holiday exists like a sane person, but it’s business as usual.

3. Give in to Depression.

I’ve been told numerous times that ‘depressed Dara’ is actually pretty amusing and funny. How do you keep your despair and loss of hope entertaining to others? Here are some tips:

  1. You can go a day or two without washing yourself.
  2. Wear a bathrobe. You’d be surprised how much it adds to the overall look.
  3. Walk around singing “nobody knows the trouble I’ve seeeeen.” There’s more to the song than that, but I like to just repeat that line over and over again. Here’s how it goes if you’re not familiar. The chorus of “Someone Like You” also works.
  4. Drink a bottle of wine and a block of cheese by yourself.
  5. Watch The Notebook and yell at the TV.

People will find this kind of sadness endearing. Just make sure you do not talk about your loneliness on Twitter, Facebook, etc. because then you look crazy and/or irritating- you could do all 5 of my depression tips at the same time and it wouldn’t matter. As long as you stay away from the computer, just enjoy reveling in your bottomless despair.

4. Go Out with Your Parents or Another Couple.

Don’t do this! Don’t do this at all! No matter how many times your roommate or relatives say, “Why don’t you just come out with us,” do not listen! All that will happen is the server will ask you if a 4th person will be coming. Then someone has to say ‘no.’ It isn’t pretty. This happened to me last year.

Look, I promised 5 ways to spend your Valentine’s Day. This is a way, but I don’t suggest actually doing it. In fact, consider this a warning. Someone might suggest this to you, and now you know not to do it.

5. Be Your Own Valentine!

It’s a holiday! Just because you’re single doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy it. Someone loves you, right? You love you, right? So TREAT YO’ SELF!

Eat an entire box of chocolates… 
                                             treat yo’ self. 

Watch 6 hours worth of “The Millionaire Matchmaker…”
                                             treat yo’ self.

Enjoy a soothing facial mask…
                                             treat yo’self.

So, remember, everyone: No matter what you do, enjoy the day because you could be dead this time next year! Happy Valentine’s Daaaay!

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Holiday Gift DIY

So I know yesterday I said that I was going to post my very own DIY video, and let me just start off by saying I tried to make that happen. I spent two days trying to film it with just myself, a tripod, and a flip cam (which is ideal for amateur pornography, but not when you’re trying to make something of quality), and that was just way harder than I anticipated. Finally, I finished, and it was… ok…. I tried to edit it, and I realize that lots of people are overly critical when they watch themselves on tape, but you should know I relish watching myself on film, so I don’t think it was me being too harsh.

After spending a couple hours trying to edit it, I was almost done, I was just going to add some music, and then iMovie quit and my whole project was lost. At that point I just figured that the holy ghost hit the ESC key in a valiant effort to save me from myself and from defiling his holiday with my Christmas video. My dad is a computer guy and could probably save the whole thing, but I’d rather just accept this as a sign that I will never be a DIY thrifty hipster blogger.

I did promise you a DIY, though, so here’s one from someone who knows what they’re doing and looks like she could play Roma Downey’s protegé on Touched By an Angel (I’m embarrassed by how easily I accessed the name ‘Roma Downey’ from my brain).

This is Mr. Kate and #8 of her 12 DIYS of Chrismahanakwanzasolstice:

 

Tommy and the Norway Butter Crisis

This is Tommy. He’s a ‘singer, celebrities, and bloggers’ from Norway, and he has something to say to American comedians. Apparently, there is a severe butter shortage in Norway, and some of our own comics are making jokes about the Norwegian’s misfortune.

Tommy, let me be the first comedian* to apologize to you. Though I’ve never been paid to do comedy, so I’m technically not professional, and can really only call myself a comedian because I think it in my head… I must speak for everyone and say how sorry I am for how insensitive the US has been.

Our Norwegian friend makes a great point in this video. We make light of the Norwegians’ situation, but Americans are, as he says, very fat. I’m not looking to make anyone feel bad or anything, but these are just facts. We would really miss butter if suddenly it wasn’t available. I’m not fat (I’m not trying to brag or anything, but medically and stuff… I’m not fat) but I love to use bread as a vehicle to transport butter into my face-hole. I would feel a great void if it were gone.

Besides just bread and butter, think of how many recipes call for butter. Norway’s traditional Christmas cake is a butter cake. What are they supposed to do now?! And vegans, don’t you dare tell me they should use some vegan butter substitue. Get out of here, vegans! Get out!

Look, America. Have you ever seen pain like that? Tommy and his country are hurting. Don’t make fun of them. It’s just not right.

If you do make fun of Norway, I hope Tommy goes to your house and eats all your butter while your family watches. Then goes to your neighbor’s house and eats their butter. You totally deserve it.

Although, I will say, it’s kind of easy to make butter. Like, you can just buy some cream and whip it with some salt…

Irrelevant. Tommy, thank you for your bravery in speaking out.

*I’m a comedian, not a comedienne. Just like I’m an actor not and actress. You don’t call a female doctor a doctress, do you? Sorry, I’ll chill out.

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Check in tomorrow for a DIY holiday gift video that I’ll be posting.

In the meantime, subscribe to my blog for email updates or follow me on twitter!

Gift Ideas for Poor People

If you’re anything like me, you’re poor. The holidays are a really hard time for poor people. Suddenly you’re expected to spend money that doesn’t exist. On other people, no less. Or maybe you have just enough money to buy gifts for your family, but you have friends you know are getting you something, so now you have to get them something (which is the true spirit of the holiday season). Or maybe you had plenty of money but you spent it on yourself.

One thing working in your impoverished favor, is that during the holidays, no one can fault you for a bad gift if it appears that you put thought into it. That is our goal here today: gifts with feigned thought put into them. Gift baskets are great for this purpose.

Now, I know when you think gift basket you’re thinking fancy pears and Boursin cheese, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The beauty of a gift basket is you can make it as expensive or inexpensive as you want, and the fact that you gathered things in a basket gives off the illusion that you put a lot of thought into your gift.

The most important aspect and step one of these gifts is the basket. Look around your basement. If you really are an American, there’s a cheap basket from a yard sale somewhere in your house. If somehow you don’t have a basket, it’s past yard sale season and you’re going to have to buy one. Try a craft store.

So with that, gift basket ideas for those of all varying poverty levels:

1. Movie Night Basket

For the super poor: Look around your house for an old DVD still in its cellophane (this actually points to a greater lesson: always keep your DVDs in cellophane until you’re ready to use- you never know when you can use Legally Blonde 2 for a last minute gift. You won’t miss it). Steal 2 cans of soda, candy, and popcorn from around your house.

For the poor: Go to Walmart and look through the big bin of $5 DVDs. Bonus if you can find something fun like Spice World, but you’ll probably just end up with White Chicks. Look for random candy around your house, maybe buy a box of Goobers. Get two cans of diet coke from the super market vending machine, buy a couple of rum nips, and a box of popcorn.

For the barely employed: Movie passes or a season of something like Breaking Bad. Buy a 6 pack of glass Coke bottles (put two in the basket and keep the rest for yourself), rum nips, assorted boxes of movie candy, a box of popcorn, and those little popcorn flavor shakers. Instead of a basket a cute idea is also getting one of the buckets of popcorn you can get at Blockbuster… if you can find a Blockbuster.

2. Fiesta Basket

For the super poor: Hopefully you have an unopened bottle of tequila or some nips around. If not, you probably wont’t get out of this cheap. If you do, then take a lime from the fridge, steal a bunch of salt packets from McDonald’s, get a bag of tortilla chips and call it a day.

For the poor: Get like, 5 nips of various tequila brands (pass it off as a tequila tasting. I think that sounds pretty legit), buy chips, salsa, and then go to the dollar store and buy some maracas.

For the barely employed: You can get a bottle of Chi-Chi’s light margaritas for 7.99 (don’t spring for some brand name Skinnygirl. You’re not made of money). Get a taco making kit at the super market (they probably have that, right?), and then obviously the maracas so they have something to do after they finish the Chi-Chi’s.

3. Wine Basket

For the super poor: Your options include 3 Buck Chuck or regifting a bottle if you can. Don’t worry, there is no shame in 3 Buck Chuck. It’s still alcohol. Again, steal what you can from the house. Maybe put crackers and cheese on your parent’s grocery list for “yourself.” We must be resourceful in these trying economic times.

For the poor: Do what you can with the bottle of wine. Then head to CVS and get some jerky, a bag of Hershey’s kisses, some generic crackers, and cheese.

For the barely employed: Wine. Then try the Christmas Tree Shop if that is an option for you geographically (and God help you if it isn’t), and look for some festive wine glasses, which usually only go for $1.99, but really up the overall production value of the basket. Then assemble any other wine-y things we’ve discussed based on how much money you have left.

As you can see, there’s a basket for every price range. Only your own creativity can limit you now. Now go forth and spread cheer like you were always meant to do.

Sashay, Shante

I finally feel like that perfect mix of Dina Lohan and a Real Housewife of New Jersey. I may be 3 glasses of Sauvignon Blanc deep (which is just deep enough for me), but I feel like the classiest lady this side of Long Island (I’m actually from NH but my soul is from Long Island).

I just bought this coat from Banana Republic. This is what the joy of tipsy suburban mall shopping looks like. I walked through JCPenny’s liked I OWNED that dizzy bizzy (look, I can’t be held accountable for anything I say right now… though my grammar and typing is still flawless). My parents said ‘look she’s strutting through Jay-Cee-Pee-Pee’ (okay, I added that abbreviation and the extra ‘P’) as if I was Carrie Bradshaw, I said, “do I strut? Am I a strutter?” like the coquette that I am in this faux fur coat (that’s a real Carrie Bradshaw quote, btw).

Anyway, the point of this post is that I hope you find your faux fur leopard print coat this season- whether it’s a real materialistic piece or just a state of mind. It’s a bad economy, ya know? Just find whatever gets you in that spirit. Okay bye, the Sex and the City Movie is on. But I’m serious…

My Grown Up Christmas List

Do you like that blog post title? That’s my clever ploy to get the traffic from all the people googling the lyrics to that song. Sorry, you won’t find them here! But please, read on despite my trickery.

To the real information: I think one of the most depressing things in life besides like, dying, is the time spent celebrating holidays right after you grow up but before you have little kids. During this time, the magic is all gone from the holiday until you have kids of your own and can experience the holiday through their eyes (but no pressure to have kids and stuff. This is not a blog that feeds into social conventions, no sir. Live your life, okay?)

Sure, there’s some new, fun things about the holidays when you’re young and fabulous- sparkly red dresses and the excuse to get tanked like, every day between Thanksgiving up until New Years, but I don’t think it matches the happiness of being a kid and getting presents from your gift list.

When I was a kid I remember getting so pumped when the new JCPenny toy catalogue would come in the mail, and I’d chill out in the bathroom for like, an hour and read it. Getting a ton of frivilous presents was expected. It was okay for me to make lists, actual lists of things I didn’t need. Last year I think I got some Crest Whitestrips… like, I asked for them, but still how depressing that this is what my life has come to?

Anyway, this year I’m going to make a list with no real expectation of getting anything, but I figure it’s like a little vision board? I’m attracting presents into my life! Here’s some things I want (it is important to note that I will accept these gifts from anyone, hint hint Northern New Hampshire Male Correctional Facility 😉 ).


{Hunter Rain Boots, $125. I feel like these are an investment- I had to throw out my cheapish J.Crew ones because they started to leak. Ya know, rain boots have ONE job to do. Not to look cute, just to keep water out and it’s crazy how few of them actually accomplish that.}

{Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, $39.99. It’s kind of expensive for hair product, but I read in Allure once that Mary Kate and/or Ashley used this at a shoot and told the stylist they were “stealing it,” so I’m all in.}

{Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook $20 on Amazon. Momofuku is a trendy-pants bakery in NYC where they sell things like cereal milk ice cream or something and chocolate chip cookies with pretzels in them. This book teaches you how to make all that and more, including something called ‘crack pie,’ so I need to know what that’s all about.}

{Fancy Coat. This one is from Piperlime.com for $109. I need this mostly because I bought this fabulous/ridiculous faux fur hat that I can’t wear with a North Face. Also, apparently huge parkas aren’t appropriate to wear for every single occasion, like weddings, funerals or clubs.}

{Limited Edition Urban Decay Book of Shadows Gift Set, $64. I will also happily take any of the cheaper gift sets, this one just comes with a portable speaker… which I’m not sure that I need or can use (I don’t have an iPod, and my iPhone speakers are nice and loud) but I want it anyway!!!}

This is just a working list, of course. I probably want more stuff.