And it is awesome. At least it’s awesomely cathartic. For me. But for everyone else, especially future brides who don’t want to look and feel like overgrown tooth fairies on your wedding day? The Anti Wedding is dedicated to all our struggles.



But before we get into this righteous rant, I guess I probably have some ‘splainin to do. Unless you think I’m just learning about the ins and outs of the Wedding Industrial Complex for sh*ts (I love beans) and giggles (and bean memes), you’ve probably figured out I’m also making an announcement. Yes, this bitch is getting hitched. And no, I’m not pointing at some other bitch as I type “this bitch”; by “this bitch,” I mean me. For those of you who only know me via this blog or my last one this probably seems a bit out-of-the-blue. You probably thought I’d more likely end my 2012 playing dice in a Greek gutter rather than get engaged, but ya know, turns out I’m more boring/normal that you probably thought. Plus, we’re saving Greek gutter dice for the honeymoon.

But enough about how romantic I am and back to this Wedding Industrial Complex, this sector of the economy that sucks money from your wallet faster than a goddamn Dyson. Turns out, we all have four-year-old girls to blame for that, or more accurately, four-year-old girls who grow into adult women with the imagination capacity of four-year-old girls, at least according to this article. For the record, unless you’re Kate Middleton, you will never be a pretty, pretty princess. Instead, you’ll just look like you made Halloween your wedding theme…

princess fail

The sad thing is, I’m learning firsthand that that’s what the wedding industry more or less depends on. The dreams of unimaginative adults. It’s all about unrealistic fantasy. That’s why an otherwise rational person will pay $2,000 (or more) for a cake. A FUCKING CAKE. Or why someone would pay probably upwards of $10,000 to put these in the middle of perfectly innocent, otherwise very functional tables. Poor tables…

centerpiece fail

(Also, isn’t that kind of a big “fuck you” to your guests? Like, don’t you care that, I dunno, they’re able to see something more than the giant alien rose trees you stuck directly in their lines of sight?)

But I digress… As my fiance, who, by the way, is not my cat, but an actual human man (I know you were wondering), and I try to put together a grown-up soiree featuring exactly none of the above, we’ve learned that keeping things simple, adult and on budget is harder than you might think. Like, have you ever been to a bridal shop (even one that might be considered high end, hello Kleinfeld!)? They’re mostly awful. No matter the price point, they all seem to cater to the same childish taste. Big, poofy, lots of taffeta, crystals, sequins, ruffles. You just paid thousands of dollars for your cake, do you really want to look like one too?

Maybe it’s because I never thought about planning a wedding before, but I came into this brave new world of white, porcelain dinnerware, thousand-dollar cakes and holy-shit-there-are-how-many-different-kinds-of-paper knowing as much about it as my cat knows about nuclear physics. I’m just saying, had I read that the average DC wedding costs around $30,000 before we started telling people we were gonna have a wedding, I would’ve pressed the idea of elopement a little more. Imagine the kind of exotic elopement one could have for thirty grand

But alas, here I am. If nothing else, at least I’ll be a helpful fountain of glitter-spewing knowledge by the end of this. Just pay me $10,000 and I can make all your awful dreams come true.

P.S. Fair warning: prepare yourself for what I’m sure will be some more annoying/possibly obnoxious blog posts about wedding planning coming up. You might want to un-bookmark me now. 🙂

If you’ve read this blog (or my other, now-retired blog) closely enough, you may have picked up on a little problem I have—OCD. And no, that doesn’t stand for Optimum Cash Dollars. Unlike Mr. Smalls, mo’ money would most definitely not create mo’ problems for me. Unfortunately, the OCD I’m referring to is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and not the hilarious and sometimes helpful kind where I have to count light switches or keep my belongings spic and span. My apartment is a mess. And now that I have a cat, it’s most likely covered in poop particles. Side note: Whoever said cats are cleaner than dogs has obviously never smelled a litter box. But I digress. My brand of OCD provides me with 24 hours of fear of death from a horrible disease seven days a week. Example? ‘Member when I was freaking out about my thyroid and the possibility of having rickets…in the 21st century? Then, of course, there was that one time I thought I had brain cancer. I didn’t write about that one because $3,000 in MRI bills isn’t very funny. On the bright side, at least I ended up with this sweet pic of my interior design:

Anyway, the point of all this ‘splainin isn’t just to come out as someone who suffers from a mental illness because I’m pretty sure everybody has something going on. I’m not that exciting. That said, feel free to probe me—NOT IN THAT WAY!—should you have questions about OCD, unless your advice or query is about whether I’ve sought professional help. I have and it helped me tremendously.

So what’s the point then?

*A reader raises his hand*

Yes, you there in the back?

“Is it to demonstrate how not to begin an essay…?”

F*ck you. No. The point is to wish myself a Happy Belated Birthday (it was July 29), or rather a Happy Still-Not-Dead Day. Despite all the germs, viruses and bacteria that are out there just waiting to kill me, I’m still around and, boy, do I have big plans for my 33rd year of life. Besides continuing to not die (always goal No. 1!), I’m vowing right now to revisit or start anew that novel I began writing in 2009. I’m also going to paint more with the aim of showing in a gallery, where I’ll sell my work for OCD. Now I am talking about Optimum Cash Dollars. Thirdly, I promise to get over my stage fright and perform at a SpeakeasyDC or other storytelling event. Fourthly, I’m going to read a lot more books. Hell, if I think I’m ready to write one, I damn well better study the craft. And finally, I promise to write more essays like this. Except better. I miss blogging. Maybe Definitely because of the instant gratification it provided (HINT: COMMENTS WELCOMED AND ENCOURAGED!), but also because it kept my (tumor free!) mind sharp. Like a dull pencil. It might not be able to cut anything, but it sure can stab the sh*t out of something soft. I don’t know what that metaphor is supposed to mean. Gimme time…

My First Internet MemeThis is my cat, Humphrey. He’s the Most Interesting Cat in the World. He knows your Fancy Feast is neither. Feel free to pin it, tweet it, Facebook it, publish it in the New York Times, whatever! LET’S JUST ALL AGREE TO MAKE HIM FAMOUS! He deserves it. He works hard for his catnip. And by “works hard,” I mean “sleeps 20 hours per day”… Lazy, albeit interesting, bastard… Meanwhile, there’s a Part II to this meme. Make up your own quote for Gentleman Cat! Get the blank canvas here and spread the lolcat love. He can haz meme.

If there’s anything in this world that really reminds me of my love for the USA, it’s the phenomenon of flamboyant fitness guru Richard Simmons. I still remember the time when my mother, who’s been Sweatin’ to the Oldies since the 1980s, dragged me directly from the eye doctor’s—dilated pupils and all—to a suburban Minneapolis mall to see Mr. Simmons live.

I was eight. The drive was two hours each way. And I couldn’t see. Yet, still, it was fabulous.

God bless America, people!


Why Yes, I Did Paint This Picture of Myself and Am Having It Framed So I Can Hang It Over the Mantle. Doesn't Everyone Do This?


Before I got my current fulltime job where I get paid to write creatively and research Internet memes all day, writing creatively and researching Internet memes all day was my hobby. Alas, now that that’s “work,” I’ve decided to pick up a new hobby—painting. I won’t lie: I don’t have a lot of experience. Besides elementary school, my only grown-up level art class was Ceramics 101 at Grinnell College. I was OK, but I don’t think I ever excelled. What I have always done, though, is doodle. At my old, boring job, where I was forced to sit through numerous Congressional hearings about mammoth radiation detectors (that is to say large-sized radiation detectors, and not detectors to find radiating prehistoric mammals—that would’ve been much less boring), I used to fill my notebooks with shapes, things, portraits. I drew ex-Senator Norm Coleman so many times that if I consolidated all of them, I could probably make a coffee table book no one would want. But I digress…

I still draw, but not like I used to, probably because I don’t have boring events to sit through anymore. Plus, I’m pretty sure because of those boring events, my brain subconsciously associates drawing with the feeling of being dissatisfied. It thinks, “Well, if Marissa is drawing, it must be because she’s busying her hands so not to take that pencil and stick it in her ear so far it would wound me.” Drawing for me makes the shitty parts of life just bearable enough so I don’t kill myself. It does not take me to a truly happy place.

But abstract painting does. Something about the freedom, the color, the fact that I find myself standing on a chair and humming nonsensical songs to myself while my hands move around the canvas making shapes into scenes… it makes me happy. It also makes me look crazy. But, if I may mouth-trumpet my own mouth-trumpet, the results have been pretty cool so far.


“One on One” — 2012 — Acrylic on canvas — 16 x 20 inches


“Cover Up” — 2012 — Acrylic on canvas — 20 x 16 inches

I posted these on Facebook and was pleased to read that people who are not just my close friends and family think I might actually be good at this. As of right now, I’m not selling any work (although someone made my life by actually asking unsarcastically!), but I may entertain the idea in the future, but I’ll have to think it through. If I repeat past patterns, the second this ever becomes “work,” I’ll have to take up a new hobby… Fire eating? Machete juggling? Ice road trucking? The list of possibilities is endless, yet really dangerous.