yes, mom

A Lady: Armmmmmms.

D: Headaaaaaaaache.
(Am treating headache with coffee, as I have eaten all the ibuprofen in my office already.)

A Lady: But have you tried water?

D: Interesting idea.
Coffee is…made with water.

A Lady: .
Go drink a big glass of water.
You're a grown-ass woman

D: Teasing, dear. I've had a liter already today.

A Lady: Okay okay.

D: Yes, Mom.

A Lady: Harrumph etc

D: I have even eaten TWO BALANCED MEALS today Mom.

A Lady: Okay but did you do your homework?


A Lady: (I was going to do some pushups but it seems I can barely lift my coffee mug.)

D: Now can I have a ride to the mall?

A Lady: Only if you promise not to waste your money at Claire's or Topkapi

D: Okay okay okay I just want this sweater from 5-7-9

A Lady: Are you sure you don't want to get something nicer at New York & Co.? They're having a sale!
Hang on, I have the flyer from the paper…

D: Moooooooooooom, that's an old lady store

A Lady: Their ribbed sweaters are very nice!

D: Ahahahahahaha

A Lady: Just don't put them in the dryer.

D: This is pitch-fucking-perfect.

A Lady: (Oh god, ribbed sweaters.)

D: (Oh god, 5-7-9 sparkly sweaters)

A Lady: Um, hi, we haven't even done Express yet.

D: Or Vanity.

A Lady: That one I don't know…

D: Oh maaaaaan, Vanity was such a low-rent version of Express.

A Lady: What about...
What was the name of that terrible store that sold Silver jeans?
Not that I could afford more than one pair of Silvers.

It started in Nebraska.



I can finally be cool.

D: I TOTALLY had Silvers in high school.

A Lady: In 10th grade.

D: Saved up the part-time job money from the snack stand, went to the Buckle, bought Silvers and Doc Martens.

A Lady: NO. Ugh.


A Lady: I wanted Docs so badly.
Like, even asked my mom to see if they were cheaper in London.

D: I had two pair.

A Lady: (They weren't.)

D: Brown leather


D: And then I bought the MOST 90S DOCS OF ALL!


D: Sixteen eyelets, silver and black, steel-toed.

A Lady: YES.
My guess was gonna be red MJs.

D: The BEST concert-going shoes, dude. STEEL TOES!
God why didn't I keep those?  I  spent ALL my high school job money on 1) shoes and 2) bottomless coffee at Perkins.

A Lady: I wasn't allowed to have a high school job, which was LAME.

D: Oh man. It was like "You're 14, you can work, go get employed."

A Lady: I begged, BEGGED.
But no, all I was allowed to do was teachViolin or viola.  And swimming in the summer.

D: High school jobs: swimming teacher, mall snack shop stand employee, and the restaurant carousel of host, waitress, cook.
The mall snack shop? Called MUNCHVILLE. Yes really.


countess crystal

D: (some weeks back)
I’m reading Tempt the Devil for Shitty Book Club. I’m only on chapter 3, but: oh man I hope there's a gay subplot. And aristocratic allusions and then piracy? THIS IS PIRATES OF PENZANCE SLASHFIC, INNIT?

A Lady: You are going to be really disappointed.

D: Dammit. Not that I really know Pirates of Penzance all that well, but I figured singing pirates could go homoerotic really easily.
Even the Foreign Swarthy Silent Bodyguard isn't gay?

A Lady: I know! Or a eunuch! But no.

D has finished the book and has lost a significant number of brain cells as a direct result.

A Lady: Dude, the opening sentence is: "It was a terrible day to die--was there ever a good one?"
It was a terrible day for punctuation.

D: Things this pirate will not harm: ladies, the innocent. Things he will massacre: grammar, punctuation.

A Lady: The pirate isn't actually so awful at it; I blame the narrative voice.

D: Well yes, because he is Secretly Posh, which must be how he acquired a taste for expensive silk pirate shirts and all those sashes.

A Lady: So many sashes! If you're that well-to-do, wouldn't you own some belts?

D: Doesn't that seem like an impractical thing to wear on a boat? I mean, the loose ends would always be blowing around and getting in the way.

A Lady: Belts were definitely around by then.

D: They are not particularly HARD TO MAKE.

A Lady: LET’S GET TO THE NAMES. OUR HEROINE’S NAME IS DEVON. Devon is definitely a lady's name in the, um…
Ah right, we're in 1715, which is a very specific year. In 1715, Devon is a shire, not a name.

D: And there’s a photograph in 1715.

A Lady: RIGHT, the photograph of Devon's mother. Because this novel also includes a time-traveling daguerreotyper? Or, I guess, photographer, since it's not even as archaic as a daguerreotype.

D: (I am trying REALLY HARD not to make a time-travel Doctor Who joke here. I am sparing you)

A Lady: (Oh god, thank you. You know my feelings about Doctor Which.)

D: (I almost bought a Doctor Who novelization last night. BUT I DIDN'T. And I'm not gonna make you read one for shitty book club, either.)

A Lady: (Which Doctor)

D: (Seventh, I think)

A Lady: (No, I mean that's his new name. The Which Doctor. Because whenever I see him on TV I feel my head shrink.)

So when Our Heroine Devon is on the boat and all these clothes magically fit her: did they raid an atelier? Is Devon a fit model?

A Lady: Yeah, I'm thinking someone doesn't understand how dressmaking worked in the early 18th century. Of course, someone also doesn't understand that photography wasn't invented until the 19th century.

D: Stretch jersey? Lycra?

A Lady: She is on a boat. And sailors wore wool jersey, so, um… no.

D: How many times did they do that jaunt from London to the Caribbean? Seven or so?

A Lady: Back and forth like it's no big.

D: Frequent flier miles: invented in 1715, just for them.
"BRB, gotta go check on the house halfway across the world.”
“BRB gotta break off my London engagement!”

A Lady: Sailor miles! I'm amazed they didn't have smart phones.

D: Also, apparently boats never need maintenance. Pirate ships are built to be lower-upkeep than my 2005 Honda Civic!
Anyway, where were we?  Names?  Our Pirate Hero’s name is KIT. I can totally see why he gave himself a pirate moniker.  Diablo > Kit.

A Lady: Kit I can let fly historically, on the grounds of Christopher Marlowe. But: "Kit the Pirate"?

D: No one fears Pirate Kit. They assume he's 9 years old.
Also, let’s not neglect Pirate Kyle.  The fact that a pirate is named KYLE is killing me.

A Lady: I know, I knowwww. Kyle is just such a piratey name.

D: The fierce, bloodthirsty... Kyle.

A Lady: First Mate Chad

A Lady: Deckhand... Rick

D: Deckhand Trip


D: Pirate Buddy! (I totally knew a kid named Buddy. It was his GIVEN NAME.)

A Lady: No you did not.

D: I TOTES DID. We went to elementary school together.

A Lady: Pirate Buddy definitely sounds like a toy from the 80s.  Also: First Lieutenant Chip!

D: Second Lieutenant Bryan!

A Lady: Omg omg Seaman JARED


A Lady: Bless the 90s.
Er, the 80s.
I am in denial about my age, clearly.

D: We totally escaped the 80s w decent names, thank god.

A Lady: Just barely.



D: Lady Mindy

D: Wasn't the fey fiancé Winston?

A Lady: Winnie!

D: This is basically the cast of Fresh Prince with slightly different names.

A Lady: What was the piratess's name? Scarlett?

D: Yessssss. I love her. Because 1) weapons 2) good hair 3) DOESN'T GET KNOCKED UP.

A Lady: That's definitely the slashfic way I was hoping it would be headed. I was really disappointed she didn't seduce Devon.

D: Oh Devon would be shocked, SHOCKED.

A Lady: And confused.

D: (Hopefully in a hot way.)

A Lady: Duh.
I'm sick of these spineless women and the men who abuse them but make them like it. This seems to be a trend in Connie Mason novels, which always involve a woman betraying a woman. The men lose their temper or are stupid; the women are also stupid.
Having now skimmed five of her novels, I've decided I have no patience for Connie Mason.

D: Five. Really.
Your patience/masochism astounds me.
"Bad boy! Nice lady! Struggle! Love! Everyone gets married! Even the angry vaguely-ethnic dude, because we found an ethnic lady to pair him off with!"
Fuck that shit. Let's give all the romance "heroines" some Judith Butler, a knife, and a vibrator.

A Lady: It's not even that; it's "Bad man! Spoiled lady! Easily explained misunderstandings that are never explained! Lies kept for no reason!" etc. And the endorsement of/desire for a tiny lady/huge man dynamic is (for obvious reasons?) so bizarre and creepy to me.

D: The tiny lady/huge dude immediately makes me think of a doberman and a miniature dauschund.

A Lady: So can I just tell fans of bodice rippers that there are plenty more and insanely better books where that one didn't come from?

D: Yes! Recommendations for bodice-rippery that will not induce head-smackery!

A Lady: Seriously, Julia Quinn's novels, which are hilarious and witty and way sexier.
Also, Lisa Kleypas and Stephanie Laurens.  End of discussion.



D: Shitty Book Club Time! Fifty Shades of Grey and the whole damn trilogy. You have a pisco sour, I have a brown derby. We have... thoughts.

A Lady: Yes! So many thoughts!
Mine are more positive than yours, I think?

D: Of course they are.
Well: 1) I do not go in for love stories. You can keep your Brontë, Austen, etc.

A Lady:
Oh, who cares about the love part; that's stupid.


A Lady:
And YES there's better smut, but doesn't it just warm the cockles of your frozen little heart that so many boring housewives are discovering smut?

Oh my god yes. That is something I can 1000% get on board with! Go and read your dirty stories, everyone! GO FORTH!

A Lady:
Because usually these women are confining themselves to like, bodice rippers and heaving bosoms. And suddenly it's like: CANING!

Bodices got nothing on a ball gag.

A Lady:

D: Although she never gets actually caned, does she?

A Lady:
I KNOW! THAT BOTHERS ME. Like, caning/gags/even a little belting is beyond the pale? Pfft whatevs.

LET'S USE THE CHEKOV GUN RULE HERE. If you bring out the canes in book one, it'd better get goddamn used by book three.
Belting. Really.
I mean... no.

A Lady:
"OH NO I CAN'T DO THIS!" Oh really, have you ever suffered anything at all? Really, you can't bear spanking?

Girl, you are 21 years old and have never gotten laid. You go out there and you FUCKING GET IT ALL.

A Lady:
What, is she made of marshmallow?

Yes. Marshmallow and Jane Austen, obvs.
Also, basically 30% of the book is Consumerism Porn.

A Lady:
Not even gonna lie, I loved the consumerism porn. Stuff!

D: La Perla!

A Lady: Helicopters!
La Perla!!

D: (jinx!)
Stockings! Manolos!

A Lady: Macbooks!

D: Oh god. the Macbook. That was.... gobsmacking.

A Lady: Can we talk about how this girl in her 20s didn't have a smartphone?


A Lady: Ain't no way you're an English major without a computer.

D: You're not writing those fucking papers in the computer lab.

A Lady: Or on your roomie's lappy, because 1. She has her own papers; 2. Can't Facebook while someone else is on your computer.

D: 3. She'd quickly grow to hate you (from personal experience of not having my own computer for ONE YEAR and borrowing roommate's computer and yeah dude that is not good for friendship).

A Lady: 4. Google Reader isn't going to read itself.

D: Well, clearly no one in this world spends any time online. Except on their... Blackberries.
And who the fuck is dumb enough to send personal hella sexy emails from their work email address?

A Lady: Oh god yes, she's clearly an idiot.
Oh hurray for you, you recognized Tess of the d'Urbervilles, hurray you love Austen.
But, aside from cliched and boring tastes in literature, what do you bring to anything?
You can't make conversation. You're apparently blind? Because everyone's all "GIRL YOU SLAMMIN" and she's all "I'm a mouse."

D: "My huge blue eyes are too big for my face!" "My chestnut hair is..... something?"

A Lady: ...which is clearly a symptom of the author desperately hoping that this is her sitch.

D: You are 20-some years too late, lady.
ALSO. Oh my god also.
You can talk about riding crops and dildos but you keep referring to your "behind." And your "sex."
OH MY GOD REALLY?????? Way to take all the sexy out.



A Lady: It's like a Judy Blume character read some Harlequin novels. She's not tough enough to turn a top like that!

D: She was all "Okay, I'll change my name!"
"Okay, you can totally control every aspect of my life!"
"I'm a strong independent woman! Destiny's Child!"

A Lady: There are better, more convincing ways to portray a power bottom. For one, add some power.

D: All the women! Independent! Throw your knowledge of reproduction out and get knocked up immediately on accident!

A Lady: "Birth control is HARD!"

D: I am sure you had sex ed, and the friendly dorm RA with condoms and Plan B. Someone, SOMEWHERE had this talk with you.

A Lady: I can't. How can you be a contemporary author writing about kids in their 20s and be SO anachronistic? She's finishing college in 2011 and doesn't even have a computer and NO ONE IN AMERICA SAYS "PRAM," ENGLISH AUTHOR.

D: It reminds me of that scene in Daria were her dad is all "I'M EDGY! I'M COOL! I'M HIP!
(Why does youtube not have a better Jake Morgendorffer freakout reel? You disappoint me, internet!)

A Lady: Oh man. Okay. So: change the main idiot in 50 Shades and replace with Daria. You know who'd end up caning whom.

D: Wait. Daria and Sweet Innocent Thing? I WOULD SO READ THAT.

A Lady: Exactly.

D: Make it so.

A Lady: The birth of even better fan fiction!

D: And in that case, a one-dimensional character is okay, because she is literally a cartoon!

A Lady: But! What did we like?

D: Okay, okay, enough of my cold black heart.

A Lady: Did it spur you to find better smut? That would count as a positive.

D: Yes, I love that middleaged women are like "Ooh! Smut! Why yes, I enjoy this!" And yeah, also points, in a weird way, for sending me on a spite-quest to find better, dirtier smut to counteract the Love and Marriage and Babies plot. (Fuck this! Bring on the porn!)

A Lady: I didn't mind the marriage part so much...

D: Well. My cold black heart, etc.

A Lady: ...because can you imagine the spending allowance?

D: Oh my god, NO PRENUP!

A Lady: Even that should defrost you a little.
Free. Rein.

D: She ain't messin with no broke brother.
The tech.
The cloooooooooothes.

A Lady: The real estate.

D: The shoooooooes.

A Lady: The cars.
The lingerie.
The yacht.
The helicopter.

D: (Ooooh the lingerie)

A Lady: And first class, and first class...

D: The wine!

A Lady: ...and first class. Can you tell I'm flying economy back to New York tomorrow?

D: And the apartments, omg. I cannot even fathom a world where HOUSES, multiple, can be purchased. Apartments, multiple, is as much as my head can wrap around.

A Lady: Okay, so much for the envy.
The sexytimes weren't terrible, if you skipped over the actual prose and focused on the content.

D: True. If you ignored the terrible, terrible stand-in noun and were like "Okay, let's just visualize!"
So this lady got like, a jillion dollars for the movie rights, etc., and it's total crap. This clearly means we should write our cliché novel, but just add in lots of BDSM and STEP THREE PROFIT!

A Lady: Okay, but what happened last time we tried to write a novel?

D: Uh, we never started? But now we have spite to motivate us!

A Lady: Maybe all that happened was that I tried to persuade you to write a novel, and instead we wrote a blog.

D: In that case, we are totally on schedule. The schedule being "we're gonna do that."

A Lady: Okay, so I'mma start writing; you write something too and we'll see what disaster happens.

D: This is basically exquisite corpse w smut, innit? Yay! Trainwreck! Six-figure movie deal! That's how it works!



(amid a discussion of just exactly how dehydrated I am):


D: I ask myself that a lot.
Good strong German genes?

A Lady: Uh huh.
No healthy adult should drink as much pedialyte as you do.

D: Hey, I have not had pedialyte in LONG TIME. (That doesn't mean I didn't necessarily NEED it, but...)

A Lady: The bodega probably thinks you have a toddler secreted away at home.

D: Oh, they know it's for me. I start drinking it before I leave the store. For those times when I am SERIOUS about rehydration.

A Lady: .


A Lady: .
(part of this complete breakfast)



Did you miss us?

Well, no, probably not a whole lot, but in lieu of sending us "oh my god where have you been" valentines, you could do something sweet for A Lady! (She'd never ask you, oh internet strangers, to do this for her, so I am.)

Look, she has really pretty shoes. And I helped pick 'em out. (Coattail grasping, what?)

Please to:
like 'em
click on Snippets From The Cut
vote for her gorgeous footwear by clicking Keep It!

...and then cross your fingers that she wins the $1,000 first prize. Because you guys, a lady writing her dissertation could most certainly use some baller cash.